Tag Archives: squiggly lines

Cory Smirkerbean

Where exactly do Cory and Rocky live? I assume they still live in Westview; if not I’m surprised we didn’t get a “Cory moves away” arc. If they do still live in Westview, I’m confused at why they’re spending the night at the Winkerbeans. It’s allowing the same “you can call me Mom” material I’ve seen any time someone meets their future in-laws on a sitcom, which is something.
At first I thought Rocky calling Holly “ma’am” had to do with her army background, but if that’s the case I feel like the strip should make that a little more obvious.
These kind of storylines always make me a little sad, because it sure seems set up to be the kind of thing where the fans are happy to see their favorite couple finally tying the knot, but I have the feeling 90% of the people reading this don’t remember who Cory is, and 99%+ don’t know who Rocky is.

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Process of Elimination

In a rare, lucid moment, Crazy Harry realizes that it’s unwise to leave laying around a helmet that makes you instantly pass out when you wear it. Donna’s already decided to discard it, which she proceeds to do, most carelessly. With only one day between today’s strip and what will likely be a random Sunday standalone gag, it’s a safe bet we’ll see someone happen along and pick that helmet out of the trash…unless they’re too grossed out when they spot the used condom laying next to it.

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YMMV

Unlike other initialisms, which were invented and grown on the internet, “your mileage may vary” goes back to the 1970s and ’80s in the U.S. During that time, automobile manufacturers frequently promoted their estimated mileages to compete…However, due to the variations in driving conditions, they had no way of guaranteeing the exact mileage customers would actually get. Therefore, these ads would feature the disclaimer, “Your mileage may vary.”

What Does “YMMV” Mean, and How Do You Use It?, Vann Vicente, howtogeek.com

What a weird taunt. “Beat that!” is sufficient…adding “your mileage may vary” suggests that you can score as well or even higher than me, but maybe that phrase was just coming into vogue. Batiuk’s been getting considerable mileage out of sending his Act I characters back in time. It’s been nearly 12 years since Funky’s car accident sent him back to the town square of late ’70’s Westview, where he would encounter his teenaged self as well as his future mate, before checking out the comics spinner rack. Five years later, the entire gang got to meet their middle aged selves (except Lisa LOL)  during another month-consuming story arc that was the Time Pool Reunion.

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Wild Eyed, Crazy Maddie

It’s true: we boomers love to brag about having survived a childhood in which auto seat belts were not standard equipment, and among our childhood playthings were polonium rings, hot miniature ovens, and Lawn Darts. I’m just not sure why Maddie would take the existence of a kid’s helmet made of “off-gassing” plastics and extrapolate that to everything being dangerous in the old days.  But I do like Maddie’s gleeful grin at the thought of living in the dangerous old days, and for once you can believe she’s her Act I father’s child (whatever happened to the other two?).

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Keep Circulating The Tapes

I suppose it was inevitable… but I had a fleeting thought that we might escape this arc without anyone bringing up the Lisa tapes. Alas, today’s strip has happened. It was a silly thought, really.

Wait, all Les Cayla sent to Marianne was two videocassettes? (apparently) Didn’t Les ask Cayla to send DVDs of Lisa’s tapes? (yes) But didn’t Les also have all of his Lisa tapes on display on the very shelf he just placed Marianne’s Oscar on? (also, yes) But didn’t Crazy convert all of the Lisa tapes to “digital” (and DVD) years ago, negating the need to send any physical media at all? (again, yes) But didn’t the conversion process require Crazy to bake (and likely ruin) the tapes because of their fragility and deterioration? (it did) Beyond that, why is she only returning these tapes to Les now instead of through a delivery company or at the movie wrap party? (because TB has panels to fill)

I suppose the real question here is, did Lisa make a tape about what to do in the event that an actress won an Oscar for playing her in a major motion picture? That might explain why Marianne wound up giving her Oscar away… everyone obeys the Lisa tapes! Sic semper videocassetta!

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Hai-can’t with this

Here is today's strip
Is it worse than we all feared
Or simply as bad

If I was popcorn
I would be quite offended
By this portrayal

Les hated this film
Why would he even watch this
Was happy it failed

In this case, "writer"
Would not describe Les as he
Did not write the script

This deserves more scorn
I'm a skink, I can't rant, so
I'm counting on you

Rip this thing to shreds
Kill it with all of the fire
Or just acetone

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My mother, the car

Quite the crowd on hand in today’s strip, with the first panel serving as the Batiukverse equivalent of the semi-famous crowd reaction photo from the 2017 Academy Awards’ wrong envelope incident. While the crowd of stars watching Marianne are not quite of the same wattage as those in the 2017 audience, I still spy some big names.

  1. OK, I don’t know who this is, but his mouth is huge
  2. The shirtless Nazi who gets shredded by a propeller in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  3. George Foreman
  4. Dorothy Hamill (what’s with all the sports people?)
  5. The giraffe that stole David Cassidy’s hair
  6. A Dilbert cosplayer
  7. General/President Ulysses S. Grant
  8. Who invited Creepy Pete?
  9. Christopher Columbus (not that one)
  10. Soft-serve ice cream
  11. SHEMP!

Quite the menagerie present to hear Marianne call back to the time she went AWOL, nearly committed suicide, and then quoted her mother quoting an actress who was one of Hollywood’s most famous suicides. Anything to fulfill your parent’s dreams. How inspiring!

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Harley Holey

“There are gaggles of geese, pods of whales and murders of crows. What term would do justice to the special nature of black holes?…The question was crowdsourced on Twitter recently as part of what NASA has begun calling black hole week…Among the many candidates so far: A crush. A mosh pit. A silence. A speckle. A hive. An enigma. Or a favorite of mine for of its connection to my youth: an Albert Hall of black holes.” –Dennis Overbye, “What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream?”, New York Times, April 22, 2021

Thankfully we’ve survived the week-long shipwreck that is Tom Batiuk’s imaginary Hollywood, to find ourselves in the more familiar confines of Westview High School. Jim shares his dismay over his students not picking up on his referencing a fifty-five year old Beatles lyric. Which would be akin to 1970’s high school kids recognizing an Al Jolson reference. Which, come to think of it, we 1970’s high school kids might’ve picked up on, so maybe Jim’s pupils are deserving of his disdain after all.

Today we learn the name of Westview High’s janitor. Is Harley his first name or last? It Harley matters…

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Hooray? For Hollywood?

Link To Today’s Strip

Uh-oh. Looks like BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet. Back around Halloween when Les was sneering derisively and shrugging disinterestedly about how the cancer movie bombed, it looked like that whole sordid episode was over, but if I’ve learned one thing over the course of Act III, it’s that Lisa and her story will never, ever, completely “go away”.

I have to believe that given the time of year and the subject matter here, most of our readers probably have a pretty fair idea re: where this could be going. Sigh. Hopefully it’s not entirely Les-centric, but it would seem that he’ll be involved somehow, and any Les is too much.

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It Was a Thrill, Just Like the Last Two Times

Three things about today’s strip:
1. Batiuk still depicts signs as being on the inside of the door, which is silly.  I’m guessing he’d think people would miss the vitally important detail that this conversation is taking place in the band room, and he can’t think of a way to arrange the layout so you can see the outside of the door.  (Also, there’s no hilariously crappy tape holding the sign up.  Maybe we’ve made a difference!)
2. Based on my ten seconds of Googling, “finale list” isn’t a thing. I’m assuming it’s a play off of “bucket list”, (“he’s a musician, he wouldn’t talk about buckets, he’d talk about finales!”), but just swapping one word for another doesn’t instantly make comedy, despite what the existence of Crankshaft would have you think.
3. But hey, Dinkle is talking about his finale, which can only mean he’s about to die soon. Here’s hoping for a Sunday sideways “Death of Superman” “homage”, which will be extra awkward when it’s Becky cradling Dinkle’s corpse in her arm.

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