As yesterday’s pitch blackness turns into cheerful dawn, our joggers pass by what appears to be a WWI “doughboy” sleeping on a park bench. The sight inspires Les (and Tom Batiuk) to launch another zinger about how “the Wall Street crowd” (aka the “greedy, immoral morons“) create so much misery for us decent folk.
Tag Archives: the economy
Huge news today, as in panel one we see that Funky has apparently hired some really strange looking kid (Wally Jr. perhaps?) to help out around…oh, wait. LOL, that’s just supposed to be Wally. My mistake.
I’m trying to recall a time when “things” WEREN’T “tough” in Olde Westview town…and I’m drawing a complete zero. It has nothing to do with “this economy” or the “times” in which we currently live. No, the reason every business in town struggles mightily to eke out a meager unfulfilled existence is because Westview is a remorselessly sucking black void, a vortex of failure, pain, human misery and soul-murdering realizations followed by weary, listless acceptance and total surrender to whatever dismal fate “the universe” happens to have in store for you next. A “successful” business in Westview would blow the entire FW paradigm to complete shit, as it would mean there IS a flicker of light and hope in that twisted hellscape and, as we know, that isn’t going to happen.
Well, it took him a while but Batom finally has his fictitious little town exactly where he wants it to be: devoid of any businesses other than a pizzeria and a comic book store. Utopia realized, not a deli or a grown-up (as opposed to “adult”) bookstore anywhere in sight. Perhaps they can find an oncologist willing to move into Khan’s old space, but I suppose that might just be too on the nose, even for TB.
Welcome to Main Street, Westview, Ohio…where the “American Dream” goes to wither and die a slow, painful and agonizing death. Where do I even begin today? Let’s go panel by panel here…
First of all…Kahn! That in and of itself is quite noteworthy. Take a look at Wally aka Master Of The Obvious…yes Wally, that “going out of business” sign really DOES give one the impression that Kahn’s deli may indeed be closing! How someone with those keen observational skills ended up working at a crappy pizza place is a real mystery. The fact that Kahn’s is right next door to Montoni’s makes their shock and surprise even funnier. Then again, when it comes to pizza these folks are nothing if not focused.
Panel two: Check out that look of total horror on Funky’s face as he realizes that a) he’s getting a glimpse of his own not-too-distant future and b) his position as president of the local chamber of commerce is even more of a sham than it was yesterday. And look at Wally, who appears to have just realized that if he’d said nothing he’d probably be back inside already.
Then in the final panel we see Funky roaring into “heart attack” mode, as if shoveling a never-used sidewalk will somehow fool the locals into believing that their pitiful “downtown” area isn’t an abandoned desolate death-hole, a monument to failure, disappointment and shattered dreams. Actually, knowing what I do about the typical Westviewian, that could work. I mean no one ever actually enters any of these places so who’d notice the difference?
Goodbye, Citizen Kahn’s…we’ll always remember you as an especially stupid bit of Batominc wordplay. Poor Kahn, he had pretty much everything working against him from the start: dopey cutesy business name, nothing to do with pizza or comic books…you know, everything.
I read the words “I’m like Wall Street…” and braced myself for one of TB’s ripped-from-last-year’s-headlines “topical” punchlines. Which probably would have been preferable to Holly telling us that she steps on the scale four times a year. I think when it comes to fitness goals, surely there’s a happy medium between weighing oneself daily or quarterly. And I don’t pretend to understand the financial world, but doesn’t “Wall Street” check to see how it’s doing like, every hour of every day? Isn’t that why they have those stock-ticker things?
December 6, 2012 at 7:22 am
…With Crazy Harry and his “library,” [Batiuk] aims for “quirky,” but hits “mentally ill.” Only a mere quarter inch away, in the Land of Reality, a guy who starts talking like Harry here would be brought in for psychiatric evaluation. I expect him to start carrying on conversations with these books, and maybe having sex with a couple of them.
And with that in mind, just be glad that today’s comic is only one panel…
“Increasingly painful” is a pretty apt description of this week’s arc. Crazy Harry doubles down on the imaginary CEO concept, and is compelled to give the old heave-ho to a raft of brilliant authors, any one of which, on his worst day, could write circles around Tom Batiuk.
It’s unseemly enough to have a suddenly unemployed adult decide to sell his books instead of searching for another job. But this whole transference thing, with the displaced worker assuming the role of CEO in his mind, and summarily issuing “walking papers” to his prized possessions, is just weird. Funky had best break down right now and offer him that Montoni’s gig, because this is getting to be re-God-damn-diculous.
For all his jerkish behavior upon learning of Crazy Harry’s unemployment, give Funky credit for at least checking in on his friend. Maybe Harry’s strategy of selling off his library (instead of, I dunno, looking for another job) is not as idiotic as we think. Keep in mind that in the Funkiverse, a single issue of an obscure comic, pulled from a safe, can generate enough revenue to rescue not one but two businesses.
Oh, Donna Klinghorn, you poor, poor woman. I stopped feeling sorry for Cayla a long time ago: there were plenty of warning signs that she was marrying a jerk. But I truly pity Donna: today she throws herself at Crazy Harry, trying her wifely best to take his mind off of having (deservedly, though improbably) lost his job. But once again, Crazy denies her, the better to tend to his beloved goddamn books, and once again she just takes it in stride.
“We could use some extra money…” “Extra” money, Harry? You just lost the only job you ever had. Is getting another job not an option for you? Sure, you look and act like a septuagenarian, but you have a wife, a house, and one or three children. I really doubt that selling a few books, or imagining that you’re a CEO, is gonna supplant your lost income.
Hoo boy—she is mad, too! Just look at her little fists clenched in front of her. This is the strongest display of emotion we’ve seen from Cayla in a long time!
Now that he’s put “the intolerant” of the world in their place, the un-didactic Mr. Batiuk takes a(nother) swipe at those wicked Wall Street Billionaires, who in Cayla’s mind have somehow (how, exactly?) made college tuition difficult to afford. Les soothes her by relating an anecdote that Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. had shared in his commencement address to Rice University’s Class of ’98:
I’ll pass on to you what another Methuselah said to me. He’s Joe Heller, author, as you know, of Catch 22. We were at a party thrown by a multi-billionaire out on Long Island, and I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to realize that only yesterday our host probably made more money than Catch 22, one of the most popular books of all time, has grossed world-wide over the past forty years?”
Joe said to me, “I have something he can never have.”
I said, “What’s that, Joe?”
And he said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Let’s don’t quibble over the distinction between having “the knowledge that I’ve got enough” and just “enough”. Cayla expresses to Les her concern over the expense faced by their soon-to-be-blended family, and Les’ idea of easing her mind is to (mis)quote a writer, because writers are wise and all-knowing. Billionaires, on the other hand, are “greedy, amoral morons” who fuck things up for decent folk like “us”.
Almost a year has passed since the near-Snarkpocalypse brought on by Batom and his lawyers. Thanks to the support of you loyal readers, as well as the comics snark community at large, Son of Stuck Funky still stands. I’m proud to provide this forum for the many kindred spirits who cannot look away from the train wreck that this long-running, once beloved, now excruciating comic has become.
I have a request to make of you, the reader, and it feels a little awkward: I’m asking for small donations. Ack. I said it.
Admittedly, the overhead around here is not great: after WordPress shut me down, it was a matter of moving SoSF to a paid web host, and registering and renewing annually the sonofstuckfunky.com domain name. The biggest investment is my own time, spent staring at each week’s worth of strips, racking my brain to come up with something new to say (even when TB doesn’t): a riff, a commentary for each day which I then share with this amazing group of readers, who proceed to have at it and collectively provide the real entertainment value via the comments. You people have made SoSF the funniest, smartest, friendliest online community I’ve ever participated in.
I wouldn’t be shaking you down for a few shekels if I didn’t need it. Yours truly has been out of a paying full-time job since last October. It’d be nice to not have to worry about scraping up the hosting and domain renewal fees as they come up.
It’s a free-will donation, totally voluntary. To the very excellent few who have contributed in the past: you’ve done your bit, you’re off the hook. You other guys, if you like what you read here and if you have it to spare, please consider clicking on the PayPal “Donate” button. Send even a buck; it adds up.
Hey, Comics Curmudgeon throws two begathons a year (not that I consider SoSF to even be close to Josh’s league) and they run paid advertising. SoSF is ad-free (for now), mainly because I haven’t figured out a way to monetize. So, just for this week, I’m passing around the tasseled Peruvian knit hat.
Thank you, everyone, for reading and sharing, and thank you in advance for any support you can provide.
References available upon request.