Tag Archives: The Eliminator

I Know Where He Can Find A Mind Exactly Like That

Link To The Strip

You know, the strip is drawing to a close, as is my beloved SoSF blog, and I really wish it didn’t have to be this way. It’d really be nice if we got a story that offered some kind of closure, or even a nostalgic “life goes on” clip show kind of thing, where we could chuckle at the gang and their various pitiful antics over the years. But, unfortunately, he threw whatever this is supposed to be together, so there’s nothing you can really do but marvel over how unbelievably terrible and stupid it is.

Impossible events (that they’re only talking about, mind you), wild incongruities, dialog that contradicts itself all over the place, awful artwork, it’s unquestionably one of the most terrible FW arcs I’ve ever seen. And it’s not even terrible in an astonishing way, like when Les saved Marianne from a fire. It’s just stupid. I mean sure, maybe this helmet nonsense will lead somewhere and we’ll all be like “wow, I can’t believe how that cat figured into the story!” but what are the odds?

My current guess is that the strip will end with Les asking Summer how her book is coming along. Summer will reply that it’s already finished. Then the last panel will show “The Complete FW” with a caption that says “Thanks For Reading…Stay Funky!”. This story isn’t going anywhere and nothing will happen, so right now that’s the most likely ending.

Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

November 19-December 20, 2012

An extended Crazy Harry arc begins. Harry explains to Donna his love of old comic books. The next day he walks into Montoni’s to inform Funky that USPS is shutting down the Westview Post Office and he’s out of a job. Harry decides he must sell off his beloved library, spending a week sorting and packing his books and his comics before schlepping them off to John, who offers Crazy Harry a job at the Komix Korner.

Being a mailman was Crazy Harry’s entire post-high school identity, so OF COURSE Batiuk had to destroy it, as he’s often prone to do. I was shocked to discover that Crazy has been working as John’s Komix Korner lackey for TEN YEARS already, as I thought this happened far more recently than this. Time sure does fly. He just loved to torture these characters. He absolutely bludgeoned Funky and Wally for years on end, he had Dinkle go deaf, he had a trombone prodigy lose an arm, he had Bull lose his mind AND die, he crippled Fred Fairgood AND rectonned him into a philanderer for no reason whatsoever, and he stripped away whatever dignity Crazy had left (hint: not much), just for kicks. He’s a dark, dark character, that Batom. He obviously loves the idea of cruel fates befalling his characters, especially if they were popular or good at something in high school. It’s always been one of his weirdest traits.

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Disrupting the Timeline

Green Luthor
November 24, 2022 at 10:44 pm
But…Donna said she made the helmet herself? Is she also a time traveler? (Is that how she played Defender in 1980?) Or did she just somehow accidentally create a “temporal phase shifter” without realizing it?

Hitorque
November 26, 2022 at 12:16 am
1. So Donna lied her ass off when she said she constructed the helmet herself?

1a. So Batiuk lied his ass off when he showed us Donna being “inspired” by that bullshit comic book cover and actually making the helmet herself?!?

So not only is Harley a time traveler; today we learn that he’s a toucher of minds. If he has that ability, couldn’t he just influence Donna’s mind to return the helmet? Why do that when he can just inspire a fantasy illustrator to put it on the cover of Eerie #57 for her to find? The end of Funky’s 50-year run would be the perfect opportunity for Tom Batiuk to tie up at least a few of his myriad loose plot ends, and even revisit a few of the people and places who have played a role in this strip’s history. Instead, we’re given a week (or, likely, more) of these two mopes sitting in the janitor’s closet, discussing this hokey time travel retcon.

The Duck of Death
November 23, 2022 at 10:35 pm Edit
Kudos to Tom Batiuk for ensuring that none of his readers will be sorry when his strip ends, or miss it when it’s gone.

I’m with ya, DoD.

Great Moments In SoSF Arc Recap History: March 12-19, 2017
Funky wanders around an abandoned house in the woods.

While jogging with Les, the Funkman notices a derelict house on a hill, and he returns later, by himself, to explore. This week long, standalone arc accomplished nothing in the way of plot or character development. But it exemplifies a couple hallmarks of post-Act I Funky Winkerbean: glacial pacing and the futility of human existence. The strips from Monday to Friday are almost completely void of verbiage: Funky pulls his car over, treks up the hill, and wanders through the abandoned house. Read the entire arc here.

 

 

 

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The Great Tomholio

today’s strip

So Harley owned the time travel helmet, then Donna stole it? So her whole main FW gimmick was predicated on theft? And, as TFH pointed out yesterday, “The Eliminator” was supposedly “eleven years old” at the time, thus couldn’t have even been in high school in the first place. But complaining about FW’s lack of continuity now would be like the crew of the “Edmund Fitzgerald” complaining that the ship was too damp. This arc is slowly shaping up to be the worst idea in a lengthy history of them. Any idiot could have thrown together a month’s worth of strips featuring Les and Funky sitting at Montoni’s and saying “hey, remember when…?”, but once again, BatYam just can’t resist the urge to out-clever himself. 

Great Moments In FW Arc Recap History

February 17-23, 2014
Aging weekend anchorwoman Cindy Summers is put out to pasture (AKA Cleveland) by ABC News. Sunday: Holly and Funky worry about Cory.

In 2014, FW featured an arc where national network news anchor Cindy Summers was fired for being too old and disgusting to show on HD TV. No lawsuit, no nothing. Cindy grudgingly accepted her fate and left quietly, then complained to Funky about it. I believe this arc marked her Act III return, and that was how he chose to bring her back, by pointing out how she used to be hot, but wasn’t anymore. And she’s been a vapid, anxiety-ridden airhead ever since. I guess we’ll never find out what happened at Buddyblog, or with the Emmy nomination she snagged. Another FW character forever on the receiving end of Batiuk’s perpetual high school karmic payback.

 

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Wack Friday

As far as Summer knows, the helmet that Maddie sketched for her has no special powers, aside from concealing Donna’s feminine gender from the boys. So how in the hell is she able to surmise that it’s really a “temporal phase shifter“? Maddie doesn’t know this, and Donna, who as a kid actually wore the thing, thinks that its phase-shifting abilities were just a figment of her fumes-addled imagination.

Great Moments In SoSF Arc Recap History

Mar. 23-Mar. 31, 2010
In the big game, the Lady ‘Goats go up against Our Lady of the Cedars, and get their asses kicked for a change.

From back when Summer was actually a main character in the strip; the “sporto” that her father never was in his high school days. The Lady Scapegoats are seeded vs. Our Lady of the Cedars, who are to Westview’s girls’ basketball squad what Big Walnut Tech is to the football team. The girls are intimidated even before the game starts, and even the duo of former rivals Keisha and Summer are not enough to propel the Westview team to victory. This arc is notable for a couple of reasons: it’s one of the rare occasions when our protagonists do not succeed. It also contains one of my all time favorite Act III FW panels: the dejected Westview team seeing their reflection in the winners’ trophy.

Not sure why the OLC girls are still in uniform while Summer’s team has already changed into their street clothes. Nor why the winners are showing off a huge trophy when this is supposed to be a first round game.

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That Was The Week That Wasn’t

Look at last Sunday’s strip, and then look at today’s strip.

It follows almost perfectly, doesn’t it? The story could have skipped this entire week. When it wasn’t redundant, it was confusing. Yesterday’s auction scenario now seems like a bizarre non-sequitir as we flip back to Summer’s insipid story. And next week apparently won’t be about either of these things.

I have to give today’s strip credit for moving the story along. The strip could have easily spent a month unpacking all the repetitive backstory Summer is hearing about today. Maybe her author arc won’t take as long as I thought. Batiuk probably just wants to get Summer her book tour, movie deal, and Nobel Peace Prize for Literature faster. But I’ll take the positive side effects where I can.

There’s still a lot to complain about, though. The intellectual bankruptcy of Summer’s stupid “oral history” is on full display. She asks her father’s friends about things that aren’t remotely history-worthy, and which she should already know anyway. Harley the janitor, a character so irrelevant that Linda and Kablichnik talk about him like he’s not there, gets his second mention in three days. Dinkle and the Eliminator get two panels each, even though the strip rehashes both stories constantly. No doubt this dross will be enough to make Summer the greatest historian since Pliny the Elder.

Is she interviewing people during the auction? I know I asked why she and Harry weren’t at this event, but isn’t this kind of rude? And how are you going to have a conversation while this is going on the background?

And with that, my guest hosting shift is up! This was one confusing fortnight in the Funkyverse. Though I had a blast, as always. My esteemed colleague BillyTheSkink is on deck.

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Le Chat Blacque

Hannibal’s Lectern
April 29, 2022 at 6:40 am
Prediction: tomorrow will feature no dialogue (Tom’s writing at its finest), just three panels of the trash can. In the first two, the helmet just sits there. In the third, it’s gone, replaced by a “BLIP” sound effect…

So close! But none of us were expecting Kili, the stowaway kitten from Les’ Kilimanjaro climb, to show up in Crazy’s neighborhood! The panel I’ve Photoshopped for you here depicts where I’d have liked to see this go: Crazy Maddie fishing the helmet out of the trash to give it a try. If it doesn’t send her back to the dangerous old days, at least the fumes will get her high!

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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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Blippin’ and Trippin’

Sourbelly
April 23, 2022 at 10:53 pm
Passing out from wearing a cheap stupid helmet 18 sizes too small may have had more of an impact on Kwazy Harry’s boring, stupid, pointless psychotic embolism. Whatever. It’s over, right? On to the next thing!

If only. If only! Ya know, snarkers, I was secretly kinda hoping that Tom Batiuk would drag Funky across the fifty year goal line, accept his Gold T-Square (to put with his Inkpot Award), call it a career, and live off the (surely massive) proceeds of the Complete FW volumes he so incessantly flogs. If only! Instead, the comic strip creator who crowed about allowing his characters to age and even to die, has given himeself carte blanche to run around tying up his strip’s countless loose plot threads. And in the cheapest way possible: “it was all just a dream/coma/toxic fume induced fainting spell.”

July 1982

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