Tag Archives: the writing studio

In Soviet Russia, the Sack Hits You!

Cayla’s definitely put something in Les’ hot cocoa, but instead of lethal poison (our choice), mayhap she’s slipped in a little sumpin’ sumpin’ that will put some lead in Les’ stubby little pencil. Have we ever seen Les be the one to initiate a romantic encounter, with Cayla or any of the women who’ve fought over his writer ass? At least this time Cayla doesn’t have to take Les by the hand and drag him up the stairs.

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That’s Good! No, That’s Bad!

Along with his cloying false modestly, Les’ other key character trait is his fear of success. He forgets that time in his writing career when the only news he got from publishers came in the form of rejection letters. And it was only last month that Les couldn’t produce more than one sentence until Darin showed up to reminisce with Les about “Mom.” Inspired, Les squeezed out the literary equivalent of a stool sample which he sent off to the lab the publisher. Naturally the publisher loved it and wanted more, meaning—horrors!— that Les would be forced to continue working on what he considers his life’s passion.

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Garage Schlock

In case you missed it:

7th anniversary contest continues! Post your entries as comments on Monday’s post.

From the FW blog: “I feel I should say something about some of the things being said about yesterday’s Funky Sunday…”

I have to wonder if today’s strip reflects the real-life goings on at Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle”: the dutiful wife furnishing the “brilliant writer” with flattery and hot chocolate. Though he loves to lecture others about what it means to be a writer, when it comes to his own craft, Les tries and fails miserably at self deprecation. The clumsy perspective in panel 2 perfectly captures the true essence of Les, as his giant, swollen head threatens to overtake the whole room.

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The Cocoa in Cayla’s Cupboard

Girl, what took you so long? Cayla has finally had enough of fetching snacks to Les, who is busy “losing himself” out in the garage all hours of the day and night. Tonight, she will act. “I got your Hot COCOA mix right HERE MOTHERFUCKA

We interrupt today’s snark to bring you Son of Stuck Funky’s 7th Anniversary Contest!

Yes friends, April 9th marks the seventh anniversary of SoSF! Pats on the back all around, and a tip of the Funky fez to our esteemed staff of volunteers: senior partner sosfdavido, executive administrator epicusdoomus, and most esteemed editors beckoningchasm, billytheskink, oddnoc, and HeyItsDave. I’d like to raise a glass to the original stuckfunky whose concept I hijacked and carried on.

Yeah that’s great, thanks guys. Tell us about this Contest!

Don’t get too excited: first prize (the only prize) is your choice of 11 oz. mug from the Funky Winkerbean CafePress store! A $9.95 value, and I’ll cover shipping to your address (U.S. only). No more having to drink you coffee straight from the pot.

Right click to downloadHOW TO ENTER: I’ve taken panel three of today’s strip and Photoshopped out the “Hot Cocoa Mix.” What’s Cayla really got brewing for her man? Download and mark up the blank template to tell us.

Image editing skills/software not required!  If you have access to Photoshop, go for it, but you can use MS Paint, SnagIt, or a free online tool like BeFunky (!). Post your entry as a comment below: the doctored image whose comment receives the most Thumbs Up will be declared the winner. Voting ends midnight EDT Thursday 9PM EDT Wednesday and the winner will be announced Friday Wednesday night. TFH sez: I’ve opted to end the contest early as it looks like voter interest has peaked. See this post for the winner.

Thanks to every one of you for reading and commenting! Stay Funky!

Prize may not be substituted. Contest is neither sponsored nor endorsed by CafePress, Batom Inc., King Features Syndicate, or any other entity. SoSF staffers excluding TFH are eligible to enter and win.

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Monkey Winkerbean

Making their first appearance since January 2016 are Summer and Keisha. I’m sure the sounds of one-on-one basketball right outside his door do wonders for the terminally distractable Les’ writing process.

If “see you later, alligator” is good enough for Cliff and Vera, I don’t know why Les and Cayla feel the need to “update” it. Let’s not get started on Les calling his black wife a monkey. Instead let’s examine Batiuk’s tendency to take a feeble but acceptable joke and proceed to stretch it ’til it breaks. He could have left it at “they’re working on an update blah blah blah.” But, because it’s Sunday and he still has two panels to fill, he’s gotta drop in the stuff about going “viral” and “beta testing”.

It’s all well and good that Batiuk recruited a couple comic book pros to draw Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. But the draughtsmanship, maddeningly inconsistent as it is, isn’t the problem with these strips, it’s the writing.

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Preludicrous

Had I known TB was going to gratuitously shill for his next collection of strips in today’s strip, I wouldn’t have plugged his Amazon pre-order page yesterday. Click the link above to the previous day’s post if you want to see it, I’m not linking it again.

So… Durwood first floated this whole “Prelude” idea to Les over a year-and-a-half ago. Les allegedly began working on it shortly thereafter, with his publisher delaying release of The Last Leaf until he could finish it so that they could be released together.  In fact, just last week Darin explicitly tells Les he wants to see what he has written so that he can start on the “illos” for the book.

But in today’s strip, Les is just NOW given the idea for the Prequel/Prelude book that he claimed to have started in mid-2015, a book it was definitely implied he was procrastinating on just LAST WEEK?!

I… I mean… Just… Just move on to the next story arc, please.

The Last Leaf, by the way, is going to be an actual thing. That means that, combined with Prelude and the already-published The Other Shoe, this trilogy of books that Durwood has proposed is going to be a real (expensive) thing too.

And to think I said I wasn’t gonna plug TB’s books today…

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Lisaday, March 10

Today’s strip was not available for preview. If this week’s trend holds true, we’ll be seeing another Les-Lisa milestone. The most likely possibilities:

– Les’ European adventure from 1995 – Where he chased Lisa across Europe to propose to her after Susan sabotaged his original audiocassette proposal.
– The post office bombing that injured Lisa in August 1996 – You can read the whole thing right here on SOSF.
– The Halloween 1996 wedding – With Funky Winkerbean as Spider-Man in the DC-Marvel crossover no one asked for!
– The strip that launched TB’s opus – You know the one

In case my guesses are totally off, and so no one visiting SOSF today leaves empty-handed, here is Lisa’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:

FW11-8-84

And as an added bonus, I regret to inform you that you will be able to own your very own hard copy of the strip above (and many others) come October with the release of Prelude: Lisa’s Story Begins, available for pre-order NOW on Amazon!

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Gless Joe Vs. Bald Bull

Our old friend the park bench returns from a long absence in today’s strip. A pity that these two are disturbing its peace. Or were disturbing its peace, rather, as Les and Durwood are STILL flipping through old photographs.

You could probably argue that they are flipping through new photographs staged to look like old photographs, as TB redraws all of these flashback panels, but then you’d be debating the semantics of Funky Winkerbean, which (speaking from experience) won’t get you invited to many parties.

Anyways, today’s flashback panels pretty accurately replicate the original strip from August 1993 (The Westview High School class of 1992 1988 had a 5 year reunion? Weird.)

TB has, of course, recapped Les punching out Bull at the five year reunion before, though not with these same panels. It was part of Les’ reminiscence of his time with then-fiancé Lisa after she was injured in the 1996 Westview post office bombing. This was less than three years after the famous punch, by the way. Again, it was a fairly faithful reproduction of the original strip except that Lisa gets a snarkier 3rd panel line in the flashback.

Oh, and if you are wondering what awful thing Bull said about Lisa to deserve being punched… Uh, I’m not sure, honestly. At the most, he was being patronizing to Les while making a mildly unwelcome but factual statement about Lisa. Anyways, Bull was remarkably cool about the whole thing, in an early example of the common Act II trope where Les’ haplessness was played to make others look bad instead of for humor.

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Lesmaze

More photo album corners and sepia in today’s strip, as Les and Durwood continue to show off their unparalleled procrastination abilities.

So, in a game we are surely going to play all week, did this actually happen this way in Act I? More or less, yes.

The strip from TB’s 2001 rehashing of Lisa’s teen pregnancy is pretty much the same as well, only name-checking Lamaze this time. And let us all be glad that TB is, thus far, not revisiting Lisa the way he did during that 2001 rehash, where he re-drew at least two panels of nearly every single one of strips from the original 1986 story arcs.

While I can’t say this for Act II, I kind of enjoy diving back into the Act I strips, mostly because Les is an idiot and the strip regards him as such. That attitude, sadly, died loooooooong before Lisa did, early in Act II.

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Swing and amiss

I will give Tom Batiuk this, he rarely reuses artwork. Story arcs, dialogue, themes, comic book references, potentially fatal diseases, and whatnot, sure… but not artwork. No, he loves redrawing Act I scenes in his current “realistic” style.

Which we see in today’s strip, where he has redrawn a pair of panels to almost exactly match the strip from May 10, 1985.

FWcompare8517

Lisa appears less desperate in the 2017 panel than she did in 1985, though one could say she appeared Les desperate in 1985… On the Funky Winkerbean retcon scale this is RETCON NINETY-FIVE. Today’s strip hits RETCON ONE in panel 3, though.

Les, who alleges that he was so in love with Lisa back when this happened, actually asked three other girls to prom before he asked her: Cindy, who Les files a sex discrimination suit against after she turns him down; Allison, who Les asks via world’s worst wingman Crazy Harry; and Tracy, who Les openly insults before asking.

Oh, and he doesn’t appear to know or remember Lisa’s name until after they dance, (in some pre-prom dance in the gym that they are both attending? I can’t quite figure out what is going on.) referring to her as “that girl” in his thoughts before asking her to dance.

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