“Really good news” for Ruby and Flash in today’s strip! We learned the “really good news” yesterday, of course, and Ruby and Flash will have to wait to learn it until… well, hopefully sometime this week. Please let them learn it sometime this week!
“What is the point of this strip?” is a question that could be asked about Funky Winkerbean almost daily, yes, and it is a question that is never going to lead to any satisfying answers… but let’s pontificate anyway on today’s long panel of pointlessness. Is there really any reason at all to not have Durwood, Mindy, and Mopey Pete tell Ruby and Flash in this strip that they will be honored at Comic-Con in a month? Not revealing the news to them today does absolutely nothing. There is no suspense for the reader because we all learned the news yesterday. There is no suspense or anticipation for the characters because they have barely expressed the need or even want to be recognized for their work. Ruby and Flash have been glorified props in nearly every strip they have appeared in, existing almost solely to help Atomik Komix’s hard-shirking employees shirk even harder. Why wouldn’t Comic-Con and the Eisner Awards reach out to Ruby and Flash directly instead of relaying the news to Pete? Why wouldn’t these three wait for the Eisner folks to inform Ruby and Flash even if they got the news first? Why would Ruby offer her sad-sack take on the state of the comics industry as a response to the question “guess what?” posed by a coworker? Shouldn’t everyone who works at Atomik Komix be well aware of the sales of both their titles and the titles of their competitors? And what is Flash even doing here? He doesn’t work for Atomik Komix. Please tell me he’s not going to become a fixture, the Dinkle to Pete’s Lefty…
All this is doing is padding out the week worse than I padded out the preceding paragraph by asking hopeless and rhetorical questions. Oh, silly me, the point of this strip was in front of me the whole time!
I’m not on Dinkle’s side or anything, but I struggle to sympathize with the choir ladies in today’s strip. Those stern looks of disapproval are genuine and understandable, but these ladies have got to stop setting Dinkle up for this miserable gag. This is the third time they’ve walked right into it. Yes, Dinkle is insufferable and arrogant, but they’ve had plenty of time now to learn that asking him if he knows anything about a subject is a sure way to draw out that insufferableness and arrogance. If you don’t like the way he acts when baited, stop baiting him!
At least there’s no blood this time from Dinkle biting his tongue… Well, that’s not really an improvement. For a while there I thought that maybe Dinkle could be put on a path to self-destruction by frequently questioning his credentials.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. I considered waiting for it become available to post, but with the possibility of more Les on the table… I am sorry but I am not willing to burn the 11:00 PM oil potentially posting about a despicable character in a despicable situation.
However, true believers, just so I don’t send you to the comments section empty-handed… here, in honor of the late Jerome Bushka, is Bull’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
Oh, sorry, that’s the first mention of Bull, May 3 of 1972, in classic TB tell-don’t-show style. Here’s his first appearance, on September 23 of 1972 (Wait, why doesn’t Funky have CTE too, being a football sporto?):
And the first time he appears and is named, on September 26, 1972 (Until 2013, this was the canonical reason Fred Fairgood was estranged from his daughter Kerry. No, really!):
Link To Today’s Strip
Nothing spells “storytelling” like using no dialog at all day after day after (sigh) day. Turns out the letter is from (peppy marching band music) the National Football League, America’s preeminent and benevolent Fun Time Sports League, the league that once gave an already-ruined and addle-brained Bull Bushka a shot at the big time, a shot he of course totally botched. Why, my guess is they’re going to give Bull a retroactive fifty million dollar “Nice Try, Local Sports Hero, Get Well Soon!” grant that he can use to beat this CTE thing once and for all! So what is she WAITING for? OPEN THE LETTER LINDA, OPEN THE LETTER!
No, because a CERTAIN SOMEONE who just happens to have a lot of extra Pulitzer space around the house decided to give away the entire outcome of his big Prestige Mega-Arc weeks ahead of time, we know the letter is actually from the non-fictional and maliciously malevolent (ominous scary music) NFL (trademark!), the heartless and amoral pro sports concern that cruelly turned Bull’s brain into putty and now laughs at his feeble prayers for help as it sacrifices billions of dollars a day to Lord Satan himself upon its blackened altar of young broken men’s ruined bodies. Otherwise she wouldn’t have brought it upstairs to her bedroom to open it, because in every cornball sitcom scenario like this one when a female character gets bad news in letter form she must have pillows handy in which to throw herself upon reading said news. Don’t lie, ladies, we all know this stereotype is 100% true, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to do it on TV. Anyhow, it’s a near certainty that the letter will utterly destroy Linda and turn her into a humorless wad of wryness (it’ll be tough to tell sometimes, though) and viciously mock Bull, his life and everything he ever believed in while coldly sneering at his pitiful plight. Or something similar but less dramatic.
The next installment of this thing isn’t dropping til midnight tomorrow. Not that it matters much, as we all already know what’s going to happen thanks to a CERTAIN SOMEONE who just couldn’t stop yapping and flapping his gums about it. There were a dozen ways to go about it without saying “and then the lead character kills himself” followed by actually running the climactic strip a MONTH ahead of time, but in all the excitement a CERTAIN SOMEONE couldn’t be bothered to care about shit like his dumb stupid readers or their “opinions” of him. Man, I’ll never forgive him for that blunder, it would have been the biggest day in SoSF history since that prom scenery came out as gay. I really hope that pillar eventually found someone, you know?