Is today’s strip the first time Funky has gotten a positive reaction from Fitness Girl? Heck, is this the first time Funky has gotten a positive reaction from anyone in years? I think yes to the former but obviously no to the latter (see Thursday’s strip). Still, this strip usually holds Funky in such contempt that today feels like the first time someone has returned a smile to him in ages.
Giving her video of him working out is kinda creepy though. Where’s Rachel when you need her?
Fitness Girl could have used Rachel in 2014 too…
Link to today’s strip.
Greetings, everyone, BChasm back for another round reporting on the World’s Most Miserable Midget Opera. So… yeah… on one of my previous jaunts I way over-praised a “Funky at the gym” week, thinking Hey there’s jokes and that while none of the “jokes” was great, it was at least a development worth pursuing. Apparently I got the idea wrong, and that made Tom Batiuk furious, as mad as bees even, and since that time, the Malevolent Old Ones who oversee Westview have never let me live that down. While I don’t regret what I wrote, I’ve stepped more cautiously since and the true meaning of “Funky at the gym” has since become obvious.
The main thrust of the “Funky at the gym” weeks has not, I repeat not, been to allow small slices of humor to appear in the strip. No, the main purpose here is to emphasize that Funky is a fat slob of a loser, who years ago dared to think himself better than Les Moore, and for that he will be a fat slob of a loser forever. No exercise will ever dim his paunch.
Which is really said when you think about it. Funky started the strip as a happy-go-lucky teenager, sort of like “Zits” I guess, with the usual wacky conflicts between him, his teachers, parents and friends. Then, the sky grew dark and everything changed.
His punishment at the hands of his creator has really been thorough, and thoroughly mean-spirited. I mean, I was going to make a joke about the artwork in today’s offering, saying “Hey, look, in panel one, Funky is holding in his breath so much that his head actually deflates, but he can’t keep it up and it expands again in panel two!” but I don’t think I have to. When Tom Batiuk doesn’t care about a character to draw him consistently between two similar panels, jokes about that character kind of miss the point.
Link To Today’s Strip
Seriously, doesn’t that second panel conjure up images of Benny Hill racing around in fast motion? (Here’s a more appropriate one.) I hereby nominate it for the prestigious BChasm Award for “Funniest Thing I’ve seen in this Comic Strip in Living Memory.” Remember, though–it’s only a nomination.
My (minor) quibble with this one is the word “challenging.” I think what Funky means is “interesting,” or “engaging,” since clock-watching and falling asleep aren’t making the exercise routine more tolerable. “Challenging” would typically mean to a trainer, “harder, more difficult.” Which she has dutifully achieved for him, ha ha ha. I’ll hazard a guess that Tom Batiuk thought “interesting” would be too belittling to the exercise folks, but still–hey, if I can’t find something to pick at, I’m out of a job!
Anyway: the third surprise single from Tom Batiuk means that the bases are now loaded. What will happen tomorrow? Will we get another single, or a foul ball that hurls into the stands and knocks the hotdog out of Sluggo’s hands? Or a genuine grand slam home-run?
Wow. I’m actually looking forward to reading Funky Winkerbean. And they say there are no miracles.