Tag Archives: unnatural hand gestures

If only there WAS a substitute for experience…

You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip

At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.

At least we get that brilliant salmonella pun again4 and a half months was just too long without it. It’s a true TB original too, you won’t find it anywhere else.

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The Taking Of Boredom 123

Today’s strip goes beyond TB’s regular “tell, don’t show” philosophy into, well, “tell, don’t tell” territory I guess. We get a couple of 35 cent metaphors and learn NOTHING. Not a thing. In fact, you could swap the order of yesterday’s and today’s strips and it would make exactly as much sense as the present order. The Flash #123 made this big impact on this author avatar who went on to become a cartoonist… yeah, we knew that yesterday (or, 12 years ago, if you’ve ever read TB’s blog). Shouldn’t we be on to the why? The how? No, don’t bother with that, we need to hear a few more flowery words that restate what has already been restated ad nauseam.

This is beyond Herb and Jamaal‘s dopey non-specificity, which muddied the gags but didn’t keep the reader from recognizing that they existed. This glacial garbage muddies a complete lack of any substance to begin with. There is nothing here. Nothing. At all. No conflict, no suspense, no character development, no dispensation of information real or fictional. We’re waiting for a man to pay for a comic book. WE ARE WAITING FOR A MAN TO PAY FOR A COMIC BOOK. I’ll put up the $5.99 or whatever the #123 reprint costs just to get Batton the heck out of there.

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Lead Based Paint

Link To Today’s Strip

Good. I was worried I wouldn’t get to have any Les Moore action during my stint this time.

That was sarcasm, in case you were wondering. If I’m ever actually happy to see Les Moore, I’ll let you know so I can be transferred to the appropriate facilities.

At least he’s keeping his smug stupid mouth shut.

And Funky’s so unimpressed to see him, that he’s not even bothering to get his ass out of his chair.

In fact, this entire strip has a weird manic energy to it. Les just…smiles. While Funky, apropos of nothing, grimaces and waves his arms, and rants about seeing through walls. You could edit Les out of the strip entirely. He’s just a prop for Funky to use. He could have been anyone. Swap him with Harry, Holly, Corey, Garfield. It wouldn’t change a thing.

It’s almost like…like Les Moore isn’t there at all. And Funky is ranting at an imaginary Les he conjured up in his delirious need to have someone smirk beatifically at his stupid joke the very moment it entered his mind.

Maybe Funky fantasizes a silent Les Moore a lot.

It would be at least one thing we have in common.

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Tone It Down

I wonder if the school still pays the cost for Dinkle to attend the OMEA. Oh wait, in today’s strip it’s just “Music Educators Conference”. I wonder if the OMEA didn’t pay enough to be featured on a sign every day this week. Or maybe Batiuk thought it would be nobody would know “OMEA” was a music thing, and they wouldn’t be able to appreciate the hilarity without knowing that.
Apart from the weirdness of the sign, just the format itself of today’s strip confuses me so much. Batiuk does this regularly, where one character makes a “joke” and another character reacts with fury to tell them it’s not a joke. I don’t understand it at all, because it doesn’t add a thing to it. The only thing I see as a possibility is maybe that Batiuk does it to portray anyone who doesn’t appreciate “wordplay” as a jackass? Because I can guarantee he doesn’t have a problem with puns, since 99% of the content in Crankshaft is Crankshaft getting words confused.
I’d also like to know the set up of this joke-did Harry just randomly walk up to someone he saw talking and tell him this?

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Eye Do Not Care Anymore

Is Funky telling the truth in today’s strip? Last time we saw him get a physical was in early 2017, when he and Holly flew to Dallas (sure…) to visit a so-called “superclinic” (sure… again) for physicals. Well, Holly claimed it was an annual physical back then, so maybe the Winkerbeans’ annual January Dallas superclinic physical trip just recently happened. Not sure when that would have been, we’ve seen Funky and/or Holly every single week so far this month…

Oh wait, none of that matters. Nurse Scrunchie doesn’t care about Funky’s physical health, she just needs to know if he can afford to pay for his cataract surgery. What a scathing and original commentary on the American healthcare system! Groundbreaking stuff!

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Eye am about out of eye puns

And eye (ugh) *s-eye* (no no no) *sigh* (that’s better) sorry… I am about out of patience with this anti-majestic glacier of a story line. Every single thing in today’s strip happened in yesterday’s strip as well. I’m not sure even Garfield or Family Circus recycle at this level… I don’t know if this will help, but I have cut the 62 words in these last two strips down to 20 in an attempt to make this never-ending story stronger and more concise.

Dr. Droopy: Cataract surgery is pretty common nowadays.  It is quite safe and not especially complicated.
Funky: I'm worried! WORRIED, I TELLS YA!

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Eye-ku

No need to induce
To put folks in a coma
Just use today's strip
Dramatic Funky
Or is he? Lest we forget
His time warp coma
Here's a third haiku
It is here to fill up space
Like this story arc

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Frisket Business

Whew! I am so very happy to report that today’s strip doesn’t take place at the optometrist office, we’ve instead moved to a world where two Northern Ohio-based nonagenarian comic book legends are somehow meeting for the first time. It is, remarkably, a welcome respite.

Are we really supposed to believe that Flash and Ruby Lith, alleged fans of each other’s work, are meeting for the first time? Ruby Lith (hired in September 2019) wasn’t in the office during Flash’s last visit, when he dropped by to kvetch about “Turtle Thompson” (wait, was “Thompson” part of the guy’s nickname?) back in December 2019? Yes, Ruby Lith’s Miss American was a Capitol Comics title while Flash worked at Batom, but these two have both presumably been alive since the Coolidge administration working in the same industry in presumably a similar geographic area… they never met at a convention? Trade show? Art supply store? Comic book store? 3:30 PM dinner buffet?

While the plot seems a stretch, the puns today, however, are… well, they certainly are present. Though I incorrectly guessed her relation, I knew Amber Lith was coming. Really, I think we all knew Amber Lith was gonna be a gag in a Ruby Lith strip at some point. Didn’t see the dog’s related punny name coming, but it feels incredibly uninspired and unsurprising nonetheless.

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Krabby Petey

Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm 
…The joke is so mild and so botched, and the reaction is so ridiculously oversold, that the strip should be funny for how misguided it is.

Does anyone else think that Darin in the last panel looks like he was drawn by MAD’s Maddest Artist, Don Martin?

Tom Batiuk has frequently expressed, in his work and in interviews, that even though we call them “comics,” they don’t necessarily have to be “funny.” “I don’t see why a comic strip can’t carry the weight of substantial ideas,” he once said. But even a storyteller like Batiuk must cleanse the palate with the occasional standalone gag, or even a week’s worth of them. Everything about Pete’s “holiday joke” is lame, and the smugness with which he delivers it is just off the charts. Of course, the response is a hearty HA! HA! HA! from all but one of the Atomik staff.  At first, it looked to me as if Chester was the one admonishing Pete to “stick to writing drama,” which would make sense as he’s Pete’s boss. Naturally, as his fiancé, Mindy must come to Pete’s defense. But nobody knows better that his real soulmate, Darin, that flighty, distractible Pete needs help with focus. And anyway, his jokes suck.

Something that does not suck is the way Beckoning Chasm goes to work on Funky Winkerbean with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, and his authoring stint begins with Monday’s comic. Stay safe and well and happy, people. –TFH

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