Les continues to set Funky up for this tiresome Crankshaft schtick in today’s strip. Why? Why is he doing this? Is.. is he enjoying this? He’s even more monstrous than I thought!
The real story behind the name of pickleball is (not-widely) debated, though all of the purported origins clear the low bar of being more interesting than the one put forth in this strip. I’m surprised, actually, that pickleball has not caught on in Westview, given that it was invented by a guy* who died of cancer…
Today’s strip recalls one of the very last things that ever appeared in Act I… and uses it to mourn the death of print media? Look, I dunno what’s going on in the last panel, but I can tell you what happened in flashback panels.
After bumming everyone out with his awful valedictorian speech, Les just… hung out in the auditorium until everyone left, sulking in the unfulfillment of getting a high school diploma.
Then he headed out to the “Student Council Graduation Party” in the middle school gym, as seen in today’s flashback, finding the place deserted aside from Coach Stropp.
Why was the Student Council Graduation Party a dumb idea? Why was the party deserted?
Yep, Cindy held a huge graduation party at the mall that everybody attended… including MTV VJ Karen “Duff” Duffy and some poor souls who entered an MTV contest to win a free trip to Westview.
Les, however, sat in the middle school gym with his free copy of the yearbook, reminiscing about the good times he had with his friends in high school rather than going and actually spending time with him. After a week’s worth of strips of this, Act II began…
I do not know if next week will time warp us into Act IV or not, but I do know I will be leaving this site in the skilled hands (and mind) of ComicBookHarriet. Godspeed.
Hip hip hip hip hip
Today's strip more of the same
It just never ends
Chipmunks to Springsteen
Crazy's music tastes cover
Only now Crazy?
How hip did you feel during
The last 40 years?!
"You can become hip,
Just listen to new music"
- Captain Funkvious
Funky's bald advice
Somehow smartest thing in years
In this comic strip
Crazy's, not so much
Listening to this
No wonder no customers
Are at Montoni's
Make it stop make it
Stop make it stop make it stop
Make it stop oh please
OK, I’ll start positive today. Here’s something I like about today’s strip, Ayers uses bubble panel borders correctly, to denote a memory of dream sequence. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like much, but coming from TB’s pencil for decades it meant “present day in-strip setting change”, a maddening misinterpretation of longstanding comic art language.
And now, for everything else…
A pizza spinning on your turntable used to be a sort of shorthand for “cool”, in that it signified you were someone cool enough to have just a had a party wild and “crazy” enough that some nut tried to play a pizza and everyone was having too much “fun” to notice (see this well-known scene from Sixteen Candles, for example). However, a pizza spinning on your turntable when you are alone in your own room with your headphones on is not “cool”. Silly, whimsical, weird, crazy? Sure… but not cool. One could even describe Crazy’s memory as rather sad, given the contrast between him listening to his pizza alone in his room compared to the sight of a pizza on a turntable signifying a really good time shared by friends.
Finally having a clear schedule after directing both the choir and the band at St. Spires’ Christmas Eve service, Dinkle has no time to rest as he prepares in today’s strip to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade with his fellow fans of fascist regalia band directors. Seems like this thing was announced years ago (about 6 months, actually), but I guess The World’s Greatest Band DirectorTM doesn’t need more than a week to prepare. He does, however, need a little help from the tailor… something Harriet realized 11 years ago (a time so long ago that Dinkle was watching recordings of his concerts on his flip phone).
What assuredly entertaining and engrossing things will Dinkle get up to in Pasadena? I don’t know, but it will be Spaceman Spiff who will guide us through them. Good luck and happy holidays!
Apologies for today’s short post, but this story arc has gone about as well as my week at work has… And today’s strip doesn’t do much to improve matters. It doesn’t do much period.
The insurance companies Dinkle may have put a stop to the flaming baton trick, but don’t you dare think he is losing his touch. He has happily proposed maiming senior citizens with fire in recent years.
Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip
Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform
No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all
This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk
With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play
But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school
Oh, so Melinda wasn’t thinking of entering Holly in a pageant! No, as we learn in today’s strip, she was thinking about hijacking Westview High School’s homecoming and subjecting the crowd to Holly’s flaming baton trick and its subsequent collateral damage. Duh. I don’t know where Holly got the idea that her mother was trying to get her to enter a pageant, it’s not like Melinda led into this homecoming performance idea by talking about pageants or anything…
It was smart of Holly to suggest inviting a bunch of band alumni into this scheme. Not because making this an actual alumni event rather than a single woman’s vainglorious showcase means the school would likely be more accommodating. Not because it will place anyone not related to her who might be interested in seeing her performance out on the field instead of up in the grandstands. Not because it will give Wally a chance to break out his trombone again. Not even because it seems to deflate her conniving mother.
No, it was smart because Holly knows as well as anyone that misery loves company.
I thought maybe we were getting an extended break from Dinkle during the last week, TB does love pontificating on comic books after all, but I should have known better. The Dinkle-St. Spires choir story had yet to play all of the beats a Dinkle story plays. We’ve covered his arrogance, his ego, his megalomania, his ludicrously demanding practices, the one thing we were missing from the complete Harry Dinkle experience finally shows up in today’s strip… fundraising. I should have seen it coming, no excuses.
I’m not sure these robes appear to be “tired and worn” so much as they appear to be rain ponchos purchased at a Cleveland Browns game. Maybe add some patches or stains or loose threads next time to sell the effect, Chuck.
Now it is only a question of how many weeks will TB spend showing Dinkle pushing these old ladies to sell “choir mattresses” or his autobiography or whatever. Unfortunately, it won’t be a negative number.