Tag Archives: wall of text

Mr. Batiuk, Tear Down This Wall

Link to today’s strip.

Before we dive in, I just want to say that commentor Rusty Shackleford is absolutely not responsible for bringing back Dinkle. Because if he had that power, a kind of Doomsday Weapon, I’m certain he would never use it.

I think today’s entry has to be the most wall-o-text ever. I mean, look at that crap. “Possibly be selected to”? Why not just…”to”? If you want to drop a hint that maybe, just maybe this one time Dinkle won’t get everything handed to him, why not “to possibly march,” split infinitive and all? I can’t see a reason for the grotesque block presented here.

Except for the reason mentioned last week, and my own pet theory: the balloons are drawn and finished long before there’s dialogue to go in them. And they’ve got to be filled. Because the author has Important Things To Say, and (like here) Important Appeals to Make to Those Who Issue Rewards.

And as long as I’m making suggestions, Mr. Batiuk, here’s another one: drop Dinkle. No one likes him. In fact, people like Crankshaft more than they like Dinkle. Dinkle was a fine Act One character, back when you were trying to make something good. He’s no longer a character people want.

I go back and forth as to whether Dinkle is worse than Les. On the one hand, Les has a small sense of humility. It gives him a tiny sense of self-awareness. But he has these things only so he can gorge on his massive need to whine how life isn’t fair to him, and no one praises him for his suffering.

On the other hand, Dinkle is equally loathsome, without even the tiniest bit of humility. He waltzes in to every situation, takes his rewards, and gives out the most punchable hatchet-faces imaginable. Any time he’s surprised by events, they are always in his favor (why, it’s even easier to make money nowadays!).

I guess I hate them alternatively. Heaven help us if they ever have an arc together. (“Say, have you ever thought of making Lisa’s Story into a musical? Who could we get to write the music?”)

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Build the wall of text!

Well… today’s strip wades onto the first step of the deep deep pool that is American immigration and guest worker policy. This is what I imagine it would be like if Eeyore was a political talking head on one of the news networks.

I have no idea what Wally is talking about, and I hazard that he doesn’t either.

Adeela is apparently studying architecture, can we assume Wally is doing that as well? That should help him manage Montoni’s really well, better even than Rachel and her decades of experience would… Or will it help Adeela do that? Oh good grief! Are we headed toward Montoni’s sponsoring Adeela’s H-1B visa? *sigh*

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The Invisible Man Gets A Makeover

Link to today’s strip.

Once again, Tom Batiuk goes with “tell, don’t show” and graces us with a wall of text about a (fictional, in-universe) character we’ve never even seen and care nothing about. In a strip well-known for having stupid character names, The Amazing Mister Sponge is really up there in the top ten.  Were I a super-villain (and I’m not saying I’m not), if one of my henchmen called out, “Hey boss, the Amazing Mister Sponge is after us!” why, I’d probably collapse from laughter and be unable to launch my scheme.  So maybe he does have a super-power.  I imagine it loses its effectiveness the second or third time, though, and starts being annoying.  “Why can’t one of the good heroes try and stop me?  This is embarrassing…”

It really makes me curious about how Mr. Batiuk decides on a storyline, what factors come to play that cause him to deliver…this.  Don’t you love how the episode ends on a cliff-hanger, the idea being that we’re all on pins and needles to know what Pete’s scheme is?  In reality, we know it’s going to be a crashing bore, except “crashing” implies something happening.  If this is Tom Batiuk’s depiction of the pressures of being a cartoonist, there’s a much better solution than wasting space:  retire.  Sure, you can spin your wheels until the glorious 50th, but here’s a cold hard truth.  No one is going to buy The Complete Funky Winkerbean: 2010-2015No one.

I guess one thing is that Mr. Batiuk seems to have lost any enthusiasm for drawing.  That Starbuck Jones face on the wall, for example, is a terrible drawing.  If that’s an example of Pete’s artwork, no wonder we’ve never seen this Sponge-Head.

As for the “real” characters depicted here, Darin is a bland smiling blank–the kind of image you’d see if TV stations still used “test patterns.”  And Pete has clearly been rejected from The Muppet Show for “looking too lifeless.”

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Grand Theft Humor

Link To Today’s Strip

Special thanks to TFH and the SoSF staff for everything they do!!

BanTom suddenly abandoning a premise he spent weeks setting up is certainly nothing new in the Funkyverse, he does it all the time. It’s called “writing”. It’s also annoying. But I forgot all about Mason Whatshisface as soon as I tried to decipher today’s brain-damagingly bizarre strip. The Jumbler? Finley’s Pharmacy? Holly pretending to be surprised by the sight of those two morons doing everything but working? What the f*ck?

Then I heard from the crack SoSF research team who informed me that within that massive wall of expository jibber-jabber lurk a few Dick Tracy references, which means that the long-rumored and much-dreaded Dick Tracy super mega crossover arc may be upon us…RIGHT NOW! For those of you not familiar with pop culture fads of the 1940s, Dick Tracy is a comic strip detective of some kind who regularly does battle with comically-named foes like The Jumbler (no doubt named for his propensity toward never properly organizing his comic books). I’m hoping this arc somehow involves Westview’s super-villain Dick Face, the man who paralyzes his foes with rage and disgust. “Watch out for the park bench, Mr. Tracy, it’s a trap!!”.

And once again Holly comes across as a total imbecile. I mean obviously they’re going to a police auction to bid on a huge lot of vintage comic books because of course they are. Duh. They’re not eating pizza or loitering around in that creepy store, so where else would they be going? To the library? The bank? To buy new clothes or fitness equipment? Home to their wives and families? Not bloody likely.

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You Left Out The “B”

Link to today’s strip.

See, it’s like John said “Garage Con” and I’m like ha ha ha more like “Garbage Con,” amirite?  So I titled this “You Left Out the B” because that’s like a totally witty thing to do which all the kids are into nowadays, not like old times when they had some respect!  Oh good heavens, just kill me now.

At least they’ve left Crazy Harry to die somewhere by the road, or he’d have come up with a third terrible comic-themed name for a place.

This whole comic book arc has been dead boring, more boring than any other story I can think of from this strip.  Having a third straight week is like being told, “Hey, where are you going?  You’re still in prison for another week!”  Even the John Darling Who Was Murdered story at least had some folks who straight out hated him, which is what every non-ninny felt was what he deserved.  And that hate at least gave rise to some semi-humorous insults and rude behavior.

The problem here is that comic books, for Tom Batiuk, are sacred objects and thus are not to be treated with disrespect–you know, like using actual jokes near them.

I have a better title than both “Fortress of Storage” and “Bookcave” put together:  “The Hill of Dung.”

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Tactics of Conquest

Link To Today’s Strip

I always thought the term was “poaching” and not “sandbagging,” but what do I know?  I certainly don’t have a Pulitzer nomination on my shelf.  I would also think that someone snatching a last-minute prize wouldn’t “snipe* it, but now I’m just getting all beady-eyed.

Judging by Harry and John’s wild gesticulation, the Starbuck Jones saga is something they find quite engaging.  And it serves as a good illustration of one of Funky Winkerbean‘s problems:  telling and not showing.  Stories about people in comic books can be very entertaining, since those people are usually doing things or plotting to do things.  Stories about people collecting comic books are not interesting.  At all.  Especially when they consist entirely of “I’m looking for an issue,” “Oh, well, here you are, then” stretched out over a week.   As pointed out some time ago by BillyTheSkink (thanks Billy!), it’s the reverse of Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop” sketch.

What would be funny (in a rather “meta” sense of course) would be if the object of Holly’s quest wasn’t Starbuck Jones but instead something more in keeping with the general tenor of Funky Winkerbean.  To wit:

Holly:  “Good morning, I’m looking for a particular comic for my son, who’s serving in Khahnistan.”

Wensleydale:  “Certainly, ma’am, we’re a comic shop.  What would you like?”

Holly:  “Have you got volume nine of the complete newspaper Spider-Man?”

Wensleydale:  “Ooo–that’s the one where he sits on the couch while his wife works, right?  And the other Marvel heroes keep saving him?  And there’s the special Sunday strip where he almost orders a pizza but stops himself at the last minute?  That’s a fairly rare item, I’m afraid.”

Newspaper Spider-Man and Funky Winkerbean are made for each other.

Speaking of artwork, initially, it looks to me as though the colorist here got Tom Batiuk’s notes in the wrong order.  You’d think the second panel would be the one shrouded in an all-encompassing darkness.    That is how my favorite character, the Pouncing Darkness, rolls in this strip.  On the other hand, we all know Holly’s going to get this issue no matter what, so perhaps Tom’s doing a bit of subtle foreshadowing by having panel two suddenly brighten.

Hey, it could happen.

*Seriously, check out definition 6 on that page.

 

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