Tag Archives: Wally

Dude, where’s my car?!

After spending more than a month on this insipid story arc and these irritating characters, today’s strip offers some much welcome relief… I’m speaking, of course, of the Green Pitcher, far and away the best character in Act III Funky Winkerbean (and probably Acts I and II as well, to be frank). By the way… hello there, I’m billytheskink and I’m… uh, I guess I’m going to talk about the Winkerbeans as they talk about Adeela.

FASCINATING! (In my best Merv Griffin voice)

More interesting than Funky’s understandable concern for his restaurant’s assets or the icy glares of his family members is his continuing transformation into Gasoline Alley mainstay Slim in both attitude and appearance. Less interesting, of course, is Wally’s inability to use his phone to tell Funky that Adeela’s arrest had to do with her (mistaken) immigration status.

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Development: Arrested

Link To Today’s Strip

Looks like they were going to see some weird foreign film. Anyhow, today we see a desperate and frightened Adeela reach out to the only person who could possibly help…Wally. Yep, this should end well.

Why is Rachel smirking at Buddy like that? She’s a real odd duck, that one. And check out Buddy, it’s like he KNOWS there’s trouble. What a good boy.

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That’s The Bit

Link To Today’s Strip

At first glance I was like “whoa, Wally’s cell phone vibration mode is so powerful it’s torn completely through his suit jacket!”, but then I quickly realized it was just crappy art. It’s nice to know that our beloved Buddy still exists, as he hasn’t been seen in a while, but as usual BatYap gives him absolutely nothing to do. Free Buddy!

So they decided to skip Montoni’s and go to that stinky old decrepit movie house instead? Or will they hit Montoni’s after? I think we all know the answer to that question. I wonder what they were going to see before Adeela ruined Date Night again?

“Honey? “Doctor Obvious Versus The Time Gargoyles” is playing at The Valentine tonight! It’s a sci-fi musical from 1947 starring Wallace Beery! Can we go? Can we? Huh?”

“(Sigh) I guess.”

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It’s OK It’s Not Loaded I’m A Good Driver Don’t Worry Wally

Link To Today’s Installment

What could go wrong…INDEED! Boy, this Pulitzer Nominee Guy just can’t tell a linear story no matter what. We already know something is definitely going to go wrong, but now instead of actually seeing it happen we’ll get day after day of moronic pizza banter and Crankshaft references. Then the Saturday cliffhanger, then repeat…and repeat…and repeat. Why can’t the goddamned thing go wrong on Monday, just once? Sigh. Does anyone know what day of the week Lisa actually died? Had to be a Friday, right? Or did he drag that out through the Sunday strip too?

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Here Comes The Flood

Link to today’s strip.

Normally, a Funky Winkerbean reader would see today’s episode as one of those typical Sunday “filler” strips that has nothing to do with anything, but is just supposed to be lighthearted and fun.

But Tom Batiuk can’t resist tipping his heavy hand when he’s about to get serious.  I guess it’s his way of saying “Polish off those awards, boys, the Batiuk shelf is ready for ’em!”

So we see Adeela all happy and carefree, just before the mean ol’ USA comes crashing down on her, for no reason at all (I’m guessing; there could be a reason that will turn out to be incredibly stupid). Maybe she has a brother who’s bombed here and there, and she’s guilty by association.  Or it might be something we’ve never guessed (because it has never been shown.)  As I mentioned yesterday, whatever it is will be so inaccurate and poorly thought-out that it should win awards–just not the good kind.  The point is that Batiuk will make her life living hell, for no other reason than that’s the only kind of life available in this strip…and, for that, he should win an award.  A good award, too.  He thinks.

Seems odd that we had to go through nine years two weeks of talking about driver’s licenses to get here, but there you go in Batiukland.

And that’s all from me for now.  Thank you for your indulgence; I appreciate your comments and your insights, and I also appreciate those who read but do not comment.  And now, please welcome back reigning champion Epicus Doomus, who returns tomorrow.

Let’s have Peter Gabriel sing us out of here…

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Ruined in What Way?

Link to today’s strip.

Other than taking place at Montoni’s, I don’t see how “date night” has been “ruined” in any way.  Unless the BMV was hundreds of miles away, Wally and Adeela should have gotten back well before any form of “night” started to fall.  Perhaps, once back at Montoni’s,  Adeela talked and talked forever about how awesome it is to have a driver’s license (which I would not put past any character in this strip), but it should still be late afternoon at most.

And even if she was excited about her achievement, she knows that Wally’s generosity put him on thin ice with Rachel; a decent person would have said “Wally, thank you for your help, enjoy your date tonight!”

I’ll grant you that decent people are not found anywhere in this strip, but it would have been the right thing to do under any circumstances.

Not to mention, prior to the test, “Say, Wally, are you sure you can do this?  Isn’t tonight your date night?”  Of course, we would have missed the last two scintillating weeks, but….

Oh!  I’ve got it–there was another Time Jump, though only a few hours this time!  Sure, that’s it!

And the kicker is, Wally and Rachel are right there at Montoni’s, where (for some reason) they wanted to end up anyway.  What’s to stop their “date night” now, other than Batiuk’s fear some lightheartedness will detract from his serious “talking about driving” arc?  Rachel looks as puzzled as I am.  Well, she looks like she’s rethinking this whole “Wally” thing, but close enough.

And Batiuk’s plugging of Crankshaft is definitely irksome.  I’m surprised Adeela didn’t follow up with “Is there a convenient link a person could click on to learn more about this Crankshaft?  Thank you!”

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Maybe she’ll be “awarded” citizenship!

Link to today’s strip.

See?  “Awarded”?  It’s like getting an award–something a certain cartoonist has never achieved!

I don’t know what purpose Adeela serves, except to fulfill a diversity quotient in hopes of attracting the attention of an awards group or two.  The thing is, he already had Khahn, who was a Muslim, and who was available as a worker at Montoni’s but then he decided to give him his own shop and then wrote him out.  Why try again?  Has there been an uptick in awards for this sort of thing?  The blandness of the dialog in panel three makes me think so.

In contrast to some of the earlier episodes of this arc, the artwork here is very slapdash.  To coin an oxymoron, it’s decidedly slapdash.

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Taking Fred’s Job Away

Link to today’s strip.

First of all, nice ventriloquist’s dummy of Wally in panel one.  If they revive “Tales from the Crypt” you should definitely apply to play the Cryptkeeper.  Secondly, there’s an actual kind-of joke in panel two.  But naturally, Batiuk has to ruin it with panel three with something meaningless yet vaguely depressing.  From what we can see, he has definitely brought the mood down for everyone.

I guess this makes today’s episode a grand slam!  He’s out on that tiny baseball diamond even as we speak!

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Licensed to Ill

Link to today’s strip.

For someone who prides himself on his writing ability, Tom Batiuk sure doesn’t show any evidence of possessing any.   Today’s strip is full of unneeded detail, as if Batiuk was certain the reader couldn’t remember what happened–not just in the previous strip, but in the previous panel.

Of course, he has space he has to fill.  I remain convinced that he does, indeed, draw the strip a year in advance including the word balloons, but the word balloons are not filled in until the last minute.  Notice how a cleaned-up version reads:

Notice how the flow is much better.  But it obviously wouldn’t do to leave all that white space.  So, off he goes filling the space with whatever comes to mind.

The second flaw in Batiuk’s “writing” is the fact that the joke isn’t a joke at all, yet he’s got his characters laughing uproariously at what is little more than a simple observation.   I would guess that DMV officers test drivers in all kinds of vehicles; it kind of comes with the job.  Though I should note that when Wally and Adeela came back to Montoni’s, she was driving a standard robin’s egg Batiukmobile.  How is this a “first time” for a DMV (or if you insist, Tom, BMV) officer?

Did “the officer administering the test” have to shove piles of pizza boxes into the trunk before he could fit in the passenger seat?  Batiuk, you should at least 1) try to set up your joke properly, and 2) try to have an actual joke.

 

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Naming the Unnameable

Link to today’s strip.

Well, will you look at that.  That cranky old bus driver has finally been named!  I guess Batiuk realized his word zeppelin wasn’t big enough to include “–what was his name, again?  I can never remember–” so he was forced to use his real name.

And for Heaven’s sake, Cory, you’re going to wear holes in that countertop.  How much polishing does it need, considering there hasn’t been a customer at all during this “story”?  Talk about putting in the effort without obtaining a result.

That might be a good euphemism, come to think of it.  “Tom Batiuk has been polishing the countertop on Funky Winkerbean for a couple of decades….”

Afterword:  SoSF mourns the passing of Bill Bickel, host of “Comics I Don’t Understand.”   He presented senseless comics that needed an explanation, and he and his commentors were always up to the task.  “Senseless” also describes his passing, and the internet is poorer now.  I’m not very good at deep thoughts, so I will just say that I will miss his wisdom.

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