Link to today’s strip.
It’s interesting (and instructive) to note that in today’s episode, there are several breaks with Winkerbeanean orthodoxy, which in this instance challenge the commonly-held notion that the Funkyverse is a closed system. Specifically, one notes Wedgeman’s impromptu coinage of Neeks juxtaposed with Owen’s expression noting a possible increased range (in a strictly functional sense, of course) of Wedgeman’s role beyond the brutish habitue of Westview’s cafeteria. One could, perhaps, extend this newfound role into the football field as well (“rivals” and “enemies” becoming “renemivals”, eg–a formation typically Batiukian), except that Tom Batiuk has prematurely curtailed such an exploration by having Wedgeman banned from sport (see: SoSF, 10/21-27). In any case, the possibilities (however slight) of expansion are indeed hinted here.
However, it should be noted en passant that Wedgeman’s mere production of a portmanteau cannot be ex facto evidence of heretofore unsuspected intellectual capacity, as the portmanteau phenomenon is more a function of language qua language and as such can be seen as removing “language” from the underlying “meaning” it is intended to convey, appropriating words as merely a series of connected ur-sounds to be arranged without regard to communicative function. Thus, Wedgeman’s new role would seem to be more of the nature of a random element, one designed to decrease the comfort-levels of the characters as they interact within their limited confines, and thus, increase narrative in oblique directions; but then one must recall that “randomness” as a plot element (as opposed to a decorative one) is strictly forbidden within the Funkyverse due to the nature of the construct. I feel certain you are as disappointed as I at the realization of this aspect, and I regret having to voice this argument, as it furthers the angst elements of the entire “Funky critique” positioning, while duly embracing the futility argument advanced by T.Batiuk (see notes)*.
As an aside, one has to note with approval the sheer exuberant gusto with which Wedgeman expresses the (self) enjoyment of his coinage, offering as it does an unexpected, unbridled joyousness at his achievement. Such expressions are exceedingly rare in the Funkyverse, and one must applaud their occasional appearance, even if they grace the nominally villainous.
On the other hand, “neeks” is totally dumbheaded and dope-like, and hardly worthy of such celebration. It is the very definition of dumbheaded. Dumbheaded like a bag of towels.
*Due to a misplaced comma, the notes were not included by the typesetter, who offers this note in recompense: “You suck. I hate you. PS I quit.”