Tag Archives: weird time anomalies

Time in a Bottle.

Link to Today’s Strip.

For the best part of 10 years, I thought I understood the Funkyverse.

Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean take place in two neighboring towns, Centerview and Westview. They both take place in roughly ‘present day’ in terms of technology and occasional oblique references to current events. But they also take place roughly ten years apart. Crankshaft is set in the past of Funky Winkerbean. It really wasn’t that hard to understand.

Crankshaft takes a picture.

Crankshaft. September 3, 2011

And Les looks at it framed on a mantle.

Funky Winkerbean. September 3, 2011

Jeff reminisces about his old Starbuck Jones comic. And considers buying the last issue of an Action Comics storyline he never finished.

Crankshaft. March 20, 2014
Crankshaft. March 28, 2014

And years later he gifts the Starbuck Jones comic to Holly for Cory’s collection. And she gifts him the end of the ‘Congorilla’ story in return.

Funky Winkerbean. April 4, 2014
Funky Winkerbean. September 5, 2014

Crankshaft and his Bus Barn buddies complete in a bowing competition against a younger Montoni’s Pizza crew.

Crankshaft. December 2, 2015

And Funky recalls the same event from his perspective in flashback. Complete with old timey photo corners.

Funky Winkerbean. November 30, 2015
Funky Winkerbean. December 2, 2015

Crankshaft’s secret hoard of Bean’s End back catalogues is discovered. And his daughter sells them to a strangely young and buff Chester Hagglemore.

Crankshaft. June 7, 2018
Crankshaft. June 9, 2018

Years later, Chester puts the entire collection up for sale to fund his new comics empire. And Morton Winkerbean buys Crankshaft back his favorite issue.

Funky Winkerbean. June 12, 2018
Funky Winkerbean. June 22, 2018

Simple. One is past. One is future. In fact. I would almost nearly give it credit for being clever. A weird way to tell a story non-linearly. But it adds a certain depth to the proceedings if you’re in the mood to be charitable to Batiuk’s intended sentiments.

For example, the county fair arcs.

Funky Winkerbean. August 13, 2019
Crankshaft. August 15, 2019
Crankshaft. August 16, 2019
Funky Winkerbean. August 16, 2019.

Taken alone, they’re a bunch of bland fair puns on the Crankshaft end, and an awkward date ending in an even more awkward wedding proposal between Mopey Pete and Minty in Funky Winkerbean. But I’ve got a soft spot for grandparents. Seeing the younger Mindy enjoy the fair with the ‘Gramps’ that loves her, simultaneous to seeing an older Mindy fondly remember those moments years and years into the future when he can no longer be there…It kinda gets me in the feels. She’s trying to pass on to her boyfriend the vital essence of a person she loves who is now a weakened shell of what she once knew.

We get on Mindy for being boring and stupid. And it’s true. Because she is bland af. But this is the closest she comes to being a character to me. Because I get it. We’re seeing both sides of a painful transition, where a precious adult goes from being a childhood pillar, to a fragile keepsake. The story is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

So there. I’ve complimented Batiuk for something. Stop the presses. I’ve complimented him for using the time skip well. And he’s even done it more than once. It’s interesting, and occasionally sometimes even approaching good.

So why? Why by all that is sweet and bright? Is he throwing it all away over the pandemic!?! WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT?!?

When I heard that The Valentine was closing in Crankshaft, I could still make it work in my mind. Yeah, the location has showed up multiple times in Funky Winkerbean, still owned by an older Max Murdoch. Yeah, THE STARBUCK JONES PREMIERE was held there. But maybe, I thought, he would find a way to give Max back the theater after a while. Max has years and years to get that theatre back in time for it’s appearances in Funky Winkerbean. I can’t blame Batiuk for wanting to be topical, and hey, it’s conflict at least, so yeah, sure, let him lose the theater for a few years…

But then…then there was that fateful day in May.

Crankshaft. May 24, 2021.

Jeff shows up at the Valentine theatre with a rock he’s not supposed to get FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.

Funky Winkerbean. September 6, 2020.

Why?

Why?

Why?

And my only hope, was maybe he forgot. Maybe, just once, he forgot which strip was supposed to be the past of which. Maybe, just maybe, this dumb rock from Bronson Canyon was not the rock that shattered the temporal pane that separates past from future in the Funkyverse. I begged. I pleaded. Please don’t do this, Tom. Please, don’t rip away the final shreds of sense propping up the cardboard walls of your paper doll playhouse. Don’t be like this. Make the right choice, and tell me that you will stick with what you’ve established.

And today…

He told me no.

WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS TOM WHY

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Jukebox Zero

Link To Today’s Pandemic Fun

Again we see Funky fetishizing an inanimate object with ties to his youth that only holds meaning to him. And once again it makes no sense whatsoever. Why would the jukebox “have to go”? They couldn’t wipe it down with some sanitizer a few times a day? I mean it’s his building and his jukebox, I can’t think of a single reason why he couldn’t just leave the f*cking jukebox where it is. Yet there they are, hurriedly rushing the jukebox out the door like it’s packed full of anthrax (the disease not the band although both could be deemed as alarming). Why? Does it shoot COVID from the coin return or something? Will the song choices compel listeners to violate social distancing standards? I don’t get it.

And look how they didn’t even bother to coil up the cord. That dumb jukebox is one of Funky’s most treasured objects yet he’s carting it around like it’s a broken toaster. I don’t know what the idea behind this strip was supposed to be but I’m just baffled.

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Mon-o-tonies

Link To The Thing

Site Rules

  1. No politics, ever.
  2. No personal attacks, ever. This includes Batiuk. The strip(s) are fair game, personal lives are not.
  3. Stay on topic. Tangents are fine if they relate to the strip content.
  4. Don’t cross the line. You know what line I’m talking about and if you’re unsure then you’re probably crossing it. If you don’t like it, too bad. We try to maintain standards here.

So, (see what I did there?) is this the same AA monologue from before or is this a whole new one? Because Funky is really monopolizing these meetings. Running Montoni’s was hard, closing Montoni’s was hard, re-opening Montoni’s was hard…yeah, Funky really appeared to be struggling to make ends meet while he was reno-ing his luxury McMansion on the hill a few weeks back. I mean, it’s a pizzeria. You make pizzas, you sell pizzas and that’s pretty much it. It’s not like Westviewians have a lot of alternatives.

People got sick, people died, people lost their jobs, businesses cratered, yet there’s the Funkman, bitching because his stupid pizzeria isn’t exactly the same as before the pandemic came along. Cue the world’s smallest violin. Typical BatYam, he decides to “address” a “real-life issue”, then centers the whole thing around pizza. You’d think that given everything Funky has endured that maybe he’d have a bit of perspective, but nope. There he is, sitting in a room full of recovering alcoholics and making it all about himself. What a pitiful display.

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Filed under Son of Stuck Funky