Tag Archives: Westview H.S.

Run the Joules

Tom Batiuk’s got a decade-plus on me, but I reckon my high school experience had more in common with his than with that of today’s high school student. In my days, the only “device” a student might carry would be some kind of orthodontic implement. Any phone calls a student made would have to be from the principal’s office or the corner malt shop. Logan Church and her peers are never without their cellphones, and thus, are never without access to all the world’s knowledge. No wonder the unpleasant Jim hates teaching a class. When Logan correctly answers a physics question, Jim’s initial surprised reaction immediately shifts to narrow-eyed suspicion. She couldn’t have known this answer without Googling it, because Jim believes, as does Les, that these students never even open their textbooks. The thought that he has actually taught a student something brings Jim to actual tears. Unless that teardrop in the corner of his eye is a prison tattoo.

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Twin Piques

So good to know that both Centerville twins are alive and well, after a rare solo appearance of Emily or Amelia in Tuesday’s comic. Over in the Crankiverse, these two are still interchangeable, not-too-bright tween girls. But by the time they transferred to Westview High, they had developed distinct persona: Emily, the goody-goody flautist, and Amelia, the shredder of guitars.

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Photo Funnies

Epicus Doomus
December 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Oh, so this is just a WHS garbage dump arc, a place to use up the one-off WHS gags he has laying around that studio of his.

Guess the humor in today’s strip derives from the fact that Maris is never satisfied with her school pictures. Speaking of retakes, today’s riff hearkens back to a similar gag from 13 years ago.

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Wish upon, Wish upon, Day upon Day

Retirement clearly means different things to different teachers. Harry Dinkle comes to mind…how could he not, since nearly half the strips last month were about him? Harry’s busier now than he was before his retirement. When he’s not lurking around Becky’s band room, he oversees the Bedside Manorisms, conducts the July 4th concert in the gazebo, and hard-earns a buck or two giving piano lessons to rotten kids. Even in his sleep, he experiences nightly flashbacks to his days in uniform.

Les’ “work wife” Linda entered her lonely retirement sometime before Bull’s death. So the current, core faculty at WHS consists of Les (who’s rarely seen in the school, let alone teaching a class), Principal Nate, band director Becky, and the execrable Mr. Kablichnick.

Banana Jr. 6000
December 1, 2020 at 9:54 am
[Les is] the “cool” teacher that all the kids relate to…Batiuk thinks he’s invented the modern day Mr. Chips.

beckoningchasm
December 1, 2020 at 10:56 am
He’s invented the modern day Mr. Buffalo Chips. I’ll give him that.

That title really ought to go to Jim Kablichnick, the Science Schmuck. Despite his resemblance to Mark Twain, Jim’s corny, repetitive attempts at humor elicit only groans from his students. His climate mania is his least quirky character trait. I couldn’t find the strips, but can recall an arc where his coworkers shared their concerns that he was having a nervous breakdown. He’s a militant germaphobe, and a loner who on a class trip to Washington D.C., opted to drink alone in his room rather than join Linda, Les, and Cayla for dinner. OK, that last one’s understandable. At any rate, nobody hates his job more than Jim, for whom Wednesday, June 11, 2025 cannot come quickly enough. He memorializes his remaining days as a teacher on a whiteboard. Unless Jim’s creator plans to continue working after Funky’s 50th year, and barring another “time jump,” Batty will retire three years before Jim. Here’s hoping!

 

 

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Fielding a Compliment

ICYMI: So yesterday Logan was summoned to the office, only to return today to The Bleat’s studio with the rest of her peers (the “freshmen” we met in 2016 and hence should have graduated last June), and they’re all just back from a field trip? Th’ hell? Is this happening like five minutes later, or have days passed? Les is still wearing the yellow shirt, but that’s not a clue, since he wears a yellow shirt at least 85% of the time. Logan’s wearing a jacket that she didn’t have on yesterday, but then again, yesterday her top went from a crew neck to a turtleneck in the space of one panel. And today she wears the same color top but now it’s a v-neck. Logan: “Yeah, I almost would rather have been here!” Girl, you were here! Maybe that’s not Logan Church, but rather her heretofore unseen identical twin? Les, of course, is unaffected by any of this, as long as he can take as a “compliment” that being in his class is almost–almost–preferable to some shitty, five minute field trip to the principal’s office.

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Monday Morning Church

Welcome back from what I hope for you was a wonderful, long holiday weekend. Also back at work this Monday is Les Moore, after a weekend in Hollywood that started back in June. Les’ harrowing experience during the wildfires there have left him a little bit on edge: so triggered is he by the loud PA announcement that the sheaf of blank paper he was holding flies from his tiny hands. Easy to see why Mason wants to make a movie about this hero. Even Logan, the one being summoned by this booming voice, is more calm. Harder to gauge the reaction of the anono-kid in the red shirt, who is likely high AF and whose stage direction for this scene is “(looks on).” Tuesday: Logan pauses in the doorway and, without even getting Les’ Spinal Tap reference, blankly inquires of Mr. Moore, “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?”

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And he just can’t hide it…

Let’s all bid a hopeful farewell to Batton and, especially, Les in today’s strip. Les will sadly and undoubtedly return (please not for a good long while!), but what of Batton? This week’s story arc served to make him even les relevant than he seemed when he first appeared, and that’s saying something.

Not that doing interesting and relevant things is really a requirement to appear in Funky Winkerbean these days, but unless Batton gets cancer or (a year from now) the COVID-19 it is hard to see what else TB has for him to do. He’s appeared at Free Comic Book Day and he’s stood in front of Les’ class. What else is there? Well, if Batton ever does return, it’s a sure bet it will be during one of my stints writing this blog. I’m two for two so far, lucky me.

Now if Tom Batiuk himself is excited about writing this strip, he sure can hide it. He lost control years ago, and he probably likes it…

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The Thousand Panel Stare

Kids don’t read newspapers or newspaper comics these days… Boo hoo, so sad, this generation is killing the papers and the cartoonists, blah blah blah yackity smackity… Sorry, don’t care. I’ve heard it all before, and in better comic strips to boot.

Today’s strip is bland, rote filler in a dumb, overplayed story arc, but… that second panel. Chuck Ayers artwork since taking over duties in Funky a couple years ago has taken a good step back from the solid work he did for many years in Crankshaft I would argue, but the second panel in today’s strip is a genuinely excellent piece of cartooning. The beady eyes, the nonplussed expressions, the unrealistic density of students packed into every millimeter of the panel… you can practically hear the crickets chirping in background of this non-reaction. It is an extremely rare and truly good thing to see in Funky Winkerbean. What a pity it isn’t in the service of a better joke.

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TB does it, why not you, Batton?

Kidz these daze and their cellular doohickeys! Always on ’em. Amirite? Amirite? Eh? Today’s strip knows what I’m talking’ about! Leave ’em alone in a classroom with no direction and they just start tap-tap-tapping away on their smartyphones. It’s nothing like it wuz back in my day when we’d get in fistfights and beat lunch money out of the weird kids.

By the way, Les’ opinion on the value of comics sure has changed over the years…

FW5-27-72

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Welcome To The Jumble

If today’s strip is any indication, TB really wants to get on Jeff Knurek’s Christmas card list. Can’t blame him for that, Knurek’s work on Jumble is excellent and his Christmas cards are surely top-notch.

Cayla is now the latest in a long line of women in the Batiukverse who aren’t initially familiar with the comic interests of their significant others, or comics at all. That will change, though, just as it did with Lisa, Holly, Jess, Mindy, Cindy, even Donna… well, everybody but Lefty, really. It’s weird that DSH never indoctrinated Lefty being that he has owned a comic book store since long before they even met. That’s probably why she is always hanging around with Dinkle, in a desperate bid to avoid comics. Anyways, Cayla doesn’t read Three O’Clock High and she’ll be lucky to not be burned at the stake.

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