Tag Archives: Westview High School

And when the door was opened, there was nothing standing there

Link to today’s strip.

Let me just say  that my mention of “hospital” yesterday was just errant speculation due to the recent shuffling of artists.  I, and I’m sure I speak for everyone else in the SoSF community, sincerely hope nothing bad has befallen Tom Batiuk; I have never, ever wished anything  but good fortune to him personally.  As I’ve mentioned from time to time, from all reports he’s a genuinely nice guy who enjoys meeting his fans; I hope he continues to be so, and do so, for many years to come.

That said…today’s episode is…well, I was going to say “beyond awful,” but I’ll go with “inexplicable” instead.  There’s no joke, there’s no good drawing, no wit, just…nothing at all.  It’s impossible to imagine a new reader coming across this strip and saying, “Hey, this is a comic strip I’m going to read from now on, with relish!”  It’s very possible to imagine a long-time reader saying, “Okay, this is it, I’m out of here.  From now on, it’s BC Classic for me.”

The only positive bit at all is the fact that Dinkle is there, and he’s completely silent.  I bet he hates that.  He’s not even drawn fully, he’s just a menace in a left corner.

It’s also another avenue for speculation.  Ordinarily, it would be Dinkle saying all this stuff, while Becky gazed at him in full worship mode.  (Heck, I think the last time we even saw Becky, she was a silent potato at Wally’s wedding.)

Why this obvious scenario was flipped, we’ll probably never know.

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One-Armed Bandit

Link to today’s strip.

Ugh.  Batiuk’s characters are never worse than when they’re being smug and self-satisfied.  Here Becky crows about the utterly stupid mattress sale, only to get to a pun that would be rejected by a chewing gum wrapper.  And look at that writing:  “our band” in panel two could have been replaced by “the” for a much smoother read.  It’s like he really does think his readers will forget the band’s involvement between panel one and two.

As for Becky, I can’t think of a single positive aspect of her except one:  she’s rarely around much.

Once again Chuck Ayers helms the pencils, leaving me to wonder if Batiuk’s in the hospital or something and the syndicate is having to rustle up some leftovers he had salted away.  Or maybe Rick Burchett, having gotten his “Inedible Pulp” cover, decided he was better than this and decamped to brighter pastures.

 

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It’s Monday

Link to today’s strip.

Monday’s strip, like Sunday’s before it, was not available for preview.

Why not enjoy some Pringles while we wait?

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Yadnus Pirts

Link to today’s strip.

As is customary, Sunday’s strip was not available for preview.  They’re always a surprise, but rarely a good surprise, something you’d actually enjoy reading.  Here are some possibilities I’ve come up with; feel free to add your own guesses in the comments.

First, we might continue with Skyler and his g’rents, though that seems to be pretty played out.  Now, never underestimate this cartoonist for stretching something past its sell-by date, but I can’t really see where he could go with this to “make a greater point,” so we’ve probably seen the last of Dullard & Co for the nonce.

Second possibility is we might re-visit the premise from a week or so ago, and pick up how Chester, the wealthy comics collector wants to get in touch with the comic book writer Peeved Radish.

Third, Funky and Les jogging.  I mean, we haven’t seen that in pretty much forever!  Not that I miss it or anything, but the cosmos feels misaligned.

Fourth, we might find out what happened to Becky’s mom.  –ha ha, just kidding.  That boat’s been scuttled for, what, five years now?  No, the real fourth would be some sideways kids’ book that Ann found in her Dullard shrine, something that would inspire some wry remark about how things were better Back Then.

The fifth and final guess I’m going to add is that we’ll get something completely untied to anything from the last six months.

Anyway, we’ll all find out in a little less than a couple of hours.  Wow!–it’s just like Christmas Eve, right?  Only this is an eve where one measures not the delights that may come once morning breaks, but the various disappointments one is certain to encounter when one reaches the bottom of the stairs, beholds the menacing tree, and hopes that the bigger boxes are not addressed to oneself.

But, well, despite the paragraph above (sorry, folks, I’ve been a guest host for quite a long time, and it does leave a mark), there is one thing certain:  no matter the subject, the characters, the dialogue or the story–it will be dull beyond bearing.

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Boresday, February 1

Today’s strip was, again, not available for preview.

So, let’s look back at the 1983 introduction of the goat that so disturbed Buck back in the day, Billy the Scapegoat. Or was his name actually Billy? The answer may surprise you… but probably won’t interest you.

First, the whole thing was Dinkle’s idea, including the name “Billy”.  Unfortunately for the Westview football team, the goat did not possess divine power.

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“Billy” was under the impression that Westview had the only terrible high school football team in existence.  Though this might explain why he ran onto the field hitting players.

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He also didn’t care for the uninspired name Dinkle gave him, preferring his own uninspired name.  No ever called him Paul, of course, because he couldn’t talk.

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While called a “scapegoat”, Billy-Paul was more like an oracle, his heavy-lidded ennui a prophesy of things to come for this strip.

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Doomsday, January 30

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but it is easy to speculate on what it will involve based on yesterday’s “hat”-focused anti-humor. Bull will be there, Buck will be there, and a retcon may well show up too…

Bull’s football career has been one of the most heavily-retconned aspects of this strip in recent years, with much of this re-written continuity in the service of the super-serious CTE story arc. Bull went from simply being contacted by a St. Louis Football Cardinals scout before he hurt his knee to actually trying out for the team (presumably during the 1982 strike) after suffering a major knee injury in college. The recently and incessantly-discussed goal line officiating screw up game was originally said to have been Coach Stropp’s final game against Big Walnut Tech, not Bull’s. This goal line play situation’s only actual roots in Act I are a 1980 “Casey At The Bat” parody arc called “Westview At The Goal” (much thanks to SOSFer Don for pointing this out a few weeks back) which was nobody’s final game against Big Walnut Tech. Heck, even the backward-facing emu seen on Bull’s college helmet in yesterday’s strip was originally forward-facing.

Frankly, I wouldn’t comment that much on these retcons if they weren’t being used to try to punch up the maudlin nature of a story that doesn’t need any re-written history to be maudlin. Are we supposed to take everything in this strip seriously except its continuity? Please.

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Riddell Me This

Happy Monday SOSFers (well, happy until you read today’s strip…), billytheskink here to take us all into February. February is typically Funky Winkerbean‘s best month, by the way, as no month sees fewer FW strips published… Much thanks to Charles, who endured the last two weeks stalking the halls of Westview High School to set our daily snark tone. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Speaking of two weeks… Two weeks back, when TFH handed the reigns over to Charles, he implored us all to wear a helmet. Alas, that wouldn’t have done us any good. Not in this universe.

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