Tag Archives: Westview HS Band

Why Are Students at an Educators’ Conference?

Link To Today’s Strip

It’s a very good thing the side of the room on Becky’s right wasn’t already crowded. It would have been very awkward for her to have to point in the other direction.

I had to think about this for several seconds before I realized there wasn’t anymore of a joke to this then the “young people are morons” beat that Batiuk’s been hitting over and over for years now. Although it really is Becky’s fault, since she’s telling them to wait “here” and pointing right in front of the door, apparently.

Also, why is the welcome sign on the inside, so people will only see it when they leave? It’s amazing how often Batiuk does that kind of thing, like having classroom numbers taped to the insides of doors.

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What reams are made of

Today’s strip begs the question, if Lefty has to print 47 pages of things not to do for her band students, why is she taking them all to Columbus for the Ohio Music Educators Conference? Or rather, why is she taking any students at all to the Ohio Music Educators Conference? I guess they make preferable company to her typical OMEA companion Dinkle, but so does a moldy dish towel. I would take bets on whether or not the kids’ presence at the conference ultimately gets explained, but I cannot find any casino willing to give me odds on “yes”.

And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, same time… same station, as spacemanspiff leads us all through what is hopefully something other than a return to Funky at the eye doctor. Frankly, I hope tomorrow’s strip is something other than a lot of things, including but not limited to: Les, Lefty and Dinkle, the Lisa movie, Cindy complaining about her looks, and Batom comics remembrance.

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My Dinkle-ing, My Dinkle-ing…

Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading

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Strauss Test

Link to today’s strip.

I’m somewhat familiar with Richard Strauss’ work, but not so I can point to something he wrote for the holiday. Perhaps he did, or perhaps Tom Batiuk thought of this bit (reminiscent of the late Norm Crosby) and just couldn’t find another way to present it.

He couldn’t use Johann Strauss (either of them) because “Viennese” is too close to “Vietnamese” and thus might be a simple mistake in pronunciation. No, the students must be presented as dunderheads beyond measure or redemption. I mean, just look how Becky’s face has fallen in that last panel. So, Richard Strauss it is. Even though the students might think Johann Strauss was “Australian,” and that’s surely a malapropism good enough for Funky Winkerbean.

Strauss Waltzes are often used in holiday programs because they’re light and fun. But “Light and Fun” have no place in the Funkyverse. Maybe Becky should choose some Nick Cave songs for the holiday program–that would go over well.

(NB: I like Mr. Cave’s music a great deal, but it’s not the sort of thing one plays in celebration. Some songs are quite lovely, but his work is typically rather dark and gloomy. And before you say it, even at his worst his work has too much quality to appear in this strip.)

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Burn It All Down

Link to today’s strip.

Well, my wish from yesterday wasn’t granted, and we’re back with the Mope Set.  As before, I don’t know what to make of this; I wish I’d had the arc where Funky misses the winning basketball shot, because that’s easily explainable as Tom Batiuk’s utter hatred of his title character.

Then this would be relevant:

(Larger and more satisfying version here.)

In today’s case–well, is it true that fewer high school kids are going out for football?  I have no way of knowing either way.  My impression is that sports are always popular for students.  If the numbers are falling, one thing I do know is that it’s NOT because the kids read a powerful anti-CTE story in Funky Winkerbean.

And the last two panels, again, make me wonder if we should be concerned about Batiuk’s mental state.   Much as I disdain his work, I have no animus against the man himself.  May he live long and prosper.  But what on earth is Buck talking about?  How does cancelling the football season mean that the band “wins”?  Aren’t they tied in great measure tied to one another?  Yes, there are other band activities, like the odd concert and student assemblies and so on, but the main display of the band is at sporting events.

And please tolerate a dumb question from a non-sporto, but it’s March.  Isn’t the football season already over?

As for Linda’s curtain line, does Tom Batiuk know what “Pyrrhic victory” means?  It’s when you win a war, but at such great cost to your side that it might as well be a defeat.  Trying to spin the logic here, she means no football games means, um, no band half-time shows, but, uh…there’ll be other occasional activities for the band (which the football team wouldn’t have).  So the band has marginally more stuff to do.  But there may be so few of said activities…uh, lemme think.  I guess she means that the school might consider cancelling the band as well?  Is that it?

Why would she care?  A) She’s retired.  Other than retirement pay, the school is in her past.  (Of course high school never really goes away in Funky Winkerbean, but still.)  B) She never had any interaction with the band that I can recall.  If the school cancelled football and band, why would she care either way?

In order to really have that line work, the band members would have to be actively persuading students not to join the football team.  Which is not what they spoke about.  And neither Linda nor Buck would know anything about such a scheme.  (And that kind of scheme would make a very interesting storyline, honestly…which is why we’ll never see it.  Damn.)

I keep bashing my head against this strip, trying to figure out the logic or sense behind it, and all I get is a headache.  I think Funky Winkerbean is giving me CTE.

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Key Of (zzzzzzz)

Link To Today’s Strip

Blech. As if we needed yet another reminder of how utterly unfunny Lefty is. Why is Dinkle even there? Is he like the official WHS underminer or something? I mean it’s a school, not the local Moose Lodge, you can’t just hang out there all day years after you retired. And wasn’t there just a whole Becky/Dinkle arc just a few short weeks ago? God help us all.

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Banned Room Revolution.

Today’s strip, when it drops.

Well, it’s been a real teeter-totter of a shift. One week of super-depressing Lesplotation misery porn, and another week of weightless recycled turkey gags. But you how the old song goes: When you’re up, you’re up. And when you’re down, you’re down. And when you’re only halfway up, it’s Sunday and the strip isn’t available for preview.

Our glorious leader TFHackett, is assuming his place on the podium tomorrow. Please treat him with the respect due a founding father of our blogiverse. He’s chopped down Lisa trees, and crossed the mighty Cuyahoga, and seen our troops through the frigid winters of Ohio. He stood up to the rotten king who tried to silence our freedoms through C&D, and brought us to this promised land.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Comeback Kidder.

Link to today’s strip

Dinkle! Stop touching your face! It’s gross! I don’t care if you forgot to shave, or have some kind of numb-cheeked neurological disorder, you will break out in ugly old man acne.

Speaking of ugly, Becky in panel three is a real barker. Bags under her eyes, lines around her misshapen mouth, weird flesh-colored half moon circles on her eyelids, mismatched ears. Ugh. Edvard Munch could be more flattering when portraying anxiety.

And I’m confused. Becky has a husband that isn’t Dinkle? I did another archive deep dive and, after going all the way back to December 2018, I found this weird strip.

That’s DSH John. But are they married? They mention each other a few other times, I guess? But that was the last time they were in a strip together. December 22 2018. They’re married, right? And have kids? When was the last time we saw kids?

Since 2018 Becky has attended OMEA in January, the school end picnic in May, Bull’s funeral, all with Dinkle at her side, and DSH John nowhere to be seen. Over 20 individual strips. And she only had 3 strips WITHOUT Dinkle.

And isn’t John married to Crazy Harry?

Found this funny strip from a year ago though. I guess Dinkle must be catching the Alzheimer’s that Mort Winkerbean lost. Because he forgot he’d already praised Becky for going digital.

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Facing the Music.

Link to today’s strip

Went on a weird journey for today’s post. At first I was just going to point out bad art. Like Dinkle touching his face with a tiny little prop hand. Then it occurred to me that Dinkle has touched his face in shocked contemplation no less than three times this week, which is gross and not something you want to be doing during cold and flu season.

But I stopped when I noticed that Becky mentioned practicing music for the Christmas Concert…because Westview doesn’t have a Christmas Concert. They have a Holiday Concert, so as to not offend those who do not celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and/or a night where the undead soul of a fourth century Turkish bishop breaks into people’s homes. I had vague recollections of an entire Holiday Concert arc dealing with Principal Nate becoming a somehow more exaggerated prototype of South Park’s PC Principal. So I dug into the archives, and sure enough there was an arc from December 7th through the 13th in 2015.

My trip took me farther back, because I decided to review some of the tired old Band Turkey gags, and I discovered that Dinkle himself assisted Becky in selling something other than turkeys back in 2014.

Then I looked up, and right there, November 2014, I found the arc where Bull had been offered a college coaching position, only to have it snatched away from him when the college’s first choice called back. And I was stunned to see that, five years ago, Batiuk thought to include a strip where Bull and Linda include their children in life decisions. Probably the last time Jinx has spoken in strip.

Reading that arc again, after everything, had me genuinely sad. And also kind of grossed out. Because Batiuk wrote Linda as incredibly horny back then.

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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