Well, not much worse, because Buck hitting on Linda (and insulting the entire canine species) is some of squickiest squick we’ve seen TB hatch in a good long while. How else are we supposed to read “a little attention and a job to do”? This is not cute or endearing, it’s gross. Buck looking kinda like Dennis Hastert does the strip no favors either. Just awful all the way around.
Tag Archives: WHS Scapegoats
This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.
Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.
Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.
The CTE is really starting to kick in now and Bull appears to be losing the few marbles he had left, although it’s admittedly really tough to tell unless you’ve been following this crap for a while. Obviously Crazy would have no use at all for an old football video unless it was made from pizza or comic books (was it???), which seems unlikely even in the Funkyverse. Seriously though, this is the darkest CTE strip since the very beginning, back when Bull was dropping things and driving recklessly. It’s amusing to me how even this dramatic moment in the story centers around something so incredibly mundane and stupid. It’s likewise kind of amusing how Bull immediately remembers that Crazy converted his old VHS tapes into DVDs, a fact it took me a few seconds to remember and I don’t even have CTE, as far as I know, that is.
It’s FW at its darkest and most dramatic today, as an enraged Bull desperately flings his precious football DVDs around in an idiotic frenzy, refusing to return to bed until he’s able to re-live one more old football memory. How this is supposed to differ from non-CTE Bull is beyond me, but there you go. It’s sort of funny how one-dimensional Bull is and how every single aspect of his character, even his psychotic breakdowns, centers around high school football and it’s also mildly amusing how mundane the actual activity (looking for a lost DVD) is, given how this is apparently supposed to portray how “unstable” Bull is supposed to be right now. Maybe tomorrow he’ll violently attack the toilet brush or lash out angrily at that welcome mat that’s always getting stuck under the door.
A stunning turn of events today, as it’s revealed that Bull is in fact downstairs watching one of his old high school football games, a development no one could have foreseen. BatYarn once again can’t resist grinding his heel into Bull’s soul, again reminding readers that Bull is, was and always will be a sad-sack schlub and all-around loser who wasted his life on stupid sports instead of watching his first wife die and writing a book about it like more refined, studious and educated Westviewians do. Suffering from a degenerative brain disease isn’t enough punishment for Bull’s past transgressions, now he’s going to be forced to wallow in his lengthy litany of defeat for good measure, just to further drive the point home. BatTom won’t even allow Bull the dignity of becoming a drooling helpless idiot, he’s still milking him for laughs and cheap gags and apparently will continue to do so to the bitter end. Man that guy sure carries a grudge.
“Har har har! Remember your old school’s slipshod approach to player safety and medical care? Yuk yuk yuk!”. If their high school was such a poorly-funded nightmare why do they all remember it so fondly? One minute Batom is “thoughtfully” tackling the football head injury epidemic, the next he’s chuckling over the macabre image of an injured child being lugged off the field in a wheelbarrow. What a sicko.
“Then there was the time” = “I have given up all pretense of being a writer”. Again, he COULD be doing these jokes as straight-up Bull football gags but because he ruined the Bull character he can’t and thus must rely on awful, awful contrivances and really cheap dialog to bring his witticisms to fruition, let’s say. Buck is still pounding away on his hapless pal, doing everything he can to ensure that Bull’s last football memories will be depressing ones. Maybe it’s just the artist but there’s a certain mean-spiritedness to this Buck asshole, he’s like Dinkle without the cutesy sardonic irony thing he does. And I certainly don’t recall anyone demanding that.
And when the QB called for a play requiring an empty backfield, the players all ran toward the unused “back field” behind the cafeteria. Did you ever notice how “quarterback” and “cornerback” sound sort of similar? That sure is confusing. And did you ever notice those commercials they play during the Super Bowl? They sure are something. Why, sometimes they’re even more entertaining than the game!
It’d be so refreshing if Bull just punched Buck in the mouth and told him to get the f*ck out of his house. Unfortunately, though, it’s a 100% certainty that he’ll continue to meekly sit there and take it as Buck craps all over his rapidly-fading high school memories because Westviewians don’t get mad, they get wry. In fact, that inbred wryness probably explains why the Scapegoats were always so shitty. Well, that and Bull’s awful coaching.
Here’s where I’m obliged to point out that these “remember when?” retconned memories wouldn’t be necessary if BatWrite hadn’t ruined the Bull character for no discernible reason. Just like with Dinkle and his band gags, Bull could have done football jokes into infinity if only Batom had refrained from giving him a degenerative brain disorder, a disorder that apparently hasn’t even visibly manifested itself yet. Just like with Dinkle’s hearing loss (and Morty’s dementia and Lisa’s death), Bull doesn’t seem any different or worse for wear yet, leaving the reader to wonder why BatBore even bothered with that dopey half-assed CTE arc in the first place. Instead of just doing six football gags, he has to do six gags about old football gags he used to do, which explains why 99.999% of the population has no idea what “Funky Winkerbean” even means.
Yet another tip of the ol’ SoSF fedora to billytheskink for reminding us yesterday that this kind of wacky circumstance is by no means unheard of in the Funkiverse. Of course, the strip Billy shared harkens back to the “gag-a-day” days. It’s one of Batiuk’s “early, funny ones.” The decision to take the strip in a thought-provoking, sensitive, “reality-based” direction meant that he could no longer get away with this kind of zaniness. Unless he framed it as the work of 40-year-old sophomores Pete and Darin. Does Batiuk ever miss that old strip of his? You bet.
September 13, 2018 at 7:50 am
Actually, this is a big step forward for Batiuk. Instead of showing the lead up and aftermath of an event, he’s actually showing stuff during the event. Admittedly he’s showing the onlookers, and it’s done in a stupid comic strip, but I’d still say this is progress.
Guess you all know how this is going to turn out. Even Batiuk knows he can’t get away with Bull’s record being allowed to stand after all. But anything can happen in a cartoon, right? Here’s where the ol’ “tell, don’t show” storytelling style comes in handy, because outside of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, or movies like M*A*S*H or The Waterboy, it’s kind of hard to imagine the ball carrier being forced to “give ground” to the tune of minus 99 yards.