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.
Tag Archives: WHS Scapegoats
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.
Happy Labor Day, kids, and a hearty thank you to billytheskink for helming these last couple weeks!
God damn you, Tom Batiuk.
Three weeks of buildup to the Coming Alumni Band Reunion, two of those spent in the car with Funky, Holly, and her awful mom. Then a week of “practice” which takes place entirely off-camera. Followed by yesterday’s mawkish, verbose, and seemingly out of sequence Sunday strip, and then…do we at long last get to chuckle at the spectacle of an elderly, oxygen-huffing marching band? We do not. We get nothing, we lose, good day, sir!
And of all the dangling plot threads to pick up, TB decides to trot out Buck Bedlow, showing up as he always does, unannounced, at the Bushka residence. Buck, you’ll recall, showed up a year ago, to facilitate Bull’s rehabilitation from bullying, belligerent gridiron failure to enfeebled, doddering legend. The two erstwhile rivals reenacted their gridiron glories on Bull’s lawn. After they viewed Dinkle’s video demonstrating that Bull did indeed get the ball over the goal line on the last play of his last game, Buck presented Bull with a framed, fake sports page touting Westview’s “win.” This was followed by a trip to snow-covered Scapegoat Field to dig up a piece of turf from the end zone.
Bull’s wife Linda seemed to appreciate the visits, but probably thought she’d seen the last of Buck that night he revealed that he was in the same state of mental decline as her husband. But Buck was back a couple weeks later. And now that football season’s underway and the leaves are falling (hurtling, actually, judging by panel 1), here he is again. Linda doesn’t even attempt to hide her disdain.
This one is unbelievable. First, we have pinned-up sleeves all over the place today. Then it turns out that Dinkle, aka General Nostalgia himself, doesn’t even KNOW about the Band Big Reunion Alumni at all yet! How could this have not been his idea? I mean, what the hell is he even DOING there if he’s not re-living the good old days, you know? And why are Funky and Holly leaving to pick up Holly’s mom now for an event that’s a full month away? Is he seriously going to do an arc about the elderly AND marching bands at the same time? Good God.
And finally there’s the bizarre spectacle of a retired march band conductor cracking wise about old people with missing body parts to a current marching band conductor with one arm. I mean, just wow. Utterly spectacular.
And suddenly, many months after the fact, that moronic arc where Bull dug up a hunk of grass and plopped it on his special “football memories” shelf comes full circle. Apparently vandalizing WHS property is OK if it’s for nostalgic purposes, which doesn’t surprise me at all. I like how the grass on his shelf is still sort of green, seeing how it’s all uprooted and dead and all. Quite a hardy turfgrass blend on that field, although it would have been funnier if Bull had ruined a costly Astroturf field instead.
So is the little tuft supposed to be where Bull stupidly dropped Coach Stropp? And if so, is he suggesting that Coach Stropp’s remains acted as a fertilizer that cause the grass to rapidly grow on that spot? Because if so, ewwww. Not to mention totally inaccurate, as you’d really want to use a higher nitrogen fertilizer at this time of year, one with a nice pre-emergent to keep those unsightly crabgrass clumps at bay. If Coach Stropp was a lifelong Westviewian I would suspect his ashes would mostly contain some carbon, traces of comic book printing ink and lots and lots of mozzarella cheese, none of which is especially good for your lawn.
Anyhow, the moral here is apparently that Bull is an inconsiderate moron who makes everyone’s jobs just a little more difficult via his special brand of dementia and idiocy. What a zany character, eh?
Oh, so now Linda wants Bull to do something other than binge videocassettes and relive his days as the best player on a winless high school football team? In today’s strip, she has finally decided to stop enabling him and wants him to do something he has not done since, uh…
– his retirement ceremony in 2016?
– he dropped that glass of water (a glass glass by a water cooler)?
– the tennis match where Les triggered his CTE?
However you want to define it, it has certainly been awhile.
Well, with a broken VCR, maybe Bull and Linda will finally get to doing all of that stuff they planned to do in retirement while Bull “still can”…
Or maybe they’ll go and find a way for Bull to continue watching the ’77 Scapegoats get their teeth kicked in so badly that the Centerville team that starts kneeling the ball in the 2nd quarter.
What do you all think is more likely?
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.
“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.
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.
While called a “scapegoat”, Billy-Paul was more like an oracle, his heavy-lidded ennui a prophesy of things to come for this strip.