“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow
Nope, but you do have to be able to read what you wrote the morning after. You’ll remember Les as the guy who a week (and ten years) ago showed up in Crankshaft to pooh-pooh the creative techniques of his fellow writers at a book festival. Please tell me how jotting down ideas that come to you in your sleep differs at all from “I go to sleep and allow my dreams to write my book for me.”
The winner of our 7th Anniversary contest is Epicus Doomus, who gets a mug from the official Funky Winkerbean CafePress store. Thanks to everyone who participated!
We frequently take Mr. Batiuk to task for his “tell, don’t show” proclivities, but we’ll gladly give him a pass today for having fast-forwarded through Les and Cayla making whoopee. That is, if any whoopee was made: we find the Moores not blissfully spooning, but rather with their backs to one another (the accepted sleeping posture for couples in the Funkiverse). Les has started awake, and though he’s made no sound, Cayla’s aware of this. She’s either a very light sleeper or has been lying there fuming since Les conked out.
Cayla’s definitely put something in Les’ hot cocoa, but instead of lethal poison (our choice), mayhap she’s slipped in a little sumpin’ sumpin’ that will put some lead in Les’ stubby little pencil. Have we ever seen Les be the one to initiate a romantic encounter, with Cayla or any of the women who’ve fought over his writer ass? At least this time Cayla doesn’t have to take Les by the hand and drag him up the stairs.
Along with his cloying false modestly, Les’ other key character trait is his fear of success. He forgets that time in his writing career when the only news he got from publishers came in the form of rejection letters. And it was only last month that Les couldn’t produce more than one sentence until Darin showed up to reminisce with Les about “Mom.” Inspired, Les squeezed out the literary equivalent of a stool sample which he sent off to
the lab the publisher. Naturally the publisher loved it and wanted more, meaning—horrors!— that Les would be forced to continue working on what he considers his life’s passion.
I have to wonder if today’s strip reflects the real-life goings on at Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle”: the dutiful wife furnishing the “brilliant writer” with flattery and hot chocolate. Though he loves to lecture others about what it means to be a writer, when it comes to his own craft, Les tries and fails miserably at self deprecation. The clumsy perspective in panel 2 perfectly captures the true essence of Les, as his giant, swollen head threatens to overtake the whole room.
Girl, what took you so long? Cayla has finally had enough of fetching snacks to Les, who is busy “losing himself” out in the garage all hours of the day and night. Tonight, she will act. “I got your Hot COCOA mix right HERE MOTHERFUCKA
We interrupt today’s snark to bring you Son of Stuck Funky’s 7th Anniversary Contest!
Yes friends, April 9th marks the seventh anniversary of SoSF! Pats on the back all around, and a tip of the Funky fez to our esteemed staff of volunteers: senior partner sosfdavido, executive administrator epicusdoomus, and most esteemed editors beckoningchasm, billytheskink, oddnoc, and HeyItsDave. I’d like to raise a glass to the original stuckfunky whose concept I hijacked and carried on.
Yeah that’s great, thanks guys. Tell us about this Contest!
Don’t get too excited: first prize (the only prize) is your choice of 11 oz. mug from the Funky Winkerbean CafePress store! A $9.95 value, and I’ll cover shipping to your address (U.S. only). No more having to drink you coffee straight from the pot.
HOW TO ENTER: I’ve taken panel three of today’s strip and Photoshopped out the “Hot Cocoa Mix.” What’s Cayla really got brewing for her man? Download and mark up the blank template to tell us.
Image editing skills/software not required! If you have access to Photoshop, go for it, but you can use MS Paint, SnagIt, or a free online tool like BeFunky (!). Post your entry as a comment below: the doctored image whose comment receives the most Thumbs Up will be declared the winner. Voting ends
midnight EDT Thursday 9PM EDT Wednesday and the winner will be announced Friday Wednesday night. TFH sez: I’ve opted to end the contest early as it looks like voter interest has peaked. See this post for the winner.
Thanks to every one of you for reading and commenting! Stay Funky!
Prize may not be substituted. Contest is neither sponsored nor endorsed by CafePress, Batom Inc., King Features Syndicate, or any other entity. SoSF staffers excluding TFH are eligible to enter and win.
Making their first appearance since January 2016 are Summer and Keisha. I’m sure the sounds of one-on-one basketball right outside his door do wonders for the terminally distractable Les’ writing process.
If “see you later, alligator” is good enough for Cliff and Vera, I don’t know why Les and Cayla feel the need to “update” it. Let’s not get started on Les calling his black wife a monkey. Instead let’s examine Batiuk’s tendency to take a feeble but acceptable joke and proceed to stretch it ’til it breaks. He could have left it at “they’re working on an update blah blah blah.” But, because it’s Sunday and he still has two panels to fill, he’s gotta drop in the stuff about going “viral” and “beta testing”.
It’s all well and good that Batiuk recruited a couple comic book pros to draw Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. But the draughtsmanship, maddeningly inconsistent as it is, isn’t the problem with these strips, it’s the writing.