The Funkyverse seems to have taken my proclamed indifference to its chrono-narrative shenanigans as some sort of challenge. “Oh, Mr. Fancy Comics Blogger Man, it doesn’t bother you that Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft take place ten years apart, and yet both also take place in an eternal Comic Book Time present, which right now in both cases is a recognizable 2016? Well, what if we do a fractured-time narrative around Rose’s death in Crankshaft, and we keep prefacing every strip with narration boxes like ‘One week ago…’ and ‘Three weeks ago…’, but we do it over the course of nearly a month, so it becomes increasingly muddled what the chronological reference point is? How about that, huh?” Well, OK, fine. That would bother me. That would bother me quite a bit, actually!
Funky Winkerbean, 5/22/16
Funky Winkerbean, meanwhile, presents me with a simple pleasure: knowing that, while Les thinks he can glimpse daylight at the end of the decade-long hell-tunnel that is his chosen profession, he’ll actually be stuck in place spinning his wheels endlessly until this strip hits its next time-jump, which will no doubt catapult him past his brief joy upon retirement and straight into whatever his next depressing life stage is (old age and death, I would hope).
Mary Worth, 5/22/16
Oh, look, it’s Mary Worth’s first appearance under the new Sunday strip artistic regime! I give her two thumbs up; the cowl-neck sweater is a particularly appropriate choice. Less appropriate is Dawn’s assertion that obviously she’s not in love with Harlan, but if she were, would that really be so bad? After all, Cher once fell in love with a bitter, sullen Nicolas Cage in a movie, and that worked out fine!
Judge Parker, 5/22/16
Since Neddy abandoned her old person sweatshop idea, the world has clamored to know: how will the Spencer-Drivers get rich now, at taxpayer expense? Well, it looks like this is how!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/22/16
Congratulations to the animals, for finally figuring out how to drive the Morgans out of the countryside!
Funky Winkerbean, 5/21/16
When I was in DC for my book tour last month, at one point I found myself downtown-ish with time to kill, so I looked up the nearest Starbucks with the intention of parking myself there and soaking up the free wi-fi. It quickly became clear that I had in fact selected the Starbucks closest to the White House, and had to walk right in front of the White House to get there! Anyway, here’s some news if, like me, you haven’t been in that part of town since the mid-’00s: they’ve totally rebuilt Pennsylvania Avenue in that section as a very pleasant pedestrian mall, and you can actually get quite close to the White House now, at least as close as you could get in the ’80s when I was a kid, if not closer. Far be it for me to imply that Funky Winkerbean didn’t do the research here, so I’m instead going to assume that Toque Boy is just being extremely sarcastic, and Les’s look of crushing self-loathing at having just been publicly owned by one of his students is the real punchline.
Gil Thorp, 5/21/16
Hey, so, it looks like the girls softball team has been forced to play their games wearing their basketball uniforms! Clearly better funding is in order, by which I mean both better funding for high school athletic departments so that athletes can wear sport-appropriate uniforms and also better funding for comics so artists don’t just say “Enh fuck it” and drop in some clip art from three months earlier into their strips.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/21/16
Ha ha, it’s funny because the Smiths are so poor that not having the kids at home means they won’t go hungry for once!
Today’s Archie is neat little package justifying the economic stratification of society. You may believe that the 1% do less to earn their vast wealth than, say, factory workers or service personnel, but look! A single, dignified bead of sweat drips from Mr. Lodge’s brow, indicating that he too, in planning LodgeCo’s next strategic moves, is performing labor for which he deserves renumeration. Archie, in the background, demonstrates the real fecklessness of the parasitical taker classes, perspiring with anxiety over the destruction he’s caused, not thanks to good honest work. The message is clear: sweat smarter, not harder.
Funky Winkerbean, 5/10/16
The producers of the new Starbuck Jones movie have decided to shoot in blighted Northern Ohio, because
of generous tax credits offered by the state it would be convenient for the lead actor and writers. This has caused a lot of rejoicing, but as we all know, the Funkyverse has a very powerful Law of Conservation of Misery, so clearly this has to be a serious problem for somebody, sooner or later. How long will that bus stay wedged in that alley before the kids have to turn to cannibalism?
Remember, the comics pages’ most mediocre superhero deserves an extremely middling rogues gallery! I honestly can’t get enough of any of these people being insulted to their face.