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This is pretty much the worst Gil Thorp plot ever made

Gil Thorp, 5/2/09

Like any comic strip plot involving the YouTube and other newfangled computery whosits, our current Gil Thorp storyline will, it appears, be all about the idiocy of the Kids Today. Specifically, this plotline’s two designated assclowns, whose names I categorically refuse to look up, have been driven mad with fame-lust after witnessing Coach Thorp’s rise to accidental head-bonking YouTube stardom. Now they themselves will attempt to make it in the highly lucrative world of videotaped injuries, which is indicative of the Warped Values that the Youth have, as a result of the Internet. They should instead be enjoying solid, wholesome, character-building activities like competitive athletics, where if you injure yourself it will only be because you are giving 110 percent, and only a few dozen people will see it, unless you make it to the pros.

The fact that the title character of Napoleon Dynamite appears unbidden as the low-rent videographer in the first panel indicates the youth-scolding agenda of this comic. That piece of young-person-beloved hipster indie cinema baffles and angers the exact same set of people who are baffled and angered by YouTube antics, so why not roll them all together into one big ball of contempt for people under the age of thirty? It’s not like any of them read the newspaper anyway.

Funky Winkerbean, 5/2/09

Ha ha, so remember the other day when I said “bring it on” to the ménage à séance and the like? Well, uh, it turns out that I’m all talk. So, um, no more with the dead wife crying ghostly tears of ghost joy as her husband makes out with his new girlfriend, OK? Please? I … I apologize, I swear, just, you know, make it stop.

56 responses to “This is pretty much the worst Gil Thorp plot ever made”

  1. Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    A3G – SHE’s a domineering control freak!
    HE’s a big-words-using know-it-all!
    SHE’s a fun-lovin’ down-home door scrubbin’ … um, person!
    SHE (not shown)’s a taser-wielding peephole snoop!
    and SHE’s a trusting simpleton who knows how to point and spray!
    …THEY FIGHT CRIME! They are.. the MAGNIFICENT FOUR or five.

    BBlues – Pretty solid today, plus it reminds me of all the switches in the house I grew up in — formerly owned by a professor of electrical wiring who used to bring his students over to add outlets and switches.

    SSmif – The jokes are too old to comment on, but the church windows are interestingly abstract. It was probably too much to expect the parishioners to arrange all that old bottle glass in a way that looked like anything, and the preacher was just glad to have something in those frames after all those years.

    Bizarro Blondie – I see this combination of words when I look at the comics browser, and wonder what she’d look like. I’m guessing straight black hair, flat chest and a big ass. And she’d probably think about sex.

    Real Blondie – I like how Dagwood sorts most of his desk junk into the trash can instead of boxes. Take that, 75 years of accumulated paraphernalia! I wish I could be that cold. Even in a dream.

    DTracy – If that bear trap actually caught the Supreme Ruler of North Korea, I’m impressed.

  2. Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    FCircus – Today, Keane rips the lid off the seething differences between family members: Grownups are from aisles 1-7, 9, and 11-14, and kids are from aisles 8, 10, and the checkout area.

    FTrot – They’re passing through a stage.

    FBasset – “This is not my beautiful dish.”
    (Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.)

    FWbean – So is this John Byrne doing Batiuk doing Infantino today? Or did they just photocopy it and lay the word “FUNKY” in at the bottom?

    FWbean – Meanwhile, back in the real Funkyverse, Cayla’s glancing at the back seat as she tells Les that he’s a creepy, smirking loser, but nonetheless she admires his spirit.

    Luann – In high school, I was too insecure to even ask any. My friend Sam was no looker, but he asked, and he cared enough to learn how to dance. Take heed, boys. It’s not the girls’ fault you’re lonely.

    MFmore – The potential propaganda value of the repurposed Sponge Bob joke is more or less negated by the middle balloon, which can be translated as “I have to spell this out, because the people I’m trying to reach are too damn stupid. If this balloon wasn’t here, they’d be asking why I hate fish!”

    He also fails to get that fishermen simulate a chase for fish that chase their dinner and drop stationary flies for the ones that grab floating bugs off the water, but what am I expecting, here? Something aimed above fifth grade level?

    Monty – “Ay tank ay go home now!” (Screamingly funny catch phrase of the 40s, which was thankfully sidestepped today.)

    PBS – It’s too bad newspaper publishers probably print this too small to read, because they’d be well advised to take it to heart. By their own actions, they are now doomed to disappear forever. In the Twilight Zone. (“…And also, he was a Martian.”)

    Popeye – Topical humor isn’t necessarily an oxymoron? Thanks, Hy!

    S-Man – “Oh. So first you bring Electro here to scare the crud out of me, then you rip off the mask to show that he’s my dad and you’re taking him to jail. Anything else? Maybe you want to dig up my mom’s corpse and tell me she’s in Hell now and not chasing rabbits on a farm somewhere?”

  3. Muffaroo
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Yesterthread replies:

    Poteet @201 – That kid in Crankshaft has learned a valuable lesson! “Don’t make eye contact with geezers.”

    Mr. O’Malley @202 – What show was it? “Comedy Capers”? “Funny Mans”? There was also “Fractured Flickers,” a Jay Ward series with Hans Conried as host, which could be considered the ancestor of movies dubbed with totally insane plots, a la “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” or “J-Men Forever” (the latter, a Proctor & Bergman production, was on YouTube a while back).

    Baka Gaijin @204 – I knew it was the ground floor because the elevator had numbers over the door.

    Evil Duck @222 – Sunday Popeyes are by Hy Eisman, who, unlike Sagendorf, is alive.

    Spider-Brick @224 – Detective Hewlett is a one-man “Good Cop, Bad Cop” routine.

    ps: First! Ooh ahh. And second! And third? Don’t tell me Josh has already started a Sunday thread.

  4. ring around the collar
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    “This is pretty much the worst Gil Thorp plot ever made”? With all due respect, couldn’t that be said about more or less any Gil Thorp plot, like, ever?

  5. bats :[
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    The Arizona Daily Star is now doing another test for a Sunday comic replacement. First it was that crappy one with people whose heads look like gourds (Family Tree?) –yuck!; then Pooch Cafe — better than then gourd-heads; now Crankshaft.

    Swell. Time to write the paper again and suggest a few that the Powers That Be will summarily ignore.

  6. Joey Chicago
    May 3rd, 2009 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    FW: The worst part about today’s Funky Winkerbean is that Funky seems to be the woman in that kiss.

  7. skullcrusherjones
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    Hey, have you seen the clip online of that kid rounding third and running into plate glass? I think it’s a viral ad for Windex. So fake.

  8. Cranky
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    Assclown #1 is Robb.
    Assclown #2 is Shep.

    Assclown #3? That would be me, for looking it up.

  9. bmrr
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    Having listened to this week’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR today I was very pleasantly surprised to hear them snarking on the comic pages. They were talking about how the comics were now bringing the economy into their stories and the panelists went off on how FC is selling their kids into white slavery, Brenda Starr was getting laid off from the paper, and Cathy would finally lose weight as she couldn’t afford food, among other little gems. Almost seemed like they had been reading the good ol’ Curmudgeon.

  10. One-eyed Wolfdog
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Was there some kind of a prophecy, or something, that said when Les finally found true love again, Lisa would turn into a dude? I don’t remember it, but now that it’s been fulfilled, can we move the fuck on?

  11. Dragon of Life
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    GT: I’m not certain how much popularity the world at large would give to a video of a person ass-groping themselves with as much vigor as that third panel would indicate.

  12. Danny Lilithborne
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]


  13. The Spectacular Spider-Brick of the Jungle Patrol
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Aw, man, post-jumped! I’ll wait until Josh does the Sunday post to re-snark, though.

  14. Baka Gaijin
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    Sunday’s Spiderman, last frame: Drive-by prostate exam, perhaps?

  15. He Brought Queenie Baby Jesus
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    God, I thought Josh was joking until I saw the shirt.

  16. zenvelo
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    A3G Saturday- Poor Margo, not one mention of her umbrella bashing- she feels so ignored. I pity the cop once Margo realizes she’s been dissed.

  17. The Duck
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    Congratulations, Garfield! You have successfully taken a 3 panel joke and stretched it out to 7! You are truly phoning it in now, aren’t you?

  18. One-eyed Wolfdog
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    Oh, by the way, a counterexample to the claim: I am baffled and angered by Napoleon Dynamite, but generally respond “neutral” to “favorable” on YouTube antics.

  19. Baka Gaijin
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    #3 Muffaroo: Around here, elevators have numbers above the door on every floor in most public buildings. They also start at “G” for Ground.

  20. Frinkenstein
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    This ghost voyeurism is all fine and good, but if the dead wife starts giving dirty talk pointers to Les while he’s engaged in the act, I’m leaving. Okay, to be honest, then I might actually start reading this strip. *hangs head in shame*

  21. Poteet
    May 3rd, 2009 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Every time GT is featured on CC, I stare at it dutifully, squinting my eyes and trying to figure out what is going on and ultimately failing. I was sort of doing okay with the first panel in spite of the scary faces. The second panel was more difficult, since I can’t figure out why the oddly-posed guy with the mitt and ball is behind some kind of fence or why he’s yelling “Run out the last one” or what it means.

    Then I came to the guy in the final panel who is doing some kind of dance number while suffering tremors, and I gave up. I tried to hold the fingers of my left hand in the same position as his, hoping that some kind of sympathetic telepathy would help me understand him, but no.

    As for GT narration boxes, they never help me. Ever.

  22. Mibbitmaker
    May 3rd, 2009 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    (I’ve only read this thread on the Sunday strips – - excuse any repeating as a result)

    “Here, Dr. Cory.”
    “Please… call me ‘Uh-DUUUUUUUH!’.”

    JP: …you’re actually considering this??*
    *borrowed from “Seinfeld”

    FC: It’s like everybody going to the store is thinking of stuff they’d like to buy! Hahahaha.

    RMMD: While the Lemon ‘n’ Lime Kid is getting arrogant as hell, June considers making the Smurf Boy (aka Blue Boy Grouper, aka The Boy Who’s Got The Blues) her own. There are laws, y’know, lady.

    S-M: You should’ve thought of that before, Spider-Jerk.

    Popeye: Current events commentary in Popeye? Hy, have you ever heard of Bobby London…?

    A3G: I think we can all second Tommie at the end there, about this week… for somewhat different reasons, that is.

  23. Sparky AKA Able Bodied Seaman Craggy Fjord
    May 3rd, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @22 Bobby was in it with Dapper Dan O’Neill.

  24. Harry F
    May 3rd, 2009 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    Could someone please explain to me GT’s third panel which involves Rob LaRue and why his final clit?

  25. NoahSnark
    May 3rd, 2009 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp is a comic that makes the most sense when viewed after imbibing absinthe, peyote and meth. Even then you need to use your imagination.

  26. Donutzilla
    May 3rd, 2009 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    Gettin’ Funky, with the Ghost that Stalks – Les’ girlfriend holding his face in her hands, and his wimpy expression, are much creepier than the fact his dead wife is watching.

  27. Lolsworth
    May 3rd, 2009 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    Worse than the religious stuff by the Left Behind guy?

  28. Alan's Addiction
    May 3rd, 2009 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    This Gil Thorp strip really shouldn’t be about the horrors of newfangled technology, but at what a horribly lousy coach Gil Thorp is. Think about it, if he was adequately conditioning and equipping his team, there would be too few accidents and injuries to produce a Youtube video. I’m praying that these guys produce a searing expose on the woeful incompetence and disinterest shown by the Mudlarks’ coach.
    I would also like to point out that I called the whole “my dead wife watches us do it” thing a few days ago in the comments, but I never thought it would actually happen. Based on that, I’m praying that Les confesses to seeing his dead wife and either ends up in a sanitarium or on anti-psychotics, whichever would make for a more entertaining comic strip.

  29. Elliegal
    May 3rd, 2009 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    Les’ girlfriend isn’t even looking at him after the kiss. She’s gazing out the front window…I wonder if she’s got a dead husband talking to her out there?

  30. Obsessed With Signs
    May 3rd, 2009 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    Looking at the motion lines surrounding #13 there makes me wonder if he’s suddenly converted to some form of charismatic Thorpism. Although come to think of it, that’s sort of a contradiction in terms.

  31. Donutzilla
    May 3rd, 2009 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    Gettin’ Funky, with the Ghost that lurks
    “Watson, I’ve been such a fool!” It’s so obvious! This is leading up to a touching story about Les’ impotence! How can he explain his manhood is limp because his dead wife is watching, (aside:) and-he’s-gay ?

  32. Goldar
    May 3rd, 2009 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    FW: Well, 40 years after Kirk and Uhura broke convention, it’s good to see mainstream comics finally catch up. It is well within the realm of possibility that this is the first black female/white male romantic kiss depicted in the funnies between single partners (bolded qualifiers rule out strips like Jump Start and Knight Life). Fight the Power, Les! And ditch ghost Lisa!

  33. zerowolf
    May 3rd, 2009 at 8:36 pm [Reply]

    Did he trip over first base or did Gil Thorpe nail him in the nuts with pitch?

  34. Steve
    May 3rd, 2009 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean should take a leaf from the movie Ghost, in which the deceased spouse’s spirit possessed the body of the black woman while they made love.

  35. un_malpaso
    May 3rd, 2009 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    Actually FW should take a leaf from the porno version of “Ghost.”
    I can’t think of an appropriately funny title for it, though, because I am attracted/repulsed by the sudden mental image of some hot Les/Carla/Ghosty action. Except that Les’ wife, being undead, would only be able to whisper sexy ideas, slam a cabinet or two, and maybe shake some chains in a sultry manner.
    Sadly… even Ghost Porn is better than Funky’s usual Dostoyevskian mix of disease and despair.

  36. Graddy
    May 3rd, 2009 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    34: I believe a similar scenario played out in Being John Malcovich (minus the dead part). God, I hated that movie.

  37. ChrisV82
    May 4th, 2009 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    I hope no ghosts are watching me when I masturbate.

  38. Talking Squirrel
    May 4th, 2009 at 6:11 am [Reply]

    That last GT panel is haunting me. It looks like the lead-in to a CSI episode. After analyzing the freeze frame, I can only conclude that Coach fired a blazing fastball directly into Robb’s mouth (note the impact lines), which has come out the back of his skull and evidently is now propelling his baseball cap offstage left as he flails in his death seizure. Bits of flying bone and/or teeth litter the scene for the final grisly touch.

    Was Robb the one that popped up the fungo that begot our Coach-bean-bopping viral vid? Now Coach has his revenge, right down to the ball ending up in the baseball cap.

    Why do I get the feeling Rubin is throwing down the gauntlet: Make an animated GIF of THIS, you mofos!

    Milford, red in tooth and claw.

  39. Patrick
    May 4th, 2009 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    I’d like to think, with the way Cayla is holding Les’ head in both hands, that she’s about to say, “If you’re still so into your dead wife, why don’t you JOIN HER IN THE BACK SEAT?!” and then she snaps his neck with military precision.

  40. temujin
    May 4th, 2009 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    yeah, so your funky predictions are looking prescient and so are your MW ones: that cop is hittin’ Adrian with both barrels, so to speak.

  41. Larry McAwful
    May 4th, 2009 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    This Gil Thorpe plotline reminds me of my own youth. Not that I ever played sports as a kid, but I did watch a lot of cartoons, and did things with firecrackers that Bugs Bunny always got away with. How I ever made it to adulthood with all ten fingers, I’ll never know. I’m just grateful that although I found it easy to climb out on the roof of the house, I never had easy access to an anvil.

    Now, in 2009, kids are still imitating every moving image they see. If anyone really cared about kids, they’d make a viral video of teenagers eating broccoli or something, causing a nationwide vegetable frenzy. That would be another exciting turn for Gil Thorpe to take!

  42. survivor
    May 4th, 2009 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Worst Gil Thorp plot ever made? How can you say that? Number 13 just stepped on a land mine!

  43. Bitter Scribe
    May 4th, 2009 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    Did anyone else notice that several Sunday strips (Arlo & Janis, Pearls Before Swine, Garfield, FW) were about newspapers, usually about their problems? Coincidence or concerted action?

  44. thurston unger
    May 4th, 2009 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    FW: Paranormal necrophilia sounds so good when I say it out loud but I’m sure to be disappointed. This is, after all, Funky Winkerbean, the strip that delights in reader disappointment.

  45. Aardvark Patrol
    May 4th, 2009 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    If Funky Winkerbean had any balls at all, instead of staring tenderly, Dead Lisa would have her legs splayed over the front seats and would be satisfying herself with a ghost vibrator as she watches Les and Cayla get bizzizy.

  46. another Josh
    May 4th, 2009 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    Strangely with the Gil Thorpe comic, I’ve seen it a few other places on the web and Robb LaRue’s number has changed from #13 to #9, and his hair has been bleached.

    Here’s the comic at the Chicago Tribune site:

    I tend to agree with comment #42 above, there is a land mine involved here.

  47. Ranger
    May 4th, 2009 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    Does the runner have large talons?

  48. jnoble
    May 4th, 2009 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    Luann: OK Evans, how is Brad NOT going to get any from Queen Toni The Unattainable after all this?? Hmmmmmmm? HOW??? I DEMAND YOU TELL US! BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW IN THE END HE ISN’T ANYWAY!!!

  49. leyman
    May 4th, 2009 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    Josh, i love you, man i think you are the greatest…. you never fail to put a smile on my face and a laugh in my heart…. so thank you for all of that!

    That being said, the recent ectoplasmic observations on FW have had a profound affect on me…. and i thank you for that…

    my fiancee passed away suddenly three years ago shortly before we were to be married…. i have been out on only one date since then… it still makes me cry to think about if she is looking over my shoulder… i loved her so much…

    i know that after three years i need to move on with my life…. but i have found it extremely difficult to do so, for some reason….

    and so i want to thank you for introducing me to this storyline…. it is encouraging to me and i would not have found it if i had not found your website…. thank you, sir…. be well….


  50. U. Suck
    May 4th, 2009 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    With respect to: Funky Winkerbean, 5/2/09

    You’re the kind of asshole who can’t witness a sincere moment without ridiculing it because you lack the emotional depth to experience, process and understand what transpired. Maybe a fart joke should have been involved.

    Given the ridicule-worthy strips you skip over, I stand by my assessment of your limited emotional faculties.

    I agree that “Funky” is mostly “junky,” but why did something genuine capture you’re attention? Once again, you’ve allowed your inner Beavis and Butthead to surface. I’m sorry for you, and I’m sorry for us. True, it’s a comic strip — but the author created it from a real place. You stand on the sidelines with cheap shots.


  51. dale
    May 5th, 2009 at 4:28 am [Reply]

    A fart joke would have helped.

    Les farts.

    Cayla: What was that?

    Les: Huh? Oh. Probably my dead wife. Hey. I’m an English teacher. Did you know you’re with an apostrophe and your without are two different words?

  52. Aardvark Patrol
    May 5th, 2009 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    “U Suck” is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore, at least vis a vis criticisms of Funky Winkerbean.

  53. brownsfan
    May 5th, 2009 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    funky doin’ the funky chicken!!

  54. U. Suck
    May 5th, 2009 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    52. Fair enough, though I don’t read Funky outside of this site. It’s just sad that when a comic shows something genuinely sweet, it gets derided with a cheap, easy joke. I read this blog to be amused, not disappointed by a tawdry one-liner that a high school boy would find amusing. Most of us here are well educated and intelligent — Don’t we deserve better?

    I know it’s easy for me to criticize, but I also know how hard it is to produce and maintain a site like this. I only offer the suggestion that some things be left alone if the offered joke, pun, what have you fails to rise to the occasion.

  55. U. Suck
    May 6th, 2009 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    51. Yeah, and did you know that a word used as a “word” requires quotation marks? I immediately recognized my error after my comment was posted, just as I instantly recognized your immaturity and your multiple errors in a single sentence. For this reason, most forums recommend members resist the urge to criticize one another for simple mistakes when the intent of their post is clear.

    Your sentence should have been written as:

    Did you know “you’re” with an apostrophe and “your” without are two different words?

    At the same time, you compounded the problem. “You’re” should be written with an apostrophe. “Your” should be written without one. If you want to criticize my typos, you should have said, “Did you know ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ are different words?”

    In case you missed it, the “two” in your sentence is redundant.

    I may make typos in my posts on blogs, but you don’t understand basic English grammar. How nice for you.

    Dale: If you are an English teacher, may I have the phone number of your school board? I have a few comments I’d like to share about your competency to teach and the quality of instruction you’re providing your students.

  56. dale
    May 6th, 2009 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    That was Les talking, not me. I started with the quotes in, but took them out because you don’t hear the quotes when someone is talking.

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