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Steve Luhm IS Clambake’s revenge

Gil Thorp, 1/14/10

Feast your eyes on panel one, everybody, because you’ll see that rarest of sights: Coach Thorp engaged in actual coaching! Assuming, of course, that you consider responding to desperate pleas for guidance with irritating, unhelpful gnomic pronouncements to constitute “coaching,” which, you know, Gil clearly does!

Since it includes the creepy, menacing figure of Steve Luhm sitting in the bleachers, panel one is also setting up an extremely common Gil Thorp sight: Gil finding some random community member who’s willing to take on coaching duties (without pay, naturally). First it was the mother of a member of the girl’s basketball team, who couldn’t stop shouting suggestions from the stands; then it was some crazy old man who just started showing up at baseball practice one day; so now, sure, let’s let the janitor do it, why not. And what intriguing advice he has! Micah, the key to basketball glory is to be loud and obnoxious, like your sister! You know, one I was just hitting on! Yes, you’re right to be sweating freely.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/14/10

OK, this is officially the saddest and weirdest Funky Winkerbean yet, and it’s a strip that pretty much specializes in sad and weird. “Crazy” Harry lives up to his nickname, telling Mopey Pete that only here in this dingy pizza parlor is he allowed to verbalize any happiness whatsoever, because otherwise They will have some kind of unspecified but unpleasant vengeance to dish out. Briefly he imagines himself to be Linus in the pumpkin patch, with … an expression of happiness being insincerity, and the “happiness police” being the Great Pumpkin, I guess? Point is, the guy’s clearly insane, but somehow this rambling madness will convince Pete that Montoni’s is the place where he wants to wile away the time until his death from a massive coronary.

Mary Worth, 1/14/10

Meanwhile, over in the comic strip that specializes in weird and hilarious, we finally learn what drove apart Wilbur and Abby: a sinister gang of scowling pompadoured Richie Riches. Look at them, striding around with their jackets on and their collars defiantly open! What free-spirited young lady (or dead-eyed zombie, if panel two is an accurate depiction) could resist them, even she was already carrying another man’s child? Particularly if it was an unlikeable, Wilbury man’s child?

Panel from Apartment 3-G, 1/14/10

I’ll tell you right now: I’m kind of a fan of classic old radiators! We have them in our house, and I love ’em! And Bobbie, those radiators are nothing special. Come on, there’s not even any decorative work on the metal! Also, I used to kind of be a fan of crazy ladies! And relationships with them generally lead nowhere good. So I think “Um” is really the best response in this situation.

211 responses to “Steve Luhm IS Clambake’s revenge”

  1. Ned Ryerson
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    I always avoided the nasty rich kids in pastel blazers when I was in college. Those guys were up to no good.

  2. skeeter
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    Are you sure that is supposed to be indicative of Crazy Harry’s mental state? When I first read Funky this morning, I assumed it was Tom Batiuk who had a psychotic break.

  3. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    I continue to defend Steve Luhm and insist he’s not creepy, just a little nerdy. Maybe I like him because he’s the only character in GT I can always recognize.

  4. Patrick
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    According to the outfits that she wore around campus (such as today’s matching floppy Easter hat, sundress and pearls combination), Abby and Wilbur attended college at Grey Gardens.

  5. Jeff
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    So “Crazy” Harry knows about the Winkerbean-town’s secret ‘Happy Police’ and you call him crazy?

    Josh, doesn’t that explain everything that’s happened in that strip, ever? Did you think it was all a coincidence? I suggest you rent Simon Pegg’s “Hot Fuzz” and get back to me after you’ve seen that.

    Funky Winkerbean suddenly makes sense! Thanks, Crazy Harry, for showing us the truth!

  6. Roger
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Further proof that Montoni’s is a nothing but a front for an opium den.

  7. zenvelo
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    The nasty rich kids look like a set of triplets. Maybe Abby dropped Wilbur for a three-on-one….

  8. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Today’s JUMBLE

    STAPN [__] __ [__] __ __
    NDORUG [__] [__] __ __ __ [__]
    MMRIELG [__] [__] [__] __ __ __ __
    LFIKCE __ [__] [__] [__] __ __

    After the bacchanalian debauchery of the sushi orgy, Gilligan ended up in bed with this:
    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ || __ __ __ __ __ __

  9. Carbunicle
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    This is one of the best entries ever. The legacy strips are really stepping up to the plate with the kuh-ray-yay-zee!

    And holy crap, Funky Winkerbean just vaulted into the void with that one. A relative of Tom Batiuk could make a case for protective custody right now.

  10. Mischief Maker
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    I think by “special karma” Harry means that Montoni’s has “leaky gas lines” that Funky was too depressed/drunk to repair. Everyone in the place is so blissed out that if Harry claims to be receiving orders from the Great Pumpkin, chances are they’re sharing the same hallucination.

    This is why it is imperative that mopey pete does not give his metabolism a kick with mexican food, otherwise the gas might wear off and he’ll inform the “happiness police” with the white coats and straightjackets that Harry is on the loose again.

  11. zenvelo
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I think you missed an opportunity by not considering the third panel of today’s Mary Worth. I think Bobby is setting up a “Burning Bed” scenario, with Dr. P as her willing victim. Once she dowses him with lighter fluid, he’l be a hunka-hunka burnin’ love…

  12. skullcrusherjones
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @5 Crazy Harry does have a great, big bushy beard!

  13. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    Believe it or not, the image of Wilbur in panel two took me back today to my own college days. Yes, this is a cock story but not my typical. I was a sophomore and this guy was a freshman. He looked exactly how Wilbur is drawn. He had this unbelievably gorgeous girlfriend back home. Y’know, the type where you could only imagine them meeting by him tripping over her seeing eye dog. One day he and I were going out and I got to his room a bit early. He had just gotten out of the shower and was only in a towel. I’m sitting on the edge of his bed and he began to dress. The towel went down and — GAZONGA! — it looked like a Chippendale chair leg hanging between his thighs. I have never seen a sausage like that before in person and I’ve been to some exclusive Polish meat shops. My friend was a cow ass ugly man with bad taste in clothes. He was Wilbur! And his hat girl was regularly getting a full septic flushing of her lady parts. I think we may have been reading Wilbur wrong all along. He may be God’s gift to women and acolytes and we just see the sandwiches. Who knows?

  14. Sue D. Nymme
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    “Whoa, check out the radiators on that chick!”

  15. skullcrusherjones
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    GT: Oh, come now, what janitor has ever been referred to as “Mr.” without it being proceeded by “You’re under arrest” ?

  16. Taquelli
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Oh no! Wilbur has run afoul of the Triplets, a sinister trio of identical clones who pose as rich snobs but are indeed savage killing machines with horrible taste in clothing.

  17. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#3): I think Steve Luhm approaches cute, at least by comics-page standards, where straight-lady-fanservice is sorely lacking.

  18. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    I want to repeat Leah’s warning from Sunday about the virus that apparently comes from the Chron “build your own comics page” thing. This morning I (foolishly) figured that enough time had gone by that it must be safe to use it again. Got exactly the result Leah described, with a box that would not go away, trying to make me go to their “antivirus” (yeah, right) site. I got the most hotshot IT guy here at work to look, and he was impressed at how the virus wouldn’t let my browsers go to any of the anti-malware sites that had weapons against it. He knew how to fix it, but I’m sure hoping I don’t have it at home.

    Anyway, I’d strongly suggest avoiding “build your own page” for a while.

  19. Mustang
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    FW: You gotta be kidding me. He thinks he’s safe from the Happiness Police in Montoni’s? They’ve got a slew of commendations for all the joy they’ve busted in that joint.

  20. Evan
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Wait, which Mary Worth character does blue-blazer rich kid look like? Oh, right, all of them.

    Sadly it won’t turn out to be a much younger Dr Jeff Corey, which it ought to.

  21. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#17): You are so right. A month or so ago, we (straight female mudgeons) spent days trying to figure out what comics guy we would consider doing. There were a few very reluctant nods toward the JP guys (cute but utterly lacking in charm). Then Aviatrix and bourbon babe realized that Blondie must be smiling for a reason, bourbon babe ran off somewhere with Dagwood, and that was the end of the discussion.

    I still want them to bring back Mike Nomad.

  22. Baka Gaijin
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: I call “Shenanigans!” Not one but two Pluggers healthy enough to last to senior citizen discount age? No way. Each is eating only one meal, not supersized? Absofuckinglylutely no way.

    Sally Forth: I call “Shenanigans!” Not one but two strips where Ted acts like a responsible adult? Sally must be hiding Ritalin in his morning Bran Flakes.

    One Big Happy: That chick who’s not Ruthie is going to grow up to be a Burber. I just know it. She’s got drama club drama queen written all over her.

    Bizarro: Good rendition of a classic Bimmer, Piraro.

    Apartment 3-G: I’ll have what the lady’s having.

  23. cj
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    So Harry’s either a paranoid schizophrenic, or an outspoken but ultimately Byronic hero in a repressive autocracy.

    That rich kid is Jeff Corey, back when he had brown hair and relative power.

  24. Steve the Pocket
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    THIS JUST IN: Four popular webcomics more popular than the entirety of Creators Syndicate.

    It seems Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content fame posed a challenge to other webcartoonists to write versions of their strips as if they were newspaper comics, in light of one apparently-really-lame feature recently added to Creators Syndicate’s lineup. So far, Unshelved, Hijinks Ensue, and Just a Bit Off have responded to the challenge… each linking to the strip that sparked it all on their site.

    If you can’t read that link, it’s because… well, apparently the combined readership of all four strips managed to Slashdot the entire Creators Syndicate site! So next time you hear some syndicate suit or Wiley Miller dismiss webcomics as insubstantial, remember this: four webcomics were enough to overwhelm an entire syndicate’s servers.

  25. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#21): The JP lads are too craggy for me. Anime bishounen are more up my alley. Or the main character in the webcomic The Ego and The Squid–but that’s probably because I’m dating the real-life prototype. :)

  26. Master Softheart
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    JP: I, um… whew, is it just me, or is it kind of hot in her? I mean, here. Hot in, um, here. I think I need to lie down for a little while.

    The Young Edie Ernst Chronicles: Yeah, whatever, Ralph Fiennes did it better.

    BC: Legacy comic strip writing 101: You aren’t supposed to acknowledge that your comic is best read while taking addictive, prescription-only pain relievers.

    A3G: I generally don’t read this strip because, hey, softhearted, but the panel Josh excerpted was so dada that I had to make an exception. Moving many years ago from California to the Northeast, the spectacle of ancient, chipped, cast-iron monuments to long-obsolete heating technology at first charmed me as well. Then they started hissing like a nest of angered badgers the first night we turned them on. Then the 1910′s-vintage pump and boiler broke one night when the temperature was in the single digits, flooding our basement and leading my housemate to suffer some kind of Titanic flashback and proclaim that we were sinking as water lapped at the stairs. Then a rusted pipe broke in the bathroom…

    Well, the moral of the story is that Bobbie is more or less swatting at imaginary elves at this point. If her manic happiness about radiators and distorted eyes are any indication, Aristotle will be lucky is Flyin’ Bobbie just burns down the building tonight. She may not be as much fun after detox, Professor, but she’s less likely to become violent.

    Phantom: An addition to Ces’s list from last week: if your rebound relationship starts with large caliber weaponry, you might be a superhero.

    MT Flowers For Andy: Oddly, this was the most humorous strip I read today. Mark silently follows Leonard Nimoy around, his expression showing that he is gamely trying to puzzle out what the man is talking about. An awkward man-child in an ill-fitting brown jacket, he wonders what a Senator is and what the strange object with the writing on it could have to do with wild game. We could hope that Leonard will continue trying to explain things to Mark in a slow and soothing voice, but I fear that by pointing out the Senator in the last panel, he runs the danger that Mark’s corroded, numbed synapses will start firing and he will make the connection between poaching and food that will require justice to be delivered.

    If that happens, I’m just going to imagine that the Senator is [POLITICAL JOKE EDITED] and enjoy.

    Garfield: Is it just me, or is Odie a much more threatening, unpleasant presence in recent comics than he once was? Sure he’s not one of the malevolent beasts from Marvin, but he’s much closer than I remember him.

  27. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Yeah, those radiators look just like… well, every other radiator, including those in my house, and I never thought that I had particularly gorgeous radiators. I suspect that Bobbie is an affluent woman who finds anything that’s a little outdated or scruffy to be “charming” or “quaint” or “delightful”—until the novelty medication wears off, and then she hauls in the decorators and contractors to make everything slickly modern and homogeneous again.

  28. Ned Ryerson
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Nasty Rich Kid #1: Hey Butch, getaloada that goofy townie chick hanging out with ol’ Wilbur Wetsem!
    Nasty Rich Kid #2: Yeah, she must be raidin’ her granny’s closet. She’s probably wearing support hose. Man, that Wilbur can pick ‘em.
    Butch (Alpha Nasty Rich Kid): Cool it, Woim. Relax, Skutch. Butchie like!
    Nasty Rich Kid #1: Yeah, Butch, right. Go ahead and pull the other one. She’s strictly squaresville. We know you wouldn’t pork her with Wilbur’s meat whistle.
    Nasty Rich Kid #2: Yeah Butch, you’re a riot.
    Butch: I said cool it with that crap. As if you two pillow biters know the first thing about it.
    Nasty Rich Kid #1: Okay Butch, keep your voice down. Someone will hear you.
    Nasty Rich Kid #2: Yeah, Butch, we told you it only happened that one time and we both had too much cider…
    Butch: Okay listen you clowns, you know normally I don’t cotton to that townie trash, but there’s something about that girl, something I can’t quite put me finger on…
    Nasty Rich Kid #1: You think Wilbur’s putting his fingers on her Butch?
    Butch: Wilbur? That limp dick’s probably taking her fishing or something. Okay boys, I have a plan……

  29. Steve the Pocket
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and by the way, these are the strips that resulted from the challenge.

    Questionable Content


    Hijinks Ensue

    Just a Bit Off

  30. Calico
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    We had radiators in our apartment in QC (we lived there late 2002 through Aug. 2005.

    My Mom’s house has them, most covered with wooden boxy thingys, and the various family homes in Maryland had them. Nice memories, the weird but efficient shapes, the hissing and cozy warmth.
    They are fun as hell to paint, too. (Not!)

  31. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#8): Ummm, Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ — not to suggest that I’m having trouble solving your Jumble, but is it possible you put the brackets around the wrong blanks? Because you’ve got 11 bracketed blanks in the clues, but 13 blanks to fill in the answer. (And the bracketed ones in the clues only produce a total of two vowels.)

  32. Chyron HR
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean – It’s bad enough Batiuk defiles the memory of George Carlin, why’s he gotta drag Peanuts into it too?

  33. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#25): Uh, let me hasten to specify: the HUMAN main character. Lest you fine folks jump to unwholesome, cephalopodic conclusions about my proclivities.

  34. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#30): I love my radiators! They heat effectively, the boiler still works great after more than 20 years, and it’s not super-dry forced air. I’m a big fan.

    But when we bought the house, I did not walk in and comment on how “gorgeous” the radiators were. I have learned to love them, in all their clanky, hissy, reliable funkiness.

  35. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#33): You mean the one murdering the fruit fly? The ability to do that is a very fine quality in a man (or anyone, actually).

  36. Buck Ripsnort
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    Harry KNOWS about the “Happiness Police”– AKA Batiuk– and we still call him “Crazy”? Although Funky’s life blows the theory that Montoni’s is any kind of haven. Yeah, somthing’s gonna get Harry, all right.

    OBH: Ruthie went on to become an “news analyst” on CNN.

  37. Baka Gaijin
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#31): You two? I thought the contact high I got from Bobbie dimmed my cognitive abilities. Man is she baked.

  38. Ned Ryerson
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    A3G: “Have you ever been seen such gorgeous radiators, Aristotle? By the way, darling, what size handcuff do you takes?”

  39. Ned Ryerson
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, Bobby Merrill typed that for me.

  40. AndyL
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    You probably shouldn’t believe everything the rental agency tells you about your new apartment.

  41. Drew Funk
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#26): Re: Mark Trail. I’m hoping that the electoral system in Elrod’s fantasy world works the same way as the justice system. If so, we may be one right hook away from Senator Trail from Lost Forest, up and coming political player.

  42. odinthor
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    Josh.Used to kind of be . . . ?

  43. Ed Dravecky
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “Kurt, your mother was a hellcat in the sack who loved so many men because she could never be satisfied with just one. I’m the same way, only with sandwiches.”

    Brenda Starr, Reporter: This week’s strips have Brenda Starr actually gathering news on assignment as part of her job. It’s like watching Dennis be menacing or Rex Morgan practicing medicine–I should expect it but it’s been so long I’d forgotten what it looked like.

  44. Comcis Fan
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    FW: Taken either at face value or for the sanctimonious swipe that it is, the strip today is very bizarre and nonsensical. Either Crazy is unaware that, in the Funkyverse, one would need to substitute the word “cancer” for “the Happiness Police,” or the entire Funky Winkerbean cast, author and storyline are mere figments of Linus Van Pelt’s vivid imagination.

  45. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#33) and @wossname (#35): I’m guessing that there’s a whole contingent of CC chicks who are “hot for dorks.” But not the Wilbur variety of schlubby, irritating dork—no, smart, cute, charming dorks.

  46. Emily
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Worrying about the mean rich guy is kind of pointless when your girlfriend is already stepping out on you with Rick Moranis, isn’t it? Not that Wilbur needed to carry his explanation past the first panel.

  47. ElkMeadow
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    MWHmm, could it be? That the “nasty rich kid” is actually Kurt’s real bio father?

    How long will it be before Kurt casually ask what the guy’s name was, and how quickly will he be “restless” and on the road to feed off the money guy?

    And I don’t see any rich looking guys in the last panel. Those must be his goons.

  48. TruthOfAngels
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I find it most unseemly that Bobbie should witter on about radiators whilst the gallant doctor is so obviously engaged in pleasuring her from behind.

    Filth. Pure filth.

  49. ElkMeadow
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    The cute dorks I met at college ate whole grain breads, were usually vegetarians (though one could cook chicken livers and hearts to die for), wore logo-less polo or tee-shirts, and were in intramural sports. In short, they took care of their health to the point of being annoyingly fussy.

    They usually had some unusual hobby or talent that really set them apart. My roommate’s high-school brother studied J.R.R.Tolkien, and knew the languages in the appendix. He’s now a tenured professor in Nordic languages and studies, and has a waiting list for his Tolkien classes.

    Unfortunately, I met a lot of Wilburs too.

  50. Tim O'Shenko
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    This A3G really takes me back. Several years ago, when my late grandma was getting on in years, we decided it would be best that she live closer to family. Unfortunately, the few houses in town in our price range were rather run-down. On one particularly dismal househunting adventure, Grandma took a look around and exclaimed, “Oh look. Windows!” Yes, the nicest thing she could say about the place was that you could look outside. (We eventually did find a very nice apartment for her, thank heavens).

    Anyway, that’s what Bobbie reminds me of here. Sure, the only nice thing about this apartment is the radiator, but dammit, it’s a mighty fine radiator!

  51. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#31): wossname, thank you for pointing that out. You are correct. This mass distribution of wealth is trickier than I thought!

    Two of my [blanks] were accidentally omitted. Here is the corrected puzzle:

    Today’s JUMBLE

    STAPN [__] __ [__] __ __
    NDORUG [__] [__] __ __ __ [__]
    MMRIELG [__] [__] [__] __ __ [__] __
    LFIKCE __ [__] [__] [__] __ [__]

    After the bacchanalian debauchery of the sushi orgy, Gilligan ended up in bed with this:
    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ || __ __ __ __ __ __

  52. Red Greenback
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    3-G: Um… what radiators?
    Thorp: I’m Steve Luhm, but my friends call me “Bum Boat”.

  53. Dan Long
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

  54. bunivasal
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    I think when Crazy Harry says that Montoni’s is the only place he’s allowed to verbalize his happiness, I think it’s because if he does it out loud anywhere else, the citizens of the Batuikverse will descend on him and rip him limb from limb.

  55. Wasabi Jane
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    “Wait wait wait. You mean some rich guy could be my dad? Well, screw you, Wilbur, I’m off to get me an inheritance! Then maybe I’ll be able to afford a wardrobe from the 21st century!”

  56. Dan Long
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

  57. Pozzo
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    So, I guess Mopey Pete is Charlie Brown in this scenario. Wait’ll he bites into that next pizza – “I got a rock.”

  58. survivor
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean went from ‘It’s great to be alive’ … to Linus in a pumpkin patch … to Crazy talking about happiness police.

    So I guess this means Tom Batiuk has gone from ‘depressive’ to ‘manic’. Morally, it’s probably not right for me to enjoy the work of a cartoonist in obvious psychological deterioration but it does make for some interesting avant garde theatre.

  59. UncleJeff
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    @Mischief Maker (#10): Comment of the WEEK, hell the year (so far)

  60. commodorejohn
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    You know, it occurs to me that Kurt actually looks more like Wealthy McDouchebag here than he does Wilbur.

  61. Bryan
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: “We gotta stop the Willet Creek Dam!” If this plot turns into “Mr. Trail Goes to Washington” with scenes of Mark (and Andy!) testifying before Congress that will be damned awesome.
    Someone a few days ago mentioned the possibility of Mark punching a Senator and I would support that as well, especially if it took place on the Senate floor.

  62. Rhekarid
    January 14th, 2010 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure “check out my radiators” is a metaphor for something, and even more sure I don’t want to know what.

  63. Baka Gaijin
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    @Rhekarid (#62): You’re right. It’s probably some kind of code, referencing the female baboon’s overheated inflamed red…radiators? I got nothing.

  64. AndyPOP
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    So, Wilbur is Eric Stoltz in ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’, Abby is Lea Thompson, and those guys are that guy who always plays a douche and his sidekicks. I really hope we meet a skinhead character and a plucky female drummer tomorrow. “I left you mother because this this tomboy named Boots really did it for me. It just took your mother’s nicety to open my eyes.”

  65. AndyPOP
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    Dammit. Watts. Boots was Teen Wolf. And I just looked that up to find out it was Boof. I’m slipping.

  66. littlestevie
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    MW: oh pluezze, pluezze let Wilbur go all Mark Trail on the young rich punks. Fists that can grab sandwichs now, could of dispensed a little ‘fists o’ justice’ in times past. Then maybe hippie skank got horrified of the ragin’ beast in Wilbur that was unleased and she was left with wandering this earth to try and find a peaceful man, which of couse she never found. Maybe the demon is that Incredible Hulk like creature inside Wilbur that he fears may get out again. Ehh, then again maybe not.

  67. Digger
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    Yes, you are doomed, Linus. And good on you for figuring that out the instant you appeared in Funky Winkerbean. It’s only a matter of time before The Great Tumor rises out of the Cancer Patch to bring you his special gifts of death and depression.

  68. Steve S
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    “When you’re at point guard, be your sister. Uhh, do you think you could go to The Bucket with me and pretend to be your sister there too?”

  69. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#49): Sadly, I suspect that the cute dorks become even rarer as one grows older. I further suspect that I’ll be meeting a lot of Wilburs. And not college Wilburs, either—hat-wearin’, sandwich-eatin’, internet-livin’ Wilburs.

  70. DamnCat
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    I guess “radiators” is another word for ass – ’cause that’s where Aristotle is looking.

  71. odinthor
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    NYerCC. — “Once again, Mr. Jones—we’re not leaving here until I make you understand that you’re suffering from multiple personality disorder.”

  72. Miss Othmar
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#57):

    So, I guess Mopey Pete is Charlie Brown in this scenario. Wait’ll he bites into that next pizza – “I got a rock.”

    This jibe is the only bit of amusement that I have derived from this otherwise horrible mishmash of Batiuk and Schulz. Linus is a lovely boy who does not deserve to be thrown into the midst of such bleakness….

  73. Miss Othmar
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#69):

    Sadly, I suspect that the cute dorks become even rarer as one grows older. I further suspect that I’ll be meeting a lot of Wilburs. And not college Wilburs, either—hat-wearin’, sandwich-eatin’, internet-livin’ Wilburs.

    Oh, I don’t know, the “tenured professor in Nordic languages and studies” referenced in #49 sounds interesting. Of course, you have to be careful — the “tenured professor of psychology” sounds good till you actually meet Dr Ari….

  74. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#45): Yeah, the friend (female, but married) who introduced me to my current boy told me she kept having other friends reject him out of hand simply because he plays D&D. Whereas I was like, “Hot dog! Do you think he’ll teach me?”

  75. Lolsworth
    January 14th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    Being married precludes you from being a fan of any kind of ladies whatosever bar one very, very specific kind indeed, I take it.

  76. Bart
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    GT – I’m guess’n that “Be your sister” will supplant “Win one for the Gipper” as the most frequently used sports phrase cliche. It’s so perfect for yr2010 with its cross-over role model reference and ambiguous gender aspirations that it can’t miss.

  77. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#25): “everything’s better with bishi!”

    @Mary Kay Commando (#33): too late.

  78. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#74): What I need is a humanities dork with eclectic tastes—someone who understands that, say, Jane Eyre, Mark Rothko, Mark Trail, and Gromit all rock in their own ways.

    But does such a wondrous creature even walk the earth?….. =-)

  79. wagmore barkless
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    I’m thinking that if Winkertown City Hall needed to find a budget line item that could be cut with minimum impact to essential public services, it would be Happiness Police.

  80. Miss Othmar
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#78):

    What I need is a humanities dork with eclectic tastes—someone who understands that, say, Jane Eyre, Mark Rothko, Mark Trail, and Gromit all rock in their own ways.
    But does such a wondrous creature even walk the earth?….. =-)

    Sorry, my husband is unavailable ;-)

  81. davo
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

  82. Écureuil Écumant
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#74): Whereas I was like, “Hot dog! Do you think he’ll teach me?””

    That’s until you realized you’d misheard her and she’d actually said “D & D”?

  83. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#25): courtesy of what Larry hates, bishiboy sans sparkle.

  84. DeGroot of All Evil
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    Why would the Happiness Police ever go near Montoni’s? That’s like the ATF going to the Keane’s house.

  85. Ribinin
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#26): Yes, that is probably a VERY nice greenhouse, but I can’t see it very well because she is blocking the view.

  86. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#82): Well, he must be a druid, because he has definitely cast a level 5 charm spell on me.

    But he does have gorgeous radiators.

  87. Buck Ripsnort
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    @Miss Othmar (#72):
    Hey, Peanuts could be bleak as hell; the difference is that Shultz was, y’know, NOT INSANE. And the bleakness wasn’t violently enforced by Happiness Police (I’m picturing Philly cops, but bigger and meaner).

  88. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#83): Yes! But more mecha pilot than high schooler. “Vulpine” is a good word.

  89. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Much to Ari’s disappointment, Come up and look at my radiators,” turns out to really means what it says.

  90. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: I don’t get it. Leroy is forever bitching that Loretta can’t cook and then he bitches when he would have to eat less of her cooking.

  91. Zla'od
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    From the art, I don’t think Wilber is remembering the 1960′s at all. These must be the 1950′s and the cast of “Grease.” Or maybe the 1970′s and “Animal House,” with Wilbur as Flounder.

  92. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    MT: Which one is Mark?

  93. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: It’s not like June to do something cold, callous, and spiteful? Who are you and what did you do with Rex?

  94. Josh
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    @Lolsworth (#75): While this is true, I would also say that getting over my affection for crazies helped me find and recognize the awesomeness of my current non-crazy lady.


  95. fnord3125
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#86): I hear druids get a +2 flanking bonus in Polaris.

    . . .

    Wait, wrong audience. Sorry.

    Oh, on another note, thanks for pointing me at the #ifitweresyndicated thing, Steve the Pocket. Doesn’t seem like any of my favorite webcomics besides QC joined in, though… :(

  96. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    FW: Happiness police? More like Happiness Gestapo! “Ve av vayz to give you canzer!”

  97. KT
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

  98. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    @fnord3125 (#95): Of the three role-playing games called Polaris on Wikipedia, I do hope you’re referring to the one described as “a French-language post-apocalyptic undersea role-playing game.” Because that sounds AWESOME. “Ah non! Zut! C’est un calamar volant atomique!”

  99. Dr. Novakaine
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Actually, it doesn’t surprise me much that Harry would be locked up for being happy. It’s pretty obvious by now that the Funkyverse has only a very limited quantity of happiness, and they can’t have people experiencing joy willy-nilly or else no one else will get a chance at the sweet taste of mirth. In the interim they need to rely on renewable feelings, like despair, sadness, and depression, which the Funkyverse has oodles of, until they develop an alternate emotion to replace happiness that’s cheap and prevalent and gives off no cancer-causing byproducts.

  100. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#98): Un calamar volant atomique? This I gotta see! And maybe that’s what’s causing all the “BOOM”s in Phantom.

  101. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    @littlestevie (#66): This (Wilbur going all Mark Trail on the young rich punks) I gotta see too!! But sadly, I don’t think we’re going to.

  102. markytom
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    FW: I went to the eye doctor yesterday where a very, very old but nice enough man sat next to me. This old man started talking to me about his eyes but then rather quickly began to concern me with a story on how his doctor had repeatly been removing his eyeballs, reconstructing them, and then popping them back in his head. Today’s FW reminded me of that episode because I believe I had the exact same half-smile on my face in the third panel as I did not know how to appropriately respond to the strange babble I was hearing. The senile old man who sat next to me may very well have thought that he, too, was speaking to Linus.

  103. Charlene
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    Thank you for explaining today’s Funky Winkerbean.

    I still don’t understand it, and I’m not sure that I want to.

  104. Mary Kay Commando
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#100): Or perhaps it’s a job for Monsieur Trail and his Poing de Justice.

  105. wossname
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#78): bourbon babe, I feel your pain. All I need is a guy who rides a motorcycle and also appreciates the witty banter of this blog, who can enjoy both red-state and blue-state friends, who is equally comfortable with a longneck beer and greasy food in a dive or a wonderful meal with fine wine in a froufrou restaurant. Yeah, right. *sigh*

  106. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @markytom (#102): Sounds like something my eye-doctor would do…

  107. Joe Blevins
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    @KT (#97):

    Great googly moogly. That actually works. Niiiiiice.

    Why can’t Judge Parker be in 3D?

  108. Sheila Sternwell
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    @survivor (#58): I don’t know how to express complete joy over the Internet without sounding like a loon, so all I can say is this: HAHAHAHAHA awesome. Morals be damned, I say you should go for it. But I warn you that I too read Batiuk (Crankshaft, in my case) for a while, expecting terrific mental-illness-induced shenaniganry, only to be sorely disappointed.

  109. Sirkus Peanuts
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    So that’s definitely Dr. Drew in panel 2 of MW, right?

  110. bats :[
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    Abby’s eyes just slay me.
    That’s probably why she and Wilbur broke up — she had her eye on Wilbur, but another on the Rich Kid…

  111. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 14th, 2010 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#105): sorry, the queeksgirl has dibs. (except for the motorcycle bit, and the fact we’re both very much blue-staters.) ;-)

  112. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:17 pm [Reply]

    There was a Doctor Who episode in the 1980′s called The Happines Patrol, but unlike in the funkyverse, you got arrested and executed for being unhappy. I cannot imagine the upheaval that would cause in Funkyville. Would they have genuine happiness at finally being allowed to be happy? Or would the overall despair of their lives thus far lead them to march glumly to their own deaths, with at least the small comfort that it would be quick and not cancer? Or would their very relief at the end finally coming qualify them to remain alive?

  113. SKJAM!
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    Actually, the wealthy gents in the Mary Worth strip look less like Richie Rich than they do “Richie Rich’s Mean Cousin Reggie.” (I forget his last name, but the initials were “V.D.”) We’ll know if tomorrow they actually say “sneer” rather than just have it as a facial expression.

  114. Vince M
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    @KT (#97):
    Fortunately, I always keep a pair of 3D glasses for just such an emergency.
    107: You took the thought right out of my brain.

  115. Ed Dravecky
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    @zerowolf (#90): “The food here is terrible and the portions are so small!”

  116. Poteet
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    A3G — As I recall, my grandmother’s old apartment in downtown Saint Louis had radiators that were more interesting than that one.

    And Aristotle, surely you’ve heard that ancient advice, “Never sleep with anyone crazier than you are.” Now is the time to heed it.

  117. Poteet
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    MW — And as Abby continues her shape-shifting career, she assumes a new flapper-bosomed cross-eyed style, thereby turning into a deranged extra from THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. “Wilbur, oh Wilbur…silly boy…”

  118. mr 12 oz can
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    mary worth – i use to love to read richie rich i think his cousin was reggie van dough who had the same face as spooky from casper . i thought for sure if they were gonna show a rich kid he would be wearing a ascot and be smoking with a cigarette holder .you know looking at wilber he looks like that kennedy cousin who got away killing the girl with the golf club for 25 years.
    gil thorp – gil had to go chug some jim beam black so hes letting the janitor coach
    scary gary= still funny

  119. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    January 14th, 2010 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    I think the fact that there’s a Happiness Police explains everything in the Funkyverse.

  120. 8th Man Fan
    January 14th, 2010 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#17), @wossname (#21), @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#45), etc., re: comic strip fanservice for ladies: So, this doesn’t count?

  121. 150
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    I’m confused. Did Wilbur date his restless naif in the Seventies or in the Roaring Twenties?

  122. zerowolf
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#115): That’s what happens when you eat at an alliterative restaurant. And it keeps repeating….

  123. Mardou Fox
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    Abby’s got more looks than Madonna!

  124. Poteet
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    @150 (#121): I vote for the Roaring Twenties. I just realized that if she changed her hair, she’d look somewhat like Karen Black in THE GREAT GATSBY. (With apologies to Karen.)

  125. Meander
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:10 pm [Reply]


    Thank you for this:

    I’m near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other, which means that when I was growing up my eyes never really learned to work together properly, which in turn means that my depth perception is quite poor. This has had effects on my life large — I long ago gave up driving for the safety of myself and those around me — and small — 3-D movies generally don’t have the same impact on me as they do on other people.

    This is me, too. The not-driving is the worst part.

  126. Ed Dravecky
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Tom Batiuk: to quote this week’s Scrubs, “Nobody wins at cancer.” This applies to Reuben Awards as well as real life.

  127. Mardou Fox
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    MW: “When I was seeing her, she was a beautiful girl from town who attracted many campus admirers”….

    Wow. Beautiful prose from MW, as always. What was it they admired so much about the campus?

    Once translated from Wilbur-speak, I think this means Abby was the “town pump,” no?

  128. queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    @Mardou Fox (#127): “town bicycle” since everyone has had a ride?

  129. Red Greenback
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    Steve: “You’re pulling your head, son.”
    Micah: “That’s what Coach Thorp says, but I can’t stop!”
    Steve: “I have a better idea. Lock your eyes on your sister, get set, and be your sister. And keep doing it.”
    Micah: “Um, Mr. Luhm, why do you smell like contact cement?”

  130. yaoi huntress earth
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    FW: Badnews is starting to remind me of one of those people who think they’re sooooo profound because they’re miserable and/or angry all the time (with the occasional smugness, love to talk about how much everyone and everything sucks (except for them) and think people who want to focus on happy stuff are idiots or sheep who don’t care about what’s going on in the real world.

    9CWL: Surprised less people are talking about the sudden turn of events. Why would Nazi boy even be interested in Gran? She’s an outsider, works for the opposing side, thinks she’s a traitor and probably thinks isn’t as talented as him since she wanted lessons? He’s been nothing but a snob to her though I’d like to think this is all a trap to get Gran to accidentally spill out some info on the other side.

  131. Mardou Fox
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#128): The local bank? Everyone can make a deposit (but, of course, there is a substantial interest penalty for early withdrawal!).

  132. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#101): I think you’re right. The best that Wilbur might do is flail at Richie McSlideyface with his limp, sandwich-oriented hands, whine a little (“Hey, cut it out, you guys! Don’t, you guys!”), and then skulk away to tell them off in the mirror.

    @wossname (#105): Oh, I didn’t even touch on the food qualifications, which are similar to yours: “all of the above, plus bourbon.” My needs aren’t elaborate, but I suppose they are specific.

    @8th Man Fan (#120): Unfortunately, that is what counts. Out of the three critters in that strip, I’m most drawn to the one that’s non-human. (Of course, since I’m in kind of a temporary “I’m not fond of anything with a penis” mood, I’m assuming that’s a female dog.)

  133. ElkMeadow
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @yaoi huntress earth (#130): I’d like to think this is all a trap to get Gran to accidentally spill out some info on the other side.

    Um, no. It’s just that she’s the only female available to him. Some have already guessed he’s Juliette’s bio father.

  134. yaoi huntress earth
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#133): That’s what makes it sad that she’s his only choice. At least using her for info as well as companionship would at least make the story more interesting.

  135. gonme de blog
    January 14th, 2010 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#49) (also 55 Wasabi Jane):
    Who’s to say young Kurt hasn’t already tried this on the rich guy and failed?

  136. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    @gonme de blog (#135): Because Kurt seems dumb enough to try it out on the semi (at best) successful advice columnist first?

  137. Shoebox
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    Briefly he imagines himself to be Linus in the pumpkin patch, with … an expression of happiness being insincerity, and the “happiness police” being the Great Pumpkin, I guess?

    Not exactly. That there was originally the punchline panel of a strip in which Linus finally snaps and shouts defiance at a god who remorselessly keeps him out all night in gardens to be snickered at. We pick up in FW with Linus realising that he’s just betrayed his Messiah, or at least blown his chance of getting any goodies this Hallowe’en.

    So I would guess Batiuk thinks he’s making some Deep, Writerly Point about how innocence keeps hope alive… in fact, is the only thing standing between us and the HIDEOUS SOUL-CRUSHING DESPAIR THAT IS MORTAL EXISTENCE. YES, MAINTAIN YOUR PATHETIC CHILDISH DELUSIONS, YOU POOR DELUDED SOULS! IT’S ALL YOU HAVE! UNTIL THE CANCER KICKS IN AND YOU CAN PICK UP A FEW SHREDS OF PITY, THAT IS!

    …were he actually writing Peanuts, Charlie Brown would’ve long since died in a murder-suicide pact with Peppermint Patty. And Lucy would’ve become an alcoholic who endlessly mutters to footballs.

  138. bats :[
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#124): oh, that’s just mean! (*snort*)

  139. bats :[
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#128): “town animal control officer” since every dog has his day?

  140. un_malpaso
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    Bobbie is not talking about the obvious radiators. She is clearly referring to her personal “radiators,” if you know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Yeah, I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either. Which is why Ari is rightfully pulling back a bit, due to extremely high readings of crazy-vibe.

  141. Little Guy
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    FW: Wait…. that was an ACTUAL strip, and not a bats:[ mashup???

    JP: Just publish all last panels when the compilation is done. I will be happy.

  142. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:49 am [Reply]

    @queek, Source of Cuteness, Kwaii Kommando (#128): Central mailbox: Just put it in the slot.

  143. Carly
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    I really hope Micah takes that advice literally and shows up to the next practice in a wig and a skirt or something.

    FW: was there an accidental panel swap with Peanuts here? Otherwise I can’t see this making any sense, honestly.

  144. commodorejohn
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    @yaoi huntress earth (#130): Starting to remind you? That’s pretty much the exact description of the man and his work for as long as I’ve been following Funkerboo.

  145. Poteet
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    1/15 MW — Wow, just one day and Abby has grown big radiators again! I hope that at some point, maybe when this story is nearly over, some talented Mudge will create a comprehensive Abby Gallery so we can follow her permutations and decide when she should have stabilized.

  146. True Fable
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:22 am [Reply]

    Unspoken thoughts.

    Apartment of Doom Translated into Roopvillain: “Baht yor tung, gurrl, Lahl and Ah ‘r juss’ havin’ fun an’ THAT’S AWL!” Translated into Traditional Snark: “Fuck you, Tommie, you know I ain’t gettin’ any. But neither or you so THERE!”

    Meddle Eyre “So you see, I am probably not your father at all, and your dad was probably a rich guy – hey, where are you going?”

    Rex Morgan, CSI “She took the melamac, the fancy silver-coated plastic forks, the Tupperware, the Precious Moments figurines – everything!

    Kit Walker, Fantacizing Ranger “Unless she realized I was just jerking her along last time, and she’s aiming the shots at me herself! Thankfully she’s a lousy shot! Isn’t that just like a woman – BOOM! – oh shit oh shit oh shit!”

  147. bats :[
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#141): I have no idea where Bauititik is heading with this (and like 143. Carly, I can’t make any sense of it). Still, isn’t that what mashups are for?

  148. Poteet
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:28 am [Reply]


    FC — Um, could we see a few of the cute pictures? Because the ones we’ve been seeing are ghastly.

    FW — Well, that might help explain the taste of the pizza.

    MT — A study in strange perspective and how not to wear bangs.

    PHANTOM — Somehow, I’m going to work “lousy with pirates” into a conversation this weekend.

    RMMD — The aunt took the family jewels? Heh. Heh.

    S-M — The footgear looks as stupid as the pants. At least Swordmolar is consistent.

  149. True Fable
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    Scenes from Suburban Hell Ditto is astonished that Chip isn’t like Uncle Beetle after all. Chip likes to date girls and even dresses up to go out with them. Wow. Uncle Sarge is going to be soooo disappointed when the new recruits come in, and Nephew Chip isn’t among them and ready to take Beetle’s place when Beetle’s in the infirmary with sore buttcheeks.

  150. katyb
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    @Bryan (#61): Um, don’t you mean Andy (and Mark!)…

  151. katyb
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    @Rhekarid (#62): “Hiking the Appalachian Trail?”

  152. ElkMeadow
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth is up. We may guess that the blond woman is Abby as her hands are in the same position from the day before. And Kurt is actually rich dude’s son, who is getting background info to nail his rich old man.

  153. Harpo
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    Did anyone see Modern Family last night? Phil (the poor man’s Michael Scott) got in trouble with his wife for having a picture of a semi-nude lady on a tractor on his laptop and twice blamed it on Gil Thorpe. So at least Gil’s keeping busy while the neighborhood takes turns coaching the team.

  154. bats :[
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#152): that might be the case, but this is also a tale of connection and recemption, too.
    Oh, who am I kidding?

  155. MRL
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    “Seriously, Micah, you should be more like your sister. Sprout some breasts and you’ll totally freak out the opposition on the court. And possibly your teammates. And your coach. And the school administration. Say, did I ever tell you why I didn’t finish college?”

  156. katyb
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:19 am [Reply]

    @Shoebox (#137):
    I am a big Charles Schulz fan, and I have to say I resented Tom Batiuk’s (what I interpret as) laziness in having Linus be an avatar, if you will, for Crazy H.

    I spent my teenage years in Elyria, Ohio, where Mr. B taught art at Eastern Heights Jr. High, a short walk from our home in a new development.

    Then, when his strip was young, it was his take on the teenage life, as he was still so close to that age group. He got it. He was fresh and original. He was native son whose work was featured in the local paper, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram (also my employer briefly after college). Read more here:

    To a certain extent, I’ll give him credit for moving forward (he’s said as he grew older, he didn’t empathize with the teen characters he developed as a young man.) I think his instinct was right, but his timing was poor.

    Sometimes, it’s just time to say good-bye. Like Bill Watterston did.

    Funky Winkerbean has become a job, not a creative outlet for a former art teacher. Batiuk should let it go and ask Charles Schulz (who, though I adore him, I think at the end also overstayed his welcome) for forgiveness. Schulz’s great strength was that he channeled his own vulnerabilities and flaws (and those of some around him) into his characters, but he never preached. Batiuk has not learned that lesson. His characters preach, smirkily, and that’s unpleasant and unfunny. Plenty of us will find out about cancer along the way. We don’t need a cartoon strip to fill us in.

    But how many out there tune in to the Charlie Brown Christmas Special every year, just to appreciate the (sweetly dysfunctional) message of love, joy, simplicity (oh, and Vince Guaraldi’s music!), and that these completely fictional characters express?

    No need to raise your hands.

  157. fnord3125
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#98): Nope, I was referring to the indie rpg Polaris by Ben Lehman… and more specifically I was referring to a joke made by Ken Hite in the “roast” of gaming podcaster Paul Tevis a couple years ago at Gen Con for his 100th episode.

    like I said, wrong audience. :) and… i’m not sure if there is a right audience. i’ll shut up now.

  158. KarMann
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:14 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#148): Easy enough, that Phantom phrase. “More information about X can be found on the Internet, which is….”

    1/15 Groovy Blinkerlegume: Trellium-D was known to cause emotions and psychosis among Vulcans. Apparently, its effects on humans include cancer and depression and cancery cancer.

  159. True Fable
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:27 am [Reply]

    I, Platypus Highlander!! LOL, I loved it!

  160. Mr Graves
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:38 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean nearly made me get a glass of water so I could perform a spit-take: the notion that happiness existing, uttered in what can only seem to be complete sincerity from the author, in this paneled land of unyielding terminal illnesses and psychological wounds that will never even promise to heal, where just about every character engages in an inked illustrated dance with fate towards tragic suffering that rivals the collective works of Shakespeare deserves nothing short of a broad, comic response.

  161. Sister Sestina
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:39 am [Reply]

    The only thing I find crazy about “Crazy” Harry’s speech is the declaration that MONTONI’S is the karmic sanctuary. But then, I’m the one who talks about not saying certain things lest the Great God Murphy smite me.

  162. Rusty's Ghost
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    I hope this isn’t just my status as a privileged white Corpse-American talking, but I think Baldo lately has become more mawkish and intolerable than FOOB.

  163. Aviatrix
    January 15th, 2010 at 4:01 am [Reply]

    @150 (#121): Is there a 20th century decade that Abby’s fashion sense hasn’t yet caught?

  164. Jason1981
    January 15th, 2010 at 4:28 am [Reply]


    Luann: Actually, Toni, Gunther IS dorky. And Brad, you are, too–but not nearly as much as Gunther.

    MT: Mark’s gonna have some real problems fixing this– there’s no one with sideburns to punch out! (at least not yet)

  165. Tim
    January 15th, 2010 at 4:36 am [Reply]

    So, did Steve get those glasses from the Student Health Services at State U, or did he get them from the Milford ISD employee’s vision plan, or did he steal them from a Buddy Holly impersonator?

  166. Ed Dravecky
    January 15th, 2010 at 5:03 am [Reply]

    1/15 MW: Kurt and Wilbur love fishing because they’re Pluggers! Good to know.

  167. KarMann
    January 15th, 2010 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    @Tim (#165): I believe Steve is wearing what we called, in the military at least where they were issued to us, “birth control glasses”. After all, he wouldn’t want to end up like Wilbur a couple of decades from now, visited by the offspring of those girls in the hall!

  168. Strangefate
    January 15th, 2010 at 6:29 am [Reply]

    You know…

    I’ll actually be pretty disappointed if what-his-face’s mother, Abby, married one of those preppy villains with the prominent lower lips and ended up pining away for the love of hunky Wilbur. I think that would be more than I could stand.

    As for Funky Winkerbean, I pretty much accept the old guy’s word as truth. In Funky-verse to even hint at happiness is to call down the wrath of god on yourself. Assuming your god looks a lot like Batiuk that is. Maybe we’re going into a whole weird meta-fiction area, where it slowly dawns on the horrified characters that they’re actually cartoons drawn by a dedicated sadist who will never let them escape! Well, I mean, not without killing them with inoperable cancer or a brain hemorrhage or something first…

  169. Strangefate
    January 15th, 2010 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    Somewhat more seriously…

    That Funky cartoon reads like a desperate plea for help from Batiuk. He may actually be clinically depressed. I think that picture of Linus is supposed to illustrative of Batiuk himself, wondering in a sweaty panic if just writing the word ‘happiness’ has somehow killed the very possibility of him ever experiencing it.

    That’s the great thing about a Batiuk strip though. It works on so many different levels when it comes to making you feel sad and hopeless. Truly an artist at the top of his form…his hateful, misanthropic, life-defeating form…

  170. Tim Cavanaugh
    January 15th, 2010 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    How did Micah have time to change his jersey between panel 1 (where he is wearing what looks like number 35, maybe) and panel 2 (where he’s wearing 13)?

  171. Mela
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    A3G: Is Lyle the bride?

    Archie: I think they’re more startled by Archie’s bombadier-like accuracy.

    ‘Shaft: Our ‘heroes’ live in a strange world where the soap opera format isn’t dying an overdue natural death – just like them.

    FW: Three things. One, Batiuk just out-geeked me. Two, I’m pretty sure people in the Funkiverse regard happiness as a ‘spacial anomaly’. Like Yaoi Huntress Earth said, Batiuk strikes me as one of those people who thinks that only misery is true & good and happiness is some sort of dangerous delusion. Three, if this whole run is an elaborate cry for help on his part, like a few others have postulated, I think we’re okay ignoring it. He ignores his audience so it’s only fair.

    GA: Okay, Scanarelli, is that how you’re gonna play it? A week of “gee, young people sure are stupid about history” bullshit? Okay, asshole, tell me this – what was the Wilhelm Gustlav? What was Chamberlain’s first attempt at stopping Hitler? Tell me anything about the Pacific Front besides Pearl Harbor & the atom bombs – anything! You can’t, can you? So shut the fuck up. Stop assuming that everyone young enough not to live on Social Security is a total historical retard. It’s not funny – it just serves to justify the well-earned hatred many of us have for you & your target market of the elderly.

    Luann: Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what’s more offensive to me – the example above or Greg Evans’ fascination with creepy, awkward sexuality. Wait, I can get a laugh from the latter.

    Pluggers: If anyone can explain the fascination with fishing other than catching food, I’d love to know it.

  172. CoolerKing
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    FW: “So yeah Pete, Tom “Happiness Police” Batiuk will go all Gozer on you if you even IMAGINE any sort of joyous existence, but instead of a giant marshmallow man your destructor will be an alcoholic cancer-filled roadside bomb of teen pregnancy, comic book censorship and ill-timed appearances of ghost wives, which will leave you, your one arm and your failing vision to wait in multiple six-pack-and-frozen-dinner fueled agony and despair until the Phantom of the Opera comes to finish the job once and for all… But dude check out that sweet band box! Montoni’s RULES!”

  173. Pinokeyo's Wife
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    MW: The list of potential donors is mounting.

  174. mordock999
    January 15th, 2010 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann -01/15/10

    Toni – “Gunther I don’t THINK we can help you.”

    Gunther – “But (SOB) why??”

    Toni – “Well this strip is named ‘LUANN’ but it is FIRMLY entrenched in the Charlie Brown Universe. That means you are DOOMED to same old unpleasent things OVER and OVER again for the amusement of Blue-Haired Old Ladies.”

    Brad – “Yeah, things like being chasing Luann only to be rejected, dress-making, and endlessly wearing that stupid shirt.”

    Gunther – “I STILL don’t understand…,”

    Toni – “Here, let me SHOW you. Okay, TRY to kick this football.”

    Gunther – “Well, I don’t think…,”

    Toni – “Aw go AHEAD, Gunther. I’ll HOLD it STEADY.”

    Gunther – “Well okay, here goes.”

    Toni – “Oops!”

    Gunther – “Oww! Toni you snatched the football AWAY at the last second!”

    Toni – “Yep.”

    Gunther – “I fell flat on my back!”

    Toni – “Yep. Right now Blue-Haired Old Ladies all over America are laughing their collective asses off! Do you see now, Gunther? As look as you stuck in the Charlie Brown Universe YOU are clearly doomed, honey.”

    Gunther – “Well, I guess I should KILL myself…,”

    Brad – “You CAN’T do that either, You are in the CBU, remember? However, there IS another way.”

    Gunther – “Really?!?”


    DEATH to TJ!!!

  175. Lucky
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Family Circus – Where’s the joke!?

    Hi & Lois – The incestious homosexual relationship between Chip and Ditto has come to an end, unless Chip’s girlfriend is just a beard which is kind of suggested with the fact that he’s about to step into a closet in the second panel.

    Mark Trail – When did sheriff McSideburns become a senator?

    Marmaduke – Marmaduke that’s… kind of… amusing? Does not compute!

    Pardon My Planet – But at least you’re a cute dog. I never realized how wonderful fur Vic Lee draws.

    Ziggy – Yes, why would anyone want a sample of Ziggy’s DNA?

  176. Amateur
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    #162 — Seriously. I haven’t yet seen today’s Baldo, but yesterday’s? Argh. I’m sorry that there are crooks in the world who try to scam old people, but three panels of an elderly woman pouting in the rain do not a comic strip make!!

  177. Eli
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:36 am [Reply]


  178. Jen
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    “While” away the time, not “wile”.

  179. Tom
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    In Mary Worth, the guy in the blue jacket looks like a dark haired version of Wilbur’s “son” I think it may turn out that he is the father and not Wilbur. Bring on the sandwiches!

  180. Écureuil Écumant
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    FW: Frankly, it’s much more likely that the entire interior of Montoni’s is coated with “Shigella sonnei”.

  181. One-eyed Wolfdog
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    Marm: Those door to door brush salesman are a riot, aren’t they? Land sakes alive. Say, have you seen this crazy new ‘nylon’ stuff they’re making?

  182. Tom
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    “I want to repeat Leah’s warning from Sunday about the virus that apparently comes from the Chron “build your own comics page” thing. This morning I (foolishly) figured that enough time had gone by that it must be safe to use it again. Got exactly the result Leah described, with a box that would not go away, trying to make me go to their “antivirus” (yeah, right) site. I got the most hotshot IT guy here at work to look, and he was impressed at how the virus wouldn’t let my browsers go to any of the anti-malware sites that had weapons against it. He knew how to fix it, but I’m sure hoping I don’t have it at home.”

    I work in the Information Assurance field for the Government and this problem is not linked to the Chron site. It has been around for about 6 months now. It looks like a Symantic pop up but if you read it you will see it is just a generic “Anti Virus”. Do not click anything in the box, even the cancel box will cause it to start running. Hit “ctrl alt delete” and use task manager to shut your browser down.

  183. Écureuil Écumant
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    MT: Since the argument occurs in the kitchen, it appears that Wilbur and Abby had shacked up together by that point. Thus, I can’t blame him for getting irate. And judging by his expression, I suspect Abby “left town soon afterward” rolled up in a rug in the trunk of Wilbur’s ’62 Valiant — you know, the cool one with the indestructible slant-six and pushbuttons-on-the-dashboard Torqueflite.

  184. The Borg
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:32 am [Reply]


  185. Écureuil Écumant
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    @175 Lucky said:

    Mark Trail – When did sheriff McSideburns become a senator?

    Once he started collecting “campaign contributions” from all the cop-assaulting, car-stealing felons he’d arrested and then released without charges, his career arc was inevitable. Hell, gotta give him this — at least he knows his constituency.

  186. Anonymous
    January 15th, 2010 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @Mary Kay Commando (#98):

    “Ah non! Zut! C’est un calamar volant atomique!”

    Thank you for my new signature.

  187. Vince M
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#183): That’s kind of a cool car for Wilbur, isn’t it? I see him more as a ’53 Nash guy.

  188. Mela
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    @Tom (#182):

    I’ve never seen this problem on any of the three different computers I regularly use to check Chron’s comics, so this is all news to me.

  189. Captain Vegetable
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    Okay. Here’s how Mary Worth wraps up. Wilbur tells a story about how he and Abby broke up and she went to Richie Rich. Facebook-Hobo Spawn of Wilbur mentions his birthday, which is after Abby left Wilbur (gasp!). After determining Facebook-Hobo son of Wilbur is actually son of Richie Rich, Wilbur admits that he only got to second base with Abby, and even then she was always wearing a buttoned down flannel jacket and a life preserver. When asked why he even went along with this whole charade, Wilbur admits that he doesn’t know how babies are made. This will wrap up around Memorial Day.

  190. professor fate
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    FW: New at Montoni’s! Thorazine Pizza! With Prozac stuffed crust!

  191. blammers66
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Funky: “Hey, Crazy – no one got the reference to the Great Pumpkin, so let me lay an even less viewed, less understood reference from a TV show that has been viewed by a tenth – oh, hell, a hundredth – of the people who have seen “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” I’m sure we can get to those fourteen people who haven’t given up completely with this week’s thread.”

  192. Og the Green Phelb
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @Tom (#182): This happened to me several months ago. I discovered that the malware put a line in my start up information that would allow it to link to my system when I booted up. I had to edit my start up information to remove it. After that I had no more problem. If you aren’t sure how to do that I would suggest you find someone who can help you.

  193. Gary
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    FW: I’ve always considered Crazy to be Tom Batiuk’s alter ego and in that context, the strip makes perfect sense. As Crazy leaps from cogent thought to random image to paranoid schizophrenia, so, too, does the guy who drew it.

    MW: Maybe Abby left because Wilbur used phrases like “nasty.”

  194. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    January 15th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    A3G: Ruby is one quick-change artist. In panel one, she had a Rosemarie bow on the side of her hair (lesbian subtext thoroughly hidden). In panel two, the bow has moved to the back of her head and become a huge swath of white pubic hair with her mouth and eyes forming a wrinkly vagina.

    MW: Man! Wilbur sure can get mad! Must be ‘cuz Abby ain’t wearing a hat.

  195. bats :[
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    @blammers66 (#191): the more-and-more obscure reference to popular culture weirded me out, too, blammers66. I wonder if Batuiuik wants to round out the week by quoting something from “Home Boys in Outer Space,” which I had the foresight to tape when it aired for an abbreviated season about 12 years ago…

  196. Krankenstein
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    FW: Somehow, it seems appropriate that an obscure, miserable comic that is nothing but hackwork on the part of it’s creator should refer to a miserable episode of an obscure, hackwork television series. Maybe that’s all that’s on TV in the Winkerverse.

  197. Ribinin
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#171): If anybody can justify fishing based on catching food I’d like to know it.

  198. Darkefang
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke: Ahh, the newspaper comics page: the only form of entertainment left on Earth whose fans remember door-to-door brush salesmen.

  199. ignatz
    January 15th, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    How long is 9CW going to be doing the “Mom – tell me about you and Dad’s sex life” plot? It’s perverse.

  200. Monkey David
    January 15th, 2010 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    MW: Obviously, the real father.

  201. Anonymous
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    I can only imagine that there must be a tiny girl doing a musical number, a la Eraserhead, inside that radiator that we cannot see from our view.

  202. Tom
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    @Mela (#188):
    Apparently, this virus has been popping up at the Chron site, however, this virus can pop up at any time on any site, it’s not really harmful but it does add scripts to your computer, if you see any “Aniti Virus” pop up your best bet is “ctrl, alt, delete” and use task manager to shut your browser down.

  203. Tom
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    The systems at work are locked and don’t allow any one but techs to do anything like that, but, we have found using task manager to shut the browser down, without clicking anything in the “Anti Virus” pop up will usually prevent infection.

  204. Pucacodog
    January 15th, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#8): I must be doing this wrong. I get “pickled” and then a very, very bad word.

  205. Chris Brimstone
    January 15th, 2010 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    nah its a ‘jinx’ thing. if you say you’re happy shit will go wrong. keep your head down. don’t let the universe know you’re fighting it off

  206. Chance
    January 16th, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    That screeching noise you hear, like a huge oil drill biting into a steel plate, is Charles Schulz spinning in his grave at a million RPM.

  207. Chance
    January 16th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    I am agree with above thoughts also

  208. Cliff Arroyo
    January 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    I, on the other hand, am most certainly _not_ agree with above thoughts. Above thoughts are fill me with fear and rage.

  209. MWDG
    January 16th, 2010 at 5:27 pm [Reply]


    First of all I didn’t think it was possible to draw a dumber looking blond than Toby until I saw bugged eyed Abby. Or…is Abby, Toby?

    The rich kids all look like “forever in the closet” Jimmy Osmond.

    Lastly where are the two hellcats of Chaterstone… Dawn and Terry (Bryson)

  210. Tom S. Fox
    January 22nd, 2010 at 5:01 am [Reply]

    “Have you ever been seen such gorgeous radiators, Aristotle?” is pretty much the most hilarious thing I have ever laid my eyes upon.

  211. Tom S. Fox
    January 22nd, 2010 at 5:03 am [Reply]

    Well, that’s what I get from copy-pasting.

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