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Funky Winkerbean, 7/20/19

I have to admit, this absolutely bonkers “killer chimp” reveal has at least gotten me seriously emotionally invested in Funky Winkerbean, event though my investment is basically in seeing how much more bonkers it’s going to get. Today Cindy posits that Zanzibar was “jealous,” which … hasn’t really been explored in the strip, as far I’ve noticed? And also Cliff let Butter leave town with a talking, thinking, murderous ape??? How did he know Zanzibar wasn’t going to kill again? Who would stop him? Certainly not Butter Brinkel! How many corpses did Butter and Zanzibar leave in their wake as they fled from state to state across the country?

The whole vibe this episode is a delightful (for certain admittedly very limited definitions of “delightful”) throwback not to the Funkyverse’s actual zany past but to the moment when the strip was shifting gears from its zany past to its ultra-depressing present. “There’s a chimp who can talk and also he murdered an innocent woman and ruined countless lives” definitely fits in with “There’s a zany dude who goes by ‘Plantman’ who dresses up as a plant and is also a murderous maniac.”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/20/19

I have to admit it’s kind of charming how these two are talking frankly and cheerfully about their jobs as scam artist: giving professional praise, coming up with ideas for new revenue streams, brainstorming the details of possible strategies, and so on. I’m also intrigued that we have yet to see the sinister puppetmaster’s face, but, just like an actual puppetmaster, he’s always dressed in black. You know who else dresses all in black?





Pluggers, 7/20/19

For most of us the facts of life are about sex. For pluggers, they’re about the lifetime of unacknowledged and unappreciated domestic and emotional labor their wives have put in to keep them alive. Ha ha, it’s funny because if the chicken-lady dies, the dog man won’t survive for six months without her!

Mark Trail, 7/20/19

Does … does Mark Trail know how mines work? I’m pretty sure this isn’t how mines work.

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Folks! It’s time for your comment of the week!

“I don’t get why this particular homunculus model deteriorates so quickly. We’ve only gone through like three or four Dollys and Billys apiece since the 60s, but this’ll be like the 17th Jeffy we’ve had to replace. Ah well, get the amino acids in the vat, I’ll start making a wax mold.” –Dan

And your hilarious runners up, which are also funny!

“Humans make better clowns than animals because of our relatively hairless epidermis. Did you ever try to smear Clown White all over a furry snout? The results aren’t remotely laughable.” –Old Man Muffaroo

“Yeah, I had to walk to the trucks and carry the helium tanks and balloon boxes all the way to balloon station by myself, and that’s a long way to… wait, why are you arresting me? I didn’t say I blew them up by blowing into them myself! Look, there’s clearly someone hiding in the ticket booth! Ask him where the money went– Augh! Stop clubbing me, foxman! I’m not resisting arrest, I’m just sayi– Aauugh! Aaaauuugh! AAAUUUGGGHHH!” –jroggs

“Wow, it’s as if someone dared Rex Morgan, M.D. to introduce a character even more unlikeable than the main cast.” –Banana Jr. 6000

Rex Morgan, M.D. is meditative these days. Yes, we can cure the illness of the individual body, but what is society if not the collective body? Fake news are memes, which reproduces just like viruses and genes — this is the origin of the term. Who will cure the social contagion? Who will save this sick organism?” –Ettorre

“Pepsi paid a lot of money to get Coke mentioned in this comic.” –The Dimensional Otter

“How many strips would be improved by having the title character gunned down on Monday? I call dibs on Luann.” –Rusty

Shot through the heart/ And you’re to blame/ Bet this villain has/ An odd name” –JJ48

“You Americans and your 18-inch-wide diner tables! It’s a good thing you are on a diet, Dawn, there is no room to put any food for you here! Are you enjoying your 3-ounce Coca-Cola?” –Peanut Gallery

“The camera in panel one doesn’t appear to be point in Cliff’s direction. Did she see something more interesting? Given this is Funky Winkerbean, the odds are pretty good that the answer is ‘yes.’” –Pozzo

“You really missed the opportunity to say ‘sexercise‘? I’ve been waiting years for the chance to drop that ‘naturally’ into a conversation and it never comes up, and here you are, just flippantly ignoring the chance to be corny and vaguely pathetic. How dare you sir. What is the point of this blog if not that?” –toxic

“Isn’t Curtis like 12 or something? Shouldn’t he be communicating exclusively with emojis and Korean TikTok videos?” –pugfuggly

“Wardrobe, liquor, steaks, cigars … this would be a very expensive chimp to keep. Better to keep him naked and on a strict diet of generic Monkey Chow, no? Or make the little bastard get a job.” –Ukulele Ike

“I was going to go on a tirade about how chimps are vicious and have been known to forget their training and attack their owners once they reach puberty, but also how I was looking forward to the eventually mauling. But if that had happened, Cliff would obviously be disfigured in the present day. So I guess the chimp is just going to die of cancer. C’est la vie.” –The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE

“At least Jeffy’s body is really good at something — is what he’ll tell sports coaches, doctors and girlfriends when it turns out to be bad at far more important things.” –BigTed

“Damn, look at the care put into that artwork in Mark Trail. J.J.’s eyes, slightly rolling back in the sockets. His hand, just a moment before holding the gun, already relaxing as his body drops. His head, snapping back just so while his feet rise into the air. The only other time you see Mark Trail artwork with closely-observed detail like this is in the depictions of flora and fauna. But isn’t that what this is, after all? A weaker animal tried to make a dominance display, and the stronger animal had to demonstrate who’s really in charge.” –Thelonious_Nick

“Chekhov said, ‘If a gun hits the floor in the last panel on Thursday, you must have it picked up by one of the good guys on Friday, and then never mention it again.’ Did I remember that right?” –matt w

“You have to give Saline Galapagos credit: she’s committed to to her branding to the point of having palmistry and chakra posters up in her office even though she only treats clients over the phone.” –TheDiva

“‘I said, I don’t know, and then he pulled the trigger. Thank goodness it was just a prop gun! Zanzibar looked at the gun with a baffled expression for a second; then he threw it down and ran for the front door. I immediately gave chase. I couldn’t let him get away, for I had so many questions: Was he involved in Valerie Pond’s death? What did he mean by father? HOW THE HECK COULD HE EVEN TALK?! He made it out the front door, but I was hot on his heels. At the far edge of the lawn, he started to climb up a palm tree, but I was able to grab him by the leg, keeping him from climbing up more than six feet or so. He tried and he tried to shake me off, and I was using all my strength to try to pull him back down. No matter how much he struggled, I kept pulling his leg and pulling his leg… Just like I’m pulling yours now.’ –Excerpt from the documentary Why Documentary Makers Hate Cliff Anger” –Guy Lumbago

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Funky Winkerbean, 7/19/19

For the past few days of monkey madness in this strip, I’ve begun to suspect that the payoff of this Butter Brinkel storyline would be “Zanzibar did it!” This would be some classic Funky grimness: though a chimp has the opposable thumbs necessary to pick up and fire a gun, clearly any resulting death would be both an accident and liable to result in an innocent creature being put down, and so Butter instead refused to testify in his own defense and went to prison in order to save the life of his beloved pet.

What I didn’t expect was that the real solution to the mystery was that Zanzibar did it, and also Zanzibar can think and talk and reason like a human being, and Zanzibar thinks of Butter as his “father,” and the only reason Cliff Anger is still alive is because he didn’t have any actual firearms in the house. I’m looking forward to the vicious, desperate hand-to-hand combat between man and killer ape that will transfix comics readers across the nation for the next several weeks.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/19/19

I had sort of built up this image in my mind of Miss Galexia as a very woo-woo new agey type, an older woman who’s been in this game for years, and who believed in her own mysticism once before she turned it into a lucrative revenue stream, or maybe even still believed and managed to hold both the commercial and the spiritual in her mind at once. Sadly, this is Rex Morgan, M.D., where everything is pretty much exactly as it seems and can be resolved very quickly, and so Miss Galexia is a petty con artist who likes to cackle about the rubes she’s fleecing with her boss while drinking a cup of what I assume isn’t even herbal tea.

Mark Trail, 7/19/19

I like how the composition here makes it look like Mark and Leola seem to have angrily turned their attention not on JJ, who I assume is thoroughly unconscious, but on Doc, who after all is the guy who got them into this mess in the first place. “Look old man, I’m not scared of some bestubblèd mining shop proprietor with a gun, but at the same time I don’t exactly enjoy having a pistol stuck in my face, so there’d better be some god-damned gold in this magic mine of yours, capisce?”