Archive: Crock

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Apologies for giving you a double-dose of Funky Winkerbean today, but sadly I need two days’ worth of strips to provide the proper context for today’s commentary. Pretty amazing that I’m a guy who has to provide multi-day context for today’s Funky Winkerbean strip, as a job! Ha ha, a lot of choices have been a made that cannot be undone anymore, much to think about, etc., but the point is that this week’s strips take place at a band teachers’ convention and much of the content has involved band-themed puns on signs that characters gently smile at, as in yesterday’s strip:

Funky Winkerbean, 1/29/21

But not today! No, today’s strip is about band-themed puns on signs that character gently frown at:

Funky Winkerbean, 1/30/21

Why is the first pun smileworthy while the second is frown-inducing? I feel like this is the Rosetta Stone that, if I could just crack it, would allow me to truly and fully understand the Funkyverse. Furthermore, I assume that if I could achieve such a state of Funkyligthenment, I would be free of my compulsion to read and analyze the strip every day. Sadly, full understanding is still beyond my grasp, leaving me doomed to continue to gawk at Funkyworld in half-comprehending rage for the indefinite future.

Mary Worth, 1/30/21

Oh, it turns out the source of Eve’s anxiety attacks is PTSD from an abusive marriage, which isn’t very much fun at all! We’ll let you know when this strip returns to a more enjoyable level of wacky interpersonal drama.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/30/21

“I decided that risk was a lot of trouble for not a lot of payoff for me personally, so I stopped taking it. Guess you’ll be seeing a lot more of me around the office than you probably want to, ha ha!”

Crock, 1/30/21

They could’ve just ended this strip after the first panel. Get it? Because Crock sucks ass and is never funny! I alone have the guts to say this, no matter how much abuse I take for daring to speak the truth!

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Crankshaft, 1/25/21

All syndicated newspaper comics artists have to submit their strips at least a few weeks in advance. Most, not surprisingly, go right up to the wire of what they’re allowed to do, but some leave a longer buffer. I admit that this is only a rumor I’ve heard secondhand, so I’m not saying I’m sure this is true, but the consistent rumor really is that Tom Batuik has a full year-long buffer for the Funkyverse strips, so he can get in the spirit of the holidays as he writes twelve months in advance. Normally this isn’t a big deal, as one Christmas is pretty much the same as the next, but over the past year, as a global pandemic brought exactly the sort of disease-based gloom we expect from the Funkyverse into our reality, the disconnect has been kind of striking. I’ve assumed that, like many strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft would just ignore COVID-19 rather than be caught a full year behind the times but … what if they won’t? What if we’re about to see last year’s rollercoaster of panic and confusion play out for us amongst Crankshaft’s family and bus driver pals? Wouldn’t that be incredible? And by incredible I mean “extremely disturbing, please don’t do this, why on earth would you do this?” Well, buckle up, because here we go! CORPSES IN THE STREETS OF CENTERVILLE EVERYBODY

Crock, 1/25/21

I relate far too well to Poulet’s seemingly out-of-place expression in panel two. Sometimes, when you spend far too much time worrying about something that you’re not sure will ever really happen, even if it’s a bad thing, just knowing that it’s a real possibility and you haven’t wasted all that anxiety on a mirage is a relief!

Hi and Lois, 1/25/21

Speaking of facial expressions, I am genuinely cackling at Hi’s slack-jawed shock in panel one here. “I cannot believe I married this naive simpleton,” he seems to be thinking, just barely capable of holding his tongue so as to prevent an open marital rift.

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Crock, 1/23/21

I’ve had to acknowledge to myself that a big part of doing this blog consists of me staring at a sentence in a comic strip for a long time — like, not hours or anything, but longer than I stare at most sentences, and almost certainly longer than the writer spent thinking about it before they wrote it — and wondering, “Why did they phrase it like that?” Such is the lot of the critic, alas! Anyway, I’m kind of tickled that instead of saying “Oh yeah?” or “What do you mean?” or deploying any other fairly neutral phrase to smooth the glidepath to the punchline of this joke, Poulet in panel one says “You must be mistaken!” I’m choosing to believe that Poulet, perhaps alone amongst the Legionnaires in this Maghrebi outpost, truly believes in France’s civilizing colonial mission, and is heartbroken to learn that the occupation government’s arts budget isn’t as generous as he imagined.

Pluggers, 1/23/21

We’ve all spent lots of times arguing the “What is a plugger?” question over the years here on this blog, but I’ve always assumed that this feature’s mission is fundamentally one of in-group self-affirmation: “This is what we pluggers are like, and that’s a good thing, even though we might have our foibles!” However, with today’s installment of “You’re a plugger if you have incipient dementia,” I may have to reassess that judgement.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 1/23/21

Ha ha, it’s funny because the residents of Hootin’ Holler live surrounded by piles of their own garbage!