Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Beetle Bailey, 4/13/21

I’m reasonably sure that Zero’s original one-note Beetle Bailey character definition was “is stupid,” but apparently at some point along the line it was decided he needed more depth or an origin story or something, so now the fact that he grew up on a farm is also part of his gimmick. He’s still a buck-toothed simpleton, though, which seems like it would alienate readers in “real America,” but I guess when you’re an institution as beloved by elite urban intellectuals as Beetle Bailey, you can get away with this stuff.

Funky Winkerbean, 4/13/21

Today’s strip represents the third time that this “Harry Dinkle the choirmaster” storyline has done a hilarious gag where the ladies of the choir are unfamiliar with Harry’s whole shtick from years as the Westview band director/fundraising impresario, and he briefly flies into a rage before managing to ratchet things back. At least he isn’t bleeding from his face this time? Anyway, it occurs to me that the last time anyone saw Harry in regular action in this strip as a band leader was more than 14 years ago, before he went ironically deaf, so honestly only hardcore Funkyheads like [extremely heavy sigh] me even know what he’s going on about; assuming this strip has accrued any new readers over the past generation, all of them are just as befuddled by what’s going on as the choir ladies are. Neat, huh?

Crankshaft, 4/13/21

OK, now I’m back to wishing that Crankshaft hadn’t skipped over the pandemic, since apparently we missed the delightful image of Crankshaft stabbing himself with a meat thermometer, his friends only able to look on in horror over Facetime as he quickly passed out due to blood loss.

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Dennis the Menace, 3/30/21

This is one of those comics where I feel like the joke is convoluted enough that I have to reason it out from first principles. Like, we know Mr. Wilson doesn’t have any friends — we know this with absolute certainty — so I guess the book he’s going through is supposed to be the White Pages, rather than a particularly thick personal address book, even though I’m pretty sure they stopped publishing the White Pages years ago and also the DIRECTORY heading never appeared at the top of the page in the middle of the book for whatever reason. Anyway, who do you think he’s calling? Given that Dennis has upgraded his menacing from “dropping by to annoy Mr. Wilson” to “dropping by with a friend to gawk at Mr. Wilson like he’s an animal at the zoo,” I certainly hope that it’s finally Child Protective Services.

Funky Winkerbean, 3/30/21

I guess the new hilarious “Harry Dinkle has blood running down his face” running gag comes from him biting his tongue when his god-like talent as a band director isn’t recognized by the ladies of this church, who live in a different town from where he taught high school and have literally no reason to know anything about him. That said, the funnier explanation would be that his face is starting to crack due to the pressure put on it by wild swings in expressions like the one we see between panels two and three, and pretty soon it’s going to just slide off the front of his head altogether.

Family Circus, 3/30/21

You may think Big Daddy Keane’s little smile here is cruel, but you have to understand that the minute Billy is large and/or skilled enough to defeat him in single combat, his reign as head of the household — and his life — are over. That day is coming, but it hasn’t come yet, Billy. Not quite yet.

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Dustin, 3/27/21

For a brief moment, I thought today’s Dustin was an example of that lowest form of comic strip humor: a character in a strip being tasked with making a dumb joke more appealing by reacting to it as if it’s funny, which is it isn’t. But then I remembered that Dustin’s dad is a lawyer! Turns out Dustin’s dad isn’t just an asshole; he also hates his son as much as his son hates his children, which is honestly a best case scenario for the next few weeks of this strip as far as I’m concerned. Let’s get beyond passive aggression into pure chaos!

Funky Winkerbean, 3/27/21

You know what would make this strip a lot funnier? If you could see Harry’s face in panel two, and there were, like, tons of blood flowing out of his mouth and down his chin as he cheerfully declared “I got the gig!” And then panel three was cut out entirely. Well, I’m not sure if “funnier” is quite the right word, but I think we can all agree it’d be better.