Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Funky Winkerbean, 3/18/17

So Funky walked up the hill to that mysterious abandoned house and then … spent the week walking around in it eerie emptiness? And then looked at an old painting on the wall for a while. And today, in the first dialogue of the whole week, thought-balloons some stuff that I guess is supposed to be profound but is actually just a symptom of a major depressive disorder. I honestly don’t know if this is a Significant Location From Storylines Past or just a Metaphor Symbolizing Life’s Impermanence, and I also don’t know what’s supposed to be happening here, but in a larger sense I feel like I know exactly what’s happening here, you know?

Judge Parker, 3/18/17

You’ll recall that when Derek was first introduced to this strip, he was Honey Ballinger’s boyfriend but Sophie liked him she decided to steam him away, but then suddenly (and by “suddenly” I mean “four years later,” because this is Judge Parker after all) Derek was Sophie’s boyfriend and she was worried Honey Ballinger was going to steal him away from her. This could’ve all been chalked up to the silly, transient nature of teen relationships, but as today’s final panel reveals, the question of who exactly was dating whom has abruptly become extremely serious.

Mary Worth, 3/18/17

Pretty sure that this is what you’d get if you were making a movie and directed your actors to “do a bunch of cocaine and then yell whatever comes into your head about cruises as loud and as fast as you can.”

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Mary Worth, 3/13/17

Tobey and Mary are enjoying drinks with fruit slices poolside, so technically I’ll consider this a pool party of the sort we expect and deserve when Mary Worth transitions from one plot to another, and anyway I’m in the mood to be forgiving because OH EM GEE MARY AND TOBEY TROPICAL GAL’S GETAWAY MONTH YES YES YES YESSSSSSS! What excitement awaits us at whatever branded resort on a more-or-less coup-free Caribbean island Tobey’s fancy has settled on? Will Mary get her groove back? Will Mary have to forcibly restrain Tobey from getting her groove back? Will Tobey then be allowed to get her groove back when someone points out that college professors don’t as a rule go on month-long “teaching summits,” certainly not in the middle of the semester? It’s going to be amazing!

This is the first good look we’ve gotten at Tobey under the new artistic regime, other than our brief glimpse of the Camerons’ weird, poorly lit Christmas. While I’ve generally been a fan of the new-look character design, I’m not sure I’m into this one? Other than the hair, she seems possibly based on Emma Stone:

She’s a little too lively looking for my taste, to be honest. The eyes of the Tobey I know and love manage to both project a certain anxious vapidity and seem always haunted by the realization that Tobey’s spending her best years married to Ian Cameron, and those best years are about to run out.

The Phantom, 3/13/17

Over in The Phantom, Lee Falk is busy pounding out an exciting new adventure on his old manual typewriter. A new adventure where the Phantom is going to die! …in a prophecy? Is it just going to be a lot of sitting around the Bandar village and Old Man Mozz telling an elaborate and possibly gruesome story about the Phantom’s death and him thinking “Jeez, what’s the social protocol here, like am I supposed to be freaked out or stoic or what?”

Funky Winkerbean, 3/13/17

Speaking of prophecies of death, looks like Funky’s being drawn by some unnamable force to walk up to the the creepy old house on the top of this overgrown hill on the outskirts of town! I sure hope he doesn’t plunge into a world of hellish horror beyond imagination and is subsequently never heard from again!

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Funky Winkerbean, 3/11/17

OK, since we reintroduced the “Les has writer’s block” plot last week, I decided to dig into my archives and figure out what book exactly Les is trying and failing to write. This is his recent writing career, as near as I’ve been able to reconstruct it:

  • 10/13/14: After winning many accolades for Lisa’s Story, his book about his dead first wife, Lisa, Les surprises his alive current wife Cayla with the script for a graphic novel about her. Sure, it’s framed as “finding a new love and new life,” i.e., it’s framed as being post-Lisa, but she’s gotta be excited about that, right?

  • 10/17/14: She’s extremely excited about that, especially when Les promises to take her on an epic, tax-deductible “vacation” to Hong Kong to watch the book get printed!

  • 6/20/15: Eight months later, there’s been no movement on getting the Cayla book published, but Darrin suggests that Les write another damn Lisa book, this time about how Les and Lisa met. They met in high school, actually, which is pretty boring, but that doesn’t stop Les from being hella intrigued:

  • 8/18/15: Les announces that he’s taken Darrin’s advice and will begin “a prequel to Lisa’s Story” and that also oh, by the way, “my publisher has decided to hold off on publishing the book we just finished” (presumably the Cayla book) “and bring them out as epilogue and prologue,” thus cementing Cayla’s status as an epilogue to Les’s actual story with his actually important wife, Lisa, and also postponing the publication of her book and their big vacation to Hong Kong indefinitely.

  • 8/19/15: Even though the Hong Kong trip is off, Les tells Cayla to keep her passport current, because he might whisk her off to Paris at moment’s notice! This never happens.

  • 11/29/15: Les is having some trouble starting on this new book about how he met his dead wife Lisa!

  • 3/3/17: Les is still having some trouble starting on this new book about how he met his dead wife Lisa!

So all that sort of made sense, assuming you’re starting from the premise that Les is a monstrously bad husband, which, duh, but now today’s strip implies that this trilogy/prequel thing is a new idea, and that The Last Leaf (oh, I forgot to mention that Les’s book about Cayla, ostensibly about finding new love and happiness, inexplicably has the awful, death-haunted title The Last Leaf) already came out, and, I dunno, man. I think the important thing is that we never saw Les grappling with the process of writing his Cayla book at all, whereas his new Lisa is book is going to get rehashed over the course of multiple timeline-instances, forever and ever.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/11/17

At last, under a new writer, Rex Morgan is moving away from tales of the Morgans getting huge checks and/or mafia protection and getting back to basics: medical drama! Specifically, drama about dehydration and sleep apnea, some of the least exciting medical conditions known to man. Can’t wait for the six-week exploration of the heartbreak of shingles!

Mark Trail, 3/11/17

“Okay, honey! I was only kidding with you!” says Cherry, with a deadened facial expression that tells us that she was very much not kidding, that she doesn’t even know what the word “kidding” means.