Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Mary Worth, 12/12/22

Good morning and happy Monday, everybody! Definitely what we all wanted after putting a relaxing weekend behind us to log in and see this:

Look, there’s been a lot of buzz about AI programs that can generate art from prompts lately, but I’m pretty sure none of them could take “show the weird fake-happy-but-actually-enraged face your old-enough-to-be-your-mother babysitter would make at you to mock you for the infantile games you played at dinner with your former babysitter, who looks just like her” and come up with … this:

That’s the human touch, baby! That’s the level of passive aggression only Mary Worth and its carbon-based creative team can deliver, which why I’m proud to keep you up to date on it. Ha ha, look at how chill Zak is in panel two! This is all just a normal part of the world, to him!

Funky Winkerbean, 12/12/22

I’m sorry, did you find the big “actually, everything weird that’s happened in this strip for the past ten years is due to time travel” reveal to be disappointing? Well, you’ll be happy to hear we’re shifting to an “it was all a dream” ending, something that has never disappointed anyone ever.

Gasoline Alley, 12/12/22

I love that Walt’s big garbage truck ride was part of his “bucket list” — that is, the things he wanted to do before he died — but he assures Mayor Melba that he’ll treasure the memory “forever.” Because that’s how long he’ll be alive! He’ll keep aging and aging but never know the sweet release of death! Sorry, Mayor Melba, you’re just a walk-on player in somebody else’s hell.

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Dustin, 12/7/22

If you had asked me before today, I would have said with some conviction that Blondie and Dustin both fell into the category of “comics I read every day but do not particularly like.” Nevertheless, the past couple days have provided me with some surprising information about the nuances of my opinions: I think Elmo-only strips are a violation of the Bumstead-centered narrative unity of the Blondieverse, whereas Dustin strips in which the Dustin family doesn’t appear, and instead the only recurring character is the weird little neighbor kid Dustin is inappropriately friends with? Sure, go nuts, doesn’t bother me a bit. Oh, do you want to do a joke with him talking to a mall Santa, but the joke only makes sense if the guy is actually Santa, throwing things into further narrative confusion? I already told you I don’t give a shit and this won’t change my position on shit-giving, sorry.

Blondie, 12/7/22

Speaking of Blondie and liking or not liking things, one thing I do like about this strip is that Dagwood and his mailman genuinely do not like each other. The mailman is absolutely justified, of course, as Dagwood repeatedly flings open the door and runs into him at full speed on the way to his carpool, scattering mail everywhere. I’m not sure what Dagwood’s beef is, but his animus is fairly clear.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/7/22

Ah, yes, we’ve hit the Wall Of Text phase of this time travel exposition dump, as we learn that the time travel business is apparently responsible for the weird Crankshaft/Funky Winkerbean chronological discontinuity that’s exercised so many of our best minds over the past decade. Our future janitor is also proving that knowing how to control the timestream doesn’t mean you know everything; if he thinks that Summer is basically done writing her book now that she’s decided what she wants to write about and has taken some preliminary notes, I would like to refer him to the three years it took for me to get from my Kickstarter to my novel, and also refer to him to the experience of everyone else in human history who’s ever written a book.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/7/22

Good news for everyone who plays by the rules, everyone! Remember Wanda, the comely diner waitress who was shamelessly flirting with Mud? Well, now she’s going to make herself sexually available to Truck, as his reward for doing the music business “the right way” (i.e., he doesn’t pretend to shit his pants on stage but also doesn’t make any money). Who’s the loser now, Mud?

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Funky Winkerbean, 12/06/22

It probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn I have been a daily comics reader for more or less my entire life. But until I really got started on this blog, that meant that I read the daily comics that were printed in whatever newspaper I was reading at the time, which meant there was a decade-long gap in my daily Funky Winkerbean readership straddling Y2K, a period during which the strip made its now-infamous Turn To Grim, and even now I’m still putting together the pieces of what all happened in the strip during that stretch. Like, someone bombed the Westview post office? Sure, why not!

One thing I do know happened during that period is that Lisa had breast cancer, then went into remission, then her cancer came back, but the hospital mixed up her lab results so she was told she was fine and the whole thing wasn’t figured out until it was too late. In the real world, this is the sort of mistake that would have resulted in multiple lawsuits, and in a world where a janitor from the future was subtly manipulating things behind the scenes, it seems like it would be a very easy mistake to fix, certainly easier than convincing a top neonatal physician to keep living it a shitty town like Westview. But you have to remember that Lisa was primarily important as the Birthing Vessel for the Chosen One, so once Summer was born, all extraordinary or indeed ordinary measures to keep her alive immediately ceased.

Dennis the Menace, 12/6/22

What exactly is Alice forbidding Dennis from doing in the first panel here? Is she telling him that, as five-year-old children, he and Joey are not allowed to just wander out into the wintertime by themselves? Because it doesn’t seem to have worked.

The Lockhorn, 12/6/22

You have to respect how big a production Leroy and Loretta make out of passive-aggressively trying to destroy each other emotionally, like with props and everything. That’s how they keep things fresh!

Mary Worth, 12/6/22

Look, I understand the dramatic reasons why we’re spending today’s strip on Iris’s inner monologue, but frankly I’m much more interested in finding out whether or not Nan is making airplane noises as she feeds Zak.