Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Blondie, 7/7/19

I know that it’s in the throwaway panels, but it bothers me so much that the “dental checkup” angle here never becomes part of the joke or is otherwise followed up on. He could’ve just said something about being late for a generic appointment. But now it’s a Chekov’s Gun that will never go off, lurking on the wall of my mind indefinitely. How are Dagwood’s teeth? How are Dagwood’s teeth, damn it! Is there something funny about them???

Funky Winkerbean, 7/7/19

I really enjoy Cindy’s smug smile in the final panel here. “You’re catching on, kid. Technology doesn’t really change anything: people are awful to each other and they always have been. The human race is fundamentally rotten and it’ll be good when we’re all dead!”

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Mark Trail, 7/6/19

I gotta say, as Things You Could Be Mad At Mark Trail About go, getting mad that he gets to take exotic vacations on the company dime and writes maybe three stories a year is pretty good! It’d be a little more realistic if this complaint weren’t coming from JJ, the proprietor of a well-stocked and presumably highly profitable outdoorwear and mining equipment retailer, but rather from some poor underpaid content producer jealous of Mark’s cushy staff job. “I write three to five hot takes a week on breaking news and I get paid $150 a pop,” the embittered web drone would say, thrusting the gun in Mark’s direction. “I’m a contractor and don’t get health insurance! They don’t have fact checkers and if I get something wrong they hang me out to dry! How dare you, sir!”

Funky Winkerbean, 7/6/19

Jess and Cindy are doing research for their documentary about Butter Brinkel by … watching a documentary about Butter Brinkel? Have they considered just telling people there’s a documentary they can watch that’s already been made? Someone went through all the trouble of putting it together and everything.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/6/19

“Maybe, but it seems like it’d be a lot of work, so, you know, enh. What do you wanna do for dinner?”

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Funky Winkerbean, 6/25/19

I got some feedback on my joke about Sunday’s Funky Winkerbean and was about to write something whiny along the lines of “Ugh, Funky Winkerbean made me learn things,” but honestly? I love learning things, and telling other people about those things! So here we go: the most famous version of the Buster Keaton house-falling gag is from 1928’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., but Keaton had done an earlier version in 1920’s One Week — and, more relevant to this storyline, Fatty Arbuckle, for whom Butter Brinkel is pretty transparently a stand-in, did the original version of it 1919’s Back Stage, which Buster Keaton also appeared in. As the name implies, Back Stage was a comedy that took place behind the scenes of a play, and so the house-falling stunt was much smaller scale and actually involved a small facade used as part of the play’s set dressing, rather than an actual house as in the Steamboat Bill version; the depiction of Brinkel’s stunt (which you can see better in Sunday’s strip) more closely matches what happened in Back Stage.

There’s one big difference, of course: Arbuckle’s Back Stage stunt, like both of Keaton’s, went off safely; but Brinkel is an inhabitant of the Funkyverse, so his version was botched and left him in agony for years afterwards. That’s the special twist on history we’ve come to expect from this feature, folks!

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/25/19

I sort of assumed I pretty much knew the lay of the land in the small, insular world of Hootin’ Holler, but apparently not? Apparently there’s a high-stakes card game in town that Snuffy has decided he’s ready for? Or maybe Snuffy, unfamiliar with the geography of the flatland world, assumes that “Las Vegas,” a city he’s heard about occasionally from Parson Tuttle’s television, is only a few more hours’ walk past whatever economically imploding mining town of 25,000 people or so is the closest metropolis to Hootin’ Holler. Anyway, we shouldn’t let this speculation distract us from the important point here, which is that Snuffy has gambled away his family’s meager resources and now they’re starving to death.