Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Blondie, 3/25/18

I’m pretty much in awe of Blondie’s grim determination to constantly wedge in references to whatever noncontroversial current event is going to be happening when its strips are published, presumably weeks or months after they’re actually written. I hope that you, like the cast of Blondie, are enjoying “Final Four week,” the week-long celebration of the Final Four that we all know and love! I also hope that you’re in awe of Mr. Dithers’ ability to bounce a bound paper report up and down like a basketball, in violation of all laws of physics. People are gonna ask, “What’s the key indicator that what we’re seeing is some kind of ‘heightened reality,’ perhaps a hallucination or spirit vision?”, and most people are gonna go for Mr. Dithers’ six feet of vertical lift in the next-to-last panel, but for my money it’s him bouncing that unbounceable report, and by merely calling Dithers a “pretty decent dribbler” Dagwood is showing some profound disrespect.

Funky Winkerbean, 3/25/18

“Look, do you want everyone in this town dead of heart disease by 55 or not? I thought you were on board with the Montoni mission statement.”

Mary Worth, 3/25/18

Wait a minute … Wilbur is lonely and depressed, abandoned by his daughter and girlfriend, haunted by his many failures, and Mary is going to … take him to the top of a cliff … and have him contemplate his sad, broken life?



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Mary Worth, 3/21/18

Good lord, I love how angry Wilbur looks in the second panel of this strip. How dare anyone write into his advice column complaining about loneliness when he, Ask Wendy himself, is the lonely one? The loneliest one? Let me ask you this, Ask Wendy advice seeker: were you grifted and betrayed by your hot Colombian lover, only to come home to discover that your ex, who you had dumped for said hot Colombian and who you assumed was eagerly waiting for you to come back to her, had instead gotten together with some hot dude who’s twenty years younger than you and also fabulously wealthy? Were you abandoned by your daughter, who’s leaving to spend months in Italy with some non-tenure-track academic who she isn’t even fucking? You’ve got a lot of nerve thinking you have problems worthy of America’s greatest part-time syndicated (?) advice columnist!

Dick Tracy, 3/21/18

It’s not luck that Dick Tracy survived his brutal dragging, doc; it just wasn’t his time. Call it fate, call it divine intervention, call it what you will: the point is that God wants a lot more violent deaths, and Dick Tracy is His instrument, carrying them out without remorse and with the full force of the state behind him.

Funky Winkerbean, 3/21/18

Naturally, Chester the Chiseler’s agenda for Darin and Mopey Pete is that he wants them to head up the new comic book company he wants to launch with his comics-collecting riches, and naturally they’re a little bit reluctant to do so, though the fact that they left the tenuous, low-paying world of print comics for big-budget superhero movie riches weirdly never comes up. I like this strip because the second and third panels illustrate the Funkyverse pessimism spiral perfectly. First, Pete points out, quite reasonably, that launching an entirely new franchise of comic books is a risky proposition, especially as the new company won’t have established beloved characters it can use to provide baseline revenue. But then Darin starts yammering about how everything is doomed to failure from the moment of creation and my god man we’re walking corpses, each and every one of us

Hi and Lois, 3/21/18

I had a whole post ready to go about how it’s weird that Hi and Lois wouldn’t even tell the twins about a gift from their grandparents, and that maybe Hi’s parents are estranged from the Flagstons and send a card every year to their grandchildren, trying to maintain that relationship, but Hi and Lois never show it to kids and have told them that they’re dead, but then I got to the second panel, where Trixie is contemplating the economic structure that the terrifying society of crows lurking on the front yard employs and I realized the family has much bigger problems.

Mark Trail, 3/21/18

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely getting a villanous vibe from Mr. Marlin Creed from the Eden Gardens Zoo for some reason. What do you think his angle is? Do you think he’s going to try to eat that elephant? Is the “Eden Gardens Zoo” just what he calls his restaurant, where serves up delicious elephant meat to his discreet and well-heeled clientele?

Gil Thorp, 3/21/18

So the Social Justice Teens are planning on providing their own coverage of Milford basketball games that will serve as an alternative to Marty Moon’s racist on-air banter. The only flaw in the plan is that they … don’t know anything about sports? CHECKMATE LIBERALS

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Funky Winkerbean, 3/6/18

Here’s a fun fact: I’ve been running a comics blog for a 14 years now, and so a lot of people assume I’m a “comics guy,” but what they mean by “comics guy” is someone who has lots of opinions about comic books, especially superheroes and such. And I don’t, really! I was never a big comics book obsessive, and the comics I did read were some of the squarest ones around — Superman and the Flash were my favorites. And truth be told, there are very few specifics I even remember about the stories or characters in those books (unlike, say, Mary Worth, where I could go on in great detail about plotlines from more than a decade ago).

But one thing I do remember very distinctly is the process by which I bought said comic books. I got a $1 a week as a comics allowance, and the corner store up the street sold comic books in two forms. On the one hand, I could get a new comic book for 75 cents, choosing them from a rack that had all the latest issues prominently displayed. On the other, I could get three for a dollar out of the box on the floor next to the rack. The ones in the box were anywhere between a few months and a couple years old, and had the covers torn off. I always went the latter route: I was a quantity over quality guy, plus the $1 allowance vs 75 cents mismatch was too much for my little brain to handle. (Now I see I could’ve gotten a second new book every third week, but I guess we hadn’t gotten to that chapter in math yet.) This meant that I generally read random comic books that were in the middle of multi-issue arcs that I never got to see begin or end, which honestly really prepared me for the present day, when I’ve been able to enjoy Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther despite not having seen the previous 17 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Anyway, I was always vaguely aware that these coverless comic books were somehow illicit, but I guess I have to give thanks to today’s Funky Winkerbean and the Funkyverse’s comics obsessiveness in general for finally teaching me what the scam they were pulling was. Anyway, we’re about to be treated (?) to another Funkyverse time-jumping crossover, where presumably we’re going to learn that one of the Funky Winkerbean’s more unpleasant characters is the way he is because of a childhood encounter with Ed Crankshaft.

Mark Trail, 3/6/18

“Now, Wilhelm was of course already disoriented and injured from having been involved in a traumatic train wreck. Probably he should’ve received medical attention right at the site of the accident, but it was in such an isolated, rural area that he and his friends had to wander through wilderness just to reach human civilization. And then the first people they saw fired a gun at him! It was loaded with rock salt, so it would just scar Wilhelm for life, not kill him, but of course he had no way of knowing that. He almost certainly thought he was going to die! We can all laugh about it now, of course. Well, not Wilhelm, he’s still a little steamed about the whole situation for some reason.”

Beetle Bailey, 3/6/18

Shout-out to Beetle Bailey for giving Plato the names of three real ancient Greek philosophers. I actually love Plato’s facial expression here; it’s exactly what you’d expect from a guy whom everyone just calls by the name of the only Greek philosopher they can remember or pronounce.