Archive: Funky Winkerbean

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Crankshaft, 8/22/18

I’m all for seasonally recurring gags in the comics — since I’ve moved to Southern California, one of the few signals I get that we’re transitioning from summer to fall is when the moms on Crankshaft’s bus route go into their training routine to prepare to get their children to school safely despite the district’s steadfast refusal to fire their most incompetent employee. Still, I feel like today’s strip has lost the plot a little bit? I mean, if you feel like you need to work out your anger towards some overly aggressive personal trainer (or possibly towards some middle aged lady who won’t try hard enough) in your comic, more power to you, I guess, but let’s not forget to include a little Crankshaft content in there!

Dennis the Menace, 8/22/18

Casually mentioning within Dennis’s earshot that Henry and Alice never wanted kids in the first place is one of the more menacing things Mr. Wilson has done in a while, you have to admit!

Funky Winkerbean, 8/22/18

It never took Mr. Dinkle this long to “drive all the way up the east coast,” if you know what I mean! (I mean sex. Mr. Dinkle had sex with Holly’s mom and as a lover was both generous and efficient.)

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Funky Winkerbean, 8/20/18

Time has, it goes without saying, not been kind to the core cast of Funky Winkerbean, the ones who were all in high school in the original, carefree iteration of the strip, and even though they look extremely wizened and beaten down, I guess they’re supposed to be at the oldest end of Gen X, now in their early 50s. This puts them squarely in what’s being called the “sandwich generation”: forced to simultaneously care for both their belligerent and confused Greatest Generation parents and their smarmy, unlikeable Millennial children. You’d feel bad for Funky and his cohort if not for the fact that they themselves are also completely and utterly insufferable.

Mark Trail, 8/20/18

Hmm, Rusty, did you ever think that maybe Becky is selling the copies on the black market as an elaborate sting operation to catch the artifact-rustlers who have been plaguing the Yucatan for far too long? I mean, she’s not, of course, because everyone in Mark Trail is exactly as villainous as they appear, but still! Anyway, I’m enjoying the vision of Becky spending years making and discarding two-dimensional copies by just jamming them into a photocopier, shaking her head and waiting for the day when technology finally catches up with her criminal ambitions.

Slylock Fox, 8/20/18

It’s bad enough that the animals rose up and largely exterminated humanity and then moved into our cities and took over our civilization as if it were theirs. But now they’re erasing our history, producing films that imply Cleopatra and her subjects were something other than full-blooded H. sapiens. I know casting minority actors isn’t always “convenient” for directors who have a core set of performers they usually work with, but I’m sure that Slick Smitty is available and more than willing to wear a wig.

Pluggers, 8/20/18

Oh no, I know this movie is nearly 20 years old and this point but it’s still avant-garde weirdness and pluggers will not be able to handle it. Abort, plugger, abort! Reruns of Matlock are on all afternoon, why not settle in for them instead

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Funky Winkerbean, 8/16/18

At some level, I am sympathetic to the dilemma facing Funky Winkerbean here. We live, after all, in a world where it’s almost impossible to avoid transnational brands. Even a generation ago, Funky and Holly might’ve been likely stopping off at a public rest area to have a picnic lunch; but today even most state-run rest stops are just food courts with a collection of national fast food franchises, and many people avoid them and just head straight for whatever cluster of chains awaits just off any interstate exit. The options for the chronicler of daily life on the road in 2018 are to depict the brands in a matter-of-fact way, and thus serve essentially as an unpaid marketing arm for a megacoporation, or to avoid referring to any particular real company, and risk ruining the sense of verisimilitude. Or, you know, you could take the tack today’s Funky Winkerbean does, which is to build a whole joke around one specific company’s consistently bland omnipresence, but then instead of using the company’s actual name you use a fake name that nevertheless lets everyone recognize the company you’re actually talking about. I wouldn’t advise you to do that, but you definitely could!

Mother Goose and Grimm, 8/16/18

That’s right, everyone, in the Decalogue YWHW commands His people to “not have any other Gods before me.” Yet in Las Vegas, we are all helpless for the God of Excess, impelled to bow down before the glowing neon and the crass, gargantuan architecture! Roz’s hairdresser is guilty of the sin of idolatry! And, uh, I guess she did one of the sex ones, too, probably.

Spider-Man, 8/16/18

Uh oh, looks like the Golden Claw-Kingpin partnership is running into the sort of snags that often arise when two organizations come together as equal partners with no clear lines of authority or decision making. Looks like Kingpin is going to have to follow up Murder By Committee with another best-selling management tome, Too Many Thugs Spoil The Murder: Why Gang Alliances Need To Establish Clear Delineation Of Responsibility So They Don’t End Up Shooting Someone And Then Setting Them On Fire For No Reason.

Six Chix, 8/16/18

Not sure what I’d say if I accidentally picked up a lit candle, guzzled hot wax, realized after it had seared its way halfway down my gullet what I had done, then vomited it up only to realize in horror that the wax was solidifying in my esophagus, leaving me with a hardened dangle of wax down my chin that I would no doubt paw at with increasing desperation until I asphyxiate, but to my mind “Oh for gosh sakes” would be a little too mild!