All syndicated newspaper comics artists have to submit their strips at least a few weeks in advance. Most, not surprisingly, go right up to the wire of what they’re allowed to do, but some leave a longer buffer. I admit that this is only a rumor I’ve heard secondhand, so I’m not saying I’m sure this is true, but the consistent rumor really is that Tom Batuik has a full year-long buffer for the Funkyverse strips, so he can get in the spirit of the holidays as he writes twelve months in advance. Normally this isn’t a big deal, as one Christmas is pretty much the same as the next, but over the past year, as a global pandemic brought exactly the sort of disease-based gloom we expect from the Funkyverse into our reality, the disconnect has been kind of striking. I’ve assumed that, like many strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft would just ignore COVID-19 rather than be caught a full year behind the times but … what if they won’t? What if we’re about to see last year’s rollercoaster of panic and confusion play out for us amongst Crankshaft’s family and bus driver pals? Wouldn’t that be incredible? And by incredible I mean “extremely disturbing, please don’t do this, why on earth would you do this?” Well, buckle up, because here we go! CORPSES IN THE STREETS OF CENTERVILLE EVERYBODY
I relate far too well to Poulet’s seemingly out-of-place expression in panel two. Sometimes, when you spend far too much time worrying about something that you’re not sure will ever really happen, even if it’s a bad thing, just knowing that it’s a real possibility and you haven’t wasted all that anxiety on a mirage is a relief!
Hi and Lois, 1/25/21
Speaking of facial expressions, I am genuinely cackling at Hi’s slack-jawed shock in panel one here. “I cannot believe I married this naive simpleton,” he seems to be thinking, just barely capable of holding his tongue so as to prevent an open marital rift.