Archive: On the Fastrack

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On the Fastrack, 8/17/19

Say, here’s a long-running comic that started out as a pleasant ensemble gag-a-day strip but evolved into a soapbox for the observations, wordplay, and general adoration of a single character, who can do no wrong. Sound familiar? You can almost see Les Moore’s goatee poking out from under the goth makeup.

Gasoline Alley, 8/17/19

And here’s one of those evergreen “snatching death from the jaws of life” narratives. After decades of frustration and reader agony, Rufus’s picaresque woo is finally starting to erode Mayor Miz Melba’s defenses. As night follows day, this triggers his slide into “pain relief pill” addiction and death. Can’t blame him for wanting to quit this world, though, after that “off ow your feet” pun in panel 1.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/17/19

And here is the genuine article, authenticated by its ten-year time jump, week-long Crankshaft flashback/crossover, and overwrought exposition that falls apart on a moment’s inspection. To wit:

  • “Stopping by” to give Crankshaft the funnel cake? Wait, weren’t Pete and Mindy just together at the fair? Has Mindy somehow moved into Bedside Manor?
  • “I love his ‘donut on steroids’ line.” But that was back in the day, and Pete wasn’t there for it. Do these two spend all their off-panel time chattering about Things Grampa Said? Oh God, they probably do.
  • “This is my engagement tiger that Pete won for me at the county fair baseball toss!” Got that, Gramps? Not, “We’re engaged!” or “We brought you a funnel cake!”, but a recap that manages to be both incomprehensible and wrong: a) Pete didn’t win the tiger, the carny gave it to him out of pity, a genuine real-world thing that happens every day; b) “I was planning to propose to you tonight …” is not a proposal, and “My engagement tiger?” is not an acceptance. (Funkyworld people do this weird proposal-not-a-proposal thing all the time.)

In all the confusion, it’s not clear whether Crankshaft is giving Pete the thumbs-up for a) his incompetent pitching, b) his incompetent wooing, or c) successful delivery of a funnel cake. My money’s on the cake.

Judge Parker, 8/17/19

Enough Funky — it’s the triumphant Apartment 3-G reboot! I like the buff new Papagoras! But adult women don’t really dress like the twins here, and since when is Margo the blonde?


Hi there! I’ll be sitting in through Wednesday the 28th while Josh takes a well-earned rest at bucolic Undisclosed Location, far up in the northern part of the state. Reach me at uncle.lumpy@comcast.net with any access issues, etc.

— Uncle Lumpy

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Spider-Man, 11/30/18

Ridiculous get-up? Check! Paralyzing insecurities? Check! Unreliable super-powers? Check!

Looks like our Spidey has met his match!

Mary Worth, 11/30/18

“Dr. Jeff is an emasculated tool” Mary Worth is the best Mary Worth.

Now before anybody gets all “ditch the cat,” let me remind you that Mary once dumped a very promising boyfriend because he didn’t share Mary’s passion for seafood. And I’m betting Libby has no problems chowing down the chum. What’s more, Libby doesn’t seem to be allergic to Jeff, does she? So who’s at fault here, really?

If this gets any better I may wet myself.

On the Fastrack, 11/30/18

Dethany cruelly taunts co-workers who died of starvation.

Mark Trail, 11/30/18

Ol’ Sleepy-Eyed José is sounding sketchier by the minute: “Um, guys, those kids you asked me to take to Santa Poco? Well, we all got there, but they’re not with me anymore. They’re in some kind of trouble; don’t ask me what exactly: maybe they stumbled onto something? Certainly no murderous motorcyclist knife-throwing gang leader is chasing them across rooftops — that’s ridiculous, why did I even bring it up? Anyway, get up here quick — and by “here,” I mean a place I’ll call and tell you all about later!”

But Professor Carter will take any excuse to abandon his rest-stop-men’s-room headquarters for a ride in that sweet diesel crew-cab, with the air turned up to blast away the urinal-cake smell.


Guys: find yourself a girl who looks at you the way Dethany looks at donuts.

— Uncle Lumpy