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October 9, 2007

Lose It As Quickly As You Urn It


Am I missing something, or is there a complete disconnect between the first and second panels? And what does airport security not checking the camera case have to do with the price of tea in China anyway?

(and for that matter, is there any possibility you’d be allowed to take an urn full of ashes — or so you claim — on board a plane as carry-on? Unless, I guess, this whole storyline has been retconned back to 1997)



  1. …and what does panel three have to do with anything?
    I mean, come on! I WANT A PUNCHLINE!
    It can be poignant, or thought-provoking, or profound, or even–gasp–funny…but if you draw a comic strip, give me a bleeping punchline!
    This honestly looks like three random panels he had lying around (I know that’s not how it works), and taped them together to meet a deadline.
    I give up on Funky Winkerbean.

    Comment by Jim — October 9, 2007 @ 4:32 am

  2. Actually, Bill, you can absolutely take cremated remains onboard in your carry-on luggage. The only requirement is that they have to be in a container that isn’t opaque to X-rays. The TSA will *never* open the container no matter what, even if you ask them, so it must be transparent to X-rays.

    All US airlines allow cremated remains in carry-on luggage, but only some allow them in checked baggage.

    Comment by Charlene — October 9, 2007 @ 5:30 am

  3. Oh, and here’s the official rule from the TSA:

    Comment by Charlene — October 9, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  4. The TSA will *never* open the container no matter what, even if you ask them, so it must be transparent to X-rays.

    And how many TSA employees would be able to recognize cremated remains, anyhow?

    They’d all spend ten minutes standing around comparing notes on dogs and grandmothers and God-only-knows what else.

    And I used to think that “now” was going to be 2007 and last week was going to have been 1997. Now I’m wondering if both “now” and last week are in 2007, since Les had to take his shoes off at airport security.

    Comment by PepperjackCandy — October 9, 2007 @ 8:52 am

  5. I have actually done this, we took my grandpa Tom back to San Francisco to be interred on a hill overlooking the city and the bay. Kind of freaked out the dude in the check in security point, but it wasn’t a problem.

    Comment by Gearyster — October 9, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  6. PepperjackCandy: Even prior to 2001 people had to remove their shoes to go through airport security if their shoes contained metal. Shoes of the kind Funky is holding usually contain a metal shank.

    Comment by John — October 9, 2007 @ 10:31 am

  7. Is the first panel “future Funky” reliving the past on his psychiatrist’s couch?

    Comment by Unbeliever — October 9, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  8. I’m not getting a disconnect here. It’s a continuing storyline, so I don’t expect the present and past storylines to match up strip by strip. After all, if you watched a movie with flashbacks, you wouldn’t be surprised that the flashbacks had no immediate relevance to the present.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — October 9, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  9. Batiuk does this a lot–carrying out these poorly paced storylines with no “punchline”–funny or otherwise–at the end of each strip. It’s quite confusing, although I think in book form it would be okay.

    Say what you will about FBorFW, but Johnston is the master at breaking up her stories–even serious ones–into four to six panel sections, with each one ending on a meaningful, funny, or otherwise signigifant note.

    Comment by Cedar — October 9, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

  10. Well he’s having a flash back but it still makes no sense at all :/

    Comment by Confessions of a Fashionista — October 10, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  11. No question about Lynn Johnston’s mastery of the last-panel message. As to Les’ TSA encounter, what I got was that his emotional attachment to the ashes morphs into an importance the rest of the world, much to his disappointment at that time, did not grasp.

    I’m still wondering how the ten-years-after calendar thing is going to play out.

    Stay tuned…

    Comment by O.B. Dan — October 10, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  12. I have, at least on two occasions, seen Garry Trudeau do this with Doonesbury — have a “timeline” kind of strip where there is one day’s strip that is simply four panels of time passing. Doonesbury, though, is an entirely different kind of strip compared to Funky, though. At least in my mind it is.

    *resident Doonesbury geek*

    Comment by Molly — October 10, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  13. #11 — O.B.Dan: I like that answer. It almost makes me wonder if Les half-wanted to be stopped by the TSA, just so he could get the burden of Lisa’s death off his shoulders by talking.

    Comment by El Santo — October 11, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

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