It’s 1999. The gang is playing touch football, and Lisa is hit hard and goes down. She loses consciousness for a few minutes and when she wakes up she says “Les, I just had this terrible dream. I died, and after I was gone you aged very badly and became a pathetic loser who creeps out our daughter.” Les assures her none of this will ever happen, she adds “and Les, let’s sell all our dot.com stock right now,” and the strip continues from there.
January 3, 2008
January 1, 2008
Updated: Okay, so I was promptly informed that Summer did not in fact throw Les a human heart, and that what looks like one in his hand is merely the design on his sweatshirt (which still doesn’t explain what she’s throwing in panel 3, what he’s picking up in panel 5, and what he’s looking at in panel 7).
But here’s what I’m really wondering now, and maybe because of my near-legendary lack of artistic skills (seriously, you’d rather have Les as your quarterback than have me as your Pictionary teammate):
When you take a photograph, I can understand how an unfortunate camera angle can give you tree branches appearing to come out of somebody’s ears, or two heads appearing to be attacked to the same body, or somebody seeming to be holding a human heart — because that’s what the camera is “seeing” at the time.
But when you’re drawing a picture, starting with a white sheet of paper and adding exactly what you want to add, how do you just happen to end up with, say, Les holding a human heart? How are you not aware of this as you’re drawing it?
This really is a serious question, and not a criticism of Tom Batiuk. I sincerely do not know how this sort of thing happens, though it clearly is not uncommon.
December 24, 2007
Honestly there’s a bit of CIDU here because I’m not sure whether Dan Piraro intended this as a “There’s a War on Christmas!” whine. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say no, though, because it made me laugh.
I really do believe that Tom Batiuk is leading up to Les being not just embarrassingly eccentric, but mentally ill — ever since, in fact, that bizarre adventure in Manhattan “ten years ago.”
Which of course will make these strips a lot less amusing in hindsight, the same way all those jokes about Ronald Reagan’s memory and attention span lapses were funny until it turned out he had Alzheimer’s.
December 19, 2007
Okay, see, since pretty much our first impression of the middle-aged Les/Summer relationship was kind of creepy, and she came right out and called him creepy, it’s difficult not to read a strip like this one other than through ick-colored glasses.
Les really has gone too long without a woman.
November 29, 2007
This isn’t that week.
November 27, 2007
This week-long Harry Dinkle Rakes His Leaves adventure begs the question of who’s been raking them all the years before he retired (and let’s ignore for a moment the fact that he retired ten years ago although he’s acting as is this is a new development).
My prediction: The next debilitating illness Funky Winkerbean will address is Alzheimer’s: Harry has actually been raking his leaves and mowing the lawn and watching television for the past ten years, but every day he forgets ever having done these things before.
November 25, 2007
Okay, while last week’s photo business bordered on the creepy, but could have been interpreted as Les simply trying to embarrass his daughter, Summer’s comment in today’s strip…
November 23, 2007
October 29, 2007
The strip has jumped ahead to 2017 by which time, apparently, Greenwich Village has become a solidly heterosexual enclave and the running of the Halloween parade is now in the hands of people who couldn’t get tickets for Comic Con.
October 17, 2007
October 13, 2007
Assuming Tom Batiuk, like most of the rest of us, has had his fill of Dark Funky… Les calls Cindy, the only person he knows in New York. She helps him through the next few days, they become close, and eventually she decides that the life of a television reporter isn’t what she really wants from life — and that a life back in Ohio with Les might be (thus fulfilling the common writer fantasy of the high school nerd ending up with the high school beauty queen).
Les’s visit to the psychiatrist is taking place on the tenth anniversary of Lisa’s death and is occasioned not by any depression or life crisis, but because he wants “validation” for his desire to move on and ask Cindy to marry him. When the strip restarts, one of the first storylines involves 15-year-old Summer and step-mom Cindy learning to deal with one another. Les is happy, and it was Lisa’s quarter that brought him to Cindy and helped him resume his life.
October 1, 2007
Put her out of her f****** misery already. Seriously, it’s perverse to torture even a fictional character this way.
September 30, 2007
So… Is Tom Batiuk responding to criticism of his comic strip’s storyline showing a major character slowly wasting away from a terrible disease (in which case it’s clumsy and really, really isn’t working), is this intended as irony (and the Catch-22 of irony is that it’s very difficult to say it’s not working), or is he just completely clueless?
By the way, in case there’s anybody who hasn’t seen Funky Cancercancer…