October 11th, 2012

Snarky Candiru2

A doctor, a flashlight and Wally’s return: Why I won’t miss Funky Winkerbean, Part Four

As I’ve said, most of what seems to irritate Batiuk is his clear belief that he’s being treated unfairly because he’s writing a drama instead of a comedy. To hear his avatars tell it, the world is loaded with silly people who want to giggle and laugh and deny just how hard life can be. That being said, what most seems to annoy him is the insinuation that people are less inclined to reject the strip because it’s a drama and more because of his chronic failure to do any sort of research and blithe unconcern over the fact that the events of the strip cannot plausibly have taken place in the present day as he has written them. Take, as by way of example, his most glaring failure to live in the same world as the people whom he seeks to enlighten. He seems to have seized on an old news story about how the Vietnam war-era United States Army had deliberately sent misidentified remains back home to families and not realized that the resulting scandal meant that they were pretty much forced to take steps to prevent a reoccurrence of said events. Since the man is too stuck in the past to admit that just maybe the Army wouldn’t simply ship Becky a headless cadaver home and tell her that it was Wally, he smugly blew off letters about how DNA testing would make nonsense of his “Wally Guerre” plotline by a snotty comment about how since he was writing it, facts were secondary to his need to settle scores with people.

What really hurts is that he thinks that he’s done telling the story of Wally’s return now that he’s more or less integrated back into society. He hasn’t done that in the least because there’s a question that it doesn’t seem to have occurred to him to answer: who the Hell is buried in what they used to think was Wally’s grave?! His inability to see that the question deserves an answer is, sadly, part of a pattern. After all, he has yet to show any sign that he’ll answer questions like:


  • At what point did Funky turn into a greedy, apathetic, entitled sourball who treated his stepson like a piece of crap?
  • How long did it take Les to stop going through the motions and start living again
  • When did Mooch Myers do whatever horrible thing he did to Incredibly Hot Mindy from Crankshaft?
  • When did Becky marry Comic Book John?
  • Should we be looking at Wally and thinking about the movie 'The Manchurian Candidate'?

This inability to see glaring logical flaws and questions we need to have answered, I should think, is the real problem with the Time Frog. Instead of actually telling a dramatic story about a man learning that life is still worth living, we bore witness to a magic act straight out of a crisis crossover wherein we were exhorted to believe that history is bunk. What's even more irritating is that the same thing seems to be happening in the spin-off strip.