1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Funky Winkerbean - warning: spoilers

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bill Horton, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. Bill Horton

    Bill Horton Active Member

    Warning: spoiler alert

    OK, please don't let this erupt into one of those "I hate that comic, it's so stupid, you're a dumbass, no you are" type of threads.

    If any of you have been following Funky Winkerbean ....

    Lisa died today, after a long fight with cancer.

    Yeah, its just a comic strip, but ... for someone my age (46) who sort of grew up with Les, Lisa, Funky and the rest of the gang, it's a reflection of our generation, a sort of mirror of our lives, sort of like growing up with the characters in Bruce Springsteen's songs through the years. Those are the friends and family we grew up with. Funky's divorce and battle with alcohol. Having children and watching them grow up and go through the things we experienced. Failed dreams and relationships. Starting over. Those are our struggles, too.

    I can't imagine seeing my own wife go through that, losing her that way, leaving our boys without their mom.

    Yeah, I cried when Lisa died. I've cried every time I read it for a week. I knew it was coming, but I still cried. It brought back memories of my grandma, who helped raise when I didn't have a mom. My grandma died of breast cancer when I was 18. I knew it was coming, but it still hurt. It still hurts.

    OK, so maybe I'm a total sap. But that could be my wife, or your wife or mom or sister, or even your husband, father or brother. My wife coaches a boy who lost his father to breast cancer. Soon my wife will skip a major local race so she can take her cross country team to run the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure. The kids will take turns pushing one of their teachers in a wheelchair. The teacher is on her second round of chemo and she's lost all her hair. Without some sort of miracle, she's dying. In many ways, the way she is dying, with her spirit and her courage, is the miracle. The kids need to see that. That's not just death. That's real life.

    Yeah, Funky Winkerbean is just a comic strip.
  2. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Funky was one of my favorite comics when I lived in Kansas City. Our paper doesn't run it, so I've lost touch with it over the years, but damn, that's sad. I guess maybe I should check out yahoo! comics to catch up.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I haven't been in a city that has that strip for decades. I never realized it got that heavy. I remember Funky as a Shaggy-type character and Les as an uber-nerd. I do catch For Better or Worse occasionally, it's kinda on the heavier side, too.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I hardly ever read the comics anymore - I've documented my thoughts on here about the demise of comics since Calvin and Hobbes went away - but I read them today and wow.
    RIP Lisa.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    It was a well-documented and thoughtful look into Lisa's passing and pretty good stuff all around. Problem I have with Funky is that there's so much pathos and tragedy in what used to be the band candy and Noah rains during the big band competition comic that it loses its impact a bit. Now if the author wanted the strip to evolve into more than Hi and Lois, that's fine. But I think he swung too hard in the other direction.

    At least they let Lisa go. Grampa Jim over at For Better or For Worse is apparently doomed to an eternity of limbo, since they've started the hybrid live/flashback strip concept. What was once the best ongoing story strip has devolved into a sanctimonious mess in the last few years, and that's a shame.
  6. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    Jim had another stroke today in FBOFW, I think he's "going" soon.
    I read most of the loose threads will be tied up.
    I like the hybrid strip, best of both worlds.
  7. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    Bill, you didn't spoil a thing. Batiuk has been pretty upfront since summer that Lisa was releasing this mortal coil and joining the choir invisible. Having been through this with my father two years ago, it hits and it sticks.
    I worry now about what follows, with Batiuk planning to jump the story ahead 10 years (Summer being of high school age by then). Methinks Les has a pretty good medical malpractice case, given the test results screwup - may Lisa's doctors put Summer through college.
  8. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    I've been reading Funky for a long while now, and this story line struck me like no other has.... I was choked up after reading today's strip. Batiuk handled the whole storyline with such grace and compassion, and closed every loophole in the story from Lisa being reunited with her son Darin and her parents giving closing to her saying Les could remarry - eventually.
    My grandmother died from cancer several years ago - she was 83 and we're thankful it took her quickly so she didn't have to suffer much. I'm interested to see how Batiuk handles the strip for the 10-years-forward jump.... it should be fascinating.
    And for what it's worth, I read FBOFW, too, and I think Grandpa Jim, unfortunately, will be checking out soon. I don't think they'd have him living like a vegetable after a second stroke.
  9. rallen13

    rallen13 Member

    If Grandpa Jim does die, it will be the second death in the strip. A few years back, their dog died saving one of the kids. Gasoline Alley is letting its people die off in normal aging fashion. And even Crankshaft has a neighbor with Alzheimers who had to be placed in special care. Batiuk, et. al. have treated death with dignity and respect in their strips, but to have two (Funky and FBOFW) at the same time is flirting with morbidity just a bit. I miss the "funnies". There is enough real sad already. With that said, we will miss you LISA. And peace be with Les and Summer.
  10. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, some of the characters in Gasoline Alley have to be 120 by now.
  11. rallen13

    rallen13 Member

    Actually, dooley, they really are dying them off. Walt Wallet (who adopted Skeezix) is the oldest one in the strip, and lost his wife Phyllis in 2004 (at approx. age 104) and now he is under care due to Alzheimers. And Skeezix is definitely showing age. During the 70's and 80's, the characters did briefly stopped aging. But when the current writer Scancarelli took over, the natural aging was restored.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Jesus, Doc has to be 135!
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page