Somehow Funky Winkerbean Is Being Even More Like That

I remain absolutely gobsmacked at the goings-on in Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean over the past week and want to scream a little bit about that. Before I do, though, I repeat the warning I offered last week, that the story involves the discussion of the (fictional) victim of murder. Folks who don’t see why that should be part of their entertainment are probably making better choices right now. The rest of us, meet me behind the cut.

So. All right. Mitchell Knox, fan of Cleveland Local TV Personalities, just happened without realizing it to pick up the gun used to kill My Father John Darling, and that failed to kill Les and Lisa Moore. You know, as will happen when you’re a TV Personalities fan. He doesn’t want to showcase it which is the second piece of Knox’s personality that I can understand. (I’ll go along with ”is a fan of Cleveland Local TV Personalities” because everybody needs their weird niche interests and, I mean, I’m the guy with an opinion on every one of the King Features Popeye cartoons of the 60s.) So he tries passing it off to the daughter of My Father John Darling, who can’t imagine why she would want this in any circumstances ever.

Mitchell Knox, holding a gun: 'I found this in with some memorabilia I purchased from a collector! It's not the sort of thing that I collect ... ' Knox thinks: 'Don't mention the autopsy photos!' Knox shoves the gun at Jessica Darling and says, 'Here ... you wanted something ... take this!'
Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers’s Funky Winkerbean for the 22nd of September, 2022. What was the guy Knox bought this from collecting? “Stuff you’d think would be kept in the police locker because it was used for murder and attempted murder?” I mean, there are rules about the disposition of that kind of stuff, even in Ohio, right? Probably there are the rules turn out to be horrifying when you know them, though.

But also: “Don’t mention the autopsy photos!” To his credit, Knox succeeds. He gets through the week without telling anyone about the autopsy photos! Whatever the heck that’s supposed to signify. I’m not going to ding for the apparent logical hole that Les Moore wrote a book where he solved the murder of My Father John Darling so you’d think he would have seen anything of interest in the autopsy photos. An author has the right to retcon things to make for a more interesting story and if he’s figured a way to turn the murder of John Darling into something less cut-and-dried? Sure, let’s see it.

As a way of warning us there’s going to be a new thread in the saga of My Father John Darling? Knox’s “Don’t mention the autopsy photos!”, a rare glimpse into the thoughts of a non-main character, is a delight. I can’t believe this is the story we’ve got now and I have no idea where it’s going. The next time we see Knox he might give the daughter of My Father John Darling a long discussion of why Ghoulardi doesn’t rate being collected. He might give her My Father John Darling’s chair. He might sit upon the wall and moo. He might mention the autopsy photos. It’s bracing and while my jaw keeps dropping and I want to know what the heck is wrong with Tom Batiuk, I admit, I’m not feeling this curious about what might be in the next Bound and Gagged.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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