Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the ongoing commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.
Usually, Tom Batiuk prefers to highlight the more existential problems of the human condition like depression, alcoholism or being Les More, but September brought an interesting new twist: Physical violence! Yes, between the multiple concussions from football injuries, an actual attempt at vehicular manslaughter and the physical consequences of attempting to care about another human being, things get pretty rough for the Funkyverse this month, even by the usual standards. Needless to say, I am thoroughly delighted by this turn of events.