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FunkyWatch: March’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyMar

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.

I'll admit it, folks. I did not think it was possible. After February rocked through the month with an actual appearance by Death itself, I did not think that things could get any darker. Oh, what a fool was I. Not only do things get darker this month, but they go with a full-on body count of 16 people, plus the potential for even more cancer than before. And that's before we get to the torturous pain of Crankshaft. I'll warn you now, everyone:this is not the day to stop sniffing glue.

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FunkyWatch: February’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatch

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.

You might think that February might not lend itself all that well to the Funkyverse's usual brand of complete and utter soul-crushing despair. I mean at the very least, there's Valentine's Day, and we should at least get a few strips about lovey-dovey romance and happiness, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. February may be the shortest month, but that just means that Batiuk and Ayers have to work even harder to cram every ounce of existential dread into their comics -- and just in case you think I'm exaggerating, consider that DEATH ITSELF MADE AN APPEARANCE last month, and that's not even the weirdest part.

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FunkyWatch: December’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyWatch

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.

One of my Christmas gift this year came from devoted FunkyWatch reader and radio DJ Evan "Funk" Davies, who gave me a year-long membership to King Features' Comics Kingdom website. Not only does this give me access to an archive of high-res Funky and Crankshaft strips, but it also means that I can have those strips emailed to me so that they're the very first thing I see when I wake up every single day for the entirety of 2014. Maybe "gift" is not the right word, but "Christmas horrifying curse" doesn't really sound right. Either way Batiuk and Chuck Ayers closed out this past year with all the uplifting joy you'd expect from a month marked by bitter cold and seasonal depression. Let's get to it!

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FunkyWatch: October’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyOct00

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.

You know those episodes of Buffy about how demons and vampires tend to take Halloween off because they see it as amateur night? It seems Tom Batiuk is the same way. Rather than building up to one single tragedy when we're all in the mood for horror and hauntings, he spreads the misery out, focusing on different vignettes about the slow death of joy in Westview -- and also his strange delusion about how high school marching bands are something a lot of people care about.

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FunkyWatch: August’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

FunkyAug00

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.

As summer (jokes about explosive cookouts) fades into fall (jokes about homework), August finds the Funkyverse in a transitional period. While there are a few storylines going on in this month's strips, they're mostly just getting things in order for the next big stories -- but since this is Funky Winkerbean we're talking about, that just means that instead of horror and depression at what's actually going on, it's horror and depression about what's going to happen.

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FunkyWatch: June’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ Comic Strips

FunkyWatch

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.

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FunkyWatch: May’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ Strips

funkywatchmain

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.

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FunkyWatch: March’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

funkymar

Thanks to Josh Fruhlinger at the Comics Curmudgeon, I started reading Tom Batiuk's long-running newspaper comic strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, what started as a strip full of wacky high-school hijinx

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FunkyWatch: February’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

funkyfeb

Thanks to Josh Fruhlinger at the Comics Curmudgeon, I started reading Tom Batiuk's long-running newspaper comic strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, what started as a strip full of wacky high-school hijinx

Read More

FunkyWatch: January’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

funkyjan

Thanks to Josh Fruhlinger at the Comics Curmudgeon, I started reading Tom Batiuk's long-running newspaper comic strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, what started as a strip full of wacky high-school hijinx

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