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.
For most people, a new year represents a fresh new start, but for Batiuk, 2014 is apparently the year he gets down to friggin' business in his flagship strip. After letting Crankshaft handle the majority of the despair over the past few months, January marked a return in force to Funky Winkerbean being the single most depressing thing in the newspaper. Not just the comics page, you understand, but the entire newspaper. Seriously, this month is all bankruptcy and land mines. Don't say I didn't warn you.