Speaking of Comics….

One of the recurrent storylines in Funky Winkerbean of late has been the quest of Holly, the wife of the strip’s title character, as she seeks to complete her son’s collection of the entire run of a comic book called Starbuck Jones. Her son, Cory, is serving in Afghanistan, see, so it would be the neatest thing if he could come home to his collection being complete.

So, every few weeks we return to this tale (amidst the usual glum and depressing stuff that goes on ’round Funkyville), and I always find it oddly amusing. In one segment, Holly got word that the comics store across town, the other comics store, the creepy one, had an issue that the town’s main store doesn’t. So she goes there and tries dealing with the proprietor, who is dressed like a rowdy biker-dude and stares at her as if he’s planning to fleece the living hell out of her for the issue he has that she wants. But he suddenly quotes a ridiculously low price to her after she tells her tale of filling the collection belonging to her son who is serving, and we get a look at the back of the guy’s jacket: he served, too.
Anyway, flash forward to the current incarnation of this tale, when Holly has gone to the giant mansion belonging to a guy named Chester Hagglemore, who is apparently the supreme comics collector of all time. Seriously, he lives in a house that looks like Mr. Burns’s mansion on The Simpsons, and Mr. Hagglemore himself looks like Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
I have to confess that I usually read FW for the same reason one slows down to stare at a bad traffic accident. The overall sense of existential gloom that overhangs the poor people in this down, and the way everyone’s prime coping mechanism seems to be to smirk at bad puns, is kind of affecting in a weird manner. But this particular storyline is actually amusing in an odd way. The idea of a comics collector with the Superman emblem on the wrought-iron gates of his mansion just cracks me up, and his rejoinder in the strip pictured above actually made me chuckle, which is frankly a very rare thing for Funky Winkerbean. So for now I’m willing to go along for this ride, setting aside my certainty that the story will end with Holly finally acquiring that last issue, the one completing the run, at which point she will stand back and look upon the entire run, secure in the knowledge that she has done a good thing for her son, a thing which he will just love when he returns home…and at that moment, the Army chaplain will ring her doorbell….

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1 Response to Speaking of Comics….

  1. Roger Owen Green says:

    Goodness, I HOPE it doesn't end that way. Especially with so relatively few fatalities in Afghanistan these days.

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