I read the comics every day. I read them all (except "Doonesbury," which I gave up last year to lower my blood pressure, and "Cathy," which just plain sucks). The comic at left is "Funky Winkerbean" which has around since 1972. I am convinced that the creator of this strip, one Tom Batiuk, is in serious need of some counseling and better medication. This strip is the most depressing theater I've ever come across. So depressing in fact, that it's now predicatable. Let's do a quick run-down on the panel above, and see if you don't agree with me.
The fellow on the right is "Wally Winkerbean," Funky Winkerbean's younger nephew. He ran off to the Army after he was involved in a drunk driving accident on the evening of his high school graduation. The accident claimed the left arm of his then girlfriend, Becky, to whom he is now married. Becky, seen here about to blow lunch, was a aspiring concert violinist who had just been offered a scholarship to Juliard. Wally got sent to Afghanistan, where his squad's helicopter was shot down apparently killing all aboard. Wally was reported as missing for about a year, during which time his Uncle Funky's marriage to the girl of his dreams, TV reporter Cindy Summers, crashed and burned due to his alcoholism and her manic-obsessive devotion to her work.
When Wally is finally brought back to the strip after being secreted in caves by the good Afghanis, he marries Becky, to whom the comic book store owner and weird loner was about to propose after he had sold all of his collection to purchase a ring.
Upon his return, Wally immediately suffered post-tramatic stress disorder, which he fortunately was able to overcome once he realized that what he really needed was to go back to Afghanistan to dig up and disable anti-personnel mines. Becky insists on joining him, even though it means that she will have to surrender her rights as a free woman. While roaming around looking for mines, Wally stepped on one and would have been blown to bits but for Khan, a one-time Afghani arms merchant who is now about to open a restaurant next store to Funky. Meanwhile, a large car bomb exploded in the village where Becky was administering to women and children. The bomb destroys the house of the little girl pictured here, killing her entire family. Wally and Becky instantly adopt the girl and bring her back to the States.
Hillarity ensues when Cindy Summers spends the holidays alone drinking in bars and wishing she could exchange her fame and fortune for a life that wasn't so awful and lonely.
The latest bit of bad news has just arrived in the form of a letter from the Army stating the Wally is going to be reactivated in because he was released two days before his enlistment ended. Hence, the "Happy Effing Valentines Day." Tomorrow, Wally will start binge drinking and beating Becky with his belt.
Now, do you agree that this is the most depresssing comic strip ever? No? Do you want me to tell you about the breast cancer incident? How about the pornography charge? It just never seems to get better for these poor characters. Well, maybe once in while somebody will smile and joke, but you can be sure that in a day or two the cosmic gloom will descend once more upon the wretched of Westview.
So, Mr. Batuik? Please. Take your medication, and seek out professional help. Don't make me go all doonesbury on your ass.
And Happy *&^%@*# Valentines Day yourself.