1. I’ve never followed Crankshaft, so it took my a while to realize that the reason those two prim teenagers are sitting so chastely on the couch is because they are siblings. At first glance, it looked like Batuik had gotten so old that he had completely forgotten why guys ask their girlfriends to watch horror flicks. The girl is almost certainly Mindy, but I couldn’t confirm that with 100% certainty, because Crankshaft shifted to GoComics only just recently (on January 1st), and the archive there is nowhere near complete.

    P.S. The other bit of surprising news (possibly related to Crankshaft’s move away from King Features) is that Batuik discontinued Funky Cancerbean at the end of last year, using the Christmas Sunday strip for a group photo, and filling the rest of the week with a maudlin plug for his book “Lisa’s Story”.

  2. Another weird thing about the Batiuk world was that for quite a while the two strips were operating in timelines shifted from each other by something like five years on their internal histories. I probably saw an explanation of why at some point, but don’t remember it at all. He put it to use at times for cheap effects like “instant foreshadowing”. Anyway, another thing that happened at the end of 2022, in the time frame Kilby describes, is that he did something to close the gap and re-sync the two, just about at the very end of Funky.

  3. The Non Sec only half works for me. The Rebel Without Applause part is fine! But what does “Shakespeare in the Punk” supposed to do? First, is it playing off the longstanding “Shakespeare in the Park”? The words aren’t close enough, and this is clearly indoors anyway. But even on its own terms, what does it mean to be IN the Punk?

  4. Punk Rock of course, but “Shakespeare in Punk” would work better, like “Shakespeare in Jazz” or “Shakespeare in Rap”. But then it would have to play on “Shakespeare in Park” which is no longer an outdoor theater production; it would be Shakespeare as a vehicle that won’t move. The more I think about it the less it works.

  5. @Kilby: Those aren’t prim teenagers in Crankshaft, they’re married 20-something parents. They had to move back in with his parents after the pandemic forced the closure of the revival theater they owned. I think Mindy is the one standing.

    @MiB: Punk Shakespeare would definitely work. I’d go see it. It would probably be a little like Baz Luhrman’s Romeo+Juliet. Rap Shakespeare would be just like Hamilton. I remember a scene in Cosby Show spinoff A Different World where somebody delivered Juliet’s balcony speech in the slang of the time. Worked pretty well.

    Jazz Shakespeare: Hipsters, flipsters and snap snap finger-poppin’ daddies, knock me your lobes.

  6. DemetriosX mentions: Baz Luhrman’s Romeo+Juliet.

    One thing I remember positively from that was the script’s creativity in adapting what might have been anachronisms. Whenever someone would refer to his sword, he would flash a gun, which carried the embossed brand name “SWORD”. (OTOH, I think they were required to pronounce it with the w sounded, which felt just silly.)

  7. @ Mitch – I would rather write a Master’s thesis on Marvel’s contortionist efforts to retroactively reconcile five decades of contradictory comic book authorship, than to try to piece together the contradictory timelines of a formerly comic strip that ceased being funny somewhere between 15 to 30 years before it ceased publication.

    P.S. @ DemetriosX – Thanks for the clarification, but it only further muddied my understanding of the identities in this strip. I figured that “Max” was the guy on the couch. If Mindy is standing and Max is absent, then I have no idea who the couple is supposed to be, but since it’s really not necessary to know who these people are to get the silly pun, please do not enlighten me any further. 😉

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