I'm getting the subtle impression that Frankie might not be a nice person…
Like the rest of you, dear readers, I cannot even begin to fathom what sinister plot Frankie has in mind. Something to do with besmirching St. Lisa's immaculate image, I guess. Interesting how TB's managed to intersect two plot threads, each having something to do with A Book By Les Moore.
I don't know whether it's "the picture of domesticity" but has Les ever looked douchier that he does in today's panel 2? I especially like how the Google Earth perspective accentuates his bald pate. Meanwhile, our story's other two-toned skunk head, well, just plain skunk, arrives on the scene, driving a car with that special windshield tint that makes everything look like it's on TV. Frankie's car must also have a sunroof, too: it's the only way to explain the weird shadows on the back of his head.
Tom Batiuk: If you could see my drawing board now. I've got a project that's going to come up starting the end of the year and it's really cool…Cory is in Afghanistan and [Holly's] looking to complete his comic book collection…So she's going to complete his collection of Starbuck Jones comics…I have seven covers that I've had guys create for me and it's such a kick.
Tom Batiuk Talks 'Funky Winkerbean', comicbookresources.com, Mar 19, 2013
Too bad Batiuk didn't bring in a pro to create a cover for Les' first book: it looks more like the cover of a book report by a fourth-grader.
…So where did we go this week? Well, Les dithered around uselessly and then started writing his script in the most mundane fashion imaginable. I can't believe Batiuk is actually going to do this. Never mind that he's going to show Les writing this script, but what he's going to have Les writing is godawful.
Not to mention improperly formatted.
Everybody can relate to the illness and loss of a close friend or loved one. And Batiuk did a creditable job of telling "Lisa's story" the first time around. Readers were moved; at least the ones who didn't object to such depressing content in the comics section. But TB, through his avatar Les, has spent the last five and a half years rehashing this story over and over again, as a book and then a movie, and Lisa's story has become All About Les. The book was a success, and adoring fans lined up for their signed copies. Then Hollywood sends him a fat check and lets him write the screenplay, despite his complete lack of screenwriting experience. All the while, Les carries on like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. After a week of dragging his heels, today the Delicate Genius can bask in the afterglow of having written a trite and stilted line of dialogue.
Does the "home run" fantasy indicate that what he's just written is the last scene? Doesn't the story end with Lisa dying?
Ooh, I got a leaked scene Les is working on! Let's take a look!
Int: Les and Lisa's apartment above the pizza place
(Lisa is checking her self in the mirror after the football tackle thing after she landed on her chest. Her handsome husband is in the other room, saying funny, witty things about stuff)…
Guess that leftover pizza did the trick! Les finally begins crafting a screenplay which so far happens to read very much like davidorth's "leaked scene".
Les' hilarious struggles against writer's block continue! If his self talk in panel 2 sounds a little odd, it's because he's merely repeating what he misheard as encouragement from Cayla.
From the FW Blog, Nov. 6, 2012:
At the moment, I’m hard at work on what is turning out to be a bit of a coda to Lisa’s Story. Events in the present will spark a sort of flashback/prequel which will crossover into real life with a visit to my old apartment in Elyria…as well as a crossover with Crankshaft thrown in for good measure. Oh, and lest I forget, a long lost character as well…Stay tuned.
Clearly Les does not share Cayla's excitement over his basic-cable movie getting a free plug on a basic-cable news network. Meanwhile, somewhere in Elyria, Ohio, "a long lost character" with Paulie Walnuts hair and wearing a wifebeater clutches a can of beer and talks to his TV. It can be none other than the despicable Frankie, Darin's biological father and St. Lisa's…ex-boyfriend? Date-rapist?
Tom Batiuk Talks 'Funky Winkerbean', comicbookresources.com, March 19, 2013:
I ended up writing a story where Frankie — he's been mentioned a couple times and has actually appeared in the strip very briefly, the guy who got Lisa pregnant — returns. In the return of that story we deepen the teen pregnancy story and say that it was a little more than just youthful indiscretion on Lisa's part. There was some coercion involved and it's like a coda to "Lisa's Story."
Guess we'll have to wait for TB to "roll out" the story to see how he retcons this.
I wasn't able to dig up a whole lot on the web about Frankie (he's not even mentioned on the Unofficial FW Fan Page, though Lisa's teen pregnancy is). I found the above strip from Act II, but can't provide any context on what their relationship was by the time she was pregnant with Summer.
I don't know how Hollywood works, nor do I pretend to know. Some of you readers, though, seem to have some insight into the movie-making process, and it's fun to compare and contrast that with Les' Hollywood "experience". I know even less about the network news business, so I'll just share my musings about today's strip.
For starters, how long has Cindy, I mean, Cynthia Summers been an anchorperson? Guess she's no longer "embedded". And is it just a little premature to be reporting this "news from Hollywood," considering that not even one page of the screenplay has been written? Do plans to make a made-for-cable-TV movie even qualify as "news from Hollywood"? And are news anchors allowed to report hometown gossip as "news"?