Westview’s Only Growth Industry

Today’s strip

According to a UCSF study, when it comes to funding medical research

Depression ($719 M), injuries ($691 M), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ($613 M) were the most underfunded.

If you visit this NIH funding report and click on one of the table headings to sort by actual funding, you’ll find that cancer research is well funded. Given how depressing this serious serial art form is, I might have a suggestion for a more worthy target for Funky Winkerbean’s charitable efforts.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to encourage donations to fund cancer treatment and research. It’s a generous and kind thing to do. But the constant droning of Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa… mentally drowns out the actual cause.

Not to mention poor Cayla (I thought I said not to mention her!). She’s barely visible in the background of panel 1, joyfully carrying a carton of T-shirts bearing her predecessor’s name, all the while about to be struck by a no-doubt suicidal falling leaf. At least the colorist remembered to use Fall colors for the leaves this time. Cayla’s daughter, of whom Cayla is the mother, is a barely differentiated smudge against the backdrop of The Gazebo in Westview (panel 2).

The titular character appears today, prominently displaying the effects of the contextual reality field that ensures he’s trim enough to run whenever the plot requires it. Don’t fret, though: he’ll be 75 pounds heavier the moment he returns to work at Montoni’s.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

16 responses to “Westview’s Only Growth Industry

  1. MKay

    And so we plod through another run, and then it’s over for a year. But never fear, the coming year will be spent unearthing yet more reasons to build that Lisa pedestal even higher.

  2. Only the chosen ones of the Blessed Saint Dead Lisa are permitted to touch her sacred relics.

  3. Guest Page Turner Author

    So Lisa is the only person from this town to have succumbed to cancer?

    It seems to be all about her and her family.

    Maybe there are other folks in this town who have lost loved ones, but feel their loved one is overshadowed by Lisa. In fact, not “maybe”, I KNOW there are families like that.

    This is why I can’t stand smug and self-centered people like Les and Summer, and to that effect, the author.

  4. flappy

    wonder if fishstick Ann will drag stroke husband out for push

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Get a load of Summer today, boing-ing around in a state of Lisa-celebrating ecstasy like she’s about to OD on sheer Lisa-loving exuberance. Meanwhile the dick with ears and that fat old weirdo with the headband stand there grinning moronically at Summer, marveling at what a fine young woman she’s become, even as Cayla struggles in the background lugging around boxes of precious Lisa paraphernalia with no help at all from either of them. Just another sickening, mawkish display of shameless Lisa worship, complete with Summer behaving like a six year old and Les’ sappy sentimental smirks.

    Then, almost as if to prove some sort of point, Lisa’s precious banner gets its own panel all to itself, just to drive the point home with extra emphasis. Perhaps while she’s running Summer can listen to herself reading her dead mother’s long-lost high school diary, just in case she missed any valuable insights or anything. I’m sure Boy Lisa would be willing to convert those files to an iPod-friendly format for her. After all, it’s all for Lisa.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Guest Page Turner Author: I seriously doubt Lisa was Westview’s only cancer victim…in fact I think it’s what brought ol’ Coach Stropp down a few years back.

    But she IS Westview’s only cancer vitim who is the subject of her own book, which not coincidentally is still available for purchase right now! But that’s a rant for another day.

  7. Gyre

    Well, Summer looks both her most feminine* and happiest here. Only took even more focus on Lisa to get that. Does she have a boyfriend or a girlfriend? What does she think of her classes? What’s the team like at her college? Hell, what’s her major? Anybody? Any details at all over the past couple of years?

    *Not in the sense that she has to look pretty but in the sense that the viewer can easily determine that she’s a woman.

  8. What is the name of this event again? The event that happens in the strip every year and is discussed frequently? I forgot.


    Didn’t coach Jack Stropp die of cancer a few years ago. He was the long time coach of Westview. Why no fun run for him? At least he was somebody that should be well know in the town. Other than die of cancer what exactly has Lisa done to make her life so noteworthy in the town of Westview?

  10. bobanero

    Isn’t raising the banner one of the first things you do for an event like this? It should have been done a week ago, not after most of the participants have already arrived. Anyway, hopefully he’ll only waste one week on this arc, and move on to something equally irrelevant next week, like the monsoon band competition.

  11. Orbiter

    Funky must have bought that headband back in Act I cause nobody wears that shit anymore. Or maybe he’s got one of those lady condoms on his head. There is some resemblance. And poor Summer and Les. Obviously a family of English majors cause she’s tying one end of the banner to the step ladder and Les is tugging on the other end and trying to decide if the banner is gonna hang itself. Maybe he’s just gonna stand there and hold it the entire time.

  12. billytheskink

    Using subtle suggestion to get Les and Sum to hang that banner up for you… very clever George Karl, very clever.

  13. I like to think that the banner has little tiny legs attached right at the middle of the bottom. That would be perfect. That, and the ineptness of the hanging, would make that a perfect FW panel, but for Funky’s idiotic smirk that Tom Batiuk just had to stick in there.

    Seriously, Tom, no one likes your characters enough to want to see their smirk cameos. No one likes them at all.

    Les and John Howard are pompous asses, but at least their pathetic nature is never masked. The rest of the cast resemble what’s typically found floating before the flush. Their adventures are always caked in idiocy and they themselves are eminently mockable.

    Lisa, though. I really hate Lisa. She’s always presented as completely perfect and I just get nauseated whenever she’s mentioned.

  14. John

    Funky: “You’re right, Summer. Using a supermarket broccoli rubber band as a headband -does- work.”

    Les: “For catching sweat?”

    Summer: “No, for cutting off sensation in the head. I’ve found it makes dealing with this day a lot easier.”

  15. Epicus Doomus

    Beckoning: Act III Lisa is bad, but to really appreciate the awfulness of her character check out some of his old Act II stuff. It’s unbelievably insufferable. The post office bombing arc is a perfect example. He never even once depicted her as being anything less than a shining beacon of wonderfullness.

    Summer is nothing more than his Act III Lisa surrogate. Other than the stupid basketball/tomboy bit, she’s just Lisa incarnate. The unselfish goodness, the radiant girlish glee, the fineness of her young womanhood, even the haircut. That’s why the other characters are required to sentimentally grin at her antics at all times, they’re just that moved by the similarites between her and her dead mother.

  16. Charles

    That blonde person in the background of panel one is horrifying. How can Batiuk even stand to do something so half-assed? How can he possibly have drawn that in and decided that that was acceptable?

    I’m also curious. Are we supposed to believe that Les and Summer run this entire enterprise? Les is totally in charge of the planning and ensuring proper permits and arranging sponsors, corralling volunteers, ordering all the proper materials and everything else associated with running an event in public? I can’t believe it, because Les would be whining about it a lot more than he usually does if that were the case.