Mala Adaptation

Hey all! TFHackett here, slingin’ the summertime snark for the next se’nnight or two. Let me start by offering kudos to Epicus Doomus, and to David O, Oddnoc,  and Beckoning Chasm, the Murderer’s Row of snark, for their brilliant contributions to SoSF!

Readers, remember how we’d bemoan Batiuk’s habit of weekly skipping from arc to arc, without ever resolving any of them? Well, the first half of 2014 has been taken up mainly by “Holly’s Kwest for Kory’s Komix” and “The Making of Lisa’s Story” (with a month-long detour into “Jessica’s Father, John Darling,” which at least was resolved, albeit in incredibly lame fashion).

Like TB, I have no working knowledge of the made-for-TV-movie making process, and I can’t wait for those of you who do to gauge exactly how many “quarter-inches from reality” today’s strip is.

Les meets the director and principal cast of “Lust for Lisa” (guess that wildly inappropriate title is going to stick), none of who can be bothered to stand and greet him. “Seth Wheeler” looks and sounds plausible enough. Then we meet “Mason Jarr”, har-dee-har-har (they couldnt afford Robert Downey Jr.). Mason’s no physical match for the real Les, but he’s already working on his disdainful smirk. “Sherry Carlyle” is a closer physical match to the titular character…and when I say “titular” I’m not talking about her bazoombas!

And who’s the peanut head? Why, he’s the catalyst for today’s “punchline,” which  in addition to being unfunny and leaden, is pretty cynical. Assuming that “Fox Spanish” is the IRL Mundo Fox, it’s not likely they have room on their schedule for a made for TV weeper, with or without a written-in token Latino character.

22 Comments

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22 responses to “Mala Adaptation

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Anyone who visits SoSF regularly knows I’m capable of coming up with some truly horrific puns and awful bits of wordplay in my post titles. But I’m strictly an amateur compared to TB. “Mason Jarr”??? I stand in line. In the main, I mean.

    “Lust For Lisa” says way more about TheAuthor than it does about Clay Wallace or “Hollywood”. Batom’s lust for Lisa has pretty much fueled the last thirty years of FW, as a matter of fact. Nice how he worked “SJ” in there but no John Darling? I mean why the hell not, it’s not like it would have made the strip any more senseless or anything.

    How could they cast a totally new character before the script has been doctored? And what does Clay mean by “if things don’t work out with CME”? I thought he was a bigwig there, it WAS what the entire last week was about…wasn’t it? TB is just so overstimulated by all this Lisa talk and Hollywood-bashing he’s lost what little coherence he still had and now he’s just babbling like an idiot and desperately trying to force jokes into spots in which they do not belong. I bet that whenever he’s doing a “LS” arc Mrs. B has to run around the house hiding all the pointy and/or sharp things just in case Mr. Batom gets too rambunctious and worked-up.

  2. Merry Pookster

    Really…. WTF is Less even doing there? He’s not needed with this talented crew and the story line is drifting further from Lisa’s Story week by week. Tom does live in a world of his own making….Starbuck Jones The Movie… Lust for Lisa?
    This is why I canceled my cable and went Netflicks.
    What a miserable existence.

  3. Mason Jarr – it really is a porno flick!

  4. DOlz

    Is there a plot line version of Mad Libs? I just wonder because that’s the only way I can this “writing” making it to print.

  5. I think Miguel is there because Clay figured there should be somebody in the movie people would like.

  6. Jimmy

    Tom strokes two of his egos with this one comic. I imagine the Starbuck Jones movie will have as much appeal as the Rocketeer.

  7. spacemanspiff85

    I kind of have a feeling all the stories about how great Starbuck Jones comics are is just so that when we see that Les is played by an actor who was up for that part, we just think Les must be really awesome.

  8. Epicus Doomus

    Do you think TB realizes he’s written Les into a no-lose situation here? I mean lost among all the cancer book angst and the bitter truth about Hollywood is the fact that Les comes out a winner regardless of what happens. If the movie turns out to be good he can take all the credit, bask in praise and be recognized for his cancer book again. If the movie sucks he can just disavow it and blame everyone else while pointing to the stupid title change and his book as proof that they were all just idiots who ruined his work. He gets paid and comes out on top either way. They value his input enough to give him first-class treatment, why not take advantage?

    Ha, just kidding. Les would never violate his cancer book beliefs for profit or material gain that way. Everyone knows that. Les will in fact “win” by foregoing that awful Hollywood loot in favor of standing by his cancer book principles, even if it means he’ll have to settle for being a lowly suburban high school teacher instead of a hotshot bearded Hollywood screenwriter making the cable TV starlet scene. Cayla will lovingly remind him that he definitely made the right call by favoring the feelings of a book over the piles of money he could have banked by just acting like a regular person for a change. Then they’ll smirk together and silently remember that time Lisa died and everyone will finally be right back where they started. Until another studio calls that wants to do a REAL movie based on the REAL cancer book, that is.

  9. Charles

    I find it telling that Batiuk remembers the strip where Clay suggests that they rename the movie “Lust for Lisa” (And how convenient that we weren’t shown how Les dealt with that decision being made), when he pretty much can’t keep any other element of this sequence straight. Did they already rewrite the script? Without Les knowing about it? Such that they would actually cast a major character Les was completely unaware of? What practical value is there in having Les there if he’s that divorced from what they’re envisioning? And when did Clay go from being a producer for this skid row cable network to a subcontractor hoping said network would pick up his project?

    The appalling thing is that Batiuk writes all of this stuff. The sad thing is that he seems completely oblivious to how terrible his strip ends up as a consequence. Is he even trying? Does he not care that a reader would ask that in all seriousness?

  10. Batiuk seems to take a perverse pride in his happy isolation from external influences that might corrupt the ‘purity’ of his work. This arc is just ‘proof’ that interacting with the world is inherently bad for his art and for himself.

  11. Professor Fate

    He couldn’t leave the starbuck Jones thing alone could he? Had to stuff that into this strip. Still that actor was up for the part of Starbuck Jones and is sitting there it means he didn’t get it. So how good can he be? Also it’s a crazy as saying well He was up for the part of Hans Solo but instead will be playing Mr. Chips in the new version of good bye Mr. Chips.

  12. Rusty

    Just more proof that Batiuk’s intended audience is Tom Batiuk.

  13. Jason

    Something tells me that Batiuk never bothered to google the name “Lust for Lisa”

  14. bigd1992

    Things more entertaining than today’s strip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVZr3WbMQ6w

  15. Saturnino

    >>Something tells me that Batiuk never bothered to google the name “Lust for Lisa”<<

    Maybe Les is hoping his item gets as much attention as the pron flick, or maybe he's banking on profits thru confusion.

    Of course, there might be a cease and desist coming, too. His "art" could have adverse effects on the original one if folks get IT by mistake.

    Then they would have to change the name to Alejandro does Lisa.

  16. Seems like TB read the Wikipedia entry on film options (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Option_(filmmaking)#Film_options) a year ago and is using that as his template for this very long and drawn out tale. Using that template, the producer is showing Les that he has lined up actors, a director and financing (this is an assumption). Of course, all of this could have been accomplished without bringing the author avatar to Hollywood, but then we’d miss out on the rants of life’s unfairness to the “anointed one.”
    So kudos to TB for a story I really couldn’t care less about.

  17. Charles

    Yes, one way to make this amusing would be to have Clay unabashedly turn this into a skin flick.

    “Les and Lisa end up adopting Miguel, but Lisa soon finds the rugged Latino boy irresistible. So she begins a hardcore intimate relationship with him. She does this and Les fails to notice this because he’s got his head jammed so far up his own ass. That’s actually why we cast Mason Jarr, since no other actor in Hollywood can shove his head up his ass like Mason can. Anyway, we’re figuring that the movie would be exploring Lisa’s sexual reawakening with the hot, oiled Latino pool boy she and Les “adopted”. Oh, and she doesn’t die of cancer. But Les has to die in order for there to be a happy ending for her and Miguel. We’re thinking auto-erotic asphyxiation, but we might just have him get hit by a bus. You know, I never noticed that your name is Les and the name of the protagonist is Les. Huh. Well, anyway…”

  18. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    Leave it to Batiuk to provide gratuitous cleavage, yet obscure it with a piece of paper.

  19. I still think Eddie Deezen would make a great Les. He’s annoying and unfunny and says things that make you want to punch him. On the other hand, he’s always smiling, and that won’t do…I can see someone making the case for David Spade.

    As for today, I think what we’re really seeing is that Clay knows he’s on the outs with the CME brass. They handed him “Lisa’s Story” as a punishment, and he’s got to make this appeal to someone, somehow, even if that means pandering to Hispanics. Out of the other side of his mouth, though, Clay is sticking it to the CME brass by bringing out a talentless hack connected with the book, and putting him up in a $500-a-night hotel. “Oh, I need his insight,” he tells them, trying to hide the giggling.

  20. @Beckoningchasm: Great. Now I can’t stop thinking of Les trying to destroy Dexter’s Lab.

  21. Epicus Doomus

    The big question is, how long will it take for TB to wrap this thing up? I’m guessing it has at least a minimum of three solid weeks, maybe longer. He could conceivably drag this out right up to band camp season which is right around the corner by FW standards.

  22. Hat tip to this post at the Comics Curmudgeon: “Mason Jarr is an actual actor – I checked IMdB. Judging from the movie titles listed, he’s in gay and bisex porn.” Google him with care, folks…there’s not a whole lot out there, but Amazon has a 1998 edition of Unzipped magazine with him on the cover!