The Line Starts Behind You, Beardo

Link To Today’s Strip

Well, I’m no PROFESSIONAL WRITER or anything, but according to the definition of “kill fee” that I read, it’s more like a guarantee in case a writer’s work ends up not being used through no fault of their own. However, in the Batiukverse it appears to be a fee Les collects when he just doesn’t feel like working anymore, which is completely moronic on every level. So Les lives it up for a few months in a first-class, fully-paid for hotel suite, does no “writing” at all, then collects a “kill fee” when he decides to up and quit without any notice whatsoever? OK Tom, whatever you say. TB’s vision of “reality” gets weirder and weirder every day.

And then, just to remind everyone why Les is the most despised character in the entire history of fiction, he makes a little “joke” implying that’s he’s just exasperated to death by “Hollywood” and the “LFL” production. Always with the cynical obnoxious wisecracks, the Dick With Ears never fails to live up to his reputation. The jerk gets a golden opportunity just dropped right into his lap and all he can do with it is simper, whine and complain about it, non-stop. Utterly ridiculous and stunningly stupid, even by FW’s pitifully low standards.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “The Line Starts Behind You, Beardo

  1. So, if I sell a story to the New Yorker for $20,000 (or whatever), I can then withdraw my story shortly before publication, and get even more money? Why would any magazine have any content at all if an author can do double-dipping like this?

    This is just so idiotic it beggars description.

  2. Dulip

    I think Les means that he can PAY a fee to have the production killed.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    For a second I thought that maybe he’d have Les deliberately “tank” the project via some terrible writing, but FW Rule One…too complicated. But this whole kill fee thing, I mean wow, this could be one of the lamest FW contrivances ever.

    I also don’t understand why Clay Wallace isn’t beating Les into a bloody pulp then ordering him to get back to work or else. “I quit, gimme my fee”…what planet is Author Guy currently calling home?

    Dulip: Les paying the studio to NOT make a “LS” movie? I could almost see TB doing that. But he can’t possibly have that kind of money, he has a kid in college and one of those really shitty robin’s egg blue cars.

  4. Les signed the contract without fully understanding the terms? His agent must either be really stupid or really hate him. Either possibility seems feasible.

  5. sgtsaunders

    There’s a very good chance that all this “kill fee” nonsense was nothing more than a lead-up to todays shittly little joke. Les probably has a normal contract that provides for a “kill fee”, payable to the writer when the other side cancels the project. The question then becomes “how stupid is Les?” – does he really believe he receives payment for his quitting the project or was it all the aforesaid set-up. What’s probably more disturbing is Les’ vainglorious notion that without him, production must cease and the project must be shelved. Actually, without Les, the script can flourish at the hands of competent, yet depraved hired writers who shift the focus from cancer and Les to high school and Frankie, immediately casting Ron Jeremy as Frankie. “Lust For Lisa” takes on a new urgency with overwhelming sexual tension. When finally the cable debut finally occurs, it’s at 3 AM on MTV as a “coming of age” movie sans Les altogether, which should put Les in a straitjacket.

  6. Jeffcoat Wayne

    I agree. According to the way Clay Wallace puts it in Panel 1, the script will continue with or without Les. Didn’t Hitchcock do it that way a lot, start with a draft from one writer, then pass it on to another writer for embellishment until the original script barely existed in the completed screenplay? And what’s really behind all of this — Les can’t stand the idea that Lisa would live at the end. Christ almighty, once you’ve accepted the reality that the damn project has been renamed “Lust for Lisa”, what the hell difference do any other changes make at that point? Well, nice job quitting the script, idiot, guess you can kiss that Academy Award for Best TV-Movie goodbye.

  7. DOlz

    I’ve always described people like Les as follows; if you gave them a thousand dollars in fifties they’d complain because they weren’t twenties.

  8. DOlz

    I read the comments before the strip (it works better that way). I just have to say that Clay’s line in the first panel has to be one of the most sarcastic things I’ve ever read.

  9. So, we’re in for another week in which Batiuk defends his misapprehension as to what something actually means. It doesn’t really pay to expect him to really understand how the real world works, does it?

  10. Flummoxicated

    You’d think a genius like Les would talk to his agent or a contract lawyer first, instead of asking Hollywood Bigshot. Even Les’ butt face can’t bear to look at what’s happening.

  11. billytheskink

    I am actually kinda looking forward to Les attempting to collect his “kill fee” in ashcan issues of the Amazing Mister Sponge.

  12. bad wolf

    I’m with DOlz. This works much better if Clay is being completely sarcastic here.

    funky_2014-08-18 rev

  13. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    Fee??!!! If I were Charles Forster Kane there, I would SUE Beardo for wasting his time!!. AND ours!!

  14. Gyre

    Brave Sir Moore ran away!

    Les: No!

    Bravely ran away, away!

    Les: I didn’t!

    When writing rose its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled!

    I’m serious here, this is how it’s getting resolved. He’s just leaving.

  15. Charles

    So let me see if I’ve got this right.

    Les hated being a part of the production, but he thought if he walked away, he would have gotten no money for what he did. He fell asleep and had a dream that reminded him that there was an element in his contract that allowed him some kind of severance fee should he decide to leave before the job was finished. He decided to invoke this portion of the contract and now he’s walking away with said payment.

    It’s still stupid, and it botches what a “kill fee” is, but if this is it, it admittedly is far less objectionable than I thought it was going to be.

    I’m still amused by the idea that Les had to have a dream to remember what was in his contract. He couldn’t just read the thing.

  16. DOlz

    @Charles. “I’m still amused by the idea that Les had to have a dream to remember what was in his contract. He couldn’t just read the thing.”

    But, but Les is an English teacher, implying he could read would be logical.

    @Gyre, Nice Monty Python homage.

  17. You know, if you rearrange the letters in “loathsome” you get “Les Mootha.” Now, beady-eyed nitpickers will note that this is not the same as “Les Moore,” but since when has accuracy been a staple of this strip?

  18. Next, he’ll imagine himself taking his ball and going home from a strangely tiny baseball diamond.

  19. Gyre

    @Dolz, I was thinking about doing a longer one but decided it probably wouldn’t look good on something the size of a comment.