What’s a Hemingway?

Major props as always to Beckoning Chasm, and to David O, Epicus Doomus, and Oddnoc, for helping me keep the snark fires burning every day!

As the first autumn leaf drops, Les and Cayla pack up the old porch swing.  What is surely intended to be romantic small talk could be read as icy, dismissive sarcasm with the addition of some quotation marks:

I’m glad you’re home, “Hemingway”…I missed you while you were “doing your Hollywood thing.”

After all, Les’ ultimately doomed movie project once promised big bucks and dreams of stardom. Instead, he’s back in Ohio with nothing to show for his time in LaLa Land.

On a side note: every Sunday strip since August 3 has had these black borders around the panels…is Batiuk finally copping to how morbid and depressing his strip is?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

15 responses to “What’s a Hemingway?

  1. bad wolf

    Dammit, a whole week about a comic book and you can’t do your trademark rip-off copy? What happened to you, Batiuk. It had a lion-headed Superman, for Chrissake. Can’t think of anything amusing about that?

  2. Mason Jarr

    What is possessing them to put away their porch swing? Is this a real thing? And if so, wouldn’t it make sense to wait until winter approaches?

    In my experience, fall is a great time to sit on your porch swing, smirking to puns while watching the leaves fall and the bricks be bricks.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Those black borders really are annoying. A huge waste of ink, too. I like how Dickface seems to view his total and utter failure as some sort of victory. Everything is exactly the way it was before and nothing whatsoever happened. Great job, Les.

    I also like how Cayla waited two weeks to finally ask Les about what went on during his summer-long stay in Hollywood sans wife. To describe this as being unrealistic is a vast understatement, but then again Cayla is just a plot device and not a “real” character, therefore it’s asking a lot for her to suddenly start acting like one now. I do know that watching those two interact always makes me queasy, but you get that with any Les strip, really.

  4. Coco

    In an interview in a British newspaper Richard Widmark (on the occasion of a retrospective of his films in London a few years before he died) mentioned making a movie with Marilyn Monroe early in her career. He said she flirted with a lot of people but not with him. A sweet way of putting it.

  5. Les, let me put it this way: you’ve heard the joke about the starlet who was so stupid, she tried to get ahead by sleeping with the writer? Even she wasn’t dumb enough to come on to you.

  6. HAnzMFG

    This weird couple sexy talk is awkward and ego-stroking, and all the more stomach-churning when you remember that Les is admittedly Batiuk’s author avatar. Funky Winkerbean is like some blue-collar version of 9 Chickweed Lane, with a lot more comic books and less leggy Shakesperian ballet dancers.

  7. @Epicys Doomus
    A huge waste of ink, too. I like how Dickface seems to view his total and utter failure as some sort of victory. Everything is exactly the way it was before and nothing whatsoever happened. Great job, Les.

    That’s the problem that these people have. They view any sort of deviation from the status quo as a horror beyond mortal comprehension because it might lead them out of the safety of their one-stoplight town. If Les had succeeded, he might have actually learned to like different things and that would lead to hating the old and that would be the WORST THING EVER!!!

  8. Merry Pookster

    Okay…. repeat observation/comment…. but Cayla in the second last panel is pure Caucasian. This is why we don’t see Kiesha or any members of her family…they are still Black.

  9. The idea that anyone, anywhere, at any time might find Les Moore attractive is ludicrous to the point of ridiculousness.

  10. Rusty

    Kim Kardashian thinks Cayla has had too much plastic surgery. This is the second year in a row that we are treated to the ceremonial storage of the porch swing, correct? Batiuk loves his internal tropes. I sense a visit to the gazebo coming up.

  11. Howard and Nester

    Hopefully the thickness of the black borders will just keep slowly increasing until Funky Winkerbean is just a solid mass of black. Except for the intermittent creepy shots of Cayla Jackson’s face, the only entity in the strip proven to resist blackness.

  12. Epicus Doomus

    I remember wondering how BatBrain was going to handle his Cayla problem. He was never able to draw her consistently (especially the hair), which was a problem if she was going to marry Les and remain a regular in the strip. The solution? He just Lisa-fied her by 50% or so…problem solved! It’s tough not to laugh at how utterly passive and oblivious she is, her husband spends the entire summer living large in a five-star luxury hotel suite and hobnobbing with Mason Jarr, then he comes home after accomplishing nothing and she doesn’t care in the slightest.

  13. Charles

    What gets me about this is how this is the second or third time Les and Cayla have had this conversation and at no point has it seemed to be good natured teasing. Les takes his wife seriously as she asks him if attractive women were coming after him, assuring her that that didn’t happen because there weren’t any women interested in him. And she apparently asks him in all seriousness. She really wanted to know if Les had any easy opportunities to cheat on her. And of course, Les, upon taking her question seriously, doesn’t reassure her that he wouldn’t cheat on her. Instead, he punts on the question of whether he’d cheat on her and just points out that he never had the opportunity.

    This pair really doesn’t love each other. That’s the only conclusion that explains their behavior.

    Admittedly, Cayla’s line does read as somewhat of a joke, but by consistently answering her question as if it were serious, Les destroys whatever joking tone it might have had, turning it into a genuine inquiry. More troubling behavior from the delicate flower.

  14. Can anyone translate Les’ dialogue? “Actresses don’t sleep with writers…at least, they didn’t with me, unless I’m the only one.” Seriously, what does that mean?

    It’s like Tom Batiuk had two punchlines and couldn’t decide which to use, so he just said, “Oh, I’ll use them both!”

  15. Epicus Doomus

    Charles: nailed it. No couple on the face of the planet acts that way. As has been pointed out, their conversation might be somewhat believable if they were obviously joshing around, but you never get that vibe from those two. So if he’s aiming for that, he fails. And if he isn’t he fails too.