God Bless You Mary Sue, Wherever You Are

Link To Today’s Strip

This one’s a real puzzler. Why would BanTom resort to an Act I retcon job here? Les wasn’t a “published author” until a few years ago, so his retconned Mary Sue memory is less than totally irrelevant here, not to mention totally out of place. I think Mason was just trying to be polite, or perhaps it’s just nervousness over being forced to ride in that very unsafe-looking Batiukmobile while Les is all hunched over the steering wheel in a most peculiar way.

I can’t believe they’re already on their way to visit the Winkerbeans. I figured it’d take weeks if not months before the story progressed that far. Then again, you know he’s just chomping at the bit to get back to those comic book fantasies again. After all, it’s been like a week and a half since comic books were front and center. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that we’ll see a big box of comic books by the end of the week. Call it a hunch.

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25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “God Bless You Mary Sue, Wherever You Are

  1. Nathan Obral

    So I’m guessing that Batom®, vis-a-vis St. Les the Righteous Smirker, is whining about he still isn’t being recognized publicly despite drawing two comic strips with corny titles that are deliberately awash in misery? Cause that’s what it looks like to me…

    Batom® is starting to suffer from the early onset of Frank Bolle Face-Melting Syndrome (just look at St. Summer the Invisible Golden Flash yesterday!), so it’s unsurprising that he can’t draw a car or it’s occupants correctly.

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    When Les was suffering through his book tours years ago Batiuk made a point of having one woman after another throwing themselves at him because of his celebrity, so this is yet another example of Les being a jackass.

  3. Since Mary Sue here will grow up to be the butt of a “ha-ha, look at the girl who wouldn’t give Les the time of day in high school, she’s old and fat now!” joke, I fully approve of the humiliation she’s causing.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Spaceman: Yeah, it would have made more sense to do a book-tour-launch signing retcon, maybe something where a “Lisa’s Story” fan gets his name wrong or something. This “Act I Les was a loser with the ladies” thing makes no sense at all given the context here.

    But of course, none of it makes any sense to begin with so why start now? I mean think about it. Mason will be starring in the SJ film, a film based on an obscure and not very well-known comic book title. It’s (presumably) already been written and the director will tell Mason how he or she wants him to play the role. So “researching” the complete SJ collection for the sake of the role makes no difference and not only that, no one’s going to notice or care about how true the film is to the source material, as no one even knows who or what SJ is. I mean did every actor who’s played Batman need to “research” every Batman comic to nail down the nuances of the role? Of course not, as that’d be silly.

  5. Gyre

    Question, is anyone else getting a warning about potential clickjacking attempts with the Disqus system on Comics Kingdom? I’ve been assuming that it’s just some paranoid antivirus software, but it’s been close to a week of this now. And I’d contact Disqus instead… but this is Disqus we’re talking about. I’m pretty sure if I tried to contact them to get it fixed they’d deliberately put viruses on my computer just to spite me.

  6. He wasn’t talking about your childhood!!!!!! (*Facepalm*)

    Batiuk, don’t even try this flashback stuff. These two Les Moores are not the same. It would probably be more effective if Les was still the humble, nice guy he was (until Act III)….but he’s NOT! He’s an arrogant, cackling, punchable, no-nothing-know-it-all, ugly, pasty sad sack of potatoes like everybody else in this strip!

    I know I’m ranting, but Batiuk’s so-called “writing” makes me rage! Where did he go WRONG???

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    I really hate these kinds of strips. Batiuk wants us to feel all “Oh, poor Les, girls never gave him the time of day in high school”. Except that was forty years ago, and Les hasn’t moved on one bit. I get the impression that when Les is sitting next to Cayla watching TV, he’s brooding internally about that tramp Mary Sue and how she ignored him. When you’ve been married twice and you’re still bitter because a cute girl in high school didn’t notice you, you have serious issues.

  8. @SpacemanSpiff85: While it’s sort of terrible that Les/Batiuk still defines himself as who he was in senior high, at least he’s not as bad as Lynn Johnston what with HER wanting to get back at people for what happened in the third grade OR Sparky and his resenting stuff that happened in utero. It seems to be a law that comics writers are resentful jerks.

  9. @Paul Jones: (*Thinks it over*)

    ….Nah, I think Batiuk’s worse. Much worse.

    Allow me to explain. FW has got several “attacking the audience” strips out there. Even if Tom doesn’t name any names, even if the attacks are not so explicit, they’re there all the time. ONE example of this is that one Sunday strip of late-Act II Les reading the “funny pages” to a bald and declining Lisa at her hospital bedside because they “always made [her] laugh”. And another example is that one recent FW strip where he fired shots at a comic book writer who didn’t complete his hero’s story or something. The final panels: (Kid) “I got this far, I might as well finish it.” (Comic Book Seller) “Why? The writer didn’t.”
    I guess that last one was supposed to be funny and satirical? Probably not, but maybe it was? Whatever the case may be, he just comes across as judgmental and mean! Not to mention a bit hypocritical.

    And I don’t know much about this one, but did Tom really go on a rant one day and start calling people “jobless bedwetters” and stuff like that? Or is that just a Comics Kingdom RedRonin thing? Because if he really did something like that–I know they’re just words, but come on!–that reflects a mean spirit and some serious immaturity going on.

    Just my two cents.

  10. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    They can’t go anywhere without bring recognized and mobbed – Elvis and published authors.

  11. Professor Fate

    This is very odd and makes not one whit of sense. And really what the hell does what happened in high school have to do with being recognized by other people? In the world of the strip he’s the town’s most famous person with his books and his my dead wife Lisa’s cancer cancer cancer run which everybody shows up for. Really, is he such an bottomless pit of self pity and narcissistic need which no amount of fame or recognition or just personal accomplishments can ever fill? Oh wait. This is Les we are talking about. So of course he is.

  12. DOlz

    @ComicTrek,
    “I know I’m ranting, but Batiuk’s so-called “writing” makes me rage! Where did he go WRONG???”

    When he started to take himself seriously, lost his sense of humor, and became a “writer”.

  13. billytheskink

    Since Mary Sue here will grow up to be the butt of a “ha-ha, look at the girl who wouldn’t give Les the time of day in high school, she’s old and fat now!” joke, I fully approve of the humiliation she’s causing.

    Thank you for bringing up a strip that highlights TB at either his most forgetful or his most awful (or both).
    Just under two years prior to that “ha-ha, stuck-up hot blonde cheerleader became an obese brunette” strip, Mary Sue was front-and-center at the 198… 1978 Westview High Class reunion, looking much blonder and much smaller. Whether or not TB forgot that Les and Mary Sue would have run into each other at the reunion (he totally did), the point stands that he did this to a long-forgotten tertiary character for the sole purpose of making Les look better… which is awful.

    On the positive side, in addition to Mary Sue’s justified ignorance of Les, his Act I football helmet haircut remains kinda funny to look at. Put a yellow stripe down the middle of it and he’s the worst Iowa Hawkeye of all time.

  14. I guess Mason’s just trying to be nice, but seriously, out of all the many thousands of “published authors” that exist, how many of them would the average person recognize just from glancing at the thumbnail photo on the back cover? I can’t really think of a single author since Ernest Hemingway or Truman Capote that I would recognize on the street. J.K. Rowling could sit next to me in an airplane and I wouldn’t know who she was until I asked her what she does for a living.

    Anyway, it’s obvious to me that TB started this strip with the middle panel and made some weak attempt to make a joke around it. Even with Mason Jarr the Movie Actor® in town, we knew this arc would really be all about Les somehow.

  15. bad wolf

    @ComicTrek–i’m pretty sure the “jobless bedwetters” line was from the beloved CK commenter RedRonin, which works in tandem with another commenter that accuses him of being Batiuk everytime. The joke, in both cases, having gotten so old by now that i wonder if they’re actually just the same anonymous commenter?

    The comments Batiuk has made on his blog, interviews or through mouthpieces like Susan vis-a-vis the “Wit” production or DSH John are more along the lines of “beady-eyed nitpickers” and “hidebound literalists.”

  16. Nathan Obral

    @Paul Jones: “While it’s sort of terrible that Les/Batiuk still defines himself as who he was in senior high, at least he’s not as bad as Lynn Johnston what with HER wanting to get back at people for what happened in the third grade OR Sparky and his resenting stuff that happened in utero.”

    The main difference is, Charles “Sparky” Schulz legitimately dealt with depression and anxiety disorders throughout his life. And he was able to fuse humor (and VERY dark humor, at that!) with introspection in “Peanuts”‘ glory years.

    Sparky and Lynn Johnston were also close friends, and a case could be made that FOOB (and Johnston herself) started its decline right around the same time Sparky died. The differences between pre-2000 FOOB (not the “new-runs”) and post-2000 FOOB are VERY noticeable, IMO.

    Unless Batom® is legitimately suffering from something serious that no one knows about, his “woe is me” retcon depictions of Act I Les Moore (and possibly himself) is nothing but “me first” baby boomer self-absorption at its worst.

  17. Epicus Doomus

    Oh yeah, I remember the “Mary Sue got fat” strip, another weird LesTom “revenge fantasy” centering around how much Les has “grown” since Act I. If I recall that arc correctly, most of his “fans” were lumpy disheveled idiots, which says a lot about something although I’m not sure what.

  18. @Nathan Obral: Very good point. IMO, Peanuts is gold!

  19. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    @Nathan Obral: Good post. Charles Schulz had a huge effect on comic quality IMHO. He set a standard of quality that comic artists felt inclined to match.

    Charles Schulz was one of the most underrated writers in American Literature. He really did know how to create good characters and use dramatic tension. A comic strip I reference a lot is an old 70’s Peanuts strips where Woodstock and Snoopy get angry over reading War and Peace one word a day. This strip’s concept may have seem ludicrous on the surface but if you read the strips, there was legitimate human emotion and characterization in it. And it still had humor! Those strips were written better than some movies and TV dramas.

  20. @Bad Wolf The comments Batiuk has made on his blog, interviews or through mouthpieces like Susan vis-a-vis the “Wit” production or DSH John are more along the lines of “beady-eyed nitpickers” and “hidebound literalists.”

    You know, an interesting way to interpret that is “I wish my readers just sort of casually glanced at my work, rather than actually read it or look at it in depth. I hate it when my work gets a lot of attention.”

  21. Epicus Doomus

    beckoningchasm: Ahh yes, my “under the radar” theory. I think that’s it exactly. IMO he goes out of his way to deflect and avoid attention except when that attention is 100% on his own terms. He pops up every now and again to trumpet one of those annoying “prestige arcs”, the ones he WANTS attention for, but otherwise he likes being anonymous and (largely) criticism-free. The occasional puff-piece gives those unfamiliar with FW the impression that it’s delving deep into “real life” issues (like the ones you and I face every day) when in fact it really isn’t delving into anything at all other than ways to avoid telling stories like a regular person, another example of which (no spoilers) you’ll see in tomorrow’s offering. And he resents those who call him out on FW’s often-shoddy excuses for stories, not necessarily because he wants to defend them but because he hates having attention drawn to his lazier and more slip-shod offerings (which over the last seven or eight years is all of them).

  22. Hadda Mae Kapupe

    I had also seen an interview or conversation with Batso where he mentioned going by RedRonin on discussion boards. I think there’s something to it. Only a few years ago, Batsy would log in and comment on the forums. Around the time he stopped using his own name, the Ronin character appeared. How personally Ronin takes the comments is the tipoff for me.

    Just sayin’. I have no actual DNA evidence. I’m not Dick Tracy – the crimestopper OR the comic book deliverer.

  23. Gg83

    I’m wondering if Les is attempting some weird sort of humble-brag here. Like, “Oh yes, as a published author I absolutely get recognized all the time, it’s just that since I was ignored all through high school I’ve never really gotten used to this new fame.” Which is pretty ridiculous, since, as bobanero pointed out, authors are generally not recognized by the public, at least in comparison to the way actors are. (And that’s not because “oh people these days just watch TV they don’t actually read anymore kids today why back in my day we never blah blah,” but simply because you can actually *see* the actors when they perform, whereas when you’re reading a book the most you see of the author is, possibly, a brief glimpse at a picture on the back cover.) But ridiculous as that is, it’s the only way I can make any sense of what Les is saying.

  24. Charles

    I’m surprised that Batiuk doesn’t realize how insulting this is to Lisa and Cayla. Well, I understand Cayla because he’s never shown any compunction about how badly Les has treated her, but apparently being married to Lisa did nothing to curb Les’s resentment toward women or his feelings of romantic worthlessness.

    And if Batiuk really wanted to show Les as the unjustly overlooked great guy with terrible self-esteem, rather than the entitled shitbag he actually is, he would have had Les never resent Mary Sue for ignoring him because he knows he was totally not worth being noticed.