Dinner’s Surprising Reappearance

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, now yesterday I’m sure you were thinking, “BChasm says it’ll get worse.  How can it possibly get any worse than this?  It just isn’t possible.”  Well, there you go selling Tom Batiuk short–a mistake you’ll probably think twice before committing again!

And here, today, we finally have it–the entire reason for The Coming Reunion.  Once more bringing out Lisa’s battered corpse so that the whole enterprise can be The Les Moore Show, starring Les Moore, with Special Guest, Les Moore!  “Hey, Les, enough catching up.  Let’s talk about you and your feelings.”

This is truly nauseating.  The space that the slogan occupies on the poster implies that only two people have died from Les’ class (leaving out the fact that Lisa apparently wasn’t in Les’ class).  And so, let’s make sure that the proper one gets worshiped.  Livinia must NOT grab any attention!  I do like the little touch of Lisa herself helpfully pointing with her eyes just where the book should go, then beaming her approval at Mary Sue.   And isn’t it nice that Livinia won’t distract from Lisa by having her own book all about her how her spouse suffered and moaned.  Like the Highlander, there can be only one–even if that one went to a different high school, and graduated in a different year.  Every occasion is an opportunity for Les worshiping Les (assisted by Lisa).  But like the prior question repeatedly asked–why do they need to have a reunion, they see each other every day–there’s another question raised by today’s episode.

Why would Mary Sue Sweetwater need to leave a copy of “Lisa’s Story” for the “In Memoriam” display?

Everyone from Les’ class, as well as everyone else in town, already owns a copy.  They know the story, they are completely aware of it at all times, and they have allowed it to become the dominant narrative in their own lives.  Hey Bull, got turned down for that job?  Well, I got it worse–“Hollywood.”  “Oh, you’re right–Sacred Lisa was about to have her story commercialized.  I’m so sorry for you, Les.”

The Coming Reunion story has now fully grown from a silly story about too much nostalgia into a really creepy episode of self-worship.  (Hey, “Les Whipfors,” a new character.)

My mutant ability to see tomorrow’s Funky Winkerbean (worst X-Man power ever) ends at this point, so I have no idea if I should issue a warning about tomorrow or not…but considering the ride we’ve been on, I think it’s wise to be prepared.

By the way, if you want to see the full cover of “Murdering Les Moore for Dummies” it’s right here.   Before you ask, yes, the fonts are off as it was adapted from a similar book made years ago.  But hey, if Tom Batiuk can recycle things without a care, I guess I can too!

39 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Dinner’s Surprising Reappearance

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    I’m really surprised Batiuk didn’t include a link to buy your very own copy of “Lisa’s Story”. Of course he probably assumes anyone still reading this strip already has it.
    For tomorrow’s strip, I’m expecting an homage. Except instead of a comic, it’ll be the Pieta, with Les holding the body of Lisa.

  2. Told you. The slogan is “Some fat not Forgotten.” That is some bad penmanship right there!

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Ahhh yes, “Lisa’s Story…the book (actually a collection of previously-published comic strips) that just keeps on giving. What a terrific idea for the reunion! This way, if anyone dares to get too happy, they can thumb through Les’ cancer book to get themselves in that special Westviewian mood. “Hey! Remember all those wonderful high school memories? Well Lisa doesn’t, because SHE’S DEAD!!!”.

    Remember, the award-winning “Lisa’s Story” (the real one, not the fictional one) is available wherever bound collections of comic strips are sold! Re-live the time her hair fell out! Re-experience the thrill of watching Boy Lisa opening mail for two weeks! Reminisce about the Sunday strip featuring her futile radiation therapy! Vomit as she calls Les “Spanky” for the millionth time! It’s all there, every maudlin Lisa memory in one handy reference tome! Get yours now…life is short!!!

  4. Nathan Obral

    Wow. Today’s strip is so self-absorbed, it can double as a Maxi Pad.

    Maybe I’ll stop by the Crocker Park Barnes and Noble tomorrow afternoon and see if this caused the singular copy of “Lisa’s Story: How I Murdered A Character In A Pathetic Attempt at a Pulitzer Nomination” to be sold. My hunch is… no.

  5. Nathan Obral

    And for those who didn’t read what I posted a few weeks ago… I stopped at said B&N recently to buy a few things. Stopped by the comic book collection section, and one copy of “If I Did It: Lisa’s Story” sat on a shelf along with about three copies of a Crankshaft collection I wasn’t interested in looking at.

    And for added punctuation, Ground Zero Comics (the real-life Komics Korner, only with actual customers and operators who are above reproach) had a copy of “The Complete Funky Winkerbean: 1975-1977” up on a shelf… not that I was interested in looking at it, either.

    Maybe that’s why Batom® did this disgusting attempt at a marketing tie-in. He needs more sales on the book that lowlights the only notable mark of a rather underachieving career… where he murdered a key character for no apparent reason.

  6. I really, really hope that when Mary Sue gets that book back, she finds that the pages have been doodled on, slashed, used as toilet paper, and dog-eared.

  7. Apauled

    I’ve only been reading this strip for a year or so (somehow seems much longer, though) — was the woman in the other picture (Livinia S[omething] Jessup) a character in the story?

  8. DOlz

    In case of accidental poisoning I’ll be using these strips in the future instead of Syrup of ipecac.

  9. Rusty

    Anyone remember when Mary Sue appeared at a Les book signing for Lisa’s Story? She’s a super fan! This might be her autographed copy!

    And no, Livinia Whoever was never a character in the strip.

  10. Actually, Livinia appeared in the very first Funky Winkerbean strip. (A helpful commentator posted that strip.) I don’t know what actual impact she had on the strip, or even how often she appeared, but at least in this one instance, Tom Batiuk is trying to keep the continuity straight.

  11. Jimmy

    Liviana and Roland are instantly more likeable than any character outside of Kili.

    Of the regulars, my favorite is a self-absorbed recovering alcoholic who still doesn’t understand his hubris caused the collapse of his burgeoning business and several relationships.Oh, and his best friend makes him look meek by comparison.

    What does that tell you?

  12. billytheskink

    I am increasingly receptive to the theory that Livinia actually faked her death just to get the hell away from these people.

  13. ComicTrek

    @beckoningchasm: Yeah, but it’s a shame that he only kept Livinia consistent to kill her off.

  14. Jon I Am

    My Down syndrome sister died at the age of sixteen in late 2002. My parents were devastated, but even they, in all their grief, haven’t dwelled endlessly on that death like Les has obsessed about Lisa. Yeah, you lost your wife to cancer. It’s tragic and it sucks, but LOTS OF PEOPLE LOSE SPOUSES FROM CANCER. Get over yourself!

  15. Great. Super. “ALL HAIL SAINT DEAD LISA, THE ONLY DEAD PERSON TO ACTUALLY FUCKING MATTER and all these other dead people who don’t count because cancercancercancer.”

    It is sickening to have to watch all of this feeding of Les’s monstrous ego and gutless refusal to do anything like move on with his life because that would mean abandoning his perch as King Of Big Fucking Deal Mountain.

  16. SpacemanSpiff85

    Man, can you imagine if Holly (Winkerbean, not Cindy) tragically got cancer? Then Les would have nothing anymore.

  17. gleeb

    Your ability to see what happens tomorrow? Don’t. It’s annoying. Just on reader’s opinion.

  18. bayoustu

    So, is this the actual Coming Reunion (Which, after all the whining, seems to have come together awfully quickly- and I do mean “awfully”), or is this just a dry run to ensure all goes smoothly in the long-postmortem tribute to Lisa and what’s her name?

  19. Rusty Shackleford

    It’s just the rehearsal reunion.

  20. Rusty

    Wow, I have the complete Funky Vol. 1 and I didn’t even recall her name. Of course, I only read it once 3-4 years ago after winning it here.

  21. Is it me, or does high school Lisa grow prettier with every flashback. In Act I she looked as ugly as Aunt Esther on SANFORD AND SON. A few more flashbacks and she’ll probably look like Jessica Rabbit.

  22. @SpacemanSpiff85–Holly did get cancer. Unfortunately for the publishing industry, she survived.

  23. Lisa Chapman Moore: She gave her life for Capitalism.

  24. JerrytheMacGuy

    I understand that Tom Batiuk later regretted naming his strip “Funky Winkerbean” – he would have preferred “Groovy Winkerbean – but his unseemly obsession with a deceased FICTIONAL comic strip character could only mean one thing. The strip should be renamed . . . “Lust for Lisa”.

  25. @Jon I Am.: It’ll be twenty-six years this October that my mother passed away from the big C but I don’t make a big deal of it either….because she wouldn’t want me to. The question Les should ask himself is “Would Lisa want me to live like this?”

  26. Nathan Obral

    From a the small trade paperback of early Funky Winkerbean strips… there was one brief storyline where Funky and Livinia dated, but Funky agonized about their future together.

    They broke up with the following exchange (paraphrasing from memory, I don’t have the book on hand right now):

    Funky: Livinia, I’m afraid that its all over between us.
    Livinia: I know, Funky. I didn’t mean to spill this cup of pop between us…

    I assume that she faded away from the cast well before they graduated.

  27. Nathan Obral

    @JerrytheMacGuy: That is true, Batom® has publicly stated several times that he has always hated the name “Funky Winkerbean” – but he chose the name. It wasn’t like when Charles Schulz had the name “Peanuts” forced on his strip “Lil’ Folks” after United Features Syndicate bought it… Schulz despised THAT name, going to the point where he had “featuring Good Ol’ Charlie Brown” added onto the Sunday panels for years and years.

    Batom® could easily have kept the original title “Rappin’ Around” – when it was in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s teen section – and Field Enterprises/Publishers-Hall wouldn’t have batted an eye. And he would have been better off in the long run.

  28. Saturnino

    “And here, today, we finally have it–the entire reason for The Coming Reunion.”

    A very deep intellectual strip today, not something irrelevant like PEANUTS.

  29. Professor Fate

    Lisa’s Story? Really? Does the Author have some extra copies in his garage he needs to shift?

  30. John

    “Lisa, Les’ wife who died from cancer, died 18-20 years ago.”

    “Sad. So, who’s passed away since then?”

    “People who were not Lisa, Les’ wife who died of cancer.”

    “….um….they had names, right? People who love them and miss them?”

    “Les suffers so much because of Lisa, his wife who died of cancer. It’s made him into a wise author -and- a Hollywood auteur!”

    “….well, great that he was able to turn the memory of his deceased spouse into a cash cow franchise, then! Listen, who else are we remembering?”

    “….people who are not Lisa, Les’ wife who died of canc-”

    ***SLAM***

    “…..Hmmmph! I didn’t even get a chance to tell them about this year’s Lisa’s Legacy Run! Les was right. I guess there WERE some children left behind!”

  31. I thought Lisa wasn’t in their graduating class.

  32. Charles

    I think it’s funny how Batiuk has decided not to change the format of his in-story Lisa’s Story from his real-world Lisa’s Story, so that Les Moore’s Seriously Serious Literary Tome of Serious Seriousness, Seriously, has a book design more commonly associated with children’s picture books. But then, this is a guy who thinks a graphic novel about Les’s relationship with Cayla, illustrated by a failed MBA, is something that would be published, and, no doubt, will succeed wildly.

    You know, I’m having a reunion this year, and out of my class of 65, we’ve had three classmates die. One was a woman who was killed in a car accident less than ten years after graduation. Another died of increasing complications from a disease he’d had since birth. The third was a guy who died of thyroid cancer. He’d achieved relative fame in his chosen profession, and every year, there’s a festival devoted to him, which raises money not for thyroid cancer research, but for scholarships for kids who have dreams similar to his. I suppose this last classmate most resembles Lisa, who does not have the whole “relative fame”.

    If he dominates whatever display we might have commemorating our deceased classmates, I can say without hesitation that we’d all be offended and disgusted by whoever decided on that. It’s simply disrespectful to the other two. The guy already has other things devoted to him, so he doesn’t need to be singled out here as special.

    Also, very recently, my school lost a very famous alum, at a relatively young age, from a fatal disease few of us knew he had. I have no doubt that this year come homecoming time, there will be some special recognition of him and everything he accomplished, which I don’t think anyone would be offended by. That said, if twenty years from now, they’re still making a bigger deal about his death than about his other deceased classmates, it’d be tasteless. He had his time devoted to him. No one deserves to be upstaged at their memorial.

  33. Apauled

    “I thought Lisa wasn’t in their graduating class.”

    She wasn’t — not only was she a few years younger than the other characters, she didn’t even attend their school. If TB can remember the extremely minor character Livinia, why can’t he remember salient details about the high school career of his major star Lisa?

  34. Epicus Doomus

    If you missed The Lisa Years consider yourself lucky, because he pulled out every trope imaginable with her. It was downright repellent.

  35. I’m starting to think that including Lisa’s shrine in a reunion for a school she didn’t even attend is Tom Batiuk’s way of saying “Screw you!” to his critics. “Watch me ignore my own continuity and still pull in the bucks from the syndicate!” It’s also further proof that his editor either doesn’t work or doesn’t exist.

  36. bigd1992

    If only that post office bomber had finished the job….

  37. Nathan Obral

    @beckoningchasm

    I’m starting to think that including Lisa’s shrine in a reunion for a school she didn’t even attend is Tom Batiuk’s way of saying “Screw you!” to his critics. “Watch me ignore my own continuity and still pull in the bucks from the syndicate!” It’s also further proof that his editor either doesn’t work or doesn’t exist.

    I betcha Tom Batiuk hasn’t had an editor since he murdered My Father John Darling Who Was Murdered in 1990.

    Tom Batiuk is the Bernie Madoff of the newspaper comics pages, that’s how much he is ripping off the Hearst family.

  38. John

    As I recall, Tom began retconning Lisa’s history as far back as 1992 or so, so it might be that he could argue Lisa’s previous history was a mere first draft for his “New Beginning” era (now referred to as Act Two)…but then again, his retcons were as clumsy and ill-conceived then as they are now.