In which it turns out to be about Les

Oh, the plot turned out to be about how it affects Les? Huh.

The artwork today isn’t bad, and the facial expressions have been mercifully smirkless of late. We see Young Les as he discovers Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe on the in memoriam table. He thumbs through the volume, a look of wonder and bemusement on his teenage features. And then—

Hey, wait a minute! Les never wrote this book; he read it. It is no heartbreaking work of staggering genius. No! It’s a temporal loop, a quantum fluctuation that has existed since the Big Bang itself, a flaw in the matrix, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. Or something.

Still, it doesn’t explain how this innocent boy became an insufferable pedant. It’ll take more than quantum time paradoxes to explain that.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “In which it turns out to be about Les

  1. Epicus Doomus

    That’s right folks! “Lisa’s Story”…your one-stop reference tome for everything you’ll ever need to know about Lisa’s tragic death…and so, so much more! Re-live her incorrect diagnosis! Re-experience her radiation treatments! Re-reminisce about her touching front porch reunion with that noted mail-opener Darin Fairgood! Re-recoil in horror at her thoughtless hateful parents! And re-weep along with Les as Masky McDeath swoops down from Never-Never land to take her away!

    “Lisa’s Story”, the Pulitzer nominated book (actually a collection of previously-printed comic strips collected in book form) that keeps on giving! Get yours now, wherever collected volumes of crappy comic strips are sold! Plenty left, so no big rush!

    This really is one of the more f*cked up things he’s done in Act III. He’ll NEVER stop hawking that cancer book, ever. I think it’s pretty comical how it’s even there in the first place. I mean it’s a class reunion, everyone there (except the ones from the past) know exactly how she died. And they all probably have more than one copy of that f*cking book too. Just too weird on all levels.

  2. Merry Pookster

    Young Les is thinking….”I got a frekin’ Gold Mine here if I just marry this Lisa.

  3. One might note, if one was a beedy-eyed nitpicker, that the style and photo for this memorial is completely different from the one Mary Sue Sweatwater set up.

    Unless, of course, they have more than one Lisa memorial.

  4. Nathan Obral

    Today’s strip is almost like “Oedipus Rex…” in that I now want to gouge my eyes out with a flaming hot poker.

  5. SpacemanSpiff85

    Given that Batiuk’s already brought Amazon into this storyline, I would not be shocked if the rest of this arc is the old versions explaining to the teens how they too can buy their very own copy of Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe on Amazon. And it’ll wrap up with a Sunday strip where both Funkys say “Or you can buy it on!”.

  6. SpacemanSpiff85

    Also, that’s some craptastic centering on “In Memoriam”.

  7. The perhaps unconscious but nevertheless prevalent sexism Batiuk operates under once more rears its head. Because in spite of the title of Les’ magnum opus this is not nor has it ever been Lisa’s story, oh no: it has nothing to do with how she feels or what she does about her untimely demise. It’s all about how Les is affected, what Les does, his pain and struggles and ever-present grief. The idea that Lisa’s (non)existence has any meaning beyond how it influences the Delicate Genius honestly never occurs to him.

  8. Guest Page Turner Author

    I have nothing to say. I have to see how this plays out.

  9. HAnzMFG

    “Man, who wrote this crap?”

  10. billytheskink

    Just prior to panel 1:

    “Les! Les, it’s Marvin. Your cousin, Marvin Moore! You know that maudlin pap you’re looking to write? Well, read this!”

  11. Gyre

    So hey, anyone going to explain where older Les is? You know, since this has just confirmed that time travel is real, his younger self is wandering around the place and his dead wife’s younger self is starting to freak out. I just thought that maybe he’d like to say a few words to them, try to encourage them or something.

  12. Epicus Doomus

    billytheskink: Now I have “Tony Danza he’s the boss…” stuck in my head.

  13. ComicTrek

    Poor boy. This is so incredibly lame! And not by any means “serious” or “realistic”. It might be alright in other works of fiction, but when it’s used here, it’s just cruel and unnecessarily dark. Not only does Mr. Batiuk now feel the need to utterly traumatize his lovable (back when he was) main (?) character all over again….this time, the character is a CHILD.

    I want to see if the end results with the kids creating a happier alternate future for themselves. If it doesn’t, then I guess I’m dumb for thinking it…

  14. Great. My “Les handles all of this in a graceless, self-aggrandizing and pants-on-head stupid manner” concept will take three more days to play out.Not only has Batiuk set up a stupid predestination paradox because Adult Les is too vain not to shill his idiotic exercise in making every damned thing to happen to Lisa all about he feels because he, having a penis, matters while she exists only to feed into his monstrous ego, we’re going to be dealing with a horrible future in which Lisa is pressured to accept a horrible life so that another man can live and be a pompous jackass who takes it as a matter of faith that women are things.

  15. Professor Fate

    And in the end Lisa’s death is nothing but something for Les to react to. Which I would think make Young living St Lisa rethink what limited time she has.

  16. Sgt. Saunders

    This just in from the Better Late Then Never Dept.:
    “Where am I?!
    “See that stack of VHS tapes in the corner?…”

  17. sgtsaunders

    This time warp jazz could easily spiral out of control. One question I have is why these high school characters continue to play out their miserable lives having been warned before-hand by their elder selves of what lies ahead. The answer may be in what Bats thinks of as “fate”, which goes a long way to explaining the resigned nature of every one of them whenever they refer to “fate”. The attitude that their misery is inevitable, even when they know in advance what that misery will be, is the essence of the Funkyverse. The upshot is that the Westview Misery Index is at an all-time low this week.

    Another question is why Les would go from first yakking-it-up with Young Les to flipping through the book written by Old Les before turning to a living, breathing Lisa, which still hasn’t happened yet. Tomorrow? “Yo, Funky! In the future, I write a book!”

  18. bad wolf

    Sometimes it is really entertaining to see an author paint himself into a corner, but rarely does it happen with such gusto.

    Assuming this is not leading up to a complete reboot (highly unlikely), the other options i see are:
    A: Young gang decide to go back, strip follows young gang again (highly unlikely)
    B: Young gang decide to go stay in present day, strip follows young gang again (highly unlikely)
    C: Young/Old gang decide to go back, Old gang continues on without changing because reasons (unlikely)
    D: Young gang goes back, retain no memories because reasons (more likely)
    E: This is all a complete fantasy by one/more of the characters anyway (more likely)

    As for (C), I don’t see how the characters could make a choice to continue on as before; it would have to be outside their control for them to have any sympathy at all.

    By the way, the comical book X-Men apparently have had a storyline for a couple of years in which the young characters were brought forward in time to their dystopic future–ie, our present–to replace/fight their older, jerkier selves. Sound familiar? (Somehow this has been going on for 40+ issues!)

  19. @bad wolf – I think I’ll go with alternative D. Clearly none of the youngsters have retained any memory of what they experienced, otherwise they would have certainly made different decisions during the course of their lives after they returned. Yet, somehow Crazy retained the memory of being transported to the reunion and the seeing the BM band playing (a band that, conveniently, seemed to completely disappear as soon as the time travelers arrived). It’s pretty obvious from today’s strip that from the very beginning, this has just been a completely twisted and convoluted excuse to justify featuring Lisa’s Story again.

  20. A HREF

    @TFH: There’s a bit more gravy than grave to Lisa.
    @bad wolf: I vote E. or even F. Everyone will pretend it never happened like the gay prom students or the gay prom student behind the castle.


    Hey, who is the other person in the memoriam? Another cancer victim? DId she have a book written about her!! I really want to know, because frankly this unknown person is more interesting than Lisa.

  22. ComicTrek

    ^That’s Livinia. She was a major character in the 70’s, disappeared, and was killed off by unknown causes.

  23. Epicus Doomus

    BC: Good catch, I never even noticed that he replaced poodle-headed Lisa with cute-but-sexually-non-threatening haircut Lisa. He forgot the halo, though.


    @beckoningchasm – man that’s a terrible inconsistency. As if I didn’t despise FW enough from that particularly bad strip of putting the book on the table, Tom Batiuk is too damn lazy to keep is art consistent. What a crock.

  25. Epicus Doomus

    And note how the cancer book itself is always drawn with loving detail. It’s a sickening display.

  26. Nathan Obral

    As I said a few days ago, Tom Batiuk isn’t capable of a generic M. Night Shamalayn plot twist.

  27. bad wolf

    Until now, because of his extreme familiarity with comic books, i assumed that Batiuk knew there were rules to time travel. I’m beginning to sense that may not be the case at all.