Kancer Komix

Previously on Funky Winkerbean:

I don’t know about you, reader, but I was so sure that yesterday’s postmortem, backhanded “I love you” to Cayla would serve to finally close a number of plot threads: the existence of the Lisa tapes, Les’ perpetual grief, and even Cayla’s second-class second wife status. I expected today’s strip to be a wacky Sunday throwaway: a Scapegoat football gag, perhaps, or hijinks with Cody and Owen, before Monday we maybe check in with Pete and Darin in Hollywood.

But Lisa’s not done with us, folks. And while I am loathe to deliver spoilers, and try to dissuade my fellow authors from doing the same, I must warn you: this goes on into tomorrow and this week. The story of a woman who, faced with a lingering, wasting, terminal illness, feels compelled to spend her last days on this earth recording messages for those she will leave behind. Lisa on Les: “He’s filled with great wit…” Certainly Les thinks this to be so. The rest of us see a pretentious douchebag. No wonder he misses this woman so.

For what it’s worth: Batiuk continues his laxity when it comes to using the photo album corner visual cue to depict events in the past. Could he be signaling to us that Lisa is in fact, somehow, still alive???

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27 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “Kancer Komix

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    “How strong Les can be when it counts?”? Like when he whines and sabotages the movie about you because fighting to make it better is hard? Like when he starts hallucinating a talking cat because writing is hard? Like when he has a total meltdown over planning a reunion, even when everything else pretty much has been done for him, and it’s not hard? Like when he discovers you’re going to die of cancer in the future, and does nothing, because it’s hard?

  2. There is an “affect” which is hard to describe, but once you know it, it has great power.

    A lower-level example, and the first I learned: the films of John Waters. Once you know they are intended only to shock you, and have no other substance, they cease to do so.

    It goes on to advertising: Once you know the copy, the image and the people are supposed to move you to purchase a product–or to feel so inferior that you MUST purchase said product–the spiel ceases to have the affect.

    This works here pretty splendidly. Once you know that Tom Batiuk’s sole purpose since 20xx in creating anything is to insult his critics–it ceases to be effective.

    Your taunts and insults mean nothing to me, Mr. Batiuk. I’m still here. I’m perfectly okay with myself and what I see in the newspaper comics. I get great enjoyment in many comics still published to this day.

    And I just see a once proud comic strip degenerating itself, solely to confound its critics.

    I see someone destroying his legacy for a cheap, tiny victory lap on the world’s tiniest baseball diamond…a baseball diamond that exists nowhere else…and won’t be gathering any nominations for any awards…except, ooo, those like “Most Squandered Potential” and the like.

    That’s where I see myself now, Mr. Batiuk.

    And you? Your move.

  3. DOlz

    “… the world hasn’t always been kind to him”. Yes, yes the world has been kind to him. The proof is that he hasn’t been beaten to a bloody pulp for being constant whining, pompous, narcissistic waste of human potential.

  4. “…and I’d like to thank retired Scapegoat coach Jack Stropp for serving as my body double in this filming.”

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Man, this is actually unintentionally hilarious. The drivel she’s spewing about Les is just laughably bad, a grown man who doesn’t work for a greeting card company should be ashamed of himself for coughing up dialog that sappy. It sounds like she’s talking about pre-army Cory or something, not the guy who got married in a Batman costume. Just embarrassing.

    And that artwork is the most shamelessly pandering “LS” garbage I’ve ever seen. The solemnity as she sets up the camera, the harsh glare of the spotlight as it strikes her face that grows more gaunt by the second, the sincere head-tilt in the last panel…nice job, Batiuk. You’ve successfully re-captured the horrors of Lisa’s cancer for the twelve-thousandth time. Perhaps the (guffaw) Pulitzer committee is still paying attention, right?

    Maybe Batom could just drop the pretense altogether and just draw panel after panel of himself receiving plaudits for his eight-year-old comic strip arc. Then he could retcon “LS” so that he’s there with Les and Lisa at The End and his artistic vision will be complete. Then he could re-hash THAT another thousand times and next thing you know, fifty years.

  6. I call BS on the title panel alone. There is no way that an unbelievably frail Dead St. Lisa the Cancer Chew Toy of the Misdiagnosed Mammogram Who Was Cremated could handle a camcorder like that.

    And that’s the least bothersome thing here.

    Seriously… one day, I’m going to make the ten minute drive to the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram offices and demand answers from those glorified pencil pushers disguised as “editors.”

  7. If we pretend that Batiuk us right and Les is the Specialest Snowflake of the Universe, will he shut up about it?

  8. Batty Winkerbean

    Translation: “Les was bullied in high school and never got over it. Boo-fucking-hoo!”

  9. Funky Winkerbean is an totally forgettable comic strip. It was forgettable even before Dead St. Lisa the Cancer Chew Toy of the Misdiagnosed Mammogram Who Was Cremated… well… died. No one is going to buy the vanity printings of “The Complete Funky Winkerbean: 2012-2015” if Kent State is stupid enough to let that see the light of day… especially with the unlikable lead characters, the poorly written storylines, and the abysmal artwork. Five years after Tom Batiuk takes his victory lap media tour and scams a certificate of participation from the National Cartoonists Society, his body of work will be totally forgotten and fade into the ether.

    Maybe Batiuk knows this, and is acting in pure denial. But I highly suspect that he doesn’t.

    Now, I do find it funny that this shit storyline in FW is running on the same week that the studio behind the new Peanuts movie unveiled their “Get Peanutized” social media marketing campaign… and I saw many of my FB friends, some of whom I never thought were fans of the comic strip, create little CGI “Peanuts” avatars of themselves. The massive success of that marketing campaign speaks for itself… but it’s also because “Peanuts” is a memorable comic strip that will stand the test of time and live in for generations to come.

    Charles Schulz’ art and writing heavily influenced me as a child… he “peanutized” me a long time ago, and I’m perfectly fine admitting that.


    (You’ll note that I did not trace Snoopy in any way.)

  10. Guest Page Turner Author

    Les is filled with great wit?

    Nope.

  11. Jimmy

    Unstated in the final panel but demonstrated earlier in the week: He doesn’t love you.

  12. This whole thing translates to “please throw your life away holding the hand of a gormless, whining and ungrateful shnook because the passive load of crap never got over high school and who pisses himself in terror or actively tries to sabotage things when asked to take responsibility for anything. Also, he never even really loved me and saw me as a mirror in which he could gaze upon himself so good luck on the affection front.”

  13. Chyron HR

    “If he loves you, he’ll always let you in. And if he’s still mooning over me fifteen years later and treats you like an afterthought, then… uh… no take-backs!”

  14. ComicTrek

    Les’s personality description may have been true before, say, 2007, but now?? Not in the least!!

    The last panel is sort of unintentionally funny, though. It looks as if the real Cayla got bored, placed her trusty realistic-looking mannequin on the seat, and left the room!

  15. bigd1992

    This could be interesting if Cayla were to confront Les with this part about “if he loves you, he’ll let you in” and say “you don’t let me in, so you obviously don’t love me” and storms out.

  16. Rusty

    This would be some solid (if horribly inaccurate) advise if they had just started dating. Cayla has already bought the cow, she could have had the whining for free.

    I do recall Les bravely refusing to look at Lisa’s diary, because it might be too upsetting.

  17. jp

    The death-porn is bad enough, but the whole premise is just so stupid. Dead Saint Lisa must have thought quite a lot of herself, to think that some stranger years down the line would find this horse-pucky valuable. Most adults are capable of figuring out their own relationships. They don’t need 15-year-old advice from a dead woman they didn’t even know.

  18. Jon I Am

    Don’t know how many here are familiar with Chris-Chan and Sonichu, but for those who are: today’s strip reminds me of that because it’s so masturbatory and self aggrandizing. At least Chris can somewhat credibly be excused because he’s autistic and doesn’t really know any better.

  19. Epicus Doomus

    The way she paints Les as this mercurial artiste is simply hysterical. Why, because he’s a “writer” who struggles with every single sentence? The guy was a dork who hated gym class, not some tragic figure that “life” keeps kicking while he’s down. Just awful, awful stuff.

  20. Ave Lisa, gratia plena, Lessus tecum.
    Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Aestiva.
    Sancta Lisa, Mater Deruus,
    ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc,
    et in hora mortis tuae.


    Hail Lisa, full of grace, Les is with you.
    Blessed are you amongst women,
    And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Summer.
    Holy Lisa, Mother of Derwood,
    Pray for us sinners, now,
    And in the hour of your death.


    [Editor’s note: Due to an editing error, the speech balloon in panel 3 was garbled. It should have read: “He’s a fulsome grey twit, in the main, and with tremendously exaggerated melancholies.”]

  21. Mister Miggle

    @bigd1992: Seriously, the dude just cancelled a second honeymoon/vanity project that was supposed to be all about their life together so he could wallow in more Saint Lisa of Cancerwife. Either this video tells Cayla her marriage is in profound trouble or TomBat doesn’t know the implication of his own words.

    Obviously I’m voting for option #2.

  22. Charles

    I think Lisa’s the biggest narcissist in all of comicdom. She refused to let Les go when she died. She spent her dying days recording videos in order to insert herself into every significant moment for the rest of Les’s (and presumably Summer’s) life. And here we are, 18 years after her death and she’s still deciding that she has an active role to play in Les’s life. She assumes that even though The Other Woman has married Les, she doesn’t really know him; certainly not as well as Lisa did, that The Other Woman needs Lisa’s help in order to fully appreciate and understand the glory that is Les. This is a perspective that Lisa thought must be expressed. What a controlling, smug, thoughtless jackass. It’s an insult to Cayla and Les’s marriage. And it’s an insult to both of them personally: yes, even to Les. She’s forcing him to be beholden to her and her memory for the rest of her life. It’s what she wanted, apparently more than anything else in her life, and she’s succeeded wildly.

    I have to admit this would be redeemed slightly and would respect Batiuk if he referenced The Grapes of Wrath here, but twisted in a way to show how deranged Lisa is.

    “I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so Les can feel smug superiority, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a bully beatin’ up a sad little nerd, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way Les whines when he feels he’s not gettin’ his due. I’ll be in the way kids languish when they know they ain’t done their readin’ and Les’s class has just started, and when the people are eatin’ that pizza Funky’s still gonna be makin’ when he’s 80 and livin’ in the houses that were built before we were born because nobody ever does anything new is this life – I’ll be there, too.”

  23. Charles

    I have to admit this would be redeemed slightly and would respect Batiuk if he referenced The Grapes of Wrath here, but twisted in a way to show how deranged Lisa is.

    This is fun. Let’s try The Fellowship of the Ring now, with which Batiuk probably has greater familiarity.

    “What is she?”
    “She was once a woman. A Great Queen of Women. Then Batiuk the Glory Hog gave her The Great Cancer Story. Blinded by her wretchedness, she took it without question, falling into darkness. Now she is a slave to His Will. She is Lisa, The Sainted One in Death: neither living nor dead. At all times she feels the need to assert her will, drawn to the Power of the Cancer Story. [cut to a scene of a standard Westview street] YOU WILL NEVER BE RID OF HER.”

  24. How about H.P. Lovecraft?

    “That is not dead which can eternal lie,
    And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  25. Epicus Doomus

    Charles: no spoilers but if you think THAT was narcissistic…..whooo boy.

  26. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Lisa Westview wgah’nagl fhtagn p’a VHS.