Well, that escalated quickly! Well, maybe not quickly: I mean, who knows how long Cayla’s been sitting dutifully, paying rapt attention to her late predecessor’s condescending blather? But today, Lisa’ creepy claws come out as she threatens Cayla from beyond the grave. Where the hell does she get off? Is “Our Les” such a pathetic, cringing little milksop that he needs his first wife’s ghost to fight his battles? Don’t answer that…


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

51 responses to “Death-Les

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    Uh, Lisa, if you didn’t want Les to be hurt, you shouldn’t have died. So shut up.

  2. hankgillette

    I thought Monday’s strip was about as bad as it could get, but ignoring the ick factor of Monday, this is worse. It’s good that Lisa explains how special Les is, because no one could have figured that out from reading the strip.

  3. I betcha Tom Batiuk made an identical threat to the few newspaper editors that wanted to spike this story arc before it ever ran.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Jeez, talk about trying too hard. Yeah, we get it Batiuk, Les & Lisa’s love story was the greatest one ever told…point made. Would it really surprise anyone if Ghost Lisa started actually haunting Westview on a regular full-time basis? For that matter, would it really surprise anyone if a critically-ill Lisa just wandered into Montoni’s one day and started rapping with the gang about the newest “Mister Sponge” issue? I certainly wouldn’t be. In fact, at this point that only thing that WOULD surprise me would be an arc where Les finally and forever “let go” of Lisa for good, but there’s a zero percent chance of THAT ever happening.

    Look at the detail and effort he puts into drawing Dying Lisa. You can actually see the loving care he put into it, he obviously really enjoys it. He can’t be bothered with continuity, he can’t be bothered to draw other characters the same way twice, but when Lisa’s Story is involved he’s enthralled. Just pitiful and sad, someone in his “inner circle” really needs to step in here and help the man…unless it’s just plain too late.

  5. I might have some respect for Tom Batiuk if he said, “I just churn this stuff out and the checks arrive. I’m pretty sure no one reads my work, and I set out to prove that by writing the worst possible bilge I could imagine. The only laughs I get are when I imagine someone actually reading this and being involved in the story or characters.”

  6. Frank Bolton

    HOW DOES THIS KEEP GETTING WORSE? It’s like, every time I think I’ve hit rock bottom the earth opens up and I fall another few geological strata.

    Epicus Doomus, please tell me that the hurting will stop soon. At least by Wednesday.

  7. “Don’t ever hurt my Les… our Les.” That line alone…

    I do take some solace in that Tom Batiuk accidentally managed to retcon Lisa Crawford Moore into a fucking whacko… a pure nutjob.

  8. Beany Funkerfart

    Ah, so Cayla doesn’t stay married to Les out of love or respect for the dweeb, but because she’s afraid Lisa’s ghost will kick her ass if she makes a run for it. So glad Batiuk finally retconned cleared up that mystery for us.

  9. Rembrandt36

    I’m sure someone will mark me down for saying this, but this honestly feels that there could be some mental illness behind the pen. I do not say that with snark or in a flippant manner. I say this as this is FUNKY WINKERBEAN, and it has gotten creepy and dark. Nice attitude Lisa – I’m sure the threats went over well when brought up at the pearly gates. Crazy must have seen this and said “And I’M accused of being a few bricks short of a load?”

    Just… wow.

  10. jp

    Christ, what an asshole.

  11. Uh, wait, is Lisa supposed to be a sympathetic character? Because she’s certainly talking like a villain…

  12. I wonder if Lisa ever met the Les we think she’s talking about–who wouldn’t want to hurt Les?

  13. Also, it has to be said: this is fucking awful.

  14. billytheskink

    And Harry is the one they call “Crazy”…

  15. “My advice has always been to draw cartoons for the love of it, and concentrate on the quality and be true to yourself. Also try to remember that people have better things to do than read your work. So for heaven’s sake, try to entice them with some beauty and fun.” — Bill Watterson

  16. Epicus Doomus

    And why are there those photo corner thingies on panels one and two? This isn’t a nostalgic memory, it’s a video that’s being watched right now, in the present (or in the main, if you prefer). Only Batiuk could actually be nostalgic for the time his favorite character died of cancer, it’s yet another indication of just how far gone he is these days.

  17. So if Cayla angers BSD Lisa she will be tormented for the rest of her life, haunted by the ever-present specter of her predecessor.

    And this would be different from her current state of affairs how, exactly….?

  18. ComicTrek

    Today’s strip had some potential to be comical instead of, you know, creepy. The ultimate result? …Not comical. o_o

    “Everybody haaaaates Caylaaaa~”

  19. It’s too damned late. Lisa’s stupid face already haunts Cayla because she married into a family that has a sick fixation on this annoying, stupid, vindictive and jealous example of the species “North American Blithering Idiot, var. Entitled Jerk.” This is the sort of video will I could see a human monster from Team Fortress 2 or 9 Chickweed Lane making, not the saintly person Les thinks he married and obsesses over.

  20. This arc raises serious issues of plausibility and character. From the strip at the beginning of the arc, there are six tapes visible sticking out from the top of the box. VHS tapes could record a maximum of two hours, so we appear to have at least twelve hours of recorded video. How plausible is it that a patient ill with terminal cancer would have the endurance to record twelve hours of video?

    The issue of character is even more troubling. From the sample we’ve seen recorded for “the other woman”, Lisa comes across as controlling and manipulative. This tape is directed toward someone that she’s never met. (Unless it was recorded in the mistaken belief that Susan Smith would marry Les in which case it is even more hate filled and twisted.)

    But this tape raises other questions. Are the hours of tape recorded for Summer equally controlling? We can only imagine so, given the sample presented and the fact that Lisa actively sought to these tapes so that yhey could be played as lectures over years of a child’s development. (By contrast, in the classic Superman movies, Kryptonian technology allowed “Jor-El” to converse with his son.)

    As noted by others, this arc drastically alters Lisa from the intended tragic, heroic figure cut short in the prime of life to a tragic, pathetic one whose death lifted a weight from her scarred family..

  21. Rusty Shackleford

    Agggghhhh train wreck…yet can’t stop looking.

  22. Saturnino

    Nathan Obral: “I betcha Tom Batiuk made an identical threat to the few newspaper editors that wanted to spike this story arc before it ever ran.”

    This strip actually makes sense today if you look at Batty speaking through DSL about Les (the FW strip) to Cayla (we, the critics).

    Actually the song from yesterday brought back more memories……….

  23. @Gerard: VHS tapes could record a maximum of two hours, so we appear to have at least twelve hours of recorded video…

    Two hours was “standard play” mode. In lower quality “extended play” you could record six hours. Does nothing to undermine your point, however.

  24. DOlz

    Is the long awaited bullying arc we were t̶h̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶n̶e̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ promised? After all it is reality based and a sensitive portrayal of the problems facing young adults.

  25. @Gerard Plourde: It also presents something else: a family that’s so traumatized by the monster that they can’t act like free people are supposed to.

  26. @TFHackett: The possibility that Summer could have been made to watch upwards of 36 hours of Lisa Lectures prompts the thought that intervention by Child Protecteive Services might have been appropriate.

  27. “I’ve made a huge mistake” – Cayla

  28. MKay

    Too bad Cayla doesn’t have her husband’s *ahem* talent for writing; this would make a kickass horror movie screenplay.

  29. Holy crap!!! How can anyone defend what we just witnessed. Lisa just went from cancer punching bag to bat@#$% crazy in 3 seconds flat. Any love I had for Lisa went right out the door along with the Easter eggs on VHS tapes.

  30. ComicBookHarriet

    @ Gerard Plourde
    I don’t know if every tape would be completely filled. Since she intended certain tapes to be watched at certain dates, she probably recorded on a new tape for each event so they wouldn’t have to fast forward through. Of course that would be if this was a realistic situation.

    I do have to take ‘THE DEFENDER’ stance on one thing though. I don’t think that the idea of recording messages for people that you’re leaving behind, especially for your young children, is a bad thing. Parents are expected to guide and encourage children throughout their lives, and this is doing it the only way possible. So I take offense at those who are trashing the /concept/ as nagging from beyond the grave.

    This however is HORRIBLY executed, and being used for gross Batikstrubation.

  31. Epicus Doomus

    Lest we forget, there’s STILL ANOTHER DVD to get through. And the next one is “for Les”. He “wrote” an entire book (not really a book but a collection of previously published comic strips in book form) about Lisa & Les and their magical relationship but apparently that’s just not enough. What can she possibly have left in the tank to say to Les NOW?

  32. @ ComicBookHarriet

    I don’t disagree that recorded messages for young children by parents confronted with death is a good thing. When the original arc was playing out I found it to be one of the touching and considerate things that Lisa did (As I recall we were not actually privy to what was being recorded at the time). However, confronted with the actual contents of the message that’s being played out now, I, like you recoil at what’s being said and have to admit the pssibility that this could be a representative sample of what Summer endured. If so, it radically transforms the character of Lisa and calls into question the esteem she was accorded.

  33. ComicBookHarriet

    @Gerard Plourde
    Exactly! I’m going to be really surprised if, after this DVD ends, the phone rings, and when Cayla picks up Lisa’s voice is on the line, rasping menacingly.

    “Don’t get on that plane!”

    That’s why Crazy made these disks. He needed to pass on the curse!

  34. Professor Fate

    Wow. Just wow. Creepy turns to super creepy – instead of saying how glad she is that Les has someone so he won’t be going though life alone we get this batshit crazy weirdness from the dead St. Lisa. And the hell of it is, I know it’s going to get worse, I can’t imagine how, but I know it’s going to get worse.

  35. @ComicBookHarriet

    You’re right! Because of that airplane incident there’s evidence that in the Funky universe the dead can interact with the living. I shudder to think of the implications.

  36. bigd1992

    For my fellow wrestling fans: Lisa turns heel

  37. Like Epicus one of my first thoughts was, what the hell is up with the corner photo holders in panels 1 &2 ?!? Obviously the video is in “the past” but it’s not a flashback, a memory or even a dream; in the context of Cayla viewing it it’s in the friggin’ present! So for continuity, TB would have had to use them in prior days’ panels when DSL’s onscreen image fills the panel. It’s almost like he thought, oh shit, I forgot my own clever way of denoting past events, better shove these things into the panels and hope nobody realizes…

  38. Addendum: looking back a few days I just realized that today is the first time an entire panel is taken up by the video screen image. But the point still holds: to be consistent TB should have used the picture holders in Sunday’s strip.

  39. Jim in Wisc.

    Wow … I … I just don’t know what to say. This is bizarre and disturbing in just so many ways. Seriously, Batiuk can’t think that this is anything but high-level creepy. Can he? I know we make fun of him and his state of mind all the time, but he just can’t be that disconnected from reality and normalcy and still be even minimally functional in society? Can he?


    Has anyone noticed that the strip isn’t coming up on Comics Kingdom? Has it been sealed away like the Ark of the Covenant to prevent further face melting?

  41. @ A HREF

    I had forgotten about those. I’ll repeat what I wrote above – I shudder to think of the implications. Are we in for outright possession of Cayla by Lisa?

  42. Jimmy

    I actually think it would be interesting if this were the beginning of the Moore family admitting that they’re in a death cult and seeking help for a way out.

    @Gerard, it would be interesting indeed if this video was intended for Susan Smith. But interesting is not in the main for Dear Author.

  43. Hey Tom, EC Comics has been out of business for decades. You can stop auditioning to draw the Cryptkeeper now.

  44. David Willis basically called it over 6 years ago.

  45. I’ll say this: at least Batiuk isn’t dropping threads right in the middle anymore. Now I see what it was good when he did that. If he’d just dropped this on Saturday, we’d never have glimpsed this level of horror.

    Seriously, this is what I would expect from an insane man screaming in the park at the pigeons.

  46. Rusty Shackleford


    Nice Watterson quote. This is the difference between the greats (Watterson and Breathed), they write to entice others with humor and great artwork. Batty writes and draws for himself.

  47. Oh! The humanity! Ladies and gentleman, I can’t speak! Oh!

    The horror! The horror!

    Miss Lisa, she UNdead!

  48. Brazos

    Like others have said, if she can call on the phone at the airport….

  49. A HREF

    @Bobanero–thanks that is Short Pack strip I was looking for but couldn’t find.
    @ Gerard Plourde–hard to believe it was 6 years ago and six years ago Lisa had been dead ten to twelve years if I can figure out the time line.

  50. @ A HREF

    The time line is another area where the slap-dash inconsistent craziness manifests itself, especially when you try to sync it to the Crankshaft timeline (or to reality, for that matter). How long was Wally prisoner of the Taliban? How long did it take Churro and Glasses to get to senior year? It seems to me that time moves in very inconsistent ways depending on the character and the storyline.