For Leaf Closure

Link to today’s strip.

Dear Mr. Batiuk–

Look, we get it.  You killed off one of your favorites to win a prize, and when you didn’t win that prize, you’ve tasted ashes and been filled with regrets ever since.

But it doesn’t change the fact that she’s dead, and you need to stop bringing her back.  Either that, or finally give Cayla a small bit of dignity and have her divorce Les for “irreconcilable differences.”  She can even make puns on the way out the door.  Then Les (and Summer) can wallow in Lisa memories until March 2022.

She’s not poignant.  She’s not insightful, or funny, or even interesting.  Les’ continued need for her makes him look even more pathetic than he actually is.  Here’s the thing: The more you bring her back, the less special her death becomes. 

It’s like the dork who finally gets a laugh with one of his dumb jokes, so he repeats it endlessly until everyone was sorry they laughed in the first place.   And they wonder why they laughed at all.

One thing I’m sure of.  I’m willing to bet real money that the Pulitzer Committee is not reading this strip and thinking, Wow, we really made a mistake.  This is great stuff.  Let’s award him a do-over prize!  No, like most of humanity, they’re not reading this strip at all.  And if they did, they’d think, Wow, we were lucky on that one.  How did we even nominate this?  Were we drunk?

We get it.  “Lisa’s Story” was your crowning achievement.   Typically, when one has a crowning achievement, one retires.  Otherwise, as one’s crowning achievement recedes more and more into the distance, that crowning achievement begins to look a lot less like the result of talent and more the result of blind luck.  And one ends up as one of those sad old people whose every sentence begins with, “Hey remember when I…”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “For Leaf Closure

  1. Chyron HR

    “When I’m gone, it will be like I’m in my special video recording room where you’re not allowed to see me or talk to me. But forever.”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Oh yeah, Lisa’s Tree…almost forgot about that. Credit where it’s due, at least he’s sort of tying up a loose end here for once, maybe. And I wouldn’t worry too much about Lisa missing the lovely fall foliage, she can always scoot on over to the park bench and see all the trees and leaves she likes.

    “I’ll be in another room”…oh yeah, that’s a great way to explain death to a three year old, even a very large three year old. Talk about creepy. If Lisa had spent half as much energy fighting cancer as she did with dispensing twee philosophical deathbed advice she would have lived to be a hundred and ten. And is he fixated on Lisa’s Last Days or what? Always with the ball cap and the blanket, do any of them have a Lisa memory where she ISN’T dying? And for that matter, does Bantom? If you didn’t know any better you’d think she was dying throughout the entire run of the strip.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    “But I’ll be able to see your dad as he makes out with the Other Woman.”

  4. billytheskink

    Huh, I don’t recall 5 year old Summer looking like a Joyce DeWitt Muppet back in Act II.

  5. “You won’t be able to see me, but you’ll know I’m there…mostly because you’ll be forcefully reminded of my existence in a thousand ways by your father who will never, ever, ever have closure, not even if he marries again.”

    Also, when did Little Summer have a mullet?

  6. Once again Tom Batiuk is pleading with us to go buy a copy of his stupid “Lisa’s Story: If I Did It, by O.J. Simpson” because absolutely no one else is… not even in Cleveland, Ohio, his own home market. (It’s not even at the real life Komix Korner, Ground Zero Comics in Middleburg Heights; heck, that store barely has one of the “Complete FW” atrocities in stock just out of human reach.)

    It’s called dignity. Something that Batiuk is sorely lacking in. But that’s his problem, not mine.

  7. Not a surprise. Batiuk completely forgot how Summer looked when he executed Dead St. Lisa the Cancer Chew Toy of the Misdiagnosed Mammogram Who Was Cremated. You’d think that, for all the time Batiuk shills his crappy little book, he would actually READ his own work and remember how he drew the central characters.

    This is a new low, even by his abysmal standards.

  8. Rusty

    I’m going with one of the Ramones, probably Marky.

    And if the Lisa Tree is still carrying that many leaves, it probably has a few years left in it. Most people in my neighborhood wait until a tree doesn’t leaf out in the spring before getting it removed.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    All he really needed to do here to get his stupid point across was to have Lisa and Lil’ Summer looking at the tree…”why do the leaves change colors, Mommy?”… there was absolutely no need at all to remind us ONCE AGAIN that Lisa was about to die. Every single time Lisa appears, the dialog is just laughably terrible, as he aims for “heart-tugging pathos” and hits “maudlin idiocy” yet again.

  10. SpacemanSpiff85

    Obviously Batiuk wishes he was still writing Lisa regularly. Honestly if she just inexplicably was raking leaves in place of Cayla tomorrow, I’m positive we’d be the only ones who’d notice. And seriously, it could only be an improvement over this rubbish.

  11. Tomorrow, the tree guy can saw them, too. Sorry, but it’s just not Batiukian enough without a crappy pun.

  12. Guest Page Turner Author

    It’s only late October. There are a few more weeks of leaves falling off the trees! I’ve said it before, and it will say it again. Why is this kid home from college and the middle of October raking leaves with her father!

    And why is he starting plot points just to drop them? The Cory thing with the comic books, mason jar and Cindy in California, Derwood and Pete writing for movie in California.

    There are probably more, but he had to lovingly draw trains going through intersection, waltz at Funky and skinny Les made stupid comments

  13. Epicus Doomus

    Coming tomorrow: After recalling her mom’s comments about being in the next room, Summer suddenly realizes why she’s never slept comfortably without a night light. Meanwhile Les is crestfallen when the plumber informs him that the toilet…the same one Lisa vomited into…has to be replaced. Cayla consults the DVD library to find out what to do.

  14. Goody. Just what people want to see with their breakfast. A family of maudlin idiots still mourning the same tiresome old drag in the ballcap and afghan after all these years. I know it’ll invite angry yapping from people who say that people do mourn but making a life and living of grieving an unpalatable, possessive, oblivious and smug bore is simply beyond the pale.

  15. ComicTrek

    @billytheskink: Bwaaahahahaha!!! I like Joyce DeWitt, but that was mad funny!! You totally nailed it!

  16. Jimmy

    Oh, don’t worry about Cory. I am sure we will see him before the Lisa’s Legacy run to repay his debt.

  17. Saturnino

    [[We get it. “Lisa’s Story” was your crowning achievement. Typically, when one has a crowning achievement, one retires. Otherwise, as one’s crowning achievement recedes more and more into the distance]]

    It’s like pushing a snowball up a hill. It gets bigger and bigger and takes more and more effort until you reach the top. Then it takes off on its own, downhill, until it explodes to smithereens at the bottom near a sign that says 2022.

  18. @Saturnino:

    What bothers me is that I doubt that it’s ever going to sink in that he played his cards atrociously when he killed Lisa, skipped ahead twelve years and showed us a family that’s still stuck in place.

  19. Hannibal's Lectern

    Oh… those are LEAVES? The way they’re drawn, a shapeless blob of uniform brown, I thought they were piles of garbage left over from “Heathcliff.” (And notice how these piles of… whatever… are so different from the lovingly-shaded orange and red leaves of the flashback panel. What is Bathack trying to tell us–that the very trees themselves got their color from Dead St. Lisa? In which case, did she really die of cancer, or was it something more sinister…?)

  20. sgtsaunders

    This just in from The Vatican: discussions have begun to name Cayla a saint. Even the Pope is saying “I wouldn’t put up with a minute of what Cayla puts up with day-in and day-out. I really don’t know how she manages not to kill those people. The woman’s a saint.”

  21. Lisa pretty much went directly from teen pregnancy to terminal cancer. There’s absolutely nothing else interesting at all about her character.

    The odd thing is that TB depicts the major dysfunction of a family that refuses to move on as something to be admired.

  22. There’s something seriously dysfunctional about a family that invests this much energy in a death that occurred over a decade previously. That “The Author” can’t see this is troubling.

  23. Jim in Wisc.

    @ Nathan Obral: Whoa! Check out Summer in the lower left panel. She looks like a miniature version of Act III Funky wearing wig!

  24. ungrammared

    Was Summer’s pediatrician at all concerned that she looked like a gigantic Peanuts character with Rod Stewart’s hair?


    “I’m Cross-Dressing as Dead Lisa’s Daughter, Charlie Brown!”

  26. Rusty Shackleford

    More talk about dead people. Sigh. I wish the syndicate would kill this strip and refuse to give him his kill fee!

  27. Rembrandt36

    So that picture of young Summer in the masthead… I we sure that isn’t 70s era Gary Glitter?