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…”