Link to today’s strip.

Here’s something I like about today’s strip.  No, it’s not the idiotic word-play.  It’s not the artwork, the falling leaves, or the grotesque slab of Les’ greasy hair in panel two.  (Seriously, look at that.  I mean, we all want him to melt in agony, yet here it is and it isn’t any fun at all!)

No, what I like are the expressions in panel three.  Those are three of the most bitter, most miserable people in the world.   Even the guy who’s delivering the pun doesn’t look pleased with himself–he looks as if he’s really loathing himself for having to do this.

What we see here are three people realizing that they are mere toys in the hands of an angry god, and they must dance for his pleasure or burn.  They have one freedom left:  the freedom not to smirk at a pun.  They can withhold their approval in this one thing without fear of annihilation.

No wonder both Les and Cayla envy Les’ dead wife.  Even though the dead can never rest, they can’t die again. either.

Of course, Les’ expression in panel three is typical of him when someone else delivers wordplay.  It just galls him when someone beats him to the punline.  I recall Barry Balderman’s remark about “Life is like masking tape, the more you use, the less you have” (or whatever he said).  Les’ face then was just Boy do I hate you.  Boy do I hate you.  Lisadamnit, I’m supposed to do the clever stuff. 

Given what passes for “clever” in these parts, I suspect most cast members would be happy to pass it off to Les.  “Happy” being the completely wrong word, of course….


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Blightmare

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    The fourth panel really should have been Les angrily crumpling up and tossing aside a list of “witticisms”, with that one being first on the list.

  2. It could have been much worse. Batiuk could easily have had Les say a stupid a-hole-ish quip like “Cute” in response to that lame pun in the third panel.

    “That was a joke.” – Mason Jarr, The Movie Actor Bi The Way

  3. Can a tree get cancer? if it can happen anywhere, it can happen in Westview.

  4. billytheskink

    That’s a pretty good scowl, Cayla. A real valiant effort and I applaud it… but, alas, it won’t work. Les is going to tell you he’s “arboring doubts” about this guy anyway.

  5. Funky Barkerblight

    What the hell is with the oversized medallion on Les’s shirt that Batiuk is so desperately trying to show off? Is that the award for Biggest Dick in All of Westview?

    If Topper had completed his comic spiel with “And that’s no oak,” he would be my hero right now.

  6. Rusty

    That’s the logo/symbol of world class Kent State U., where Les was told he would never be a writer and Summer apparently flunked out.

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    I’m sure tomorrow it’ll be three panels of build up to “the root of the problem”.

  8. Epicus Doomus

    TheDiva: “Lisa’s Tree Story…The Other Leaf” – After contracting tree cancer, Lisa’s Tree dies but not before discovering that the tree down the block sprang from the acorn it gave up when it was younger.

    If anyone’s interested there are a few new blog posts over on the official FW page including an old John Darling strip I’ve seen two thousand times already.

  9. Typical. No matter how many times he scowls when he hears a Crankshaftism, Les is perfectly okay with inflicting them. The reason, of course, is that he’s his creator: a thin-skinned jerk who’s also amazingly insensitive and convinced of his own fictitious brilliance.

    Also, would a dying tree have leaves left or is that just more writing?

  10. Ray

    At first I thought Noriyuki “Pat” Morita snuck into panel 1.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    I’ve said it before: Epicus needs to be writing this strip!


    Did everyone become Asian in this strip all of the sudden? Learn to effing drawn Batiuk!!!

  13. Howard and Nester

    @billytheskink No way would Les ever use the ‘arboring doubts’ pun.

    It’s way too sophisticated for Mr. Bitter English Undergrad here. Les prefers his puns to be at the junior high school level or below.

  14. Didn’t they have the tree guy there a couple of months ago, and Les stopped him as soon as he warmed up the chain saw because he wanted to watch the leaves fall with Lisa’s ghost or some such bullshit? Anyway, you would think they would have had this conversation the first time, unless of course this is a different tree service, since the first guys that came won’t return Les’s calls any more after what Les did to them the first time.

    I’m guessing there will be one more day of bad tree puns followed by another Lisa’s ghost appearance, and maybe a Dinkle-themed Sunday strip.

  15. Saturnino

    “Anyway, you would think they would have had this conversation the first time, unless of course this is a different tree service, since the first guys that came won’t return Les’s calls any more after what Les did to them the first time.”

    Like crankshaft and the helicopter?

  16. Professor Fate

    So is Wally hiding behind the tree playing the trombone? It’s the only stupid thing this strip is missing.

  17. Funky Barkerblight

    Rusty: “That’s the logo/symbol of world class Kent State U.”

    Thanks! I should have guessed there was a corporate sponsor tie-in. It’s just so blatantly obvious the way Batiuk is trying to show it off by how he draws the jacket over and around it. I’m surprised he hasn’t utilized some of that newfangled technology to make it flash within the online strips.