Chips Ahoy

Link to today’s strip.

Well, it’s the same dim-witted word-play, the same squinty eyes, the same smirks all around.  Everyone looks both miserable and punchable as always.   Or, as it’s usually known around here, “Friday.”

I confess – I wrote the above paragraph before I’d even seen the strip.  I figure it’s a good guess.  We’ve had four days of “Lisa’s favorite tree must be culled” and when the Glorious Author has a Lisa Fetish, that’s an itch that just can’t be scratched away in a strip or two.   That Pulitzer nomination must just gnaw at Tom Batiuk night and day, all seasons of the year, every waking moment.   That’s the lure of the established awards culture.

You know what made me re-think the entire “Awards Have Meaning” thing?  The 1979 Grammy Awards.  The nominees for “Best New Artist” were Chris Rea, The Cars, Elvis Costello, Toto, and A Taste of Honey.  Look at those names, and look at their careers.   Costello, the Cars and Toto went on to have big hits, become household names, and influence millions of bands and record buyers.  And the winner that year was…A Taste Of Honey, a disco band that had one hit and went nowhere afterward.

My point is this–you killed off Lisa so you could get an award.  It didn’t happen.  Acknowledge this and move on.  A Taste of Honey still has their award, but Elvis Costello wrote, and continues to write, great songs that will speak forever.  Both Toto and the Cars made hits that you can find on the radio every day of the year.

You could give it a shot, Mr. Batiuk.  Throw the past away.  Shred that letter from the Pulitzer committee.  Move on.

And, if you’re going to move on, please kill Les Moore.  Your fans would love that.  A LOT.  I mean, it would require re-tooling the strip into something positive, but then…are you Toto, or A Taste of Honey?  Because that’s the real question.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Chips Ahoy

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    You think maybe Apartment 3G finally getting cancelled might wake Batiuk up and make him realize he needs to start giving a crap about his work again? Man, I hope so. Seriously, if fifty years is his goal, he still has enough time to turn things around and give people something to remember positively.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    If I wanted to be a really nit-picky jerk about it, I’d point out how it’s generally not a good idea to stand near a running wood chipper like a slack-jawed idiot, as sometimes stuff kicks back out of those things at a pretty fair velocity. But instead of doing that I’m just going to marvel at how Les managed to hire the punniest tree service in all of mid-central Ohio. If tomorrow’s strip features the guys from Topper’s looking at what’s left of Lisa’s tree saying “I’m stumped”, BanTom’s life’s work will at long last be complete.

    Scraggly beard, a knack for witless wordplay…what are you waiting for there, Summer? Ask him out! Seriously though, why isn’t she in school? Where is Keisha? What happened to her basketball career? Did he really just do an entire week about a tree being cut down? Leave it to Batiuk to take an everyday mundane thing and make it even MORE mundane.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    I anticipate a long diatribe from Summer on Sunday about how that wood chipper that just chews everything up is like cancer.

  4. A Taste of Funky

    Looks like Act II Crazy Harry jumped into the Time Pool in order to find more gainful employment in Act III. Talk about branching out.

  5. billytheskink

    Appropriate story for Halloween week. In a universe where wood pulp is used to print copies of Les Moore’s books, I cannot imagine anything more frightening than being a dying tree.

  6. I can’t be the only one having Fargo-inspired fantasies in this scenario…

  7. Howard and Nester

    I just want everyone to take a moment and compare Mark Trail to Funky Winkerbean for a moment.

    Now, while the newly actionized Mark Trail is quite mockable has a lot of problems with that the revamp didn’t fix, if there’s one thing I can genuinely respect about the comic is that James Allen is making a sincere attempt to entertain the audience. I can forgive a lot of missteps from content creators as long as they’re at least trying to keep people engaged. New storylines and fresh takes on old material is what makes stories entertaining.

    Does Batiuk honestly think that we’d be entertained by yet another one of these ‘Wallow in Lisa’ strips? If he is, I actually feel really sorry for him. I think it’s much more likely that he’s stuck in a rut but doesn’t feel compelled to move past it.

  8. ComicTrek

    @Howard and Nester: New Trail is HORRIBLE! It used to be one of my favorites. 😦 But I like the respectful point you made. Mr. Allen, after all, is only human and at least he cares enough to try. 🙂

  9. ComicTrek

    Poor Summer looks like she’s about two seconds away from ending it all. Isn’t she supposed to be the “Genki Girl” of the strip?

  10. Great. More elegiac bullcrap about a tree. Being maudlin is not enough to prove one’s worth. We have three lackluster seasons of Alan Alda going “the damned war this, the damned Army that” as proof. One must also entertain and engage, not have sympathy-repelling ciphers moaning about loss and pain. Batiuk ignores this because he thinks the right maudlin wailing will get him the award he thinks will give him legitimacy at long last.

  11. Chyron HR

    Shouldn’t the guy from Tree Service Toppers be paying at least a little attention to what he’s doing? Or is this going to be the origin of FW’s newest beloved character: “Boy Becky”?

  12. @Epicus Doomus:

    Did he really just do an entire week about a tree being cut down? Leave it to Batiuk to take an everyday mundane thing and make it even MORE mundane.

    If you count the late-August Sunday panel and the ending of a bizarre two-week storyline where Les (after moping around Westview High School and walking home) stopped another crew from taking down the same tree because of a Dead St. Lisa fantasy, this has gone on for weeks and weeks!

  13. Rusty

    Batiuk was looking forward to this week. All the tree punning opportunities are like Christmas in Westview.

  14. sgtsaunders

    Fargo, Fargo….Pleeeese Fargo….


    Great. Not only are there bad puns, but Patchybeard McSexOffender here has found his next mark. Hope he is into androgynous boys.

  16. Going out on a limb here: I think this tree arc may be an epilogue to the VHS Lisa arc, in which Les symbolically achieves the proverbial closure as he ponders the metaphorical nature of saying goodbye to the beloved tree.

  17. Hey, at least it’s not band turkeys. Because they’re coming, as inevitable as wisdom teeth (or cancer), and you know it.

  18. @Fred Blurt: Hey! That’s right! Maybe one of her instructions was “For God’s sake….get rid of that tree before it falls over and kills someone.” Given how passive Les is, Lisa would have to make hours of tapes telling him to do the amazingly obvious because he’s too dumb to see what’s in front of him.

  19. A HREF

    @Howard and Nestor amd @ ComicTrek

    Seadoo/ATV crossovers! He’s not trying to entertain, he is. Seadoo/ATC crossovers! I wish they had taken him up on his A3G offer.