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.