Once Upon A Time In A Funny Page Far Far Away

Link to today’s strip

Once upon a time there was a comic strip. This comic strip centered around daily life at a fictional Ohio high school. It featured a whole cast of zany high school characters, like the nerd, the cool kid, the bully and etc. While it wasn’t the most popular comic strip or anything, most readers found it to be somewhat amusing and perfectly acceptable.

Then the guy who wrote this comic strip got bored and decided to change the tone of the comic strip by centering it around “real life” issues, like the kind you and I face every day. He created a brand new character named Lisa who’d get into all sorts of melodramatic situations all the time. No one really liked this Lisa character but the comic strip writer LOVED her so he plowed ahead undaunted, placing his new character into ever-more implausible situations, like silly superhero weddings and post office terror bombings. The rest of the comic strip followed suit and suddenly ALL the characters were involved in these wild melodramatic situations. Car crashes, illnesses, wars, alcoholism…it was endless.

But it just wasn’t enough for the comic strip writer, so he decided to up the ante and REALLY draw attention to himself by giving the Lisa character cancer. For years and years his readers watched in horror as the Lisa character slowly withered and died in the most drawn-out and agonizing way imaginable. And everyone noticed…briefly…before going back to mostly ignoring the comic strip and the comic strip writer’s daffy antics.

Then after the Lisa character died the comic strip writer didn’t know what to do with himself or his comic strip. So he kept going back to his cancer story, again and again and again and again. The Lisa character appeared as a ghost, her husband began writing a book about her and soon the Lisa character was in the comic strip even more frequently than she was before she died. Everyone became annoyed or just plain bored by the endless contrivances he used to keep featuring the dead Lisa character. It finally reached a point where it became a parody of itself and everyone either started making fun of it or just stopped reading it altogether. The end.

Wow, that was easy. And I’m neither delicate OR a genius. Few things irk me more than LesTom’s incessant whining about the trials and tribulations of being a “writer”, as if either of them would know. No one put a gun to Dick Facey’s head and told him he had to write exclusively about his dead wife just like no one ever forced Batiuk to concoct his dopey little melodramatic piles of crap of in lieu of entertaining people with jokes. If BanTom is really struggling and stressing over “writing” a two week arc about some fat moron going to the DMV perhaps “writing” was a poor career choice. I mean hey, every SoSF guest host (and commenter) manages to find something funny to say about his idiotic comic strip every day and we have way, way less to work with than he does, as he theoretically could write about anything he likes but we’re stuck with FW.

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17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “Once Upon A Time In A Funny Page Far Far Away

  1. spacemanspiff85

    I’m almost positive Batiuk has used basically this exact strip before. Probably the last time he did an “arc” about Les “writing”.
    And why didn’t Les tell Darin this before he came over?

  2. billytheskink

    What’s amazing (-ly sad) is that typing out “once upon a time…” is still more work than we ever saw Durwood and Pete produce in Hollywood. Failing to measure up to Les Moore is the kind of thing that should really make you re-evaluate your life.

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Let’s get this straight. The official story is that Les knew Lisa in high school because she started at Westview and later transferred to Big Walnut Tech where she got involved with Frankie and got pregnant. At that point she and Les gat back in touch and Les gets so involved that he attends her childbirth classes with her and is even with her when she goes into labor. A number. of years later, they become romantically involved and get married, eventually having the now MIA Summer.

    This seems to provide Les with plenty of material to work with, so what’s his problem?

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Also, how in the world is this guy teaching English? And journalism? When, as a professional writer, all he can come up with is “once upon a time”?

  5. You would almost think that this was an admission of guilt as regards his not having an idea in his head that isn’t cancer or Starbuck Jones.

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Epicus sums it all up nicely.

  7. Chyron HR

    DURBIN: Writing’s easy, Les! Every time you get writer’s block, just change gears and write about a different character in an unrelated storyline.
    LES: Great idea!
    DARBY: And later you can edit the passages together into a coherent narrative.
    LES: Why would I want to do that?

  8. Hitorque

    That shocking moment when you realize that not only is Pete Freakin’ Rattabastardo an infinitely better writer than Les, he can deliver on a deadline and do it with a lot less whining…

  9. On the blog, Tom Batiuk promises a story where Funky visits an abandoned house. Near as I can tell, that’s about as perfect a metaphor as you can get for this strip.

  10. @Gerard – I would guess that the first Lisa’s Story book (I have to guess because TB never really gave us a clue as to the actual content of the book) contained most or all of that background information. I honestly can’t imagine what new information that Less could include in a new book that hadn’t already been covered in the first book, if it was at all comprehensive.

  11. Comic Book Harriet

    Boy Lisa should tell Les to quit while he’s ahead.

  12. @Epicus Doomus – I enjoyed your storytelling in this post much more than I’ve enjoyed TB’s for the last two weeks. Thanks for a great synopsis.

  13. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    Can we fund a patreon to get Epicus Doomus to write Funky Winkerbean?

  14. Hey T B, been meaning to ask you something for awhile. Have you obtained permission from D.C. Comics (or the appropriate rights holder) to upload to the web those Flash comic book covers, which of course are copyrighted? Your blog, because you sell your own commercial merchandise from it, might not even be regarded as an editorial media outlet with the same editorial protections as, say, a music website that publishes reviews of and commentary on artists and records and therefore can post to its site copyrighted images of albums and bands for editorial purposes. What you are doing each Friday is not unlike a scenario in which a blogger would post, I dunno, maybe a FW or Crankshaft strip accompanied by a critique or series of critiques, and without the permission of the creator of the strip in question, and… oh wait, you say my argument is flawed, and that the books and spellcheck-challenged mugs you flog at your site have no bearing on the matter, and that your blog commentaries about the DC comics are also of an editorial nature, and it’s considered fair use when you publish copyrighted material to the web without obtaining the rights holder’s permission? Well isn’t that special. Maybe you should even push the envelope some time and call out ol’ Julie Schwartz for some of the stupider cover concepts and halfass story lines he and DC came up with for the Flash, because they would never sic the lawyers on you, right? Everybody understands that “fans will be fans” for better or for worse, right?

  15. The Dreamer

    See Les has writers block because he is dark and seriously depressed and can ONLY write about death. His two books were about the deaths of a) Darrin’s father-in-law and b) Darrin’s mother. Darrin should be able to figure this out. What has to happen therefore for Les to overcome his writers block is for somebody to die.

  16. @The Dreamer – so Darrin could go on a murder spree.

    Of course, this is Darrin we’re talking about, so prepare for a couple of weeks of kicked shins and slaps, followed by his own black eyes and broken nose as his victims tired of his antics.