Link to today’s strip

“After successfully learning to walk, talk and use a spoon, there was only one more young childhood demon for my beloved Lisa to face and slay with her special brand of feminine heroism and courage. On that crisp autumn day, with the dying leaves spiraling to the cold barren earth like so many ugly brown snowflakes, Lisa faced down the latest barrier the cruel universe had placed between her and happiness. In the same stoic unselfish way she’d later use to battle the horrors of cancer, Lisa entered the bathroom as a baby and emerged as a developing young woman. Against all odds she’d done it…she’d successfully gone potty on the toilet like a big girl!

I wasn’t there that day but just thinking about it makes me weep and sob uncontrollably. Why did the universe conspire to take her away from me? Why? WHY??? WHY?!?!?! WHHHHHHHHYYYYYY!!!!!!!!*”

*(I assume every chapter of every Lisa book ends this way)

The fact that his “writing studio” has a computer makes it even funnier how Cayla has to exit the house and visit Les’ creepy workshop to fetch him when one of Lisa’s kids calls. He NEVER would have forced Lisa to do that, in fact he’d have left the studio every five minutes to check on her, which in fairness is somewhat reasonable considering how often she’d get sick or blown up. It’s only a matter of time until that stupid imaginary cat returns to mock Les as he struggles over writing about Lisa’s first day of middle school or that time she skinned her knee. And I guarantee it’ll all be even more downhill from there.




Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “

  1. spacemanspiff85

    This was definitely a good use of a week’s worth of comic strips.

  2. Now just hold on a minute here. This new book of Les’, for which Darin is providing the “illos”: is this the “anniversary gift” that Les promised Cayla? Two and a half years ago? If so, then Les has already written the fucking thing!

    (Oct. 13-14, 2014)

  3. 1966tvbatman

    TFHackett has brought up a good point. Which means TB is – as always – one of the most incompetent jackasses on the planet. “It’s called writing!”

  4. Epicus Doomus

    TFH: I was under the impression that this is the “Lisa’s Story” prequel that Darin sort of suggested after they finished “The Last Leaf”. If I’m remembering this semi-clearly, Les was (surprise) having trouble coming up with new writing ideas and Boy Lisa casually suggested another book about his stupid bio-mom. Thanks for that, Darin you son of a….

    Then again maybe I’m mis-remembering it, as it’s been literally years since he revisited this and as always BanTom’s uniquely haphazard storytelling style tends to annoy and confuse his readers as they struggle to figure out what the ever loving hell is going on now.

    EDIT – June 15-21, 2015
    Darin delivers the finished artwork for the graphic novel that he an Les are collaborating on, telling the story of Les and Cayla’s “romance”. On his way out the door, Darin suggests to Les that he write another book telling the story of how he and Lisa met.

    So THAT was almost two years ago. He still hasn’t resolved that “Last Leaf” arc either, sounds to me like another fanciful Batom Inc. plan that died on the vine. And what with the tenth anniversary of the huge “Lisa Dies” mega-arc fast approaching I don’t see Cayla getting that trip to Hong Kong anytime soon.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    This week really does reveal a lot about Batiuk’s writing. Apparently all Les does is sit around and stare at the screen. Instead of planning things out, or brainstorming, or making notes. I’m still amazed by Batiuk’s blog entry, where he wrote about a comic writer writing a story set in Africa “totally from his imagination”, without doing any research at all, like this was some amazing virtue. Maybe if you did a little preparation and had some discipline, Les/Batiuk, you might actually be able to write something decent again.

  6. billytheskink

    I actually kind of enjoy the thought of Les checking his e-mail every 5 minutes because I’m pretty sure he never gets any, not even from the oil-rich widows of Nigerian princes.

    Notice that not one of Les’ many methods of procrastination involved preparing lessons for his English students.

  7. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “Don’t be stupid…of course not. I spend a ton of time and money on “ Did you know that you can pay beautiful women to praise your writing? I’m still trying to find out what ‘milf’ is.””

  8. Jimmy

    Judging by the masthead, I’m going to check out next week. Nothing worse than the Les n Lisa crapola,

  9. It would seem that there are a lot of people who think that planning a story destroys one’s ability to commune with the muses. Sadly, they confuse their blind luck and the assistance of kind people either taken for granted or not even noticed with affirmation of their stupid no-plan plan, Lynn Johnston.

  10. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I remember what I wanted to show you, Derrick. The other day I took a dump that looked exactly like James Faulkner!”

    “Ewww. You took a picture of it?”

    “Don’t be silly…of course not. A photo could never do it justice. Hand me that bucket!”

  11. Max Power

    TFH: Thanks for the 2014 strips for the Les’ authorial history. In the 2nd strip Cayla seems really happy considering she’s holding a 4-page “manuscript” and she’s about to be told that the best-qualified illustrator Les could find is his bio-step-son. No, no, Cayla, it’s OK. Darrin is definitely qualified. He and “Pete used to do a comic strip for the school newspaper.” The *school newspaper*!

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    I can’t follow this dumb story. I thought the manuscript was already sent to China for printing. Surprised they didn’t show Crankshaft with an old printing press from The Cleveland Plain Dealer doing all of the printing.

    Can’t wait to see Funky’s abandoned house arc, I’m sure Batty will have lots of interesting things to say about that.

  13. gleeb

    Hackett: About two years ago, Dagwood said Les was “two-thrids” finished with the story for which he, Durwood, was to provide the illos. I assume this was the Les-Cayha story, The Third Shoe or whatever it’s called.

  14. Rusty

    Batiuk has Durrrwood illustrating Les’s last two books because it’s the closest he can get to making his characters part of the comic book industry. And nothing is worse than Lisa’s high school hair/face combo, she looked like a guinea pig.

  15. Eldon of Galt

    About two years back, Les was on his porch telling some pal of his that the publication of the “Les and Cayla” book and the trip to China had been postponed, because the publishers wanted Les to write a book about Lisa’s
    life before she got sick.
    I got the impression that he hadn’t bothered to inform Cayla of this. He just waited until she was also out on the porch and she could hear when he mentioned the news to his pal. It seemed like standard “Les being a dick to his second wife” behavior.

  16. Gerard Plourde

    All of this recent work confirms that he’s not even bothering to review his old strips for continuity. At the rate things are going, we may see high school Les and Lisa appearing as extras in a Starbuck Jones movie.

  17. Five more years of running out the clock.

    It’s screamingly obvious that Tom Batiuk isn’t putting any effort into this strip beyond pushing a felt-tip around on a piece of paper and filling word-balloons with boredom.

    Unfortunately for him, if anyone remembers this strip at all when he ends it, it won’t be for the early amusing days, but the last ten years if drawn-out, uncaring hackwork.

    People will point out his work to aspiring cartoonists in order to say, “Don’t do it like this.”

  18. Every piece of advice I’ve ever heard from successful writers has emphasized that no matter how “stuck” you feel, YOU WRITE SOMETHING. You don’t just sit there checking your email. You fill a page, even if it’s nothing more than typing “DAMMIT I’M STILL STUCK” five hundred times. You write stuff, even if it’s total crap. You don’t just sit there and leave the page blank.

    You’re not a “writer” if you don’t write. Leaving a page blank is not “writing.”

  19. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    That Oct 13 2014 cartoon is very disturbing. Summer looks like a knobby-kneed DOOD, and Kareesha looks like a 9 year old.

    “Yes, Crayola, this is your Consolation Prize. After writing several books and a movie about my REAL wife, and obsessing over an annual fun run in her honor, and making you watch her How To Take Care of Les video, I’m finally — RELUCTANTLY — throwing you a bone. It’s a graphic novel. That’s a fancy term for ‘comic book.’ It’s about four pages long, but writing it was HARRRRRRD. Because writing is HARRRRRRRDDDD! So take it. I hope you choke on it. I got into this edgy interracial relationship with you because I thought it would bring me some recognition from whatever group recognizes Social Pioneers who have interracial relationships. But nothing has ever come of it. What a waste.



  20. The Merry Pookster

    TB has the memory/attention span of a puppy.

  21. Rusty Shackleford


    Why is it that most of the females in FW and Crankshaft look like dudes?

    And yeah, the whole interracial thing with Les is so forced and unrealistic. I don’t know of any woman, black or white, who would put up with that crap from Les. Maybe, if he had a ton of money…maybe.

  22. the dreamer

    so Les is going to write two more volumes of The Gospel According to St. Lisa? Just what the world needs…