Swing and amiss

I will give Tom Batiuk this, he rarely reuses artwork. Story arcs, dialogue, themes, comic book references, potentially fatal diseases, and whatnot, sure… but not artwork. No, he loves redrawing Act I scenes in his current “realistic” style.

Which we see in today’s strip, where he has redrawn a pair of panels to almost exactly match the strip from May 10, 1985.


Lisa appears less desperate in the 2017 panel than she did in 1985, though one could say she appeared Les desperate in 1985… On the Funky Winkerbean retcon scale this is RETCON NINETY-FIVE. Today’s strip hits RETCON ONE in panel 3, though.

Les, who alleges that he was so in love with Lisa back when this happened, actually asked three other girls to prom before he asked her: Cindy, who Les files a sex discrimination suit against after she turns him down; Allison, who Les asks via world’s worst wingman Crazy Harry; and Tracy, who Les openly insults before asking.

Oh, and he doesn’t appear to know or remember Lisa’s name until after they dance, (in some pre-prom dance in the gym that they are both attending? I can’t quite figure out what is going on.) referring to her as “that girl” in his thoughts before asking her to dance.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Swing and amiss

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I actually remember Lisa’s first few appearances, he’s really retconned her into a, uh…more “normal” looking human, I guess I’d say. So how long before we get to the pregnancy arc again, the FIRST arc where Batiuk completely redefines what comic strips could be? It’s been a while, a complete re-hashing is long overdue.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    I wouldn’t describe Lisa as swinging for the fences. Especially since she was option four, apparently. I think reaching on an error is more accurate. Or given how melodramatic and tragic their relationship was, getting hit by a pitch.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    This also just seems really creepy, the way Les and Darin are talking about Les’s love life. Especially since Cayla’s probably sitting quietly in the next room, staring into space until Les needs her again.

  4. “Hey, remember that comic strip guy we nominated for an award?”

    “Jesus, how could I forget? How hammered were we, anyway?”

    “I don’t remember either. But he’s writing about that woman again.”

    “…oh good GOD. This is like one of those movies where the monster never dies, isn’t it? ‘Nightmare on the Pulitzer Committee, Part 6: Lisa Lives.'”

  5. spacemanspiff85

    Oh, gosh. Apparently Batiuk is auctioning off the Starbuck Jones covers in November. It’s pretty hilarious how he suggests the reader of his blog might want to start saving up now, because we all know there’s going to be a huge demand for those things.
    Guess where the money’s going?

  6. billytheskink

    I heard that George Lucas ran into TB at Comic-Con a few years back and told him he ought to dial back on the retcons.

    “Les asked Cindy first!” t-shirts will be on sale at the next Comic-Con…

  7. Epicus Doomus

    The saddest thing about the pregnancy arc (the arc that forever altered and ruined FW forever) is how incredibly predictable it was. The Syndicate would never have allowed a comic strip character to either terminate a pregnancy or depict a high school girl character as a single parent, thus it was glaringly obvious from the first panel that she’d have the baby and surrender it for adoption. And in spite of all his subsequent gloating, the entire thing just consisted of a bunch of cheesy pregnancy tropes everyone had already seen hundreds and hundreds of times. It was all a big flaccid pile of garbage, hardly the “greatest love story ever told”, unless you like constant smirking, that is.

    God I hate Lisa, ever time she rises from the grave I feel that old familiar Act II rage beginning to build. She embodies everything awful about the strip and the guy who writes it.

  8. count of tower grove

    Hoo-ah! photo corner thingies!

  9. Jimmy

    Great breakdown today, billytheskink. I imagine we only have another 6 weeks of this story arc. With any luck, Doormat will come to her senses and leave Les for a real man.

  10. spacemanspiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    Lisa didn’t seem too horrible to me, at least for FW standards. Until the Very Serious Story where she defended a murderer and went to D.C. It was like a switch had been flipped, and suddenly she was an absolute saint.

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “No! Wait! You didn’t let me finish! I was saying, sure…ly you must be crazy to think that I would ever be seen anywhere with a turd such as you! Do you think I’m that stupid or desperate? Did I say that you’re a turd? I guess that covers it. Have a nice day!”

  12. It makes a sick sort of sense that a morose turd like Les would misinterpret his past so egregiously. He doesn’t want to remember himself as the poster boy for entitled stupidity he was in high school because he doesn’t want to admit that the ‘conspiracy’ that must be against him is really his own idiocy coming back to haunt him.

  13. Charles

    I think that the only takeaway from this is that he’s trying to recast Lisa as some beautiful woman who was always beautiful and Les as always appreciating how beautiful she was.

    So each day goes like this.

    Les: Here’s a picture of Lisa. She was wonderful/beautiful.
    Darin: She sure was!

    Batiuk really just doesn’t seem to ever be much of a writer. The interesting story in this is how Les came around to see Lisa as wonderful after thinking all along that she was a dog who was only worth considering once all his other options were exhausted. It’s not much, really. It’s not even a particularly interesting story, but it’s more interesting and dramatic than this slop disguised as a tribute. He really does take whatever potential he’s given himself and remove it from the story.

    So now we’re going to get exact point-by-point recounting of earlier strips, punctuated only by Les and Darin mentioning how great Lisa was, and how great Les is for realizing it.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Panel 4 is missing, it reads: Les shouts”Cayla, are the cookies ready yet? What’s taking so long?”

  15. Hitorque

    So I’m guessing tomorrow Les continues to wax poetic and tell Darrin about how he got Lisa some beer after the prom and was able to get to second base that night?

  16. Max Power

    Ugh, thanks Darin. You’re over-the-top nearly slobbering reaction to Les’ inane “swinging for the fences” line has now guaranteed it will be in the “Westview Origins: Lisa” “graphic novel”.


    Two Things:

    1.This may seem like a minor point, but I find it interesting that Lisa is drawn shorter that she was in the original strip. In the original strip she is the same height. Hell,Les appears to be stooping down to ask her. I don’t know what this says about Batiuks current view of women. I probably don’t care really, either.

    2. I am seriously missing Funky’s DMV and estate planning shenanigans. Say what you will at least it was SOME attempt at humor. This …this is just more cancer-sploitation by Batiuk. Seriously how long can you beat the dead horse that is Lisa!! And I mean dead horse, literally given how she was drawn back then

  18. spacemanspiff85

    It would be hilarious/awesome if this leads to Les remembering how he first slept with Lisa, nine months before Darin was born.

  19. Charles

    1.This may seem like a minor point, but I find it interesting that Lisa is drawn shorter that she was in the original strip. In the original strip she is the same height. Hell,Les appears to be stooping down to ask her. I don’t know what this says about Batiuks current view of women. I probably don’t care really, either.

    So late in replying but whatever. That’s a great observation. It’s also telling that Les in the first version appears to not give a shit about the prospect of Lisa turning him down, whereas in the second, he’s all anticipatorily morose and beaten-down.

    Lisa also appears to have gotten a significant chin implant sometime.