The Lestitute

Link to today’s strip.

When Bernie first appeared in the strip, my recollection is that he was a fairly well-adjusted kid who refused to be intimidated by Chullo’s newfound bullying powers.  Since then, he’s joined the school’s newscast group and chess club, and (of course, like everyone other than the hated sportos) become a member of the band.  Despite his interest in comic books, he seemed like a normal, happy kid.

Alas, those days are over now.  It sure looks to me like he’s being groomed to be the new Les.  You know, the guy who only has two Facebook friends–because he’s just too good for anyone else to really appreciate him on his own level.  The sneer on his face in that last panel really sells it.

But maybe not.  Maybe he’s just being shown as a schmuck who no one likes.  Giving him a big push would be a lot of work on a certain cartoonist’s behalf, and that cartoonist just doesn’t seem up to that task anymore.  Even just a few years ago, there were a whole bunch of student characters.  Then that got whittled down to Chullo, Glasses and Wedgman.  And then that got whittled down to Bernie and some pre-existing characters ported over from Crankshaft…all of whom rarely appear anyway.

Still, aside from the Crankshaft Twins, I think he’s the only new student who even has a name.  The one guy who dissed Harry Dinkle a few days ago makes (I think) a third appearance, and he’s not been given a name.  I think from now on I’ll call him Thatsnought Hewmore.

 

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20 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “The Lestitute

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Remember when Cody was almost the new Les? Then Owen got a hat and became BanTom’s top WHS banana. Note to Bernie: choose friends with no accessories.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    “Seriously what?” guy is sitting at the table with the two of them. And if not, he was in the same room when Bernie for some reason said he only had two Facebook friends. So how did he not hear what Bernie said? Batiuk does this so, so much, where he has the “punchline” he wants to use, but can’t be bothered to think of a logical way to get to it, so he just throws out crap like this. And really, how did this even come up? “Hey babe, mind if I friend request you? I only have two Facebook friends.”
    On a side note, I have a feeling we know how many Facebook friends Batiuk has.

  3. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Ah, very good. Bernie Silver, Batslop’s first attempt at a Jewish stereotype. Lynn Johnston had the kvelling, kvetching landlady, so Batty is just trying to keep up. Only problem is, between Lynnuck up in Canaduh and Batty over in East Bumfuck, Ahia, they’ve probably bet a total of three actual Jewish people between them in their entire combined 140 years of life.So Batty had to really take a wild stab at creating Bernie.

    From his notes:

    1) Short – CHECK
    2) Chubby – CHECK
    3) Glasses – CHECK
    4) Nerdy – CHECK
    5) Jewish sounding name? CHECK and CHECK.

    Only problem is BatWit is too lazy to replace ALL the characters who have graduated, so he’s trying to get Bernie to assume ALL of their roles. In doing so, he’s had Bernie play the excuse-making slacker in English and Band classes, taking over for Owen. But the Jewish Stereotype dictates that Bernie be hard working, high achieving, and ambitious. But again, how would Batty know?

    We do know now that Bernie owns only one shirt: A two-toned “baseball undershirt.” I guess he’ll wear that every day, like Owen wore that awful, smelly hat every day. Ewww.

    Speaking of Batty’s shaky portrayal of minorities, why are all Black students at Westview 40 years old? Oh well, I guess it’s called “writing.”

  4. erdmann

    Wait. Is Facebook even a thing with the kids these days? My 19-year-old led me to believe they’d all moved on to Tweety or Instasnap or whatever.

  5. billytheskink

    There have been other named students in the post-chullo generation. In addition to Bernie, Emily, and Amelia, we’ve seen Maris Rogers (a Cindy/Jessica/Mallory Brooks expy) and Logan Church, who were introduced last spring being interviewed to work on student TV news program “The Bleat”.

    Wait, is that Logan in today’s strip, having pulled a reverseLenny Gant? Given this strip’s history with palette swaps, I’m pretty sure it is.

    May as well call “That’s not humor./Seriously what?” guy Monroe, since he is pretty much Wally’s Act II high school tagalong Monroe minus the MC Hammer haircut.

  6. count of tower grove

    Give Bernie credit. He has greater emotional range than Less.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    So this is really WHS Generation 4.0, right? You have the original Act I gang, then the Act III Boy Lisa/Jessica/Pete generation, then Summer/Keisha/Cody/Owen and now these idiots. Am I missing one?

  8. spacemanspiff85

    I really wonder why Batiuk bothers having high schoolers in his strip anymore. It’s obvious his heart’s not in that anymore, and all he really does is have a strip here and there where he’s making them look like idiots. If he was serious about them, he’d actually spend more than a week at a time on them, and actually give them characters and stories. Pete’s imaginary self has had more time in this strip than all of the current students combined. I think the only reason Batiuk has them anymore is so he can still call it a high school strip. And to vent all his anger at young people, of course.

  9. @billytheskink I do remember the tryouts for the news team. But unless I’m mistaken, that arc was the only time that Maris and Logan were on stage at all, not counting possible silent cameos. Certainly neither has been given anything like a trait–ie, they’ve been absent from the Komix Korner. Bernie on the other hand has shown up semi-regularly enough to be considered A Character.

  10. A HREF

    @spacemanspiff,, @bts, @bc

    This is why I find FW so frustrating– a ton of potential to develop nre characters is squandered on instead Lisa, comic books, Lisa, Lisa and Les, Les and Lisa, Starbuck Jones, Lisa, Lisa, Les, Les writing about Lisa and Les, Les writing about Les and Lisa, Band, Harry Dinkle, comic books, Lisa and Les.Funky’ being old and fat, Cindy’ being old but not fat, Harry Dinkle, Les writing about writing about Lisa, Les not writing about anything, and Lisa.

    And Lisa.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    @double sided

    Actually, Cleveland has always had a large Jewish community. We have kosher restaurants, kosher markets, a community center, and even a college of Judaic studies. There are multiple sub communities from Orthodox Hasidim, to reform.

    I’m just happy I didn’t have to see Les this morning!

  12. Who’s th 8 year old?

  13. Batiuk has transcended darkness-induced audience apathy. He’s at the stage now where people aren’t actually sure what the Hell they’re looking at.

  14. Jim in Wisc.

    Speaking of Facebook, check out the Funky page. Naturally, the cover photo is Dead St. Lisa’s funeral.

  15. billytheskink

    So this is really WHS Generation 4.0, right? You have the original Act I gang, then the Act III Boy Lisa/Jessica/Pete generation, then Summer/Keisha/Cody/Owen and now these idiots. Am I missing one?

    I would probably say we are on WHS generation 6 now, though I suppose you could combine the Wally-Durwood and Summer-Chullo generations.

    Act I – G1 – The Act I gang
    Act II – G2 – Wally, Lefty, Monroe, Susan, Sadie Summers
    Act II – G3 – Pete, Durwood, Chien, Jessica, Mooch
    Act III – G4 – Summer, Cory, Keisha, Maddie, Jinx, Big Mac
    Act III – G5 – Owen, Cody, Alex, Wedgeman, Mallory Brooks, Jarod Posey
    Act III – G6 – Bernie, Emily, Amelia, Logan, Maris, new Monroe

    There is a little overlap between some of these generations, but I think they work in general. The most notable overlap is probably between G2 and G3, with Matt Miller, Ally Roberts, and Mickey Lopez all straddling the two classes.

  16. Hitorque

    1. Why the hell do these supposed high schoolers look like 5th graders?

    2. It’s funny because social media has been a godsend for antisocial nerd sci-fi comics cosplay anime geek types to find similar-minded people, and Bernard is still friendless…

    3. Bernie is going on a mass shooting before this story ends, isn’t he?

  17. Epicus Doomus

    billy: I forgot all about the Susan generation. I did combine the Summer/Owen generations as they did overlap a little, which tends to happen when you’re in high school for eight years like Owen and Cody were.

  18. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    The only way you could have only two facebook freinds is if you never ever check your facebook page. Because the alternative is that Bernie dickishly rejected or ignored every friend request that came in. And probably more dickishly does extreme unfriending of his friends list daily.

  19. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    –3. Bernie is going on a mass shooting before this story ends, isn’t he?–

    Your lips to Batiuk’s fucking ears…

  20. Rusty Shackleford

    @jim

    Wow, so Batty has finally joined Facebook. Like you said, it’s all Lisa Lisa Lisa. The highlight of his career is Lisa’s funeral.

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