The Words Get In The Way

Link to today’s strip.

(Sorry I’m late!  Things…happened…)

Panels one and two are the funniest things I’ve seen in this strip for a long time.  “This is the cover for ‘Prelude'” says Dullard, handing Les an image that’s got PRELUDE written on it in huge letters.  Does Dullard have the same contempt for Les that the rest of us have?  Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all!

Just kidding.  Dullard is thoroughly hateable, and if he likes to insult Les to his face, that’s not mitigating enough.

Normally, the titles and such wouldn’t be done by the artist, but by a typographer–so, if this was normal, Dullard might have to explain which cover went with which book.  But as you can see, Tom Batiuk didn’t even bother to change the author name to “Les Moore,” so this is exactly what it looks like–an advertisement.  Remember that $80 behemoth that Fearless Leader found?  Gotta get the word out!

I still find it hard to believe that anyone could read 862 pages of Les Moore.  That sounds like an elaborate suicide attempt, albeit much more painful than the traditional ones.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “The Words Get In The Way

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “Prelude: Lisa’s Story Begins”
    “The Last Leaf: Lisa’s Story Concludes”

    So just plain “Lisa’s Story” isn’t actually a “story” at all, as it has no beginning and no end? Well, I’d certainly feel ripped-off if I happened to be either of the poor saps who bought it. What does it just start in the middle and stop before the ending?

    Chapter One

    In my breast, I’d better GET TO A HOSPITAL!

    Blah blah blah blah

    And that morning she wasn’t looking so good and I knew time was running.

    The End

    I know, I know, in “real life” LS isn’t a “book” at all but merely a collection of previously-published comic strips in book form, like with a spine and pages and all that. So obviously he’s put together a compilation of “before cancer” Lisa strips and “after death” Lisa strips (of which there are many) in book form, but what about the fictional LS? What could Les have possibly neglected to include in his master work? “The Prelude”…to WHAT, her glorious death? Her entire pre-cancer life was merely a “prelude” before dying? And “concludes”…it by definition “concludes” at the END OF THE BOOK WHEN SHE DIES!

    So in short, f*ck Les and f*ck Lisa too. Trust me, aside from getting pregnant a couple of times and dying of cancer her whole “story” was mostly just a lot of weak wry banter with Dick Facey and it had all the appeal of watching meat rot. And the post-Lisa strips are quite frankly something I never want to think about again, much less see.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      F Batty too. After this stunt today, I never want to hear him gripe about editors or “the system” that kept him out of DC comics.

  2. bobanero

    Based on the image in the masthead, the only thing we have to look forward to this week is watching Crankshaft dying a slow painful death.

    And seriously, what is with the covers? Is Tom Batiuk actually listed as the author? I could almost understand if TB drew the strip and just put his name in as the author out of habit, but this is a new artist. Do you think he asked the question “Hey Tom, are you sure you want me to put your name as the author on the book cover, even though in this world you don’t exist and the books were written by your avatar Les Moore?” Or was he just provided the covers as clip art and he copied/pasted them into the strip without thinking? It’s extremely sloppy either way. Not that we beady-eyed nitpickers are accustomed to any level of quality control.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      This just proves Batty cares nothing for the art, he’s chasing the dollar. Today’s strip should be the dictionary entry for shameless plug.

      Now gotta head over to Amazon to read the reviews…you know all his friends are posting 5 star reviews there.

    • Saturnino

      “Based on the image in the masthead, the only thing we have to look forward to this week is watching Crankshaft dying a slow painful death.”

      Actually, that would be quite practical.

      Since he is integrating the two monstrosities, it would eliminate the need to keep referring to that crazy bus driver………….

  3. spacemanspiff85

    So Les being Tom Batiuk is actually canon now. Finally.

  4. The Dreamer

    Are these actual forthcoming collections of FW? the artwork is like the Lisa’s Story artwork which was the actual book of the Lisa’s story strips. One book of old lisa strips and one book of post-lisa strips?

    • Epicus Doomus

      According to the Amazon description that’s exactly what they are. “The Prelude” will feature crap like the pregnancy arc and “The Last Leaf” will be a collection of those awful Act III Ghost Lisa strips from approx. 5-10 years ago. Lisa Lisa Lisa, it’s like the Lisa box set.

      • Charles

        Well, when it’s all you have, you have to go with it.

        The last volume proves that this story was, both in-strip and out-of-strip, never about Lisa. It was about how wonderful Les was in the face of tragedy that affected him. It always comes back to Batiuk’s avatar, no matter if it’s Les or Nate or Mason or someone else.

  5. billytheskink

    Les with serious Peyton Manning forehead today.

    I still can’t get over The Last Leaf, which was pitched in-strip as an anniversary gift for Cayla and in real life is supposed to contain strips from the beginning of Les’ relationship with her, being subtitled “Lisa’s Story Concludes”. Les handing Cayla a silver medal would be more subtle…

    • Comic Book Harriet

      Yeah, “Happy Anniversary Cayla! I’m writing a book about our relationship. Lisa’s name will be on the cover! And it’ll be about how you’re here to tide me over until Masky McDeath comes to dance me into Lisa’s eternal arms.”

  6. Jimmy

    I was on board with the crappy SJ stuff. I’m.out now. Nice knowing ya.

  7. erdmann

    Wait… Wasn’t the in-universe version of “The Last Leaf” supposed to be about Less finding a new love with Not-Lisa? Shouldn’t the subtitle be something like “Less’ Story Continues” or “Life with Not-Lisa?”

  8. Spacemanspiff85

    Here’s a gem from The Last Leaf, when Batiuk is rambling about how he completely half-assed the post-Lisa time jump and had no clue what he was doing:
    “Nothing felt quite right to me, and it wouldn’t be long before nothing felt right to my readers as well.”
    He’s apparently fixed half the problem with “more Lisa” and “make believe comics”. Too bad he doesn’t give one crap about the other half.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Of COURSE “nothing felt right”. He jumped ahead ten years, apparently to avoid having to do a shitload of “Les struggles to get over Lisa” strips then did years worth of “Les struggles to get over Lisa” strips anyway. And he couldn’t think of anything to do with Summer, Act III’s original featured player, other than basketball.

      • He’s got the same stupid idea of what nobody wants to see that Lynn Johnston had. For her, it was any sign that Assthony was worth all the crap Lizardbreath had to endure. For Batiuk, it’s Les struggling with raising a child alone.

      • Gerard Plourde

        That excerpt is very revealing. He admits that he threw away a rich vein of material to avoid an examination of the effect Lisa’s death would have on his characters. Developed characters take on a life of their own and authors find that as a story takes shape its direction can change radically because of that.

        There’s also a tragic aspect that’s revealed. In writing Lisa’s story, he did have to develop her as a fuller character than most of the Funky crew. She had become the central character and in choosing to kill her he mortally wounded the strip. The supporting players he was left with (and that includes Les, who acted in that role throughout the Lisa arc) couldn’t carry the strip as they were and, by avoiding having them deal with the consequences of Lisa’s death, he foreclosed the opportunity to flesh them out. Of course, that would entail having to come to terms with those consequences himself. Maybe the prospect of that level of self-examination and necessary self-disclosure was something he didn’t want to do. He and his readers are poorer for it.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty was stuck. He could relate to how things were back in the 70’s…but the world changed, and he couldn’t relate to how things are today. This is why he does so much about senior citizens, they, like him, also pine for the way things were.

      Summer provided him with an opportunity to explore contemporary issues, but he was unable to write anything interesting and so he pushed her aside and tried again with other new characters.

      • Comic Book Harriet

        Which is why Batty seriously needs to stop trying to introduce younger characters and half-assedly telling stories about them until he gets distracted. It barely worked with the Boy-Lisa generation, and every herd of highschoolers after that have disappeared down the memory hole. Let his focus characters be the old people he obviously relates too more.

  9. erdmann

    Ah, the answer preceded my question. What a great anniversary gift, another book praising the magnificence of his dead first wife and one true love to whom none can hold a candle. Not-Lisa’s anniversary gift to him this year should be divorce papers.

  10. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Crap! Computer problems prevent me from uploading my hilarious graphic to Imgur, so I’m forced to do it the old-fashioned way:

    Speech balloon in panel 1: “This is shameless plug number one.”

    Panel 2: “This is shameless plug number two.”

    Panel 3 (Less): “Could we be any more blatant?”

    (Durhurr): “Sure! Buy the Lisa books by Tom Bat Guano now!”

  11. Oh, goody. “Son Of ‘It Came From The Remainder Bin.” Just what we need. Two more books with all the charm of a rotting teddy-bear by a forgotten grave so that Batiuk can remind us of how ridiculous it is for him to presume that he’s worthy of a Pulitzer.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      You never know, this arc might show Les getting the Pulitzer…there is still plenty of time yet to kill.

  12. DOlz

    Hey Les I’m at a loss for words also … but not in a good way.

  13. Eldon of Galt

    This deluded yearning for the supposed glory days of the strip is just pathetic. Batiuk staggers around in the burned out wreckage of what was never any better than a festering slum of a comic strip, and declares: “This was great! This was great!”

  14. Apaulled

    Who is going to buy this set of “books” for $80 (or any amount) — how many people & who are they (& what’s wrong with them)? Assuming TB will give his family autographed copies for Christmas so they won’t have to buy them, who else is the audience for this thing? And how much is he paying the Kent State University Press to publish it? So many questions….

  15. Wonder when Les’ cease and desist will arrive?

  16. Professor Fate

    Tom, seriously, this horse is dead. Stop hitting it.

  17. Epicus Doomus

    I’ve always maintained that he made a TERRIBLE mistake in killing off Lisa for attention…very short-lived attention no less. If he had her survive and beat the cancer a) he wouldn’t be looked at as being so maudlin and b) he’d have been free to keep doing Les & Lisa strips until retirement instead of stupidly trying to “update” the strip. “The Prelude” will be awful enough but collecting his post-Lisa Act III strips is just an abominable idea, as they’re all just terrible. Ghost Lisa my ass.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I agree completely. His need to preordain the fate of Lisa boxed him in. If he hadn’t been so wedded to the notion that he had to have her die when her cancer returned, he would have been free to explore any number of issues with a fleshed out character. Alternatively, he could have used her death to develop the other cast members. But it appears his need to control his characters like marionettes prevents any growth or development. That’s why Les is only able to smirk and demean his students and their parents, why Funky is destined to be morose and out of shape while at the same time being able to run stride for stride with the much thinner and theoretically fit Les, why Cayla remains a submissive cypher, etc.

  18. Look between panels two and three on today’s strip. Batiuk included an URL that advertises the books on hos own website. This strip has fully devolved into spam.

  19. Don

    Or, for “only” $78.71, you can get volumes 5 AND 6 of The Complete FW – that’s 1984 through 1989

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I was in high school back then, ah those must be classics. I mean, gosh, I always look back at my high school days,,..ha, ha, just kidding.