Who are these people?

Link to today’s strip

Today’s strip shows two new characters to the strip talking over…

Oh, it’s Summer, with her first dialogue since 2015! And she’s talking to Cayla, and of course, they’re talking about Les, since that’s the only thing these two are ever shown doing anymore.

As it turns out, this is one of Batiuk’s annoying introductions. I suppose it’s no spoiler to reveal that this week’s going to be about Les at a book signing, which also means that today’s strip is a useless one to introduce the subject. He could have easily introduced this sequence by actually starting with Les at his book signing, but that would mean that he couldn’t repeat the premise and effectively skip a day.

But I guess the larger point that this strip makes is that it establishes that Les’s signing is taking place at the Columbus Museum of Art for some damn reason. This only reminds me of how Batiuk has insisted that true art such as his belongs in a museum, rather than being in a more commercial venue. We can only hope that’s this is the last time he flogs that particular conceit in this sequence.

But hey! Marvel at Batiuk remembering that Summer exists and giving her a line. It might be Fall, 2019 before we see this again! Admire her awkwardly angled dorm mirror and try not to think too hard about what exactly that odd bottle of I-don’t-know-what is on her dresser, which Burchett decided to include for some reason.

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34 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Who are these people?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Wow, an extremely rare Summer sighting! Oh…and Cayla too. Looks like another book-launch tour arc, as Dick Facey once again puts the “art” in “artistic genius”. I wasn’t aware of the Columbus Museum’s powerhouse status in the art world, but according to Cayla it’s quite a big f*cking deal for the ol’ bearded dick with ears. For us, however, it’ll be an excruciating smorgasbord of Delicate Genius-slash-Author tropes, like “star-struck fan wants autograph”, “obnoxious PR flack asks insensitive question” and “being gifted: the Author’s burden”.

    If I recall it correctly, the last book-launch tour arc lasted approximately twenty six weeks and ended after Les pitched a fit on an airplane on his way home to see Summer’s knee explode. By far one of the goriest FW strips ever, BTW, what with the blood and bits of tendon and ligament sprayed all over the packed bleachers and all. Yuck. So, on the plus side if history is any indication, this will eventually result in a FW character being horribly maimed and possibly killed…fingers crossed!

    “Art museum”…LOL. “I call this one “Collection Of Previously Published Comic Strips In Book Form With Binding And Foreword And Everything”, with a copy of “The Last Leaf” on a little marble pedestal with a little spotlight shining on it. Hope the Columbus museum can handle the crowd crush, might want to set up the guardrails and deploy the water cannons for that one.

  2. billytheskink

    If the Columbus Museum of Art is the Olympic pool, what does that make the Today Show, the Atlantic Ocean?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Cayla has apparently forgotten all about the events of the fairly recent past and she’s doing it in an arc about a book Les wrote about his distant memories of his dead wife. It’s so unbelievably twisted and weird.

      Ahh, the original book-launch tour arc, where an unbearably smug Les Moore disdainfully complained and/or sneered contemptuously at nearly everything. Poor poor Les, never taken seriously because his comic strip has a stupid name and…ooops, wrong guy. Natural mistake.

    • Charles

      Yeah, that’s something. So when Lisa’s Story was first released, Les was traveling all over the country and doing national television programs to promote the book. Hell, when Les sold the movie rights, Cindy did a sequence about it on her national show. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to about 99% of all novels/books when they’ve been optioned. It only happens for books that are cultural events – the sort of books with named fandoms and real cultural significance (but not high quality necessarily). It’s Harry Potter, Fifty Shades of Grey, DaVinci Code, Tolkien territory.

      In other words, the way Batiuk wrote this, Les isn’t supposed to be some literary nobody, so it’s a real laugh acting as if an appearance at the Columbus Museum of Art is him finally breaking into the big leagues.

      • Epicus Doomus

        What would the “kiddie pool” be? An appearance at the Westview library? This is why (well, one of the reasons) why everyone points and laughs at (not with) FW. We’re not talking about long-ago events from way back in Act I or II, the book-launch tour just happened a few years ago. He’s not appearing in NYC or Paris or something, it’s Columbus Ohio.

        THEY AREN’T EVEN REAL BOOKS! They’re supposedly graphic novels…so where is the artist? TB is so busy promoting himself that he forgot the basics of the story (or chose to ignore them).

  3. Spacemanspiff85

    So apparently Les isn’t really talking, e-mailing, texting, or sending Facebook messages to his own daughter that much anymore, since she’s having to ask Cayla what he’s doing.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I realize that it took Batty’s last crop of high school freshmen nine years to graduate from Westview so I shouldn’t be surprised that Summer apparently hasn’t graduated from KSU yet.

      And what unintended parent-child issues are implied by the fact that, as you noted, she Skypes Cayla who only became her stepmother at the end of high school rather than her father who raised her as a single parent for decade?

  4. Everyone please extend a warm welcome to our newest guest author, Charles!

    A few astute readers have noted that by some remarkable coincidence, Tom Batiuk is also launching a three volume set, also titled Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy, also at the Columbus Museum of Art on September 27. No word on whether Les is charging a $25 admission fee, as Batiuk is.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Lisa’s Entire Story-The Box Set”. Featuring every Lisa and Lisa-related strip ever and a 900 page foreword by The Author explaining Lisa’s genesis, her character, what she meant to him and a complete detailed chronology of her fictional life. Includes all unreleased Lisa outtakes and demos, three fully pose-able Lisa action figures (dork, pre-cancer, post-cancer), a miniature replica tree and park bench, a “Lisa’s Legacy” T-shirt and an autographed Lisa cancer hat. All packed in a sturdy replica casket. Pre-order yours today!

      • Rusty

        If it includes the complete set of VHS tapes, I’m in.

        • Comic Book Harriet

          For 50 dollars more you can get a Breast Cancer Pink wheelchair blanket.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Oh yeah…THOSE. Each box set will also include a splinter from the local gazebo, sealed in acrylic plastic and individually numbered, as well as a leaf (not necessarily the last one) from “the tree”.

          For $1000 he will hand deliver the box set to your door and spend an hour with you. For $1001 he’ll just drop it on your front stoop, ring the doorbell and leave.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          It includes a digital chapbook, whatever that is. Yippee.

    • Jimmy

      “Pulitzer Prize finalist” is an odd and sad opening to a bio. You didn’t win. Get over it. Do you have any awards you’ve actually won?

      Compare his downbeat copy with that of other upcoming speakers. The James Willis event seems pretty interesting.

      http://www.thurberhouse.org/special-events/

      • Rusty Shackleford

        And if his work was really that great, he wouldn’t have to hype it in his strip.

        I hear Megyn Kelly is looking for guests for her new show. There you go Batty, sign up now.

    • Jim in Wisc.

      Yep, this is a Thurber House event, not a CMA event. Its only relationship to the art museum is that they’re renting the space (after hours) to the Thurber House. But, that doesn’t stop Batty (both in the strip and on his blog) from making it sound like he’s the “very special” guest of the museum. At 25 clams a throw, I wonder just how many people are going to show up?

  5. It figures that he’s too busy trying to make himself sound like a big deal to do something boring like remember his strip’s history.

  6. Ray

    That’s no dorm room…that’s an old rental house off of Lincoln St or Crain Ave. I spent enough time in and around each of them back in the day to recognize the signs.
    I’d bet the lock set still has the old skeleton keyhole.

  7. The way these characters flat-out worship Les Moore is beyond disturbing.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Maybe the wrap-up of this strip will be the entire cast’s following the Les-led Lisa’s Temple to the jungles of Guyana.

    • Jim in Wisc.

      Consider that Les is a stand in for Batty, and that Batty writes this writes this hero-worship crap, then it becomes even more disturbing.

    • hitorque

      Their worship of Les is actually pretty pedestrian compared to the Koresh death cult+Spanish Inquisition they have centered around the almighty comic book…

  8. bad wolf

    I’m not a fan of the Bechdel test myself but i love how this setup is almost joyously perverse in it’s missed-it-by-that-much swerve. “See! Two women talking *! Super progressive!”

    *about a man

  9. hitorque

    So the Funkyverse (Westview) is somewhere in Suburban Cleveland, right? How fucking lazy are are these people to Skype each other from less than 40 miles away?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, he could have shown Cayla holding a phone. ” Hi Summer, the super special athlete that goes to Kent State”

  10. Comic Book Harriet

    “When someone is viewing this collection, they’re witnessing the heart of Lisa’s Story.” – Tom Batiuk

    I can attest to this… I buried the whole set under my floorboards and it keeps me awake at night with the constant drumming beats of “CAN-cer, CAN-cer, CAN-cer”

  11. Professor Fate

    There is something so depressingly low rent about this linking the launch of his own ‘everything about Lisa’ collection to the fictional launch of Les’ book. it’s just tacky as hell.

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Why won’t the syndicate just pay Batty’s kill fee and end this garbage strip once and for all.

  13. The Dreamer

    $25 a ticket is pretty steep considering you have to buy the books separately. Batiuk is using the daily strip to shill for his own appearances and help the promoters sell tickets.

  14. The Dreamer

    Somebody should ask TomBat at this event to confirm what we all know– that St. Lisa is still alive! that she faked her death to get out of her hopeless marriage to the miserable Les Moore. That when the Lisa’s Story writers changed the ending so she lives, it was because their researchers had found out the truth! 🙂