And there’s our least favorite guy, sitting there in his earnest earnestness in the Columbus Museum of Art with his latest cancer porn books. And Batiuk decides to do another damn Crankshaft crossover by bringing Lillian into the strip as Les’s lone customer. She’s got to be, what, 137 years old by now?
And then Batiuk flashes us back in what I presume is today’s “hook” that makes the strip seem somewhat less perfunctory. Les is sitting there with his hands similarly cupped, but instead of his earnest earnestness, he has his standard “oh, how jejune” face, no doubt over how debased he was to be appearing at such a crappy venue as Lillian’s attic-turned-used bookstore.
But what intrigues me the most about the throwback panel is how Burchett hasn’t bothered at all to change the appearance of flashback Lillian from today’s Lillian. She’s still the same woman, clutching the same book in all three panels, despite the fact that in panel two she’s supposed to be something like 25 years younger than she is in panels 1 and 3. After all, Lisa died 20 years ago in the Funkyverse and Les’s publication of the book about Jessica’s-father,-John-Darling,-who-was-murdered, was before even that. Hell, Lillian was old when she was first introduced in Crankshaft, which by going by the screwy timelines between the strips, was probably supposed to be around 43 years ago. Way to mail it in, Rick Burchett.
Panel 3, with its underhanded insult of Les, is pretty much par for the course.