Link to today’s strip

All Hail! Here is the beloved Holy Ghost of Dead St. Lisa! Once again haunting a charity function in her honor. But this time she has company. Their horrible dialogue in the first two panels is supernaturally banal. The only interesting thing about what they’re saying is that the lines seem all out of order. SEEM.

Until you consider what we’ve seen of Funkyverse’s afterlife. Masky McDeath comes and reaps you, sure; separating spirit from body. But the multiple ghost appearances, by multiple characters, in the strip suggest a soul remains on Earth. Drifting through the physical world, fully conscious of what is going on around it, and tied to objects and family it was close to in life: Dance hall railings, benches, comic covers, bio-sons. It only makes sense that the spirits beyond would introduce themselves to each other by explaining what in the physical world is their current tether.  What goes on in the real world has the power to please or distress them. Like ancient pagan ancestor worship, the memory offerings of their progeny please their departed souls.

Which is why it is HILARIOUS when Phil learns that the precious comic covers he kept framed on his dinky apartment wall all those years, and then willed to someone he thought would treasure them and his memory forever after his death, were instantly liquidated to enrich the memorial of a woman who didn’t give two shits about stupid disposable funny pages. Silly man, you thought you had a LEGACY? The Death Cult of St. Lisa devours all offerings!!!!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

33 responses to “Hypermortality.

  1. You know, the stuff with Les is pretty awful, but because the character is so hateable there’s a little fun in tearing apart his useless, banal “talents.”

    The stuff with Lisa and her “Legacy” though, is really starting to nauseate me. I can just see Tom Batiuk preening in the mirror over how he’s the one who’s raising awareness, and how awesome he is for this. I should clear some shelf space for the awards, he no doubt thinks.

    I’ve heard of “hero worship,” but I’ve never seen a case where the “hero” a person is “worshiping” is himself.

  2. Let’s check in on the real world “Heritage Auction of the Batom Comics covers for the Lisa’s Legacy Fund.” The Jupiter Moon cover by DC legend Neal Adams is currently bid at $650. At the far opposite lower end of the spectrum is Tom Lyle’s cover for Jim Volk, P.I., which currently threatens to break the single digit barrier.

    • comicbookharriet

      Actually they’re going higher than I thought they would.

    • It’s those form-fitting F cups on Jupiter Moon that bring in the high bid. If you could see the blonde’s knockers too, the bidding might break a thousand.

      • bad wolf

        Yes, brilliant word balloon placement from Batom Comics: “Deny thy audience” their motto.

        This is all true but I’m guessing the artist is key to most of these prices–a legend like Neal Adams could probably command similar prices to anything he put out. (Sad to say i’ve heard the market for original art is out of my reach! there’s some i’d love to have.)

  3. Oh man oh man oh man wait wait wait wait I’m too excited by this thought. Give me a minute.

    Oh wow. Just. I’m sorry, but I think you’ll agree this thought is worth it.

    What if Dead Lisa and Phil Mortality really hit it off, and they go on to get dead-married? Think of Dead Lisa calling up Les on the airport phone to report that she’s moved on! Greatest potential Funky Winkerbean storyline, or all-time greatest ever possible in the multiverse potential Funky Winkerbean storyline?

    • comicbookharriet

      Please can we get a tip of the Funky Felt Pen? “Divorced by a Ghost!” “We vowed, till death to us part…” I want this in dramatic comics cover’o vision.

  4. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Hey, Tom. You know what would be great? Some really maudlin, mawkish shit featuring ghosts of the departed meeting in the afterlife, and hovering over the living, watching and commenting on them,” said nobody anywhere ever for any reason.

    This is the sort of vomity dreck Bil Keane used to give us with Dead Grandpa and other stone cold stiffs wearing robes with rope belts, living in the clouds.

    Unseen last panel:

    “I willed these Komix to this guy because I figured his family could use the money. I was stupid for sitting on them when I could have cashed in. Anyway, I figured some young family could really use the cash. Then I heard he pissed it all away by GIVING my Komix to some half assed, useless so-called charity. You know anything about this?”

    “Fuck you, Phil.”

  5. The Dreamer

    Poor Lisa is in purgatory! Lisa has not been allowed to ascend to Heaven because she is being punished for marrying Les or for some other sin. So Lisa is forced to haunt Westview and wherever Les or Darrin are, and meet other ghosts in purgatory like Phil. Has Lisa met John Darling yet? he must be around in ghost form somewhere. Lisa is like Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and Phil is like Peeves

  6. countoftowergrove

    “It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow men! If it goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death! It is doomed to wander through the world! Oh, woe is me! And witness what it cannot share but MIGHT HAVE SHARED on Earth and turned to happiness! MOOOOAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!!!!”

    • ian'sdrunkenbeard

      “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

      “Oh no! I should have spent more time reading comic books!”

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Oh hell god baby damn no. First things first: why did Phil need to die at all? I’m no charity auction expert or anything but couldn’t he have done the auction or at least attend it while he was still alive? How did Phil’s death further the narrative? He couldn’t come up with another way to get those covers to a Lisa’s legacy charity auction without having Phil die?

    Then there’s the always sensibly-coiffed Ghost Lisa, beaming with beatific maternal pride over the fine young man her altruistic-yet-ill-conceived son has become. It’s really deeply touching how she’s become such a towering maternal figure in Boy Lisa’s life over the last few years, especially given how she’s dead and never raised him to begin with and all. It somehow makes her loving sacrifices seem even more martyr-riffic, doesn’t it?

  8. billytheskink

    Lisa never really read comic books? Her wedding dress was a dang Robin costume!

    Actually, now that I think about it, that might explain why she didn’t question it when Les stood at the altar dressed as Batman.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Lisa didn’t read comic books, got cancer and died. Everyone else did read comic books, didn’t get cancer, still alive. Forget about “comic covers for the cure”, apparently comic book covers ARE the cure. A comic book a day keeps the oncologist away.

  9. Spacemanspiff85

    What actually is Lisa’s legacy? She died. From cancer.
    That’s it. Nobody talks about how she affected their lives, or inspired them, or was a friend to them. She just got cancer and died from it. That’s her entire legacy.
    What a disgraceful waste of a character.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Her actual “legacy” is the way she absolutely destroyed FW and systematically excised every bit of actual humor from it via her mere presence. Lisa is and always has been a dreadful, dreary character, a wildly contrived pathos-generating fantasy-fulfillment gimmick he used as a vehicle for his stupid prestige arcs…the very same prestige arcs he always feels compelled to remind everyone about over and over again. Darin spent a half an hour with Lisa as “mom and son” twenty years earlier. He has his own parents, not to mention a wife and a young son. Yet somehow Lisa is this towering maternal figure and inspiration to him, the very first thing that comes to mind upon being gifted with a potential windfall. Batiuk is so Lisa-addled he can’t help himself from having all his characters feel the same way about her, regardless of how implausible or stupid it is.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    Oh No! Did he run across an old copy of “Topper” or “Blithe Spirit”? Is he going to have Lisa and Phil become a regular part of the strip and have them make their presence known to Darrin?

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Excellent commentary, CBH!

    Panel #4: “So, are you up for some ghost sex, Ghost Lisa?”

    “I thought you’d never ask, Ghost Phil!”

    Panel #5: “Ohhh!”




    “Oh baby!”


    (I think I’m going to puke!)

  12. “Hi, I’m a disposable plot device who only existed to provide the artwork up for auction.”

    “I’m the passive object of years of cheap theatrics whose only real legacy is dying and thus providing my flapping anus of a husband with fodder about horrible books about how he’s the real victim of the pointless suffering my creator put me through because he wanted a Pulitzer more than life itself.”

    “You like funny books?”

    “Heck, no. I took one look at the dreck Batom puts out and vowed never to read one again.”


  13. Rusty Shackleford

    I wonder how many people read this without realizing those are ghosts? Nah, who am I kidding, there are no new readers since the Lisa days.

  14. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “I never really read comic books.”

    “Oh. Then you DESERVED to die a horrible, lingering cancer death.”

    “Fuck you, Phil.”

  15. Dead St. Lisa, Dead Phil, and Dead Grandpa from FAMILY CIRCUS should team up to fight crime and do something constructive with their afterlives besides haunt comic book auctions and helping PJ with Easter egg hunts. With their powers they can make the Avengers look like putzes.

    But seriously, I want to make an observation: This is the first time we’ve seen Dead St. Lisa without Les. What does she do when she’s not haunting Les? Or does she haunt him all the stinking time when she’s not attending comical book auctions? That level of stalking makes Also Kelrast look like an amateur.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I was only half kidding when I mentioned Topper and Blithe Spirit in my earlier post. With this introduction between Lisa and Phil I can easily imagine arcs where they comment on what’s going on or possibly even interact with Darrin or Les. This could also be Batty’s way of bringing back the dialogue he used to use with the leaves in Act 1. More filler until he qualifies for the Golden T-Square.

  16. bobanero

    If Phil had wanted his covers to be auctioned off for charity, I think he would have actually willed them to a charity, but instead, he went to considerable effort (and expense) to have his attorney update his will to leave his prized possessions to a young “artist” who has expressed some appreciation for his work, on the assumption that the recipient of this art would give it the proper reverence, and not turn around immediately and liquidate his gift. Even if it is being done to support a “worthwhile” cause, I can’t imagine that ghost Phil isn’t pissed off to see this.

  17. Professor Fate

    Among other things – one must note that at least in the Family Circus when the ghosts started flitting about they had some real connection to the family as in grandfather grandmother et, al. Here we have two people one of whom did give birth to boy Lisa but that was it for years until it was time for her to die and another person who met boy Lisa from what I can tell exactly once.
    Really, if the after life is so tedious that you have to go hunt out almost compete strangers to hover about in order to counteract the ennui, you must be doing it wrong or you’re being punished for something. Either suits me in this case.

  18. Hitorque

    Did Ghost Lisa actually get *OLDER*? How the hell does that work?