Panel 1 Mason appears to have caught whatever caused Cindy to have Stupid Hair in Act I. I would much rather focus on that than Mason apparently saying Les is a true hero, and he wants to portray him. “You made the big time after your wife died, you’re a real hero, Les!”. What the hell has Les ever done that’s close to heroic? Not curling up in a ball and dying after Lisa died? People do that every damn day and they do it in a far less pretentious way than Les.
My money is even more on Cindy portraying Lisa now, since I can totally see Mason saying that’ll add to the “realism” of the movie.
The stupid Bull storyline and interview are really starting to seem like massive baiting. “I’ll lure them all in with a moving storyline about a trendy topic, and as soon as they’re hooked, I’ll move on to Les Moore, the Greatest American Hero!”. Seriously though, has someone related to this blog done something to Batiuk, or hacked his computer, and taken over the writing of this strip? Because about the only explanation for any of this is someone really wants to make the writer look like an obnoxious ass.
41 responses to “As An Actor, I Suck”
O, bloody hell! Walleye is going to walk through the door tomorrow. Or crawl in whimpering because the leaf blower went RRRRRRRRRRRR.
If he means Walleye, I know what he’ll tell Mason Jar. “Hero? Sure. Let me tell you about my squad’s medic.”
No, no!! We all know that the real hero here is and and always will be Les!!
I don’t even know what to say about this one. Every so often a FW strip comes along that just leaves you totally agog and so full of utter disgust you can’t even adequately articulate it. This is one of those times. Batiuk appears to have finally gone totally off his rocker, it would seem that he’s going all-in here with the “Lisa’s Story” worship and judging by this one he’s pulling out all the stops this time around.
It’s still funny to me how in real life “Lisa’s Story” isn’t a real book at all but just a compilation of already-published comic strips arranged in book form, but the fictional “LS” is the greatest literary accomplishment of all-time, a completely life-altering tome of exquisite beauty and depth that inspires the reader to become a better person. And now, apparently, Les is actually the “hero” of the book, presumably for merely writing it. That’s some book BatYam has imagined there, isn’t it?
I wonder if Batiuk thinks the Bull storyline was so amazing and beloved that now he can just do whatever he wants. Like before, he was afraid he’d hit the limit with the Lisa/Les worship, but now he thinks that his audience is so amazed by his talents he can finally get away with this crap.
If Mason thinks Les is the “hero” of Lisa’s story, it begs the question of just how exactly Les portrayed himself in the book. It is not like we’ve seen much of the book in-universe, so Les conceivably could have embellished his role in Lisa’s death throes to comical proportions.
It would be an interesting turn, far too interesting for TB to ever conceive of course, for Les’ embellishment to come to light during the making or release of Mason’s “substance” Lisa film and the subsequent media firestorm sinking both Les and Mason’s careers.
Yeah, I mean Lisa’s Story must be incredibly terrible if you finish it and come away thinking “Man, that Les is a real hero!”. Unless it’s because he managed to endure Lisa as long as he did, but still, hero isn’t the right word.
Yeah, it’s interesting to imagine what Batiuk could be thinking of if he considers Les to be a hero, or even heroic in Lisa’s Story. I’d love to hear him explain which strips show Les being a hero.
And as long as we’re on the topic of Les portraying himself as a hero in Lisa’s Story, the finale strip for Lisa’s Run from five years ago had Les give a speech to the crowd where he was essentially congratulating himself, and asking the crowd to congratulate him and people who play his role in a cancer sufferer’s life.He totally buys into the idea that he was heroic and praiseworthy through the whole thing.
You shouldn’t be praised for not abandoning your wife when she’s diagnosed with breast cancer. There’s nothing extraordinary about taking care of someone you love.
I know this isn’t going to happen, but it would be great if Mason tells Les that Lisa’s doctor was the real hero here. “Guy devotes his life to treating women with this horrific condition, and often fails because breast cancer is so terrible, but he just keeps getting back on that horse because there’s always more work to do, as devastating and soul-destroying as that often is. There are always other women who need his help! That guy’s a real hero! That’s my role!”
I mean we all know Lisa’s “story” (through sheer repetition if nothing else), at no point was Les ever a “hero”. In fact for the last twelve years he was painted as a martyr, the victim in the story. If Batiuk wanted to paint Les as some sort of hero perhaps he shouldn’t have blithely skipped over the ten years he spent raising his daughter alone. But alas, he did.
Which is a major problem with this whole arc: when you have a story–within-a-story, you don’t go into detail about it.
Itchy & Scratchy works because they never show more than a few seconds of it. It exists just enough to support the larger story. Which is where the focus should be, not the logistics of I&S.
As usual, Batiuk gets this completely backwards. He wants to explore how to tell Lisa’s Story right, when it’s so shallow there”s not even a way to tell it wrong. Meanwhile, Bull’s ambiguous death, Pete’s ambiguous engagement, and Talking Murder Chimp are wrapped up hurriedly and never explained.
TB’s trying to be actively disgusting, right? Right?
He’s the one who wrote Wally as a two-time POW who volunteered to sweep mines in actively dangerous Afghanistan, rehabilitated a terrorist-affiliated arms dealer to the point that he was able to become a US citizen, and adopted an Afghan orphan after her family was killed in a car bombing… and he puts him in a panel with “action hero” while Les is in a panel with “real hero”? It is hard to fathom how this can be anything but intentionally awful.
Wally’s degree is really paying dividends. The idea that Les is somehow the “hero” of “Lisa’s Story” is beyond insane. I don’t see how he could have written that with a straight face.
I’m really hoping that the hero will be Walleye. Or Adeela, or Linda, who are the only other people in this strip who have taken real crap. I know Batiuk will bungle the story, but the look on Creepy Les’s rotting face . . . no, don’t even suggest that Mason Jerk thinks scuttling the Lisa movie was heroic. Give me a day to get used to that idea.
Shouldn’t Mason be telling Les this from under the table?
Oh, hey, in case anyone’s curious, according to his blog, Batiuk is giving a talk at some restaurant in Cleveland, about Crankshaft for some unknown reason (shilling books most likely) and he actually says he’ll take questions on the CTE arc. That sounds like an incredibly bad idea. Although I would love to get someone there to ask him about the strip where he called Bull retarded.
It’s about a 35 mile drive from here, but don’t look at me. I have a doctor appointment that day that I’m sure will be more enjoyable. The Music Box is a nice venue, but not all the shows are winners.
Am I wrong to think it would be wonderful if a large group of people who have actually dealt with the issues he has trampled on in pursuit of awards showed up to verbally pillory him?
“You’re a real hero, Les! Only someone as strong and exceptional as could live through what you’ve endured. After all the emotional trauma and loss you underwent…why it would drive a lesser man off a cliff in despair.”
I don’t remember a hero. I remember a dozy prat trying to understand what was going on around him. I remember a gormless twit who didn’t even have the decency to lash out at his in-laws for the shitty way they treated her. I also remember a lazy author who didn’t have the decency to take the slow path to Les living with this.
I guess one could consider Les is a hero, if only for his ability to make this strip worse by simply appearing!
It says on the Funky Winkerbean Wikipedia page that the whole Lisa cancer story was “was inspired by [Batiuk’s] own personal battle against prostate cancer.”
So all of the cancer stories, and all of the worship of Les for dealing with it, is literally Tom Batiuk being up his own asshole.
It explains a lot about this comic strip.
Seeing Mason in the first panel made me think of Fletcher Hanks’ STARDUST THE SUPER WIZARD. Not sure why, but this isn’t the first time.
If you’re not familiar with Stardust or Hanks, here are a couple of links. You’ll find then more entertaining than FW.
I wish I could download a standard image of Bill the Cat. Ack!
This strip could learn a thing or two from Bloom County. When Bill the Cat or some other main character dies, it’s not a big freakin’ deal! Despite that, Opus’ funeral was more touching than Bull Bushka’s, and we knew Opus wasn’t dead!
And if you’re going to make your small-town characters the center of the universe, have them do something interesting! Opus ran for president, played in a heavy metal band, traveled the world in flying wheelchair, testified before Congress, and too many other things to mention. These losers just read comic books, write bad NaNoWriMo novels and get diseases.
Oh, and Bloom County is better at publishing too. Would you rather read Lisa’s Story or Naked Came I?? Listen to Harry Dinkle’s marching band, or Deathtongue’s “Let’s Run Over Lionel Richie With A Tank”?
In all seriousness, this strip would benefit from a little more cartoonishness. Inagine somebody smacking Les in the face so hard his mouth and goatee swing around to the back of his head. Then he says “Of course you know, this means war.” Isn’t that better?
And while Bloom County may have a lot of silliness to it, it still manages to make some very sharp points about things like politics and culture.
Comparing the picture of Creepy Les and Batiuk in the SoSF banner, it’s, well, not exactly interesting, but Les has more hair (that widow’s puke) and less gray than Batiuk. And is that Les’s O-face? No wonder Cayla hates to be around him.
BatHack is definitely trolling us. He can’t be serious with this nonsense.
Another Westview native putting his “business degree” to good use.
The absurdity of resurrecting the Lisa plot line once again is beyond belief.
Why the shameless ass-kissing from Masone? Why the “sales pitch”?
Is there any chance Lester *isn’t* going to accept another fat paycheck and give his blessing to this movie project??
Hasn’t Masone kept up with the news? Why is he slagging comic book movies? Hasn’t he seen the utter shitstorm Coppola is going through right now?
1. Shouldn’t Masone be thinking about bigger roles while he’s still the biggest movie star on the face of the planet?? Vanity projects like this are what you do when your career is on the downslope…
2. How in fuck’s name does Montoni’s stay in business? 90% of the time it’s empty aside from 2-3 people in the current storyline, who only ever order soft drinks/coffee?
1. I question how big the Starbuck Jones movie really was, since it was made almost exclusively by people from Westview, and never mentioned again once it premiered.
2. It’s the only restaurant in town besides Toxic Taco and the overpriced coffee place.
Well given all the production delays, the three years it took to complete, the on set locations and effects which cost a fortune, the fact that the movie was literally halted halfway through production after a falling out with the script writer(s), the time it took Pete to presumably re-write 80% of the script, then starting the shoot from square one again, Pete+Darrin living fat on the studio’s dime, and all the other nepotism hires (Since evidently no body outside of Westview, Ohio is a good enough writer or a big enough comics geek) I figure if that movie *didn’t* make a billion, Masone Jarre would not be working in Hollywood anymore; and if he didn’t perfectly nail the role of Captain-Major Starsux Jones, the comic geeks and twitter tots would have let him know about it….
All good points. Overall, it’s an more extreme case of Batiuk’s “tell don’t show” tendencies. He tells us that Mason is a big enough Hollywood star to make his own movie because of Starbuck Jones. But we all saw the Starbuck Jones movie arc, and nothing about it supports this claim. Also, nobody ever recognizes Mason or asks for an autograph. And he’s got nothing better do to than hang around at Montoni’s in Westview, after flying cross-country to a funeral of someone his wife didn’t even know.
Bad storytelling built on bad storytelling.
As others have noted – this is insane. So Lisa’s Story is about Les. Jesus. Just how the hell is that supposed to work? I remember the arc – Les didn’t do much really other than hover about. Indeed his only action was deciding not to sue the doctor who mixed up Lisa’s x-rays which basically killed her. (Lisa’s passive acceptance of this was also damn disturbing by the by). Other than that he has spent his time being a professional widower, showing off how much Lisa’s death has affected HIM. He’s also used his wife’s death to launch his until then moribund literary career. And like the author of this strip has gone and milked the memory of the most holy St Lisa dying until it mooed with pain.
Honestly, the combination of self absorption and preening in this particular strip is sickening. It makes the infamous Les running around the bases strip after writing what he thought was a wonderful sentence seem humble and self deprecating . As an aside – I feel the need to Quote Samuel Johnson on writing: ” Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” Would that the author could heed such advice.
This has gone beyond disgusting way into repellent. Les Moore is the worst character in all of fiction. He should be beaten bloody then buried alive.
Mason is *too old* to play Les in the Lisa’s Story movie now. He is in his 50’s and Les in that arc is in his twenties/thirties until the very end when there’s the time jump forward ten years after the funeral.
“I wanted to meet you, Less, because I’ve got a great idea I want to
pitch back in H Town and I want to get the details straight.”
“No, no. What was the name of the dead guy? Ox? Moose?”
“You mean Bull?”
“Yeah, that’s it. He was some kind of sporto, right?”
“And he used to beat the crap out of you in high school?”
“Great! Did he ever give you a purple nurple?”
“You know, a Texas titty twister.”
“Oh, yeah. My nurples are still a little purple.”
“Heh, heh. How about wedgies?”
“They were atomic. One time the school nurse had to extract my
underwear from my crack.”
“Ho, ho! Let me get that down! Did he ever give you a swirly?”
“I thought I’d never get the toilet smell out of my hair.”
“Har, har, har! That’s hilarious! I’ll pad out his story with all
sorts of foibles and fuck ups, and end with a big comedy climax when
he crashes through the guard rail and snuffs it!”
“I don’t know -”
“I can get you hired on as a consultant. We’ll need to make sure the
swirlies and such are authentic. I can probably cast you as an extra,
or who knows? Maybe you’ll get to play your geriatric self.”
“It’ll be funnier than ‘Animal House’! When do we start?”
I’ve been trying to post some crapola i wrote for about 12 hours now. Is the f word banned or flagged or something?
If there were no spoiler regarding Bulls demise would we even know how the heck he died? Suicide, accident, whatever? And now we’re repeating the whole Lisa’s story debacle again.
Bushka died from pedal slip.
Lisa’s story now
Is pronounced Les’s story.