Perfect Atten-dunce

Hark! Saint Les has revealed his halo in today’s strip. He doesn’t want to miss teaching school to deal with the affairs that arise from being a professional writer. How noble!

Here is a list of strips where Les unremorsefully left his students with a substitute teacher:
January 9, 2011
January 31, 2011
September 25, 2017
October 5, 2017
October 30, 2017
November 14, 1997
May 7, 2018
And these are just the ones I could find in 15 minutes!

But this time… how noble!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Perfect Atten-dunce

  1. William Thompson

    “But–but–those kids had a wonderful time! I wasn’t around for school, Hairy Dinkle didn’t show up for the Christmas disconcert, they got to enjoy the vacation–if I don’t make them miserable, they won’t grow up to be decent, upright Westviewians! I wouldn’t want that on my conscience, if I had one!”

  2. William Thompson

    Les knows that fame and fortune will come his way no matter what, so he plans to spend those days letting the students know he gave up a trip to Hollywood just for them! After three days of playing the martyr, the students will decide they’ve had enough of the act and give him the real thing. Can a man be boiled to death in a cauldron of molten Montoni’s pizza? Let’s find out!

  3. Gerard Plourde

    As Billytheskink points out, Les spent almost the entire Fall of 2017 doing a book tour which lead to lots of speculation on this site that he had retired. So his objection here is just another example of TomBa dashing a strip off so he can go back to his comics collection.

    • comicbookharriet

      I’m gonna take this strip as indication that he was disappointed that the students didn’t even notice he was gone, so he wanted to up his attendance.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    So the gag here is that the beleaguered wife is making her artistically gifted husband take her to sunny and exciting California for a big meeting with a big movie star, a premise that was hackneyed back when Lucy did it in 1956. Timely and relevant as ever here in 2020, folks.

    Coming this summer: the Moores’ trip to Hawaii is derailed after Summer and Keisha find a mysterious native idol.

  5. CRM114

    As an aside, go to the BattyBlog and check out his latest flaming match thing. It sounds like it was scribed by a very drunken goof. He’s so very full of himself and there is no good reason. Incredible!

    • Epicus Doomus

      That was definitely a peculiar little rant. So his lawsuit was taking a long time, something else happened and he stopped caring about it? Well, OK then.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, he complains about all the work/issues that arose due to a lawsuit.

      A lawsuit HE filed! Then drop the lawsuit if you want it to end. It was probably a stupid one anyways.

      So, in essence, he is griping about a situation he created. Why can’t he get along with his syndicate? He is paid very well for the little work he does.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That reprinted reprinted excerpt from his Volume 7 Introduction is so fragmentary that it makes no sense. I’m guessing he imposes some sort of word count limit on his entries. He’s basically printing his introduction sequentially, so it looks like he stops when he gets to the word count, intelligibility be damned. Yet another example of slapdash work done on autopilot.

    • Holy crap, yeah, what is the point of posting that excerpt to his blog, utterly without context? And is the Little Orphan Annie strip supposed to have any connection to whatever point he’s trying to make? Who the fuck knows? As usual, he’s sized the image wayyy too small for the dialogue balloons to be legible.

      • Epicus Doomus

        “Lawsuits take forever to play out and there’s lots of paperwork involved”…that’s some compelling insight right there.

        • William Thompson

          “Until things are eventually and finally resolved, you just stop caring.” Sounds like Batiuk reads his own strips.

      • William Thompson

        The narration box has a quote from Cicero that “It is better to receive an injury than do an injury,” followed by some tough-guy talk about how the old goat never had his hand broken.

        The letter is from January 1991, and he’s being asked to produce some documents in support of the case he began. Did he screw up? Realize he didn’t have any evidence to support whatever he claimed? Whatever happened, he’s been carrying that grudge for almost thirty years. I’m guessing he’s still butthurt because he couldn’t do the syndicate an injury.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Even Les Moore’s bowel movements are noble, tragic, and heroic.

  7. billytheskink

    The typical joke about this strip is that it’s all death and suffering and sadness… but the last 5 years have largely involved “creative” types actively avoiding doing their jobs. TB writes what he knows…

  8. Doghouse Reilly

    Well, Cayla, out here we’re on day two of this arc, and I still don’t see a joke.

  9. Charles

    Thing is, Les doesn’t even seem to want to go. This isn’t a guy who is sad that there’s a scheduling conflict. He looks much more like someone grasping for an excuse. But he could much more easily just tell Mason that he can’t do it. And Cayla’s behaving peculiarly too. Here’s what she could have said:

    “I’m going to have to take off a few days from school.”
    “Yes, you are.”

    Instead she’s responding in a manner that provides Les a reason/excuse to not go.

    But what’s going on here is that Batiuk is trying to cast Les as reluctant because if Les is not a constant turd about this, he’ll come across as a egotistical ass. Yes, he has a very important message and it is his duty and our privilege that he is bringing it to us. Every step of the way he’ll have a chance to glorify himself about his book’s impact and greatness, but every step he’ll leave that to someone else, who will OF COURSE oblige him.

    • Epicus Doomus

      In typical BatHack style the female character is shallow and self-absorbed, more concerned with scoring a free vacation than with her husband’s reservations about the project. He simply cannot “write” for his female characters without turning them into cheap tropes.

      • Charles

        The only role that Cayla is serving here is providing Les for an excuse to go on this trip without him sacrificing his cultivated persona of simplicity and humility. If he was eager to go and eager to sell Lisa’s Story to a film studio, Batiuk seems to think that that would make him look avaricious and grasping. He wants to portray Les as a simple and humble writer who wrote a great book about this great suffering, not for money, but because he needed to share it with the world. If he makes it look as if Les is interested in cashing in on it, the whole conceit collapses; he didn’t do it because he’s an artist, he did it because he’s a selfish bastard who exploits his wife’s death for money and fame. (That he’s been exploiting his wife’s death for money, fame and artist cachet over the last decade is conveniently ignored)

        That’s why he was totally miserable back in the “Lust for Lisa” sequence despite that fact that it was undoubtedly paying him more than he would make in several years on his teacher’s salary, and why he celebrated when the thing collapsed. He only cared about “The Art”.

        So when he has to sully himself with the business end of a film production, it’s not going to be by his choice. That’s the role Cayla plays. Hell, he “surrendered” to selling the film rights to Mason only when Holly told him he had an obligation to do so.

  10. Paul Jones

    If we ever needed proof that Cayla doesn’t really know him, this is it. Someone who did know him would immediately realize that he can’t help but see everything as a horrible problem.

  11. Buckeye Feculence

    The Westview school district obviously doesn’t recognize the privilege of having a novelist laureate on its staff. If they did, they would provide flexibility in his teaching arrangement to take time out to pursue his “craft.” (Or should that be “crap.”)

  12. comicbookharriet

    Love this strip today. Because Cayla comes across as a complete slacker enabler. “Who cares about school? Your job? Just skip it. Whatever. No one cares.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Cayla is exactly right, though. Nobody would fault a teacher for taking time off to explore a book/movie deal. Especially right after Christmas break. The only “problem” is in Les’ sick little head. I like to think this is Cayla putting Les on the spot.

      • ian'sdrunkenbeard

        The students and staff are relieved when he’s absent. I’m sure they’re asking, “When is that smug azzhole going to retire?”

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Wait a minute. Didn’t Les miss the Lisa Legacy run one year, because he was off at one of his book signings? Bull Bushka had to run it for him. Les can blow that off, but he can’t miss a day of school now?

    • William Thompson

      Retirement is approaching, so he has to make it look like he’s on the job. Oh, wait, you weren’t talking about Batiuk, were you?

  14. Cabbage Jack

    I absolutely love that the whole joke in the January 9th 2011 is “Les is an unrelenting asshole to people and makes their days objectively worse for no reason!” Its the most self-aware FW ever!

    • Charles

      That behavior would lead to Les being tased, and would ensure that he would be pulled aside for special inspections every subsequent time he tried to board a plane. Airport security really doesn’t appreciate being screwed with.

      Batiuk really loves that humor though. It was a big part of Lisa’s persona once she moved past the “pitiful loser” stage of her development.

  15. He doesn’t care about being in school or not. His biggest fear, as always, is that Hollywood will ruin his beloved masterpiece by suggestions to make it appealing to people not named “Les Moore” – its sole current audience.

  16. Count of Tower Grove

    Less had no compunction to play hooky for the sake of his “literary talents.”
    We must alway refer to Less’ “literary talents,” with quotation marks like Todd refers to “Turtle Thompson.”