Possibly nothing… interesting at all is going on here

Since we went over how what Cayla claims in today’s strip is in no way true back in Tuesday’s post, I have little left to say. This strip is almost spectacular in how utterly boring it is.

I don’t think anyone would cry if Les retired two years early. Same goes for a certain cartoonist who is now, in fact, about two years away from a milestone anniversary that some experts speculate may also mark his retirement.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “Possibly nothing… interesting at all is going on here

  1. Epicus Doomus

    So Les has seven hundred and thirty unused sick and personal days? Wow, I thought the strip was set in Ohio, not New Jersey. I assume Les used his vacation time to cover his various book launch signing escapades, as he isn’t allowed to roll those over. So while his peers thanklessly toil in the pizza and comic book mills, Les is sitting on a few years of paid PTO AND he’s about to cash in on his creepy cancer book yet again as well. What a dick.

    So where does this go from here? Based on what I know about the guy who writes this thing, there are two possibilities. Either he drags out every single facet of the trip for weeks and weeks on end, or he just skips ahead to the meeting immediately and drags THAT out for weeks and weeks on end. I’m guessing the former, but I’m usually wrong about this sort of stuff. I just can’t see him passing on an opportunity to do airport gags, it’s been years since we’ve seen Air Travel Les. Remember when Lisa called in the phony bomb threat during the original book tour launch option? Good times. I remember a Sunday strip where Air Travel Les was downright unruly on a flight, angrily stomping around like he owned the plane. He didn’t become the single most despised character in the history of fiction based on his anxious wry banter alone, you know.

    • hitorque

      What I hate the most is this is the shamelessly cynical filler that eats up 65% of his content… Batiuk could have EASILY just started this storyline with Les+Cayla already in L.A. meeting with Masone, but before we get there we have to suffer through one or more of the following:

      1. “Do I stay or do I go?” (General ennui)
      2. “Bureaucracy, amirite??” (Les tries to submit his leave paperwork)
      3. “Air travel, amirite??”
      4. “Is this what Lisa would have wanted?” (more mopey contemplation)
      5. “The Sign!” (Lisa’s last remastered director’s cut video is discovered)

      • Buckeye Feculence

        Reflecting a strong belief that it is not the destination but, rather, the journey that matters.

        And an assumption that either is even worth the trudge in this case.

  2. William Thompson

    You mean it isn’t a spot-the-difference trick, where the lazy hack repeats a strip with just enough insignificant changes to call the second appearance “new work?” Two minutes and a lot of eyestrain for nothing!

  3. I will give a certain amount of credit here–Monday, Cayla was selecting something from a cupboard, Tuesday she was mixing it, and today she’s got it on the stove. Nice bit of progression of action shown.

    On the other hand, it’s frickin’ Les Moore. Who was staring at his phone Monday, put it down Tuesday, and now is re-examining a text from an idiot who wants to give him money. Credit withdrawn.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I don’t think we should give Batiuk any credit for portraying a woman cooking and henpecking her husband, honestly.

  4. William Thompson

    “But if I retire early, I won’t be able to write because you’ll expect me to help around the house!”

    “You know you won’t help no matter what.”

    “It’s the principle of the thing!”

  5. Epicus Doomus

    I don’t think he’ll retire right away after fifty. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has many decades worth of strips already in the can, all set to run for as long as comic strips exist. It’s not like they’re topical or anything, this current one works just as well in 2020 as it would have in 1982 or will in 2057. They’ll never stop Batiuk, have no fear, he’s got premises for years. In fact it’s entirely possible that the strips are all computer-generated anyhow and “Tom Batiuk” isn’t even a real guy.

    One of the most annoying things about BatYam is how he absolutely refuses to allow more than one thing to happen per week. “Les gets a text from Mason”…and that’s it. Now you have to wait until Monday to find out what happens next, then it stops again for seven more interminable days. This is why, if he really wanted to, he could easily stretch this one premise out for years. Les requests the personal days, Les waits to hear if the personal days were approved, Les learns that the days were approved, Les tells Cayla the days were approved, Cayla reacts to the news, Cayla realizes she has to submit a request too, Cayla submits the request and so forth. Before you know it it’s f*cking June.

    • I don’t know–it’s pretty clear Batiuk wants awards, and I think the only one he has a chance at is that Golden T-Square thing. After that, I doubt he has any interest in continuing this thing. Lisa’s Story has not brought him anything, despite his many attempts.

      It’s been clear since the Les-Cayla wedding that he just doesn’t care anymore. He tricked the New York Times into hyping Lisa’s Story again by pretending to run an arc about suicide, and nothing happened.

      Even his imaginary comic books just seem dull beyond description. This isn’t the work of someone hoping an audience will find him, this is running out the clock.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I really think that as long as they keep paying him and he’s able, he’ll keep going. Putting absolutely nothing into it just works to his benefit now, as no one notices the difference anyway.

        Then again, I could also see him using year fifty to re-run “Lisa’s Story” in its entirety before calling it a whatever. In his mind that punched his ticket to the Hall Of The Immortals and he’s never, ever going to let you forget it either. Which always amuses me, as no one cares about it because it’s a dreary and uninteresting story featuring characters no one likes with a huge downer ending.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          I agree, he is going nowhere until he either cannot draw anymore…at which point another artist steps in…or comics strips get cancelled completely.

          He’ll get his golden whatever, who cares.

          He probably has a lawsuit already in progress to prevent the syndicate from doing anything with his work after he is gone.

          • Cabbage Jack

            What on Earth would they want to do with it? He’s spent the last 30 years systematically destroyed his work himself, taking it from an amusing run with stereotypes as characters, but fun, to a painful trudge with every single person competing feverishly to somehow be more repulsive and unlikable than the rest of the cast.

            Talk about Scorched Earth!

    • Saturnino

      “It’s not like they’re topical or anything, this current one works just as well in 2020 as it would have in 1982 or will in 2057”

      In the year 2525………………………………….

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In fact it’s entirely possible that the strips are all computer-generated anyhow

      The lettering could be. That would explain “Christams” on funkywinkerbean.com. Which is still up, by the way.

      But as for the art, I respectfully disagree. Family Circus, Lockhorns, and the repulsive Crock could all be computer-generated, because they consist of the same images and clipart every day. Not Funky Winkerbean. Every shitty drawing is a unique shitty drawing. In the sea of wry smirks, no two are the same. You never know when a character’s lower jaw will disappear, what color Cayla’s going to be today, or what non-Euclidian horrors will manifest in a simple perspective drawing.

      Computerized art is at least consistent. Not this. It takes a lot of effort to draw with this little effort.

  6. billytheskink

    I like how Cayla telepathically switched the positions of the salt and the pepper between panels 1 and 2.

    • Perfect Tommy

      Now I’m going to lose sleep wondering if he does this on purpose.

      • William Thompson

        It’s Batiuk’s way of signalling she spent a minute or two seasoning the pot before she thought up that witty retort.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    The question whether he continues beyond the 50th is a good one. The amount of effort he’s currently putting into this argues for him going on as long as the syndicate will pay him. But what happens if Ayers decides he wants to stop? Would he be able to find someone to replace him? Past experience with Burchett provides some indication of what might happen. I think we can be pretty sure that he doesn’t want to do all the work himself and he might actually hang it up if he had to.

  8. Paul Jones

    The irksome thing is that there is more going on with Crankshaft than there is here….even if it is just Lillian Lizard planning sitcom nonsense to thwart Cranky. At least she’s accomplishing something even if it is stupid. Here, we might as well be watching grout mildew.

    • I beg to differ. Lillian has spent a solid week simply noticing that all the birds are flocking to Crankshaft’s feeder. Not a single joke or insight of any kind was presented.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Crankshaft mixing in some of his prescription pain killers?

  9. Count of Tower Grove


  10. hitorque

    Um… Yeah…

    I’m a state employee and if Ohio is anything like Virginia, sick days don’t roll over to the following year. This means that Cayla (a former state employee herself) is because of reasons, conflating “sick leave” with vacation time, which nobody with two brain cells would do, ever.

    Vacation time DOES accumulate, but most states cap it at like 2-3 months… But that’s irrelevant anyway because Les has taken literally entire school years off to pimp his books in recent years.

    I will say that if Les+Cayla really wanted to get in on a hustle, all Les has to do is find some ticky-tacky bullshit to sue his workplace over, then he’ll be sent home with pay pending the outcome of the legal process, which could take months…

    I know because a disgruntled colleague in my office did this and she has been home since LAST AUGUST(!) with full pay and the legal matter is nowhere near being resolved. Trust me, if any of y’all are ever broke, just find a way to sue some local state office, institution, department or mid-sized college because you would be utterly shocked at how many Lionel Hutzes with their mail order law degrees from Bo Zack’s Transmission Service and Online Bible College are employed as lead counsel…

  11. hitorque

    1. Why the hell is Masone even sending them two tickets for airfare when he not only has his own jet; he flies to Funkytown every 3-4 weeks just so Cindy can rub in everybody’s face how awesome her life is? And why can’t Cindy just stay in L.A. and do it over Instagram like every other vain, attention-whoring woman?

    2. Only in the goddamned Funkyverse is “I want you to give you an all-expenses paid vacation to Southern California because it’s not like anybody actually likes the winters in Northeast Ahia!”, or “I want to pay you 10x the industry average salary just so you can doodle cheesy comics!” or “I want you to star in/write/storyboard what’s going to be the highest grossing movie in U.S. history!” or “I want to turn your book into a major motion picture and a guaranteed Oscar winner!” or “I want to hire you away from that shitty smalltown high school and pay you millions to coach our top-tier college football program!” greeted with the same lifeless apathy and impending dread as a cancer diagnosis from the doctor…

    3. Say what you will about Dinkle, but whenever somebody wanted to give him a freebie, bestow a prestigious award, or sign a lucrative deal, he happily dove face-first into those opportunities and milked them dry without the mopey hesitation…