Die or Die Not, There Is No Try

Today’s strip takes a pre-dick-tably maudlin turn. Like we didn’t all know “Les tries to sullenly undermine this dumb movie thing” was going to be the gist of this story arc.

Even if I wasn’t short on time to write this, I’m wouldn’t archive dive to prove that Lisa did or did not say what Les is claiming at some point in time… because I can quickly and easily point to a time when she pretty much said the exact opposite.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “Die or Die Not, There Is No Try

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Panel three belongs in the FW Hall Of Fame, as it perfectly captures what FW Act III is truly all about. BatHack using Les to remind everyone about the story he wrote thirteen years ago, that’s Act III in a nutshell all right. Look at Cayla, dropping that weary side-eye at Dick Facey as he once again just hoovers the life out of the room by once again mentioning his dead wife’s f*cking chemo. It couldn’t be more perfect.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And the worst part of it is… the conversation was already about Lisa! This whole damn trip (which Mason paid for) and storyline have been about nothing but Lisa! Not enough for Les, I guess, or the attention wasn’t focused where he wanted it (himself).

      Which seems like a source of conflict in a story about honoring Lisa “the right way.” There is no right way. Nothing Mason does will ever please Les; Les will never say what the problem is; and Les will sabotage his efforts. All after Les has agreed to the project and accepted payment, none of which he donated to any cancer charity. For a world that’s supposed to be about shallow, greedy Hollywood, they seem like the good guys.

      This really should be the first red flag for Mason. But it won’t be.

  2. William Thompson

    Leave the snark to the experts, Moorlock.

  3. William Thompson

    The chemo worked, Les, but somebody fouled up the paperwork and didn’t carry on with her treatment. By the way, O grief-stricken widower, did you ever take legal action about that malfeasance, or were you too busy cashing in on its consequences?

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    What the hell is happening to Mason in panel two? I suddenly want to throw bananas at him.

  5. I’ve got it. I’ve got it! Mason read the entire Les-Lisa thread and wants to film the story as realistically as possible. With musical numbers!

    It will be called “Douchebag: The Musical–The Story of Les Moore’s Self-Obsession Through the Years,”

  6. billytheskink

    Such confidence Mason has in this project… He goes from “I really believe” to “I don’t know if this will work” in one sentence flat.

    This strip is much better if you cut out the second panel and Les was quoting Lisa as saying that her chemotherapy would make a great movie.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I totally missed that. Of course BatHack was only concerned with finding a way to drop that leaden punch line in there, lest any FW readers forget that Lisa did in fact die of cancer.

      It’s such a deadpan panel and those are often perfect for parody strips but it’s surprisingly difficult to imagine any scenarios, even purely comical ones, where that punch line could possibly be uttered. “That’s what my dead wife said about her chemo”…man, that’s a total room silencer right there.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    What’s uncanny is the fact that TomBa can’t see how pathological Les is. Lisa has been dead for about twenty years (Summer was about four years old. The age jump made her a high school freshman and we’re told that the strip progresses in real time now). Les has remained obsessed with her illness and death for that entire tine despite having been in therapy.

    • Charles

      I’ve said before that Batiuk has a huge blind spot here, and that’s why none of his “good” characters will ever call Les out on his over-devotion to Lisa. Batiuk doesn’t think there’s anything inappropriate about Les’s behavior. He’s as devoted to Lisa as he *should* be. If anyone were to suggest that Les move on, they’d immediately become a bad person who doesn’t understand or appreciate the wonderful qualities that Les has that makes him like this.

      I mean, seriously, it’s supposed to be something like 22 years since Lisa died, and the only times since when Les ever seemed really interested in what he was doing was when he was writing those three books about her. His commitment to Cayla seemed reluctant, almost as if it was something he was obligated to do rather than something he wanted. And of course he wouldn’t commit to a relationship with her, or anything else significant, prior to imagining Ghost Lisa or watching VHS Lisa approve of the development.

      This is Batiuk’s idea of “normal”. Think about Les leaving a picture of Lisa on top of Kilimanjaro. He didn’t do that because of anything specific. The climb had nothing to do with Lisa. He took a photo of his dead wife halfway around the world to leave it there because nothing he can accomplish can be done without invoking her memory. And he was married to another woman while all this happened!

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Batiuk doesn’t know anything about his characters. Look what Les says about Lisa. “I don’t know if this will work but I have to try”, Lisa said? No! She got a wrong diagnosis and did absolutely nothing about it! All she did was mope and demand attention. Aided by Les every step of the way.

    That’s another problem with this whole stupid Lisa’s Story nonsense: there’s nothing inspiring about how anybody handled this. Some people face death with bravery, dignity, or live their last days to the fullest. Lisa did none of those things.

    But the strip keeps telling us Les is a hero, Lisa’s story is inspiring, Mason is a movie star despite being in one movie that doesn’t seem to exist outside Westview, Ohio, going unrecognized in the LAX main terminal, and devolving into a chimp. And don’t get me started on how relationships are portrayed. It keeps building stories around things we know aren’t true, all the while telling us they are true.

  9. Paul Jones

    If pressed, Batiuk would really appreciate if we’d let certain things go: the fact that Les’s statement can be easily disproven, that Lisa’s death should have been the touching off point for a gripping legal drama, that no one acquitted themselves in a manner anyone could be inspired by, that Les is a maudlin creep who fears exposure as a slimy monster capitalizing on a calamity……..

  10. Expecting another Chemosabe joke tomorrow..

  11. William Thompson

    Is this really about the Dead Fucking Lisa movie, or is Batiuk reviving the “Mason Jarr is bipolar” schtick? Because if this were meant to be a coherent, reality-based story, I’d say he’s been in a manic phase from the start. He flies out to Westview to call Les a hero? He mails Creepy Les two airline tickets so they can talk? He enjoys Les and his whining about air travel? He gets stoked talking about how he’s going to turn into versatile actor? Hurry up, Cindy, get off the back porch and give him his meds.

  12. Max Power

    Maybe I’m remembering wrong but a couple months ago the “Lust For Lisa” reboot seemed to be all set to go but for signing up Les. Now it seems to get more aspirational by the day. It seems like Masone flew Les and Cayla all the way out there so he could provide *less* information about the project than he gave them in October.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, this all could have been done via IM:

      Yo Les, Jarrman here, how ya doin?

      (After long delay). Oh hi Mason, I didn’t realize I had text messaging on this phone. I had to wait for Summer to come home to show me how to use it.

      Well Les, good news. Some people here are interested in looking at your script. You still in?

      (More delays). Can you fly me and Cayla out there? Lisa doesn’t want me using these things.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Good point. It’s not at all clear, is it? Are they still needing Les’ final approval? Has anyone green-lighted it? Is this all a pipe dream in Mason’s head? For an endless story about making a movie, they never tell us anything about making a movie.

  13. Count of Tower Grove

    Panel two Masone looks like he’s gone full Hoot’n”Holler. Panel three Skeezix Wallet is standing in.

  14. Chyron HR

    Imagine being Marianne Winters in Starbuck Jones and having to be all like, “Damn, Mason Jarre, you so fine, all sexy with your dad bod and horrific monkey face. I would totally have sex with you, both my character and the real me.”

  15. sgtsaunders

    Les is just a walking can of shit-mist, spraying his rotten payload on any and all proceedings.

  16. Hannibal's Lectern

    This being “Funky Winkerbean” (a strip that is, oddly enough, named for the one character who’s relatively normal and grown up, and whose increasingly rare appearances are primarily for purpose of having the author dump on him), I expect to story to go something like this: Masoné informs Less that he has been unable to get any studio to pick up the “Lisa” movie, and so he is going ahead on his own, self-producing and self-financing with his “Starsux Jones” proceeds. This will mean some changes: the movie will be filmed on location in Worstview, using locals in most roles (they will be paid with a share of the profits, of which there will be none because 20% off the top was skimmed for the Lisa’s Larceny Fund). It will be filmed on a combination of cell phone cameras and (if Less can arrange it) the cameras used for the daily “Bleat” broadcast. After a ceremonial premiere at the Valentine, it will be marketed as pay-per-stream on whatever TomBa’s cute take on “YouTube” turns out to be. From there, it gets picked up by the Sundance festival, takes top honors, goes into wide distribution and eventually becomes the first cell-phone/YouTube movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Despite this, nobody but Les and the Lisa’s Larceny Fund make any money from the project. In the end, Masoné sells his Best Actor award on FleaBay and buys a bus ticket to Worstview. He arrives on March 27, 2022, just in time for the final “Funky” strip. THE END.

  17. Wow, Comics Curmudgeon just pointed out that the Lisa’s Legacy website is now embedded in the strip.

    If there’s a way for Batiuk to more crass…well, I’m sure he’ll find it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Oh, it gets worse. Lisaslegacyfund.org is a blind redirect that throws a certificate error.

      Meanwhile, Tom Batiuk’s author avatar Les Moore continues to insist that Lisa’s Story be “done right.”

  18. Professor Fate

    As others have noted – dear lord what a horrible man. Just god awful
    Oh yes in the second panel it looks like Mason’s Meds just kicked in or something.
    Anyway among the many problematic parts of Lisa’s story one of the most problematic was the absurdly melodramatic ‘we mixed up the x-rays’ bit that started the whole down hill process. Lisa and Les’s response was inexplicable to anyone not from Mars and i’m sure that they even they would scratch their heads.
    Not only do they not sue the doctor for gross malpractice , they kept the same doctor. I remember a very very unconvincing Sunday strip some time later where Les explains why they weren’t suing. Too much bother is as best I remember was the reason. You don’t only see the hand of an Editor in FW but i’m sure this strip was a sullen ‘oh okay’ from the author who kept saying Human beings don’t act like this.
    And never mind getting damages that surely would help pay for treatment – they could have save other patients – this can’t be the first time this doc mixed records up. But no, they were only concerned with themselves.
    Speaking of that, what denudes Lisa’s Story of ANY drama, is that simply stated Lisa just decided to die after the cancer came back. Full disclosure I have a dear friend who I love very much who has had Breast Cancer and when through the treatment – two courses of chemo, one of radiation and some surgery at times enduring the torments of the damned. The cancer is in remission but her health has been permanently affected. She has told me that she’s decided that should the cancer return she is not going to take any extraordinary means to treat it as she would rather live out the time she has left as comfortably as she can and as well as she can (we’re both over 60 by the by).
    it’s a hard decision and one as medial science keeps advancing we are being faced with more and more the entire quality of life question. No Lisa could have made that argument but no in the Author’s clumsy hands it came out as willful petulance – not helped by Les utter refusal to even try and understand.
    yes this has gone on too long but one more this – one of the things the Artist touts when talking about Lisa’s story was that he was inspired to kill off Lisa by his own cancer. He also hints that he’s gained some special understanding because of that. Here’s the thing – yes he had prostate cancer – but it’s not that big a deal. If you’re male and over sixty the odds are about 50/50 that you have something – how serious depends on what type it is….but even so it is very responsive to treatment provided it’s discovered early enough. So this turns out to nothing more than his guilding his own specialness Lilly – full disclosure I was just tested i’ll know in a couple of weeks.

  19. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    This really, needs to be said. Please don’t hate on me, but in the second panel, Mason looks like a “mentally challenged” kid waving at a doggie from a car window.

    I’m not particularly proud of myself fir saying so. I just had to put that out there.

  20. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    After yesterday’s sideways mountain of text, where Jarrée blathered on and on about being cursed with incredible good looks, and how that’s terrible for his career, Les began to get that sinking feeling that he might not be the most detestable and punchable person in the comic strip anymore.

    Today’s episode is his way of regaining the lead. Well played, Les. Well played!

  21. comicbookharriet

    Late to the party today, but wanted to commend Billy on an awesome title for today’s post.