Return of the LisaVirus

Link to today’s barf.

Well, I should have known.  Batiuk’s revisiting of his “prestige arc” was so poorly performed that it should have been obvious he was going to spin up Lisa’s Story again.  The world’s worst book, written by the world’s worst writer, about the world’s worst person.

Of course Summer has no idea what’s going on.  Les is far too important to himself to waste valuable preening time on informing his family about anything.   “Hello, Summer!  How’s school?  We just spent a week in California with Mason Jarre!”  No, even that takes too much effort, effort that could be put to better use stroking his ego.

I would like to say something nice about the artwork.  The shift in perspective from panel one to panel two is nicely handled; it looks like Cayla went toward Summer to help her with her bags.  A rare instance of interesting art in this strip.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Return of the LisaVirus

  1. Epicus Doomus

    That famous Batiuk continuity (Bat-inuity) strikes again. Summer looks like she just hopped off the school bus even though she’s like twenty-five now. It’s so funny how he went to the trouble of having her graduate and go off to college in real time then completely abandoned her entire character arc, leaving her in this weird eternal student state forevermore. It’s a shame, as every FW reader was looking forward to seeing her in her wedding hoodie someday.

    Cayla and f*cking Summer talking about what Les and Mason are doing regarding the cancer movie…gonna be one of THOSE weeks, my friends. You know, like the other fifty-one.

  2. CRM114

    Cayla’s dopey droopy look always makes me think she’s mainlining Xanax. (One of the rare side effects is jaundice which would explain her variable coloration.) Les, “Yeah, when I put her on that drug she became more acceptable to be seen with in public.”

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    Um… why would Lisa’s Story need New York locations?

    • Epicus Doomus

      They (sigh) did go there together once. Sigh.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Okay, but why would Les agree to scout locations? Lisa’s story happened where it happened, and Les has made it clear that no deviation is acceptable. Never mind logistics, or that there are a million park benches in New York that could be used for a shot. And that’s the more generous interpretation of his motives.

  4. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  5. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  6. William Thompson

    “Scouting locations?” When a movie goes into production, there are experts who handle that job. It’s a bit more involved than saying “Why, yes, Mason, this would be the perfect bleak spot to film my bland conversation with Lisa.”

    • Cabbage Jack

      I’m no expert, but wouldn’t there be like, a script, studio, and/or contract before they jump to location scouting?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And of course this flop in the making has this huge budget for filming in multiple locations. Jeeze..all they need to do is put a park bench in a studio and use a Central Park backdrop.

      Then the camera will zoom in on Lisa as she utters some incomprehensible words of wisdom.

      • hitorque

        To be fair, I think it’s clearly evident from the Starbuck Jones movie that Masone has literally unlimited funding and resources to film this schlock, along with an unlimited time frame… Half of Westview was on the payroll for mostly doing nothing, and there were numerous occasions when Masone was able to put the production on pause for weeks (with the full crew still getting paid all this time) so he could fly to New York/Cleveland/Westview/Whatever the name of the town where Krankshaft lives whenever it suited him… That’s why this movie that made over five billion globally cost a billion point five to make…

        Then the studio allowed Masone to do something even dumber by having the SJ world premiere at the Valentine theater, which was peak Batiuk.

  7. William Thompson

    How long will it take Cayla to ask about her daughter?

  8. billytheskink

    What an awkward appropriation of a rusty old dad joke, one I actually do enjoy when used properly. The joke works when it covers something that can be easily and broadly measured in terms of more and less (one of the classic versions: “I thought you said you don’t drink any more!” “I don’t, but I don’t drink any less.”). “Having anything to do with Hollywood” is a poor fit here, even if it is measurable in the most extremely technical sense. Cayla switching tenses from Summer’s statement further muddles the punchline. What a mess of gag.

    On the plus side, Cayla telling Summer that Les and Masone are off in New York revisiting places Les and Lisa visited ONCE is far far far far far far far far far far FAR better than actually watching Les and Masone revisit NYC’s Lisa sites.

    • gleeb

      Well, technically, they visited twice, although Lisa had been cremated before the second visit.

    • What an awkward appropriation of a rusty old dad joke…

      Batiuk could at least have gone with:
      “I thought Dad wasn’t going to have anything to do with Hollywood any Moore.”
      “True…but he’s not doing it any Les!”

  9. Doghouse Reilly

    So, to judge from Summer’s comment on her father’s feelings towards the entertainment industry, are we to assume that Les and Wife-Who-Is-Not-Dead-St.-Lisa never mentioned Mason’s plans to revive the “Lisa’s Story” film project to her, something that was first discussed last Fall? It never occurred to Les to say something about it over Christmas…or after the trip out to Hollywood…or any time since, to his beloved daughter? What the heck does this family talk about?
    Also, trying to make cheap wordplay out of “anymore” and “any less” when you’re already dealing with a character with the unlikely, unfunny name of “Les Moore” is the literary equivalent of squeezing blood from a turnip.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    So can we assume that Les has retired or been fired? At least he’s not tormenting students right now.

  11. Paul Jones

    Since Les is himself and not a decent, intelligent human being, it will never occur to him to write the story of how Summer was affected by growing up with a morbid idiot dad.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Of course not, they are both focused on crawling over other people in order to win awards.

  12. hitorque

    Saturday: Funny that Bull never thought to inform Hank Hill of his “tell” since Hank couldn’t wait to inform Bull of his “tell” that evidently the entire district knew about… But it’s moot anyways since Bull got the ball on almost every play and they only had like one running play anyways…

    Saturday 2: God damn it Batuik, football doesn’t work that way!! Even for bad coaches and teams, it should be fairly straightforward based on down+distance and situation when the middle linebacker is likely to blitz… It’s not like high school defenses of circa 1975 were all that complex, anyway. And unless Hank Hill was the second coming of Mike Singletary, it shouldn’t matter when he blitzed as long as there was someone there to block him…

    Sunday: “So the band finally wins!!” What the fuck does that even mean? I didn’t know there was some eternal ongoing battle between the football team and the band??? It would have made just as much sense if Hank Hill said “So the cheerleaders finally win!” or “So the Home Ec class finally wins!” or “So the girls’ field hockey team finally wins!” or “So Montoni’s Pizza finally wins!”

    Sunday 2: And there isn’t enough time in my day to unpack everything that’s wrong with Linda’s “Pyrrhic” comment…

    • William Thompson

      Some of those lines can work, with the right ar:

      “We’re out of toilet paper!”

      “So Montoni’s Pizza finally wins!”

      • hitorque

        The only thing that even makes 10% sense to me is maybe Hank Hill is saying there won’t be any boorish football jocks to beat up on the band geeks anymore…

  13. hitorque


    1. For the second straight day, Batiuk utterly fucks up a last panel punchline… If a character needs to completely re-word their dialogue to the most awkward and bizarre assemblage of words that no sane or sober person would ever say, that’s a good indication that you need a new punchline… Cayla literally sounds like someone who had the perfect one-liner in her head so she jumped to the setup without thinking about how it would actually sound…,

    2. Just your daily reminder that Les+Cayla are really really horrible people for not telling Summer… You’d think that Cayla would have told everybody she’s ever known that she was staying in a beachfront mansion in Malibu with the actor who just starred in the highest-grossing movie of all time…

    3. Summer seems oddly indifferent to hear that a movie about her mom is in the works for real this time, and both her father and stepmother were too self-centered to even inform her. She must not follow her parents on, which would have selfies galore from their L.A. trip…

    Any random mook from the studio can scout locations… Nevermind the fact that unless there is some specific New York landmark that plays heavily in the story, there are *multiple* cities that can double as New York… Masone’s job as producer is to fucking HIRE SOMEBODY to scout locations so he can stay in L.A. and do the important shit (Like, you know, finding a cast and a director)… Lester’s job, since he’s clearly forgotten it already, IS TO WRITE THE FUCKING SCRIPT! And since Lester is famously craptacular when needing to deliver on a deadline, he should probably get started already.

    5. So what kind of reclusive bitter anti-social self-exile will out heroes meet in New York THIS time?? Because we all know it’s coming.

    6. So how many legacy Funkyverse characters are going to get on the payroll with cushy, do-nothing jobs of the Lisa Movie production? Because we all know it’s coming.

    7. And that weirdo who raped Lisa has to be making another appearance too, right??

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I have new respect for Summer. She clearly sees that this movie will be a complete waste. So she’s cutting her losses by not caring.

  14. Charles

    So once again we begin a week with characters who are not participating in the actual sequence. Instead, they’re here to setup the sequence and waste multiple days because you know Les and Mason will also take a day to establish the sequence.

    Monday: “So Dad’s not here!” “Nope, Dad’s not here! But I won’t ask what you’re doing here even though that’s easily as strange as Dad being gone!”
    Tuesday: “So Dad’s in New York?” “Yes, Dad’s in New York.”
    Wednesday: “Dad’s trusting Hollywood these days?” “I wouldn’t call it trust.”
    Thursday: “So here we are in New York.” “I’m so glad you’re trusting Hollywood enough to come here to New York, Les. You’re wonderful.”
    Friday: “And here’s where Lisa walked this one time.” “That’s fascinating! You’re wonderful, Les!”
    Saturday: “And here’s the restaurant where we ate one time.” “Incredible! You have an uncommon depth of character, Les!”
    Sunday: “You know, this has to done in New York City, despite the fact that there’s not one reason that distinguishes it as a New York City thing than something that can happen in any other city.” “Amazing! You’re an extraordinary man, Les!”
    Monday: “Here we are again looking at everything Lisa looked at when she was here in New York City.” “Fabulous! You have astonishing insight, Les!”
    Tuesday: “Did you know that when Lisa looked at something, it was much more poignant than anyone else looking at the same thing?” “Profound! You are so much deeper a human being than the rest of us, Les!”
    Wednesday: “That’s because Lisa died of cancer.” “Sensational! Your gift of clarity is phenomenal, Les!”
    Thursday: “Here’s where I cried because Lisa died.” “Remarkable! I will now make some inane remark that reveals that even though I’m the most successful man in this strip, I’m still a vapid moron and very insignificant compared to you, Les!”
    Friday: “Even though I spent all my time showing you these mundane places, I know that because you’re from Hollywood, you still haven’t understood my obtuse points and that you’re going to screw it all up.” “Spectacular! Have very astute of you, Les! I will cherish your insults toward me!”
    Saturday: “Well, now you’re back here in Ohio Les after having gone to New York City. How was your trip?” “Airlines suck!”
    Sunday: “So what did Mason think of the places you showed him in New York City, Les?” “Hollywood doesn’t appreciate me!”

    And that will wrap this sequence the heck up for now.