Break BOTH Legs. And the Neck.

Link to today’s childish whim.

“Okay, so like there’s this guy, Les Moore, who’s like totally awesome and cool, but he’s like real sensitive and stuff, and he wrote a book that, like, didn’t have any explosions in it but was still like the best book ever, and everyone thought it was great.  And a bunch of people wanted to make a movie of it, but they didn’t do it right and Les got sad and stopped them.  But then this good guy named Mason, he was a super cool actor and stuff, and he wanted to make the movie, and Les was like, I don’t like this.  But Mason said he’d make sure it was, like, all done the way Les wanted, and he would let Les double make sure so it was all fine, but Les was like, it’s a perfect book, a movie won’t be good at all.   But they let Mason try it, and he made sure it was all just like Les said it should be, and Les would be there the whole time so he could make sure it was done right and there wouldn’t be any mistakes ever.  And everyone like applauded–all the moms, and the dads, the grandpas and mas, all the rotten older brothers and all of the babies and pets, too.”

I’ve said on a number of occasions that this strip is childish.  Well, it’s more than that.  It’s childish in the extreme, but it is plowing headfirst into infantile territory.

Yesterday, Charles said this (excerpted)

[Batiuk is] so desperate for affirmation, for praise, that he devotes strip after strip pleading with his audience to accept his assessment of his own genius.

I agree completely.  Which is why Batiuk has given us panel three, here–it’s an attempt at deflection.  Oh, gee, I’m so humble and I’m really not worthy of all this attention.  I’m…I’m…I’m flawed just like a regular human.  It rings just as falsely now as it did years ago, when Les asked the CME staff for a “cup of hemlock.”

Would that they had given it to him.   What might have been.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

44 responses to “Break BOTH Legs. And the Neck.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Uh, BatYam seems to have forgotten that Les is a high school English teacher and engages in “group activities” for a living. Nice try, though. Nice to see Ann Apple again, it has to have been at least eight or nine years since she last appeared. Too bad the same can’t be said about Dick Facey.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      That’s exactly what I thought. But then I remembered that Les is a terrible teacher, he despises his students, he thinks of nobody else, save for Lisa, he hates book signings.

      So I think Batty was right, Les hates group activities.

      Lisa would be proud.

  2. Doghouse Reilly

    “Break a leg” is generally something one says to an actor just before they step onto the stage or in front of the camera, not at the beginning of the pre-production process, but I guess that’s what happens when your literary agent comes from a bus-and-truck company of “Pocketful of Miracles.”

    “I’m not very good at group activities…including in the bedroom. I prefer it when my second wife, who is not Dead St. Lisa, just sits in the corner reading out loud from a copy of Dead St. Lisa’s Story, whilst I lie back in bed and bring myself to ecstasy by thinking about the superlative reviews that perfect book has received…from me.”

  3. William Thompson

    We know you aren’t very good at group activities, Louse. That’s why all your students graduate knowing less than they did in grammar school and why your family consists of a ghost, a zombie bride and Frankenstein’s Daughter.

  4. William Thompson

    Mason, the only way you can assure Les that he’ll be a part of this is if you not only produce this snakebit project but convince the prospective investors that Madman Moore won’t sabotage the film. Again.

  5. William Thompson

    What was the point of Cayla saying that the Dorky Duo was scouting locations? Why didn’t she say they’d gone to New York to draw up a contract? Huh? You mean Batiuk really is making this up day by day? Okay, that makes sense. If Batiuk doesn’t know what he’s doing, why should his characters act any better?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      They were scouting for a location to talk about the shopping agreement some more. Not for the actual MOVIE. Duh.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        William, I meant that as a shot at Batiuk’s crap storytelling, not you. I’m sorry if it came off that way.

  6. For crying out loud: “Apple” Annie is wearing the same squiggly pink jacket she’s worn ever since we met her ten fucking years ago.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Makes you wonder if she really is an agent.

    • billytheskink

      That was a great post title back ten years ago…

    • Charles

      She was shown in Crankshaft several months ago when she first met Lillian at a convention or something, and she was also wearing that exact same outfit.

      That was supposed to be something like twenty years ago in the current timeline or something.

      Maybe it’s a really horrifying skin condition and not clothes at all.

    • comicbookharriet

      Which means she has the same fashion sense as my dad. Ten years is nothing compared to some of his suit jackets.

  7. billytheskink

    Nearly an entire decade after arranging for the very much not-in-New York Kent State Press to print Lisa’s Story, Ann Apple STILL does not seem to have a telephone, e-mail access, or even a fax machine.

    Want to do business with her? Better catch a flight to New York. I hear they’re cheap right now…

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    On October 26 of last year, Mason said “I’ll get you a shopping agreement in the next couple weeks.”

    On January 18 of this year, in California, Mason said “I’ll send you a standard shopping agreement“, to which Les replied “I’ll get it to my agent in New York.”

    And today, they’re both in New York, meeting with Les’ agent. Is this Les doing what he said he would do? CAN THIS MOVE ANY SLOWER?????

    What do they need Ann Apple for anyway? She’s Les’ literary agent, who undertook the mighty task of selling his cancer porn to Kent State Press ten years ago. Mason is supposed to be the biggest star in Hollywood. He doesn’t need her permission or approval. He wouldn’t be wasting his time with this no-name. But no, Batiuk has to drag out every ancillary character from when he already did “Les Gets Famous” ten years ago, because he’s basically doing it again.

  9. I have a vague remembrance of when the strip started out thinking — I mean, I really like the strips that age, I like that concept and I enjoy it and I didn’t want to get locked into doing a teen strip forever and ever, but I didn’t do it for a long time. And I think part of that was due to the fact that I was doing another strip, “John Darling,” and then “Crankshaft” came along, so I had an outlet for all kinds of ideas for more adult things…after the teen pregnancy story I thought, I can’t keep repeating the same things over and over again.

    Tom Batiuk, March 13, 2013 Tom Batiuk Talks Funky Winkerbean

    • Apologies for being a BENP, Tom, but why does Ann Apple’s professional nameplate on her desk appear handwritten? And who puts a literal interpretation of their last name behind their nameplate? What if she were, I don’t know, Ann Lipschitz? Or Ann Seaman? Coronavirus has me wondering about the unexplainable.

    • Cabbage Jack

      I love it…as we relive Lisa’s Story for the 100th time in the last 10 years.

    • hitorque

      Now ask him to explain why Cindy never ages, since I can’t recall any leading movie actor getting hitched to a mentally fragile woman 15-20 years his senior…

  10. Paul Jones

    Didn’t he dress Saint Dead Lisa in the same ensemble for years on end? It’s like how they used to have Jughead and Archie wear the same thing every day.

  11. AmigoLupus

    Why in the hell is anyone letting Les get a say on this farce of a movie? You know, AGAIN? He’s the reason the previous attempt got torpedo’d so hard and wasted millions of dollars and everyone’s time. Anyone with a working brain cell trying to get Cancerwife: The Book: The Movie made would never let Les get within 50-feet of the decision-making process.

  12. Saturnino

    WAIT!!! Who is that statuesque gray figure by the Montoni’s sign?
    Could it be that Less will have his own Commendatore scene, finally?

    • Saturnino

      Actually, it should be a Commendatora scene…………….

      • Gerard Plourde

        No that’s the bust of Regency/Victorian era poet Irish Thomas Moore in Central Park where Les scattered some of Lisa’s ashes. Les melodramatically read some lines from one of his poems (“The Last Rose of Summer”, maybe?) at Lisa’s funeral. If memory serves, Les was overcome with emotion and Funky ended up reading them. (Poor Funky. Always bailing Les out of situations and constant getting dumped on by TomBa.)

        • billytheskink

          Nailed it!

          • William Thompson

            So why is Les crying? Did he accidentally swap Lisa’s ashes for his favorite hot cocoa powder

          • This is the sort of thing–especially panel five–that makes me hate Les even Moore.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Wow. That is REALLY exploitative.

            I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have NEVER seen a spouse, parent, or child or the deceased speak at their funeral. They’re in no emotional condition to do so. A good funeral director will advise them not to, as happened to me in a younger, more naive time in my life.

            But Funky WInkerbean is just misery porn. So Batiuk has Les try to read some schmaltzy poem, fail at it, and break down publicly. Like anybody would. And because this all isn’t cliché enough, cue up the rain. I guess Axl Rose wasn’t available to sing “November Rain” that day.

            This is why you don’t win awards, Tom Batiuk. You put cheap, tawdry melodrama ahead of exploring any real emotions.

          • hitorque

            Different families handle things differently, I guess… I spoke at my father’s funeral and because I did it so well family members want me to speak at every service now… I usually brush them off but I did allow my mom to rope me in to speaking at my grandmother’s service but luckily I was able to keep that short… And yes, one of my grandmother’s children also had a long speech (but it wasn’t my mom)

          • William Thompson

            Extra maudlin-points for the empty park bench in the last frame.

          • Doghouse Reilly

            Sounds like a nice poem. Sadly, I could never read the whole thing now, because it’s been permanently defiled and will remain linked in my memory with images of Lachrymose Les bawling–or puking–his guts out.

      • comicbookharriet

        Would have been nice to see Linda Bushka being allowed to grieve like this.

  13. Cabbage Jack

    From Batty’s blog today about Cindy Summer’s little sister:

    “In an effort to not lose big-haired Cindy, I created her big-haired little sister and in doing so brought about character confusion, redundancy, overpopulation, and just about everything else that Flash had warned me not to do. And I paid the price.”

    Self-Indulgence: 1
    Self-Awareness: 0

    • hitorque

      That’s right… I forgot there was an even more conceited, stuck-up and bitchy Cindy 2.0 clone… Whatever happened to her? I hope after her legendary career in the adult film industry (which Original Cindy probably should have done if she didn’t lack the courage) she got her marriage hooks into an astronaut or NFL superstar quarterback because without constant validation of her looks she would have committed suicide ages ago…

      And it goes without saying that Batiuk can’t bring Cindy 2.0 back because Original Cindy is around 60 now but has the face of a 28 year old and can rock a string two-piece swimsuit without a single sag, wrinkle or ounce of cellulite… So Cindy 2.0 would just look like her high school self with a modern hairstyle?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      That idiot still hasn’t learned his lesson. He went on to create dozens of lame, one dimensional characters that even he cannot keep straight, let alone his readers.

      He thinks that with all of these characters he has created a rich tapestry, but it is really just a smelly old rug with piles of dog poo on it.

      And all he does is advertise his books and rehash the same stupid stories ad nauseam. I really wish the syndicate would fire him already.

    • billytheskink

      That is an appalling blog entry from TB. Just awful in every way.

      1. “Paid the price” my foot! Did newspapers really drop FW because of Sadie Summers? Were readers really turned off? Was she really more responsible for overpopulation in the strip than Wally, Lefty, Susan, Monroe, Chien, Pete, Durwood, Mooch, Matt Miller, Pete’s sister Ally, the Chinese couple that opened the restaurant across from Montoni’s, Linda, Jim K., reintroduced Donna/The Eliminator, Nate, DSH, Wade Wallace, Carlo ItalianLastName, Roberta Blackburn, Kevin, Khahn, Jim Mateer, etc.?

      2. Creating a Cindy expy in Sadie was such a terrible mistake… that TB went on to give EVERY SINGLE subsequent generation of Westview HS students a Cindy Expy. Sadie begat Jessica Darling, who begat Rana Winkerbean, who begat Mallory Brooks, who begat Maris Rogers. TB writes that continuing to go to the well of stuck-up popular blonde (Rana wasn’t blonde, of course, but she acted the type) was such a creative dead end with Sadie… but he has KEPT ON DOING IT for decades since.

      3. Then there’s this: “…she (Sadie) was eventually banished to the Dumb Character Phantom Zone, where she could pal around with the Moon Maid from Dick Tracy and Snoopy’s brothers Andy, Marbles, Olaf, and Spike.”
      You think you’ve earned the right to Scrappy-Doo the work of Gould and Schulz, TB? Fine, go ahead, but you might not like to hear which of your characters folks would like banished to the Dumb Character Phantom Zone… Sadie Summers wouldn’t make the top 25.

  14. hitorque

    1. Oh god, whenever Batiuk starts throwing out industry terms, be very afraid… You’d think he would have learned his lesson from the “kill fee” debacle, which I still haven’t forgiven… When Batiuk dies one of us needs to spray paint “kill fee” on his headstone…

    2. Why is Masone even wasting his time with a clearly minor-league literary agent for something that could have easily been handled over the phone by “his people”? Why is Mrs. Apple even in the loop to begin with, since Masone himself bought the rights to the book from that TV studio, iirc? WHY the fuck is Masone talking about doing everything except producing (his actual job) and Les talking about doing everything except writing a fucking script (his actual job)?

    2a. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Masone at some point supposed to start thinking about the next Starbuck Jones movie(s)? The studio greenlighted two sequels while the original was still in theaters (which has happened in real life before, most notably with “The Matrix”). Is he really putting a $20 billion franchise on hold to produce this silly-assed story instead? FFS, between the Godfather I and II, Pacino made “Serpico” if he wants to know how pros do it…

    2b: I was really hoping that Batiuk would have spent 20 minutes on the web searching “how are movies made” this time around, but no.

    3. I hate literally everything about Apple’s office… I thought she was a schoolteacher at first? Oh, and motherfuck that homemade nameplate and the apple just in case nobody got the pun… Batiuk thinks this is what offices on West 57th Street in Manhattan look like?

    4. I refuse to believe anyone says “break a leg” for anything other than a stage production. Nevermind the fact that Masone isn’t going to be acting in it anyway I think?

    5. Apropos of nothing, it irks me that a conservative milquetoast suburban public schools teacher from Ahia would show up for a business meeting in New York not wearing a tie… And don’t get me started on Masone, who is easily the worst-dressed A-lister in the history of forever.

    6. Is it too much to ask that Batiuk bring back that strawberry blonde with the heavenly 44-EEE warheads and hourglass waist to play Lisa again? It’ll be worth it just to see Cindy go into her usual jealousy tantrum and low self-esteem spiral.

    7. And finally, a hearty FUCK YOU to Mr. Lester A. Moore, who six years ago bitched and moaned about how the studio and director were butchering his masterpiece into something we’d see on Cinemax late night softcore every Friday (I’d still fap to it but I’m still not sure how you work a tragic cancer story into softcore), and he cried about not having full creative control of *HIS* story which was in the hands of strangers only looking to make a tawdry quick buck so in defiance of all logic he pulled the plug and went home… AND NOW, he’s getting everything he wants with a personal friend producing and promising full autonomy and he meekly spews some non-punchline about not working well in groups?!

    • William Thompson

      Mason started this project because he said he hated being typecast as an action-adventure hero and wanted to play a real hero. He meant Les Moore, which is the most Jarring statement he could have made.

      Um, Mason, have you looked at Creepy Les? True, you’re both repellent, but you’e not exactly the Gog and Magog of interchangeable hellfiends. You’re not a young one, either. As for courage and heroism, what’s the bravest thing Les has ever done? Keep his mouth shut so somebody else can talk? Not whine about his misfortunes? Save others from food poisoning by eating an entire Montoni’s pizza?

      • hitorque

        Yeah, I get it, Masone is on the record as being so desperate for an Oscar that he even added an “e” to his name to make it look more Oscar-worthy…

        It’s just weird that a lifelong C-lister and TV actor (until the SJ movie came out of course) thinks he has some god-given destiny to win an Academy Award… Talk about entitlement…

  15. hitorque

    Krankenschaaften: It’s funny because this is the first time Lillian is experiencing the medium of recorded audio…

  16. Charles

    You know, if your agent/lawyer (wtf) is going over the pros and cons of a proposed agreement with you, it’s kind of imperative that you not have the other party (that’s Mason) in the meeting.

    Of course, Mason is enough of an idiot that being present for their deliberations isn’t going to be something that helps him anyway.