In A World Where Les Is A Hero…

Link to today’s newspaper vandalism.

Well, apparently Tom Batiuk saw “Stan and Ollie” last year, and liked it enough to have it still playing eleven years in the future.  (Your time jump, Batiuk, not mine.)  The fact that he liked it makes me think it isn’t worth seeing, but I’ll try not to let his taste color my viewing habits.  Who knows?

As for the rest of this, movies are made this way only in the most imbecilic fantasy wish-fulfillment worlds.  The real world is nothing like this; the idea that Mason’s cellphone picture would be digitally altered for the big screen is really dumb, unless he’s planning on making an entirely green-screen film like The Amazing Bulk.  Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least, given the “talent” that abounds in this strip (and behind it).

Preproduction for movies is generally nothing but drudgery, so it’s not a bad idea for Batiuk to make it seem somewhat interesting or even romantic.  What is a bad idea is having Les Moore in your story–that turns it right back into drudgery.

It does turn out that Mason has a hidden superpower–he can lean way over and not fall on his face.  Boy, wouldn’t that make a satisfying third panel?  Especially if his cellphone broke and a piece of the screen lodged directly into Les’ throat.

Now I’m all miffed that this didn’t happen.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “In A World Where Les Is A Hero…

  1. William Thompson

    Les and Lesser honeymooned in Manhattan? New York is still the City That Never Sleeps, but it must have let out one hell of a yawn.

  2. William Thompson

    Isn’t it fortunate that no workman undid that bit of vandalism by smoothing out the still-wet concrete after the Moores walked away? I guess that New York laborers are small-town sentimentalists at heart.

    • Charles

      Workman, hell, how is that thing still there after about a quarter century of it being rained on and walked on by thousands of people? Does Batiuk not understand what erosion is?

      Don’t answer that.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Uh, why is Mason carrying on like a starstruck rube? Isn’t he a huge Hollywood superstar? Sigh. Like a lot of things right now I think this is gonna get worse before it gets, uh, better?

    • hitorque

      We’re just a couple of days from Les pointing out: “…And here is the spot where Lisa and I first did it!”

      …And Masone Jarre is going to break out the “CSI: Miami” ultraviolet black light and swab for Lisa’s bodily fluids.

  4. The Paris Theater had its concession stand in the basement and a purple velvet curtain in front of the screen, and when it closed [last August] after 71 years, it was the last single-screen theater in New York City.

    The Last Single-Screen Theater in New York Goes Dark, New York Times, Sept. 1, 2019

    Too bad Batiuk didn’t see that coming. It might have inspired a Crankshaft arc in which Mindy’s brother Max saves the Paris from oblivion the way he did the Valentine.


  5. billytheskink

    And so it begins. The nightmare I envisioned back in January, it has finally started.

    I’m tempted to social distance myself from this strip…

    • Cabbage Jack

      It’s getting harder to read…it has always been maudlin and self-congratulatory/indulgent to a fault, but its drifting into utter nonsense lately. There is no way Tom sends these off to the syndicate thinking ‘nailed it!’ unless he’s laboring in a world of serious self delusion.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        He is. But he says something more obtuse. Then he kicks back with an old comic book and orders his wife to bring him his hot cocoa and cookies.

        He gazes to towards the bookshelf and sees Lisa’s story propped up in front of the FW collection. He then gazes at the framed copy of his NYT puff piece. Then a big scowl as he notices there are no little marshmallows in his beverage. “I’m not your mother” yells his wife. No you’re not! They both sit there smirking at each other.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Batiuk’s writing for Lisa’s Story reminds me so much of this vignette from Family Guy:

    Stewie makes a music video for a girl he likes, which he thinks is the greatest thing ever made, but is just an incoherent string of visual clichés. Listen to Stewie pitch it to Brian and tell me that’s not our least favorite cartoonist talking. And us reacting to it:

    BRIAN: I’m not following the story arc here.
    STEWIE: Shut up!

  7. Doghouse Reilly

    Why in the name of Pauline Kael Battyuk thought the 2018 release “Stan and Ollie” would still be playing over a year later I’ll never understand, but I have to give him a half-star for having the good taste not to have “Starbuck Jones” or “Butter Brinkle Film Festival” splashed on the marquee.
    And, in honor of the subjects of the film that is advertised, all I can say is….”Well, here’s another fine Les you’ve gotten us into!”

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Less should have taken Lisa to the Paris Art Theater, a porno joint in Cleveland. It’s now demolished, but when “Deep Throat” came out, a girl I was dating took me there. Now there’s a sentimental memory…

  9. Charles

    Nice third panel, Chuck. First we’ve got the awkward-looking Mason sticking his ass way out to take a picture, but the true beauty is the perspective fail that makes Les look as if he’s standing on a box about eight feet above Mason.

    And Christ, the Greatest, Perfect, Most Tragic Romance in History is really mundane as hell. Who knew it’d be so boring?

    Don’t answer that.

  10. Paul Jones

    The really irritating thing is that not only is the theater closed down, it would be really unlikely that that pavement slab would still be there.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And a heart etched in concrete, wow, movie gold! They’ll be lining up to see this.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And thanks Batty for ruining a vacation destination for me and my wife. Since it is a quick flight from Cleveland, we often fly over for the weekend. Visit a museum and walk around, hit a nice restaurant, etc.

      We have never written our names for signing our bill. Nor do we visit with googly eyes and think everything is wonderful there…Berlin is a much nicer city.

  11. William Thompson

    Since when would a windbag like Les stop after writing only two names?

    • ian'sdrunkenbeard

      Why am I not surprised that it doesn’t say “Lisa and Les”? His name is a lot bigger, as though her name was added as an afterthought.

  12. Gerard Plourde

    Writing initials in the sidewalk as a key scene?

    While I’ve assumed that the plot of “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” would revolve around the cancer arc, it has never actually been described. With this honeymoon sequence being thrown in, I’m beginning to to suspect that the project TomBa envisions would have a run time that would rival or dwarf the 8 hour Russian production of “War and Peace”.

    • hitorque

      Oh, I’m pretty sure this movie will at least go back in time to Lisa being date raped by that jock…

      And no, I do NOT want to know how Masone plans to accurately depict that night on the screen…

  13. hitorque

    1. God damn it to hell fuck shit piss tits balls movies don’t work that way!!

    1a. Masone *does* know how movies are made, right? He knows he doesn’t literally have to recreate the scene on that exact spot, right? I mean, when he was making Starbuck Jones it’s not like he believed his fight scenes would have to be filmed in outer space…

    1b. So Masone *IS* playing the role of Les in this shit?

    2. You wrote your names in cement? What were you, 14 years old?? Did you spray paint the local water tower, too?? I love how all this shit Les thinks is endearing is childish and immature.

    3. It’s funny because if this was back in Westview, no way in hell would Les+Lisa deface a local sidewalk…

    4. …”So I can write it back in in the movie!” — Does anybody proofread Batiuk’s stuff before publication or does nobody give a shit anymore?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      [Mason] knows he doesn’t literally have to recreate the scene on that exact spot, right?

      Remember, Mason wants to do Lisa’s Story “correctly”. Meaning 100% to Les Moore’s demanding, uninformed, impractical specifications. So you’d better believe Mason has to recreate the scene on that exact spot! And, hire a CGI crew for a movie that has no need for one!

      This isn’t one of those lame movies that cares about cost or practicality. Where the production crew can just buy some cement, film Mason writing “Les loves Lisa” in it, and intercut it with the location shots. It wouldn’t be in Les’ handwriting!

  14. hitorque

    5. And just your daily reminder that Masone Jarre, star of the single highest-grossing movie ever just a year ago, the face who is on kids’ t-shirts, posters, lunchboxes, bookbags, commemorative cups from Burger King, E! Magazine, top-selling comic books, and the MUST-HAVE toys and video game this past Christmas is freely walking down midtown Manhattan IN BROAD FUCKING DAYLIGHT AND NOT ONE PERSON HAS RECOGNIZED HIM… There isn’t a single real-life celebrity who could dream of getting away with that shit… This is why A-listers have their own people who handle sundry matters like location scouting and meaningless meetings with nobodies…

    What, did the paparazzi go on strike or something?? Out of all the things Batiuk gets wrong about movies, Masone’s freedom to do whatever he wants in public pisses me off the most.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The way this storyline is going, I expect someone to walk right past Mason, and then recognize Les as the author of Lisa’s Story.