Top-Down Approach

After paying to fly Les 2,000 miles to LAX, you’d suppose Mason would at least spring for an Uber to bring him the rest of the way. Instead, the task falls to the eternally youthful and hot Cindy Summers Winkerbean Jarre to fetch Les. because what else are true friends for? Also, does Cindy still even have that job at Buddyblog? His arrival in sunny California has done nothing to snap Les out of his apathy; he even slouches in the passenger seat of Cindy’s sporty, battleship gray roadster. Batty’s gone to great lengths to depict Les’ complete lack of confidence. And you knew that TB was going to compose some kind of wry punchline around “pitch”… but when else have we seen Les “pitch” anything? His endless book signings attract fans who come prepared to buy his work (in multiple!). He sure doesn’t “pitch” an appreciation of language arts to the generation of students who’ve endured his class. He pitched himself in matrimony–twice–and somehow succeeded both times. You know who can pitch though? Mrs. Les Moore, aka Cayla. Come to think of it, Les is the last denizen of the Funkiverse who should be making sporto analogies.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Top-Down Approach

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Few tings are as irrationally enraging as Humble Self-Deprecating Les is. “Why, all this kerfuffle over a simple small town cancer book author like me”…f*ck you, Les. He sure complains a lot for a guy who’s STILL cashing in on the one noteworthy book he wrote over ten years ago. God I hate him so much.

    The Big Pitch Meeting is upon us, which of course means the characters will be talking about The Big Pitch Meeting all week. The likelihood that we’ll actually SEE The Big Pitch Meeting is pretty much zero because that’s just how BatHam does things. In this case he’s using the drive from the airport to clarify Les’ feelings regarding The Big Pitch Meeting and surprise, he’s deeply conflicted about it. Who’d have ever THUNK it?

  2. Christopher Robin

    Note that even his “self-deprecating” remark is still phrased to imply that he’ll fail by going too high, over the heads of the Hollywoo plebes.

    Oh, and unless she brought him an alcoholic and/or caffeinated beverage, that’s not what “pick-me-up” means. Another item for the Batiuktionary?

  3. billytheskink

    Once again, Cindy is Les’ chauffeur…

    I guess it could be worse. I mean, it HAS been worse.

    • Doghouse Reilly

      Regarding the 2009 airport episode you generously linked to, who is that black woman appearing with Les? She seems like she could evolve into an interesting character. What a shame Battyuk apparently dropped her from the strip.
      Also, good to know that modest, non-showy actor Masonne has a car with his last name on the license plate. He and Les truly deserve one another.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        “True friends are the ones who give you airport rides”? How shallow. If anything, good friends don”t make you waste half your day to avoid paying a cab fare.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I like how Mason’s license plate changes from an incomprehensible scribble (which appears to end with 1) into JARRE. As if Batiuk got the idea to give him a vanity plate while drawing the second panel, and revising the first panel was completely out of the question.

    • Christopher Robin

      Gosh, three words from Shakespeare! Very literary!

      Oh wait, that’s not a line from Shakespeare. It’s a popular misquotation.

      I do not think he’s showing off what he thinks he’s showing off.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

      If he’s trying to show off he could start by getting the quote right.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    I think that the baseball term he’s looking for is “high and outside”. And how long is this pitch meeting going to last? From the size of Les’ bag it looks like he’s expecting an extended stay.

  5. William Thompson

    Les could be spreading the corona virus right now. We’re just lucky he’s too shallow to have any hobbies.

  6. Charles

    I’m still puzzled by what Mason thinks Les is bringing to the table here. He doesn’t want to go. He purposefully looks disinterested and disengaged. And Mason knows that Les just whines and mopes all the time; he certainly hasn’t contributed anything constructive in the three or so sequences that are focusing on this abomination. So he’s really going to bring him into meetings with people who he’s expecting to foot the bills for this thing?

    Although ED is right above. We’ll never actually see Les in a pitch meeting. He’ll bitch and whine about it before it happens, and he’ll bitch and whine about it after it happens, but inexplicably the never-shown meeting will be a huge success.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Les has no official role. He’s not even the screenwriter. He’s just the author of the source material. Mason promised to involve Les in the production process, but nobody has to do what he says. Les has no authority. The only power he has is to deny permission to use the source material.

      Which is the dumbest thing about all this. Any movie producer would secure irrevocable rights to use the source material before lifting a finger on production. They’re not going to let some writer hold veto power over the whole project. Especially since Les already pulled this stunt once.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    “True friends are the ones who give you airport rides”? How shallow. If anything, good friends don”t make you waste half your day to avoid paying a cab fare.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I love you man! Finally someone who sees it as I do. I’ve gotten in arguments over the years with people over this. One “friend” was shocked when I suggested he take a cab. He couldn’t believe it.

      Hell I don’t even rent a car on most trips unless it’s absolutely necessary. With the wide availability of Uber or other car services, why bother?

      I was in San Francisco last fall and a friend offered to drive me to the airport. I told him my flight was early, I’ll just call a car service. He was so glad. I told him I would never do that to a friend.

      I used to think Batty was an ok guy, but lately I’ve grown to dislike him.

      • billytheskink

        People giving Les rides to and from the airport is a long-standing thing in this strip. Cindy’s done it, Masone’s done it, Cayla’s done it… Funky once came all the way from Ohio to New York City to put Les on a plane.

        Has Les ever returned the favor? I’ll give you one guess…

        • Christopher Robin

          Les repays his debts with precious samples of his sparkling wit.

        • Charles

          Even more obvious, what an asshole with his performative misery. He sits in a god damn downpour waiting for his friend to come all the way from Ohio to pick him so he can show him just how much he’s suffered. I’m sure everyone in Westview will be awed when Les dies of hypothermia in order to show just how much Lisa meant to him.

          I mean, Christ, it’s New York City. It’s not as if he couldn’t find shelter from the rain storm. Go to a fucking bus stop, you chode. You got robbed: it’s already enough about you.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Oh, we’ll get one shot of the pitch meeting. And it’ll be like the one of Ann Apple in New York: a friendly, irrelevant schlub to hold Les’ hand, even they have no business being at the meeting. The high-powered Hollywood executives will never be seen, or even heard speaking. Because God forbid Les Moore should have to do any work, or overcome any challenges, or even face anyone who doesn’t praise his genius non-stop.

    Maybe it’ll even be Cindy. I can totally see that. Les will inexplicably dazzle a room full of Hollywood executives, and the only other person we’ll see is the part-time reporter for Buddyblog. Or Jessica Daughter Of John Darling Who Was Murdered-Fairgood. That would make perfect sense for this strip.

  9. Paul Jones

    My guess is that Batiuk doesn’t want to show Les’s reaction to the question “Why did you skip over Summer’s childhood? Showing us how she coped without a mom is the real story, after all.”

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Well you guys predicted the use of made up Hollywood banter. I’m sure nobody calls it a “pitch meeting trail”.

  11. Jimmy

    Oh, get bent, Les.

    I was originally distressed by the banner, as I was dreading another Harry Dinkle band candy arc. Then I realized it cycles through FW’s “greatest hits” over the past decade. Whew!

  12. Deadl E. Cheese

    I know this comic gets written up months in advance, but Les going around flying to be passive-aggressive in the big city of Hollywood is just that extra touch of cluelessness I love from this strip.

  13. Perfect Tommy

    Oh man! Toys in the Batiuk missed a GOLDEN opportunity to show Les flying cross country. No whining or complaining about the indignities of modern air travel? I’m so disappointed.

  14. Hitorque

    Let’s not miss the point here — The *ONLY* reason why Cindy picked him up is because she never passes up the chance to show friends from the old hometown how awesome and Instagramy her new life is…