The Bro-ducers

The author who last week gave us “Hershey Barr” and “Bubu Zayla” eschews wacky monikers today in favor of plausibly real, Jewish-sounding (!) names, in possibly his most true-to-Hollywood touch to date.

Hitorque
April 26, 2020 at 11:28 pm
Is Masone wearing A FUCKING SALMON COLORED POLO SHIRT TO A BUSINESS MEETING? And why doesn’t Les have a tie on??

Les’s lack of a tie might be his saving grace. His tweet sportcoat and Paulie Walnuts-like gray temples just scream “boomer” to the hip, hoodie clad partners. Mason’s already hurting his chances by dragging mopey Les to these pitch meetings; would it have killed him to give Les some wardrobe tips?

53 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

53 responses to “The Bro-ducers

  1. William Thompson

    Rosencrantz and Gildenstern will lose their enthusiasm once they realize this film is Mason Jarre’s vanity project, Fortunately the casting will give them an escape: “Mr. Jarre, you don’t have that dark, toxic quality needed to play Les Moore. I’m thinking we need Charles Middleton here.”

    Les is aghast. “The man who played Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon serials? He died over seventy years ago!”

    Rosencrantz and Gildenstern beam. “”Even better! He’ll have the character down cold!”

  2. William Thompson

    The Mixmaster blades are going to be insanely delighted to film Lisa’s Story. “I loved the book! I especially loved Lisa’s husband! He’s the campiest hero since Adam West played Batman!”

  3. CRM114

    I’d be terrified of Mr. Wellman with his bouncer extreme mohawk and homosapien look and…gawd, the guy doesn’t have a mouth….iiieee.

  4. Oh good grief, it’s MORE of Les being “too pure, too noble, too over everyone” for this.

    • Epicus Doomus

      He’s properly attired, they’re dressed like slobs. He’s concerned about artistic integrity, they’ll be concerned with revenue and merchandise. Mason will assure Les that everything is fine, Les will doubt him. Les will ask Lisa for advice and she will offer it to him. How do I know? Because he’s done this before, a few times in fact. Sigh.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        Wow! just like how Masone predicted the serving of water yesterday!

      • William Thompson

        This time they’re going to love the movie and Les. Les will kill the project when he realizes that these are the kind of people who love it. They just aren’t good enough to worship him and Lisa!

  5. billytheskink

    Look at all that vegetation outside the window! Did this office get transported to New Guinea?

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    I immediately hate both these characters. And not just because they’re going to make Lisa’s Story. Ugh, look at that smug, slouching, prick climbing into his high chair. He thinks the elevation gives him an aura of authority, but he just looks like a 2-year-old sitting down to eat at Bob Evans. I can smell his foot care products from here. And his buddy with the ridiculous mohawk looks like he’s here to sell gym memberships.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    It’s way out of line and we’d never allow such a thing on this site but it has to be said: a really good Photoshopper could have a field day with this particular image. It really does say more about me than it does about the artist, but still, now it just can’t be unseen. And arms are hard to draw.

    I’m confused here, as I thought THIS “Lisa’s Story” adaptation was going to be “different” in that it wasn’t going to be all about Hollywood scumbaggery this time around. But suddenly here we are, drenched in scumbaggery again. I mean wasn’t the whole point that Mason had full control and would treat the subject with the reverence it deserves? Once again it’s like he just forgot a key plot point of the story and went plowing ahead anyway because he only knows one way to do it.

  8. Christopher Robin

    I’m on Marc Wellman’s side right away purely because it looks like he’s already had just about enough of Less.

  9. Doghouse Reilly

    “Pleased to meet”? Does Masonne think he’s pitching a movie based on SNL’s Festrunk Brothers? He and Les certainly are “two wild and crazy guys.”
    And what in the name of Charles and Ray Eames is going on in panel two? I haven’t seen such a bizarre displaying of sitting down since the championship round of “Musical Chairs” at my sixth birthday party. I assume tomorrow either Aaron or Marc will say something to make Les fall out of his seat.

  10. justifiable

    So Masonne, that high-maintenance racehorse of a movie star who can’t get through a table reading without having his hand held, instantly cedes all his dubious authority to pitch this turkey and kicks off the meeting by anxiously taking non-industry Less’s fucking temperature? Trophy wives with a pre-nup and a dying husband who wants to change his will are less solicitous than this.

    For someone who thinks he knows everything about “tells,” Todd sure doesn’t get that this would be Mixmaster’s clue to shut this clusterfuck down instantly and send petulant, pouty, not-Tarentino, Less home to be coddled by someone who’s paid to do it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah really. If you”re worried that someone is stressed, you don”t force them to answer a personal question like that in front of the source of that stress.

      • justifiable

        if your so-called partner is stressed, rather than excited, going into a meeting where the attitude should be that “we’re bringing you this super-awesome artistic thing that will make us all rich and famous”, and the first thing you do is fucking call attention to it then don’t even bother trying to sell it – you’re already done. Less’s grumpy slam about how the money is dressed like Mark Zuckerburg clones just nailed the lid on the coffin.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Yeah, it’s good business practice not to insult the people you’re pitching to. But it does make for a better comic strip:

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, but these were written with different purposes. Berkeley was trying to entertain his readers and hint at the absurdity of pop music. Batty is just writing to stroke his ego in a desperate attempt to keep Lisa’s Story alive.

          • Hitorque

            Damn I remember reading that back in the day… It’s funny because my mom and her brothers went to the same middle/high school as Ritchie and he was a frequent dinner guest at their house…

            And if you believe that, I’ll tell you about the time in 1979 when my dad was mowing the lawn early Sunday morning when a caravan of limos pulled up to the house next door and Muhammad Ali hopped out with his entourage and a bevy of women and they all piled into my neighbor’s boat for an all-day party. (Our neighbor back then was some high-profile attorney who got Ali out of whatever legal mess he was in at the time)…

            And that’s TWO truths and no lies I just told y’all.

          • justifiable

            Nothing like an uncanny ability to read the room. Not that Less would ever deign to do that – people are supposed to be preoccupied with reading him.

    • Christopher Robin

      And not to harp too much on something I already did two long posts on over at Comics Kingdom, but there’s no reason for Lesserman to be stressed because for him there is absolutely nothing at stake in this. Perhaps Masonæ is just projecting?

  11. Epicus Doomus

    And no one ever says “pleased to meet”, not even in Scumbag Land. Either fill the word balloons right or GTFO I say. “How’s it going” would have fit, “hey how are ya” would have fit too. If you can’t fit a “you” in there you gotta edit, man. You won’t find any sentences cut off like that in my parodies. Shameful.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Perhaps Todd gave his allotted word quota to Sally Forth.

      • Doghouse Reilly

        I wish he’d give it to the Little King, Henry, Ferd’Nand, or Lio. Any one of them would make better use of verbiage than TB and “Lord of Language” Less More.

  12. Paul Jones

    Batiuk isn’t going to want to admit that it isn’t how Dudebro and Brodude are dressed that guarantees that the film must die. It’s Les’s inability to surrender a control he doesn’t deserve that makes this unfilmable.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      But Les will never have to surrender control. “The story must be told correctly” is the dominating theme of the two most insufferable storylines in Funky Winkerbean: Lisa’s story and Atomik Komix.

      Lisa’s story must be told correctly. Comic books must be made correctly. When someone knows how to tell a story correctly, everyone else must defer to them and let them tell it. Everyone must agree on this at all times. All characters adhere to this ideal, even when it hurts them personally. Chester Hagglemore even said it was it a financial burden giving all that original art and intellectual property rights to Ruby Lith. As well it should be, considering the real-life value of IP, and the ridiculous amounts comic book art sells for in the Funkyverse. But Chester did it anyway, even though generosity is completely against his character. And when a character does tell a story correctly, the strips falls all over itself with praise, like last Sunday’s idiotic comic book cover.

      This is the world according to Tom Batiuk. And it’s all about that stupid Batman episode from 1966. It was wrong, even if people liked it, and Batiuk is still bitter about how it should have been done instead. This week’s arc is a clear message to any Hollywood types who would bastardize Lisa’s story by trying to make it watchable.

      • Christopher Robin

        The irony is so thick, that this man who just plain cannot write is so concerned with the integrity of story.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          He really can’t write at all.

          Think about the climax of the original Ghostbusters. Imagine that they didn’t have that conversation about crossing the streams to stop Gozer. Egon doesn’t explain how it’s supposed to work. None of the characters express any concerns about doing it. They don’t even look at each other anxiously as it begins. We just cut straight from them hanging off the building to them crossing the streams, blowing up the door and winning the day. Then they all go down to the street and the credits roll, with no explanation whatsoever.

          This happens in Funky Winkerbean. All. The. Time.

          We use the term “retcon”, but the problem is more fundamental than that. The ongoing story simply doesn’t acknowledge what it tells us. When an audience or reader sees a detail in a story, it expects that detail to be relevant. Yes, an author can sometimes plant a red herring, or otherwise play against this expectation. But you can’t just ignore it. This strip constantly ignores its own history and details in the service of the short term.

          Mason is suddenly a pitch meeting expert, when both the audience and the other character (Les) have seen his background, and know this can’t be true. Now, in a competent work, the audience would think that Mason is being dishonest or exaggerating. Les might even call him out on it, especially since he’s very skeptical about those whole process. But the reality is never acknowledged.

          And why? Because today’s joke needed it to work. Batiuk disregarded the months of storytelling he did about Mason and his rise to prominence, just to make a dishonest, self-aggrandizing, insulting joke about being able to predict what Hollywood people say. ONE dishonest, self-aggrandizing, insulting joke.

          This is why the characters are all so bland: nothing about them is real. They don’t behave like real people. Anything the story tells us about them is subject to revision at any time. After awhile, people realize the author is just wasting their time.

          • Christopher Robin

            Moreover, the only comedy in the movie would be Bill Murray taking three to five minutes setting up weak, Billy-Keane-level wordplay, followed by someone either explaining the joke or just listlessly saying “Cute” without looking up from their vintage comics.

            Every actual ghost-busting scene would consist of shots of people watching the action and possibly describing it out loud, and then we’d see the Ghostbusters and everyone around them congratulating them on what a good job they did. The celebration ends when someone rushes in to announce that they accidentally killed someone in the process, and we’d go to the funeral to watch the whole cast alternate between delivering Hallmark sentiments about mortality and making more dim-witted puns as they lay bouquets of vintage comics on the grave.

            Walter Peck would come in as an antagonist, but then he’d start dating Ray’s sister and gradually segue into just hanging around, apathetically making weak puns and reading vintage comics like everyone else.

            The movie would start (after the cold open scene of a ghost haunting a vintage comic shop) with university officials coming in to commend Professor Venkman on his fine scholarly work and make it clear that they would never, ever dream of firing him, and it would end with an abrupt flash-forward to the surviving Ghostbusters at age ninety-eight, intubated and insensate in a nursing home.

            And then Batiuk would spend the rest of his life whining about how Hollywoo was too stupid to appreciate his screenplay.

          • Gerard Plourde

            “This is why the characters are all so bland: nothing about them is real. They don’t behave like real people. “

            This sums up the core problem. The characters have no substance.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            the only comedy in the movie would be Bill Murray taking three to five minutes setting up weak, Billy-Keane-level wordplay.

            So it’d be Ghostbusters 2 then. 🙂

      • Hitorque

        My question is this: If Les is so hell-bent on “telling his story properly” and staying pure to his vision, why isn’t he seeking out the indie arthouse filmmakers instead of ABC Disney Paramount Universal 20th Century Fox??

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Well Mason, the classy thing to do would have been to discuss all of this, including the dress code, before the meeting. As Curley used to say: Is everybody dumb?

  14. The biggest aspect of this, which is never discussed, is that Les’ stupid book is fifteen years old now (at least). Its sell-by date has come and gone. There are hundreds of books out there about people who’ve lost loved ones to cancer. Les’ book is not special.

    • Christopher Robin

      It probably seems like a more attractive property in a universe where the only other things to read are Golden Age comics, modern pastiches of said comics, and bookshop-based mysteries.

    • Margaret

      THIS.

      Since the whole Lisa’s Story thing began God knows how long ago, I have NEVER been able to understand what is supposed to make her life and death more special and interesting than those of the millions of other people who have died of cancer (or other diseases) in that time.

      • Christopher Robin

        But don’t you see? This cancer story happened to a real, sensitive, brilliant author, Our Hero, the lovable Everyman, the Lord of Language, Siddhartha Moore.

        Note that the phrasing is deliberate: Lisa’s Story is not about someone who dies of cancer. It’s about how having a loved one die of cancer happened to the author.

      • William Thompson

        The tragedy isn’t that Lisa died. The tragedy is that Les survived.

    • Hitorque

      I refuse to believe Hollywood studios execs wear fuckin’ flip-flops to work… Even if those designer flip-flops cost more than my paycheck…

      Look, I’ve SEEN the Academy Awards so I know movie folks can look decent when they want to.

  15. Albanyguy

    And what’s happening to Mason, physically? He’s always been drawn as a muscular young dude who towers over the other characters. Now, he’s shrinking and growing older before our eyes. He’s turning into a skinny-yet-paunchy guy in his fifties (which, of course is Batuik’s beau ideal of manhood).

  16. William Thompson

    Poor Les. This isn’t a high-school class where he can inflict the dress code on the younger generation.

  17. Batgirl

    I thought it was movie _actors_ whose heads were large in proportion to their bodies, but it looks like that happens to everyone involved. Also, why do these guys have such skinny legs? Don’t they have expensive fitness coaches?

    • Christopher Robin

      Singularly pathetic is that I’m almost sure that Marc is supposed to look at least moderately ripped, but instead it just looks like he’s thrusting his chest and sucking in his gut so as to appear fit.

  18. Charles

    So how many of these strips in this sequence will play out in this fashion?

    Studio Bro makes some insensitive, tone-deaf comment (only in the context of Batiuk’s feelings) because he fails to recognize that Lisa’s Story is SRS BSNS that needs to be taken SRSLY.
    Mason completely misses that subtext and says something inane and/or asinine, revealing that he’s a ninny.
    Les makes some snide aside because he’s the only one who knows how SRS Lisa’s Story is, and no one acknowledges it despite the fact that none of them have any obligation to be polite to him.

    And hoodies are bad now? Les should have a talk with his daughter, who he’s apparently been ignoring for the last nine years or so.

    • Christopher Robin

      Only one detail missing: Lesserman’s snide comment will feature a “pun” re-using some keyword from the preceding two panels in a way that is 75% likely to be unlike any normal use of English and 100% guaranteed to be humorless.

  19. Hitorque

    I give less than a rat’s ass — At some point, someone in Hollywood has to bring up that “kill fee” debacle from last time…

    And one of these days Batiuk is going to tell us exactly what he thinks a “kill fee” is, and how it works

    • Christopher Robin

      It’s clear what he thinks it is: it’s when a movie studio pays a writer for not giving them a screenplay and not letting them adapt his book, more or less the exact opposite of what a kill fee actually is. What’s unclear is what kind of dementia keeps him from realizing that this is completely insane.

      If that’s how he thinks the world works, I’m gonna send him a bill for all the carpentry and plumbing work I haven’t done on his house. Worth a try.

    • Charles

      What he seems to think a “kill fee” is is when a person who’s part of a group project doesn’t want to be a part of the project anymore, invokes the “kill fee”, gets a token payment for his contribution thus far and walks away from the project.

      Les’s contribution to the 2014 Lust for Lisa project was nothing, however, and he essentially got paid for falling asleep on the job.

      But yes, that’s not even remotely what an actual kill fee is.

      • Hitorque

        The only problem is Les got a shitload of money selling the exclusive rights to his book in the first place and we know he never gave that back…