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Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
And Les will slam each and every actress for not being right. How dare a mere woman aspire to portray Lisa!
Yes, your life will change, Les! Today you are a sad, pathetic nobody. Soon you shall be a sad, pathetic nobody with a Razzie on your Pulitzer shelf!
Here it comes: several weeks of Les calling Lisa special, without saying what made her special. Order some vanilla pudding with your lunch, Les, and we’ll cast it as Lisa.
Okay, first a well-established Hollywood place like the Chateau Marmont would not tolerate its waitstaff handing out headshots and resumes to patrons. Second, Les is teaching his classes by remote (in a pre-viral way of living)–without a substitute, one would think–and Westview High is tolerating it? Third, even if Cassidy is unaware of his past Tinseltown travails regarding “Lust for Lisa,” what a strange, strange thing for her to say to our ostensible protagonist…and what kind of snotty answer was that for him to spew at her?
If it’s power-lunch time in LA, then ClueLess missed that third period class hours ago. Apparently the Lard of Landwidge doesn’t know what time zones are.
Todd, you consummate fuckwit, that’s not the way any of this works.
Gawking, pointing tourists aren’t allowed at the Marmont. Is the last bastion of the Hollywood power lunch as “insider” Todd claims, or is it now a branch of Rodeo Drive?
Waitstaff who force their “pic and res” on patrons find themselves fired, not least because if they’re any good, they have an agent who knows how to get their idiot client work without being blackballed. No one, but no one, calls it a “res” – and it’s a “headshot,” TODD.
if you’re going to be auditioning other actors for Lisa, that’s what a casting director does. You know, the person Kerr said she would save “a fortune” on not hiring because Masonne apparently now does that, as well.
One of the perks of being an established star is that you can often avoid having to audition. Marianne’s made at least two major films – if she doesn’t have the range required to act insecure, sad and dying, then it’s not exactly a secret at this point. And why is no one demanding typecast action-hero Masonne audition for Less’s role? This double standard is goddamn insulting, especially since Marianne doesn’t have any fucking idea her idiot action co-star has just decided the rest of her career for her.
In real life, this film would have a $2M budget, and that’s $2M more than it’s worth. When the screen rights are sold, authors generally get paid something like 2.5% of the budget – which means Less would go home with all of $50,000, and then his agent would take 10% of that. If $45,000 bucks is “life changing,” than Ahia is a fuck of a lot worse off than I suspected.
I don’t remember exactly when it was but there was a strip where Les shows Cayla the Big Movie Option check he just received (sometime before Lust For Lisa I believe), so clearly the issue of how Big Hollywood Dough would affect his life has surely been broached before…or so one would believe. But this is reality and our laws of logic, sense and long-term memory don’t necessarily apply in the Funkyverse.
Year-long options can pay anywhere from $500-$5,000, but they’re not the haul that Todd “Kill Fee” Battocks envisions. Since CME actually started production on Lust For Lisa years ago, that means they would have exercised that option and bought the property, so they’d actually own it now. The rights wouldn’t have reverted back to ClueLess if it went into turnaround, so the double-dipping that Todd imagines here is absurd.
Look. If Starsuck Jones was the blockbuster success we’ve been told, then casting Marriane Winters as Lisa opposite Masone Jarree as Les is literally the only way you’re going to get butts in seats. It would be like watching Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss star in The Notebook two years after The Matrix released. It’s basically the premise Marriage Story was sold on. “Watch Kylo Ren and Black Widow have an acrimonious divorce.”
Uh-oh! Those of possibly impure heart are about to sully Les’ sacred tome with their greedy Hollywood scumbag fingers…again…and he’s deeply conflicted about it…again. You’d think he’d have had some time to ponder the ramifications of cashing in on Lisa’s death at some point over the last ten years while he was selling books and hawking screenplays but nope, he’s still as deeply conflicted and paralyzed by self-doubt as he was when She got her very first diagnosis.
Which to be fair is actually kind of in character for a guy who’s spent the last twenty-three years constantly re-living his young wife’s tragic death. Good thing he wrote everything down. I imagine that for LesTom “LS” is practically reference material now, with a well-thumbed copy right there on the studio desk in order to verify Lisa facts and settle Lisa bar bets.
“And I couldn’t believe she sponsored and participated in that charity 5K right after she gave birth to Summer in the chemo ward during the big explosion!”
“No, that’s incorrect. She actually gave birth to Summer at the 5K. You’re thinking about her dream sequence, which is not official strip canon.”
“Well! We’ll see about that, dickhead! (Flips pages) Oh my, looks like I owe you an apology. I was indeed thinking about the dream sequence she had during her coma after Frankie tripped her with his documentary camera wire. Next round’s on me, fella!”
You mean ‘in what way’, Mr. English Teacher.
Once again, we see Batiuk reacting strongly in the negative to his idea of how things ought to work constrasting with the way they actually do work. Les would be lucky to be able to fill up his gas tank with what the studio gives him, the casting people would know who’s best suited to be Doofus and Unremarkable Irritant and nothing remotely like this would be happening. Instead, we get “Well, it SHOULD” from Mister It’s Called Writing.
So Les is teaching online now? He didn’t have the common decency to take leave before this bullshit adventure??
Oh, and the cliche of L.A. waiters sliding headshots and scripts to producers at dinner is really ancient…
“I want to test some other women for Lisa.” WHAAAAT? Cassidy just agreed to do the movie on the sole basis of Mason’s “brilliant” casting! And she’s changing it before the meeting even ends, in ways that would cancel the financial benefits Mason just pitched?
Oh, and neither Les nor Mason even reacts to this 180 degree turn, even though they’ve just been arguing about this very topic. No time for that, we’ve got to talk about a quiz for Les’ 3rd period class!
It’s like the strip is saying “Oh, you were following the story? Well, fuck you.”
I think this is Batiuk’s way of injecting conflict into a sequence that doesn’t have any conflict. He can’t actually have Les voice any serious misgivings he has because that would ruin everything. But if this minor BS issue isn’t brought up, this whole week’s been nothing but “Hey, got this project I want you in on,” “Great! I’m in!”
Well, it doesn’t work, because that’s what we have anyway: no conflict, and people agreeing with each other. Made extra insulting because the characters immediately forget the thing they were just conflicted about. Look at Mason’s big smile and Les’ eternal boo-hoo-hoo scowl in that panel. Shouldn’t Les be relieved that Cassidy is at least considering other possibilities? Shouldn’t Mason react negatively to the idea of his precious Marianne Winters facing competition?
Because I guess the movie’s green-lighted now, Cassidy doesn’t need anyone else’s approval or any other information to make this decision. So much for conflict, drama, or even exposition.
So Les sets up an alert on his phone to come up in the middle of a meeting, and makes sure not only to interrupt the meeting to respond to it, but he also makes sure to tell everyone at the meeting what it was about.
I swear, Batiuk must have been going through life insulting people left and right about being completely oblivious about it.
“about being completely oblivious about it.”
*While* being completely oblivious about it, sheesh.
Anyway, Les has just told Cassidy she’s less important than a quizlet for his AP class. (I bet no one from that class ends up earning college credit for it) You’d think he’d set up alerts for things like family emergencies, like his daughter being injured in an accident, but nope, that he can wait until later to hear about.
Even funnier is how when we see Les teaching he’s always a disinterested sarcastic condescending jerk who can barely tolerate his idiotic students. Yet today he’s Educator Of The Year, unable to put his teaching instincts aside for an hour or two. Like how he’s a deeply sensitive smug obnoxious asshole or how he wrote a book he apparently doesn’t want anyone to read, every facet of his personality is a contradiction.
Les’ behavior makes perfect sense when you realize he’s an absolute narcissist. I know I keep beating that drum, but it really does explain a lot.
Of course Les doesn’t care about his students. But nobody has paid any attention to him in over five minutes, so he’s showing off “look how devoted I am” and/or “look how little I care about these proceedings.” And that’s what gets the story focus, not the Marianne Winters conflict that’s been going on for weeks.
The phrase “backpack journalism” piqued my interest. According to Cousin Wikipedia, it’s “an emerging form of journalism that requires a journalist to be a reporter, photographer, and videographer, as well as an editor and producer of stories.” It’s no wonder that Batiuk relates to this concept. He’s created a Hollywood where an actor can be a producer, location scout, and casting director. And a larger universe where a an amateur videographer can be a documentarian, and an MBA become an app developer slash storyboard artist slash comic book artist.
But the writer rakes it in via kill fees and points on the back end, while all the other people, are either unneeded or interchangeable.
And woe to that person who doesn’t like comic books, or thinks Lisa was an obnoxious, preachy bore.
And the question arises, “Who is actually teaching the course and advising the TV Network while he’s whining in Los Angeles?”
I’m also certain that TomBa has no real idea how backpack journalism actually works. Even if the reporter does a rough cut of the piece in the field, there would still be some sort of editing done to ensure it fits in the allotted time slot and still communicate the main points.
Editor? That is anathema to Batty.
In Batty’s mind editors, producers, and casting directors are just greedy, unnecessary, and unneeded people who destroy his artistic creations.
And exactly what qualifications does Les have to teach this course?
“This movie will change your life. I know almost nothing about it, except some Cancer Gurl dies, and two komix books heros will play the leading roles, but the world is ready to worship and adore the great Les Flippin Moore, the most fantastic writer who ever breathed air and excreted waste products. You’ll need a larger home to store all your awards. You’ll need a staff of hundreds to schedule all your public appearances. You will evolve into pure energy to light the world. Your image will appear on currency in every nation. The word ‘movie’ will be replaced with ‘Les Moore.’ Goatees and yellow shirts will be all the rage.”