How to Make “Alien” More Terrifying

Link to today’s strip.

Seriously, can you imagine John Hurt going through all that agony, and out pops a little Les Moore?  Which screams “Endings have to be earned!” before scooting off to hide in the ductwork?   And it then confronts Harry Dean Stanton and says “I am the lord of language, and you are my acolytes!”   The crew of the Nostromo would be screaming, “Please!  Tear our brains out instead!”

I guess some children were left behind!

I mean, I get shivers just thinking about it!  I’m going to leave the lights on tonight, but I don’t think I’ll ever go to sleep again!

Other than that, my God is Les being a little sh!t.  Yes, I know he’s a douchebag deluxe (indeed, a douchebag supreme), but Mason is supposedly a friend.   If someone were to treat me the way Les is treating Mason, I’d make my excuses and avoid that person.  And of course, avoiding Les Moore is always a great strategy to employ.

On a serious note, Mr. Batiuk–when you’re offering a decidedly inferior product to your audience, it’s very unwise to remind them that there are superior entertainments out there that are much more worthy of their time.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

33 responses to “How to Make “Alien” More Terrifying

  1. Epicus Doomus

    There was a Les inside of me this morning, but after the morning caffeine kicked in that problem resolved itself. If BatTom ever markets FW toilet paper I’ll buy some.

    Typical Les, contorting himself into all sorts of sneering obnoxious poses as he angrily scolds his “friend” who’s going the moronic extra mile to do Les’ cancer book justice. As imbecilic as Mason is, at least he’s trying. Meanwhile Les honors Her memory with smug bearded hostility, as once again Cayla is left to save the day by fetching some snacks for the menfolk. What a dick.

  2. William Thompson

    At first the neighbors wondered why the Moores invited the delivery boy inside. Then they decided to wait until the police surround the Taj Moore-hall with crime-scene tape.

  3. William Thompson

    “Alien”? Les, the movie you’re thinking of is “Total Recall.” You’re like the talking wart on that one guy’s chest, only not as useful or pretty.

  4. William Thompson

    For that matter, “It! The Terror From Beyond Space” (an obvious inspiration for “Alien,” as well as a rip-off of AE van Vogt’s “Black Destroyer”) is a lot more entertaining than this story.

  5. Who Wants Eggs!!??!!

    At first, I took this as a reference to “The Man Inside Me” by Tobias Funke

  6. Gerard Plourde

    Is TomBa so out of touch with actual humanity that he’s unaware how completely obnoxious Les’ behavior is? There is nothing sympathetic with anything that Les says in today’s strip. His petulance and sense of personal injury is disgusting.

    • William Thompson

      If Les weren’t a Gary Stu, I’d say that Batiuk is presenting him as an egomaniac who arranged his wife’s death, and wrote books that made him look like a tragic, helpless bystander. But now Les risks exposure because the movie takes control of the narrative out of his hands. A scriptwriter could look at the facts, look at Les’s interpretation of them, and decide that there’s a simpler way to explain Lisa’s death. A good actor could make the audience suspicious of Les just by showing him looking sinister at the right moments (Mason could do that, too; accidents always happen). Les is edging into a panic, and in a realistic story he’d be exposed as Lisa’s killer.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The sad thing is – and I mean this with 100% sincerity – if you interpret the character of Les Moore as a psychopath, he’s actually a very well-developed character.

        Other than being non-violent, Les checks off all the boxes. He has absolutely no regard for anyone else’s feelings, and doesn’t seem to realize that he should. He has no behavioral inhibitions; he’ll throw a tantrum anytime he doesn’t get what he wants, like we’re seeing in today’s strip. He’s a massive narcissist. He’s mean and insolent towards his students. Everything is about him. Nothing is ever his fault. And he does all this with the consistency of a metronome. He’s not over-dramatic about any of it. This is who he is.

        He’s even got a backstory. Because teenage Les wasn’t like this. He suffered horrible abuse in Act I, but used humor and optimism to get through his day. But nobody ever looked out for Les, so Les learned to look out for himself, and now does so to the exclusion of all others. This strip could be a great commentary about what bullying does to people.

        Wouldn’t you love to see the writers of House or Dexter craft some stories for this character? Or just any writer who can see Les for what he is, and create a world that would react to him in a realistic way. As a soap opera strip, Les Moore would beat the hell out of Rex Morgan M.D.

  7. billytheskink

    Both Lisa’s Story and Alien are about disgusting parasites that kill their human hosts and make life miserable for everyone around… and Lisa’s Story is also about cancer. HEY-OOOOOOO!

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Yuk it up, Cayla and Mason. You two idiots are aware that Les still holds a giant Sword of Damocles over this dumb movie, right? And if he drops it, it’s back to typecasting for you, and you get to pay your daughter’s endless Kent State tuition with the income from your school secretary job.

    But no, let’s invite the stalker over dinner, and make fun of Les for being in any way bothered by this. That’s a realistic scenario.

    • justifiable

      In reality, once Less agrees to a deal to make the project and takes Pink Entertainment’s money, they own the rights. He may get creative control over casting and whatnot if it’s specified in his contract, but the only way he can stop the film is if they violate that contract, which they won’t.

      Of course, in real life CME would still own the rights they initially bought – even though the project went into turnaround, Less doesn’t get them back. Pink Entertainment would have to buy the rights from CME, which would mean all Less’s petulant whiny man-baby demands would be ignored, which is so utterly delicious a concept that I have to lie down because it makes me lightheaded. It’s almost as good as discovering that CK, in a Freudian moment, described Todd as a “Pilitzer finalist.”

      Too bad that for all Todd’s preening about “real-life” scenarios, he has no fucking clue as to what that actually means.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        This is all true. But the story acts like Les still has veto power over the project. It continues to endlessly explore his indecision about Hollywood, when in reality he would have had to make a go/no go decision at some point, and live with the consequences.

        That’s Tom Batiuk’s writing for you: talk endlessly about something, and refuse to resolve it, or even examine the inherent drama.

      • Maxine of Arc

        And since Les doesn’t even have an agent, his contract will be whatever boilerplate the production company hands him.

  9. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    Mr. Moore seems to have completely forgotten that he’s gone through the “Hollywood wants to turn my book into a movie” experience before. He seems to know absolutely nothing about the way Masonne Jarre, a person he’s watched at work and has had many conversations with, goes about his “craft.” He has expressed nothing but apprehension, barely masked contempt, and open hostility to a “shopping agreement” he signed off on and presumably could opt out of (kill fee notwithstanding). And yet he persists, and is still this storyline’s ostensible protagonist. Why?

    Oh, and we already know it’s “Lisa’s Story,” not “Alien.” “Alien” had a strong, independent female lead role, a black character who wasn’t relegated to the background, and a creepy, repellent monster with acid in its veins. “Lisa’s Story” seems to only promise the last of these.

    • Epicus Doomus

      During the Lust For Lisa arc Les was all pissy about CME changing his stupid story around to suit their needs. Now someone wants to do it as faithfully as possible and Les has a problem with that too. Writing it, publishing it, promoting it, meeting his readers, turning it into a movie…he hates every single part of the process, except the part where she dies, which he apparently treasures. He could have just sat there moping and saved himself a lot of trouble.

  10. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Les has been stewing on that Alien barb since Mason pitched Marianne Winters as Lisa.

  11. Paul Jones

    Les seems to be going out of his way to not understand the process. Twas ever thus. He’d wanted to be a cool kid but he always behaved as if understanding or accepting social norms was a defeat.

  12. justifiable

    Todd and Ayerhead have finally managed to make pumped He-Man Action Star Masonne Jarre look like an anemic, adolescent paper boy.

    Either that or Masonne really went all-out Method and actually achieved that underdeveloped can’t-climb-a-rope-to-save-his-life version of Less.

  13. William Thompson

    Masonry learned how to play Starbuck Jones by reading comic books and, I guess, by studying the exaggerated gestures and facial expressions in the art work. Les functions at that same level, and I can’t wait to see how he’s portrayed on the iPhone screen.

  14. Duane

    Les is at his most punchable in panel 3. Once upon a time, Les was a sympathetic lovable loser character. Now, he’s just a loser.

  15. I think that this two weeks is probably just an elaborate set up for introducing Mason to the Lisa video library. Keep your barf bags handy.

    • hitorque

      Which should have been done already, ages ago… I have no idea why Les never told any of those weasel producers about the ONE gimmick he has that makes his project truly unique

  16. Count of Tower Grove

    Jesus Fucking Christ, Masone, take an emetic and a laxative, you will soon be rid of that Less inside you.

  17. hitorque


    1. Yes, Les is being his usual whiny douchebaggy self, but Masone has gone so far off the reservation here it isn’t even funny…

    1a. And if Marianne Winters isn’t waiting behind the door in full pre-cancer Lisa costume and character just to prove Masone’s point, I’m going to be sorely disappointed in TomBa… And NO, don’t tell me that’s too fucking weird after all the shit we’ve seen over the years.


    3. And what is gained by not telling Les you were going to do this after all those countless hours sitting next to him in those producer waiting rooms?

    4. Just your daily reminder that Masone starred in the Funkyverse equivalent of Infinity War and despite being a regular visitor to Westview and despite being married to the closest thing Westview has to a hometown “celebrity”, he can still go anywhere he wants with a 99.996% chance of not ever being recognized by anyone in public.

    5. I’m sorry, when the hell exactly did Masone become so dedicated to his “craft”? He was pretty goddamned indifferent on the set of “Lisa Movie Project ver. 1.0” since it was just a stopgap role while he was waiting for something better to come along? Nevermind the fact that the running gag back then was that Lisa’s sacred story was in the hands of absolute hacks, amateurs and sleazy D-listers. Masone himself was a moderately successful actor who like his future wife Cindye had gotten by on good looks more than talent. Am I the only one who remembers he gets fucking STAGE FRIGHT over table reads? But yeah, all it took was for lightning to strike and now this mediocrity has the confidence and swagger of DiCaprio?

  18. hitorque

    6. And why is Kayla bothering to offer the great Masone Freakin’ Jarre dinner when he could take his jet and fly to Chicago’s best restaurant and return with takeout before Kayla even gets the stove heated up? (And yes, TomBa totally 100% thinks this is what Hollywood people regularly do)… And don’t all those Hollywood A-listers have really specific diets? Why on Earth would Masone put Kayla’s discount over-processed slop in his body?

    7. I’m sorry, but I have to keep on saying this until it makes one iota of sense to me: Masone Freaking Jarre is so obsessed with his role that he’s literally stalking a completely unremarkable midwestern nobody he has already known for years for some kind of special insight, *EXCEPT* instead of shadowing him at his job or something useful like that, HE SITS IN A PARKED CAR FOR NINE HOURS WAITING FOR HIM TO LEAVE?!

    8. And lest anyone forget, Masone isn’t from Westview but he’s said repeatedly that he grew up middle class in small town midwest so it’s not like the daily life of an incompetent English teacher at a public high school is something strange or exotic to him… Like I said, this isn’t Elon Musk or Steve Jobs or Anthony Bourdain he’s trying to decipher here…

  19. hitorque

    9. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong because I never read “Lisa’s Story”, but because of the lazy, uninspired title I always assumed this was centered around Lisa and not Les? It’s just odd that Lisa seems to be a total afterthought in her own story? Is it an actual biography or is it I-miss-my-dead-wife misery fetishism?

  20. Perfect Tommy

    I would be delighted to see an H.R. Giger rendering of Less.