…that the Play is the Tragedy “Les,” and Its Hero–

Link to today’s strip.

…is the Enabler Cayla.

You know, Les and Lisa are horrible, horrible people.  But today’s entry makes a strong case that their infection has spread beyond the immediate Moore family, and has made its way into the outer world.  Soon, entire cities, entire nations will fall as the Lisa-Worship pandemic spreads to every corner of the globe.

Because here’s Cayla, Les’ current wife, asking Les to make sure that Lisa, Les’ dead wife–dead at least twenty years now, mind–is protected from the machinations of the cruel, uncaring world of entertainment–you know, the slugs who push awful contrived entertainments on the (shudder) masses so they can sell toilet paper and cheap auto loans.

And this is something Cayla cannot stand.  Because Lisa’s reputation, Lisa’s legacy, is the only thought she has.

Not a thought for herself remains.  Not a thought for herself, her own child, her marriage, her future.  It’s all Lisa now.  It will never be anything other than Lisa.  Lisa.

I thought I was being clever the other day when I referenced “Colossus: The Forbin Project.”   (And c’mon, I kinda was.  And if you haven’t seen that film, then you should.)  But the real reference film here is far more chilling.  From 1956.

Well, it started, for me it started last Thursday. In response to an urgent message from my nurse I’d hurried home from a medical convention I’d been attending. At first glance, everything looked the same. It wasn’t. Something evil had taken possession of the town.

The “Colossus” movie ended with Dr. Forbin’s defiant “Never!”   The book ended similarly, but included a final paragraph:


Anyway, that’s all from me for now.  Thank you all for your indulgence, your creativity and your knowledge.  It always makes hosting this place a treasure, when the actual strips make it a chore.   I learn nothing from the strip, but learn a lot from you all.  Kudos!

Tune in Monday, when your snarker extraordinaire Epicus Doomus takes the center seat in the Funkyverse’s most-watched game show, “How Bad Can It Get?”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

35 responses to “…that the Play is the Tragedy “Les,” and Its Hero–

  1. William Thompson

    Defend the reputation of dead woman who married Les Moore? Cayla, you’re brilliant. Just wait until Les strides into the offices of Pink Productions and declares he has arrived to defend Lisa. It shouldn’t take them long to get Les held for psychiatric observation. Seventy-two hours is the legal maximum on that hold, but that should be enough time for a competent psychiatrist to convince a judge that Les is a threat to his own safety.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “Protect Lisa”…where was she when the doctors mixed up her charts? Too late there, Cayla, way way too late. I’ll give BatYam credit for one thing, I haven’t seen him this Lisa-driven in a long, long time. This one can go toe-to-toe with any cloying “LS” strip Act III has to offer, no question. The way he continues to find ways to keep Lisa’s death front and center is just astonishing. He’s on top of his Lisa game, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.

    Look at the way Dick Facey is literally physically pouting and sulking. Unbelievable job by Ayers with the artwork today, it’s absolutely enraging. IMO this is one of the top ten most annoying Sunday strips of all of Act III, maybe even number one.

  3. Eldon of Galt

    Something new from the artist’s toolbox: I don’t think I’ve seen that slumped, arms crossed, scowling pose on Les before. It must be hard to find new ways to get across that you are drawing one of the world’s greatest petty, pouting, sullen jerks, but this sure sends the message.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s amazing. He totally nailed it so perfectly I can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t secretly hate Les too.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    “I wouldn’t want to cheat you, Cayla.” Out of what?

    “Someone has to be there to protect Lisa.” From what?

    If this story is going to drone on forever, could it have at least please have a plot? Some exposition? An antagonist? A theme? Anything at all?

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      Pouty McPoutface doesn’t want to cheat Wife #2 Who Isn’t Dead St. Lisa out of her hard-earned penny, because the illogical “thoughts” whirring through his skull aren’t worth that much. For once, I agree with Les.

  5. billytheskink

    Why, Cayla? Nobody ever protected Lisa from TB… which is the problem with every FW strip that decries the “commercialization” of Lisa’s Story. TB is as guilty as the “Hollywood” he skewers when it comes to digging up Lisa’s corpse to make a buck. Right now in the middle of 2020 he’s still flogging this story that was set in motion over a decade ago… before the first iPhone was released. Why? To sell his Kent State Vanity Press Lisa collections. How is this any different from what Clay Wallace was trying do with Lisa’s Story?

    I do like that title panel – the speed lines trailing Mason’s rented Batiukmobile make it clear he drove onto the Moores’ yard as he left. Hilarious accidental vandalism!

    • Epicus Doomus

      I suppose it’s sort of noteworthy how Les is talking about Lisa with Cayla as opposed to talking to Lisa directly, which is what he used to do. That’s the sum total of thirteen years worth of character development…Les doesn’t talk to Ghost Lisa anymore. At least so far.

      • Bad wolf

        Wow, when you think about thirteen years… that would put Summer at 28, which means TB is running this Lisa retread instead of Les (and the rest of the Act I cast) having a grandchild. Her 10 year reunion is supposedly coming up! At this rate Summer will be 30 when the strip ends, still a shapeless tomboy on the KSU basketball team, last seen with a date (not counting Keisha) back in high school.

        I mean, sure, he could ruin that too, but it’d be a newer healthier kind of ruin.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well at least that strip shows Batty knows how to properly set up a straw man.

      Pretty rich to talk down Hollywoo when you are busy marketing Dinkle Shoes, Lisa’s Story books, stuffed Lisa cadaver dolls, etc.

      Garfield is a more honest strip than FW. Sure it’s just one boring advertisement, but it doesn’t pretend to be this deep work of art .

      We get it already Todd. You wanted to be the white knight that saves the girl from those bad sportos. You wanted an interracial marriage, not because you loved the other person, but instead you wanted a trophy, another award to show others you hold all the correct opinions on everything.

      You love living in this fantasyland where you can twist and turn anything to mean whatever you want it too, and when called on it, you dismiss it all with a wave as if you are Louis Carroll.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In-universe Les does it worse than anyone. For a guy in a perpetual snit about Lisa’s life being commercialized, he sure took every penny that was offered to him, didn’t he?

      • Gerard Plourde

        “ For a guy in a perpetual snit about Lisa’s life being commercialized, he sure took every penny that was offered to him, didn’t he?”

        And continues to. It was only about a year ago that Les took A
        almost the entire fall to do a Lisa’s Story book tour.

    • LTPFTR

      I’m hoping that Mason is flipping them off and shouting “Smell ya later!” out the window.

  6. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    Regarding your new cinematic reference, BC, at what point do you think the pod with Cayla’s double took control of her?

    “NOW that school is out”? Since when did a minor thing like his teaching job keep Sulky McSulkface from flying out to Hollywood or New York at a moment’s notice (imagine how much those roundtrip tickets must have cost!) for meetings that he barely took part in or “location research” that a half-hour on Grandpa Google could have accomplished?

  7. Gerard Plourde

    The level of self-absorbed narcissism that Les displays in this strip has to be seen to be believed. His need to totally control all derivations of Lisa’s Story is truly pathological. And while it’s surely not TomBa’s intent, Cayla’s advice that Les go to Hollywood could just as likely be interpreted as her effort to be free of the suffocating bore for a while. I bet the entire town celebrates whenever he leaves and suffers depression upon his return.

    How many more weeks of this mess remain? And will a film actually emerge or will Les score another “kill fee”?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I made the classic mistake of thinking that because it is called Lisa’s Story, it must be about Lisa, not Les.

      Batty’s really losing his mind.

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    The last panel should read: “Take a hint, stupid. I’m saying that I’m sick of looking at your mopey-ass face! Get the fuck out of here!”

  9. Paul Jones

    No one appears to want to defend Lisa from being dehumanized. A warts and all portrayal of the pious irritant she was in life would serve her a lot better than being made into a plaster saint.

  10. justifiable

    What “protect Lisa”? The production is supposedly using Less’s screenplay, and since he isn’t going to be directing this turkey and already hates the notion of Marianne WintersSummers to play Lisa, he either needs to pull the plug on Necrofilicon 2020 or sell his rights and STFU.

    Shit or get off the pot, Ghoul Boi.

  11. louder

    We’re in the realm of fantasy now, what film in the history of Hollywood and every been so controlled and concerned about what a High School English teach thought about the production? And as always, WTF Cayla? Kick Less’ ass out because it’s obvious he doesn’t give a damn about you, and he focus on St. Lisa. Leave while you’re half-way emotionally healthy.

  12. Jimmy

    The most infuriating thing to me is the fact that Batiuk really does see Lisa’s take the pinnacle of art.

  13. spacemanspiff85

    I wonder if Batiuk is ever going to go back and show the months where Les had Cayla locked in his garage and forced her to listen to him read Lisa’s Story and watch Lisa tapes nonstop. Because clearly she was horribly brainwashed.

  14. Professor Fate

    Man is this hateful – one you have Les SEETHING with rage – as others have commented on – I don’t think he’s ever been drawn as being utterly utterly hateful – you want to drag him off that swing and beat him up just on general principle.
    I’ve never been able to quite understand Les’ obsession with being in charge of every aspect of how people think about and remember Lisa – which one can only assume the Author approves of. It’s creepy and off putting.
    And what is Les going to Hollywood to protect? Are they making a nude musical about her life? No they are adapting his book. And he doesn’t want them to. And we’ve gone through this dance before already and it’s not that entertaining the second time around (it wasn’t much fun the first time either). It’s weird and creepy and bitter as hell and will have Les pulling a pity party for himself every chance he gets.
    One is tempted to say to the Author ‘show us on the doll where Hollywood touched you.”

  15. Hitorque

    Jesus… Fucking… Christ…

    I’m beyond words.

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    My money’s on you for sure!

  17. Count of Tower Grove

    Someone has to protect Lisa? Then why go to Hollywood? We all know that Lisa is shat upon bench in Central Park that no one is permitted to sit on.

  18. Perfect Tommy

    Worst case of Stockholm Syndrome I’ve ever seen.

  19. Gerard Plourde

    This is so in line with TomBa’s manipulative style of plot creation that it could qualify as prophesy.

  20. Hitorque


    So what was all that bullshit about with Marianne Winters if the part of Lisa is open casting? And why would the studio allow Les to have any input?

    • Hitorque

      “Masone wants me to fly out to Los Angeles for the Lisa casting”…

      You mean the Masone who just sped off five seconds ago? When exactly did did he say this? Is Batuik doing mid-panel time skips?

      • William Thompson

        Mason didn’t have to say anything. The hive-mind absorbed him and he is now one with its goals. Lisa will not be played by Marianne Winters. It shall be as Les desires!

  21. Charles

    Staggering how Batiuk thinks Les is some sort of sympathetic character. He’s always shown like this, pouting and mewling about how everyone treats him terribly yet he never does anything to stand up for himself. I mean, hell, even though I think all his objections are ridiculous I could still feel less disrespect for him if he articulated what his objections are to Mason. Instead he says nothing and just feels perpetually aggrieved.

    When he agreed to let Mason make this movie, he knew that there would be an actress cast as Lisa. At any point in this dumb story, he could have simply told Mason what he wanted in any actress that took on the role. Mason told him every single step of the way that he was going to defer to Les, so there’s no need for Les to swallow his objections.

    Well, actually, there is. If Les articulated his objections, he’d both have to defend them, and he wouldn’t be able to feel perpetually aggrieved. That’s all this is. It’s just a pretext to maintain Les’s air of grievance. If he does anything about it, he loses the excuse to behave like some guy who’s always got a load in his pants.

    And the thing that’s even worse is that Mason has to go along with it without ever asking any questions, which doesn’t make any sense. He’d be confused all the time about this dumb project and yet narrative necessity requires that he never try to resolve it.