Saying It Doesn’t Necessarily Make It So

Link To Today’s Strip

“So what do you think, Les?”

“I dunno. She definitely has the making out part down, but Lisa used to do this thing where she’d slide her cancer smock aside and put my hand on her…it’ll just be easier if I demonstrate on you, Cindy. After all, you did say you would have done me back in high school, right?”

Uh yeah, sure Tom. Maybe tomorrow Mason and Marianne could have some hot park bench sex, just to really get a feel for what Lisa was all about. This idiocy couldn’t possibly have any less to do with making the damn cancer movie, BatHam just wanted to get his sick jollies by beating up on Cindy for being such a vapid obnoxious little nit back in (SIGH) high school. The whole “Cindy is jealous of Mason’s co-star” thing was resolved all the way back in 2016, or at least it would have been if a freak gust of wind blew Marianne off the big H and ended this claptrappery once and for all. But there was no wind, Marianne climbed back down, presumably spent a few months in the booby hatch, then went on to become Hollywood’s number one (sigh) kissing expert. Yet another well-rounded and believable female character in the stable, right next to gems like Jessica, Linda, Adeela and (sigh) Summer.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “Saying It Doesn’t Necessarily Make It So

  1. Who is he making this strip for?

    There are a lot of comic strips out there that I don’t care for, some of them pretty well-regarded. But even if I don’t like them, I can tell that at least the creators have one thought foremost: “There are readers, and they deserve your best effort.”

    This stupid strip could not be further from that concept.

  2. William Thompson

    Ooooh, Todd, how you keep getting revenge on that popular high-school girl who wouldn’t date you! Think she remembers you?

  3. William Thompson

    Okay, Cindy, get in there, shove Marianne aside, and show the world how it’s done. And remember, when you’re kissing Mason, you’re kissing every ass he’s ever kissed.

  4. You know, something did happen there. Look at Marianne’s hair earlier in the week, and look at it now. It’s all tousled and out of place compared to before. And don’t tell me it’s just lousy artwork, for I shan’t believe you!

  5. louder

    When does The Cowboy say: “Hey, pretty girl, time to wake up” and Cindy turns back into Diane?

  6. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    The funniest thing in today’s strip is that there are three different people saying “You’re so funny” when, in fact, there is absolutely funny going on. Mass delusion? Nest of liars? No one depicted knows the meaning of the word “funny”? Someone please tell me…and, if you can, please be funny.

    • comicbookharriet

      “You’re so funny.” Is the Westview equivalent of “Bless Your Heart.” It means “You’re an annoying shithead.”

    • Doghouse Reilly (Minneapolis)

      If everyone is so funny why is no one laughing?

  7. billytheskink

    Only reason Masone’s the best kisser in town is because Susan Smith doesn’t live in Southern California.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Oh yeah, the arc where Susan was filmed ambush-kissing Les (who she was madly in love with for years), lost her job and was banished from WHS in disgrace. At least Les had the decency to let her know how much he enjoyed the sexual assault that cost her the job. What a swell guy.

      • Hitorque

        She lost her job? Did she work at Westview? Whatever became of her?

        This was evidently that huge 10+ year gap that I didn’t read any FW…

        • Epicus Doomus

          I might be missing some details, but she was originally a WHS student (I think) with a crush on Les which led to a suicide attempt, which was averted when Les GOT HER TO A HOSPITAL FASTER HIMSELF. Then by the time Act III rolled around she was a teacher at WHS and Cayla’s romantic rival re: Les. She was a guest at the infamous New Year’s Eve debacle when Les made out with Ghost Lisa.

          Then after Les’ cancer book became a runaway success, Susan couldn’t restrain herself and planted one on the bearded dick with ears on school grounds. A student happened to film it and it was online within seconds. After groveling for Les’ forgiveness he snidely banished her from the strip forever and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

          • Charles

            You have most of them, but forgot some details. She seemingly came back to WHS specifically to pursue Les. She never learned that her interest was inappropriate and damaging. She also didn’t simply kiss Les when Lisa’s Story became a success. It was already a success at that point. It was when Susan learned both that Les got the original movie deal for it and that he and Cayla had split up. That’s when she threw herself at him. He, of course, did nothing because otherwise he would have been required to bear some responsibility that this ridiculous relationship had gotten to this point. We never did find out what Les thought of Susan.

            Also, when Nate called them in to discuss the incident, Susan immediately fell on her sword and resigned, took all responsibility for the incident and then left, apparently stuffing herself into a dumpster to wait for death. Les didn’t speak up or even talk to her except for a token conversation where he insulted her several times and didn’t seem to care about it beyond being able to say that he spoke to her. Susan seriously appeared to be set on committing suicide and Les didn’t care. To cut Les some slack, Nate didn’t seem to care about Susan either, even though he didn’t appear to be set on firing her before she quit. Anyway, Les didn’t banish Susan. She banished herself because she knew that Les would never love her.

            It was a terrible plot that showed that Batiuk was a tasteless bonehead who hasn’t been getting worse over the last decade because he’s always been terrible.

          • William Thompson

            ” . . . when Les GOT HER TO A HOSPITAL FASTER HIMSELF. ”

            That sounds familiar. Didn’t Dustin Hoffman grab his injured son at carry him to the local ER in “Kramer vs. Kramer?” (A film was so misogynistic that the VHS tape has to be on Batiuk’s shelf.)

          • billytheskink

            We may well see Susan again. Just before she skipped town, she vowed to be first in line to see the Lisa’s Story movie. Despite Les’ words, she probably did camp in line at a theater and has been there for the past 9 years.

          • Hitorque

            Les made out with Ghost Lisa?

            Thank Christ I never had to see that.

            And Leslie Moore is emotionally disturbed, isn’t he? He should seek help.

      • Melissa Jones

        When did this happen?

  8. William Thompson

    Seriously, ED, thanks for bringing up the Marianne Winters suicide arc. After I tried to kill myself two years ago, I spent four days in a psych ward under voluntary observation (which means I could have checked out if I felt like it–which would have been insane). It was an important four days. I didn’t get much in the way of therapy at the time, but I did get to spend four days and nights in a safe place, away from a toxic situation and with normal people.

    (Seriously. The other patients were all normal. They knew they had problems. They wanted to get help. They didn’t act angry, deranged or delusional. What I’m saying is, they weren’t my relatives.)

    After I got out, I started seeing a therapist. I was evaluated, diagnosed with PTSD and major depression, and spent over a year seeing the doctor. She did not “cure” my problems; therapy doesn’t work that way. She helped me find ways to deal with them. She did that quite effectively, which helped me get through the unpleasant experience of continuing to be my mother’s primary caregiver (I’m happy to say she went into a nursing home last month. With luck I’ll never see her again.)

    There was nothing like this after Marianne Winters’s suicide attempt. Batiuk could have taken a look at a mortally-serious topic and explored what would have driven a young woman to want to die. He could have looked at what was wrong with her life to make her react so badly to some trolling. He could have shown her uncovering her problems and dealing with them. Instead he used this opportunity to, in his imagination, shame his critics and have the character laugh at them.

    (There should have been other consequences to that character’s suicide attempt. What studio is going to risk hiring her when she could have another drama-queen moment, and ruin a film production? How would this unstable person react when she finds out that Les Moore has an irrational hatred of her and wants her off the movie?)

    So, um, Todd? You had a story arc that could have given you a real shot at the Pulitzer and Ruben prizes, but your egomania sabotaged it. Get help, dude.

    • There’s a real-life example. David Rappaport was supposed to play the villain in a Star Trek TNG episode, “The Most Toys.” A few days into production, he attempted suicide and he was replaced by Saul Rubinek. That’s how it works in Hollywood in real life.

    • Epicus Doomus

      No problem WT. Also bear in mind that he’s done at least three suicide arcs and I think I might even be forgetting about one. They were all equally idiotic.

      • Hitorque

        Jerome Bushka’s “suicide” was one of the worst things I’d ever seen in this strip… Les made the funeral all about *himself*, none of the thousands of former students he taught, players he coached or former teammates neither came to his funeral nor God forbid actually visited him in retirement, there was no real discussion whatsoever about CTE which made his entire crusade a waste, his widow treated his decades of memorabilia as junk, and she seriously entertained the thought of getting butt naked with his old nemesis from Big Walnut Tech…

    • Hitorque

      Agreed… As someone who has also been suicidal, a very real and unique chance was missed here with that arc — SEE: Hana Kimura for a recent example.

      One thing I hate is Batiuk is good at cooking up halfway decent storylines that might possibly go somewhere, but he either turns dull and bland, or he abandons them completely, or tacks on an ending that’s too neat and convenient…

      • William Thompson

        His whole floundering “Starsux Jones” mess has been nothing but an effort to advertise his unsold work. “Don’t you feel the excitement generated among my characters? Don’t you want a share of the glory? It can be yours if you publish it! And you can make the movie for pocket change!”

        Because it’s a prolonged sales pitch, he can’t do anything creative with it. He couldn’t have toxic fans hate on MW because they didn’t like what they saw of her in leaked footage. He couldn’t give her a troubled background (pushy mom and absent father) or anything that would spoil her magical experience of being cast as Jupiter Moon. Even though he could have worked that into the story (“Therapy made me realize Jupiter had to be tough, and I’d been playing her as an overaged schoolgirl.”)

    • Rusty Shackleford

      William, so glad you were able to get help. I lost two people close to me to suicide, one was particularly tragic in that his kids found him.

      You are so right about therapy too. After the above incidents I suffered from depression and panic attacks. I finally found a therapist who helped me too. I learned ways to cope and deal with my fears.

      This is why Batty’s cheap attempts at drama bother me, he never gets to the core of the issue. He just dances around and tells people how deep and rich his strip is. It is clear he lives in a fantasyland and has little experience with real problems.

      Wishing you peace and happiness William. Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        This is why Batty’s cheap attempts at drama bother me, he never gets to the core of the issue. He just dances around and tells people how deep and rich his strip is. It is clear he lives in a fantasyland and has little experience with real problems.

        I cannot upvote this paragraph enough times. It speaks to the heart of why Funky Winkerbean is so offensive. It trivializes death, cancer, suicide, malpractice, senility, alcoholism, aging, CTE, interracial marriage, gay rights, rape, divorce, terrorism, PTSD, sexism, and a ton of other things that affect real people. It trivializes them through poor research, bad storytelling, dreadful attempts at humor, shallowness, and selfishness. Because the author’s only interest in any of it is to promote himself.

        • Gerard Plourde

          These comments summarize exactly the problem that plagues this strip. No thought or research goes into any of the storylines. What’s particularly troubling is that the superficial treatment could potentially do real harm to a vulnerable reader.

          • Y. Knott

            Yes. Exactly. To both Banana’s comment and Gerald’s follow up.

          • Charles

            Plus, this whole sequence shows that nobody in this world can actually talk to one another. They’re all hopelessly dysfunctional.

            Mason can’t talk to Les about his problems with Marianne, so he comes up with this entire sham chemistry read, involving many people who are duped into taking it seriously. This is what he does instead of simply talking to Les about their conflict.

            Cassidy can’t talk to Mason about how wrong this all is. She wastes her money on this rather than tell Mason to deal with this problem directly.

            Les can’t talk to Mason about his issues with Marianne, so instead he flies across the country and pouts and pisses and moans to his 59 year-old high school classmate who is inexplicably present at this sham as well.

            Cindy can’t talk to Mason about her problems with Marianne, or her inability to reconcile Mason’s career demands with her insecurities. He even offers to talk to her about it and she waves him off. Instead, she sits fuming with her loser friend from high school as her husband does his job because her husband is doing his job.

            It’s an idiot plot. This wouldn’t exist if any of these people could actually talk to one another, and they can’t talk to one another because they’re all idiots.

    • Y. Knott

      No snark here …. thanks for sharing this. Seriously. I lurk about here from time to time, and always read the comments. I appreciate your openness, and I hope that your situation is improving.

  9. Hitorque

    Well this is educational for us Hollywood outsiders:

    (Yes I know it’s a satire)

  10. Uncle Arthur

    Moron channeling Paul Lynde in panel 2 is….funny? I guess?

  11. Paul Jones

    As Cindy regresses, I wonder if the girls who turned Batiuk down even remember his name. There are any number of people in their seventies who probably don’t know they’re the target of his ire.

  12. Charles

    Jesus, look at that doofus in panel 2. What the hell is Cindy worried about? He’s the type of doofus who thinks he’s such hot shit that he actually becomes repulsive. No woman worth a damn would ever be interested in him, so Batiuk hasn’t managed to screw this up yet, I suppose.

    BTW, why do none of the other people in the room hear Cindy?

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Actors often have to deal with the problem of kissing or making love to a scene partner they barely know. It’s a delicate balance between making the scene believable, and respecting personal boundaries. They do not kiss for real, and they certainly do not announce how much they enjoyed it. This is grossly unprofessional behavior; Mason and Marianne would quickly get a bad reputation. Other actors wouldn’t want to work with them, and productions wouldn’t want to hire them.