A Million Little Lisas

Link To Today’s Atrocity

“Lisa’s Story” is just like the video cartridge in “Infinite Jest”, once you start reading it you’re unable to do anything else but think about Lisa until you wither and die. Naturally with Les being Les and all, he can’t even accept Marianne’s sincere compliment without taking a dig at Cindy, because she was the popular girl in high school who looked down her nose at him and etc. And it’s funny because never letting go of old high school grudges is hilarious, I guess. Look at that snide look on his smug bearded face in panel two, he’s genuinely enjoying watching Cindy squirm. What a dick.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “A Million Little Lisas

  1. William Thompson

    The whole point of this charade was to let Les gloat over Cindy’s psychofreak jealousy? Batiuk could have made it a lot shorter if he’d started with Mason telling Les that Cindy was still insanely jealous of Marianne Winters. Batiuk could have made it a lot better if he’d dropped that infantile schtick and given the characters some realistic problems and responses.

  2. William Thompson

    So this is what it takes to make Les accept Marianne Winters as Lisa: a chance to hurt Cindy. How much longer before Bathack makes Cindy wear a gimp mask?

    • Hitorque

      Cindye does make herself an easy target, FWIW… All she has to do is grow the hell up but since we know that’s impossible at the bare minimum she could have at least developed a good “poker face”…

      When you let people know they can needle you, they’re going to needle you at every opportunity and Les is the undisputed champion of passive-aggressive needling…


      Cindye = Jealousy

      Funkmeister = Fat, slow, out of shape

      Kids in his class = Dumb and uninspired

      Cayla = Always #2 to Ghost Lisa

      Westview principal = Various workplace disputes, most recently that bullshit about copier limits

      Jerome Bushka = Overcompetitive nature + anger

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        To be fair to Cindy, Mason is being such a dick about it that it justifies her behavior a bit.

        It’s one thing if you have to kiss your costar for a scene. If he was just doing his job, that would be one thing. But Mason was complimenting Marianne’s kissing skills, and clearly enjoying it. which is grossly unprofessional. And even if it weren’t, he knows it upsets Cindy, so why isn’t he downplaying it? Didn’t he bring Cindy along to set her mind at ease about the subkect? And on top of all that, he kissed Marianne when she arrived, for no reason. It’s like he’s rubbing it in her face.

        More atrocious writing from Batiuk. He gives a character an emotion and then disregards it when it should matter to the story. He spends weeks building Les’ dislike for Marianne Winters, ans then just drops it for this petty subplot. And he manages to make every character obnoxious and unlikable.

        • Hitorque

          Good point… But Masone doing whatever the hell he wants while completely disregarding other people’s feelings is 100% on character for him…

          It’s also why he and Les are such kindred spirits…

  3. louder

    Look at Less Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky! Like is wasn’t him who had the meltdown over how Lisa was portrayed in the first “Kill Fee” movie. Reminds me of the Twilight Zone kid: “This is the monster. His name is Less More. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely an absolute dick!”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Billy Mumy is auditioning for a part. He will play the doctor who mixes up Lisa’s test results.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Les reminds me of that episode too. The way the entire town of Westview participates in Les’ endless grieving, makes huge sacrifices on his behalf, and tolerates his rude behavior feels like psychic compulsion. It certainly isn’t the behavior of competently constructed fictional characters, who have thoughts and motivations beyond indulging Les at all times.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        It’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing you did there, Anthony!

      • batgirl

        An episode that really supports this reading is the one when Frankie was trying to put together a reality show about him connecting with Darin, while Les tried to sabotage it.
        In one strip, Frankie & his henchman went door-to-door asking locals for their impressions of Lisa and – prepped by Les – everyone denied remembering her at all.
        It was a pretty clear statement that not only is everyone in Westview assumed to remember a lawyer who died something like 15 years before, but that Les can simply order the townspeople to lie or keep silent as he pleases.
        I guess Ohio has plenty of cornfields.

  4. Les’ remark doesn’t even make sense. “I’m sure Cindy will get used to watching you get cancer, suffer and die.” Is that what he means? Or is “Lisa’s Story” the story of all the hot Les-Lisa make-out sessions? Because that makes me really want to throw up until I don’t have any internal organs.

    • Epicus Doomus

      The real “Lisa’s Story” is just a collection of previously published comic strips in book form. But the fictional one is a massive nebulous enigma. See, I always assumed it’d be the story of Lisa’s tragic death (from cancer, in case you missed it) but apparently it contains all kinds of hot make-out scenes too, which makes Les’ objections to “Lust For Lisa” even more confusing. Now I assume LS is like a huge Lisa encyclopedic history, a day-by-day chronology of her entire life, full of Lisa charts and Lisa graphs and Lisa photos and Lisa maps.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    Umm… Les? Isn’t this the actress you adamantly don’t want playing Lisa? Meeting in her person doesn’t want to make you say… I don’t know, something? Whatever happened to protecting Lisa? Or make a pouty face? Nothing to say? It’s more important to get a dig in at Cindy, who’s done nothing but flirt with you the last two months? Sigh… okay, then, moving on…

  6. billytheskink

    M: “Your book made me feel emotions!”
    L: “Other people have emotions? Hmm… Well, let’s get back to my feelings.”

    Les Moore, ladies and gentlemen.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well at least Marianne has got the vapid, empty actress speak down pat.

      • Hitorque

        Interesting that Masone didn’t take the time to introduce all the other auditions to the famed author so they could have their chance to turn on the charm…

      • Count of Tower Grove

        *Indicates vapid SoCal uptalk in which every sentence ends in an interrogative inflection?**
        **See above.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    This week really has been a detour into TomBa’s revenge fantasy dissing whatever member of the Heathers turned him down in high school, hasn’t it?

    • Epicus Doomus

      It was high school, therefore it’s indelible and can never really be made right, ever. Cindy was mean to Les in high school and now he gets a measure of revenge, but it’ll never satisfy him, oh my no no no. She’s the female Bull, forever atoning for her actions from forty years ago.

      • To be fair to Batiuk, for decades the strip revolved around high school. In order to get material he would have really had to go back through his memories pretty thoroughly,so much so that his high school experience would have to be a pretty big part of his current life. But yeah, normal people don’t obsess over high school unless that’s where they peaked.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Tom Batiuk says himself that the strip had to change tone after teenaged Lisa gave birth. Les and Lisa’s relationship grew, and they went through the experience of having a child together. The story couldn’t go back to high school hijinks after that. Which is 100% valid. Most 18-20 year olds quickly learn how small their old high school life was.

          But now all its adult characters act like high schoolers. Cindy is jealous of other girls, overly concerned about her appearance, worried she will lose her boyfriend over kissing, and thinks her status as the queen bee of Westview still dictates her social calendar. Les is a childish, selfish, know-it-all. Other plots revolved around comic books, hanging out at the pizza shop, going to the state fair, and so on.

          • Epicus Doomus

            And the thing of it is re: Cindy that she DID outgrow high school and went on to become a national TV network news anchor and journalist. Then in Act III she completely regressed into what she is today.

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    It looks like Less is getting a dig in at Cindye both verbally and with his left elbow.

  9. Barnaby Scones

    There are so many things that make Les an insufferable dick, and somehow that pen in his pocket intensifies it ten-fold.

  10. Paul Jones

    What Batiuk doesn’t realize is that doing this makes it look as if he’d have made movie he’d killed if he’d realized he could somehow be a shit to Cindy in the process.

  11. Charles

    So Marianne wins him over with flattery so obviously insincere that Les can be nothing but an idiot. And Batiuk decides to just punt on the entire “Les has objections” subplot by instead making it all about Cindy. Just as we should be getting a payoff (such as it is), he veers away into an irrelevant aside and doesn’t return to the original issue.

    In case it wasn’t blindly obvious, Batiuk is a terrible writer.

  12. bigd1992

    TomBat must have been deeply scarred by high school, as this strip has descended into taking shots at characters based on people who must have really done him wrong in high school. Funky is a fat recovering alcoholic, Bull had brain damage and killed himself, and this arc is more needling of Cindy.

  13. Don

    And just as they’re about to “officially” accept Marianne as Lisa, one final actress shows up – “Sorry I’m late” – whom Les thinks is pretty much Lisa reincarnated

  14. CRM114

    I just rewatched “Being John Malkovich”. Imagine being in Batty’s head. Oh, the weirdness. He creates characters which reflect his own bizarro view of the world and believes it to be wit and/or artistry. His delusion as to his own wrongly perceived
    ability is astounding.

  15. I would have sworn that Les already met Marianne Winters before, but I may just be assuming that everybody met everybody else during the Starbuck Jones filming experience, and I don’t have the energy to check.

    (And, to be fair to Batiuk, I accept people just forgetting a one-time meeting, especially if it was part of some bigger event like the movie premiere or something. I couldn’t recognize my junior-year roommate when we happened to meet fourteen months later, and we liked each other.)

  16. bayoustu

    Man, there’s something about the drawing of Les in panel 2 that makes me want to punch him in his suddenly bulbous, potato-shaped nose!!

  17. Hitorque

    I don’t get it… I thought Les had to go out there to “protect” Saint Lisa? I thought he had serious reservations about Marianne Winters (which he never explained further, because reasons)… Why are we into day four already and Les hasn’t had the first comment about MW’s acting abilities when he was the self-appointed drama/fashion critic for all the other previous women?

    Yes, we get it — Cindye Sommers-Winkerbean-Jarre is a neurotic paranoid bipolar bitch with a delicate ego who can’t stand not being the belle of the ball even though she’s old enough to be grandmother to most of the women auditioning. Why did we burn an entire week on this?

    • Hitorque

      And I’m going to keep on asking this until I get an answer: Why does Marianne need to do a “chemistry read” when she’s already worked with Masone in a billion dollar movie?

      • Only Batiuk knows for sure (and “knows” is a stretch), but I assume that since “Starbuck Jones” was a “bang bang shoot em up, fix it all in post” movie, that the part of Jupiter Moon didn’t require much range as an actress. So they’re trying to find out if she has the required range.

        I thought one would do this at a casting call and not a “chemistry meeting” but what do I know?

        It’s probably another way for Batiuk to work in a favorite phrase, so that Marianne can say she got the part thanks to her “chemo-sabe.”

        • William Thompson

          Or she credits her fantastic audition skills, and calls herself chemo-savvy. (What, too creative for Bratiuk?)

      • Westview Radiology

        Meant that as an upvote Hitorque

      • Don Lee Cartoons

        Marianne was already the top pic. The other actresses were brought in for “chemistry” reads to give Less the illusion he was part of the process. This was spelled out with the Bat’s usual subtlety in one strip just before Cindy and Less got to the studio.