Bounce Bored

Could cameras finally be rolling in today’s strip?! Ha ha, no. Tom “Tell, Don’t Show” Batiuk is living up to his nickname again. Whatever was just filmed was “great!”, though. Not great enough to portray in this strip or to make additional takes unnecessary, but still great!

There’s really nothing here, is there? We’ve seen Mason and Marianne in their costumes… we’ve seen the laughably cheap winter park bench set being set up… Les has already reacted to all of this. Did we really need to see Martin Johns say some cliché movie director things and spout some authentic Hollywood jargon? Can we move on to Les’ inevitable griping about what is actually being shot? The sooner we get there, the sooner we get out of this story arc (I hope).

At the very least couldn’t TB have had Ayers punch this up by giving Martin a clichéd old-style Hollywood director’s get-up? Y’know, stupid beret, sunglasses, jodhpurs, oversized megaphone, etc.? And if you’re gonna have Shermy cameo as a cameraman, at least let us see his face!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Bounce Bored

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Fantastic post title. I love it when they just write themselves!

    “Bounce boards”…LOL, OK Tom. This is some truly abysmal “writing” on display right here. The “story” is (or maybe was) about Les seeing his masterpiece turned into a movie, with all that premise entails. If Les was in this one saying “oh, so that’s how they do it” it’d still be the story of Les watching “Lisa’s Story” being filmed.

    But this is nothing more than BatHam bragging about his (limited) “insider knowledge”, complete with obscure movie lingo. It serves no purpose whatsoever within the story, as it isn’t from Les’ perspective. In fact it’s from NO ONE’S perspective other than the reader. And everyone reading it already knows how movies are made, as who the hell doesn’t?

    On top of that he doesn’t even respect the readers enough to actually show them filming the scene. Instead, as always, he focuses on the most mundane aspect he can find, in this case “bounce boards”, something no one cares about. Just laughably atrocious “storytelling”, some truly shameful shit.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This is something bad writers do: force all of their research into the story. Batiuk heard the term “bounce board” and wanted to use it. So we get this absolutely pointless strip.

  2. William Thompson

    It looks like the director is giving himself the finger I hate him for that. I wanted to do it myself.

  3. billytheskink

    Closeups on Lisa? It seems Mr. Johns has forgotten who this movie is about.

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    “Every time they do a ‘Lisa’s Story’ film storyline, it’s the same. I always end up playing a cameraman.” At least Shermy is still rockin’ that Johnny Unitas buzzcut.

    Why is the “Lisa’s Story” sign hanging above the “Hollywoodland Studios” sign on the pole? Shouldn’t it be the other way around, so they don’t have to change it after each production is done?

    • Epicus Doomus

      That sign is pitiful. No effort was spared on rendering that big gray wall, though.

      • William Thompson

        The effort begged to be spared, but would Batiuk and Ayers listen? Nooooo!

      • Rusty Shackleford

        But it’s based on a photo of a gray wall that Batty took when he vacationed in LA. Neat!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I have a theory about that. “Lisa’s Story” is the permanent part of the sign, and “Hollywoodland Studios” is the temporary part. Public demand for Lisa’s Story has become so great that this studio lot was built entirely to record different productions of it. So the movie name stays the same and the production company changes.

  5. erdmann

    I almost Googled “bounce boards,” but then I thought, “Why the hell should I?”

    Any way, I do feel sorry for Shermy. After being let go from “Peanuts” in 1969, he found himself badly typecast. “Every Christmas it’s the same. I always end up playing a shepherd,” he told People Magazine in 1978. Eventually, he turned to film production and became a cameraman.
    For years it went well; he worked with Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola. Eventually, however, the work dried up, and Shermy found himself shooting Halmark Channel movies in Canada. “Lisa’s Story,” he thought, would be his chance to again film for the big screen.He soon realized it was no improvement.
    “It’s the same… only much, much worse,” Shermy would later tell his analyst, the eminent Dr. Van Pelt, as she delightedly shook a coffee can filled with plinking nickles.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    “…and, Cut! Okay, good take everyone, let’s make sure Les is comfortable with it! Les, was that take okay for you? Would you like us to schedule some more chemistry reads before we try again? Was your chicken salad without chicken allright?”

  7. Hitorque

    TomBa literally spent more time showing us Masone’s fake auditions with a dozen different women than he did showing us the actual movie shoot…

    Now I’m really wondering why we wasted two weeks at Masone’s beach house, three weeks in New York, four weeks in pitch meetings, two weeks of Masone going back to Westview to “prepare for his role” by sitting in a high school parking lot for 10 hours and two weeks of fake auditions, two days of Les talking to nobody at a snack bar, and three days of Les jizzing his pants at the sight of Marianne in full Lisa costume for absolutely ZERO FUCKING PAYOFF AFTER MONTHS OF BUILDUP!!

    For fuck’s sake… This isn’t some dumbassed comic book Pete Rattabastardo thought up on a whim, or even a billion dollar Superhero movie… This is ***LISA’S STORY*** which is his one undisputed work that defines a five decade career spent on the comics page. Not only that, but this is the ONE opportunity that TomBa will have to figuratively ‘bring Lisa back to life’ and just like the first movie project (which Batiuk bailed out on right when it was getting good), the narrative possibilities are endless. Forgive me for saying, but I expected a lot better from Batiuk this time. Every last ounce of his creative energy needs to go into this storyline, and right now I’m not seeing it.

    • Y. Knott

      No, you actually ARE seeing it.

      I leave it to you to decide if that’s worse.

    • Cabbage Jack

      We have different definitions of (1) a Batiuk story getting good (2) high expectations, but I quite agree with your main point. All the buildup and then nothing. He has all sorts of grand ideas, but lacks the talent to turn them into stories, despite almost 50 years (and well over 10,000 hours) of practice.

      So it turns out, Batiuk and Gladwell are both hacks?

      • Hitorque

        While it’s cliche as hell, Les in the first movie project fighting the eternal battle of what’s in his book versus how it actually gets filmed was at least understandable, kinda sorta compelling and for the first time in ages actually put Les in a hero role most readers could cheer for…

        …And I commented way back then that the curvy, 40DD cup sized strawberry blonde who was going to play Lisa would have had Les jizzing his pants once he saw her in costume and he probably would have gone full Jimmy Stewart in “Vertigo” while also facing deadlines to finish the script, a moody lead actor who gets stage fright at table reads and a producer who wanted to add a lot more sexytime and possible adultery to the plot.

        But of course none of that happened because TomBa decided to chicken out and invent his “kill fee” bullshit to pull the plug (and I’m still pissed about that because kill fees don’t work that way)

  8. Hitorque

    And by the way, a heartfelt “Fuck You” to whatever Hollywood marketing+distribution exec saw a project called ‘Lisa’s Story’ and said in the meeting “Nah, we don’t need to change the title to something more descriptive or poetic… The working title is fine!”

    • Y. Knott

      Max Bialystock: What is it? We’ve struck gold. Not fool’s gold, but real gold! The Mother Lode. The Mother of them all! Kiss it, kiss it!

      Leo Bloom: You found a flop?

      Max Bialystock: A flop! That’s putting it mildly. We’ve found a disaster, a catastrophe, an outrage! A guaranteed-to-close-in-one-night beauty. This is freedom from want forever. This is a house in the country. This is a Rolls Royce and a Bentley. This is wine, women, and song… and women.

      Leo Bloom: Let’s see it. (reading) … “Lisa’s Story: A Joyless Tale of Glacially-Paced Cancer Porn with Two Unappealing People in a Particularly Depressing Part of Ohio” Wow…!

      • J.J. O'Malley

        “Will the dancing Les Moores please wait in the wings? We’re only seeing singing Les Moores!”

        Dear Lord, does this mean 30 years from now we’ll be seeing “Lisa’s Story: The Broadway Musical” win big at the Tony Awards?

      • Hitorque

        Bloody brilliant!

  9. Hitorque

    Krankenschaaften: Has asking this guy to speak publicly about anything ever worked out well??

  10. erdmann

    Just wanted to draw everyone’s attention to what is surely just an odd coincidence:

    I won’t try to explain this gonzo mini-series (which is the final chapter in about three years worth of various story arcs), other than to say this “Batom” is an evil Batman from an alternate reality with the powers of the Atom.
    Surely, it’s just an odd coincidence.
    Or is it?

  11. Paul Jones

    And here we go with Batiuk not quite understanding that very few people actually care about where Lisa’s story actually took place. Getting the park bench exactly right is only going to matter to Les.

  12. William Thompson

    Totally fake, right? Fake snow, fake backdrop, people who only look like Les and Lisa, and a small crew that’s isolated from the world by hardware and jargon. Movies are so phony! No wonder Les hates on them! We should ignore movies and go straight to the honest, insightful pages of comic books! Buy the entire Dead Lisa series and read it over the hot chocolate of your choice!

  13. Count of Tower Grove

    Wow, Shermy. An undeveloped character that Schulz dropped fifty years ago has found his niche as an undeveloped character in a strip full ot them.

  14. sgtsaunders

    So the purpose of today’s episode seems to be nothing more than to reveal that Battic knows what “bounce boards” are.

  15. The idea that someone would WANT to portray Les Moore, to the point of making himself up to LOOK like Les Moore…quite frankly, my reaction to that is nausea.

  16. Perfect Tommy

    Mason wasn’t allowed to sit on the real Lisa bench, but he’s got his ass parked on a fake one. That’s some real Hollywood magic right there.

  17. Is “resetting the bounce boards” a job for the gaffer or the key grip?

  18. Barnaby Scones

    Ohhhhhhh yes!!! Word!!!!

    Rumor has it Orson Welles nearly went insane trying to get the bounce boards just right during the “Citizen Kane” shoot.

    When they finally let him on the lot that is.

    I sure hope we get a close look at celluloid flashpoint temperature flux on the #56 lens curve at some point in this riveting arc.