Abraham, Martin and Johns

Anybody here seen that old jerk Les Moore,
Can you please tell me that he’s gone?
He annoyed a lotta people, readers chiefly among
Y’know I just looked at today’s strip and he’s gone.

Anybody here seen any act-tion,
Can you tell me when it comes on?
There’s been a lotta panels, but it seems nothing has happened
I just looked at today’s strip and I yawned.

Does anybody here get this movie’s appeal,
Can you care when Lisa’s fate is foregone?
They need a lotta viewers, their wallets must be wrung
But it’s being made for an audience of one.

Didn’t we snark on Lisa’s arc before?
Won’t this movie plot and strip end eventually?
Then we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Tom,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him there WAY over the hill
In denial that he’s been there so long.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

32 responses to “Abraham, Martin and Johns

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Batiuk wants to show off his vast “inside” Hollywood knowledge, so he has the director yell “action”. That’s some mighty deep insight there, Tom. I used to assume they said something like “make film go now!” or “commence acting, post-haste!” but now, thanks to FW, I know.

    Coming tomorrow: BatYam’s scathing behind-the-scenes look at modern film making continues, as we learn that the director says “cut” when he wants the scene to stop. A grateful nation looks at movies in a whole new light and the price of film school tuition drops precipitously overnight.

  2. William Thompson

    “Action?” It’s like Batiuk never heard of honesty in advertising.

  3. billytheskink

    I guess Mr. Johns is no longer the director, he’s the something-“ator”. That explains why he shouted “action!” with a boom mic still in the shot.

  4. louder

    Thank goodness this scene took place in the years before “man spreading” became a thing — Lisa is cornered!

  5. Um. Would the slate or clapperboard be behind the director?

    • Epicus Doomus

      The attention to detail he puts into making sure nothing makes any sense is just amazing, as well as remarkably consistent.

    • William Thompson

      Ooooh, a montage! How tha-riling! Just like in the old movies about Hollywood! Batiuk is so behind the times, his cultural radar is an air raid warden with binoculars.

    • Of course, the slate actually appears on film. It’s there so that the editor can know which take he’s working on, as well as making sure the sound and image are synchronized. The things Batiuk doesn’t know would fill a book.

    • robertodobbs

      Yes, the clapperboard is used right in front of the scene to be shot to make possible synchronizing of film & sound. Not behind the direct-ator.

  6. The one word one would never associate with this strip–“Action!” I assume it will lead to nothing of the kind.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    So, after two days of “action,” we at least know they’re up to take #3 of scene #3 (Heaven forbid we ever actually SEE any of said action or hear how Les’s deathless prose has been transformed into cinematic dialogue). My question, however, is about this bench tete-a-tete being the third scene in the film. Are we glossing over high school and Lisa’s first pregnancy to jump into the cancer arc? Are they going for a time-hopping scenario a la “Citizen Kane” or “Pulp Fiction”? Most tearjerkers (see “Dark Victory,” Love Story,” “Marley and Me,” etc.) tend to stick to a straight linear format, but the mind boggles at where this could be going.

    • Cabbage Jack

      I’m guessing a word-by-word retelling of the “novel.” It’s the only way to do The Perfect Story correctly, can’t leave anything out! The final cut will be 233 joyless hours long.

    • Epicus Doomus

      No one knows re: the fictional “Lisa’s Story”. I always assumed it was all about her losing battle with you-know-what, but then sometimes it’s a whole comprehensive Lisa encyclopedia, so who knows?

      If he rehashes the pregnancy arc again I’ll throw up. He’s done it like fifty times already and I know he’s not finished yet.

      • Hitorque

        Presumably “Lisa’s Story” *should* be starting in her high school years, since you can’t tell her story without the rape and subsequent birth of her son…

        Although to be fair, many movies are shot out of chronological sequence and then reassembled in post-production

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I was thinking Forrest Gump. The movie starts with the main character on the bench, and then unfolds through him telling others about his past. In the third act it catches up to the current time, as it turns out he’s waiting for the bus to go see Jenny in the present day.

      Which is exactly the kind of treacly, derivative approach Batiuk, and by extension Les, would do. And then proclaim it the greatest narrative in the history of literature.

  8. Petula Clark Five

    Adam Sandler is sitting on a bench with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. And????

  9. Hitorque

    Oh come the hell on! Even I know modern Hollywood uses clappers with the digital time readouts…

    Like I said before — Les should have just had the movie made by Westview High School’s A/V club because the production quality couldn’t be any lower than what we’re seeing here…

    So what the hell was the point of securing tens of millions in funding for such an amateur hour picture? I guess 98% of it went towards Masone and Marianne’s salaries?

    • Y. Knott

      Don’t you know how Hollywood works? Gotta have *millions* in reserve for the kill fee.

    • William Thompson

      I thought about that, too, but Batiuk is one step ahead of us here. If prima-donna Les has his students make the movie, Batiuk won’t be able to waste time with pointless arguments over scripting, location scouting and casting. (Of course he did miss the chance to waste time by showing the students as bungling dimwits, so it isn’t all bad.)

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Wait, but I thought Mason was getting points on the backend because they wouldn’t need to hire a casting director. Batty sure is “in the know” about Hollywood.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s a movie for an audience of one, all right. And that one person isn’t watching it.

  10. AmigoLupus

    Are we sure this wasn’t supposed to come before yesterday’s strip? It’s weird to have someone go “Cut! That was great y’all!” and then the next strip has them just starting up a scene.

  11. Paul Jones

    The irritating thing is that this is all we’re going to see of the movie itself. If things run true to form, we’ll skip over the actual showing of the movie so we can sit in a pizza parlour listening to people describe it ineptly.

  12. Dood

    Since the director’s in the shot, are they filming a “making of” along with the, ahem, feature production? That’ll bank in China.

  13. Barnaby Scones

    We all know what’s coming. The world premiere in Ohio, “rave” reviews; numerous awards; tears and hugs and smirks; corny accolades; and Les in a corner, FUMING.

    • William Thompson

      And it ends with a copy of Variety, bearing a headline about the movie’s boffo box office, being dropped in a wastebasket. Because Batiuk can’t handle success any more than he can handle continuity. His characters always have to end up as small-town schlubs.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        It ends with Ed Crankshaft and his buddies sitting in The Valentine saying “What the hell was that?” as soon as the film ends.

  14. LTPFTR

    Brilliant song parody! It says something when we put more effort into snark than Batiuk does into the strip.

    • Y. Knott

      Yes, a BIG thumbs up to Billy The Skink for that very funny song parody! You’ve set the bar high, Billy!

    • comicbookharriet

      BTS always puts in more work than Batiuk. We are blessed with his knowledge and genius.