No Preview Review

Link to today’s strip whenever it drops.

Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. So instead enjoy my favorite comment from yesterday.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

66 responses to “No Preview Review

  1. Y. Knott

    The link is incorrectly typed, and leads nowhere.

    Or are you heroically saving innocent passersby from accidentally reading Funky Winkerbean? If so, excellent work, Harriet! In the spirit of this comic strip, please know that your heroic act is forever appreciated and will shortly be retconned to have actually been performed by Les Moore.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    We all know what’s gonna happen today. Marianne will somehow remind Les of Lisa again, then she’ll be deeply and profoundly touched by Les’ pure heartfelt love and his uniquely overwhelming loss. He’ll stare at his feet with that annoying morose look on his stupid bearded face and she’ll tell him that getting to play Lisa in the cancer movie is by far the most meaningful thing she’s ever done. Cayla will once again probably not be mentioned.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      She’s reminding me of Summer today.

      But look at that smirk, Les says she’s a good actress so now she finally believes it.

  3. You’ve all seen this, but SeaCountry hasn’t. Probably my favorite of the Les animations.

    Enjoy, and if you’ve seen it before, enjoy again!

    • SeaCountry

      I love it! Thanks.

      • I think George Orwell said it best…if you want to envision the future, imagine an award being slammed into a douchebag’s face for all eternity.

        I might have altered a word or two there, but it turns “1984” from a bleak depiction of dystopia to a hoped-for comic strip outcome.

        Yeah, I think Mr. Orwell would have been taken aback by that adaptation

        • Epicus Doomus

          “Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with Lisa retcons.”

    • William Thompson

      Encore! Encore!

  4. William Thompson

    Isn’t “I can’t imagine” Batiuk’s line?

  5. William Thompson

    “All the fire and ashes remind me of how I had Lisa cremated.”

  6. Mela

    Well how about that? Les took the high road. Finally, some humble words from Mr. Moore.

  7. billytheskink

    It took surviving a fire for Les to think that Marianne was right for the role of Lisa? Given the size of this stupid golf fire, I’d guess there’s about a million women, give or take, in greater LA now who are now right for the role of Lisa as well.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Once again Les/Tom’s undying love for Lisa supersedes everything else in the story. By this point anyone still reading FW is very well aware of Les’ feelings regarding his dead first wife, yet BatHam just couldn’t resist making the focal point of yet another story. And this time he used a gigantic conflagration as a device to work one of his old Lisa stories into the mix.

      A normal writer working with this premise probably would have done a week or two where Les is blown away by Marianne’s amazing acting, but that was apparently too complicated for BatFarce. It’s just embarrassingly awful storytelling, too stupid to even be called childish.

      • SeaCountry

        Excellent point—what reason is there to burn most of LA, devastating a large city and endangering countless lives, just to stick L*s and Marianne on a boat for more Lisa talk? Why doesn’t Batiuk understand that most readers would care more about things like the old man in danger at the cave, the damage to the city, and if the premiere and movie filming will go on?

        A normal writer might let Marianne talk a bit about how she wants to expand her range, thinks Lisa’s Story is a good way to do it, or how she likes the Starbuck Jones movies but doesn’t want to be typecast all her life. But Marianne forgets she has a demanding and competitive career when L*s is around. A normal writer also wouldn’t throw Cindy and Marianne together with no explanation and no discussion or resolution for their conflict. (Marianne may not actually know she is in a conflict with Cindy, but that’s not how Cindy sees it, and we don’t need a fire for that, either.)

        Speaking of normal writers, perhaps a non-fiction writer might like a new project. He might be inspired to write about that devastating fire when he gets home to Ohio. He might talk with Jeff and find it interesting how an obscure bit of pop culture both saved his life and nearly ended it. But L*s doesn’t need or want a new project, does he? He’s already done his life’s work.

        • Mela

          It would have been interesting if Marianne had been a total diva witch when she first walked in and met Les on set. She could have had mortified Les with her terrible behavior and then when they said “action” she could have become the perfect Lisa-thereby showing what a great actress she is and totally confusing Les in the process. That might have been fun to see.

          • SeaCountry

            But that would have made sense, given Marianne something like a personality, and not allowed Batiuk to fantasize about a natural disaster annihilating one of the USA’s largest cities.

  8. William Thompson

    Wow! That boat is expanding faster than Les’s ego!

  9. SeaCountry

    Y’all, L*s apologized to Marianne and wasn’t a complete horse’s ass. Truly, this will be a day filled with wonders. We should probably expect the little National Zoo panda cub later today.

    Jeff, Cindy, and Mason are still not accounted for, but hey, can’t have everything.

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Fine and dandy, Les, but it begs the question WHY? Because she didn’t pay attention to what had to be a major local news story and decidedly to go sunbathing with Cindy when they should have seen or smelt on oncoming fire? Because you got the chance to play “hero” once again and “rescue” her? Because she’s willing to sit and listen to your interminable Dead St. Lisa stories? WHY?

  11. Y. Knott

    “Because she’s willing to sit and listen to your interminable Dead St. Lisa stories?”


    • Professor Fate

      Yes her willingness to completely efface herself to please Les is the most Lisa thing about her.

  12. Professor Harlan Grankle

    And now, Les, you can apologize to all of US for the decades of your insufferable existence.

  13. Hitorque

    1. WHY is Les apologizing to the brightest young starlet in Hollywood at the moment? WHY on Earth would he believe Marianne Winters gives a rat’s ass what Les Freaking Moore thinks about her acting talent when he couldn’t even deliver a one-line cameo without 20 takes?? WHY is Marianne Winters fuckin’ *smiling* meekly at Les in approval instead of reminding him: “Just because you pulled me out of a fire, don’t pretend for a second that you know me! In case you’ve ALREADY forgotten, Columbia Pictures is paying me $24 million just to play your worthless miserable wife and believe me when I say that it’s a pay cut! You want to keep fuckin’ around and trying to get familiar? Because I WILL walk away from this project and leave you and Masone high and dry! Maybe you can slap on a wig and play Lisa yourself since that’s clearly what you want to do!!”

    2. Did we *EVER* get a real, concrete reason why Les didn’t want Marianne in the role? And did Les even suggest the first name out of countless actresses who he thought would be a better fit?

    3. I’m sorry, but how exactly does this work again?

    “I thought you were the wrong person for the role of Obi-Wan Lisa even though I was too much of a chickenshit to voice my concerns as author and associate producer…But once I pulled your oblivious ass out of that fire (strange how a lifelong coward like myself found the ballsack to storm into a burning condo); I knew you were always the perfect choice to play her!!”

    • SeaCountry

      Earlier in the arc, Marianne was having doubts and repeated L*s’ insult about how she was only good for action movies. L*s gave her some weird “motivation” instead of an apology.

      Apologizing is the right thing to do on L*s’ part. So, good that he finally did it. But you’re right, Marianne was awfully meek about accepting it, and she seems to have very little confidence. The entire Los Angeles metro area certainly didn’t need to be threatened by fire in order to make it happen.

      • hitorque

        That’s like me “apologizing” to Tom Brady for all the times I called him a cheater and a ‘system QB’ on Twitter… Why would he care about what a random weirdo who isn’t a player or coach thinks about his career?? Nevermind the fact that I could live 150 years and still not make in a lifetime what Brady makes in a season. And if he doesn’t give a good goddamn about my opinion, why would he give one over my “apology?”

        • hitorque

          And nevermind the fact that it’s sexist as all hell, too… Because *nobody* for a single moment questioned whether Masone Freaking Jarre (aka, “Mr. Gets Stage Fright During Table Reads”) had the “gravitas” to star in the movie…

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ah, sorry, made a similar comment upstream, didn’t see yours.

      Great minds…something, something….

  14. Boots Gandalf

    And the sails are raised on this wannabe yacht while it’s docked? No detail is too small to be fucked up in this strip.

    • billytheskink

      It’s spelled Masone’s Luxury Yacht, but it’s pronounced “Throatwarbler Mangrove”…

    • The sails are not up on the boat. It’s just that TB doesn’t know how to draw a sail cover (a sail cover doesn’t extend halfway up the mast). He doesn’t know how to draw standing rigging either.

  15. Petula Clark Five

    Oh my GOD!! This is a fantastic day for Marianne. Now if Les asks her for a second cup of [beverage], oh… phew, calm down. She’s not entitled to that much bliss.

  16. DreadedCandiru2

    Yeah. What appears to have made him come to that decision is that he sees her as an inert object who needs to be rescued. It’s kind of why he never let Mason see the video letters. He might start to get the idea that Lisa had a personality not dependent on his own.

  17. Charles

    Indeed, the only thing that’s changed that would’ve led Les to change his mind about Marianne being “right” for the part of Lisa is that she went limp and became completely useless in the middle of an emergency. He now sees her as someone who won’t make move one when it comes to self-preservation.

    It certainly wasn’t because her acting impressed him, or even her profound insight into the character of Lisa, because she’s never shown any insight, profound or not. It’s just that she’s a helpless victim that made Les feel important for saving her.

    “Now remember, you must *never* do anything that might ameliorate or improve your position in any situation you find yourself in. Leave that to others, even though they’re ultimately not going to do anything for you either. Doctors mess up your medical charts condemning you to death, when you’ve got a small daughter who’s now going to grow up without a mother because of their incompetence? You do *nothing*! Just roll right over and let the cancer do its job. Not wallowing helplessly in your misery is only something despicable reprobates do!”

    • SeaCountry

      That is weird, isn’t it? Wasn’t she supposed to be a lawyer? So why couldn’t/wouldn’t she sue the doctors who screwed up, or find a local fellow lawyer with a good reputation to help her out? Seems like that would come natural to her.

      • DreadedCandiru2

        If I remember correctly, she’d assumed that it was fate that led the moron to fuck up because the cancer was ‘supposed’ to kill her eventually. She died like one of the zombified nitwits on FBorFW because they trust in fate and faith too.

        • SeaCountry

          So the cast of FW—more accurately, Batiuk—doesn’t get the point of the Christian joke that ends with God saying “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want from Me?!” Typical.

        • hitorque

          God, I’m glad I missed like 90% of the cancer storyline because I would have quit the strip for good…

      • Rusty Shackleford

        But of course she had all this time and energy to record a bunch of videos, just so she could nag from beyond the grave.

  18. Count of Tower Grove

    Yikes! Where did Marianne Summer/winter get that nose full of nickels?

    • SeaCountry

      Apparently Marianne is a female version of Jim Carrey in his rubber-faced prime. Hope she uses a good moisturizer.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Except Jim Carrey actually made people laugh.

        • SeaCountry

          What, that FEMA trailer joke didn’t have you laughing until you fell out of your chair?

        • J.J. O'Malley

          Don’t worry. Once the moviegoing public gets a chance to see the finished “Lisa’s Story: The Motion Picture,” they’ll be laughing their butts off.

    • William Thompson

      It looks like she and Mopey Pete were separated at birth. Or whatever term is proper for creatures who reproduce by fission.

    • hitorque

      Yeah, I noted earlier that Batiuk decided to “ugly her up” ever since she arrived at the condo, since no woman can be allowed to outshine Cindye…

    • Charles

      Yep, that big ol’ moon face suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Hottest actress in Hollywood, right there. I think if I had been in charge I would have told Ayers to try again.

      Anyway, what makes her face doubly repellent is how relieved and pleased she seems to be that this irrelevant douche now approves of her.

      “Thanks, nobody schoolteacher from Ohio, but I already have a film producer who owns her own company paying me millions of dollars to play your dipshit wife, so I don’t really need your affirmation, as if you have any fucking idea what you’re talking about anyway.”

      • SeaCountry

        A more polite approach: “Thanks. That’s kind of you. But you know, Mason and the producer thought I could do it a long time ago. I hope you see we’ve all been trying to treat Lisa’s character with respect, and yours, too. A lot of people will relate to your experience.”

        • Charles

          But the idea is that she’d be rude to Les because he presumes he’s not simply someone who can judge her, but he’s the only one whose judgment actually matters. According to him, she should be devastated that he doesn’t approve of her for this role.

          • SeaCountry

            Yeah, good point. Someone really should bust out a good “Bitch, you ain’t special!” talk for L*s. Everyone in the vicinity of Cancerview would be better off. But I’m Southern, so I try to be a lady when I’m telling someone off, at least before my second drink.

  19. Gerard Plourde

    Yesterday I asked “is this Marvel/DC comics level of urban devastation merely a plot device to allow Les to finally embrace the project?” Today I got my answer.

    What’s most frustrating about TomBa’s writing is that it’s modeled after early Silver Age comics scripting. My avid comics reading period was between 1960 to about 1967 reading DC titles. Looking back (and also reading Flash Fridays installments), I see how plot-centric and contrived those stores were, a point that occasionally even TomBa acknowledges. They contained almost no character development. Yet somehow, despite his own knowledge of the shortcomings of the writing of that period, that’s precisely the form his storytelling takes, with a gigantic dose of pulp-level melodrama added. And it’s probably the daily display of this weird hit-wire act (and the existence of this site of similar beedy-eyed nit-pickers) that keeps me reading FW.

  20. Professor Fate

    Okay Les has decided that she’s the one to play Lisa. Fine and dandy. Of course as others have noted we never have understood WHY he didn’t care for her as Lisa except other than sheer mulishness on his part.
    However what’s the point of this? She’s already been cast, they have already been shooting for a while – long enough to go on hiatus, so what Les likes or doesn’t like the re the casting if irrelevant. Hell he’s not even the scriptwriter this time, he’s just the writer of the original story – and as a lot of writers will tell in Hollywood that means bupkis as far as any input into the film goes. Granted Masonne has been tip toing about Les all this time but that’s because Les is a complete whinny prat not because he values Les’s opinion – if he did well Marianne wouldn’t be playing Lisa?
    Looking forwards one shudders at the insane story compression that is going to take place now that what one can only assume was the Author’s main purpose to setting Los Angeles on fire has been accomplished getting Les alone with Marianne to bestow his blessing on here. One honestly expects the next day or so to see everybody rescued and sitting about the boat drinking coffee without the reader being shown anything.
    This arc is garbage.

    • SeaCountry

      I’m reminded of a sitcom that was supposed to be based on Dave Barry’s life and writings. It basically ended up being a super-bland family sitcom with a dad who was just named Dave Barry. When he was asked about it, Barry replied, “I have complete creative control over how I spend the checks they give me”.

      • hitorque

        I was a big fan of Barry back in the day, but it was evident that when his kids grew up, he lost his fastball…

        Same reason why “Luann” sucks so hard these days.

        • SeaCountry

          Agreed. My brother and I loved Dave Barry in the 1990s and early 2000s. The sitcom was done at his peak of popularity. He’s just not at that level anymore, though, proving that’s not just an issue for comic strip writers/artists. But at least Barry probably didn’t spend weeks on end at the sitcom set whining, making demands, and making people Google things like “poisons that can’t be detected in coffee”, either.

    • Mela

      As glad as I am that Les apologized to her, it really isn’t about Marianne at all, of course. He couldn’t have been too impressed with her acting because he watched, what, three scenes with her? A park bench scene, the “playground is closed” scene, and the restaurant scene where he was too busy blowing his one line. So yes, Les had to carry Marianne out of a house which may not have even been on fire in order for him to be OK with her playing Lisa. And yep, they’ll probably be drinking on the boat (Jeff included because comic book/sci-fi/movie nerds won’t ever be sacrificed) and saying something like “Whew that was close! Now what do we do about Lisa’s Story?”

      • SeaCountry

        You’re probably right. I’d like to think there were more scenes, but Batiuk didn’t show that. As I mentioned before, Marianne’s hair is not shaved or buzzed, indicating that she very likely hasn’t filmed any scenes where Lisa is being treated for cancer yet. These would be a huge part, if not the majority, of the movie. Of course the fate of the movie will be discussed. However, Batiuk and his annoying avatar L*s won’t take very much interest in the fates of anyone who won’t be going home to Ohio.

    • SeaCountry

      Another example of a writer getting their product filmed: Margaret Atwood did spend a fair amount of time on the set for the Handmaid’s Tale, especially in the first season. She appeared as one of the Aunts (women who enforce Gilead’s laws for other women) in a cameo, and probably didn’t require a kajillion takes. But Atwood had written a feminist/speculative classic that had inspired extremely strong feelings and levels of engagement in 2 generations of readers. (Even the main character’s real first name in the series, June, is derived from a long-standing theory that fans like me had. Those of us who loved the Handmaid’s Tale novel are *not* casual fans.) Atwood still has some creative control over scripts and interacted with the Hulu series’ writers & executives while writing the sequel, the Testaments. TL;DR: Atwood is an example of a source material writer with a great deal of creative control. But the material and circumstances are unique. It was not a fairly ordinary story about a normal woman who died way too young and the man who loved her. And Atwood accepted changes and input and almost certainly didn’t make a complete nuisance of herself on the set.

  21. Dood

    This strip once again delivers in its typical backasswards manner. Yes, Les apologizes — for all the wrong reasons.

  22. Jimmy

    Marianne in panel 3 reminds me of those old anti-smoking posters from school.

  23. spacemanspiff85

    “You mean when you realized how helpless I am and my life was literally in your hands, I reminded you of Lisa?”
    “No, I mean when I for some reason was carrying you out of the house even though you clearly weren’t injured, I grabbed your ass and it felt just like Lisa’s.”

  24. Banana Jr. 6000

    Les never actually had a problem with Marianne. Les’ problem is with the very idea of an actress portraying Lisa. It offends him that any woman would have the gall to put on a costume and pretend to be his oh-so-precious Lisa. Or that anyone would stage a production in which this happens. In his mind, this is what he has to “protect Lisa” from.

    It’s nice that Les realized he was rude to Marianne. But he was also rude to everyone else: Mason, Cassidy the producer, all the other Hollywood people he met with, all the women who auditioned for the part, and the previous crew he took that kill fee from. He has treated everyone with cryptic, passive-aggressive hatred.

    This realization should be a huge wake-up call for Les. It should show him that he’s built a ridiculous mythology around Lisa, which has caused him to mistreat other people. Will they get an apology? Probably not, and this probably won’t change Les in any way. Because Funky Winkerbean is allergic to character development, especially for Les.