Please Re-Leese Me

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Marianne Winters, the sexy young Hollywood starlet with the small-town morals and a heart of gold, was stricken with breast cancer. But, because she just happened to be starring in a movie about a young woman (with small-town morals and a heart of gold) who was stricken with breast cancer, she understood the importance of early detection and successfully detected the breast cancer she’d been stricken with. What luck!

And, even more fortunately for Marianne, hundreds of thousands of people got sick and died from a horrible virus that pretty much shut the entire country, including Hollywood, down. And even MORE fortunately, a gigantic wildfire roared through the Hollywood area, leaving untold destruction and billions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, thus enabling Marianne to set aside the time to seek the very best medical attention for herself.

So it all really worked out well for her and, even more importantly, it all worked out for the deeply-conflicted Delicate Genius too. Because you see, Les was very deeply conflicted about sharing his innermost pain (that he painstakingly documented in a best-selling book then talked about non-stop for over a decade) with the world, at least until he discovered that his personal courage, fortitude and tremendous artistic gifts were responsible for literally saving Marianne’s life. So like with Marianne, the pandemic and the conflagration, the whole wife dying of cancer and sending him into a twenty-four-year-long cycle of depression and misery thing all worked out great for him in the end. Heartwarming, ain’t it?

BatYam could probably save all kinds of time if he just nailed Les and that f*cking book of his to a big cross, then had the various other characters pass by and genuflect before him, but there probably wouldn’t be as many opportunities for dumb puns and stupid wordplay that way. The fact that he spent years on this story only to have it end up here just boggles the mind. We all should have seen it coming, too, but once again Batty somehow managed to surprise and bore us all at the same time, which is quite a trick when you think about it.

57 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

57 responses to “Please Re-Leese Me

  1. “Do you accept Les Moore as your personal savior?”

  2. William Thompson

    “And so, Les, the words spoken by Mason Jar during the Sermon of Montoni’s are fulfilled, and you are in truth a hero!”

  3. William Thompson

    ED, we parochial school survivors can come up with all sorts of dumb puns and stupid wordplay about crucifixion. It’s how we got through the Stations of the Cross. So we could put up with Les and tell him to hang in there, “On the other hand, Les, you really nailed it!” “Why did the Romans cross that chicken?” “Wow, what a terrible case of hangnails!”

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Hello. I’m Marianne Winters, the star of ‘Lisa’s Story.’ And just like the real Lisa, I discovered a gross lump attached to my body. And also like Lisa, the doctors told me it was one or America’s deadliest killers: Les Moore. Fortunately for me, it was detected early, because Les Moore becomes malignant almost instantly. Symptoms include: being told it’s okay for you to go; mysterious phone calls from book publishers; and involuntary facial tics. So I’m warning you: prevention is the key. As part of a complete women’s health regimen, get yourself checked regularly for any signs of Les Moore in your life. Thank you.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Batty always acts like nobody knew about breast cancer screenings until he brought it up on the comics page.

      Another public service announcement courtesy of Batty

      And now you know….

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        “Get a mammogram, man!” figures in “Treehouse of Horror II” from 1991.

        Was there a Bart Simpson balloon in *Funky Winkerbean” as there was a Funky Winkerbean balloon in “The Simpsons’?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah really. If Marianne didn’t do Lisa’s Story, and found a lump on her body, was she NOT going to get it checked out? And hey – the book’s been out for a decade, did she not read that? Or even be aware of its contents?

  5. The Duck of Death

    WHAT early detection? Is he freakin’ kidding? Lisa found her lump by pure coincidence, when she fell during a game of touch football. It must have been pretty damn big if she noticed it through her clothing.

    She did NOT find it through a regular breast self-exam or a breast exam from her annual OB/GYN visit. She did NOT find it via a mammogram.

    There is no message about early detection. There’s no message about prevention. There’s only cancer. Cancer, cancer, cancer.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You know what really helps fight cancer? Getting it treated. Instead of letting your husband talk you into some cockamamie “clinical trial” because he’s butthurt about your misdiagnosis.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It would have been more interesting if the guy playing Frankie discovered the lump while they filmed the scene where “Frankie” paws at “Lisa” in the back of his creepy date-rape van, as that could have been another horrible Lisa trauma that eventually worked out great for everyone else. I mean why not, as every other terrible thing worked out for Marianne in the end. And that’s what’s really important here, no?

    • Sourbelly

      THANK YOU! Lisa’s Story didn’t teach shit about early detection. But I hope Marianne did pick up on the real message of Lisa’s Story – never trust doctors or their technicians! They easily could have fucked up the test results. And if that happens, it’s best to just give up and croak.

      • Charles

        Sometimes the best example you can be is an negative example.

        I sincerely doubt that that’s the way Batiuk views this.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Batiuk trying to turn Lisa’s Story into a “message” of prevention is absolutely disgusting.

        Funky Winkerbean has centered on Lisa Lisa Lisa Lisa cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer for 25 years now. I don’t recall “early prevention” coming up as a topic even once. Her story certainly never hinged on that at any point. The cancer was initially discovered by accident, as Duck of Death said, and after the misdiagnosis she didn’t even try to fight it. And that never comes up, does it?

        It’s a mystery why anybody should be care about this world, when Batiuk will handwave away its most fundamental truths for no reason at all. Les Moore was a loser in high school? No, Bull Bushka was his friend, and was protecting him from worse bullies, even though we never saw or heard of any! Cindy actually liked Les and dreamed of sleeping with him! Lisa died of cancer because she didn’t take early prevention, not because she got an incompetent diagnosis for cheap melodrama, and her husband told her he didn’t need her anymore!

        Funky Winkerbean is constantly correcting you about what the story is. Never mind what you actually saw. I feel like the interviewer in this old SNL bit:

  6. Gerard Plourde

    The pandemic and the wildfire shut production down long enough and were at the same time so non disruptive that Marianne Winters could get screened, have a diagnosis, undergo surgery and recovery, and yet wrap the filming Lisa’s Story within the space of one year. I wondered what became of Hermione Granger’s Time Turner.

  7. Mr. A

    “…because of the fire and the pandemic.” The fire strips ran in July and August 2020. Did the pandemic not start until the fall? Did the fire not take place at the time that it ran in papers? Hey, that’s a new idea: the fire happened in the summer of 2019, because the strip has been a year behind ever since Act III started, and it only caught up by skipping the pandemic. I’ve cracked it! (he says sarcastically)

    I know I’m looking for order where there is none, but I’d rather do that than dwell on any other part of this particular strip.

  8. billytheskink

    What a phenomenal instance of “tell, don’t show” we have here!

    The gut-wrenching feeling of learning a cancer diagnosis; the harrowing experience of major surgery; the nail-biting follow-up examinations to make sure the cancer doesn’t return… meh, that all happened when Crazy was giving his wife salad dressing for their anniversary and the rest of the world was dying of smoke inhalation and respiratory virus.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yup, classic Batiuk right there. All the “action” takes place entirely off-screen and ends up being briefly summarized with a few lines of bad dialog.

    • batgirl

      But that was all stuff happening to a woman. You can’t expect such trivia to matter until it is told to Les and we see him reacting to it.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, I for one am looking forward to October’s film test screening arc, where several women (and one guy) report that they were so moved by the drama they were witnessing that she decided to do self-examinations right there, in the theater, and found lumps that were later treated. At the picture’s Hollywood premiere in December, not only does Marianne share her story with the world, but Lester announces that he did a colorectal check-up by sticking his head further up his own tuchis.

    In other news, exactly how is Wife-Not-Lisa going to react on Saturday or Sunday? Will she A.) Still accuse the two of them of canoodling even though she apparently hears the conversation (“How dare you, Les? You know that kinky cancertalk is OUR bedroom thing!”); B.) Just gaze lovingly at the paragon of empathy and understanding she roped into marrying her; or C.) yell at Les “How come we’ve been married all this time and you’ve never given ME cancer?”

    Any chance next week’s arc can star the Subterranean?

    • The face on the masthead appears to be a smirking (and perhaps stoned?) Linda, so maybe next week will be a revisit of the Bull/Linda/Buck/CTE arc?

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    1.) Most doctors and cancer organizations no longer recommend Breast Self Exams. The vast vast vast majority of lumps and bumps they find are either normal breast tissue or benign conditions. And women who rely on BSEs may neglect to get mammograms. Instead they just recommend women to be ‘familiar with the characteristics of their breasts.’

    2.) There is no way that Marianne would be pulling Les aside to talk to him about this in confidence. The fact that the star of a Breast Cancer movie got Breast Cancer while the movie was in production would be the cover of every housewife/gossip centric magazine at the supermarket checkout. And it would be used to sell the movie to kingdom come.

    Modern movies bend over backward to try to generate ‘controversy’ or ‘human interest’ in their corporate product. They turn 30 seconds of two men looking at each other into a brave gay statement, and a few mean anonymous comments into an organized campaign of sexism and racism.

    • Charles

      a few mean anonymous comments into an organized campaign of sexism and racism.

      Leslie Jones? Kelly Marie Tran? That time Felicia Day (who I find annoying as shit) talked about how terrifying she found doxxing, only to have some guy respond to her by listing her home address? Just trying to put your potentially troubling statement in its proper context.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        The troll comments leveled at those women were dumb, gross, and mean spirited. I am in no way defending the jerks who made those comments.

        But everyone who produces artistic content and puts it out to the public is going to get hate from the bigots in society. And at times, people can use their identity labels and the way jerks insult them, as a way to discredit genuine criticism, or to drum up interest in whatever they’re selling by couching it in terms of social justice.

        Batiuk could, if he was a younger man and down on identity outrage, claim that our constant dragging of his comic through the mud is a dedicated misandrist attack.

        And studios desperate to sell a product are ALWAYS trying to find a small group of people to hate something in their new movie, so they can convince a larger group of people to ‘defend’ and ‘support’ the with their dollars.

        If someone is telling you to be mad, always ask what they stand to gain by your anger.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          Charles, thanks for asking me to clarify my position. If you disagree, I understand. Much love and respect intended.

          • Charles

            Yeah, I understand. But my perspective is that any attempt to distinguish a genuine emotional reaction from a cynical manipulative ploy is a perilous one, and one that’s generally not even worth doing in the first place.

            If the Leslie Jones thing was a total play by Jones, what’s the harm in not calling it out? More people go see a bad movie? More people pay attention to a cynical person? (Heh, fewer people make racist or sexist comments online because it might backfire, resulting in the woman or minority targeted making money?) If she’s sincere, what’s the harm in dismissing her concerns as bullshit? I think that’s far worse. I don’t think anyone needs to decide for her how many times she needs to be called a gorilla online before she’s allowed to be offended by it.

    • Professor Fate

      ah….Hollywood has always been a rotten place – witness say Sunset Blvd and populated by folks that would sell their mother for points or publicity…this is not simply a modern occurrence.
      As far as men staring at each other having a gay subtext there is that moment in Ben Hur where the two protagonists do stare are each other in a way that seems ‘meaningful’. Vida who worked on the script says yes that was the case others say no but still it’s there.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “ Vida[l] who worked on the script says yes that was the case others say no but still it’s there.”

        If the story recounted by Vito Russo in “The Celluloid Closet” is accurate, both the homoerotic subtext and the discrepancy in recollections are explained. It was discussed by Vidal and director William Wyler, who agreed it better explained the source of conflict between Ben-Hur and Messala. Wyler agreed saying, “Well. Anything is better than we’ve got in the way of motivation, but don’t tell Chuck (Heston).” Vidal goes on to say that “I did tell Stephen Boyd, who was fascinated. He agreed to play the frustrated lover. Study his face in the reaction shots in that scene and you will see that he plays it like a man starving.”

        Charlton Heston was deliberately not informed of the context that was being portrayed.

  11. Lum Drestop

    And Cayla, staring intently from afar, can’t quite make out what is being said, but is quite certain she heard “huge erection” and “I’m pregnant.”

    • Smirks 'R Us

      Phew, what a relief for Cayla. If she heard the word huge she knows it’s not about Less. My money’s on the Key Grip. You can’t trust those guys.

  12. The Nelson Puppet

    • Suicide Squirrel

      My Cayla, you’ve changed.

      I’d recognize that art style anywhere. John Byrne was one of my favorite artists when I read comic books in the late 1970s (i.e. ‘The X-Men’). I didn’t know he worked on Funky Winkerbean. That blows my mind. An SDCC HOFer squandered his talents on Funky Winkerbean? I must have missed that period.

      From John Byrne’s Wikipedia page:
      “In early 2003, Byrne spent ten weeks as guest penciler on the syndicated newspaper strip Funky Winkerbean. Byrne did this as a favor for Winkerbean’s creator, Tom Batiuk, who was recovering from foot surgery.”

      Byrne replaced Batyuk because of foot surgery? I didn’t know Batyuk drew the comic with his feet. I knew he wrote the strip out of his ass.

      • To be fair, recovering from any kind of painful condition would make it difficult to concentrate on delicate work like drawing…though why he managed to get Byrne rather than some assistant would make an interesting story (ie, one not told by him).

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Batiuk probably just paid Byrne his usual rate for a side job. He seems to have no shortage of money, and is obsessed with becoming a comic book creator somehow. It’s sort of a fantasy camp for him.

        • Suicide Squirrel

          What? I have to be fair to Batyuk now?

          Sheesh, I don’t post for a week and they change the rules on me. *Grumble mutter gripe*

  13. Professor Fate

    It really looks like she’s about to offer Les ‘something’ in return for his somehow saving her life – of course he will insist that she wear the Lisa wing.

    • batgirl

      I know you meant wig, but the image I had of Lisa as a one-winged angel (she got her first wing because Les gave another woman cancer) hovering erratically over Les & Marianne was still pretty amusing.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    What did Lisa ever accomplish in her life that made her death so tragic to anyone else outside her own family? She was an indifferent lawyer married to a nebbish. Why is her death any more tragic than anyone else’s?

    What did Les ever do in her name, other than make her death an industry for himself? Books, movies and a fundraiser in her name. I wonder how much of a cut Les takes from Lisa’s Legacy. It’s nice work if you can get it.

    I had a favorite blouse. It was my ‘Lucky blouse.’ I didn’t realize it at the time, but the blouse was present in photos and videos for several events in my life, some noteworthy. The blouse is in photos and videos of my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. The blouse is in photos and videos where I’m holding my grandson for the first time. I wore the blouse to a class reunion. I wore the blouse for portrait photographs for the church directory. The odds are pretty good that I wore the blouse for a driver’s license photo too. There were a few repair jobs on the blouse. I remember sewing on loose buttons and even fixing a seam at the shoulder. Eventually, I wore through one of the elbows. I finally had to admit there was a point where the blouse had outlived its usefulness. I loved that blouse, but it was time to let go. The blouse is still in the back of my closet because I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. I remember the blouse fondly, but I’m sure not going to wear it out in public.

    Much like my blouse, Batty has worn out Lisa’s Story. Is there anyone besides himself who looks forward to another Lisa’s Story arc? We get it, Batty. You’re proud of Lisa’s Story, but it’s time to leave it in the closet and move on to newer things. The Pulitzer committee is not going to reconsider their decision. You were nominated and you lost. Get over it. The beaten, dead horse is not going to suddenly pop up and win the Kentucky Derby.

    • sloppy eve hill

      Oops, forgot to close off that italics HTML tag correctly. Probably forgot the slash. My kingdom for an edit function.

      More coffee!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Oh, Tom Batiuk will never part with his special blouse. The inability to let go of the past is practically the defining theme of Funky Winkerbean Act III. But it never explores this idea, or suggests that it can become unhealthy. It’s treated as a normal human behavior we all can relate to.

  15. Don

    I’m waiting for the stories about women in real life who read “Lisa’s Story” and had breast cancer detected early enough to treat it because they did.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’m pretty sure that already happened at one of Les’ many book signings, although it’s possible that I just imagined it, seeing how plausible it is and all.

      • I think Don is referring to Tom Batiuk’s real life book signings.

      • Charles

        I don’t remember any women coming to Les to talk about early detection of their cancer due to Lisa’s Story. I do remember more than a couple cancer-stricken women or surviving family members coming up and telling Les how much the book helped them cope.

        Which is even more ridiculous, really. “In the middle of harsh treatments that were destroying my body and making me deathly ill, reading about a woman who went through the same thing, then decided it was too much so she chose death instead, that really encouraged me to pull through!”

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Which makes me wonder how themes of “early prevention is key” and “coping with unavoidable death” both come out of the same story. One is a strategy for living with the disease; the second is a mental health strategy for when death is unavoidable. Even worse is that Lisa failed at both of these tasks.

  16. hitorque

    So… Instead of showing Marianne dealing with cancer, or giving us at least a hint that Phillip Holt was still alive, in the 13 months that have passed since the Great SoCal Wildfire we’ve seen:

    Salad dressing for a anniversary present…

    Adeela’s driving lessons and immigration nightmare with a special guest appearance by Bill Clinton…

    Harry Dinkle the church choir director…

    Lester’s book lecture with the “I GOT THAT REFERENCE!” -lady…

    Harry Dinkle applying to march in the Rose Bowl Parade…

    Some randumb asshole buying a $9,000 life-size figure of Iron Man from Komixxx Korner…

    Funky’s endless AA meeting where he droned on about how he ‘survived’ the pandemic and broke his discman…

    Batton Thomas talking about some 60-year-old Flash comic…

    Ruby Lith talking about the good ol’ days for women in the comics industry, back when men in the office could call her “sweet tits” and slap her on the ass as she walked by…

    Comicon and the Hall of Fame induction…

    (I know I’m missing a lot but you get the picture)

    • Charles

      I mean, come on, man! Which of those dynamite stories would you have thrown out to make room? You never know beforehand which story’s gonna win you the Reuben!

  17. So when do the Moores quit their jobs and take The Tapes out on the road as sacred reliquaries?

  18. Paul Jones

    So what the human door stop riding this nonsense is saying that the only way anyone could ever have heard about early detection is to drown in the backwash of the ego of the most punchable man in the world. This is called nonsense!