“Galoot”??? Les Moore is not a “galoot”. Bull was a galoot, Buck was a galoot, even Funky could be a galoot. But Les is a somewhat effete bearded dick with ears and there’s nothing even remotely galootish about him. And Cayla is like what, forty-five or so? Why would she be using slang that fell out of fashion thirty years before she was born? Sigh.
So Les, courtesy of his great artistic gifts and his wife’s untimely death, saved a life and not just any life, mind you, but a FAMOUS PERSON’S life, which is worth like five or six regular lives, at least. This is so mawkish it’s hard to believe an adult wrote it, and it’s so self-reverential it could have only sprung from the pen of one man. Then, on top of everything else, he actually has Les’ current, still-living wife grant him permission to hug other women, as long as Lisa is somehow involved, which is just too distressing and too disturbing for words. Les isn’t merely the most detestable character in the entire history of fiction, he’s a deeply twisted psychological disaster area too, trapped as he is in a bizarre relationship amalgam with Lisa, Calya and the stupid book of his.
It’s all too much, which is what we all say after a few days of Dick Facey’s irritating shenanigans. As far as “Lisa’s Story” stories go, this one was a real corker all right. Women getting breast cancer, women starring in movies about women getting breast cancer, women who secretly lusted after Les in high school, women thanking Les Moore for saving their lives, other women looking on approvingly, this one really had it all. It’s a wild wish-fulfillment fantasy and an obnoxious victory lap all in one.
49 responses to “Thou Shalt Not Make Unto Thee Any Smug Bearded Image”
In the first panel I could swear MW is clasping her hands in prayer to Les. If she begs to have his child next, will she offer it to him as a sacrifice or raise it as a demigod?
Who the hell says “galoot” in 2021?
“Go ahead and give that corking young dame a squeeze, you big galoot. She’s quite a tomato, just the bee knees! Romance her like Valentino!”
Galooting aside, Cayla’s reaction might have made sense if, say, Marianne had fallen off a ladder and landed on Les thus breaking her fall or maybe if he’d fixed her car or something. But having your poignant personal memoir inspire a young woman during her battle with breast cancer isn’t really very galootish at all.
I found it very disquieting that Cayla granted Les permission to hug Marianne after eavesdropping and discovering that their private conversation had nothing to do with sex at all, as if she has to constantly monitor Les’ appropriateness in any situation involving other women. So she’s not just a doormat, but an insecure and somewhat domineering doormat.
Cayla is not a real person who has her own wants and needs. She’s more or less a prop. She was introduced when Batiuk thought he could win an award for depicting an interracial marriage 40 years after Loving v Virginia. When that didn’t pan out, she became Lisa’s surrogate replacement.
So why is Cayla OK with this? Because Cayla’s only reason for existing is to be OK with whatever Les needs her to be OK with. And so Les can have the benefits of a living wife while he pines endlessly for his dead one.
She was introduced when Batiuk thought he could win an award for depicting an interracial marriage 40 years after Loving v Virginia.
Again, nah. She was an accident that Batiuk realized too late that he couldn’t get out of without making himself look terrible. So he de-blackified her the best he could before he had her marry his author avatar.
The guy’s been riding the Lisa Cancer train for 15 years. He still talks about the teen pregnancy story which has to be over 30 years old by now. If Les and Cayla getting married was supposed to be calling attention to his racial tolerance, he wouldn’t ever shut up about it. And yet he’s never had one character in the Funkyverse make one comment about it. The only time he’s ever called attention to it was when he needed to defend himself against accusations of racism, when he had Les call Cayla a monkey.
Les called Cayla a monkey? Really? Howard Cosell got fired for that in 1983!
BatYam wrote himself into a corner with Cayla. She was introduced to play the role of “African-American female” for the sake of his big, early Act III “interracial dating” prestige arc, back when he was still routinely doing shit like that. But, as you stated above, he realized that using Cayla as a one-off gimmick character had the potential to backfire horribly and possibly attract unwanted attention.
So he had her “dating” Les for years on end. She was always sort of lurking around in the background while Les was optioning Lisa screenplays and visiting Lisa at the park and etc. But it never really became “official” until Les was filmed kissing Susan Smith, at which point Cayla (ugh) seduced Les and closed the deal. Then they got married during that weird post-Kilimanjaro period when “Lisa’s Story” appeared to be on the wane, finally. But, as usual, he couldn’t help himself, at which point Cayla morphed into her current incarnation as Les’ straight-haired faithful Lisa enabler, the role she was truly born to play.
Remember when Les mentioned Lisa discovering her cancer DURING his proposal to Cayla? Man, that was ugly.
She was introduced to play the role of “African-American female” for the sake of his big, early Act III “interracial dating” prestige arc,
Again, I don’t think that was even an arc, for the simple reason that Batiuk never advertised it as such. Look at how much shit he flung about the Gay Prom and Linda’s Torment in the Midst of Bull’s Suicide (I can’t even call it the Bull’s Suicide arc). I really do think that Batiuk hooked Les up with a black woman because that black woman was the mother of Summer’s archrival, which would chafe Summer’s ass. He did plenty of arcs about that, where Summer would annoy Les and Les would humiliate her in return. It’s just in this case that he had already established the archrival as a black girl, so her mom had to be black too. By the time he realized that he couldn’t break them up (and have Les remarry a white woman) without looking like a racist, it was too late. He did in fact, have them break up, but they immediately got back together as Cayla decided to transform herself into Toasted Almond Cindy.
And again, at no point throughout this was the fact that this was an interracial pairing brought up. Not a single person in the strip said anything about it. That’s just not how Batiuk does things. The only time it was ever mentioned was when Batiuk needed to say “I’m not a racist! Look, I have my lead character married to a black woman!”
Remember when Les mentioned Lisa discovering her cancer DURING his proposal to Cayla? Man, that was ugly.
Try to walking your girlfriend around the park telling her nothing but how much your little sister matters to you, and then, at the end of it all, asking her if she’d like to get married.
I remember that because it was one of the first major arcs after I joined this site. I remember thinking and posting at the time that there was no way that Batiuk was going to turn it into a marriage proposal arc, not simply because it’d have been an abomination, but because he didn’t even take one step in setting it up.
And then that smug douche with his dainty hand holding up a ring box showed me just how terrible and tasteless Batiuk could be. I’d like to think I learned most of that lesson.
I did call a guy a “big lug” once, but luckily for me he found it charming.
This is just horrible, and I mean really horrible. Tom Batiuk is like that guy who wriggled into that cave and couldn’t get out, and every rescue attempt just made things worse.
Only, it’s a cave of his own making.
I have to say I am totally appalled by all of this. Yesterday Les was smiling as Marianne told about her cancer and today he is smirking. Who does this? I’m about ready to stop reading this strip altogether.
Tom really does live in a fantasy land.
This week’s Mary Worth has been about cat urine. It’s been far more interesting and closer to reality than this $hite!
It’s like breast cancer is Les’ fetish, and Marianne is telling him she’s into it.
Someone on CK yesterday posted this: “Is that a lump, or are you just happy to see me?”
So I saw this movie where this woman got breast cancer, and then she got better, and then it turns out the doctors messed up and she still had cancer, and then her husband said go ahead and die, but he was so sexy and brilliant, and not like fake brilliant, but for real awesome brilliant, so I’m totally going to check my breasts and stuff!
Or whatever. Fuck this.
Outside the theater…
“(Sniff) I was going to put off my annual breast cancer screening for a while (sniff)…BUT NOT ANYMORE! My primary care physician please, and STEP ON IT!”
Just as Gil Thorp is always trying to get other folks to do his coaching for him, Cayla has finally figured out she can outsource showing affection to Les. And who can blame her?
And of course Marianne isn’t upset, or even particularly surprised, when she finds out that Cayla has been eavesdropping on her private and sensitive conversation.
Wouldn’t this be a great time for Mason to burst in and remind everyone that Les initially hated the idea of Marianne playing Lisa? To the point that Mason had to set up a whole series of fake “chemistry reads” with unsuitable actresses, for the sole purpose of getting Les to grudgingly admit that Marianne was the best of the lot? If Les gets the credit for saving her life with his work, he should also get the blame for nearly killing her by pushing her away from his work.
No, no, no, that would violate the most important of Tom Batiuk’s Rules of Cartooning: “Les Moore is never wrong about anything ever.” He will never admit he was wrong, acknowledge that his current position has changed, or apologize for how rude he was in expressing that view. Him giving those dumb Lisa tapes was literally the last panel we saw on that topic. No one else is allowed to be anything less than worshipful of Our Lord and Savior Les Moore, The Most Holy Preventer of Breast Cancer.
The only way Bathack could allow Les to change his mind about MW’s ability to play Lisa was to have Les rescue Winters from the Great Los Angeles Fire and then–when the two were alone on Mason Jar’s yacht–privately concede to her that she was the right actress after all Walter Mitty would have called that “rescue” scenario delusional, and the whole point of it seemed to be to enable Les to admit he’d been wrong. The admission had absolutely no consequences for Les and his fragile ego, which was cushioned by all that loony bravado.
Not only that, but the reveal had to protect Les’ ego too. He literally didn’t have to say a word:
And why did he accept Marianne? Because she came out of makeup looking sufficiently like Lisa! Not because of any quality Marianne had as a human being. And I guess Marianne getting actual cancer is supposed to be some kind of cosmic confirmation for Les that he made the right choice, even though he didn’t actually go that, or contribute anything of value to the decision.
I just threw up a bit….this is just too much…
Previously, Batty would push the bile to the tip of my tongue, but today it made past that point.
You win Batty, I’m out.
You know, it’s a good thing Wife-Not-Lisa is there to advise Lester on what to do in what, for him, must be an unfamiliar situation. After all, he’s certainly not used to comforting and having his ego inflated simultaneously by cancer SURVIVORS.
So, will tomorrow feature a sideways panel of Marianne Winters standing on the park bench set, gathering cast and crew partiers around, telling them her cancer story, and then asking THE AUTHOR to come up and bask in applause from the assembled multitude? I’d still prefer the Subterranean.
Well Cayla learned this from Lisa Tape vol9. There Lisa grants new wife permission to monitor Les’ behavior and permit him to hug and kiss other women, provided said women are victims of cancer.
Marianne in panel 1 does not look like a fresh-faced beautiful young starlet at a party. She looks like she just rolled off a park bench after an all night drug fueled bender and is begging the first stranger she meets for cab fare.
And yet she still looks better than the shriveled husk that is supposedly Mason Jarre.
This is fucking depressing.
People who get appendicitis or have a stroke or break their necks won’t know what to do because Les hasn’t written books about these conditions yet!
At least he’s cured breast cancer.
In Batty’s world, women are ignorant rubes who cannot think for themselves. They need a white knight to write a story that is made into a movie or a book, or better yet a comic book that tells them what to do.
That’s a great point. Of all the deadly diseases Tom Batiuk could have given Lisa – and he’s handed out a wide range of them as it is – she gets a female-specific one. This way, only women can benefit from all of Les’ smug, pathetic white knighting.
Funky Winkerbean is the only place, even in fiction, where women react positively to “nice guy syndrome.” That’s when undesirable males run around doing unsolicited favors for single women, and then demand romance or sex in return. It’s the biggest part of what Les Moore is. He thinks he can make up for his failure to save Lisa by running around “protecting” her in the afterlife. And now Les – and by extension, Tom Batiuk – gets to think he’s saved millions of womens’ lives, while men die of other diseases he doesn’t care about. Like CTE.
A hug here, a phone photo there and suddenly Kayla is living off the divorce settlement.
A hug? Cayla must really want the cancer to take this time.
I don’t know. I think the word “galoot” fits Les pretty well.
Definition of galoot from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
especially : one who is strange or foolish
I think Les qualifies. He is a galoot. Just not a “big galoot”.
Many other words fit Les: lout, boor, churl, dullard, cretin, git, halfwit, prat, schmuck, jackass, putz, dingleberry, fuckwit, asshat…
I think “galoot” implies maleness, heaviness, dumbness, and middle age, but also likability. It’s very playful, as insults go. A “galoot” is your thick-skulled but loveable uncle, not the guy who cut you off in traffic and gave you the finger.
I don’t think “galoot” fits Les. He’s one of the most vile, detestable characters in fiction, yet he’s being called something cute and positive. That his wife is calling him this implies some legitimate affection on her part. Which would normally be plausible, but we know all too well how Les treats Cayla.
So we’re going with asshat for Les?
Your point is valid. I lovingly refer to my hubby as a “big oaf.” He literally is big. The definition for “oaf” seems very similar to “galoot.”
Oh, I need at least six words to encapsulate everything that sucks about Les Moore. That’s one of the reasons he’s so hard to describe. “Asshat” is on point, but it’s like calling Hitler “bad.” I need a string of descriptors like “malignant, snotty, sociopathic Mary Sue douchebag ghoul writing hack who thinks he’s the Lord of Language and actually calls himself that” to do him justice.
“I am the Lord of Language! Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
The Queen’s English also offers “wally,” which seems extremely (one might even say winkerbeanishly) appropriate.
A wally is a foolish or ineffectual person.
I wonder if TomBa believes his real-world “Lisa’s Story” trilogy is a similar cancer-awareness-raising project. It’s possible that, given its nacient-internet publication date, the first book in which Lisa successfully fought the disease, may have somewhat done so. If he continues to entertain that belief in the third decade of the 21st Century, it shows a real disconnect from reality.
I think it’s 100% clear that Tom Batiuk views the real-world Lisa’s Story as a cancer education tool. Look at the “Lisa’s Legacy” topic on the Funkyblog, and read as much of it as you can take. Like “Lisa continues to reach out and do some real world good for cancer patients and their families.”
It’s like the “Eye of Argon” reading contest; see how much of it you can read aloud without cracking up or puking.
Eh, I can’t fault Batiuk for wanting his work to have a positive impact in the world. It’s tempting to fault him for getting a big head over it, but I’d be lying if I claimed to know the inner workings of Batiuk’s soul. I’ve never even met the guy.
I can, however, fault him on his artistic execution.
Lovely hair, Marianne.
Yesterday, I almost posted something about Marianne, my mother used to say. I decided against it because I didn’t want people to imagine me as an extremely old lady with granny glasses, an old cardigan, a cane, an ear trumpet to my ear, and waiting for a boy scout to help me cross the street. If Batty is going to use an old colloquialism, I guess I can too.
Marianne looks like she combed her hair with an eggbeater.
I looked the phrase up. The quote is attributed to Hedda Hopper, an American gossip columnist and actress who died in 1966. I’m guessing Mom learned the phrase from her mother.
I thought Marianne was some kind of Hollywood Scarlet. You’d think she’d be somewhat vain and want to look glamorous for the cameras. There’s no lipstick, false eyelashes or discernible make-up of any kind. It’s the same case with Cayla and the supposedly vain Cindy. I can’t think of a woman who has been portrayed in the strip wearing lipstick. Neither Marianne nor Cayla is wearing a necklace. No earrings?
I can understand Ayers not wanting to bother. I frequently imagine Chuck leaning back his chair, letting out a big sigh and muttering, “I’m not paid enough to draw this shit.”
Perhaps Ayers drew Marianne this haggard on purpose. He wanted to emphasize that she recovered from cancer. Maybe that’s what he was going for, but my first thought was she just got out of bed, threw on a little black dress and rushed to the party.
Lipstick? How often are any of the women drawn with lips? The only time women show up with more than rudimentary facial details is when they’re drawn as old and wrinkled.
How often are any of the women drawn with lips?
You’re right. Not very often. I checked back a couple of weeks in the FW archives. The only time anybody had more than a little line to indicate their bottom lip was middle panel Cayla on Friday the 13th. If that’s the best Ayers can do, I can see why he doesn’t bother.
The same can be said for the whites of the character’s eyes. It’s not done often, but when it is, the result is usually either comical or downright unsettling. We can see the whites of Cayla’s eyes on Monday, August 23. She’s kind of creepy looking. 😨
My mother’s description of my childhood bed-head was “dragged through a hedge backwards”.
Another evocative phrase for sulkiness was “looking like a dying duck in a thunderstorm”. (No, I have no idea why a duck.)
Ha, I can picture those.
Another description Mom used was somebody’s hair “looked like the business end of a mop.” Usually someone on TV who purposely had it styled that way.
Situation diffused. Damn, I was really hoping to see Cayla power bombing Les through a chock-full catering table. A dazed Les, glasses askew, with a cocktail shrimp in his ear.
Batiuk’s bald head must stink from being so far up his own ass.
Tom Batiuk’s depiction of Les Moore is a great example of how sociopaths see themselves.
He’s a brilliant genius whose talent is praised by everyone, even though what we can actually see of his work is a garbage fire. He thinks he has veto power over everything at all times. His obnoxious behavior is tolerated, and even embraced, by everyone else. Celebrities walk on eggshells around him. Everything in Westview revolves around his personal drama, which in turn is driven by his own maladaptive coping. Nothing is ever Les’ fault. Nobody even suggests that anything is ever Les’ fault, or criticizes him, even in the most playful way. He’s lazy; his failure to complete his writing tasks is because imaginary creatures scheme against him, not because of his own failings. He makes promises and doesn’t keep them. He thinks he’s self-deprecating, but it’s really just thinly-veiled complaints about others.
And Les’ stories have a lot of holes that can only be explained by other people telling Les to FO. Marianne Winters was given the role of Lisa over his objections, and was actually given the role before he even arrived. And somehow Les missed the last year of filming, which is easily explained by Hollywood not wanting him back. Both which were glossed over, because Tom Batiuk can’t show Les being told “no,” or not having complete control of a situation.
And those who laugh at him are children who are left behind and return later to apologize.