Hai-can’t with this

Here is today's strip
Is it worse than we all feared
Or simply as bad

If I was popcorn
I would be quite offended
By this portrayal

Les hated this film
Why would he even watch this
Was happy it failed

In this case, "writer"
Would not describe Les as he
Did not write the script

This deserves more scorn
I'm a skink, I can't rant, so
I'm counting on you

Rip this thing to shreds
Kill it with all of the fire
Or just acetone

89 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

89 responses to “Hai-can’t with this

  1. Epicus Doomus

    After all these years, Les/Tom finally has a prestigious award to call his very own…the Academy Award for Best Actress. That seems plausible. Maybe tomorrow he can win a “Best R&B Album” Grammy for his audio book, then a World Series MVP this fall. I mean hey, why not, right?

    Les means the world to these people, even though he sneered with skepticism and contempt during every single phase of the project. He was as pissy as ever when Mason first pitched the idea, he was as pissy as ever during the location scouting, he was as pissy as ever during casting, filming, the “wrap party”, the flight home and the entire aftermath. Yet, thanks to his work of spellbinding genius, they simply adore Les Moore, to the point where Marianne is going to GIVE Les her Oscar trophy. It’s just repellent beyond belief, as no one in “real life” would actually like that whiny bearded dick with ears, much less adore him. Les Moore is still the single most objectionable character in the history of fiction, bar none.

    • billytheskink

      The best/worst part was when Les was all pissy about taking time off from teaching to take Mason up on a free trip to California…

      Where he proceeded to be all pissy about his free trip to California.

      Where he proceeded to pissily drop this gem while talking to someone who was actually in the movie business.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Les didn’t even want Marianne to play Lisa until Mason had her try on the Lisa wig. Another thing he was all pissy about. It wasn’t enough to have Marianne give Les’ brilliant source material ALL the credit during her Academy Award acceptance speech, now she’s actually going to travel to Westview to personally hand him her Oscar. This is Batiuksturbation on an almost “meta” level and easily one of the most laugh out loud stupid ideas he’s had in a while. It’s like a weird “Lisa’s Story” victory lap, another opportunity to pimp the greatest comic strip story ever told, yet again, under the guise of something else.

      • Rob

        Good lord, what a face in that last middle panel.

    • Hitorque

      Oh and don’t forget his infamous “kill fee”…

    • Westview Radiology

      CauCayla says “The PlayGround is Open!!💓”

  2. Y. Knott

    As eloquent as your haikus are, your tags say it all BTS. They are a form of poetry unto themselves.

    “Academy Awards, awards, bad fictional movies, bad ideas, bad movies, cancer movie, Cayla, disgust, furniture, getting a writing credit when there’s no writing in the strip, giant mouths, hatchet face, Hollywood, it’s called “writing”, Les, Les being a giant smug douche, Les. Cayla, Lisa’s Story Movie, Lisa’s Story-The Movie, Lisa’s Story, Marianne, Marianne Winters, movies, not how the world works, not how things work, oddly muted squiggly lines, Oscar, Oscars, popcorn, public speaking, rewarding the worst, silly awards, smug inept bearded jerks, squiggly lines, squiggly lines used to denote texture, terrible ideas, terrible overacting, this is all a horrible mistake, tiny hands, TV, unearned awards, unnatural hand gestures, Watchin’ television, writing.”

    Perfect.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Oh yeah, BTS’ tag game is unparalleled.

      • Charles

        I see my original tag of “Complete Worthless Ass” was used yesterday. “Les being a giant smug douche” was today. I assume we’ll get the trifecta with “Life is a dismal horror from which you can never escape” tomorrow.

        It’s almost as if we could see the future with these things!

        • billytheskink

          You assume correctly. And thank you for creating such useful and fitting tags, it makes this endeavor a whole lot easier.

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    Kate Winslet has said that she keeps her Best Actress Academy Award in one of her bathrooms (so that guests can give “acceptance speeches” in the mirror.)

    It appears that Marianne Winters will opt for the next best thing, leaving her statuette with something that one normally finds floating in a bathroom.

  4. William Thompson

    “And, Les, I promise not to call you ‘Svengali.’ I would never dishonor you so badly, not after you made me what I am!”

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    Les you smug sneering prick: everyone in this universe lives to kiss your ass and you do nothing but shit on them for it. Don’t you dare act like this is a surprise to you.
    And screw you too, Cayla. What a pity there ‘s no Oscar for Biggest Enabler.

    Also Marianne looks like Pete Townshend in P2.

  6. Mela

    Wait unitl her mother finds out she gave her Oscar to some schlub in Ohio who didn’t even write the movie.

  7. Sourbelly

    I must confess that when I first saw Monday’s strip, I thought, “This pacing is so idiotically bad, it must be one of those It Was All a Dream things, right?”

    Well, I guess nightmares are technically dreams. To paraphrase Crow T. Robot, “I want to hurt this strip, but I can never hurt it as much as it’s hurt me.”

  8. be ware of eve hill

    The snarker known as ‘be ware of eve hill’ has called in sick today.

    Please wish her a speedy recovery.

    • Mela

      Get well soon-we need you for this!

      • be ware of eve hill

        Thanks. I rolled my eyes so hard at the strip, I gave myself a migraine.

        Truth is, I was so disgusted that comment was the only thing I could think of at the time.

        Les will obviously be smug and intolerable (and pissy) in the days to come. If we stick together, we can get through this.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Get well soon BWOEH! This week is enough to turn anyone’s stomach.

      • be ware of eve hill

        LOL. I did skip breakfast this morning. Seeing Les in the strip does make me lose my appetite.

        I’m almost always up by 6:00 AM. 8:00 AM by the latest on weekends. This morning, I didn’t get up until after 10:30 AM. Is it possible that I was in a Batiuk induced coma?

        At least I won’t be losing any sleep time this weekend, despite the time change. Thanks, Batty.
        ===================

        I haven’t seen your fellow blogger @beckoningchasm all week. I hope everything is okay.

  9. Sourbelly

    On the plus side, we scored a win over the Comics Curmudgeon, who predicted Marianne would honor The Very Late Lisa with the award. I mean, I guess that’s “win”, right?

  10. Gerard Plourde

    Given that none of these characters is anything more than a mouthpiece for the author’s concept, it makes perfect sense that an actor who put time, energy and her creative talent into bringing a character on a page to life in a performance would willingly cede the award recognizing her effort to another person.

    As for Les, a normal human being would turn such a gesture down because the award isn’t his. His original story needed to be adapted into a screenplay by someone. A director shaped the telling of that story by choosing the takes and camera angles that he believed drew the audience in best. A costume designer chose how the characters would be dressed. I would mention the set designer but TomBa made it pretty clear that everything was filmed on a minuscule sound stage with sets too rudimentary for a high school production.

    Excuse my rant. It’s just that today’s nonsense really offends me, as it probably does the rest of the SOSF community.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Even more than THAT Gerard. Her Oscar was for Best Actress. They were specifically awarding the job that SHE did, and it could be that the movie was only mediocre in everything else you listed, and she was nominated and awarded IN SPITE of those other elements.

      If the movie had won Best Picture, or Best Adapted Screenplay, then there would be an argument for Les to have a portion of the honor.

    • Mela

      It’s beyond nonsense. If Les had actually written the screenplay and won the Oscar for it, that would have been more plausible. We’d probably still be snarking but at least he would have done some work to earn the award. Instead we get another fine example of a woman not allowed to enjoy anything on her own merit or ability. We get “oh, I don’t deserve this award-Les really earned it” BS when he’s been an ass throughout the entire process. Thanking him for bringing Lisa’s story to her (and the masses, I suppose) during her speech is absolutely believable, but he did not earn that Oscar. Few, if any, of the women in this strip have any self-respect, plus their relationships with their mothers are all toxic. This particular storyline is a prime example of both, and it’s just infuriating.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s baffling why Batiuk didn’t just have Les write the screenplay again. I know he failed at the first time, and made such a nuisance of himself to the filmmakers that no future ones would want want him around. But that’s not an obstacle to L. Ron Morbid. Batiuk could have just left that detail out and let the readers infer that he wrote the screenplay, and is worthy of “writer” praise.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        It’s also a mundane story. Batty really is pissed he didn’t get that Pulitzer.

  11. Charles

    It’s all a tribute to the solipsism Batiuk has with regards to his favorite character in this world.

    Marianne places no value on the work she did for this role. She doesn’t possess any ownership over her individual accomplishment for which she’s been recognized. She herself achieved this, and she almost seems unaware of this fact. She doesn’t even have a moment where she thinks to herself that for everything she did to get herself to this point, she deserves it. Her own ego has been obliterated in her subservience to Batiuk’s favorite character. All for this douche who, as she well knew, was violently opposed to her being in the role for no reason he could express. (Bet THAT’S not going to be mentioned anywhere) This douche, who, when told of the movie’s financial failure, couldn’t even bring himself to have a reaction. This douche, who had to be dragged kicking and screaming and whining and moping and pouting through every single step of preproduction and early production, before he ultimately gave up and ran home, never to be seen on the set again.

    This is who she gives up the greatest achievement of her life to.

    You know, I’d call it appalling, but thinking back over what I wrote here, I do think it’s just that Batiuk has no idea what he’s writing about. He has Marianne make this monumental decision, and he’s completely oblivious to its significance, fuck, BECAUSE he’s completely oblivious to its significance.

    So I guess I can’t be annoyed anymore. I just pity Batiuk that’s he’s so unaware that he’d think that someone would actually do something like this, for Les of all people. How dismal and utterly lacking in appreciation he is.

  12. Hitorque

    Oh and don’t forget his infamous “kill fee”…

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      I’ve been thinking about the “kill fee” lately. The last few days, the center of our little town has been taken over by a film crew, there to shoot scenes for a Netflix movie that is apparently about a professional mob hit man. Always thought the term “kill fee” worked better as the payoff for whacking Less…

      • RudimentaryLathe?

        Ohh, is it “The Killer”? I wanna see that one.
        I’d like to Les get the David Fincher villain treatment eve more.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      This always makes me laugh because “kill fee” perfectly encapsulates Batty’s stupidity with respect to how the real world works.

  13. ComicBookHarriet

    The glory of this trash fire burns SO BRIGHT, it hurts to look at.

    Not since Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has an artist created a work where the author insert protag was so universally sanctified within the fiction, and ridiculed by the audience.

    If this were any other soap strip, Rex Morgan, Judge Parker, Mary Worth, Gil Thorpe, I would assume this was tongue in cheek, ironic, or even trolling…

    But that is the beauty of Batiuk, like if Woody Allen suffered severe head trauma and could hear the distorted echoes of whatever mysterious forces power Neil Breen.

    • Mela

      I don’t know-did you see the joy on the Mary Worth page when Wilbur fell off the cruise ship?

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Yes, it was amazing. But Wilbur in universe is presented as flawed, and often annoying, his personality gets him in, at least, temporary trouble, and you get the feeling that the creators are somewhat aware of how he comes across.

        Les is presented as one of the best men alive within the Funkyverse. It’s just amazing to watch. The comments today have me on the edge of my seat, popcorn in hand, watching the beautiful fireworks.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          And Brigman and Moy aren’t posting lengthy diatribes about how they elevated the art of cartooning, nor are they doing puff pieces for the NYT.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      “You are TEARINK me ah-paht, ‘Lisa’s Story: The Movie’ Oscar storyline!”

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is so offensive I’m replying to it Hitorque style.

    1. “This award belongs to the person who brought Lisa’s story to the world” –. NO! IT’S AN AWARD FOR ACTING! IT BELONGS TO AN ACTOR!

    2. “The person who brought Lisa’s story to the world.” Yeah, like Smashmouth brought “All Star” to the world. Loud, obnoxious, unwanted, and shoved in your face at every opportunity.

    2a. It wasn’t any less in the world before a movie got made of it. Apparently it surpassed The Bible as the most-read book in human history around 2015 or so. Not counting the prequel, sequel, award-nominated comic book version, braille, spoken, and foreign-language versions, and abortive attempt at Lust for Lisa.

    3. “The writer, Les Moore.” Not “Les Moore, the person I credit with saving my life twice.” That would have made microscopic amounts of sense, but Batiuk’s not having any of that today. He’s running the bases like Joey Batista.

    4. This strip is screaming for Cayla to be giving Les a playful little “I thought you didn’t care, big guy,” after the “I’m glad it failed” shit-fit he threw a couple months ago. But no, Les can’t even be that wrong. His behavior can never be questioned. Not even in the tiniest, most light-hearted, story-consistent way. Not even when he’s getting the biggest gift in his gift-addled life despite being a complete selfish prick at all times.

    5. Cayla looks like she just farted. Which would be a great reaction to this, honestly.

    6. God, the spitting contempt Tom Batiuk has for everything but himself and the things he likes. The 100-year-old makers of obsolete children’s comic books are to be raised from the dead and we’re-not-worthied in front of, while every other person who had anything to do with an Oscar-winning movie are all ignored in favor of “the writer.” Even the screenwriter.

    6a. Is nobody in the Hollywood world going to react to this? It’s the most unprecedented, out-of-nowhere, and kind-of-insulting Oscar speech in history. From someone we know didn’t prepare, because she looked like a a deer in headlights at the start of it. The Hollywood press, which has been depicted as overbearing and sensationalist, won’t roast Marianne over the coals? They don’t need much of a reason. And she doesn’t need much of a reason to attempt suicide.

    7. Really, this isn’t a dream sequence? Even in this Les Moore-centric universe, it has the over-the-top-ness of one. And if it’s not, Marianne isn’t going to wake up Monday morning and rethink this? Nobody’s going to say “um, do you think maybe the greatest award in your profession is something you should keep for yourself?”

    7a. And do you think Marianne’s overbearing stage mom WHO SHE STILL LIVES WITH might want that little trinket on their shelf? Their relationship is an absolute parallel of Holly and her mom Melinda, and Melinda’s obsessive collecting of everything Holly ever touched in her majorette career is a recurring theme. But here a psychotic stage Hollywood mom is going to be fine with her daughter giving away an Oscar to a goddam book writer from Ohio. Because he deserves it. And nobody else does. Not even herself, for her own work.

    8. I think we all misunderstood Mason when he said “you have to play the game to win awards.” What he meant was “this is the Funkyverse, so you better give that trophy to Les Moore if you know what’s good for you.” The last talented artist to go against their Tom Batiuk-prescribed path ended up with a pinned arm sleeve and a life of cleaning Dinkle’s litterbox.

    9. Is this finally going to push some newspapers over the edge and start cancelling this comic strip? Probably not, but it should.

    • Hitorque

      Okay I must confess you wrote an even better “Hitorque” list than I did today…

    • Y. Knott

      Is this finally going to push some newspapers over the edge and start cancelling this comic strip?

      No. No-one working at a newspaper ever reads Funky Winkerbean. Or Six Chix or Mary Worth or Family Circus or Beetle Bailey or … well, you get the idea. The strips are received from the syndicate electronically, and assembled electronically into the paper. Someone may look quickly at the mocked-up comics page just to make sure there are no blank areas onto which a strip wasn’t properly loaded … but read them? C’mon. Newspapers are chronically understaffed, so there isn’t that kind of time…

      Besides, if there were a problem with the strips, readers would complain…. right?

      • Bad wolf

        Someone linked to the editor’s twitter a while ago, very typical NYC publishing type. Middle aged female LGBTQ something with a lot of thoughts on contemporary issues. Any chance of referring to or promoting the books that are supposedly their purview? Didn’t see any of that.

        I can only imagine this is the lowest rung of the ladder, least edited section in the media conglomerate it resides in. As long as something comes in to run in the papers next week, contract fulfilled. No one from corporate has checked in for years.

        And don’t get me started on the free reader cutting back from like 3 months (i forget) to 1 week to 3 days! Sure path to success there.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “He’s running the bases like Joey Batista.”

      I’m and I’m hoping for a Rougned Odor to punch his glasses off.

  15. Hitorque

    0. Well I did predict this outcome the moment the talk began about a second movie project, the only thing I got wrong was I thought Lester would accept a “Best Picture” award and deliver some insufferable speech…

    1. I’m only surprised Lester is actually watching the Oscars since he never gave a shit about his movie in the first place (and if he’s watching, why didn’t Cayla organize a watch party? Why is Les the first person in history to have his book made into a movie and then totally keep it a secret from his own hometown?)… And even though “Les gets told by his students on Monday morning that he won an Oscar” is totally in line with his character, Batiuk can’t have that…

    2. Um yeah… This ain’t the Stanley Cup. Actors don’t travel to Podunk Shitsburg to give their surprise Oscar to one of the “little people”… And even if they did, they sure as hell wouldn’t announce it on global TV… AND GOD DAMNIT HE’S AN “AUTHOR”!!

    3. Just your daily reminder that Lester is a freaking “co-producer” and he isn’t attending a single Oscar party even though Masone flew him out to L.A. just for some dumbassed wrap party….

    4. Wow, Marianne Winterse went from “I DON’T HAVE ANY PREPARED REMARKS WHAT WILL I DO?!?” to “PARTY AT LESTER MOORE’S HOUSE! OH, AND FUCK THE COMMITTEE FOR NOT NOMINATING US FOR MORE AWARDS!!” pretty damned quick, didn’t she??

    4a. Marianne Winterse could have said something about cancer research funding or the importance of early detection or something… She could have said something in tribute to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost or displaced by the fire that ate half of Los Angeles (which the author rescued her from)… She could have thanked her maw and paw back on the farm… She could have simply thanked her fans or praised God. The list goes on…

    4b. I guess the director and the faceless peons who actually wrote the script can go piss up a flagpole, right? And whatever happened to those sandals-wearing venture capitalists who were so very concerned with how the movie would make bank in Communist China??

    5. Oscars don’t happen in a bubble… What if Masone and Marianne both win Golden Globes or BAFTAs? Will those awards belong to Les, and require in-person delivery too? Or because they’re “lesser” awards will they just be shipped to Westview?

    5a. Lester is going to do something insufferably ignorant and self-serving like put the Oscar in the trophy case over at Westview High, isn’t he?

    6. Is it me, or has Marianne Winterse been giving off this uncomfortable irrational “I really wanna jump Lester’s bones” -vibe, especially since the wildfire? Knowing how Batiuk sees Hollywood, Marianne was probably planning to fuck Lester early on all in the name of “fully getting into character” and now I guess she feels Lester is long past owed some “gratitude sex” plus interest? Is it even possible to be the Hollywood sex symbol du jour without ever actually having it??

    • Hitorque

      7. And what about technical Oscars like Best Sound? Or what if Ariana Grande won the Oscar for Best Original Song? Would those still be going to Les?

      8. Doesn’t Marianne Winterse have an agent or someone in her inner circle who’s supposed to keep her from doing stupid shit to hurt her career?

      9. Masone Jarre’s first words when Marianne sits back down **should** be along the lines of “HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND INSULTING THE ACADEMY LIKE THIS? BESIDES, WE’RE DONE WITH THAT SMUG PRICK AND GODDAMNED TRASHVILLE, OHIO FOR GOOD!” But of course we know he’s going to congratulate her endlessly on her class, grace and humility…

      9a. It’s funny because if the situation was reversed and Masone won Best Actor, would you think for ten seconds he’s going out to Ohio to personally bow down and lay the statuette at the feet of Lester O. Moore? Hell, do you think he’d even contact or answer a call or text or email from Les ever again? Because even someone as dumb as Masone knows their half-assed collaboration is OVER and it’s time to move on!

      10. It’s funny because Lester thinks he’s done with Hollywood for good but he hasn’t realized every amateur filmmaker, wannabe writer, film school dropout, and would-be pop star in a 500-mile radius is coming to ring his doorbell to take advantage of his “industry connections”… And don’t tell them Les doesn’t have major connections when megastars like Masone Jarre and Marianne Winterse are regular visitors to his shitty little Westview home…

    • erdmann

      5a. Lester is going to do something insufferably ignorant and self-serving like put the Oscar in the trophy case over at Westview High, isn’t he?

      What are the odds of this being the 50th anniversary strip?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I think you may be on to something…

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        Nah, he’s going to melt it down and donate the proceeds to the Lisa’s Larceny Fund, in the mistaken belief it’s made of solid gold (another thing Battocks knows nothing about.) The statue is gold plated bronze, metal content worth about $400. Shame she couldn’t have won during WW2, when the Oscar was gold-painted plaster.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Putting it in the Westview High trophy case would be downright altruistic by Les’ standards. It means other people could see and enjoy it. Hannibal’s prediction is more Les. He’ll melt it into another plaque, or bury it with her, because only Lisa is allowed to see her Oscar statue.

  16. Hitorque

    7. And what about technical Oscars like Best Sound? Or what if Ariana Grande won the Oscar for Best Original Song? Would those still be going to Les?

    8. Doesn’t Marianne Winterse have an agent or someone in her inner circle who’s supposed to keep her from doing stupid shit to hurt her career?

    9. Masone Jarre’s first words when Marianne sits back down **should** be along the lines of “HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND INSULTING THE ACADEMY LIKE THIS? BESIDES, WE’RE DONE WITH THAT SMUG PRICK AND GODDAMNED TRASHVILLE, OHIO FOR GOOD!” But of course we know he’s going to congratulate her endlessly on her class, grace and humility…

    9a. It’s funny because if the situation was reversed and Masone won Best Actor, would you think for ten seconds he’s going out to Ohio to personally bow down and lay the statuette at the feet of Lester O. Moore? Hell, do you think he’d even contact or answer a call or text or email from Les ever again? Because even someone as dumb as Masone knows their half-assed collaboration is OVER and it’s time to move on!

    10. It’s funny because Lester thinks he’s done with Hollywood for good but he hasn’t realized every amateur filmmaker, wannabe writer, film school dropout, and would-be pop star in a 500-mile radius is coming to ring his doorbell to take advantage of his “industry connections”… And don’t tell them Les doesn’t have major connections when megastars like Masone Jarre and Marianne Winterse are regular visitors to his shitty little Westview home…

  17. Banana Jr. 6000

    In the universe where Battlefield Earth was unironically good and won an Oscar, this is John Travolta’s acceptance speech.

  18. Charles

    I do enjoy, however, that Marianne’s “speech” is like half a step away from “I’m so glad your wife died of cancer so you could bring this story alive!”

  19. The Duck of Death

    “Oh boy, I had no idea that if you’re nominated for an Oscar you might win, and that it’s traditional to give a short acceptance speech!

    But now that I’m here, I want to say to the Academy: You fucked up bigtime. You gave the Oscar to the wrong person, idiots. You should have given Les Moore the Oscar for Best Source Material. But since there is no such Oscar, you at least should have given him Best Actress. Really, your judgment sucks. So I’ll fix your dumb mistake and give the Best Actress Oscar to the person who really earned it, Les Moore.”

    Classy dame, that Marianne.

  20. Hannibal's Lectern

    Let us pay a visit to the Academy’s website (oscars dot org), shall we? In particular, to the page of REGULATIONS, section on COPYRIGHTS AND TRADEMARKS, rule number 10, which includes the following:

    “Award winners must comply with these rules and regulations. Award winners shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the Oscar statuette, nor permit it to be sold or disposed of by operation of law, without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1.00.”

    I am looking forward to a Very Special Sideways Sunday strip tomorrow, a front page of “Variety” in which security guards are snatching the statue away from Marinara as an Academy accountant hands her a dollar bill. Feel free to contribute appropriately boffo headlines.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Oh man, a team of lawyers show up on Les Moore’s door to take away his Oscar and leave him with a dollar…

      Stop tempting me with imagining a good time.

      • TimP

        The one way he could save all of this would be to have the talking murder chimp appear in tomorrow’s strip to wrest the statuette away from Marianne at gunpoint and then abscond into the rafters never to be seen again.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I’ll do you one better. I want to see a team of lawyers show up at Tom Batiuk’s doorstep with a summons.

        “1. The Award of Merit statuette, commonly known as the “Oscar,” is the copyrighted property and registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (“Academy”)… No reproduction, replica, drawing, photograph, derivative work or other copy of the Award of Merit statuette may be made or used by any manufacturer, advertiser, organization or individual except in accordance with these regulations or under express written license from the Academy.”

        “3. “OSCAR®,” “OSCARS®,” “ACADEMY AWARD®,” “ACADEMY AWARDS®,” “OSCAR NIGHT®,” “A.M.P.A.S.®” and the “Oscar” design mark are trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and may not be used except in accordance with these regulations or under a special written license from the Academy.”

        “4. Permission to use Academy Award symbols (the Award of Merit statuette and other statuettes, medals, plaques and certificates) and institutional marks of the Academy for any publication in other than fair use hard-news reporting must be obtained in writing from the Academy, except that permission is hereby given… in accordance with these Regulations.”

        “20a. All published representations of the Award of Merit statuette, including photographs, drawings and other likenesses, must include the legend “©Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®,” or “©A.M.P.A.S.®,” to provide notice that it is protected by copyright, trademark and service mark registration.”

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      “Disastrous Dilettante Dishonors Distinction”

  21. The Duck of Death

    Am I the only one who wonders: Why didn’t Batiuk just give Les a Pulitzer? I mean, it’s a lot more plausible than the current plot. There’s nothing stopping him from doing this. If the Pulitzer is too close to the bone for Batiuk, why not a PEN award? A National Book Award?

    Too much? Then why not have Les bask in an effusive, featured review in the New York Times or the cover of the New York Review of Books? He could write pull quotes and everything.

    I don’t get why a comic writer would Gary Stu himself into being given an actress’ Oscar. Is this what he thinks is the pinnacle of achievement?

    • The Duck of Death

      I just took a shower and had a shower realization. Perhaps the reason for this Gary Stu is a deep psychological conflict.

      You see, in his mind, he deserved the Pulitzer but didn’t get it. He’s having one of his characters win an award and admit they didn’t desreve it — Les/Batiuk truly is the deserving one, and they’re going correct this miscarriage of justice.

      However, delving deeper into the psychology here: By having Marianne give Les the Best Actress award — when he’s manifestly neither the best actress, nor an actress, nor even female — he’s admitting that his avatar, and by extension he himself, did not and could not deserve the award.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Considering all he did was occupy space on the comics page for 50 years, he is lucky he got nominated for a Pulitzer. Bringing endless misery to the comics page was hardly original and his quarter inch from reality BS never produced any satisfying stories.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Those Pulitzer Prize nominations were the worst thing that ever happened to Tom Batiuk. They DESTROYED him. And his comic strips.

        How? By giving him false validation. The nominations made him think his work was a lot better than it actually was. This made him chase future award nominations, by throwing away what he was good at (high school hijinks) and writing more of his overwrought, poorly researched pain-and-suffering arcs. The more this approach failed to achieve results, the harder he pushed it, and the worse his work became.

        And for Tom Batiuk’s 50th anniversary, he gave himself a Best Actress award. Congratulations, Tom.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Very true. His old strips may have been a little too dry from time to time, but they were never annoying. Today’s dreck pushed the bile to the tip of my tongue.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      I think the logic here is if Les won an award on his own merits it would imply he CARES about worldly accolades and such things are beneath him as a Pure Auteur. But at the same time he must be rewarded because he’s the Gary Stu and the Bestest Person Ever so other characters just heap unearned glory on him, making him so much more unlikable.
      That Pulitzer nom just completely destroyed Batiuk’s mental health, didn’t it?😟

  22. Professor Fate

    This strip makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon but that would mean one of the last things I’d remember seeing would be this strip so no we won’t be doing that.
    It is remarkable that after all these years the author still manages to be astonishingly god awful in both expected and unexpected ways.
    God what a wanker.

  23. Smirks 'R Us

    10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. Way to go Tommy.

    I think BatHack won’t stop here. He wants Less to be an EGOT winner. His first album drops next week, “Songs to Heroically Watch Your Wife Give Up”.

  24. Epicus Doomus

    Fifty-seven comments before noon LOL, people REALLY hate that Les Moore. Oh, pardon me, I mean ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Les Moore. Blech.

  25. Margaret

    Congratulations to everyone who correctly predicted that Les would get an Oscar one way or another. Commenters were saying that from quite a while back, even when the movie was still in production.

    I thought so too, only I expected that the film would win Best Picture and that Les, as one of the producers would actually get an award in his name. And even if I was wrong about that and it wound up being a different award, I was sure he would be at the ceremony and would be called up on stage as the person who really deserved the award and get to make a speech in which he would say that only one person deserved an award and all the credit. No need to say who that would be. I seriously halfway expected him to play a Lisa tape.

    So look, this is bad, but much less bad than that!

    Now I’ll make another guess, which will probably be wrong: Les will try to attach the Oscar in some way to either Lisa’s gravestone, or the park bench.

    • Mela

      Oh yes, I have no doubt there will be an upcoming strip featuring the Oscar propped up on the park bench. Probably with a falling leaf next to it. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually ends up on the shelf next to the tapes.

    • Charles

      I think one of the things that we miss about the notion of Les winning an Oscar and giving what Batiuk would think is a heartfelt speech at the Academy Awards is that there just isn’t anything there.

      What’s the theme of Lisa’s Story? What’s the point of it? Fact is, there is none. There’s no overarching theme that runs through every sequence of Lisa’s death. There’s no message in it. It’s just about how death and cancer suck and Les is sad that his wife died. That’s it. That’s all the damn story’s about. Batiuk is such an incompetent writer that he didn’t ever realize that his story needed a point. It’s all just pointless misery.

      There was one moment where Batiuk almost touched on a point, but of course it was ill-timed and nothing came of it. It was when that damn cat told Les that Lisa was strong because she had accepted that she was going to die, less than a month before she died. That’s something you can build a story around, the idea that she’s going to make the most of what she has left.

      But that wasn’t it at all. It was just another “Lisa’s great! Look at how strong she is! Isn’t it sad she’s dying?”

      He could have made it so that Lisa decided that, in making the most of what she has, she’s going to find the child she gave up for adoption and try her best to have a relationship with him. But Batiuk didn’t do that. The Darin/Lisa story was all Darin’s doing. It wasn’t about Lisa trying to do anything at all.

      He could have had the videotape Lisa made for Summer’s future serve more of purpose. Focus on her realization of what she’s losing while she’s making that tape. Hell, make her fret over what event she wants this tape to address. When she goes to Congress to pressure them to raise funding for cancer research, have her primary emotion be desperation rather than smugness and her sense of superiority. I mean hell, acknowledge that Lisa’s going to fucking die and it didn’t have to happen. Instead, both of those scenes had whatever emotion they might evoke drained right out of them. They didn’t mean anything. They just existed because Batiuk thought those actions would provide meaning in a story that had none.

      So Les couldn’t give a speech about Lisa’s Story at the Academy Awards, or anywhere else. He’d have nothing of significance to say, because Lisa’s Story has nothing of significance to say.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        There’s a Michael Keaton movie called My Life, that’s a model for what a good Lisa’s Story could have been. Keaton, while awaiting his first child, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He starts making movies for his future child, teaching him the things he won’t be around to teach in life. He also tries to repair his relationship with his family, overcome his fears of death, and other things. It has the purposefulness that Lisa’s Story lacks.

  26. We all called it. Les again (deep sigh) gets acknowledged for his suffering while watching Lisa die. For once, just once it would be great if TB gave Les an award that he actually had a chance of winning – A Teaching Award.

  27. Y. Knott

    This strip is a sad look into the pathetic mind of a narcissistic mind desperate for recognition. And yet, as the comments on this blog continually prove, it is always fascinating to see the inner workings of the mind of someone so self-obsessed, yet so completely UNself-aware.

    Batiuk’s other issue is that he had juuuuust barely enough talent to get a B-minus-to-B level comic strip up and running — but absolutely no more talent than that. And he so desperately WANTS TO BELIEVE that he has more talent than that. The talent to make his strip another Pogo, or Doonesbury, or Peanuts. But he doesn’t, of course … and he never will. Batiuk very much puts me in mind of diarist savant Adrian Mole.

    (If you don’t recognize the reference, and haven’t read Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books? Do yourself a favour and check them out. They are often side-splittingly funny.)

    • The Duck of Death

      Oh, it’s worse than his believing he could create another Pogo, Doonesbury, or Peanuts. In his quest to be the greatest, he virtually denies those strips even existed. He’s constantly fighting a straw man, claiming that “people told me I couldn’t tackle serious topics on the comics page, because it had never been done, but I sure showed them!”

      To take your examples, all three of those strips had already, long before, tackled serious topics. Pogo took on hypocrisy in politics and culture with vicious, pointed satire, famously lampooning Joseph McCarthy. Doonesbury addressed up-to-the-minute political topics. Peanuts tackled deep issues of faith and existential emptiness. Many comic strip characters had already died in-strip, long before the fictional Lisa was even born. Batiuk pioneered nothing. He was first past the post in no way whatsoever. Which, by the way, is fine in itself — but it’s pathetic and irritating when he brags about what a brave trailblazer he is.

      • Y. Knott

        Oh, I agree. As well, Batiuk can’t grasp (or refuses to grasp) that these strips weren’t classics because they did what they did first — they are classics because they did what they did extremely well. Other strips are welcome to follow their lead … if they are up to the challenge of doing it as well or better.

        But someone else on the comics page doing something before Batiuk — or doing it better than him? That’s extremely threatening to Batiuk’s almost comically fragile ego. So he has to work hard at erasing these other comic creators (and their achievements) from his own private narrative.

        And just to make sure? No comments are allowed in his private fantasyland blog, so that no one can publicly contradict his narrative. (At least, not in any forum that Batiuk will ever look at.)

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      On behalf of Barry Kent, I thank you for the nod to Adrian Albert Mole.

      Ian Dury’s songs for the “Secret Diary” and “Growing Pains” TV series are major ear-worms.

      Why have lust for Lisa when you can be profoundly in love with Pandora?

  28. Suicide Squirrel

    Wake up Les. You’re dreaming. It’s the only way today’s comic makes any sense.

    Either that or lay off the crack pipe, Batyuk. You’re high.

    I performed a web search on “Tom Batiuk award”. He has won a few minor awards. Like the ‘Inkpot Award’ handed out by the SDCC. Batyuk received his award in 1999, well before the maudlin Lisa’s Story stuff. I’m not sure what the award is for, but seems to be an award recognizing somebody’s contributions over time, not for any one particular work.
    Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Awards are given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services.

    Batyuk has been awarded a silver medal from the Nautilus Awards in the Aging/Death & Dying category. Finally, is a bronze medal in the Most Life Changing category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY’s).

    Batyuk has been a Pulitzer finalist once and an Eisner award finalist twice. He was a finalist in the Popular Culture category of ForeWard Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards. Bayuk and Ayers were Ohioana Book Award finalists in the Fiction category for Roses in December (2015).

    By most people’s standards, that would be a fine, worthwhile career.

    Now that the end of Batyuk’s career is close by, not winning the big one is really eating away at him.

    Today’s comic strip is painful to read, in a sad, pathetic kind of way. Batyuk comes across to me as a sad, broken old man yelling at the clouds.

    • Banana Jr. 6000


      – a silver medal from the Nautilus Awards in the Aging/Death & Dying category.
      – a bronze medal in the Most Life Changing category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY’s).
      – a Pulitzer finalist once
      – an Eisner award finalist twice
      – a finalist in the Popular Culture category of ForeWard Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards
      – Ohioana Book Award finalists in the Fiction category for Roses in December (2015)

      For something that’s been in every newspaper in America for 50 years, and gotten as much mainstream attention as Funky Winkerbean has, that’s a pathetic haul. And if it’s not, why is Batiuk so embarrassed of it? He mentions those things almost sheepishly. Everything out of his mouth is Pulitzer Pulitzer Pulitzer Pulitzer Pulitzer.

      But you’re right, it is pretty sad. He let his self-worth be defined by how many awards he won, and he’s going to die without winning any. None he cares about, anyway. I don’t think there’s anything cognitively wrong with him; he’s just been living in his own head without any feedback for 20 years too long now.

  29. Suicide Squirrel

    I can only hope the Cayla giving the side eye in the S.O.S.F. banner is smirking because she just poisoned Les’s cocoa. (crossed fingers)