Oh yeah, Mary Sue Sweetwater. She was everyone’s dream fantasy girl back in high school, then she got frumpy and fat, and now she’s dead. And now Les is at her funeral, talking to Funky about how her death affects him. This sure seems familiar. I have to assume that BatYam’s high school memories are nothing short of harrowing, given how much he enjoys these revenge arcs, where Les dances on his old high school foils’ rainy, windswept graves. Les wins again.
I’m just relieved that it’s not comic books again. It says a lot about FW when you’re actually pleased to get an arc that’s set in a cemetery. The rain, the windswept graves, the depressing morose banter…I feel like we’re home again.
69 responses to “Mary Sue’s Gettin’ Buried Tonight”
And this story will be about Lisa in 3… 2…
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the first words out of Les’ mouth Tuesday are “When Lisa died…”
And what does that “all in the same lifeboat” junk even mean? Is it supposed to be poignant? Witty? Is it supposed to make me wish I were a U-boat commander looking at this strip through a periscope and about to give the order to fire?
It means nothing. Because, by that definition, all 7 billion people on earth are “in the same lifeboat.” You can’t even argue that going to high school together gave them a kinship, because both Les and Funky both say they only found out about her death by random chance. and didn’t know her very well. Why the hell are they even here?
Tom Batiuk’s storytelling at its best: flowery, meaningless, self-aggrandizing writerese coming out of the mouth of Les.
Yeah that lifeboat bit must have been stolen from something he read.
No, wait a minute, he must have wrote it. Nobody else would write and use something this terrible.
Let us know when Gary Stu Moore croaks.
If you only find out about a funeral because you stumbled upon the obituary in the newspaper then YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE THERE. No one, NO ONE will miss you… and they certainly won’t miss you making their loved one’s funeral about yourself.
“Who’s the bearded dick with ears exchanging wry banter with that fat elderly guy at our mother’s funeral?”
“Oh, that’s just Les Moore. He does this all the time.”
“Who’s the bearded dick with ears exchanging wry banter with that fat elderly guy at our mother’s funeral?”
“Oh, shit, it’s Les Moore. Say your goodbyes to mom as quickly as possible, and let’s try to sneak out the back entrance. He’s here to sell his damn books again.”
“SSSSH! If you say its name three times, you’ll summon it.”
“Hey, Crazy, what’s new?”
“You remember Mary Sue Sweetwater, that really hot girl back in high school who always looked at you like you were lower than dirt? Well, she died.”
“Really? Hey, Funky, wanna go to Mary Sue’s funeral and gloat?”
“Sure, why not, it’s not like there’s much going on here or anything.”
“Yeah Mary Sue was such a stuck up beyotch! It’s not like she ever did a thing nice for us.”
Wow. THIS is who Les doesn’t remember? The woman who put his damn Lisa book front and center of the “in memoriam” display, Livinia Jessup and every other deceased class member be damned?
I’ll give Les this: he’s always on brand.
Right, we get a long word jumble to set up the plot because Batty is to lazy to spend the time to develop the story.
He has the time, but instead he wastes his allotted space on this crap story.
OMG! Batty is knocking off his high school characters one by one.
Call the cops, Batty is a serial killer!
Batty is guilty of murdering this comic strip too.
That isn’t murder, it’s a public-service homicide.
Had honestly thought Mary Sue Sweetwater was on the ‘In Memoriam’ table at the last High School Reunion Time Pool Whatever Story but I guess that was a different 1st Generation Funky Winkerbean female character.
Yeah some other fat white broad, but there is trim and fit Les acting all smug.
That was Livinia Swenson (Jessup). Batty needed a face for the ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ tribute, and poor Livinia drew the short straw. The heartless bastard killed her off.
ComicBookHarriet had a most enjoyable blog post about Livinia.
A close-up of the tribute can be seen in this post.
“We all shared the same lifeboat.” Is this another entry in the Batiuktionary? Grandpa Google’s never heard of it.
Is “Mary Sue” Sweetwater the inspiration for the Mary Sue meme? Regardless, this strip is lousy with Mary Sues, including, of course, the bearded penis with ears featured today.
“Mary Sue” predates Funky Winkerbean. It’s supposed to have started with Star Trek fanfic while the original show was still in production.
“We have been shark to each other, but also lifeboat.” — Margaret Atwood.
“We are survivors, of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat.” ― Margaret Atwood, ‘Cat’s Eye’.
To which Nicely-Nicely Johnson would surely sing, “Sit down, you’re rockin’ the lifeboat.”
Do not die on Les Moore if your name is not Lisa, else he will show up at your graveside and talk shit about you. Teenaged Les was infatuated with Mary Sue Sweetwater:
Mary Sue would pay a “heavy” price for not requiting Les’ affection. In Act III she shows up at a book signing and Les either doesn’t recognize her or pretends not to. What an asshole.
It’s even more ham-fisted than I remembered. I can’t believe I remembered it at all, given how it ran all the way back in 2010. I thought this interaction took place during the time pool arc for some reason, but the above strip is from the original book tour launch arc. Man, time sure flies.
What is even crazier is that she showed up thin and pretty at the 2008 reunion. So she must have frumped out in TWO YEARS. No wonder she died younger than the rest.
Damn… Bring back THAT Holly Budd, please??
1. Christ, Lester is an asshole… Someone should remind him that he ain’t god’s gift to the female gender either…
2. Is Lester wearing his fucking glasses in the pool??
3. I must have missed something because when I was reading this strip as a kid in the 80s, Cindy Summers was that unobtainable stuck-up girl everyone was trying to bone…?
Is it the steady diet of Montoni’s pizza, or something in the Ohio water supply, that makes it de rigueur for all Westview females of AARP age to turn into lumpy, pepperpot hausfraus…all, that is, who aren’t Cindy Summers or Dead St. Lisa?
Jesus, that is flat-out cruel. “Really…what a surprise.” There is no possible tone of voice that could make that anything but an insult, and if you’re a person who’s appearance has changed over the years, you’re hypersensitive to any remarks about that. The ONLY acceptable response in that situation is “Oh, of course! How nice to see you!” Was that the high-water mark of Les being a flat-out dick in a single panel?
Well, it’s a front runner for sure. His abhorrent behavior at Bull’s funeral is up there too-not sure if you can capture it one panel though.
And yes, sometimes at reunions it is hard to recognize former classmates due to weight/hair gain/loss or simply because they don’t look 16 anymore, but there’s no need to be an ass by commenting on what they already know.
Les not only tried out for football to ensnare Mary Sue, he also signed up for typing class (because chicks dig the fast fingers). He failed again to score, but achieved a typing speed that Cayla commented on.
March 23? 2013 SOSF post, but I couldn’t see the actual strip.
I seem to recall Mary Sue was one of the kind neighbour ladies who brought casseroles while Lisa was sick, but I can’t find the strip to confirm.
I need your help:
Up in the banner, we have a guy with a mustache that appears in today’s comic. Then in the middle, is Batton talking to Batton? But on the right side, there has been a frame of someone mugging Les. I have hoped for months that this was going to be a new storyline. Apparently it is not. So it must be from an old storyline. Do any of you know the details of that wonderful frame? Please help!
sorialpromise, I do love it when people comment on the banner 🙂 The design is meant to mimic the layout of a typical (non-sideways) FW strip. Batiuk always inserts the disembodied head of a featured character next to the red text in panel 1. I try to find a headshot of an anono-character who will appear in the coming week, mainly to confuse observant readers like yourself. Panel 2 usually shows Pete conversing with Batton (which I’ve changed up here) and I crop a line of dialog from an upcoming strip.
I know you’ll be saddened to learn that we will probably not see Funky strangling Les. That much-remarked upon panel three is the work of our esteemed snarker emeritus, Beckoning Chasm. It’s from his remixed version of this strip from February 2015:
Here’s one of two revised versions that Beckoning came up with (see the other one, and BC’s original post, here):
The image was so great that I had to incorporate that as my panel 3.
I am grateful to you, TF, for your thorough response. That panel 3 has bugged me for months! Then to find out it is the work of Beckoning Chasm fills me with joy. I just discovered his website on Saturday, and watched several of his videos. “Hence” is just a beautiful piece by Beckoning.
Again, TF, thank you so much!
Definitely an epic remix!
I had hoped Bull’s runaway car would have struck and killed Les and that Bull would have survived the crash.
I always wondered where that image came from too.
Thank you for the backstory, TFHackett – and even bigger thanks to Beckoning Chasm. That re-make is brilliant and I wish Comics Kingdom would let me buy it on a coffee mug. I haven’t been visiting this site for all that long – though of course once I discovered it, I never miss it before turning it at night. For a while I assumed it was teasing an upcoming strip. Les went back to Lisa’s bench and got mugged, or something. But its ongoing presence is so comforting, and I hope you never change it. It’s like Prometheus, punished for stealing fire by being chained to a rock and having an eagle eternally eating his liver. In a just world, Les is eternally being strangled – whether by a mugger or someone who got the boxed set of “Lisa’s Story” for Christmas, it doesn’t matter. As long as he is eternally on the point of death, but never finds it sweet release.
Yes, thank you! I knew it was a spoof but didn’t know the original source. Nice work!
And a big “Ack, Ack!” to Beckoning for the “Mars Attacks!” reference in the altered strip.
I’m saddened because I haven’t seen BeckoningChasm on this website since early March. I miss his posts. I hope he’s okay and just busy with his job or something.
That isn’t someone mugging Les. It’s Bull helping him do stretches when Les started running. Bull was coaching him and would run with him. He was training for a marathon, If I remember right.
OK I stand corrected. I posted and then saw the true explanation. I could’ve sworn I remembered seeing that scene in the real strip. I never looked at it closely enough to see that he really does have his hands around Les’ throat!
1. I never even heard of her before?? But hey, at least she got more people at her funeral than Jerome Bushka, amirite?
2. So Westview once again is a town small enough to only have a couple of stoplights, only one high school, one pizza joint and only one half assed comic book store, everyone knows everyone and 85% of graduates from the local high school marry a classmate and settle down locally to live and work for the rest of their lives and spawn the next generation of kids who will attend Westview High and marry a classmate and settle down locally yet I’m supposed to believe these pinheads didn’t know about Mary Sue?? In a town where everyone knows everybody’s business??
3. This is another reason why I hate Batiuk… That dumbassed time travel back to 1980 would have been such an obvious opportunity for Batiuk to re-introduce readers to Mary Sue back when she was young and brimming full of life and irresistibly hot — At least laying a foundation for this week’s storyline and giving us some kind of motivation to give a shit now that she’s dead…
4. Just your daily reminder that Mary Sue’s classmate Cindye Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre is still aging in reverse and she’s partying with some freshmen tonight over at Cal State Fullerton…
Killer post title today, champ!
Is that the dude from Booker T. and the MGs, or the Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan?
Today’s post title appears to be derived from Bob Seger’s song ‘Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight’.
This is the Bob Seger song that was played constantly on my dad’s turntable. Not Old Time Rock N Roll, not Night Moves. This one. And
I realize now that I’ve had the lyrics wrong all these years-always thought Betty Lou was Gettin’ DOWN, not out, Great tune though!
Oops. I thought it was referring to “Peggy Sue Got Married” 🤦 Guess I’ve got Nic Cage on the brain after seeing “Massive Talent” (good movie btw).
And real classy, Batiuk. First the poor woman gains 200 pounds in a year then she dies off screen so these two toads can wax philosophical about high school BS. All for the unpardonable sin of not fucking Les.
So why did all these people go to Mary Sue’s funeral, whom they barely knew, when few or none of them except Les, went to Bull Bushka’s funeral. On the day of Bull’s service, Funky wouldnt even close Montoni’s for an hour so he could go pay his respects to Bull. But he goes to Mary Sue’s service…
And don’t forget it was Lester Fucking Moore delivering a self-serving eulogy… Not Jerry Bushka’s widow, his daughter, his assistant coaches, the principal nor any of the thousands of kids he coached over the years… And everybody has already forgotten that he’d coached a high school that had never won anything in their entire history to Ohio state championships in both football and girl’s basketball…
Hoping to get in on some of that sweet casserole afterparty.
Cindy attended Bull’s funeral because “with great popularity comes great responsibility.” Do you think she’ll be at Mary Sue’s?
Or does a Bull trump a Blivens?
This pointless death and funeral speaks to another huge flaw in Funky Winkerbean, one I don’t think we’ve talked about much:
Les has nothing to do.
This is Batiuk’s #1 character. Since the strip has finally terminated the interminable Lisa’s Story, and permanently moved away from high school hijinks, there’s just nothing Les for Les to do in a standard weeklong arc. Lisa became his only purpose for existing. Without that, all he does anymore is show up in other people’s arcs and act smug. Batiuk needs to get him a job at Atomik Komix.
Nah, I challenge Batty to kill Les off in the most brutal way possible.
Maybe he can get one more puff piece interview with the NYT.
Maybe Crankshaft’s grill can hit him when it returns to Earth.
And speaking of Crankshaft, does Batty not realize that joking about explosions on Sept. 11 (as he does in today’s strip) is in extremely poor taste?
Yeah that certainly was an odd choice for the date. Since this is running in May he should be talking about Memorial Day.
But what do I know. Last month he was doing bits about watering bans.
I wondered if that was the date a particular strip ran in the past. Even if it is, he’s done the “Crankshaft blows up his barbecue grill” shtick so many times that he could have easily picked another one.
Yes, that was exactly the date that this grill got launched into space. Those with Comics Kingdom memberships can see it at https://comicskingdom.com/crankshaft/2018-09-11 and the following week.
Also I can not believe it is taking this long for the grill to reenter the atmosphere and land on Keesterman’s mailbox. I agree that drawing out a running gag can make it better, but this was a one-week setup, not a two-week or even longer one.
Couldn’t Batiuk have used “Four Years Ago” instead of that specific date? In addition to making him appear tone deaf, it further muddies the supposed 10-year gap between the FW and CS universes.
It also adds unintended subtext. Batiuk does this all the time, like when Funky said “free ice cream day only happens every 2000 years,” implying that it’s an event on par with the life of Christ. I’m sure anyone who’s still paying attention to this shitshow is puzzling over the relevance of September 11 to this story. PRO TIP: there isn’t any.
See above re: my preference that he never actually die, just suffer eternal torment. I mean, he acts as if he *is* suffering unique eternal torment rather than the universal experience of losing a loved one. It’s like the abusive parent who says, “I’ll give you something to cry about!” I want to give Les something to cry about.
Nah, Les was just there giving his weekly walking tour of the cemetery.
This dialogue: Hasn’t Funky just said what the hell Les proceeds to say?
I’m shocked—shocked! I say—that auteur extraordinaire Batominc screwed up on continuity. At least Les is still a self-centered narcissist.
Damn it! Who had Mary Sue Sweetwater in the Funky Winkerbean character dead pool?