It belongs in a mausoleum!

Today’s strip appears to be the latest installment of one of TB’s most recent recyclable story concepts: “old person has a Lisa flashback in front of Summer”. Of course, it’s also the latest installment in his most overplayed story… but we all knew we would be back here eventually.

Just how many Lisa tapes are there? We can see 5 or 6 peeking out of the top of the box Crazy is carrying today, meaning there are probably at least 10 total in the box. The box Summer brought to him close to seven years ago was about twice as deep, also with about 5 or 6 tapes visible out of the top. This suggests that there are about two dozen tapes, over two full days worth of Lisa video assuming she recorded a full 2 hours in SP mode on each tape.

Regardless of how many of these tapes there are, they can’t be much more than conversation pieces now given that Crazy baked them when converting them all those years ago. Not that Les wanted anyone conversing about them despite having 7 or more of them on prominent display in his living room.

54 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

54 responses to “It belongs in a mausoleum!

  1. Jeff M

    Noooooooooo!!

    Noooooooooo!!

    That said, tape baking really is a thing – albeit one best practiced only by experts.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/the-chemistry-of-why-baking-degraded-reel-to-reel-tapes-can-reverse-damage/?amp=1

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Oh cripes, it’s Lisa again, and she’s already being all wry and snarky. This sepia-toned flashback sequence must be taking place during that period when she was DYING, which narrows it down to like a five-to-seven year window. She had CANCER, you see. Another bit of FW trivia that might have been overlooked if not for the efforts of beady-eyed nitpickers like us. The gag here, of course, is how Lisa handled DYING FROM CANCER with amazing aplomb and grace, but you already knew that.

    And I don’t like this new, aerodynamic Summer at all. I didn’t like her at all before, either, so the transition has been totally seamless for me, but your loathing may vary. I assume she’s preparing for her triple-sophomore year at KSU, as she works toward her major major major in phys ed. I’m kind of surprised by BatYam trotting the Lisa tapes out yet again, as the whole Lisa tapes thing was just a way to drag out “Lisa’s Story” even more, which, even back then, should not have been physically possible. Yet here we are.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I can’t believe how much recent continuity it ignores. The last thing we saw on Saturday was Les saying “memory lane is closed.” Guess it’s open again!

      Summer’s been living away from home for a decade now. Now she’s casually sitting on the porch swing at her parent’s house like she’s still 16.
      Shouldn’t she be preparing for fall semester? We never saw her graduate or leave college, despite Maddie inquiring about her personal life.

      Harry just went back in time to see Lisa not even five months ago.

      How the hell does a professional video editor “forget to get back to” a customer about a video project until 24 years after the subject died?! When it’s the most important project he ever did?

      Donna had her stupid video game helmet from 1980 until a few weeks ago. Where does she get off telling anyone anything belongs in a museum?

      • Epicus Doomus

        On top of everything we both just mentioned is how Harry found these old VHS tapes, loaded them into a box, then strolled on over to Les’ house unannounced. Don’t these people have phones?

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Is triple-sophomore like double secret probation?

  3. Jeff M

    Also – let’s not fool ourselves – Lisa used EP mode.

  4. William Thompson

    Is there any hope that Summer will die from cancer? If so, will she record a library of VHS tapes for the daughter she’ll never have (“What I Would Have Told You Not To Do On Prom Night” and “If Only You Had Been Born So I Could Lecture You On Getting Your Driver’s License”)? Or will she leave messages for Les (“How To Be Mistaken For A Genuine Mourner At My Funeral” and “How To Turn Our Old Driveway Basketball Hoop Into A Proper Monument To Your Loss.”)?

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Based on the Mary Sue Sweetwater funeral, I’ll bet there isn’t one about “How to Be Rude at Someone Else’s Funeral,” because Lisa could trust Spanky (can anyone tell me why she called him that instead of Stymie, Alfalfa or some other rascally name? Was it because he was a Roach — Hal, naturally — under her feet, Our Gang?) to do that on his own.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think denigrating classmates at their funerals would fit perfectly with Lisa’s life instructions. “Remember, I’m the only real victim here. Don’t you let some johnny-come-lately like Mary Sue Sweetwater demand a bunch of attention just because SHE died. You’ll protect me, won’t you, Les?”

    • spacemanspiff85

      If Summer died from cancer and made tapes, every single one would just be about how important Lisa and her tapes were to her. Nobody cares about Summer, not even Batiuk. She’s just a prop to allow other people to talk about Lisa.

  5. Y. Knott

    Hi. I’d like to make a bold prediction that the Funky Winkerbean arc that’s just starting today will be dull and stupid, and also excruciating. I mean, okay, sure, I make that bold prediction every week, but so far, I’m batting a thousand….

    Incidentally, for those playing “How Will Funky Winkerbean Suck” bingo, we already have “Dead St. Lisa Tapes” and “Passive Female Characters”. Judges have ruled that we need to have at least one more Word Zeppelin to qualify for “Word ZeppelinS”, plural. We’ll also need to see a few more installments to see if this qualifies for “Recycled Plot” and/or “Prestige Arc”. Keep those Bingo chips handy!

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Okay, serious question… how exactly do we kill Lisa? Cancer clearly didn’t work. Do we have to use garlic, or a silver bullet, or Highlander-style decapitation? I’m open to ideas.

    • Y. Knott

      When we’re asked if we believe, really believe in Lisa … don’t clap hands.

    • Tom from Finland

      I think Lisa is an anti-christ in the sense that instead of releasing people from their sins by dying, she damned the population of Westview into an eternal purgatory where every day is misery and smirking, they repeat the same routines over and over, nobody can move on, everybody who tries to leave is pulled back sooner or later and the ghost of Lisa is looming over them all the time and they can’t stop thinking her.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        “But it was good that you did that, Lisa! Even better than something Anthony Fremont would do!”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I view Lisa as a North Korea-style personality cult. Tell me Les wouldn’t organize this:

        And because of Les’ ties to Lisa, Montoni’s, and Westview High School – the only three sources of income in town – he can enforce compliance. And that video is exactly what you’d get: a bunch of bad actors hamming up their grief to ridiculous levels, because they know anyone who doesn’t will be shot.

  7. louder

    And I suppose these found Lisa tapes will magically, in some strange alining of the stars, will be just the thing that Summer is obsessing over at this particular moment. It’s all just pure hate-read for me at this point.

  8. Summer is now barely a stick figure. She’s starving herself to death. She’s dying before our eyes. Other than that, today’s strip is as hilarious as ever.

  9. billytheskink

    I don’t buy this story at all, Crazy. You think Les doesn’t count the Lisa tapes every night before he goes to sleep? He’d notice if you had forgotten to bring any of them back.

  10. Andrew

    I didn’t see it directly since I was out of paying attention when it happened, but seeing that Bautik decided to direct the Lisa’s legacy plot into the “the properly-done-with-grace Lisa biopic was a theater bomb (because Joe Public doesn’t appreciates ART!) but a cult hit on streaming, thus the Academy is moved to award the actress portraying her an Oscar, which she then gives to Les because it’s thanks to him ‘carrying her legacy’ that any of this happened” outcome, it really does feel like he’s lapsing into writing for himself at this point and hard to take seriously at all (that and having an official author avatar and the endless stream of comic book lore nostalgia and everything else).

    I’m inclined to agree that he really needs to let Lisa go at this point. Make that a final story, Lisa’s ghost tells him to move on while setting the tapes on fire ala. The Last Jedi (oh, that’s a meme idea…)

  11. Can I just take a moment to be annoyed by the needless “Donna said I had to get rid of my VHS tapes” explanation? Why not “I was organizing my VHS tapes and noticed” he still had tapes on loan?

    It’s a small thing and if I didn’t resent Dead Saint Lisa And Her Tapes as a plot so much I’d let it slide. But this is another iteration of “oh the woman in my life is ordering me to get rid of the collection that means something to me”. It’s the mother who makes someone sell their comic books, or the wife who makes someone sell their vinyl records, or the mother who makes someone sell their vinyl records of comic books, or the wife who makes someone sell their videotapes of superhero comic book movies, again.

    What plot purpose is served by Crazy Harry being forced by his wife to dump his VHS collection, in this story? Why is the only non-passive role women take in Funky Winkerbean their always off-screen decision to make the player-characters give up a hobby?

    Anyway I one time sent a friend a videotape to digitize, and they never did send the tape back, but since I had the digitized version I was okay with it. This was the Spider-Man Super-Fit Video and although it’s a live-action video it is somehow what you would imagine if the newspaper Spider-Man were to make an exercise video, right down to how you realize the first thing he did after getting the villain’s 24-hour ultimatum is go to sleep.

  12. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    “What brings?” Why can’t your characters talk like humans? Was there not enough room beside Harry’s giant word balloon?

  13. Mela

    Great, those *%$#@ tapes. Again.

    How is Summer NOT a neurotic mess at this point in her life? Somehow she has avoided developing unhealthy perfectionist tendencies to make up for her mother not being there-to be perfect for her father so he will be happy. I don’t know who gets the credit for that, but it’s certainly not Les.

    • be ware of eve hill

      The Dead Saint Lisa Tapes; Volume 4, Tape 6, Chapter 12.
      ‘How to Go to the Bathroom’.

      Summer: Mu-thur! There are times when I’ve just got to be me!

  14. J.J. O'Malley

    Seriously, folks, what can possibly be gained from Batiuk dredging up the Dead St. Lisa videos yet again? Haven’t they been watched by Gilligan (Summer), the Skipper, too (Cayla), the Cartoonist (Darrin) and his wife (Jessica?), the Movie Star (Masonne), the Professor (Les, of course) and Marianne from one end to another in a variety of formats by this time? Unless someone uncovers a long-lost Easter egg where she confesses that Durwood was switched at birth with another baby, or that Summer was born a boy and the doctor botched the circumcision, or that she deliberately gave herself breast cancer so she could sue a pharmaceutical company, what reason can there be for what I’m sure will be a week’s worth of flashing back to the most drawn-out terminal illness this side of “Camille”? Everybody strap in for what looks to be a long ride on the Pathos Express (Sorry, TB, no stops at Pulitzertown).

  15. be ware of eve hill

    This is sad in a pathetic kind of way. One-hit wonder Tom Batiuk presents yet another story arc written around his one and only marginally successful story. Once again TB is compelled to dig up the Dead Saint Lisa’s corpse* and parade it through the comics page.

    Batty killed off Lisa fifteen years ago. That’s fifteen years! Other comics strips come and other comics strips go but Batty is still flogging the Dead Saint Lisa horse.

    Why must we now be subjected to the horror of the craptacular tapes of Baldy McBallcap?

    I find it hard to believe that anyone would approach TB and clamor for another Dead Saint Lisa story. Why do you continue to write them, Tom? Why? Nobody wants to read them. 🤷‍♀️

    Utter madness!

    * I know Lisa was cremated but how do you reconstitute the ashes of the dead?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      To the extent Lisa’s death resonated with readers, Batiuk destroyed it by digging her up at every last opportunity. How can we miss Lisa if she won’t go away?

      • be ware of eve hill

        Please come visit the Dead Saint Lisa Shrine in the Batiuk Mahal. Stop by the gift shop for a commemorative mug or t-shirt. Donations welcome.

    • be ware of eve hill

      * I know Lisa was cremated, but how do you reconstitute the ashes of the dead?

      Loving husband has reminded me of a Dracula film starring Christopher Lee. Dracula was killed at the end of one film by sunlight, leaving nothing but ashes. In the sequel, Dracula is brought back to life by human blood poured on his ashes.

      What could be placed on Lisa’s ashes to bring her back? A slice of Montoni’s pizza? A nice Pinot Noir? Les frolicking about in them like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin? Does one of the tapes cover this?

      There’s a problem, though. Half of Lisa’s ashes were buried in Westview, and the other half were scattered in Central Park. If Lisa were reconstituted, she would only be half there. Would she be just a head and torso? Something like the Black Knight in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And some of Lisa’s ashes are on Mount Kilimanjaro. Hell, Les has probably scattered her in other places too. And snorted her at least twice.

        However you plan to reconstitute Lisa, it’s going to have to be by the soul instead of the body. My idea is that her soul is trapped in the video tapes, and she wishes for the tapes to be destroyed so can finally die. But of course her husband steadfastly preserves them. And made a Hollywood movie out of them, ensuring that she can never ever have peace as long as Lisa’s Story exists. She starts haunting people just to get them to do something about Les.

        Hey, this could be a good horror franchise.

        • be ware of eve hill

          That would be a good horror franchise.

          Lisa’s soul is trapped in the tapes? But… but… Masky McDeath escorted her into the afterlife?! Was she returned for being too lame?

          The Dead Lisa Polka (as sung by Masky McDeath):
          ♫ Oh, I don’t want her, you can have her
          She’s too lame for me ♫

          I thought Les left a photo of the blessed Dead Saint Lisa on Mount Kilimanjaro. He left her ashes there too?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Maybe I remember wrong, and it was a photo. He’s smeared her remains over so many surfaces, who can keep track?

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        You can use Dr. Sivana’s Reincarnation Machine to bring ashes back into corporeal life. It worked with Black Adam.

  16. Hitorque

    1. Regardless if Summer has graduated or not, why isn’t her ass out working a job or internship? Didn’t Cayla famously make Summer and Black Summer work as gift-wrapping elves at the mall during their entire Christmas break??

    1a. Where the hell is Black Summer anyway? Those two girls used to be joined at the hip…

    2. In a way I feel for Summer — Even when she’s found a place of acceptance with her dead mommy, the universe KEEPS CONSTANTLY THROWING IT BACK IN HER FACE… First with the books, then the videotapes, then the follow-up books then more discovered hidden videotapes then big budget Hollywood movie, then that weirdo creepy bullshit about Lester’s haunted bird feeder and now we’re back to the videotapes… I guess sometime early next year Masone will pop up talking about making a sequel or prequel or alternate universe Lisa’s Story?

    3. How has nobody broken into Lester’s poorly secured home yet and stolen that priceless Oscar statuette? I mean, Marianne did tell a global TV audience who she planned to give it to…

    4. For a tomboyish athlete in the style of Lynn Loud, I don’t remember the last time I saw Summer doing anything athletic…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Re #2: the whole town should be sick of this Lisa bullshit by now. It’s psychologically unhealthy, it insists upon itself, and it trivializes everyone else who’s died for almost 25 years now. And this is Westview, so there’s no shortage of disease or misery to go around. They couldn’t throw dirt on Bull Bushka fast enough, and he was a locally prominent sports figure.

      Re #3 and #4: it’s amazing how directionless Summer’s life is. She should have graduated or failed out of college at least five years ago. She has no friends, and no interest in anything. Even today she’s just sitting on the porch at her parent’s house (where she doesn’t even live), waiting for the next Lisa story to show up.

      • Mela

        Why would she have any direction or interest in anything? Nothing she does will ever live up to her saintly dead mom. Her feelings on her mom’s passing have never mattered-only Les’s. We don’t even know if she and Darin were in the movie. Instead of being a neurotic mess, which I mentioned in a prior post, maybe she just doesn’t give a crap about anything. Which would actually be a somewhat compelling story.

  17. Tom from Finland

    Are the Lisa’s tapes like tribbles or mogwai, so that they start multiplying, if you are not careful?
    Or are they perhaps cursed so that once you get one, it keeps coming back, no matter what you do?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      My theory is that her soul haunts the videotapes, and she can never truly die until they’re all destroyed. Kind of like The Ring, but you keep the video tape alive instead of it killing you.

  18. Rusty Shackleford

    Well August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption which is held in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. Batty just repurposed it in order to talk of the assumption of Lisa.

    https://www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/2022-feast-assumption

  19. Dood

    “Did I, twice? How about a single ‘fuck you’ then.”

    • hitorque

      Yeah, that response from St. Lisa to a friend taking the time to visit her makes zero sense… No matter if she’s trying to be glib of snarky, she’s already made this one hell of an awkward conversation…

      • Tom from Finland

        It really is a strangely hostile response. I mentally added the missing “and now you can go fuck yourself, twice” to her zeppelin when I read it.

  20. Count of Tower Grove

    I may stay and visit the Fungyverse this week just to see if Caucayla will show up for her usual role as doormat.

  21. The Merry Pookster

    What does Lisa Moore share with General Fransico Franco?

  22. Charles

    Still can’t get over the fact that Batiuk had to dredge up a story from SEVEN years ago to justify this week.

    Also, if you remember, Summer said she was going to throw away the tapes after transferring them, so Crazy’s bringing her back garbage that she’s just going to throw away.

    As if anyone would have bought that the first time.

  23. Gerard Plourde

    Although I think it’s another example of TomBa’s odd unfamiliarity with human speech is it remotely possible that there is any place in Ohio where “What brings” actually acts as a greeting?

    • Y. Knott

      I’ve heard it, as a jocular shortening of “what brings you here?” From the same sort of person who would say “Anyhoooo….” and think they were being clever.

  24. Pingback: Why I Am Angry at Funky Winkerbean, Yes, Again – Another Blog, Meanwhile