The Moore I See, the Les I Know

Y. Knott
October 14, 2022 at 11:19 pm
Someone…could cobble together a pretty good Sunday strip using the strips of just the 10th, 13th and 15th. Just put ’em together in that order, and you’ve actually got something.

Switching from spectacles to a monocle actually would not make Les any more pretentious.

Three days setting up Funky and Les taking on some teens in a game of tackle, then one day depicting actual play, followed by three days of Funky and Les walking away, bruised and bettered. Still, this goofy but harmless football arc actually was…well, pretty tolerable. Certainly, no one doesn’t like seeing Les in serious pain. And I’ll say it again, the art this week has been above par…BatAyers even went to the trouble of creating no fewer than eight distinct, diverse Anon-o-Teens. But how did we get from “Let’s fix that!” to “Can you fix your glasses?”

If the plan going in was “to show these kids how it’s done,” I guess that’s been accomplished, even if these kids clearly were not impressed. Of course, what this really was all about was righting a fifty-year-old wrong by Funky allowing Les to finally “feel more a part of things.”



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “The Moore I See, the Les I Know

  1. Epicus Doomus

    FW is getting weirder by the day (and no spoilers, but that’s only going to escalate in the near future). I know what he was going for here, but, as usual, he totally f*cked it all up in his own, uniquely deranged way. Back in the day, the gang didn’t send Les deep because they didn’t like him or because they didn’t want him around. They did it because he sucked, which was kind of the whole gag. In fact, that premise was often a cornerstone of early Act I. He DID participate, and always regretted it…get it?

    The joke could have been an injured, bloodied Les saying something like “you know, maybe going deep on every play was for the best”. Then an injured, bloodied Funky could say (sneeringly) “yeah, wish I’d thought of that”. I mean yeah, it’s terrible, but at least a) it’s a joke and b) it fits the context. But alas, Tom simply doesn’t do things that way.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Wow, that’s a snotty thing for Les to say in that last panel. Funky didn’t just humor him by letting him pretend to be part of the team; he legitimately involved him in the game. Funky gave Les exactly what he wanted, and in response he insults Funky by equating it with an empty gesture. What an asshole.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Not being included was never the gag. The gag was that Les sucked at sports. Yet today, he’s subserviently thanking Funky for allowing him to participate, which doesn’t make sense continuity-wise OR within the context of this story. Funky asked Les if he wanted to play, Les said yes. He didn’t grudgingly ask Les, nor did he assume Les would suck. He went for a blow-off gag here that doesn’t make any sense on multiple levels.

      • Paul Jones

        Well, of course he thinks that he’s being patronized. His sense of entitlement is so large, it should be admitted as a state of the Union.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          Oh, we can’t have that.

          Such a state would have to be called “Moorania,” and as there already is a “Murania,” the Phantom Empire would be sure to take a “Macedonia is Greek” stance and raise all kinds of trademark issues. (We were here first! Queen Tika is prettier than Cayla Moore!)

          Silly? Remember that Freedonia and Sylvania went to war because Ambassador Trentino called President Rufus T. Firefly an upstart in “Duck Soup.”

          Remember Jenkins and His Ear!

  2. William Thompson

    Do the dead leaves, falling around the Dippy Duo as they walk away, mean that they died in the scrimmage? Funky from a heart attack, Les from, well, anything?

  3. billytheskink

    “Can you fix your glasses?”

    They’re snapped clean in two, Funky… why are you even asking this? Maybe you need them more than Les does.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Wouldn’t Les have another pair of glasses back at the Taj Moore-hal? After all, we never see him without them, so they can’t be simple reading glasses.

  4. RudimentaryLathe?

    Aaaannd of course it all circles back to “Les Must Be Placated Always.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Les must be placated while being a complete asshole to the people who gave him exactly what he wanted. And make that smug face again. Just once I want to see somebody balance and rotate his jaw.

      • Epicus Doomus

        And the thing is, there’s potential humor in this premise. It’s just so obvious, too. Les reluctantly agrees to play, they take a pounding, they bitch about their aches, pains, age and what a bad idea it was. It practically writes itself. And somehow, again, he just totally missed it, and went off in his own inexplicable direction instead.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Replace placated with fellated.

    • Mela

      Les really needed to keep going with the therapy after Lisa died. If it has taken 50 years for him to get at peace with something as mundane as “go long Les” because he was a lousy player, then no wonder he can’t reconcile anything worse.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I blame the time skip. It gave Les a free pass on dealing with the aftermath of Lisa’s death. He had to become a single father, and deal with Lisa’s estate and medical bills, all while the family lost Lisa’s lawyer income. Plus his own grieving. If the story had made him go through that, he might have come to terms with her death.

        I also have a pet theory that Batiuk’s editor Jay Kennedy wasn’t going to let him do that time skip. It fits the timeline. Lisa’s needlessly slow decline went on for years, because Batiuk wasn’t going to be allowed to just handwave it all away, and he didn’t know what else to do. Then Kennedy suddenly died in 2007, wasn’t replaced, and five months later we get “she’d be proud of the woman you’d become!” What a lazy, no-talent hack.

        • Mela

          Agreed on the time skip. If he did the skip because he didn’t want to deal with all the aftermath, that’s one thing, but he didn’t allow the characters to emotionally age either. And that’s not just Les. There was absolutely no reason for any of them to be sitting around at a 50 year class reunion somber and literally frowning about “not fitting in”, as if nothing in their life afterward high school was worthy of celebrating.

  5. TFH, I like the idea of Les wearing two monocles instead of glasses. Double the douchebaggery.

  6. Andrew

    This year the strip seems to slip into recreating the Act 1 artstyle with very good accuracy. Dunno if that’s Bautik illustrating himself after so many years or Ayers nailing his old style, but’s kinda cool seeing the old method with the modern coloring.

    Also shows that the gang felt a hell of a lot more likable in that era, of course.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Early Act I was all about the suburban high school archetypes. Les was the smart kid who sucked at everything else. No confidence, socially inept, terrible at sports. Then, after a few years, he kind of took over the strip a la Fonzie on “Happy Days”. Suddenly he was helping fellow students give birth and being the valedictorian and becoming insufferable. Much like with Fonzie, Les was tolerable and entertaining in small or moderate doses, and far less so when he became the focus.

      • gleeb

        Les was not a smart kid. He regularly failed tests and didn’t do homework. He was a terrible student. He failed at everything else, too. Les Moore is a complete loser. This is why the constant victory laps are so annoying, an why seeing him plastered by some anonymous teens is so satisfying.

  7. ComicBookHarriet

    Kudos on the post title. Very clever.

    Also, I hope these guys carpooled over. Or we’re going to get a very special storyline on the dangers of driving without corrective lenses.

  8. Jeff M

    How is is that each “Match to Flame” installment is more insufferable than the last? (It’s called “writing,” I suppose. But the latest is just dripping with such condescension…

    • ComicBookHarriet

      “But the change in Funky didn’t bother me because I felt I was striving daily to make the strip better. Just coasting wouldn’t have required half the work. It brings to mind the words of Picasso: “To make oneself hated is more difficult than to make oneself loved” (of course, Picasso hadn’t met the internet). “

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Any Jonathan Richman fans out there?

        Well some people try to pick up girls
        And get called assholes
        This never happened to Pablo Picasso
        He could walk down your street
        And girls could not resist his stare and
        So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
        Well the girls would turn the color
        Of the avocado when he would drive
        Down their street in his El Dorado
        He could walk down your street
        And girls could not resist his stare
        Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
        Not like you
        Well he was only 5’3″
        But girls could not resist his stare
        Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
        Not in New York
        Oh well be not schmuck, be not obnoxious,
        Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
        Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
        He could walk down your street
        And girls could not resist his stare
        Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
        Alright this is it
        Some people try to pick up girls
        And they get called an asshole
        This never happened to Pablo Picasso
        He could walk down your street
        And girls could not resist his stare and so
        Pablo Picasso was never called…

        I don’t suppose Camille Pissarro endured such verbal abuse, either.

        But Picasso had blue and pink periods, and *Funky Winkerbean* has only arcs and time jumps,

        And no one would confuse Wally in Afghanistan with “Guernica.”

    • Gerard Plourde

      Condescension and delusion. His alleged observations about the “Blondie” strip are completely off base. Blondie and Dagwood’s hairstyles may be unchanged but that’s about all.

      From Match to Flame 185-

      “Dagwood’s and Blondie’s chairs were exactly where they had always been, that the sheets in their bed had the same thread count, that Blondie’s curls were equal and uniform in number, and that whatever those antenna-like things that were sticking out from Dagwood’s head looked as they ever had since the dawn of Blondie.”

      From the Harvey Comics Database –

      “While the distinctive look and running gags of Blondie have been carefully preserved through the decades, a number of details have been altered to keep up with changing times. The Bumstead kitchen, which remained essentially unchanged from the 1930s through the 1960s has slowly acquired a more modern look (no more legs on the gas range and no more refrigerators shown with the motor on the top). . . Dagwood still knocks heads with his boss, Mr. Dithers, but now he does it in a more modern office at J.C. Dithers Construction Company. Their desk computers sport flat panel monitors, and Mr. Dithers, when in a rage, now attempts to smash his laptop into Dagwood’s head instead of his old manual typewriter. The staff no longer punches in at a mechanical “time clock”, nor do they wear green eyeshades and plastic “sleeve protectors”. Telephones have changed from candlestick style to more modern dial phones, to touchtone and on to cellphones. Dagwood now begins each morning racing to meet his carpool rather than chasing after a missed streetcar or city bus. Even Mr. Beasley, the mail carrier, now dresses in short-sleeve shirts and walking shorts, rather than the military-style uniform of days gone by.”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Batiuk loves to put down other comic strips. His criticisms are petty, off base, and tactless. And it’s usually because they don’t follow his stupid rules. Why, Blondie doesn’t even age its characters realistically! Nobody cares, Tom.

        • Margaret

          That is such a stupid argument! What the heck is wrong with Batiuk!? If Blondie aged it’s characters realistically they’d both be dead now. Cookie and Alexander would be senior citizens. It would be a completely different strip. Maybe a good one, but why even call it Blondie?

          And Batiuk is one to talk about aging characters! No one can figure out anything from the mess he’s made of timelines in his strips. Are Crankshaft and Lillian over 100? Is Skyler 4? 8? How about Phil and Flash who seem to be de aging?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Batiuk’s obsession with rules and structure is another autistic trait he exhibits. But autistic people usually follow their own rules, because they make the world easier to understand. I’ve never seen someone obsess over arbitrary, pointless rules like Batiuk does, and then just ignore them in his own day-to-day life. Or criticize others for not following them when they have no reason to.

      • William Thompson

        “From Match to Flame”? Is that one of Batiuk’s website titles?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Yes, it’s his name for his posts about the creation of his strips.

          • William Thompson

            Curious. Before the Bolshevik Revolution Lenin edited a small newspaper called “Iskra”–” the Spark.” When he came to power in Russia Iskra became “Ogonyek,” “The Little Flame.” Lenin’s huge ego made him think that the spark of the Bolshevik movement had ignited a little flame in one country. I don’t know what he would have renamed Ogonyek if his revolution had successfully spread beyond Russia, but he definitely thought his ideas would take over the world.

            So, has anyone ever seen Batiuk and Lenin together?

  9. Paul Jones

    Should we put “attend the huddles” in the Batiuktionary or just write it off as Les not being able to speak Sporto?

    • Y. Knott

      It’s very tin-eared. But I suppose The Keepers of the Batiuktionary have to be choosy: if they chronicled *every* example of tin-eared dialogue, they’d just end up publishing “The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volumes XI-XXIX”.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      “Speak Sporto” is wonderful, Mr. Jones. I hope that you have not yet begun to fight!

  10. KMD

    Remember kids. Every time TB brings out Les as a main part of an ark, it becomes about him, no matter the situation. It doesn’t matter it is a pickup football game as, bizarrely, teens agree to let two seniors–one of whom they might know from the school–play. It doesn’t matter if it’s a funeral of a classmate. It doesn’t matter if it’s a star winning an Academy Award. Every. Time.

  11. be ware of eve hill

    Once in a while, Mr. bwoeh and I like to play catch with a football. Sometimes he challenges me to tackle him. No easy task as he is 6’4″ and too damn close to 300lbs (I’m only about 120lbs.). Most of the time, he just drags me all over the front yard for several minutes until I give up. By the way, we live in the American southwest, and we don’t have a grass lawn. It’s gravel. Ouch.

    A few years ago, I finally got him down by jumping on his back and putting my full weight on his lower legs. Unfortunately, I hurt his knee, so I never did that again.

    Yesterday, we tossed the old pigskin, and my loving husband once again issued the “tackle me” challenge. Perhaps I was influenced by this week’s FW story arc, but I didn’t feel like getting hurt (best to be careful, old gal, you’re getting up there). I just put my arms around his midsection from behind and draped over his back with my head resting on his shoulder. In other words, a hug. It took him a while to figure it out.
    Mr. bwoeh: Are you even trying?!
    Me: Nope. *sigh* 🥰

    Nothing to see here, neighbors. Just move along.

    • ComicBookHarriet


      See, I would love to see a FW strip of this. Maybe Funky and Holly can recreate it.

      Because seeing Les get that much warm affection from secondwife might just make me puke.

      • be ware of eve hill

        We’re always doing playful stuff like this. Some mornings he’ll block the coffee maker from me with his big fat backside, sometimes earning a kidney shot. The other week I was running an errand near his place of work. I took the opportunity to move his truck to the shopping plaza parking lot across the street. Several times I’ve started my car in the morning to discover he’s turned on the radio and flipped on all the switches. He’s just a big kid.

        I can’t recall too many recent displays of affection between Cayla and Les. They seem to have a “platonic” marriage. Cayla’s role in their marriage is to provide moral support to the fragile one.

        I can see Funky and Holly playing tackle. Most definitely see Darin and Jessica. Mopey Pete can’t throw so that counts him and Mindy out.


  12. Y. Knott

    And so we finish the seventh strip in this week-long arc that could have — and should have — cut out 4 of the 7 strips completely (including today’s), and put the remainder into one Sunday strip.

    And, showing how low the bar has been set, it’s STILL quite possibly the top FW arc of the year!