Link to today’s strip
I gleaned a few interesting tidbits from the dialogue today. Les’ statements about having to sell more books and the school being happy with a perpetual super-senior indicates that he is currently paying for some or all of her college. Summer’s scholarship must have run out and/or it was not a full ride. Kent State is a NCAA school and only allows students to compete in four seasons of a sport. Maybe she was a redshirt freshman and wasn’t on the team her first year? But it indicates that this will be her fifth, sixth, or even seventh year of college.
If Les’ is paying for Summer’s graduation, maybe from Lisa’s life insurance, then is Keisha’s college also being paid for? Wouldn’t that be super awkward if Keisha was having to take on a bunch of student loan debt while Summer gets to start clean? But, then again, Keisha seemed like a smart girl. She probably made sure she finished her degree before her athletic scholarship was gone.
Actually going to commend the artwork today, relatively speaking. The ruler did a lot of the work, but there is good attention to detail for once. In the background at least. Les is drawn as a sightless abomination talking out of his ass, but I’m guessing that’s Ayers subtle caricature of him. And putting up the porch swing in spring not only sets the season, it’s a subtle callback to the strips way back in June 2011 when Cayla and Les confessed their love on it. Batiuk may forget how many kids his characters have, but he seems to always remember that Les has a front porch swing.
Of course…it was TAN not BLUE. But then again, maybe it’s been painted.
Well, at least the math is correct in today’s strip. Atomik Komix does indeed have only four titles (The Inedible Pulp, Rip Tide: Scuba Cop, Atomic Ape, and The Girl Scorch), all of which TB has lovingly rendered in big splashy Sunday strips… via guest artists.
What doesn’t add up is this need for more than four titles to do a crossover. TB does it with three comic strips, one of which hasn’t been printed in nearly 30 years. Even a non-crossover strip like this one has crossover elements – Pete is the child of John Darling character Reed Roberts. I suppose none of this is “Mega-Mind-Blowing-Everything-Will-Change”, but nothing that Pete and Durwood could come up with would be either.
To what do we owe the honor of seeing Cayla in back-to-back appearances? And Les is allowing her to be seen with him in public! Either today’s panel one is typical Monday exposition, or the two have randomly wandered into a men’s clothing store, reminding Cayla that Les is in need of some new duds.
Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.
Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.
Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.
I’m beginning to suspect TB is taking payola from the chiropractic industry when he submits sideways Batom comic book covers like in today’s strip. Let’s make that money go to waste…
This is one of the wackier Batom covers and, frankly, one of the better ones I think. Such whimsy, however, falls a bit flat when juxtaposed with Les whining about having to actually work to promote his books. Work? Oh the horror!
Les finally remembers his creepy Centerville contemporary in today’s strip, something he lied about just two strips ago.
While this comic would like you to believe that Les’ memory was jogged by this girl’s foolish belief that she was going to meet George Clinton and Co. on a school-arranged trip to Washington DC, let’s be honest here. Les really remembers her because she looked like a proto-Lisa back then.
Still talking in today’s strip
Took a creepy turn
So, what is the deal
Les leaves his writing around
Women pick it up
And just like before
The woman who picked it up
Keeps it for decades
Why was this two arcs
Really, a baffling story
Why even one arc
Still, creepy woman
Has not purchased Lisa book
Holding up the line
She kept a high school essay
I just can’t even
Today’s strip finds yet another person who has waited in line to not purchase Les’ book. Slightly more reasonable than waiting in line to actually purchase Les’ book, I suppose.
Les won something when he was in high school? I’m sure the circumstances surrounding that were more convoluted than the making of the Starbuck Jones movie. Les being Les, of course, doesn’t remember someone whose writing was better than his… which I think is a safe assumption given that Les was Westview High’s substitute valedictorian with a C average and that Ms. Nebbish here lived in Centerville before Crankshaft drove its collective IQ down 40 points (he was a Westview bus driver in Act I).
Today’s strip was not available for preview. It is, almost certainly, more of the same book signing shtick. Will today’s customer be totally or only partially clueless as to why they are waiting in line? We’ll have to find out together.
But while we are on the subject of Les’ books, let’s take a brief look back at the promotion for his first book Fallen Star, the John Darling bio and murder-solver that may or may not have actually been released in 1997 or 1998.
Les gets booked on “The Today Show”.
Has a publicity photo taken by Crankshaft’s non-Pam daughter Chris (Barry Balderman cameo in the photo-corner flashback!).
Gets bumped from “The Today Show” because his agent is terrible.
Gets interviewed by some giraffe children for their high school newspaper because his agent is terrible.
Sulks in the park and is found by Apple Annie, a homeless media maven and part-time stalker who would become Les’ publishing agent in early Act III before TB forgot she existed.
Post-script: Chris Crankshaft would later help Apple Annie out of homelessness. They met because Annie helped a lost Crankshaft find Chris during one of his infrequent visits to New York. I think the Batiukverse is shrinking to a singularity…
Well, at least the customer in today’s strip seems to have an idea as to why he has been waiting in line. In fact, he has just become Les’ number one fan and, for the first time in recorded history, Les seems genuinely pleased to be at one of his book signings.
I suspect, however that is less because WASP-y Tony Montoni just bought three copies of The Last Leaf and more because Les likes the way this guy thinks. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage is pretty low. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage whose subject also implies that you wish said ex had died of cancer is the kind of thing judges issue restraining orders over.