Link To Today’s Strip
Uh yeah Mason, whatever you say. If I recall correctly, he actually traded in his guitar to become Dino Deer, whatever the hell that was. I’m trying to parse the timeline here, as Mason is way, way too young to have started a band after seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It’s so weird how every character in this strip is into popular culture from twenty years before they were born. And in Mason’s case, he traded a pop-culture icon from twenty years before he was born for another pop-culture icon from forty years before he was born, then starred in a movie with a pop-culture icon from a hundred years before he was born. It won’t be long before someone in the strip starts re-creating old patent medicine shows.
It’s almost hard to believe that BatYap ran out of Dead Lisa tropes already, but there’s really no other explanation. This one is so random and so pointless it doesn’t even qualify as filler. It also demonstrates that unlike with “writers”, BatHam doesn’t particularly respect actors all that much, as it’s sort of implied here that Mason just picked up acting as an afterthought and (in typical FW style) just pretty much blundered his way into Hollywood fame and riches without really trying. Which wasn’t Mason’s original back story, but at this point it doesn’t matter anyway, as we all know that Les f*cking Moore is the only living soul who’s ever had to toil, suffer and sacrifice to create truly authentic art and everyone else is just a big insincere phony hack. What a dick.
Link To Today’s Dreariness
Yep, it’s the one with the plaque that says “FOR LISA” with her face on it. Why Lisa has a park bench dedicated to her in Manhattan too is a mystery to me. She sure did like park benches though, that’s been made abundantly clear. Good thing she didn’t have ass cheek cancer or some sort of painted wood allergy, otherwise the entire course of the strip might have been inexorably altered. And so what if Mason sits on the Lisa bench? She died almost twenty-three years ago, countless hundreds of thousands of weirdos have sat on the park bench through the years. But if Mason does it somehow shames and disgraces Her memory? How. exactly? I mean it’s a park bench, what else can you do with it?
Link To Today’s
Well, let’s see. There’s English teacher Les, the insufferable smug bearded dick with ears, Husband Les, the insufferable smug bearded dick with ears, Father Les, the insufferable smug bearded dick with ears, Author Les, the insufferable smug bearded dick with ears and Friend Les, the insufferable smug bearded dick with ears. So no matter which Les you “settle on”, you get an insufferable smug bearded dick with ears. Mason will have to up his smirking game though, I’ll tell you that.
There’s the early act III Les we all know and loathe, the Delicate Genius who’s experienced loss and pain on a level none of us slovenly mortals can ever truly grasp. Now on top of somehow turning Les’ maudlin cancer book (in real life not a book but just a collection of previously-released material BTW) into a semi-watchable film Mason has to study Dick Facey too, lest he fail to properly capture his many nuances and foibles. It’s just repulsive beyond words.
Link To Today’s Thing
Man, that post title just wrote itself. I’ve been waiting years to use that one. Anyhow, Lisa’s sainted ashes (sigh) are still the main focus, as Mason (who just promised to respect Les’ Lisa boundaries a few months ago) is poking and prodding him to give up the EXACT SPOT where Les dumped Her ashes, as if anyone would actually care. It’s so weird when Les isn’t the sickest and most morally repugnant character in a story, you know? I mean how long is this movie going to be? How many downer endings will it have? Ten? Twenty? Does it start when they meet? When they get married? I KNOW I definitely don’t want to relive THAT wedding (look it up). Is there an intermission after she dies? Sigh.
Coming soon: “Lisa’s Story Part II…The Re-Lisaning”, the follow-up to Mason Jarre’s 2020 smash hit film. Watch as Les blithely ignores his new still-living wife…again. With forty-three hours of never-before-seen “behind the scenes” footage.
Link To Today’s Atrocity
Sigh. Once again Dick Facey is forced to defend the sanctity and honor of his cancer book, which as always makes one wonder why he keeps agreeing to these adaptations. No one cares about the time Les littered Central Park with Lisa’s mortal remains (which is probably illegal anyhow), why Mason would need to include that bit of morbidity in his stupid movie is anyone’s guess. I’m pretty sure that precise historical accuracy isn’t really necessary to properly tell Lisa’s f*cking story…again…but TomLes never could resist an opportunity to snuggle his masterpiece firmly to his bosom and screech “MINE!” at anyone attempting to soil or defame it. This is definitely FW’s most annoying recurring theme and there are plenty of those to choose from, believe you me.
More of the black void that is a Westview winter night in today’s strip, where Mason is obligated to answer a telephone call from his agent. Mason’s agent, “Rip”, quickly remembers that Mason is out of town, possibly in one of those mysterious time zones out east where people are huddled next to their heaters and catching Letterman’s monologue while he’s still laying on the beach getting a tan. I like how Mason hums a little tune before telling Cindy “Sorry, it’s my agent…” I assume that’s what is happening, I mean, the two things share a dialogue box.
Mason’s punchline, such as it is, rings pretty hollow when you consider that “last century” ended all of 15 years ago. When the last (20th) century was the current century, references to the “last century” were typically idyllic and wholly unrealistic nostalgia about the Victorian era and the Gay Nineties. With the gazebo looming in the background, this seems to be what Mason’s line is going for. After all, the 20th century was when TB’s frame of mind for such references was formed.
Then again, perhaps Mason does indeed mean that Westview reminds him of the 20th century’s “Gay X-treme! Nineties”, what with the town’s continued interest in VCRs, Toyota Paseo “Batiukmobiles”, and unfounded comic book price speculation. I imagine he’ll be disappointed when he learns that everyone in town threw out their “Ross for Boss” buttons, Zubaz pants, and Pogs years ago… Or did they?
Today’s strip sees Mason and Cindy continuing the evening stroll they began yesterday, traversing Westview’s snow-covered central square park with its trademark gazebo. Despite the implications from the past couple of strips that he has a thing for Cindy, Mason reveals his real interest is not her but the town of Westview itself. Yes, Westview is definitely a change from Hollywood’s economic opportunity and operating post office.
With Westview reminding him so much of his hometown, one can only guess where Mason grew up. Centralia, Pennsylvania is a good bet.
After a whirlwind week in the Big City, the old friends sit on their park bench like bookends…and bitch and moan about life. Please explain, if you can: who are the “greedy, amoral morons” who have ruined Funky’s life? It was barely two years ago that he was the cover boy for Pizza World magazine. Now his empire is down to just one store. And the reader is expected to believe that this is the fault of anyone besides the inept, ill-tempered, unlikeable jerk whose cost-cutting, penny-pinching management style ran the business into the ground?
Or maybe said “morons” are really those who hate on TB’s Pulitzer-worthy “writing”? It isn’t the first time that the author has used his strip to take us Philistines to task…
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April 15, 2010 at 9:01 am
I really hope this week doesn’t end with Apple Annie giving Les that lost manuscript and him being happy about it.
April 16, 2010 at 9:00 am
[A]ny bets on Apple Annie giving Les his lost manuscript in the next couple of days.
April 17, 2010 at 1:14 am
Annie hands it over to Les, who is so amazed and delighted he forgets to punch the bitch’s lights out for holding back on it so long.
April 18, 2010: the day that Funky Winkerbean completely lost any sembelance of linear, logical storytelling, and in the process sent a big “kiss my ink-stained ass” valentine to us, the readers.
Oh no she didn’t: By the way, here’s the manuscript you lost. I have been holding onto it lo, these many years. Sorry, but the last four chapters are missing; I used ‘em for asswipe. Bam, closure. The rest of the panel is taken up with little vignettes supposed to fill us readers in on the whole entire chain of events from the last ten years. Except, I thought that’s what the last three days’ strips were doing. Now the reader is expected to sort thru these postage-stamp size scenes and put them in order.
So Crankshaft did spend some time living on the streets? He sure looks it, as Summer Less pointed out. Where are his huge glasses? What clue is he getting from seeing Annie’s bio in a Playbill that must be 25 to 40 years old? Did Fallen Star get published (we see a hardcover copy), attributed to Les, making Annie a successful agent without her client ever knowing about it? Is this not the laziest, most inept, slapdash attempt at storytelling the comics have ever seen? Batiuk (and you too, Armstrong) present to the readers this steaming, senseless mess of a story, and the readers are expected to grin thankfully, just as Les does when he finally gets his stolen masterpiece handed back to him.
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“That’s right, Mr. Les: Woody Allen! And Elia Kazan, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott effin’ Fitzgerald…Billy Wilder, too! Who do ya think gave him that line ‘All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up’? Apple Annie Apple, tha’s who.” Les: she was suffering from schizophrenia, detached from the real world. Crazy as a rat in a coffee can. The closest thing to a writer that she “made the acquaintance of” was you, you gullible bastard.
And not for nothing, according to this strip from last May, I thought it was superstar Cynthia Summers who rescued Annie from life on the streets?
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