Today’s strip concludes (we hope and pray and hope and wish) this latest visit from the Ghost of Distress Past. Her Royal Wryness. The VHSaint herself.
- Special thanks go out to Summer for being a prop with no impact on the story whatsoever, she has already collected her prize of appearing in a full 3 panel strip this week (panels will not necessarily be consecutive).
- Special thanks also go out to Les for having such an insatiable ego and such milquetoast friends and family that he will continue to receive the unearned praise he has been given for decades now.
- And extra special thanks go out to Crazy Harry, who demanded nothing but 18 panels of our precious time in return for his brilliant idea of pretending Isaac Asimov invented the concept of recording video using already obsolete technology.
On the subject of 18 panels (well, 16, thanks to a couple of 2 panel strips), this new Lisa tapes origin story actually takes up more column inches than the entire original origin story AND depiction of the recording of the tapes! That took just 16 panels in four strips. For all its faults, Act II got to the point…
More word zeppelins in today’s strip… Not as bad as yesterday, but still, get your bookmarks out, folks!
You know, this is actually one of TB’s tidiest retcons, probably because it is one of the very few intentional ones he’s ever undertaken. It takes the original scene and changes its context (slightly) by depicting a previously unseen scene. Tidy. The pieces actually fit together. There are no loose ends, deleted original context, or unresolved conflict with the originals scene. See? That’s not so hard.
Heck, as a bonus it even (unnecessarily but adeptly) explains a silly detail from the original scene, why Les has a camcorder and this Hari Seldon story readily at hand as if he was waiting for Lisa to lament about all the things
Summer she will never get to experience. Turns out, he pretty much was just waiting on the chance to whip that camera on out.
Tidy as it is, this retcon was no more entertaining or less irritating because of it. In fact, it makes the origin story of the Lisa tapes tremendously off-putting. The focus shifts away from the impending reality of Summer growing up without a mother seen in the original scene to the needs of Summer’s nogoodnik parents… First, Lisa wants to record the tapes so she can live vicariously through Summer’s adolescence in her imagination. Then, Crazy and Lisa hatch this cockamamie plan to let Les take credit for the idea to record the infamous tapes, which only soothes his ego and bolsters his hero complex. These people are awful and I hope I never wind up sitting next to any of them on an airplane.
I’m surprised it took until today’s strip for the word zeppelins to arrive… but one has docked right at Crazy’s mouth and is unloading such a tremendous volume of technobabble that it threatens to lift the roof right off the porch of the Taj Moore-hal! In explaining the concept of recording Lisa’s advice on video, Crazy somehow spits out 60% more words than Les did in the original take on this story back in 2007. It is almost enough to make you pity Lisa, who apparently had to listen to this verbal assault twice.
Hey, I said almost…
I’m not a big Isaac Asimov guy or a sci-fi reader in general, I’ve always been very much a non-fiction reader when it comes to things that aren’t comics, so I cannot tell you how accurate or apt or idiotic or unnecessary Crazy’s rambling is (I can tell you it makes for miserable comic strip reading, but that should go without saying). I suspect we have some folks much better suited to that than me in our comments section, so I will now turn this over to my fellow SOSFers.
Link To Today’s Strip
It wasn’t enough for Dick Facey to merrily prance and frolic on Mary Sue Sweetwater’s grave. Now, as sort of a coup de grâce to mark another triumph over another old high school foil, he takes a shot at his “best friend”, reminding him that he might keel over and die at any given moment. I have to admit, I kind of like Funky’s “what a dick” semi-smirk in panel three, as it’s actually an appropriate facial expression there. I imagine it’s similar to the face Ayers makes when BatHam tells him what he’s putting in the word balloons.
I studied this one for a while, trying to figure out what the smug bearded jerk’s massive word balloons were supposed to mean. “Suspend his disbelief” in what? Life? Death? Funerals? Roulette? The continued existence of Bob Dylan? Then, after some really annoying pondering, it started to make sense, sort of, in a roundabout and stupid way. I believe that what Les means here is that he refuses to acknowledge that he’s getting old and will die relatively soon, choosing instead to willfully ignore this harsh reality. Which is really out of character for Les when you think about it, as the guy’s entire identity is based around death. Unfortunately though, not his.
Anyhow, this is what happens when BatYam tries to out-clever himself. Everything devolves into a weird, half-assed mess where you end up wasting valuable minutes trying to figure out what the hell is going on. He could have simply said “I try not to think about it” and saved all kinds of word balloon space, but he’d have just wasted it anyway. God I hate Les so much, curse all you people who say “I’d even prefer a Les arc over this”. Never, ever wish for that, it’s bad mojo.
Link To The Strip
Well, they’ll bore you when you’re trying to be so good
They’ll bore you just like they said they would
They’ll bore you when you’re trying to eat a slice
And when you’re at The Korner haggling over price
Why do I read this anymore?
Everybody must get bored
If I was Bob Dylan I’d be genuinely terrified right now. I do know how Funky feels, though, as I do the same thing, but with Handsome Dick Manitoba. It’s pretty funny how Funky is already a jaded obituary-reading expert, because of course he is. Just two dear old pals, shooting the shit at a burial service in the rain, caring a little, but not too much…that’s the FW experience in a nutshell.
Link To Today’s Drollery
It comes as no surprise to me that Les enjoys seeing celebrities die, as he’s always been a spiteful scumbag and all. The clumsy dialog in panel two baffled me at first, until I realized it was merely BatYam’s typically oafish way of explaining that Les was more of a beginning obituaries reader, as opposed to being a sad old coot scanning the obits to see which friend, colleague or associate died on any given day. Which is a premise just dripping with comedic potential…all of it unrealized, of course.