Tag Archives: enraging facial expressions

The Les He Knows, The Better

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.

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Porch Wry-rates

Cue the laugh track for today’s strip… because otherwise there’s just this long, awkward pause between non-jokes. It’s like a newsprint manifestation of those “sitcom without the laugh track” videos, only more more cringe-inducing. Why are these two ostensible friends (one of whom is terminally ill) being insufferable to each other? This kind of thing works when you establish that the two characters have some type of relationship and that unbearable wryness is their M.O. As far as I know, Crazy and Lisa never had much of a relationship of any kind (he was Les’ weirdo buddy), much less a whole Gilmore Girls thing going on.

Lisa really let Harry slide on that face after saying she didn’t feel as bad as she looked? Sure, she’s dressed like Crankshaft, but she’s also sick and at her own home. He’s the one who went out in public dressed like Gallagher wearing a Paul Simon Halloween costume.

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Clothing Time

The entirety of today’s strip is going be spent on that same “picture the audience naked” advice from the last strip? This is where the story arc has decided to stall during the requisite Funky Winkerbean storyline doldrum?

Heck, we skipped right over Marianne being presented her Oscar… I’m assuming this is because Rick Burchett isn’t around to draw Conan O’Brien. I’m torn on whether that is a good thing or not. On one hand, there could be some level of unintentional comedy in seeing the cowering, flop sweating trainwreck Marianne from today’s first panel struggle to not fumble the Oscar hand-off from Anthony Hopkins. On the other hand, such a scenario would probably wind up being an even more insufferable attempt at making Marianne endearing than today’s strip.

Cindy probably appreciates Marianne’s opening line, though.

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Naked and Famous

OK, three weeks until the actual Oscars ceremony, plenty of time to build suspense. Will Marianne beat out Gretchen Gold and Cordelia Rama for best actress? We won’t know for sure until…

The first panel of today’s strip?!

Uh, points for brevity, I guess, though in this case it is most certainly not the soul of wit… or any other word positively associated with writing. In the absence of anticipation as to whether or not Marianne will win the little golden man statuette, we have the ridiculousness of professional actress Marianne (and no stranger to public speaking and media attention) not having any remarks prepared despite having an apparent one-in-three chance of winning. This is compounded by the ridiculousness of her asking advice on accepting an award from a guy whose work outside of Lisa’s Story and Starbuck Jones consisted of Dino Deer, My Dog Pookie, and being incredibly nervous about simply doing a table read (!!!) for the unfinished masterpiece that was Lust For Lisa.

At least Cindy’s shtick is consistent.

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Don’t sleep in the subway, Holly

The day of the big alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).

Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.

Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…

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Budd-Kicking

Today’s strip is just unpleasant. I mean, that could be said for a lot of Funky Winkerbean strips, including yesterday’s, but rarely is this strip so overtly nasty… and over such a trivial thing too.

Melinda looks to be going hard after Rose Murdoch for Batiukverse mother of the year, though. I know, I know, “Rose is dead,” you’re thinking, “so Melinda should have the title locked up easily.” Yeah, well, Phil Holt and Lisa were allegedly dead too… and there’s still time for them to make a run at mother of the year.

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By Invitation Lonely

Oh, so Melinda wasn’t thinking of entering Holly in a pageant! No, as we learn in today’s strip, she was thinking about hijacking Westview High School’s homecoming and subjecting the crowd to Holly’s flaming baton trick and its subsequent collateral damage. Duh. I don’t know where Holly got the idea that her mother was trying to get her to enter a pageant, it’s not like Melinda led into this homecoming performance idea by talking about pageants or anything…

It was smart of Holly to suggest inviting a bunch of band alumni into this scheme. Not because making this an actual alumni event rather than a single woman’s vainglorious showcase means the school would likely be more accommodating. Not because it will place anyone not related to her who might be interested in seeing her performance out on the field instead of up in the grandstands. Not because it will give Wally a chance to break out his trombone again. Not even because it seems to deflate her conniving mother.

No, it was smart because Holly knows as well as anyone that misery loves company.

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