Panel 1 Mason appears to have caught whatever caused Cindy to have Stupid Hair in Act I. I would much rather focus on that than Mason apparently saying Les is a true hero, and he wants to portray him. “You made the big time after your wife died, you’re a real hero, Les!”. What the hell has Les ever done that’s close to heroic? Not curling up in a ball and dying after Lisa died? People do that every damn day and they do it in a far less pretentious way than Les.
My money is even more on Cindy portraying Lisa now, since I can totally see Mason saying that’ll add to the “realism” of the movie.
The stupid Bull storyline and interview are really starting to seem like massive baiting. “I’ll lure them all in with a moving storyline about a trendy topic, and as soon as they’re hooked, I’ll move on to Les Moore, the Greatest American Hero!”. Seriously though, has someone related to this blog done something to Batiuk, or hacked his computer, and taken over the writing of this strip? Because about the only explanation for any of this is someone really wants to make the writer look like an obnoxious ass.
Today’s strip wasn’t yet available for preview. I have a feeling it’ll be the greatest Funky Winkerbean ever though, when Mason tells Les he’s totally kidding about doing a Lisa’s Story movie, Lisa was boring and Lisa’s Story is terrible, and he’s actually doing a Bull movie and is just giving Les a heads-up that there’s a full thirty minutes of him getting beat up and wetting himself.
Who am I kidding, we won’t get anything near that good. We’ll probably get Les dancing gleefully on the table in Montoni’s while Mason throws $100 bills at him and Cindy tells Les she should’ve married him instead of Mason.
Oh hey, look at that, the title character of this strip and his wife died, totally off panel. I wonder if it was a murder-suicide pact after their grief over losing Bull. Or maybe their grief over hearing there was going to be more “Lisa’s Story”. Or maybe just a bizarre artistic choice or coloring error that would make an already poor follow-up to last Sunday even stranger.
What on earth is the right way to do Lisa’s Story? True to life, where it just focuses on Les’s reaction to everything, and skips right over the really difficult and interesting part of how he adjusts to life without her? Or focusing on the ridiculous medical paperwork mishap that anyone who saw it in a movie (or a comic) would say is just laughably bad writing?
Actually I think it’s pretty clear what “the right way” means. Lisa Must Die. Because serious art requires beloved characters to die in a very serious, very profound way. Except Bull. Bull you just knock off as quick as possible so you can get to Lisa. Again.
That “Cindy…?” is hilarious to me. “Formerly hot girl I used to stare at in high school and have no real meaningful relationship with, do you think I should make this beg life decision? Because yours is the only opinion that matters to me, way way more than my secondary wife’s.”
I had no idea playing the lead in one (or is two now?) sci-fi movies opens enough doors for you where you can just create movies by yourself. And this is another in the long tradition of Batiuk using “witty” or “funny” sayings that really make no sense, apart from not being funny at all. The doors are already opened, Les. I don’t think it matters what’s on the other side.
Do you think that’s still Cindy there, or just a blonde wig on a stick? They’d both work about as well in their job of sitting quietly while the menfolk handle business, which is all Cindy has done since Les showed up.
Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very
maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.
So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?
And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. I considered waiting for it become available to post, but with the possibility of more Les on the table… I am sorry but I am not willing to burn the 11:00 PM oil potentially posting about a despicable character in a despicable situation.
However, true believers, just so I don’t send you to the comments section empty-handed… here, in honor of the late Jerome Bushka, is Bull’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
Oh, sorry, that’s the first mention of Bull, May 3 of 1972, in classic TB tell-don’t-show style. Here’s his first appearance, on September 23 of 1972 (Wait, why doesn’t Funky have CTE too, being a football sporto?):
And the first time he appears and is named, on September 26, 1972 (Until 2013, this was the canonical reason Fred Fairgood was estranged from his daughter Kerry. No, really!):
It’s back to the WABAC machine in today’s strip. No, I’m not talking about the flashback to “five years ago…”, I’m talking about Bull’s funeral, which has itself moved two-and-a-half years backward in time in order to accommodate a five years ago flashback featuring players Bull last coached in the spring of 2012. Well, at least we are getting something that is actually about Bull in this one… that’s so damning with faint praise that it could keep an ocean at bay. (“Billy was a special blogger”, they said at his funeral.)
Also, I tagged both Keisha and Linda in this, because I’m not sure which one of them is standing next to Summer in panel 3.
Are you wondering how Bull’s wife and children are mourning his death? Maybe how his former players and fellow coaches, whose lives he surely had a large impact on, have reacted? Well, too bad for you, for the art of storytelling, and for general decency… because today’s strip is focused on four schmucks, only one of whom even knows Bull moderately well (and one who has NEVER once met the guy) and none of whom have talked to Bull in at least 3 full years. Heck, they aren’t even talking about Bull, they are awkwardly reminding us that Cindy was popular in high school.
Bull’s death only made page 2 of the Westview Gazette? This is a town with only five employers and Bull was the most decorated employee in the history of the largest of those. What could possibly have made the front page?
Link To Today’s Strip
Thanks TFH! It’s great to be back at the helm for what promises to be the most intense and trauma-packed FW arc since Funky crashed his car. It’s like my entire SoSF tenure has been leading toward this moment. Who knows what kind of roller coaster-like thrills this week will hold and…
Uh-oh. Long time FW readers know that mail delivery in the Funkyverse spells big, big trouble. Once again he’s bizarrely trying to cram wry whimsical banter into this arc for no discernible reason other than habit. I don’t really understand the gag here or why any interaction with the mail carrier was necessary to move the story along, but it goes without saying that whatever news this mail contains is definitely not good. My guess? The NFL mixed up Bull’s brain scan results with another dying player, leading to some sort of grim hilarity. In any event, steel yourselves for day after day after day of Linda sorting through mail, as I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it goes. And don’t forget, then she has to actually READ the mail, which is a whole other process. The Earth’s poles could very well shift before this plays out. Sigh.