Tag Archives: Hollywood

In A World Where Les Is A Hero…

Link to today’s newspaper vandalism.

Well, apparently Tom Batiuk saw “Stan and Ollie” last year, and liked it enough to have it still playing eleven years in the future.  (Your time jump, Batiuk, not mine.)  The fact that he liked it makes me think it isn’t worth seeing, but I’ll try not to let his taste color my viewing habits.  Who knows?

As for the rest of this, movies are made this way only in the most imbecilic fantasy wish-fulfillment worlds.  The real world is nothing like this; the idea that Mason’s cellphone picture would be digitally altered for the big screen is really dumb, unless he’s planning on making an entirely green-screen film like The Amazing Bulk.  Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least, given the “talent” that abounds in this strip (and behind it).

Preproduction for movies is generally nothing but drudgery, so it’s not a bad idea for Batiuk to make it seem somewhat interesting or even romantic.  What is a bad idea is having Les Moore in your story–that turns it right back into drudgery.

It does turn out that Mason has a hidden superpower–he can lean way over and not fall on his face.  Boy, wouldn’t that make a satisfying third panel?  Especially if his cellphone broke and a piece of the screen lodged directly into Les’ throat.

Now I’m all miffed that this didn’t happen.

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On Wednesdays I Go Shopping

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Wednesday’s strip was not available for preview.  THANK GOD.

There’ve been many times lately when criticizing this strip feels like criticizing a preschooler’s finger-painting.   When presented with such a work, you don’t want to say, “Well, Tommy, arms don’t really come out of the sides like that, and shoes aren’t big and round like wheels.  And is that a dog?”  That just seems kind of mean-spirited.

Tom Batiuk doesn’t write well.  To put it mildly.  He cannot plot out a proper story, his ear for dialogue is deaf, and his points are buried beneath the ineptitude of his execution. Occasionally, he has a sort of ham-handed way with a phrase that has a certain off-putting charm, but that’s about it.

But what if that’s the best he can do?  His “stories” over the last couple of years have started out like they might be going somewhere but always–always–end up like a balloon that’s just been unknotted.  Falling to the earth with a farting noise.  The Butter Brinkle thing–seriously, what an embarrassment that would have been to a professional, published writer.  Here?  In it goes.  And once it was done, it was gone.  Nothing to tie it together, nothing to indicate it meant anything…no impact at all.

Lately, the strip has been all been wish-fulfillment.  Les gets showered with praise.  Funky gets stepped on.  Everyone talks about how awesome Les is.  Bull gets an off-hand death that is largely used to push “Lisa’s Story” again.  That really seems like the work of someone who doesn’t care.

But he seems to be losing his grip on the elements he’s always deemed important, like Les and “Lisa’s Story.”  How many times has Mason told Les he wants to option the book?  He flew out to Ohio to do it, then flew Les in to California to do it.  That doesn’t seem like someone who can separate the wheat from the chaff.  Both are treated with equal carelessness.

So I wonder if I’m pointing out the shortcomings in the work of someone who should do better…but can’t.

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Link to today’s strip.

Charles basically nailed it–and did my job for me, thanks!–in yesterday’s comments, in which he basically laid out the next month’s worth of strips.  I’d link his comment here, but I don’t know how to do that. (Here ya go. —TFH)

So, what we have here is what we had yesterday–two characters talking about Les.   Not a single step forward, but hey, if people are talking about Les, it has to be award-winning, right?

I don’t dare wish for anything different, because it’s certain to be worse.

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Women Are Vain, Get It?

Oh, joy. More character development for Cindy. Of course, being the Hot Blonde model of female in this strip, there is basically nothing to her character apart from obsession over how attractive men find her (the other model of female is Frumpy Potato-Nose). Good job, Tom Batiuk. Honestly this strip would’ve been better off being totally wordless and just putting a little more effort into drawing a pretty, scenic nighttime beach scene. Of course, the writing took zero effort.

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Dreck on the beach

I hope against all hope that today’s strip marks the end of this chapter of Les Goes To Hollywood And Gets All Pissy- Part II, particularly for the sake of our own spacemanspiff, who has to write up the next two weeks of strips. Trying to come up with words to describe this horror is not a task I would wish on my worst enemy… or even Tom Batiuk.

On the emptiest beach in California, Masone engages in some criminal activity that doubles as the dumbest cult ritual this side of the Lisa’s Legacy Run. Not one aspect of this stupid movie project has moved forward since October despite the fact that four weeks worth of strips have been expended covering the inactivity.

Not even the prospect of s’mores improves things, which is terribly sad.

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When Time Stands Still

Is this today’s strip or the October 26 strip?! No, it is today’s… and it leaves us in the exact same place we were in October. THE. EXACT. SAME. PLACE.

Masone promises a “shopping agreement”, explains that he has to sell Lisa’s Story to some powers-that-be, assures him of his good intentions and that he is making the right decision by letting Masone pursue this stupid movie thing, Les prepares to wait for the shopping agreement in a snit… scene. It’s the exact same thing we got in October with two exceptions:

One, this week of Masone-wants-to-make-a-Lisa’s-Story-movie strips was preceded by a week of Les and Cayla arguing about whether or not they should fly to California to discuss with Masone the fact that he wants to make a Lisa’s Story movie. We wasted this week on repeating the October scenario PLUS the week of Les and Cayla debating whether to take the stupid trip… the trip that could have been resolved with a 15-minute telephone call!!!

Two, this week ends with the unfortunate promise of future strips in which Les takes Masone around New York for some unbearable Lisa reminiscence, undoubtedly griping all the way.

Misery. Sheer misery.

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The Winters Of Les’ Discontent

Now we’re getting to it in today’s strip! Finally!

“It” being Les trying to undermine specific elements of Masone’s Lisa’s Story passion project for no explained reason. And boy is Masone going to give Les EVERY opportunity to sabotage the project, inviting dragging him into practically every element that TB thinks exists in the film-making process. It’s a good thing Les has all of those unused personal days

Also, what is Les’ problem here exactly? He doesn’t want Lisa to be played by an attractive and successful actress? Frankly, Marianne Winters seems like a fine choice to play late Act II Lisa based on looks at least. She’s for certain sure a dead ringer for the bewigged Lisa we saw during much of that first bout with breast cancer in 1999.
LisaMarianneCompare

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