Tag Archives: Les being a giant smug douche

Neither can we, Marian… uh, I mean, Lisa

And we’re back to Les’s cameo in today’s strip. I dunno what that golf thing yesterday was about, but it will probably be awful and unsatisfying if it is ever revealed at all.

Having seen more of this scene, I really hope Les’ fear that his cameo will elicit knee-buckling laughter from his friends, family, and assorted other acquaintances comes true. What better time in Lisa’s Story to bust a gut than this maudlin bit where Les recaps a phone conversation Lisa had with her insensitive doctor? That’s the first and only thing about this Lisa’s Story flick that makes me want to watch it.

This strip is a nice reminder that Lisa’s second battle with cancer was full of bumbling and insensitive doctors: always mixing up important cancer charts and exhibiting awful bedside manner. What timing TB has… I cannot think of a time in my life when fewer Americans would be interested in fictional depictions of incompetent and unpleasant doctors.

And that’s it for me. I cannot say I envy spacemanspiff85, who takes over tomorrow. Good luck to you. You won’t have it, but it seems the right sentiment to express.

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Waitersday, July 22

Today’s strip was not available for preview; I guess that’s a Wednesday thing now. Les is, presumably, still antagonizing over the terrible horrible no-good very bad fate of making a 6 word cameo in a major motion picture. ¡Qué mala suerte!

While we wait on that, why not take another trip in the WABATIUK machine with me and check out a particularly disgusting Act II scene with Les Moore, the Midwest’s greatest monster, and his legendarily thin skin.  Here, less than 3 months into their marriage, Lisa made the mistake of offering up some constructive criticism of Les’ in-progress and all-stupid John Darling book manuscript.  Les acts like Les and Lisa complains about it downstairs in a conversation with co-worker Funky (EVERYONE in Westview has worked at Montoni’s at one time or another, it’s like compulsory military service in countries that have that).  Lisa has Les pegged perfectly…

FW1-29-97

This rare moment of seeming self-awareness from TB about the monster that Les truly is proves fleeting, though. The very next strip, Lisa regrets not giving Les ten thousand words of well-reasoned adulation.  Funky and Tony convincer her to bring him a pizza, and for good measure she stops by Komix Korner on her way home as well.  Seriously,  Les’ oversensitivity is rewarded with pizza and comic books and… an “apology” from Lisa.

This man must be stopped! This film must be stopped! This strip must be stopped!

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Thought-Les

Les, the humorless shmuck, humorless shmucks around in today’s strip.

Nothing – not cancer, not Hollywood, not even the students he loathes so much – seems to disturb and anger Les more (oy, sorry) than people laughing at him over something utterly trivial. Funky and Crazy found this out the hard way 9 years ago, in the infamous “Children left behind” strip. Despite what they are doing in Les’ imagination, I doubt they would be bold enough to so much as chuckle anywhere within earshot of Les again.

Is this how TB’s family and friends reacted to his recurring role as “Art Professor” (I think that is both his name and his profession) in the ongoing live-action saga of The Cardinal, the greatest comic superhero around who dresses like the Iowa State University mascot?

Yeah it probably is. Also, Les himself exists in The Cardinal live-action universe. *shudder*

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This strip’s just six words wrong

Get a load of today’s strip… Les is gonna cameo in this thing?!

I think we’ve all but officially moved into The Producers territory, haven’t we? This Lisa’s Story movie is actually some sort of scam cooked up by Mason, Cindy, Cassidy Kerr, and probably Martin Johns, right? You wouldn’t think anything could possibly make any part of this movie any worse, and then there is the mere suggestion that Les could actually be in the flick. Les’ appearance is inherently negative, it cannot even be neutral. Les, amazingly, realizes this.

And let’s not forget, Mason is getting “points on the backend” for this work as casting director, which has seen him cast three people with no genuine auditions. Gotta be a scam.

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Secrets, Lies and Errors

What fresh awfulness do we have in today’s strip? Oh, just the latest reminder that Lisa’s Story is all about Les… and that anything written or filmed about Les isn’t worth the paper or celluloid it is recorded on.

This is who Mason considers “a real hero”? Someone who apparently told the accomplished and successful actress Marianne Winters to her face that she wasn’t good enough for the role of Lisa? Someone whose advice to her on playing the role of his late wife in a scene where she is preparing to have a biopsy to confirm a probable cancer diagnosis is to think more about HIM?

Les Moore is monstrous cad and in a just Batiukverse he would have been thrown off of a railroad trestle years ago by one of a long list of suspects too long to investigate and whom no jury would convict even if caught.

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Snow Job Snore

Cameras are FINALLY rolling in today’s strip, which is take 3 (why?) of the contents of this Sunday strip from January 31, 1999.

FW1-31-99

Yep, even when it was actually happening, Lisa’s story was pretty much all about Les.

Les didn’t write the script for this movie, and yet, this scene is almost verbatim what was actually said back in 1999. I guess he had nothing to fear after all as the script writer must have been clairvoyant… or perhaps just too lazy to even try to punch up a bland passage lifted wholesale from the Lisa’s Story book.

If Les cannot live through seeing actors recite his own words, he knows where the door is. Even if he somehow didn’t walk through it to get in the soundstage, maybe he parachuted in or was brought in bound and gagged inside of a trunk (my favorite theory), he saw Marianne do so.

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Meeting the Four Hundred

Les just continues to mock Batton in today’s strip. Sheesh, whadda jerk! Apparently newspaper cartoonists were the original social distancing champions, which you probably would be seeing memes about if you were Facebook friends with one. Unfortunately, gags this terrible are not a rare sight in Funky Winkerbean

Emily or, uh Amelia… whichever one wears pink and doesn’t act like what TB imagines a Hot Topic shopper to be, asks a perfectly reasonable question for a “kids these days” kid. Seriously, it is a good question and it demonstrates a knowledge of what a comic strip is, how it is distributed, and its primary measure of success. Batton, of course spins this perfectly fine question into a self-pitying humblebrag so deftly that even Les seems impressed. Newspapers may be dying, but his comic strip is in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ones that remain! What’re you gonna accomplish in your life, Blondie?

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The Thousand Panel Stare

Kids don’t read newspapers or newspaper comics these days… Boo hoo, so sad, this generation is killing the papers and the cartoonists, blah blah blah yackity smackity… Sorry, don’t care. I’ve heard it all before, and in better comic strips to boot.

Today’s strip is bland, rote filler in a dumb, overplayed story arc, but… that second panel. Chuck Ayers artwork since taking over duties in Funky a couple years ago has taken a good step back from the solid work he did for many years in Crankshaft I would argue, but the second panel in today’s strip is a genuinely excellent piece of cartooning. The beady eyes, the nonplussed expressions, the unrealistic density of students packed into every millimeter of the panel… you can practically hear the crickets chirping in background of this non-reaction. It is an extremely rare and truly good thing to see in Funky Winkerbean. What a pity it isn’t in the service of a better joke.

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“Here’s a Quarter…

–call someone who cares.”

For the first time since time immemorial, there’s an actual punchline that’s kind of funny.  A mangled aphorism, sure, but so much better than anything ever featured in Shankcraft.

The fact that the rest of it is stupid beyond measure is beside the point.   Reviewers:  “Yeah, I thought the movie was overly maudlin and treacly, the characters were loathsome, the production values are nil, and I was about to give it zero stars, but the quarter-finding scene turned it into a masterpiece of high art.”

I get it, Batiuk, every single trivial thing that involved Lisa is sacred, no matter what did (or didn’t) happen.   It’s all part of some fantastic mosaic of incredibleness and awesomeness and every person alive (or dead) should go out and a) buy the hardback trilogy and b) give Batiuk all the awards that can possibly be awarded.

There’s no question in my mind that Batiuk is winding this thing down.  The endless descents into utter trivia, treated as if they are gifts from the gods; the settling of old scores; the elevation of the hero characters; and the general disinterest he shows in his writing–all these things point to man who has spent his legacy and just can’t care anymore.

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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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