Tag Archives: Les in pain

The Moore I See, the Les I Know

Y. Knott
October 14, 2022 at 11:19 pm
Someone…could cobble together a pretty good Sunday strip using the strips of just the 10th, 13th and 15th. Just put ’em together in that order, and you’ve actually got something.

Switching from spectacles to a monocle actually would not make Les any more pretentious.

Three days setting up Funky and Les taking on some teens in a game of tackle, then one day depicting actual play, followed by three days of Funky and Les walking away, bruised and bettered. Still, this goofy but harmless football arc actually was…well, pretty tolerable. Certainly, no one doesn’t like seeing Les in serious pain. And I’ll say it again, the art this week has been above par…BatAyers even went to the trouble of creating no fewer than eight distinct, diverse Anon-o-Teens. But how did we get from “Let’s fix that!” to “Can you fix your glasses?”

If the plan going in was “to show these kids how it’s done,” I guess that’s been accomplished, even if these kids clearly were not impressed. Of course, what this really was all about was righting a fifty-year-old wrong by Funky allowing Les to finally “feel more a part of things.”

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I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass(es)

Banana Jr. 6000
October 14, 2022 at 11:19 am
On Monday, Funky said “Let’s fix that (meaning, throw Les the ball) and show these kids how it’s done!” They did exactly that. So why are they suddenly beaten down and laughed at? We’re left to guess. Batiuk basically makes you write the story for him. He thinks he’s being subtle by not telling you anything.

“Let’s fix that!” strikes me as a mantra for the latter half of Act III Funky Winkerbean. As this 50-year old comic strip approaches its twilight, Batiuk is busy retconning (and/or outright forgetting) established themes. Bull never really beat Les up; he was actually protecting his nerd friend from the real bullies. Yeah, the kids all picked on Wicked Wanda, but as adults they would be made to seek her forgiveness. Continue reading

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Truly Badly Deeply

That was a perfectly executed pass, and it had to have been good for at least a first down. So why are the opposing teens laughing and pointing at Funky and Les?

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Very Necessary Roughness

be ware of eve hill
October 10, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I’m not sure what’s going on with the Les face in the SOSF banner, but I hope it means seeing Les gang tackled by a stampede of teenagers.

Rusty Shackleford
October 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm
The banner promises some good strips…who wouldn’t want to see Les get obliterated in the most painful way possible?

I do have fun updating the banner on this page each week. But that image of Les’ fearful mug from today’s strip is so hilarious, I was almost tempted to feature it permanently. Funky, who just weeks ago struggled on the tennis court wearing orthotics on his wrist, elbow, and both knees, positively drills a pass, the trajectory of which somehow becomes an arc, which spirals right into the birch-branch arms of terrified Les. At the instant the ball arrives, so do two defenders, to deliver a punishing tackle.

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Stump Speech

Link to Today’s Strip.

Yesterday I did something relatively unorthodox in these parts: I found something to praise Tom Batiuk for. Of course, the overly-long post ended with me screaming at Batiuk in all caps, but that is part of the reason I did it. I never want to get to the point in my beady-eyed nitpicking where everything is a bug to me. Because when I force myself to admit what is good, what is acceptable, and what is innocuous, then when I am confronted with the unbearably bad I can nail it to the wall with confidence.

Today is really really bad guys. Just so bad. This is worst-case-scenario Les Moore at his most insufferable. Self-pitying, sarcastic, complaining, self-absorbed, quipping without being clever. The strip is worse than pointless. It’s not funny. It does nothing to further any ongoing plot, or even advance the conversation in a meaningful way. And the only way it develops character is to further metastasize the tumorous-asshole side of Les’ personality.

And it’s a shame. Because the art today is kind of interesting. One, Les is in pain in panel 2. Which is always nice to see.

And two, he’s putting a pumpkin on a stump.

I can only assume that it’s the stump of the large maple tree in their front yard that was cut down back in 2015.

And before we have our normal reaction, ‘Ah, a relic of Dead St. Lisa, of course it is fetishized,’ the tree was also a favorite of Cayla’s, who wanted to be married under its branches, and felt like the tree was ‘part of the family.’ Plus, Summer grew up eating the fallen leaves from under that tree.

I understand grief at the loss of a tree. Emerald ash borer beetles came through my state a couple years ago and took out seven massive beautiful ash trees on my parents’ farm. It makes me sad in a very Batiukian way, wandering across the acres of yard at home, and so many sentinels of my childhood are missing. Nothing left but weed filled dimples where oceans of shade once marked out the borders of fantasy continents.

Les and Cayla left the stump of the tree they were married under. They’ve left it for years. They decorate it in the trappings of fall it can no longer produce. Because they’d rather have the reminder of the tree for a while longer, than a pristine yard. And all of this is told visually. It develops their characters much better than the awful dialogue on display today. It rewards long time readers. It gives the strip a continuity of place. And there’s that word again, continuity.

When Batiuk chose to have his strip move forward in time, he subjected his strip to the harsh and beautiful realities of continuity. In the measured compliments I’ve given the strip the last couple days, I hope I’ve pointed out how continuity can lead to deeper and more meaningful storytelling. But Batiuk wants all the blessings of continuity, without paying the price of its restrictions. He’s not shy about how little he cares. In fact he revels thumbing his nose at it, like an edgy atheist in Sunday School. And that is why his storytelling so often fails, because we don’t trust it any more.

But still. I would miss that tree too. It was a good tree. After all, it once trapped Les high in its branches, to the joy of all the neighborhood children.

And the very first thing it did upon being introduced to Les Moore was smack him right in his dumb smug head.

Our Leafy Hero.

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