Link to today’s strip.
I guess one positive to take from today’s thing is that Les is so tiny he’s barely visible. Presumable Frankie zooms off to follow, so he can tell Les he’s the location manager for the “Lisa’s Story” movie or some other entirely stupid development.
And, one supposes Cayla’s “It knows where we live” is probably just more world-weariness. I honestly don’t understand how these people can get out of bed in the morning, since everything is awful and futile and all plans are doomed to failure, and there is no chance of even a fleeting glimpse of happiness. Westview is one charismatic leader away from Jonestown–and that’s only because Les has no charisma; he would willingly serve the Kool-Aid with a smile. “You’ll all be with Lisa soon!”
I don’t understand why Batiuk writes this crap. I know he feels that “high art” is that which shows its depth by being all about depression and darkness and the complete lack of hope…and some works of art embody those things and do achieve greatness. But Batiuk doesn’t have the talent for it, and it’s long past time he should realize this.
But then, some fools nominated him for a prestigious award, because awards are often given to the bleak, and his focus changed forever.
Today, his Titanic is set and locked on course for the iceberg, and it’s far too late to alter course. Shame, really, he could have taken his place with Mel Lazarus, Ernest Thaves, Morrie Turner and Art Sansom. People who could reliably fill a comic-strip space. Nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a worthy occupation and gave some readers a grin or two.
Instead, he turned away and made readers wish that space was left blank. Or had an advertisement for cyanide.
Today’s strip, when it drops.
As usual Sunday wasn’t available for preview. And I’m too worn out to wait for it to drop.
Ironically, I spent the afternoon and evening at my very first college football game. Iowa vs. Minnesota. It was an absolutely awesome time. Iowa fans were so excited when they won they rushed the field, as the ecstatic team held aloft Floyd of Rosedale, still safe in Iowa’s care.
Floyd of Rosedale is an 80 year old bronze pig the winning team gets to keep for the year. It references the time when the governors of Iowa and Minnesota bet an actual live hog on the outcome of the 1935 game.
What I’m saying is football is a, weird, exciting sport, with rich history and traditions. If enjoying the game today was also spiting Tom Batiuk’s horrible CTE arc, then I enjoyed it twice as much.
Link to Today’s Comic.
I would make some kind of comment on Caucayla not knowing the location of the awards because Wimmin Amirite? But apparently Les previously didn’t even know the award existed.
I’ve been to San Diego for a Botcon once in the summer. It was really nice coastal climate, and not any hotter or muggier than Midwestern summer can get. And since when has CauCayla been heat intolerant?
The second panel is pretty great though, with Darin fleeing from a conversation still taking place while Les and Cayla do their best impersonations of Queen Elizabeth, with a wave goodbye more wooden than Cigar Store Indians. Cayla has a halo around her head…perhaps a first miracle on her own path to sainthood?
This art is really starting to annoy me though. Everyone’s face has become interchangeable. You remember when Cayla had a broad nose and Darin had a beak? The artist sure doesn’t. He has two noses to use, C-shaped or L shaped, and he barely remembers which character gets which. Batiuk can’t be bothered to push Burchett for consistency of character design in a strip worshiping comics as an art form next to opera in importance.
Compare with yesterday’s Crankshaft with art by Davis. Look at that detail! He carefully drew the wedding picture on the wall as a totem of the romantic creature in Ralph that the drive-in waitress has reawakened in him.
All Les and Cayla get on their wall is the avant garde, “Grey Rectangle Against Grey Background.”
Link to Today’s Comic.
Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview, so I stayed up till 11:30 central time pressing refresh waiting for this to drop.
And when it did drop…oh how it dropped…It dropped like a wet turd on a soggy carpet. Disgusting, toxic, waste contaminating an already blighted background.
The only joy I’m getting from this is the anticipation of all your comments on it. Attack! Like the Furies of old! Savaging those who defile honor, oath, and the natural bonds of kinship!
Link to Today’s Comic.
Comic Book Harriet back again for another whirlwind adventure through the funny page’s most wry adventure. Thanks to Billy The Skink for easing us through another dull comic arc, this time compounded with sickening romance, subtle sexism, and the good old Westview Nepotism Mafia. (Kudos to whichever StuckFunkian coined that phrase.)
Now I get to enjoy some Les and Darin action, which always has a creepy vibe to it. Like at any second I could start hearing some ominous yet sensual music playing in the background.
One thing I’ve noted over the last couple weeks. Our ‘skilled’ artist has sunk to new levels of phoning it in by drawing eyes as nothing more than tiny dots with eyebrows in several panels, with none of the hint of upper eyelid seen in the usual ‘house style.’ I expect the strip is going to gradually morph into Sally Forth.
Had I known TB was going to gratuitously shill for his next collection of strips in today’s strip, I wouldn’t have plugged his Amazon pre-order page yesterday. Click the link above to the previous day’s post if you want to see it, I’m not linking it again.
So… Durwood first floated this whole “Prelude” idea to Les over a year-and-a-half ago. Les allegedly began working on it shortly thereafter, with his publisher delaying release of The Last Leaf until he could finish it so that they could be released together. In fact, just last week Darin explicitly tells Les he wants to see what he has written so that he can start on the “illos” for the book.
But in today’s strip, Les is just NOW given the idea for the Prequel/Prelude book that he claimed to have started in mid-2015, a book it was definitely implied he was procrastinating on just LAST WEEK?!
I… I mean… Just… Just move on to the next story arc, please.
The Last Leaf, by the way, is going to be an actual thing. That means that, combined with Prelude and the already-published The Other Shoe, this trilogy of books that Durwood has proposed is going to be a real (expensive) thing too.
And to think I said I wasn’t gonna plug TB’s books today…
Today’s strip was not available for preview. If this week’s trend holds true, we’ll be seeing another Les-Lisa milestone. The most likely possibilities:
– Les’ European adventure from 1995 – Where he chased Lisa across Europe to propose to her after Susan sabotaged his original audiocassette proposal.
– The post office bombing that injured Lisa in August 1996 – You can read the whole thing right here on SOSF.
– The Halloween 1996 wedding – With Funky Winkerbean as Spider-Man in the DC-Marvel crossover no one asked for!
– The strip that launched TB’s opus – You know the one…
In case my guesses are totally off, and so no one visiting SOSF today leaves empty-handed, here is Lisa’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
And as an added bonus, I regret to inform you that you will be able to own your very own hard copy of the strip above (and many others) come October with the release of Prelude: Lisa’s Story Begins, available for pre-order NOW on Amazon!
Our old friend the park bench returns from a long absence in today’s strip. A pity that these two are disturbing its peace. Or were disturbing its peace, rather, as Les and Durwood are STILL flipping through old photographs.
You could probably argue that they are flipping through new photographs staged to look like old photographs, as TB redraws all of these flashback panels, but then you’d be debating the semantics of Funky Winkerbean, which (speaking from experience) won’t get you invited to many parties.
Anyways, today’s flashback panels pretty accurately replicate the original strip from August 1993 (The Westview High School class of 1992 1988 had a 5 year reunion? Weird.)
TB has, of course, recapped Les punching out Bull at the five year reunion before, though not with these same panels. It was part of Les’ reminiscence of his time with then-fiancé Lisa after she was injured in the 1996 Westview post office bombing. This was less than three years after the famous punch, by the way. Again, it was a fairly faithful reproduction of the original strip except that Lisa gets a snarkier 3rd panel line in the flashback.
Oh, and if you are wondering what awful thing Bull said about Lisa to deserve being punched… Uh, I’m not sure, honestly. At the most, he was being patronizing to Les while making a mildly unwelcome but factual statement about Lisa. Anyways, Bull was remarkably cool about the whole thing, in an early example of the common Act II trope where Les’ haplessness was played to make others look bad instead of for humor.
More photo album corners and sepia in today’s strip, as Les and Durwood continue to show off their unparalleled procrastination abilities.
So, in a game we are surely going to play all week, did this actually happen this way in Act I? More or less, yes.
The strip from TB’s 2001 rehashing of Lisa’s teen pregnancy is pretty much the same as well, only name-checking Lamaze this time. And let us all be glad that TB is, thus far, not revisiting Lisa the way he did during that 2001 rehash, where he re-drew at least two panels of nearly every single one of strips from the original 1986 story arcs.
While I can’t say this for Act II, I kind of enjoy diving back into the Act I strips, mostly because Les is an idiot and the strip regards him as such. That attitude, sadly, died loooooooong before Lisa did, early in Act II.
I will give Tom Batiuk this, he rarely reuses artwork. Story arcs, dialogue, themes, comic book references, potentially fatal diseases, and whatnot, sure… but not artwork. No, he loves redrawing Act I scenes in his current “realistic” style.
Which we see in today’s strip, where he has redrawn a pair of panels to almost exactly match the strip from May 10, 1985.
Lisa appears less desperate in the 2017 panel than she did in 1985, though one could say she appeared Les desperate in 1985… On the Funky Winkerbean retcon scale this is RETCON NINETY-FIVE. Today’s strip hits RETCON ONE in panel 3, though.
Les, who alleges that he was so in love with Lisa back when this happened, actually asked three other girls to prom before he asked her: Cindy, who Les files a sex discrimination suit against after she turns him down; Allison, who Les asks via world’s worst wingman Crazy Harry; and Tracy, who Les openly insults before asking.
Oh, and he doesn’t appear to know or remember Lisa’s name until after they dance, (in some pre-prom dance in the gym that they are both attending? I can’t quite figure out what is going on.) referring to her as “that girl” in his thoughts before asking her to dance.