It looks like we get one of this strip’s patented jogging gags in today’s strip. Looks, however, can be decieving.
No, I would not classify today’s gag as a jogging gag. It is haplessness gag, a staple of Act I reconfigured to fit the age of the strip’s main characters. Back in Act I it was Les and Dinkle’s pupils who were most often the butt of such jokes. Now in Act III, Funky has assumed Les’ former role, his pitiful sole can’t keep from stumbling over the same little rock over-and-over as he tries and fails to get some much-needed exercise. Les has kind of assumed Dinkle’s role, lording his perfection over the morons surrounding him. Act I, however, was sometimes self-aware about how irritating Dinkle’s behavior was. Can we say the same about Act III?
It also looks like Les, who gave Durwood “the bum’s rush” yesterday so he could get to work on his new/old Lisa project, is procrastinating again. This look is not deceiving.
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.
Hello loyal SOSFers, noted Betamax enthusiast billytheskink here for another couple weeks at the helm. My goal today is simple, to see if I can get more writing done than Les did over the last couple months. Let’s dive in:
Here’s the link to today’s strip.
Let’s see; 1, 2, 3… 6. I wrote six words! “Once upon a time” is; 1, 2… 4. Four words. Mission accomplished!
Also, major newspapers across the country are now printing and delivering today’s strip, in which an adult son ogles a photograph of his late mother from when she was in high school while telling her widower about how attractive she became after high school. And we all called Pete the creepy one…
For reference, Lisa looked like this for much of Act II:
Durwood, meanwhile, looked like this before his nose went all Pinocchio/Jughead/Doonesbury in the early 2000s:
Separated at birth? Why yes, actually, they were.