Today’s strip shows the unbelievably named Maris Rogers giving an unbelievable impromptu news cast about the unbelievably petty problem of Les blowing through his monthly copier privileges. But what’s most unbelievable about it is that any student who goes to Westview High would actually be willing to defend this jackass. Les, on the rare occasions when he’s actually shown teaching, is an extraordinary asshole to his students. It simply wrecks my suspension of disbelief that the three students on the Bleat would go up against their principal, in such an inflammatory fashion, to defend this insulting prick. Perhaps that’s why the diminutive Bernie Silver is conspicuously missing.
Btw, I find it instructive that in order to find a sequence of Les actually teaching a class rather than insulting his students over parental permission for a Washington D.C. trip or simply grandstanding, I had to go back nearly five years.
Anyway, if the copier limitations that Les so strenuously protests were so draconian, you’d think the improbably named Maris Rogers (was Ruth Babe too obvious?) would find a more sympathetic teacher than the one who’s been throwing a massive hissy all week before no doubt going back to insult his students yet again.
Today’s strip shows Les continuing to chase Nate around to berate him over his copier use. And not surprisingly, he’s wrong. He’s not being penalized. He’s simply not getting credit for it. He’s not allotted fewer copies than his fellow teachers. He gets just as many, but since he decided to go double sided, he used half as many pages. It’s not Nate’s fault, or the fault of the other teachers that Les was sloppy when heeding the rules.
But I’m more annoyed by the punchline. Batiuk uses a legal term, “don’t make a federal case out of it”, but rather than bringing the Legal Society students in, he brings in the kids in the journalism club (media club, or whatever the hell it is). Wouldn’t a better punchline be “don’t turn this into a front page story”? Or “don’t make a national story of this”? You know, something to reflect the fact that these kids are specifically in the school’s media news activity?
But I don’t know why I’m annoyed. To mix my metaphors, flubbing an open layup like this is par for the course as far as Batiuk’s concerned.
So today Les keeps mashing on the copier, like an unmajestic silverback gorilla, as if mashing it is going to make his problem of blowing through his alloted copies go away.
But it’s panel two that’s the true majesty. Look at that thing. He’s got the aforementioned unflattering angle focusing on his baldness. He’s got the loosened tie that’s supposed to make him look unpretentious and hip but instead makes him look like an unprofessional slob. His eyes are tightly closed like a six year-old’s who’s on a whining binge because his parents didn’t get him the right Christmas present. And finally, there’s that finger that he’s waving as if he’s in any position to lecture his boss about his own wastefulness.
And there’s one more thing, of course. You’d think a guy who’s supposed to be some sort of accomplished writer would be detail-oriented enough to determine from the posted rules whether making a double-sided copy constituted two “clicks” or one. But Les is not that guy.
Link To Today’s Strip
What has he been getting a lot of lately? Compliments on behalf of his dead wife from people who barely knew her? Uh yeah…that’s real normal. Why is Boy Lisa suddenly consumed by things Lisa might have approved or been proud of? And at what point will his actual still-living wife and son receive that same degree of devotion?
Worst of all is how they’ve apparently formed some sort of deep bond over Lisa, exchanging playful sneers and wry banter like they’re old pals or something. It’s a development almost as vile and disturbing as Boy Lisa’s bizarre “mom” fixation is and maybe even worse if it’s going to continue to prompt more artwork like today’s. That stretch is bad enough but that smirk/sneer (“smeer”) in panel two is the most enraging drawing of the year bar none.
Link To Today’s Atrocity
The joke here is that the Lisa Cancer Trilogy collection is so massive, expansive and all-encompassing it’s way too big to fit properly in this weirdo’s dead wife’s Xmas stocking. Imagine trying to explain this strip to someone unfamiliar with the eccentricities of the Funkyverse…
“Wait, the guy is buying a book about that guy’s dead wife as a Xmas gift for HIS dead wife?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“I don’t think we should be friends anymore.”
Three dudes hanging out at a book signing, just shooting the shit about the dead women in their lives. There’s only one “writer” alive today who’d mine that premise for chuckles. This is possibly the single worst Christmas story ever written and this Anon-O-Widower guy is one of BatHead’s most perverse creations ever. A guy who buys “Lisa’s Story” as a gift for his own dead wife…that’s a f*cking warped and disturbing fantasy scenario to dream up, even by FW standards.
A guy met Les at a “Lisa’s Trilogy” book signing and bought a copy to give to his dead wife as a Christmas present. Everyone smirked. This actually happened. We’re through the snarking glass here, people.
Link To Today’s Strip
“Lisa’s Trilogy”…the PERFECT holiday gift for that dead spouse in your life! Flowers, votive candles…that crap is all so temporary and trite. But “Lisa’s Trilogy”, now THERE’S a gift with some serious heft and permanence! Why, in a pinch it makes a totally acceptable tombstone…no worries about grave robbers with that weighty tome sitting on your loved one’s burial plot! And once it gets wet, soggy and frozen you’ll need a f*cking backhoe to drag “The Trilogy” out of there.
And for those still-living readers, what better way to re-live your own sense of deep loss and crushing grief than with a blow-by-blow account of Lisa Moore’s star-crossed poodle-headed life and tragic overwrought melodramatic death? See, some folks DO have things worse than you and you CAN’T do anything about it! It’s almost like an inspirational self-help guide, but the opposite! AND it’s personalized by the author himself!
“To my biggest dead fan…Merry Christmas! Condolences, Les Moore”…with a little Boy Lisa smiley face sketch beneath it. Man oh man, I have no idea what prompted this but Batiuk is going off the Lisa deep end again, killing off EVERYONE’S beloved wife in an increasingly desperate attempt to force everyone to remember his most prestigious prestige arc of all-time. It’s like he knows the ten year anniversary of “Lisa’s Story” is almost up and he’s racing to cram as much Lisa as possible into the strip before 2017 runs out. What a nut.
Link To Today’s Strip
And as the winter solstice draws nigh, The Bearded Dick With Ears shall emerge from his smug frozen tomb to wreak wordplay and sarcasm across the dormant mid-central Ohio landscape, casting his obnoxious shadow as the sun’s rays fade into anecdotes about his dead wife and the horrors of authordom.
Oh swell, just in time for the holidays. Look at him there in panel one…”what a dick” neatly summarizes THAT one. This is some book tour, apparently he’s gracing EVERY town in Ohio with his presence, those poor bastards. “Lisa’s Trilogy” must be really burning up the best-seller list in the “not real book, collection of previously-published old comic strips in book form” category.
And Boy Lisa’s bizarre trek continues unabated today as he wanders around Ohio in a haze, interacting with Lisa’s survivors, replacements and legacy books, pining away wistfully for his beloved “mom” and doing his very best to emulate her special brand of bland and quite frankly annoying saintly altruism. He’s doing a damn fine job of it too, as my desire to behead him has definitely multiplied exponentially ever since this “mom” silliness began.
Les’ hardcore fans are going to freak upon discovering that copies of “Trilogy” exist with both Les’ and Boy Lisa’s signatures. I can easily foresee Ebay bidding wars with prices skyrocketing well into the tens of dollars for that collector’s item. Seriously though, wouldn’t Boy Lisa be entitled to a cut of the sales here? He wasn’t stupid enough to illustrate those books (and come up with the whole idea for “Prelude”) for free…was he? I assume Les secretly hates him because a) he’s Frankie’s spawn and b) he makes a living in Hollywood’s immoral cesspool of Lisa’s Story-ruining fiends and his only goal here is to bleed him dry, but then again it’s entirely possible that Darin is indeed just that dumb.