I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”
Les. The most dreaded name in the newspaper. The name that even alone evokes the most dire of thoughts. “Les” is the sound that a rattlesnake makes before it dies in a brush fire. It’s the Florida State Police code word for a sinkhole. It was the name of Francisco Franco’s pet canary. It is far and away the worst part of the title of Les Miserables.
I don’t know what possessed this poor poor child to wander near Les’ table, but I do know that if he winds up reading Lisa’s Story he is not going put it down disappointed that only one person dies. No, he’s just going to think that the wrong person dies. And he would, of course, be right.
Oh no, Les is back in today’s strip. And along with ol’ smirk n’ shirk we get three would-be nominees for This Week In Milford’s pantheon of hair. Let’s see… we’ve got a phone camera operator sporting a Dave Coulier mullet, a proud Lisa book-buyer wearing the Luke Skywalker, and someone so enthralled with the many justifications for John Darling’s murder in Fallen Star that they are morphing into Albert Einstein. Fantastic.
Well, that took my mind off of yet another strip where Les shows contempt for the people who want to give him money for his work, for a few minutes at least.
Thanks, SOSFers, for putting up with me and TB (mostly TB… I hope) for another two weeks. The unenviable task of covering a crazed bald man palming two imaginary grapefruits (and whatever else next week brings) falls to someone significantly more well-known to the average comic strip reader than Phil the Forecaster, our own Comic Book Harriet. Good luck.
I’m beginning to suspect TB is taking payola from the chiropractic industry when he submits sideways Batom comic book covers like in today’s strip. Let’s make that money go to waste…
This is one of the wackier Batom covers and, frankly, one of the better ones I think. Such whimsy, however, falls a bit flat when juxtaposed with Les whining about having to actually work to promote his books. Work? Oh the horror!
Still talking in today’s strip
Took a creepy turn
So, what is the deal
Les leaves his writing around
Women pick it up
And just like before
The woman who picked it up
Keeps it for decades
Why was this two arcs
Really, a baffling story
Why even one arc
Still, creepy woman
Has not purchased Lisa book
Holding up the line
She kept a high school essay
I just can’t even
Today’s strip finds yet another person who has waited in line to not purchase Les’ book. Slightly more reasonable than waiting in line to actually purchase Les’ book, I suppose.
Les won something when he was in high school? I’m sure the circumstances surrounding that were more convoluted than the making of the Starbuck Jones movie. Les being Les, of course, doesn’t remember someone whose writing was better than his… which I think is a safe assumption given that Les was Westview High’s substitute valedictorian with a C average and that Ms. Nebbish here lived in Centerville before Crankshaft drove its collective IQ down 40 points (he was a Westview bus driver in Act I).
Today’s strip was not available for preview. It is, almost certainly, more of the same book signing shtick. Will today’s customer be totally or only partially clueless as to why they are waiting in line? We’ll have to find out together.
But while we are on the subject of Les’ books, let’s take a brief look back at the promotion for his first book Fallen Star, the John Darling bio and murder-solver that may or may not have actually been released in 1997 or 1998.
Les gets booked on “The Today Show”.
Has a publicity photo taken by Crankshaft’s non-Pam daughter Chris (Barry Balderman cameo in the photo-corner flashback!).
Gets bumped from “The Today Show” because his agent is terrible.
Gets interviewed by some giraffe children for their high school newspaper because his agent is terrible.
Sulks in the park and is found by Apple Annie, a homeless media maven and part-time stalker who would become Les’ publishing agent in early Act III before TB forgot she existed.
Post-script: Chris Crankshaft would later help Apple Annie out of homelessness. They met because Annie helped a lost Crankshaft find Chris during one of his infrequent visits to New York. I think the Batiukverse is shrinking to a singularity…
I don’t know quite what to make of this. Usually I can tell what the punchline’s supposed to mean so I can ascertain how unsuccessful Batiuk is, but this leaves me baffled. Are the Rotary Mentors called “Angels” or something? That must be it.
And no doubt that made Cayla think for a moment that Les had lost his mind before he explained his odd comment. I wonder if she was supposed to (like me) think that Les has gone around the bend and meant that Lisa was going to make sure everything worked by offering spiritual support for the Run.
The Run… God, it’s this dumb thing again. Even worse as they have decided to have printed t-shirts with Lisa sitting on that damn bench, as if that would mean anything to anyone.
Other annoying things: The fact that it’s always called “The Lisa’s Legacy Run” no matter what. That Cayla is apparently packing Les’s suitcase. That Les’s smug smirk appears in every panel where he’s facing us. That Cayla calls Les “The World Famous Author” despite the fact that his signing at the Columbus Museum of Art apparently is a bigger deal than anything he’s done before. And finally, that damn pink shirt she wears.
Anyway, this is it for me. Have fun with Epicus Doomus as he takes over starting tomorrow!