And we’re back to Les’s cameo in today’s strip. I dunno what that golf thing yesterday was about, but it will probably be awful and unsatisfying if it is ever revealed at all.
Having seen more of this scene, I really hope Les’ fear that his cameo will elicit knee-buckling laughter from his friends, family, and assorted other acquaintances comes true. What better time in Lisa’s Story to bust a gut than this maudlin bit where Les recaps a phone conversation Lisa had with her insensitive doctor? That’s the first and only thing about this Lisa’s Story flick that makes me want to watch it.
This strip is a nice reminder that Lisa’s second battle with cancer was full of bumbling and insensitive doctors: always mixing up important cancer charts and exhibiting awful bedside manner. What timing TB has… I cannot think of a time in my life when fewer Americans would be interested in fictional depictions of incompetent and unpleasant doctors.
And that’s it for me. I cannot say I envy spacemanspiff85, who takes over tomorrow. Good luck to you. You won’t have it, but it seems the right sentiment to express.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! After a week of setup for this cameo and its single, six word line, Les flubs it in today’s strip? Who could have possibly seen this coming?
At least the narrative has inched along despite wasting 14 panels on reusing the most cliche gag about acting in history. Mr. Director himself, Martin Johns, confirms what we all suspected since we first saw that laughable park bench set being put together… this film has next to no budget. Unless he’s just being dramatic about the tire fire that Les has turned this scene into, in which case we’ve gone no where on this story arc in a week and a half.
Cameras are FINALLY rolling in today’s strip, which is take 3 (why?) of the contents of this Sunday strip from January 31, 1999.
Yep, even when it was actually happening, Lisa’s story was pretty much all about Les.
Les didn’t write the script for this movie, and yet, this scene is almost verbatim what was actually said back in 1999. I guess he had nothing to fear after all as the script writer must have been clairvoyant… or perhaps just too lazy to even try to punch up a bland passage lifted wholesale from the Lisa’s Story book.
If Les cannot live through seeing actors recite his own words, he knows where the door is. Even if he somehow didn’t walk through it to get in the soundstage, maybe he parachuted in or was brought in bound and gagged inside of a trunk (my favorite theory), he saw Marianne do so.
Anybody here seen that old jerk Les Moore,
Can you please tell me that he’s gone?
He annoyed a lotta people, readers chiefly among
Y’know I just looked at today’s strip and he’s gone.
Anybody here seen any act-tion,
Can you tell me when it comes on?
There’s been a lotta panels, but it seems nothing has happened
I just looked at today’s strip and I yawned.
Does anybody here get this movie’s appeal,
Can you care when Lisa’s fate is foregone?
They need a lotta viewers, their wallets must be wrung
But it’s being made for an audience of one.
Didn’t we snark on Lisa’s arc before?
Won’t this movie plot and strip end eventually?
Then we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.
Has anybody here seen my old friend Tom,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him there WAY over the hill
In denial that he’s been there so long.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. Whether it is available for regular view in a timely manner is up to Comics Kingdom and their miserable and often buggy interface that has supplanted seemingly every newspaper’s online comics section. Oh to return to that time a few years ago when some papers let you read comics from multiple syndicates on the same single webpage… or even just a few months ago when I could download a PDF file of the physical paper with my overpriced and constantly-rising online newspaper subscription and read the comics in the pleasant manner that I would in a physical paper. The internet has never been easier to access or more difficult to use… but I digress.
I’m going to assume Les is still in the Hollywoodland Studios soundstage with MariLisa and MasoLes. As both actors are wearing thick winter clothing (in addition to their amazing wigs) in prior appearances this week, I am also going to assume they are preparing to film scenes from when Lisa first figured out something was amiss in her body. That was back in January 1999.
Lisa and Les, Cindy and Funky, and Lu Lin and Zhang Li all went out into the snow to play football (apparently tackle football?!) in mid-January 1999. Lisa decided to perform a critical self examination for breast lumps after feeling abnormal pain when Zhang Li tackled her to the ground. You know the rest. If you don’t, TB has some books he would like to sell you…
For those that don’t remember (looking at you, TB), Lu Lin and Zhang Li were a refugee couple from China who owned and operated The Jade Dragon (see this handy Act II character guide), a Chinese restaurant next door to Montoni’s. Like everything in Westview that doesn’t involve pizza, comics, or high school, the restaurant eventually went out of business and the couple wisely left town. Montoni’s then expanded and absorbed the space that The Jade Dragon once occupied.
Using every word
Today’s strip‘s whole dialogue
Can make a haiku
“The hair color is
wrong isn’t it?” “I believe
The next line is yours.”
The wrong hair color?
Looks pretty darn close to me
Not that viewers care
Masone’s Les costume!
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Good grief that’s funny!
Oh man, that hairpiece!
Did some poor fellow mold it
From latex and tar?
Maybe that’s not it
Maybe that is matte black paint
On Bull’s old helmet…
Why is Les quiet?
He wanted accuracy
Now he’s getting it
Not a good start here
This flick is gonna be bad
Worse than Money Plane
Praise be! Les has been rendered speechless in today’s strip!
There were those who said it couldn’t be done… heck, I was one of them, but here we are. I can’t say I’m not relatively grateful to start my blogging stint off with a strip where Les doesn’t speak. Such strips are as rare as Pete and Durwood being productive, so I’ll note them.
That said, I’m not sure why Les is reacting with such slack-jawed shock at the sight of MariLisa. He’s seen Lisa so so so many times since her death, and I’m not even counting the thousands of times he probably watched those dang videocassettes, so how is this in any way weird for him?
–call someone who cares.”
For the first time since time immemorial, there’s an actual punchline that’s kind of funny. A mangled aphorism, sure, but so much better than anything ever featured in Shankcraft.
The fact that the rest of it is stupid beyond measure is beside the point. Reviewers: “Yeah, I thought the movie was overly maudlin and treacly, the characters were loathsome, the production values are nil, and I was about to give it zero stars, but the quarter-finding scene turned it into a masterpiece of high art.”
I get it, Batiuk, every single trivial thing that involved Lisa is sacred, no matter what did (or didn’t) happen. It’s all part of some fantastic mosaic of incredibleness and awesomeness and every person alive (or dead) should go out and a) buy the hardback trilogy and b) give Batiuk all the awards that can possibly be awarded.
There’s no question in my mind that Batiuk is winding this thing down. The endless descents into utter trivia, treated as if they are gifts from the gods; the settling of old scores; the elevation of the hero characters; and the general disinterest he shows in his writing–all these things point to man who has spent his legacy and just can’t care anymore.
Is this today’s strip or the October 26 strip?! No, it is today’s… and it leaves us in the exact same place we were in October. THE. EXACT. SAME. PLACE.
Masone promises a “shopping agreement”, explains that he has to sell Lisa’s Story to some powers-that-be, assures him of his good intentions and that he is making the right decision by letting Masone pursue this stupid movie thing, Les prepares to wait for the shopping agreement in a snit… scene. It’s the exact same thing we got in October with two exceptions:
One, this week of Masone-wants-to-make-a-Lisa’s-Story-movie strips was preceded by a week of Les and Cayla arguing about whether or not they should fly to California to discuss with Masone the fact that he wants to make a Lisa’s Story movie. We wasted this week on repeating the October scenario PLUS the week of Les and Cayla debating whether to take the stupid trip… the trip that could have been resolved with a 15-minute telephone call!!!
Two, this week ends with the unfortunate promise of future strips in which Les takes Masone around New York for some unbearable Lisa reminiscence, undoubtedly griping all the way.
Misery. Sheer misery.