Tag Archives: Lisa’s Story

Aw, Poor Les. And Poor Mason, He Clearly Developed Face Cancer Between Panels 1 and 2.

Ugh, this is one of my least favorite parts of this strip. Something ostensibly good happens to someone (Les is getting paid money to make a movie out of their book, meaning there’s at least a chance a story he cares about will speak to people in a new medium, and at the very least more people will read the book, also MONEY, how does that not mean anything to a public school teacher with two daughters in their seventh year of college), and he reacts to it like he just sat on a turd and he’s too crushed with despair to do anything about it but moan.
Even if you want to look at it Les’s way, where he’s worried his beautiful story will be ruined (How exactly do you glamorize “woman dies of cancer”?), he has to just sit around like a wimp about the whole thing, like he’s still the nerd who had his lunch money robbed by Bull (since Batiuk is so clearly still obsessed with high school). Grow a spine and say no if it’s so painful, Les. Especially since you’ve been down this exact road before.  “Gosh, I guess three people who have no real role in my life thing I should do something I’m dreading, well okay, what can you do.”
I know Campbell’s idea of the Hero’s Journey can be cliché often, but it’s worlds better than the Batiuk Method. Here’s some famous tales, as redone by Tom Batiuk;
The Aeneid-Aeneas loses his home of Troy, then sits in the ashes of his home until he dies from lung cancer.
Paradise Lost-Lucifer is cast from heaven, then spends eternity laying where he fell moaning “Why me?”.
Star Wars-Luke whines about the droid he bought blowing up, shrugs and just figures that’s how life is and goes home without doing anything about it.
The Lord of the Rings-Frodo hands over the One Ring to the first Ringwraith because clearly he wants it, and it’s a long walk, and he tried his best, but sometimes things just don’t work out, but he does plan to go home and write a bestseller about it.

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Universal Dullifier

Wow, if Holly uses her one line for the year to endorse Lisa’s Story Done Right, then it must be real important to her. I mean, yeah, her story might be interesting too, since it’s a story of raising a kid by yourself, overcoming cancer, and finding love again and remarrying, but this is all about Lisa.
Actually Holly’s story is way better than Lisa’s, to be honest. Lisa’s story is “Lisa got cancer and died”. Holly’s is about overcoming something horrible and finding new life. Which really does sound like it would make a much, much better movie. I really don’t get what’s so important or inspiring about “a fairly unlikeable woman gets cancer and dies from it” where everyone thinks it would just be amazing movie and cultural touchstone, but whatever, it’s all Lisa Lisa Lisa. Lisa. Lisa.

Can someone please explain what the deal is with Montoni’s and coffee?  Cindy and Mason don’t have coffee so it’s not breakfast time, and I don’t think Montoni’s even serves breakfast anymore.  I’d say the majority of what Cindy and Funky do there is carry around a carafe.  I think it’s just Batiuk’s way of showing “hey, these people are in a restaurant” without actually showing any real work.  Really though, “Let’s go to the pizzeria for some coffee” sounds kind of gross to me.

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Cindy Wants Mason and Les to Do It

What on earth is the right way to do Lisa’s Story? True to life, where it just focuses on Les’s reaction to everything, and skips right over the really difficult and interesting part of how he adjusts to life without her? Or focusing on the ridiculous medical paperwork mishap that anyone who saw it in a movie (or a comic) would say is just laughably bad writing?
Actually I think it’s pretty clear what “the right way” means. Lisa Must Die. Because serious art requires beloved characters to die in a very serious, very profound way. Except Bull. Bull you just knock off as quick as possible so you can get to Lisa. Again.
That “Cindy…?” is hilarious to me.  “Formerly hot girl I used to stare at in high school and have no real meaningful relationship with, do you think I should make this beg life decision?  Because yours is the only opinion that matters to me, way way more than my secondary wife’s.”

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Crap Is On The Other Side Of This Door

I had no idea playing the lead in one (or is two now?) sci-fi movies opens enough doors for you where you can just create movies by yourself. And this is another in the long tradition of Batiuk using “witty” or “funny” sayings that really make no sense, apart from not being funny at all. The doors are already opened, Les. I don’t think it matters what’s on the other side.
Do you think that’s still Cindy there, or just a blonde wig on a stick? They’d both work about as well in their job of sitting quietly while the menfolk handle business, which is all Cindy has done since Les showed up.

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Finally, We’re Getting More Lisa

Well, this is really nice of Batiuk. Having killed off that dumb sporto Bull, he can get back to what his audience really wants-more Lisa. And not just Lisa, but Lisa’s Story, the most amazing and significant cultural product humanity has yet produced. And not just Lisa’s Story, but Lisa’s Story: The Movie, something that has never been portrayed in this strip before.  It’s definitely good he rushed through that whole Very Serious Topical and Prestigious Storyline About CTE for this.  I bet after doing Lisa’s Story 2.0 in the form of Bull’s death, Batiuk figured he might as well just go back to his favorite plot, yet again.
As horrible as this storyline is, I’m slightly excited that something might actually be happening in this strip. But realistically, what we’re probably going to get is lots of strips with one panel of Les sitting at this booth with Cindy and Mason, and two reprinted Lisa panels from 20 years ago. And speaking of horrible, does Les really just keep a pen in his shirt pocket in case people ask him for an autograph? Also, I find it extremely hard to believe he didn’t sign that copy before he gave it to Mason-“To my bent nail buddy-you’re an actor, so keep doing that acting thing!”. But then maybe Mason didn’t pay enough for an autographed copy.

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Chemo-Sabe

Link to today’s strip.

Look, I made a pun!  Based on “kemosabe” and “chemotherapy”!  Do I get an award yet?!  I should go out and stand by the mailbox!

Of course, I have the feeling that Batiuk has used that exact same pun, previously on this long hard slog, so I’m a bit deflated by that.

Speaking of deflated, how completely baffling is it that Lisa is brought up in today’s strip.  It makes it look as if everyone in the entire world was affected by her passing, and everyone must pause and mourn when something brings her to mind.  “Hey, look at this painting, the Mona Lisa!”  (sigh)   “I guess I should sign the lease, uh?”  (moan)  “Okay, I found one, where’s the other shoe?”  (sob).

Because otherwise it just seems like more whoring out of Tom Batiuk’s Greatest Hit, in the hopes that someone, somewhere–anywhere–might say, “Hey, I’ve got an award I’ve got to give out–and it looks like I’ve found someone deserving!”

Batiuk, let her rest.  You fumbled it, and the play’s been called.

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Graphic Drivel

I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”

Well, newsflash!

raph-itsworse

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.

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