Tag Archives: Lisa’s Story

The Words Get In The Way

Link to today’s strip.

(Sorry I’m late!  Things…happened…)

Panels one and two are the funniest things I’ve seen in this strip for a long time.  “This is the cover for ‘Prelude'” says Dullard, handing Les an image that’s got PRELUDE written on it in huge letters.  Does Dullard have the same contempt for Les that the rest of us have?  Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all!

Just kidding.  Dullard is thoroughly hateable, and if he likes to insult Les to his face, that’s not mitigating enough.

Normally, the titles and such wouldn’t be done by the artist, but by a typographer–so, if this was normal, Dullard might have to explain which cover went with which book.  But as you can see, Tom Batiuk didn’t even bother to change the author name to “Les Moore,” so this is exactly what it looks like–an advertisement.  Remember that $80 behemoth that Fearless Leader found?  Gotta get the word out!

I still find it hard to believe that anyone could read 862 pages of Les Moore.  That sounds like an elaborate suicide attempt, albeit much more painful than the traditional ones.



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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…


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Punch Me to the Moon

Link to today’s strip

Yeah–that sounds exactly like the way publishing must work.  Let’s take a book that’s already completed and put it aside for a book that’s barely begun, and might take (agonized) years to finish.   In the meantime, the folks who put literally moments into illustrating the first book will wait patiently to be paid.  This is as close to real as it gets, folks!  After all, if top-of-the-bestseller-lists author Les Moore isn’t handled properly, and given all the time he wants to mediocretize, he might skip to another vanity press!   Heavens!

Notice how in just one day, the focus has switched from Darin’s Californian Adventure back to Lisa.   That Pulitzer nomination must be the bitterest flavor Tom Batiuk has ever tasted.  Notice, too, that Cayla shows up just now so she can be further humiliated and placed at the back of the bus so Lisa can ride up front.  I find it very difficult to feel sympathy for her, however, as this is a bus she chose when she fought to get Les as a prize.

I take it back.  The failure of the Pulitzer committee to notice that Tom Batiuk had married his most wondrous character ever to a black woman–that taste must be bitterest of all.


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In which it turns out to be about Les

Oh, the plot turned out to be about how it affects Les? Huh.

The artwork today isn’t bad, and the facial expressions have been mercifully smirkless of late. We see Young Les as he discovers Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe on the in memoriam table. He thumbs through the volume, a look of wonder and bemusement on his teenage features. And then—

Hey, wait a minute! Les never wrote this book; he read it. It is no heartbreaking work of staggering genius. No! It’s a temporal loop, a quantum fluctuation that has existed since the Big Bang itself, a flaw in the matrix, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. Or something.

Still, it doesn’t explain how this innocent boy became an insufferable pedant. It’ll take more than quantum time paradoxes to explain that.


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Fun-ky CancerCancer

SoSfDavidO here! Hmm, it appears that the word “fun” is being tossed around again in reference to Darin illustrating the long battle his mother had with the cancer that eventually killed her. Today’s strip is really a head-scratcher. Usually I’m in the “Ok, Tom, we get it, cancer sucks” crowd” but this week’s crop of strips have flipped around to make cancer seem like it has all the medical annoyance an impacted wisdom tooth.

On top of that, is any of this stuff even cleared with Les’s publisher? I assume Les doesn’t really own the rights fully to Lisa’s Story anymore since he sold the book. I’m sure this being Westview that things will all somehow work out but dumping this box of doodles on your publisher’s doorstep and expecting a book deal out of it seems like a long, long stretch.

Edit: Actually, it would appear that the “How Les Met Cayla” is what Darin has been illustrating this whole time. Sorry for the mixup! *slaps self!*


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Dinner’s Surprising Reappearance

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, now yesterday I’m sure you were thinking, “BChasm says it’ll get worse.  How can it possibly get any worse than this?  It just isn’t possible.”  Well, there you go selling Tom Batiuk short–a mistake you’ll probably think twice before committing again!

And here, today, we finally have it–the entire reason for The Coming Reunion.  Once more bringing out Lisa’s battered corpse so that the whole enterprise can be The Les Moore Show, starring Les Moore, with Special Guest, Les Moore!  “Hey, Les, enough catching up.  Let’s talk about you and your feelings.”

This is truly nauseating.  The space that the slogan occupies on the poster implies that only two people have died from Les’ class (leaving out the fact that Lisa apparently wasn’t in Les’ class).  And so, let’s make sure that the proper one gets worshiped.  Livinia must NOT grab any attention!  I do like the little touch of Lisa herself helpfully pointing with her eyes just where the book should go, then beaming her approval at Mary Sue.   And isn’t it nice that Livinia won’t distract from Lisa by having her own book all about her how her spouse suffered and moaned.  Like the Highlander, there can be only one–even if that one went to a different high school, and graduated in a different year.  Every occasion is an opportunity for Les worshiping Les (assisted by Lisa).  But like the prior question repeatedly asked–why do they need to have a reunion, they see each other every day–there’s another question raised by today’s episode.

Why would Mary Sue Sweetwater need to leave a copy of “Lisa’s Story” for the “In Memoriam” display?

Everyone from Les’ class, as well as everyone else in town, already owns a copy.  They know the story, they are completely aware of it at all times, and they have allowed it to become the dominant narrative in their own lives.  Hey Bull, got turned down for that job?  Well, I got it worse–“Hollywood.”  “Oh, you’re right–Sacred Lisa was about to have her story commercialized.  I’m so sorry for you, Les.”

The Coming Reunion story has now fully grown from a silly story about too much nostalgia into a really creepy episode of self-worship.  (Hey, “Les Whipfors,” a new character.)

My mutant ability to see tomorrow’s Funky Winkerbean (worst X-Man power ever) ends at this point, so I have no idea if I should issue a warning about tomorrow or not…but considering the ride we’ve been on, I think it’s wise to be prepared.

By the way, if you want to see the full cover of “Murdering Les Moore for Dummies” it’s right here.   Before you ask, yes, the fonts are off as it was adapted from a similar book made years ago.  But hey, if Tom Batiuk can recycle things without a care, I guess I can too!


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Sew Me

Is something going to happen here? Why can’t Les just spout this stuff to Crazy Harry back in Westview? The reactions would be about the same. How is this advancing today’s plot at all? Today’s strip is just cumbersome. Mason is trying to be polite but Les is taking his single-word answers as interest.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this story is fascinating. Let’s try an experiment tomorrow, Snarkers. Recite, word for word, the Pavarotti story to a co-worker, friend, family member or mailman. See if they seem even slightly interested.

I’ll do the same and let you know how it goes.


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