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.
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.
Link To Today’s Strip
That certainly escalated quickly. The insane “mom” stuff is beyond snark or parody at this point, as Batty’s endless quest to re-live and bask in the glory of his “Lisa’s Story” heyday has him turning every character in Les’ orbit into Lisa-worshiping drones who never, ever stop singing her praises and spreading The Word. Obviously Boy Lisa has no idea what Lisa would have thought of Cayla, as he barely even knew her and not only that, “what Lisa thinks about Cayla” has already been (ahem) adequately covered.
In “real life” Darin’s friends and family would probably be growing quite concerned regarding his bizarre Lisa obsession. Wandering around Westview talking about her, giving a huge cash windfall to a Lisa charity, always referring to her as “mom” as if she raised him, it’s very peculiar behavior. What kind of father with a child Skyler’s age has time to meander around to book signings on a whim? What did he do, arrive at his parent’s or in law’s house and announce that he was going out to pay tribute to his “real” mother now? It’s deranged.
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.