Tag Archives: lost cause

When Time Stands Still

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.

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Die or Die Not, There Is No Try

Today’s strip takes a pre-dick-tably maudlin turn. Like we didn’t all know “Les tries to sullenly undermine this dumb movie thing” was going to be the gist of this story arc.

Even if I wasn’t short on time to write this, I’m wouldn’t archive dive to prove that Lisa did or did not say what Les is claiming at some point in time… because I can quickly and easily point to a time when she pretty much said the exact opposite.

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What’s the deal with Les’ mood?

OK, when I typed “So, what’s the deal with airline food?” in yesterday’s post, I didn’t think Les would seize upon that and give us a airline complaints routine that even Milton Berle wouldn’t steal in today’s strip. I’m truly and terribly sorry. Seriously, I genuinely apologize and take full responsibility for this crime against newsprint. Somebody has to take responsibility…

Les griping about the airline nickel-and-diming him just doesn’t track, as Mason paid for his flight, a fact that was mentioned in the strip as recently as… literally yesterday. Well, I mean, the idea that Les and Cayla were charged extra for their stated “free” trip doesn’t track. Les griping at the slightest opportunity, of course, does. If Les was acting like this the whole flight he should be grateful that he wasn’t tossed out of the plane without a parachute. A nation sighs at the missed opportunity.

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Reqiuem for Methuselah

Link to today’s strip.

And so we come to Saturday, after a week of watching a fat man struggle with exercise equipment while a young woman smirks.

Tell me that description is what keeps Funky Winkerbean in hundreds of newspapers.   “See, there’s this fat, sweaty guy who owns a pizza place, and he’s at the gym!  Isn’t that hilarious?”  Actually, no, it’s not–in fact, it’s not even interesting.   Watching Funky fill Snowball’s gas tank would be just as compelling.  And, it would have the added bonus of bringing back a character we don’t hate–Snowball.

I don’t know about you, but this week has been a difficult one–it’s hard to critique peanut-butter sandwiches.  There’s no level digging, no uncovering of insights, no finding a universal truth, or a moral path, or even an interesting story in a peanut-butter sandwich.  Trust me, this week has been as boring to write about as it has been for you folks to read.

And I’ll be charitable and say that it was probably just as boring, work-a-day, no-satisfaction as it was to create these strips in the first place.  Sometime during the Act III years, I’m sure this set of drawings was tossed off in a day or two and then filed away in the “filler” drawer, to be published any time–just like the “Snowball” arc, no doubt.  I cannot imagine anyone tossing this stuff off with any level of enthusiasm–in a sense, I feel sorry for Tom Batiuk here.  Writing comics that have nothing to do with Les Moore is obviously hard work for him.

One thing that’s really easy, though, is hating these characters.  Just ask Tom Batiuk.  The unabated contempt that radiates from the strip when Funky’s on the screen (like now) can’t be accidental.

If Tom Batiuk can’t treat his characters with anything other than loathing, why should anyone else have a different reaction?  If the puppeteer hates the puppets, the audience isn’t going to like them either.   Which makes me, for the millionth time, wonder why Tom Batiuk goes on with this thing.  Is there a way these characters can be redeemed in the eyes of their creator?

You know, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once threw Sherlock Holmes over a waterfall.   Doyle was tired of the spotlight Holmes cast on him, and he wanted to write about other things.  After several years, public pressure led Doyle to bring Holmes back–in what was probably the best Holmes story of them all, The Hound of the Baskervilles.  Maybe something like that is needed so that Funky will once again interest Tom Batiuk.  I wonder if eight years will be sufficient.  (I also wonder if there’ll be any public pressure, but never mind that.)

Are there any waterfalls in Westview?  Just askin.’

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