This year’s Lisa’s Legacy event is taking place rather early. When the Act III curtain rose twelve years ago, Bull Bushka presided over the Lisa’s Legacy Walk while Les and Summer took part in the Making Strides walk in Central Park. Let’s recap events of the years since.
2008: Cory steals the cigar box containing over a grand in registration fees; Funky writes a check to keep his delinquent son out of trouble.
2009: Cayla and Keisha get roped in to volunteering; Cayla’s reward is to get schooled by Les on exactly how Lisa made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
2010: Even ten years ago, Funky was complaining of his physical ailments.
2011: It rains.
2012: Instead of a week-long arc, the Run occupies a Sunday strip in fiery autumn hues.
2013: This time Funky needs to be attended to by an EMT.
2014: The 15th annual LLR is noteworthy for the black, not primarily pink, tee shirts worn by the participants, and the black comic border and muted palette; not TB’s usual fall riot o’ color.
The Run wasn’t featured in 2015, and again was a Sunday-only in 2016. The Mentor (Ohio) Rotary took over the event in 2017, in order to allow Les more time for his book tour.
In 2018 and 2019, The Run was apparently pre-empted by prestige arcs: Wally and Adeela and the Death of Bull, respectively. This year’s real-life event doesn’t appear to be happening, no doubt on account of Covid.
Hope everyone’s enjoying a nice Labor Day Weekend!
So Les is back in Westview for the Lisa’s Legacy Run. And Mason, Cindy, and Marianne surprise him by showing up. And “Cindy is shooting footage of us running the race today…” For use in the movie? Will Marianne and Mason be running in character as Lisa and Les? Cindy’s a cinematographer now? Wouldn’t they need permission to shoot? And two movie stars and a former network news anchor are just hanging out, not attracting attention from anyone beside Les. Such disorienting plot “developments” have been Funky Winkerbean‘s stock in trade since mid-Act II. Let’s talk instead about the deteriorating draftsmanship in this comic strip.
The only modification I’ve made to this panel was to remove the dialogue balloons, or “word zeppelins,” in order to allow us to better appreciate this Mount Rushmore of melting faces. Les suffers the least, as his goatee in profile always looks like shit. Mason sports an even goofier than usual expression. Cindy is droopy-eyed, and Marianne’s head is on a stalk.
Tom Batiuk writes and “inks” FW, but for the last two years the strips have been penciled by Batiuk’s ol’ Kent State pal Chuck Ayers. Ayers has partnered with TB in this way since the mid 1990’s, in addition to drawing Crankshaft for 30 years. In March 2017 Ayers gave up both jobs to pursue other interests, but returned following the tenure of Rick Burchett, who turned out some of the most horrendous, slapdash, off-model draughtsmanship since another noted comics artist, John Byrne, was at the drawing board.
Ayer’s Crankshaft strips always seemed to me to be much better and more naturally drawn than Funky Winkerbean. And the aforementioned Messrs. Burchett and Byrne were renowned, more-than-capable comic book artists. I’m bringing all this up because I wonder if a requirement of working as Tom Batiuk’s penciller is having to “dumb down” one’s ability closer to Batiuk’s level. In this way, the guy who got laughed out of New York by Marvel and DC gets to hire real artists, and then
pin clip their wings.
We’re still in Crazy’s AV lair in today’s strip. When did Crazy become some sort of AV guru, a guy who owns shelves of different media players? I don’t even remember if he ran the projector back in Act I but now he’s going on about Bull’s sweet splice repairs. I’m a noted Betamax enthusiast who can talk at length about the late 80s rise in use of VHS cases and labels for Beta cassettes but I don’t say things like that.
One might wonder why Bull, who has both a fairly high opinion of his AV skills and lots (lots!) of free time, doesn’t simply buy or borrow the equipment and convert these tapes to DVD himself. One might also wonder why Bull, if he has such skills that he can splice videotape in a “sweet” manner, was never tasked with putting up any of Westview High’s legendary badly taped signs.
Well, whaddaya know? Linda finally gets Bull out of the house in today’s strip… and they promptly go in search of a way for Bull to continue to stay inside for days watching videos of himself losing high school football games.
They want DVDs? Crazy can convert things to digital files for storage on a computer and upload to Youtube, you know. He may even throw in some background music and artsy wipes!
Crazy seems a tick disturbed that the Bushkas have barged into his AV lair, demanding that he provide hundreds of dollars worth of services (presumably) gratis. However, when you are known as the guy bakes tapes and buys head cleaner, you are pretty much asking for weirdos to walk in on you with crates full of videocassettes. Not to mention that the outside of his place looks like this:
Oh, so now Linda wants Bull to do something other than binge videocassettes and relive his days as the best player on a winless high school football team? In today’s strip, she has finally decided to stop enabling him and wants him to do something he has not done since, uh…
– his retirement ceremony in 2016?
– he dropped that glass of water (a glass glass by a water cooler)?
– the tennis match where Les triggered his CTE?
However you want to define it, it has certainly been awhile.
Well, with a broken VCR, maybe Bull and Linda will finally get to doing all of that stuff they planned to do in retirement while Bull “still can”…
Or maybe they’ll go and find a way for Bull to continue watching the ’77 Scapegoats get their teeth kicked in so badly that the Centerville team that starts kneeling the ball in the 2nd quarter.
What do you all think is more likely?
Link To Today’s Snore
(Zzzzzzzzz)….oh, what? Sorry, accidentally dozed off there for a minute. Bull and his new best pal Buck are still lounging around in Bull’s rec room, apparently watching some old high school football games instead of “Law And Order” or “Diagnosis: Murder” reruns like normal dementia patients do. This Buck asshole…who still wears his old high school football letterman’s jacket…is apparently a little behind the times regarding his ol’ alma mater’s recent football history, which makes no sense outside of the usual FW context. Within it, though, it makes total sense.
Anyhow, upon realizing that Bull’s old squad defeated their long-time gridiron rivals, BanTom has this Buck asshole engage in that holiest of masculine meathead jock rituals, that being the “fist bump”. They’re just two manly men reminiscing over that which they’ll soon forget, in other words a regular weekday evening in Westview.