Tag Archives: park bench

Wheelhouse of Pain

Link to today’s strip.

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Les Moore is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: No Tom Batiuk has ever made a mistake or distorted information. He is, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men?

Author: What is the law?

Mason Jarr: Research? We ain’t got no research. We don’t need no research. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ research, that is the law. Are we not men?

FW Cast (in unison): Are we not men? We sure aren’t Devo.

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Sentencing The Construct

Link to today’s strip.

I think the original intent here was that Mason would say the production survived various disasters, and Les’ remark was meant to categorize his cameo among said disasters. It’s typical of this strip’s style of “humor,” which is either self-depreciation or a dreadful pun. It’s also typical in that it turns real life suffering into a moment for a horrible person (Les, in this case) to smirk about how he sure suffered too.

But the way Mason’s sentence is built, it sure looks like Les is claiming his cameo is “stellar work.” In which case, ego much, douchebag? Your cameo took take after take, frustrated and angered everyone involved, and actually drove up the budget.

If that’s not the case, then once again Tom Batiuk is taking overweening pride in that which does not exist: his writing ability. He could have taken an extra five minutes and constructed Mason’s dialogue to fix the “joke.” Conversely, I suppose his editors could have fixed it for him, but they’re too busy having a picnic with Bigfoot and Mothman.

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This strip’s just six words wrong

Get a load of today’s strip… Les is gonna cameo in this thing?!

I think we’ve all but officially moved into The Producers territory, haven’t we? This Lisa’s Story movie is actually some sort of scam cooked up by Mason, Cindy, Cassidy Kerr, and probably Martin Johns, right? You wouldn’t think anything could possibly make any part of this movie any worse, and then there is the mere suggestion that Les could actually be in the flick. Les’ appearance is inherently negative, it cannot even be neutral. Les, amazingly, realizes this.

And let’s not forget, Mason is getting “points on the backend” for this work as casting director, which has seen him cast three people with no genuine auditions. Gotta be a scam.

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Secrets, Lies and Errors

What fresh awfulness do we have in today’s strip? Oh, just the latest reminder that Lisa’s Story is all about Les… and that anything written or filmed about Les isn’t worth the paper or celluloid it is recorded on.

This is who Mason considers “a real hero”? Someone who apparently told the accomplished and successful actress Marianne Winters to her face that she wasn’t good enough for the role of Lisa? Someone whose advice to her on playing the role of his late wife in a scene where she is preparing to have a biopsy to confirm a probable cancer diagnosis is to think more about HIM?

Les Moore is monstrous cad and in a just Batiukverse he would have been thrown off of a railroad trestle years ago by one of a long list of suspects too long to investigate and whom no jury would convict even if caught.

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Snow Job Snore

Cameras are FINALLY rolling in today’s strip, which is take 3 (why?) of the contents of this Sunday strip from January 31, 1999.

FW1-31-99

Yep, even when it was actually happening, Lisa’s story was pretty much all about Les.

Les didn’t write the script for this movie, and yet, this scene is almost verbatim what was actually said back in 1999. I guess he had nothing to fear after all as the script writer must have been clairvoyant… or perhaps just too lazy to even try to punch up a bland passage lifted wholesale from the Lisa’s Story book.

If Les cannot live through seeing actors recite his own words, he knows where the door is. Even if he somehow didn’t walk through it to get in the soundstage, maybe he parachuted in or was brought in bound and gagged inside of a trunk (my favorite theory), he saw Marianne do so.

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Abraham, Martin and Johns

Anybody here seen that old jerk Les Moore,
Can you please tell me that he’s gone?
He annoyed a lotta people, readers chiefly among
Y’know I just looked at today’s strip and he’s gone.

Anybody here seen any act-tion,
Can you tell me when it comes on?
There’s been a lotta panels, but it seems nothing has happened
I just looked at today’s strip and I yawned.

Does anybody here get this movie’s appeal,
Can you care when Lisa’s fate is foregone?
They need a lotta viewers, their wallets must be wrung
But it’s being made for an audience of one.

Didn’t we snark on Lisa’s arc before?
Won’t this movie plot and strip end eventually?
Then we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Tom,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him there WAY over the hill
In denial that he’s been there so long.

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Bounce Bored

Could cameras finally be rolling in today’s strip?! Ha ha, no. Tom “Tell, Don’t Show” Batiuk is living up to his nickname again. Whatever was just filmed was “great!”, though. Not great enough to portray in this strip or to make additional takes unnecessary, but still great!

There’s really nothing here, is there? We’ve seen Mason and Marianne in their costumes… we’ve seen the laughably cheap winter park bench set being set up… Les has already reacted to all of this. Did we really need to see Martin Johns say some cliché movie director things and spout some authentic Hollywood jargon? Can we move on to Les’ inevitable griping about what is actually being shot? The sooner we get there, the sooner we get out of this story arc (I hope).

At the very least couldn’t TB have had Ayers punch this up by giving Martin a clichéd old-style Hollywood director’s get-up? Y’know, stupid beret, sunglasses, jodhpurs, oversized megaphone, etc.? And if you’re gonna have Shermy cameo as a cameraman, at least let us see his face!

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Hollywoodnesday, July 15

Today’s strip was not available for preview. Whether it is available for regular view in a timely manner is up to Comics Kingdom and their miserable and often buggy interface that has supplanted seemingly every newspaper’s online comics section. Oh to return to that time a few years ago when some papers let you read comics from multiple syndicates on the same single webpage… or even just a few months ago when I could download a PDF file of the physical paper with my overpriced and constantly-rising online newspaper subscription and read the comics in the pleasant manner that I would in a physical paper. The internet has never been easier to access or more difficult to use… but I digress.

I’m going to assume Les is still in the Hollywoodland Studios soundstage with MariLisa and MasoLes. As both actors are wearing thick winter clothing (in addition to their amazing wigs) in prior appearances this week, I am also going to assume they are preparing to film scenes from when Lisa first figured out something was amiss in her body.  That was back in January 1999.

Lisa and Les, Cindy and Funky, and Lu Lin and Zhang Li all went out into the snow to play football (apparently tackle football?!) in mid-January 1999. Lisa decided to perform a critical self examination for breast lumps after feeling abnormal pain when Zhang Li tackled her to the ground. You know the rest. If you don’t, TB has some books he would like to sell you…

For those that don’t remember (looking at you, TB), Lu Lin and Zhang Li were a refugee couple from China who owned and operated The Jade Dragon (see this handy Act II character guide), a Chinese restaurant next door to Montoni’s. Like everything in Westview that doesn’t involve pizza, comics, or high school, the restaurant eventually went out of business and the couple wisely left town. Montoni’s then expanded and absorbed the space that The Jade Dragon once occupied.

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Point, Les

Link To Today’s Thing

Man, that post title just wrote itself. I’ve been waiting years to use that one. Anyhow, Lisa’s sainted ashes (sigh) are still the main focus, as Mason (who just promised to respect Les’ Lisa boundaries a few months ago) is poking and prodding him to give up the EXACT SPOT where Les dumped Her ashes, as if anyone would actually care. It’s so weird when Les isn’t the sickest and most morally repugnant character in a story, you know? I mean how long is this movie going to be? How many downer endings will it have? Ten? Twenty? Does it start when they meet? When they get married? I KNOW I definitely don’t want to relive THAT wedding (look it up). Is there an intermission after she dies? Sigh.

Coming soon: “Lisa’s Story Part II…The Re-Lisaning”, the follow-up to Mason Jarre’s 2020 smash hit film. Watch as Les blithely ignores his new still-living wife…again. With forty-three hours of never-before-seen “behind the scenes” footage.

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Bench+Leaves=Double Symbolism

There are so many times I’d love to have an honest talk with Batiuk about this strip. Like this week’s story. Are we honestly supposed to feel bad for Les here? “Aw, poor Les, he got peer pressured into doing something he doesn’t want to do.”, or something? I mean, he’s an adult, if he’s already regretting it, he can say “Actually Mason, I don’t want to do this.”. Or he could, once again, act like an adult and accept it and make the best of it. Batiuk so often goes for “deep and conflicted” but hits “in need of intensive therapy” instead. I wonder how soon Les is going to hallucinate a talking blue cat?

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