August 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm
[Les] can’t get past the death of his wife for twenty three years, but most of a city burns right in front of him and he’s back to being the smarmy ass he is in only a matter of hours.
Banana Jr. 6000
September 1, 2020 at 2:51 am
There isn’t even a word for what Les is. He is [one of] the most vile characters ever conceived.
It doesn’t look as if Les is gonna be joining Pete, Mindy, and Jfff on that “first flight” back to Ohio, where the new school year must be well underway. Les waited until school was out to sit in on the chemistry reads, and has been out there ever since. We went two months without seeing or hearing from Cayla, until yesterday when she was the target of Les’ egotistical bon mots.
You don’t have to be a beady eyed nitpicker to view Les and Cayla’s relationship as…unusual. Not the biracial aspect, which isn’t a factor, especially since Cayla’s been completely assimilated. It’s that she’s just so content to endlessly indulge Les’ Lisamania. As Charles pointed out in his comment, it’s been 23 years since Lisa suffered and died. Les still carries that torch while Cayla must tag along carrying the matches.
Link to today’s strip
And here it is. We’ve had to suffer through an entire week of Les whining to Marianne about one woman who died at least 15 years ago in strip time (Edit: twenty-three, ED), while the world is literally burning around them. As day turns to night with nary a word from Cindy, Masone, Pete, or Mindy.
You people have been saying it all week: Marianne has been blandly listening to Les whinge about his manpain, instead of worrying about friends, family, coworkers, or her own property. The girl had more going on for herself when she almost threw herself off the top of the Hollywood sign.
And all so Marianne can watch some video tapes that Batiuk will, no doubt, forget were transferred to digital years ago. So many problems with this. But two stick out in my mind.
One, why didn’t he let her or Masone watch some of the tapes to begin with? It’s implied that some tapes are very private and others are meant for more public consumption, as seen in this strip from Darin’s birthday. Why did you ever think of this as an all or nothing thing?
Two, are you now going to let her watch all of the tapes? Even the tapes that weren’t meant for you? Have you seen the tapes addressed to Summer directly? Or the tape specifically for CauCayla? Are you prepared to override the rights of Lisa, Cayla, and Summer, to have their own private messages remain private?
Who are we kidding? Of course you are. The sum total of everything Lisa ever was or wished is now yours to use, abuse, and change however you see fit. You can tell yourself that you think Lisa would have wanted you to share material that SHE SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU IN PERSON was private. Anything so Marianne can have important moments like this inform how she plays Dead St. Lisa.
Link to today’s strip
Baituk is really desperate to sell some books, eh? First he tells all his Beady Eyed Nitpickers on his blog that in order to truly understand the difference between a ‘retcon’ and ‘direct flashback’ we need to buy and read The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 9. Now he’s referencing some obscure bit of titillation, as if to bait us into buying and scouring Lisa’s Story for the infamous ‘Snow Angel’ incident.
I’ve only got the vaguest recollection of Les spilling this sordid tale to someone else before, and I couldn’t find the moment in the archives. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping our Skinkmeister can give some context to the readers who’ve only been able to religiously follow this strip since the end of the Bush administration.
It’s weird that, whatever the dirty little something was, Marianne is flat out refusing to say it on screen. A slice of life drama like this movie, which seems to be going for, ‘A Marriage Story, but ending with cancer and not divorce’ lives and dies on the simulacrum of realism, and if we’re getting the horrible ‘playground closed for repairs’ bit, then this must be something next level nasty.
Batiuk is probably imagining that we’re picturing kinky, like what Pepper Potts whispers into Tony Stark’s ear in the first Avengers movie. But cute and kinky would make it into an adult movie, as an important establishing moment of vivaciousness and young love. There is nothing a Hollywood starlet wouldn’t say or do if she thought it would increase awards potential.
Except something like:
But what do you guys think? I’d love to see some of your takes on Lisa’s forbidden dialogue.
Link to today’s strip whenever it drops.
Today’s strip wasn’t available for preview. So instead enjoy my favorite comment from yesterday.
Link to today’s strip
Les, I am going to explain this using short unequivocal statements, that way there is no way for your spotty memory and outsized ego to twist my words.
You. Did. Not. Save. Lisa.
All you did was let her out the door first. That’s not a rescue, that is chivalry so lazy it’s a 50-50 shot if it was intentional.
Wally. Saved. Lisa. And. You.
Wally Winkerbean, that poor sad, pizza baking man has had his wife, his dignity, the childhood of his son, his sanity, and his agency as a character taken from him by Batiuk. Don’t you take one more damn thing from this strip’s number one whipping boy, who took all of that abuse, and survived, without a single legacy foundation to his name.
Les, I don’t know if you could ever lay claim to ‘saving Lisa’. Unlike some, I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the Act II drama. But you can’t even really take much credit for saving Marianne. You drove shotgun through a fire, and then carried a woman out the door who really should have been able to walk.
Why did I have to be given a Les arc? I would rather have a week of Dinkle.
Link to today’s strip
As luxurious as Masone’s sailboat looks with just two people standing in it, I doubt its going to be so posh when he crams another five people on the darn thing. Judging by the artwork it couldn’t be more than twelve feet across. Where are they all going to sleep?
They better hope that Jeff asphyxiates in that cave, or they’re going to have to put up with the old guy staggering over the prone bodies on the floor to the tiny cabin toilet every 30 minutes all night long. My advice, put him on the deck and tell him to take a leak over the railing.
Les is giving Marianne some serious side eye in panel three. In a more ambitious strip, or maybe Act II, I would agree with the commenters that suggest we’re about to rock that yacht with a little post rescue adultery. But remember this is Les, in Act III, and the deepest form of intimacy he can show another person is to reminisce about Lisa with them. It’s how he bonded with Masone. It’s how he proposed to his purported second wife on his cancer bench, confirming to Cayla and everyone watching that he sees Cayla as a appendix to the beautiful story of his relationship with Lisa.
And she still married him. Sometimes I think we pity CauCayla too much. She worked at Westview high for years with him. She knew what she was getting into marrying the sad sack. I’m going to give her the agency that Batiuk doesn’t, she married Les for his house and money because their daughters got along. She got money for her daughter’s college, and when Les dies of mopey artist syndrome she gets it all. She’s not sad he’s emotionally distant, she’s relieved.
You go girl!