Tag Archives: silhouette

Too Much Tanning Causes Burns

Today’s strip was not available for preview. I predict it’s either a single panel of Cindy and Marianne in bikinis, with Cindy bemoaning her figure, or Jeff in a cave pretending to be a spaceman. Or, knowing Batiuk, it could be Buck coming to visit an inexplicably alive Bull.

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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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Doo Diligence

Link To Today’s Strip

So Mason is insisting on holding a phony casting call just to assure Les that he’s putting every available resource into finding the perfect Lisa, even though he’s already decided who’ll play her? So they’re going to waste thousands of dollars and everyone’s valuable time just to put the smug bearded dick with ears at ease? BatHam’s insane “inside Hollywood” fantasies are spiraling out of control again. This is the most laughable cancer movie premise yet and they haven’t even settled on the cast yet. For anyone else setting your story on the set of a Hollywood movie would have all sorts of potential, but just like with Starbuck Jones he instead opts to focus on the most mundane aspects, like picking up a guy who’ll be sitting in during casting. Yet another fanciful sub-universe full of lore, characters and lingo where absolutely nothing ever happens. Sigh.

Why is Cindy always chauffeuring Les around? Isn’t she some sort of newscaster? It always amazes me how everyone in the Funkyverse always seems to have nothing better to do at any given moment. “The same driver”…he mentioned another arc, albeit a way more recent one this time. He’s suddenly doing that all the time and I find it kind of unnerving.

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The Lifetime of a Role

Link to today’s strip.

Charles: I just realized that with Mason being on the masthead, the guy tailing Les is Mason, who is surreptitiously researching Les for his role.

Holy moley, I think that’s got to be correct.  It’s so utterly stupid (on Batiuk’s part, I hasten to add) that it has to be real.  I can just see Mason thinking (if that’s the right word) “I’ll follow Les as he drives to and from work, so I can get his driving pattern down perfect, for the movie to be real.”  (Let’s not bring up that it’s actually Cayla driving.)

Because I can just as easily see someone in the Valentine audience wrinkling his face with disgust and saying, “This movie is total garbage.  Everyone knows Les does a ‘rolling stop‘ when he drives away from the high school.  He also tends to weave leftward.  I’m leaving and I want my money back.”

Because I can thirdly see Mason imagining the above scenario, and breaking out into a cold sweat.

Speaking of cold sweat, our “mysterious” driver seems to be experiencing one, despite the fact that a) he could simply go around and continue on the road, and thus allay suspicion, and b) the sight of a racing Les, arms flailing, is one of the most hilarious things this strip has shown.   Our mystery driver should be shaking with laughter.

It’s a pity that “Shoot!” in panel three is just a thought balloon, rather than an order to a guy with a shotgun sitting in the passenger seat.  That would lead to the greatest Saturday strip in the history of Funky Winkerbean.  I wouldn’t even mind the sideways comic-book tribute Sunday strip showing the funeral.

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Dreaming of Sleazebags

Link to today’s strip.

Well, I guess the dream is over, as Les pivots from a dream that kept him tossing to now note how he’s “thinking” about Frankie.    Maybe Batiuk doesn’t know the difference between dreaming and idle musing, but I’m pretty sure the latter is how he gets all his “ideas.”  But look at Cayla in panel one!  That’s the face of someone who is soaked in regret.  I’ve never seen weariness, God-am-I-sorry-I-asked, Please-Stop-Talking so well portrayed, so kudos to Ayers again.

And of course that’s Frankie in panel three.  What exactly is he going to do?  Demand that he be in the movie, or get money from the movie, because…reasons?  He has no relation to anyone still alive other than Dullard.  He certainly won’t have anything he can use as leverage over Les.   If the movie was “Dullard’s Story” he could, perhaps, claim to be an integral part but it isn’t so he can’t.  I am genuinely curious as to what kind of scheme he’s going to launch, despite the fact that Batiuk always disappoints.

I guess since the movie version seems to be moving along nicely, Batiuk needed a villain and, well, why not Frankie.  More Hollywood types whining that “Lisa’s Story” won’t play in China might have been too much repetition, even for Batiuk (hard as that is to believe).

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The music of the years gone by.

Link to today’s strip

Except he wasn’t named for a sandwich, Pete. According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael was named after a circus troupe called the “Hoaglands” that had stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy.

And we keep slipping further back in musical history, because ‘Stardust’ was recorded in 1927. I expect tomorrow we’ll be referencing ‘Maple Leaf Rag’, and by June Ruby will have pulled out a phonautograph to listen to the 1860 recording of ‘Claire De La Lune’.

At least Stardust has become something of a timeless classic, with famous covers by Sinatra, Louie Armstron, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Willie Nelson, and Fred Flinstone.

So don’t besmirch the Hoag for his weird name dear Pete. Then man wrote hundreds of songs, over decades, including ‘Georgia On My Mind,’ ‘Stardust’ and ‘Heart and Soul.’ HEART AND SOUL, Pete! The only song other than ‘Chopsticks’ passed around from one unlessoned kid to another via church basement pianos and children’s keyboards for decades immemorial. The song 70% of the population would try to plunk out if tied to a piano and told to play something under pain of death.

You will never, in your entire life, do anything that could even come close. Stardust was chosen by Library of Congress for the National Recording Registery. All you’ve done is come up with a handful of pathetic comic characters with even stupider names than Hoagland flailing their way through inane plots, barely earning you a footnote in history, Tom.

Um, I mean, Pete.

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China Hates Lisa

today’s strip

Man, that Les face in the first panel is priceless.  Poor, poor Les.  Being forced to have a movie made of Lisa’s Story.  If only he could say no.  Which he could, of course, but won’t, because he’s a whiny child.  A whiny child who called his wife up to whine about the travesty being done to the memory of his dead wife.  Which, if it’s not the world’s story, then why did he publish it in a book as “Lisa’s Story”, exactly?  

This really is Les at his most insufferable.  I have an extremely hard time believing that even Batiuk thinks Les is sympathetic or at all likeable, but apparently he does.

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The Les You No

Today being 4/20 and all, I found it perfectly appropriate that Mason’s contact photo on Les’ phone should be a picture of some cannabis. But the “trees” we’re looking at in today’s strip are the kind that “don’t provide any shade,” not the kind you smoke. So, the Lisa’s movie is already in the pitch meeting stage, is it? Normally, this would mean that the screenplay’s been completed. Otherwise, they have nothing to “pitch.” Of course, normally, location scouting for a major motion picture takes place after the script is done, and by someone (or a team of people) whose job it is to scout locations; not by the leading man/exectutive producer taking pictures with his cellphone.

Les, perhaps still smarting over his students’ shabby treatment of Batton Thomas, shows little enthusiasm over going to Hollywood to pitch the movie. This sends the normally mellow Mason into a tizzy, demanding that Les join him immediately, his teaching job be damned. Mason is hellbent on involving Les in every single aspect of this movie project, but one questions the wisdom of dragging him along to the pitch meetings. Is no one in Hollywood going to be aware that Lisa’s Story already had been optioned and gone into production nearly six (!) years ago? And that, after insisting that he write the screenplay, Les arrived in Hollywood, splitting his time between complaining, daydreaming, and wishing for death , before walking away from and sabotaging the project?

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Get the Buck outta here!

We can only hope today’s strip is the awful coda to this awful story arc about these awful people.

This is why you turned down Buck’s advances, Linda? Not because he was being incredibly creepy and distasteful? Not because you are still mourning your husband who committed suicide not even 6 months ago and don’t feel like jumping into any relationship? Not because you know absolutely nothing about him beyond his high school football career? Not because the only thing you two demonstratively have in common is your late husband?

I agree with Linda on one thing, though. I can’t go through this again, either.

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Break BOTH Legs. And the Neck.

Link to today’s childish whim.

“Okay, so like there’s this guy, Les Moore, who’s like totally awesome and cool, but he’s like real sensitive and stuff, and he wrote a book that, like, didn’t have any explosions in it but was still like the best book ever, and everyone thought it was great.  And a bunch of people wanted to make a movie of it, but they didn’t do it right and Les got sad and stopped them.  But then this good guy named Mason, he was a super cool actor and stuff, and he wanted to make the movie, and Les was like, I don’t like this.  But Mason said he’d make sure it was, like, all done the way Les wanted, and he would let Les double make sure so it was all fine, but Les was like, it’s a perfect book, a movie won’t be good at all.   But they let Mason try it, and he made sure it was all just like Les said it should be, and Les would be there the whole time so he could make sure it was done right and there wouldn’t be any mistakes ever.  And everyone like applauded–all the moms, and the dads, the grandpas and mas, all the rotten older brothers and all of the babies and pets, too.”

I’ve said on a number of occasions that this strip is childish.  Well, it’s more than that.  It’s childish in the extreme, but it is plowing headfirst into infantile territory.

Yesterday, Charles said this (excerpted)

[Batiuk is] so desperate for affirmation, for praise, that he devotes strip after strip pleading with his audience to accept his assessment of his own genius.

I agree completely.  Which is why Batiuk has given us panel three, here–it’s an attempt at deflection.  Oh, gee, I’m so humble and I’m really not worthy of all this attention.  I’m…I’m…I’m flawed just like a regular human.  It rings just as falsely now as it did years ago, when Les asked the CME staff for a “cup of hemlock.”

Would that they had given it to him.   What might have been.

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