Today’s strip was not available for preview. It will no doubt be very disappointing.
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Today’s strip isn’t available for preview. My guess is it’ll be a panel of Pete shrieking, a panel of Mindy shrieking, and a panel of Darin shrieking.
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).
Many thanks to ComicBookHarriet for enduring one of the most tedious and stupid arcs to appear this year, and that’s saying something. As always, though, she uses the opportunity to educate and enlighten us, something this strip couldn’t do if it was forced at gunpoint.
So, on to today. Along with the Sunday strips, those that appear at the beginning of the month are also unavailable. Alas, though, they eventually show up. So we speculate.
The comic book things usually end with the cover, so I doubt that will continue. We already had a “whimsical” Funky strip. I think it’s a little soon to leap back into “Les’ Masterpiece is Misunderstood by Those with Undeserved Power,” but then, Batiuk’s “Lust for Les” thirst is hard to quench.
That leaves Dinkle, I suspect. Excuse me a moment. … Thanks, I had to vomit.
Monday, Ohio is a real place, by the way. It appears to be completely unremarkable…unlike Westview, which is filled with monsters.
UPDATE: So, Les is bothered by a dream, and Cayla offers to listen. Of course she does. She does nothing but serve Les’ every Lisa-related need (and I feel positive the dream will be about Hollywood’s Continued Menacing of Lisa’s Sacred Life). Batiuk, everyone in this strip caters to Les at every opportunity (unless their sole purpose is to deny him, evilly). We all know this, it is the subject of every Les-oriented story you’ve ever made. At least the drawing is pretty decent, kudos to Ayers for at least making the attempt.
Unlike his boss, who can’t even remember his last co-worker’s name.
“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.
Or you could just TELL US what Funky forgot. Geez Louise, this one is glacially-paced even by FW throwaway arc standards. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll turn out to be his tax return and the IRS will arrest him and shutter Montoni’s forever, prompting a town-wide recession and eventual riot in which Les Moore is killed by a vicious mob of unemployed pizza-starved goons. I mean I doubt it, but you gotta have hope. But alas, it’s probably just be something incomprehensibly stupid like it always is.
November 30, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Just where are they going for the weekend?
My hunch was that the Funkman and the missus might be flying to Dallas for their annual physical, as we saw them do nearly 2 years ago, but they’re not due until January. Guess they’ve gone off on a shopping trip. Is this a Sunday one-off, or will we be treated to a week-long clothes-shopping arc, like the one we endured with Les and Cayla last February? Let’s hope not!
Epicus had a great comment yesterday, and judging by the upvotes most of you agreed. There was one thought in particular that gave me pause. He said, “A child could write it. Unfortunately though, no children were available so BatYam took a stab at it…”
When I was younger, I used to do theater. My first role, when I was 12, was the mother in James and the Giant Peach. I was eaten by a giant invisible rhinoceros at the very beginning of the show. I flung myself all over the stage screaming and dying, and I got a pretty big head by thinking I was good at it. That was, until I heard my director say, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”
As near as Grandpa Google can tell me, the actual origins of that famous turn of phrase come from a story movie director George Seaton told about going to see his friend, the actor Edmund Gwenn on his deathbed in 1959.
“All this must be terribly difficult for you, Teddy,” [Seaton] said sympathetically.
Gwenn didn’t buy that sympathy. A smile touched his lips.
“Not nearly as difficult as playing comedy,” he answered cheerfully.
They were his words of exit. His head turned on the pillow. He was dead.
As a kid that pithy little aphorism was a revelation. Melodrama is easy. It’s easy to act, and it’s easy to write. Death hangs like the sword of Damocles above us all, and in time every sword will fall. Who do you love? Your mom? Your spouse? Your goldfish? Find the fear you hold inside knowing they are mortal, and you’ve found the massive emotional button any artist worth their paycheck can push at will. Entire genres of weepy books and Hallmark Channel movies are built on the cheap, baking-soda-and-vinegar, combination of love and death.
Twelve years ago, Batiuk pushed that button. And, go back and read those strips, he was effective.
This strip is cloying. It’s maudlin. And yet, it is 110% more real than anything we’ve seen in years. A mother won’t see her daughter grow up. A father struggles to explain. A child tries to comfort a loved one they can hardly realize they’re about to lose. Death is taking a knife and cutting to ribbons the story of a happy family just as viciously as Rose stabbing a precious comic book.
We’ve gotten none of this in Bull’s death. None. We didn’t see Linda calling her children. We didn’t see the pain of Jinx thinking about how Dad wouldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle. Or Mickey realizing her own kids would never know a Grandpa Bushka. We didn’t linger on Linda’s pain as she sits through a funeral full of terrible secrets, as she comes home to an empty house, as she has to do laundry that will only remind her of her dead husband’s illness.
It should have been easy. A child could have done it. But Batiuk decided to give us a death without really showing the love that death was cutting off.
Instead Batiuk decided to end this arc (for now?) with a week of strips where Linda gets down on her knees in front of his author avatar so she can fellatiate Les Moore’s metaphorical ego-dick.
In the past, I’ve tried to cut Tom some slack. But not today. Please insult this man.