Tag Archives: the Lisa tapes

Credit Fraud

Today’s strip concludes (we hope and pray and hope and wish) this latest visit from the Ghost of Distress Past. Her Royal Wryness. The VHSaint herself.

  • Special thanks go out to Summer for being a prop with no impact on the story whatsoever, she has already collected her prize of appearing in a full 3 panel strip this week (panels will not necessarily be consecutive).
  • Special thanks also go out to Les for having such an insatiable ego and such milquetoast friends and family that he will continue to receive the unearned praise he has been given for decades now.
  • And extra special thanks go out to Crazy Harry, who demanded nothing but 18 panels of our precious time in return for his brilliant idea of pretending Isaac Asimov invented the concept of recording video using already obsolete technology.

On the subject of 18 panels (well, 16, thanks to a couple of 2 panel strips), this new Lisa tapes origin story actually takes up more column inches than the entire original origin story AND depiction of the recording of the tapes! That took just 16 panels in four strips. For all its faults, Act II got to the point…

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The Les He Knows, The Better

More word zeppelins in today’s strip… Not as bad as yesterday, but still, get your bookmarks out, folks!

You know, this is actually one of TB’s tidiest retcons, probably because it is one of the very few intentional ones he’s ever undertaken. It takes the original scene and changes its context (slightly) by depicting a previously unseen scene. Tidy. The pieces actually fit together. There are no loose ends, deleted original context, or unresolved conflict with the originals scene. See? That’s not so hard.

Heck, as a bonus it even (unnecessarily but adeptly) explains a silly detail from the original scene, why Les has a camcorder and this Hari Seldon story readily at hand as if he was waiting for Lisa to lament about all the things Summer she will never get to experience. Turns out, he pretty much was just waiting on the chance to whip that camera on out.

Tidy as it is, this retcon was no more entertaining or less irritating because of it. In fact, it makes the origin story of the Lisa tapes tremendously off-putting. The focus shifts away from the impending reality of Summer growing up without a mother seen in the original scene to the needs of Summer’s nogoodnik parents… First, Lisa wants to record the tapes so she can live vicariously through Summer’s adolescence in her imagination. Then, Crazy and Lisa hatch this cockamamie plan to let Les take credit for the idea to record the infamous tapes, which only soothes his ego and bolsters his hero complex. These people are awful and I hope I never wind up sitting next to any of them on an airplane.

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Hari Don’t Care-i

I’m surprised it took until today’s strip for the word zeppelins to arrive… but one has docked right at Crazy’s mouth and is unloading such a tremendous volume of technobabble that it threatens to lift the roof right off the porch of the Taj Moore-hal! In explaining the concept of recording Lisa’s advice on video, Crazy somehow spits out 60% more words than Les did in the original take on this story back in 2007. It is almost enough to make you pity Lisa, who apparently had to listen to this verbal assault twice.

Hey, I said almost

I’m not a big Isaac Asimov guy or a sci-fi reader in general, I’ve always been very much a non-fiction reader when it comes to things that aren’t comics, so I cannot tell you how accurate or apt or idiotic or unnecessary Crazy’s rambling is (I can tell you it makes for miserable comic strip reading, but that should go without saying). I suspect we have some folks much better suited to that than me in our comments section, so I will now turn this over to my fellow SOSFers.

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Where there’s an ill there’s a way

So much for Summer’s reappearance… with today’s strip we’re now seven panels removed from Monday’s “Hey Harry! What Brings?” with no end in sight to the sepia-toned sadness blocking Ms. Moore from view. If that’s not bad enough for poor Summer, Lisa can’t be bothered to even mention “her daughter” by name in the word salad she spits out in panel 2.

Are we headed toward another unnecessary and uninteresting retcon?

For years, mankind thought they knew the origin of the Lisa tapes… but they were WRONG.

WHAT IF… recording an incessant number of Lisa’s final few hours on earth wasn’t Les’ idea at all, but instead, the brainchild of a completely different nerdy MAN?

The TRUE origin of the Lisa tapes revealed… This August. Playing exclusively in Funky Winkerbean.

[read in movie trailer voiceover voice]

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It belongs in a mausoleum!

Today’s strip appears to be the latest installment of one of TB’s most recent recyclable story concepts: “old person has a Lisa flashback in front of Summer”. Of course, it’s also the latest installment in his most overplayed story… but we all knew we would be back here eventually.

Just how many Lisa tapes are there? We can see 5 or 6 peeking out of the top of the box Crazy is carrying today, meaning there are probably at least 10 total in the box. The box Summer brought to him close to seven years ago was about twice as deep, also with about 5 or 6 tapes visible out of the top. This suggests that there are about two dozen tapes, over two full days worth of Lisa video assuming she recorded a full 2 hours in SP mode on each tape.

Regardless of how many of these tapes there are, they can’t be much more than conversation pieces now given that Crazy baked them when converting them all those years ago. Not that Les wanted anyone conversing about them despite having 7 or more of them on prominent display in his living room.

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Keep Circulating The Tapes

I suppose it was inevitable… but I had a fleeting thought that we might escape this arc without anyone bringing up the Lisa tapes. Alas, today’s strip has happened. It was a silly thought, really.

Wait, all Les Cayla sent to Marianne was two videocassettes? (apparently) Didn’t Les ask Cayla to send DVDs of Lisa’s tapes? (yes) But didn’t Les also have all of his Lisa tapes on display on the very shelf he just placed Marianne’s Oscar on? (also, yes) But didn’t Crazy convert all of the Lisa tapes to “digital” (and DVD) years ago, negating the need to send any physical media at all? (again, yes) But didn’t the conversion process require Crazy to bake (and likely ruin) the tapes because of their fragility and deterioration? (it did) Beyond that, why is she only returning these tapes to Les now instead of through a delivery company or at the movie wrap party? (because TB has panels to fill)

I suppose the real question here is, did Lisa make a tape about what to do in the event that an actress won an Oscar for playing her in a major motion picture? That might explain why Marianne wound up giving her Oscar away… everyone obeys the Lisa tapes! Sic semper videocassetta!

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The tapes…which tantalize Onanism

Link to today’s strip.

Les’ fetish has never seemed so sick.  Of course he can’t let part of his shrine be glimpsed by an unbeliever.  I’m surprised he’s allowing Mason to touch them.  I’d have thought Les would have punched Mason in the face at such sacrilege.   (Mason:  “Huh, I thought I felt a light breeze just then.  Did I forget to close the door?”)

This and yesterday’s strips really should have Mason backpedaling furiously toward the door, his voice a gibbering quaver of terror as he makes his excuses.  But no, he sees these tapes as some rich vein of unobtainable treasure, sure to give his movie the gravitas it requires.  In this terrible, terrible comic strip everyone worships Lisa.  Not one person sees anything wrong with this.

As seen in the strips highlighted yesterday, even Lisa thinks she is an object of worship.  It’s clear to her that any “other woman” would never supplant Lisa in Les’ heart.  All this “other woman” can do is bake cookies for him, anoint his brow with oil, and make sure the Lisa shrines are properly dusted.  Les’ heart is forever bound to Lisa.  “Moving on” is something that Lisa (and Batiuk) cannot comprehend, much less allow.

Hey, Les, maybe there’s a tape in that bunch labelled “For the actor who wants to produce a movie about me.”  What do you want to bet?  And, if there is…what do you do now?

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“This is the voice of World Control”

Link to today’s strip.

Mason:  “So, Lisa made some videos before she died?”

Cayla:  “Yes, hundreds of them.  We’re all required to watch them.  They cover every aspect of our existence.”

Mason:  “…what?”

Cayla:  “Yes, we can’t make any kind of move, or any decisions at all, really, until we consult the library and find the tape that deals with the issue.  It’s Lisa’s way of making sure she always watches over us, always takes care of us.  I don’t know what we’d do without Lisa.”

Mason:  “Hmm…let me see if I understand.  When she knew she was dying, instead of being a loving wife and mother, she neglected both her husband and her child so she could sit in front of a camera and make films.   Instead of treasuring the time left, she decided to map out the future for her husband and child, by instructing them in how they should act and behave for the rest of their lives.”

Cayla:  “My life, too.  And I didn’t even know her.  Well, I didn’t know her then…but I know her now.”

Mason:  “What happens if you don’t do what she says?”

Cayla:  “I don’t know.  That never occurred to any of us.  All we can do is obey.  Besides, Les would probably get peeved, and that is forbidden.”

Mason:  (after a long pause) “My God.  I had no idea I was making a horror movie.  Welp, I’ve gotta go–gotta break some contracts and make a bunch of apologies.  Don’t call me!”

PS:  Is Les getting ready to jerk off in panel three?

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If Ever I Would Leaf You

Lisa’s beloved autumn leaves are falling so heavily that it’s all Les can do to keep up. Especially with arms that are barely thicker than the handle of the rake he’s holding. The Other Woman, properly chastised and accepting of her secondary status, presents Les with Lisa’s third-party hug along the second tape DVD. Her dazed grin signifies her complete submission to the Will of Lisa’s ghost. Les, meanwhile, appears startled that eighteen years after her death, Lisa’s recorded nagging continues.

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Tell Him It’s from Me

Um, not really. It’s also been watched by Crazy Harry and, at least in part, by Summer. Perhaps exhausted after delivering a lecture that’s gone from genial, to threatening, to condescending, today Lisa brings it all to a rather conspiratorial close. Speaking of Crazy Harry, I thought that this “found footage” that you, I, and Cayla have been suffering through was an “Easter egg” that Crazy happened upon:

Sunday, 9/20:

But it’s pretty clear that Lisa meant for this, and “the second tape”, to be viewed. And heeded.

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