B.C. (Batiuk’s Cavemen)

Again with the friggin’ cartoon cavemen! I’ve tried to use restraint when it comes to judging Wally’s behavior on the chance that this might be a true-to-life depiction of life for an afflicted vet. But folks, Wally’s been back Stateside over seven years now. And sure, his wife and everyone in his hometown mostly left him to fend for himself. But seven years. This fish-out-of-water act is really getting old. Fortunately, the day is saved by a young lady so unconcerned about campus security that she cheerfully unlocks the door for a gaunt, older stranger in military fatigues.

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29 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “B.C. (Batiuk’s Cavemen)

  1. spacemanspiff85

    I’m pretty sure they would’ve covered “how to actually enter the school” at some point in the orientation.
    And how does Funky not know this? He works literally in the same room as Wally, and Wally lives above Montoni’s. For such a great writer, Batiuk sure sucks at establishing scenes.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    While this one is somewhat more plausible than the first two were yeah, I agree, after seven years Wally probably shouldn’t still be totally flummoxed by a laptop computer or an electronic door. From what I understand a lot of dark, brooding and troubled people who rarely leave their homes have computers these days. And according to Batom’s previous Wally arcs he’s been out and about for quite some time now too. Let’s face it, while it’s nice that he recovered and all, Wally is one of the downright dullest characters in the entire strip and pretty much every post-Buddy Wally arc has been almost exactly the same. Wally is feeling better, Wally makes painfully weak self-effacing wisecrack about his PTSD, then three more, then comments on the progress he’s made in a weak self-effacing manner while Rachel smirks. God forbid a Batom character other than Les has more than one personality trait, eh?

  3. spacemanspiff85

    @epicusdoomus:
    There’s actually a lot of potential in Wally as a character. Apart from the obvious of him being a vet and readjusting to life, how does his relationship with Rachel work? Do they just stay inside most of the time? How’s he getting along with her kid?

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Being the parent of a college student attending a university in New York City and also personally having occasion to use university libraries in Philadelphia, I knew of no school using a phone app ID that would grant unmonitored access to campus buildings. TF’s observation about the scenario in the last panel shows why this technology is unlikely. Every college I’m acquainted with has a security desk at the entrance to each building where identification must be presented. In this age of lost and stolen phones and violent events happening on campuses, I doubt any school would expose itself to liability in the way Batty proposes.

  5. billytheskink

    With sincere apologies to the late Phil Hartman:

    Decades ago, an American serviceman was out sweeping mines when he was captured by Taliban forces. In 2009, he was discovered by some journalists and exchanged for an enemy prisoner. He then went to community college and became… Re-acclimating POW Student!

    “He used to be a POW,
    but now he’s a student.
    Re-acclimating POW Student!”

    Professor: Mr. Winkerbean, are you ready to give your report?

    Wally: It’s just “Wally” sir… and yes, I’m ready. Fellow students, I’m just a former soldier. I got captured and was later rescued by a TV journalist. Your world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes, I bring my service dog Buddy to heavy metal concerts before realizing two hours later that all the noise is unpleasant for him. Sometimes I stare at my laptop computer for days on end, puzzling over how I operated a similar device before my captivity. Sometimes when I see one of you open the front door with your “tele-phone”, I wonder: “Is this the work of that dark smirking wizard who taught my high school English class?” I don’t know. My aging mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know, and that is that the Dodd-Frank Act has destroyed the northern Ohio pizza industry.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    spacemanspiff85: Agreed, yet all Batiuk chooses to focus on is his one defining trait, “recovering PTSD sufferer” and that’s it. He’s constantly recovering yet never seems to get anywhere either. And he has no discernible personality at all, he just makes those stupid weak jokes all the time. I mean come on, give the guy a genuine victory already, not this endless “baby steps” stuff.

    billytheskink: And in every installment there would be a sudden loud noise followed by Wally saying “See? That didn’t bother me at all. Would have a few years ago though”.

  7. HeyItsDave

    Like @Gerard Plourde, I was most interested in the way Wally was instructed to scan his college ID on his smartphone to enter the building.
    NFC (Near Field Communications) has been built into Android phones for some time now, and more recently in iPhones. It’s the backbone of services like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, where the user touches or waves their smartphone to a terminal for a payment transaction. Experiments using NFC for access control started around 2012 (interestingly enough, at a college in Arizona iirc, where the students accepted it fairly well) but despite there being at least a couple companies developing access control systems around NFC, it still hasn’t taken off. No big corporation that I know of uses it. The company I worked for wouldn’t even consider it for several reasons – not only because of the lost/stolen phone issue, but because not everyone has a smartphone, has a smartphone capable of using NFC, or even has kept NFC enabled (many people don’t want/use/trust “phone wallet” systems and disable NFC on their phones.)
    And holy shit! Why would a student just swipe in somebody they didn’t know to their school? Surely even a Community College covers rudimentary security issues in their student handbook.

  8. spacemanspiff85

    @epicusdoomus:
    The insulting thing is, I guarantee he brags about Wally like he’s some great tribute to the heroic American soldier. But all he’s done with him is portray him as a broken shell who can barely function in the world and was pushed off to the side after his wife left him for a comic shop owner.

  9. Gyre

    Between going through college for my B.A., extra courses at other colleges, getting an M.A. and going to see old acquaintances and colleagues, I have to say that I don’t think I’ve seen this at a college. I mean, sure I’ve seen places where you need to use a student ID to get into certain parts of the building, but a smartphone?

  10. DOlz

    @Epicus Doomus,

    “From what I understand a lot of dark, brooding and troubled people who rarely leave their homes have computers these days.”

    Are you talking about me? What, no I’m not paranoid … at least not most of the time.

  11. Epicus Doomus

    DOlz: I definitely didn’t mean me, as I rarely brood much anymore.

    spacemanspiff85: It’d be like having a character with cancer finally being declared cancer-free, then having that character still talking about chemo and the side effects during every single appearance. He did the PTSD arc, he resolved that arc, yet he just can’t let it go and allow the character to be anything else. If he wanted to continue the PTSD story, then why bother resolving it at all?

    Witness the Bull arc. He wants to do an story about Bull suffering from the effects of head injuries, but he also wants Bull to continue to be the lovable goofy dimwit tens of people sort of don’t hate that much too. So he’ll just drop the concussion story cold and never mention it again. But then why do it at all? He’s a real conundrum, this BatNard.

  12. spacemanspiff85

    @epicusdoomus:
    You know, it’s not like there’s been major issues regarding veterans in the news the last few years or anything, either . . .

  13. The Dreamer

    Wally looks younger than the girl! he’s old enough to be her father!

  14. ComicTrek

    ^Well…who really DOES look their age in this strip anymore, besides the high school students?

  15. Great. Super. He plagiarizes another man far better than he is to make a mangled point about how Wally is a Broken Shell who can NEVER ADAPT to today’s world. I wonder who he’ll rip off to hammer it in that Les will never get over Lisa’s death or that Bull’s brain is eroding?

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    Ugh, ever been to the airport Batty? You hold your phone over the scanner, you don’t swipe it.

  17. Things that keep me up at night: why does Funky say “back to school” if Wally is struggling with registering, etc.? Did he attend college before the military? Why does Wally look middle aged now? I thought he was a young guy last time we saw him mutely standing in the pizza parlor. And why is he wearing his army jacket outdoors when the girl is in shorts and tee? Clearly it is rather warm right now.

  18. I’m far more interested in the way Pink Girl’s boobs moved up several inches between panels two and three than I am in BatHack’s latest flogging of this dead horse.

    Somebody once pointed out there’s a big difference between having twenty years of experience and having the same year of experience twenty times. BatHack seems to be wallowing in the latter. One joke re-drawn with three different “guest” characters is still one joke, not three. No doubt we’ll get three more such “jokes” this week. And then the whole business will be forgotten.

  19. Rusty

    @Fred Blurt: Wally is wearing his old Army jacket to signal to any new readers (lol) that he is a troubled vet, making his way in a world he never made.

  20. 1. Since Batiuk is repeating this gag, I’ll repeat my snark from before: If Wally is this fucking dumb, then he has no business whatsoever taking college level courses…

    2. I work at a university, and for awhile one of my jobs was working with “reclamation projects”, i.e., students who dropped out of college years ago and had now come back to finish their degree… I’ve known students who literally had not been on campus since walking away 15, 25, even 30 years earlier, and every last one of them still knew how to use a smartphone…

    3. I’m surprised the therapy dog has forgiven him after that bullshit at the heavy metal concert…

    4. I’m sorry, but does Wally even work? There’s just something very wrong about his wife doing wage slave work with no benefits just so dear hubby can do nothing all day…

  21. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    Jokes so lame, even a caveman can’t get them.

  22. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    BTW, whatever happened to Corey Winkerbean’s wedding to Rocky? Or was that just a side plot to comic comic collecting?

  23. Tomorrow, Wally’s in the student cafeteria feeling like the Spook from “Wizard of Id” until a student tells him how to use a spoon.

  24. timbuys

    Something that I think is not getting enough attention in the comments today is that, for all of the other things wrong with today’s strip, that is a shitty drawing of B.C. or whichever Johnny Hart caveman that is supposed to be.

  25. The Dreamer

    Batiuk can’t invite Wally to Corey’s wedding. They are lookalike twins even though Wally is at least 25 years older and they are not biologically related. He cant draw Wally and Corey in the same panel

  26. “Swipe” of course refers to either (a) passing a mag-stripe card through a reader, or (b) stealing something. Neither of these seems to be happening in today’s strip. BatHack is once again the Lord Of Language ™, or the Red Queen.

    I Coulda Been a Joke Department: a lot of schools incorporate a passive RFID chip in their ID cards, and these trigger the doors to open when brought close to the reader. I know students who keep their ID cards in their wallets, in their back pockets, and just give a butt-bump to the reader device. Convenient when your hands are full, especially if the doors are motorized (which, for ADA compliance reasons, they usually are). Pink Girl showing Wally how to butt-bump his way into the building might have been funny… naah, this is BatHack…

  27. Don

    There’s something they don’t mention when they talk about the high cost of college; apparently, owning a reasonably modern cellphone is mandatory. (And on the day the iPhone 7 was announced, too.)

  28. bad wolf

    Summer’s been at Kent State for six years and we’re showing Wally finally going to a JC (which I thought he was already doing)? Bizarre as ever.