Agreed-gious

Today’s strip is the worst thing we’ve seen in this story arc yet. It is everything wrong with every strip so far in this story arc scaled up into a Sunday strip: it is boring, nothing has really been accomplished (we all saw “talk to the professor” coming last Wednesday), Buddy doesn’t do anything, we learn nothing about either Wally or Adeela, we still don’t know what class this group project is even for. I guess it is missing a photo album corner flashback, but that is pretty much it.

Not only that, it is riddled with errors:
– There is no “mistake”. Professor Forehead never assigned partners, he just told students to pair up themselves. He is not going to be able to assign these two new partners without breaking groups up, and if he is like most of my college professors, he is not going to care much about this melodrama.
– This is not the first time these two have agreed. They agreed that they didn’t like each other’s clothes not three strips ago.
– These two also don’t have any significant history of disagreement beyond their apparent clothing-based assumptions about each other. They’ve known each other for maybe 2 hours. The debate about what table to sit at is quite literally the only disagreement we’ve seen between them.

And with that, I’m relieved to be handing this nutria dropping of a story arc off to our esteemed captain TFHackett.

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20 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “Agreed-gious

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Man, I really hope we get a long, painful series of strips with their new partners.
    “So, why did you need a new partner, Wally?”
    “My last partner was Muslim.”
    “. . .”
    “I can’t be around Muslims.”
    “Okay . . . so what do you think we should do for this presentation on ‘How to Inclusively Serve a Diverse Customer Base’?”

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Knowing Batiuk, this whole storyline’s probably a positive.
    “I’ve completely overcome my PTSD! I faced a challenge and was able to totally avoid dealing with it! I’m cured! Hand me that assistant manager’s apron, Uncle/Brother/Cousin/Grandpa Funky! Everything’s coming up Wally!”

  3. spacemanspiff85

    Oh, and sorry to post so much, but I saw this picture from Batiuk’s blog, where he’s bragging about how nice it is seeing his books on display in the bookstore of the university that actually published them, and thought it was more hilarious than anything that’s ever been in his strips:

    Maybe it’s just me, but this just screams “we’re contractually obligated to display these books, but we really don’t want to”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen books displayed vertically with completely different books in front of them, obscuring them. And they’re far more interesting books, too: “Ohio Train Disasters” and “Murder and Mayhem on Ohio Rails”. (What was going on in Ohio?) Who is going to buy a book that could be the archetype of “pretentious and depressing” when you have a book about train murders right in front of it?

    • Gerard Plourde

      The tall stack of books next to “Ohio Train Disasters” that almost obscures the middle volume of the Lisa trilogy has the intriguing title “Wicked Women of Ohio”.

    • gleeb

      I’d kind of like to search the index of Ohio Train Disasters for the word Crankshaft.

  4. I would honestly, truly love to know how Batiuk views his own work.

    Seriously. Does he look at stuff like this and think, “Yeah…that’s funny/poignant/significant/educational”? Or is it more cynical, “One day closer to that 50th”?

    Because every time he talks about his own work, he seems to stress how “important” it is, and how he struggled to develop it.

    And evidence of “importance” or “effort” is nowhere to be found.

    I’m serious. I’d really love to know how he looks upon this stuff and does NOT think, “What a load of dreck.” Because that’s what I see.

    • The Nelson Puppet

      I think Batiuk believes himself to be on the same level as Charles Schultz. In reality, FW is nothing more than a very poor man’s Gasoline Alley.

    • Charles

      My feeling about this is that he’s doing this whole “I’m going to provide the perspective that no one else is brave enough to do.” He thinks he’s a free thinker and somewhat radical. After all, he had someone die of cancer in his strip.

      So the “typical” storyline here is that these two characters are uncomfortable about one another due to their background, but through the project they learn about each other’s perspective and come to an understanding, where they leave the project as friends. That’s the standard, uninspired story to come out of this premise.

      He decides instead that he’s going to do the opposite, because he’s just that much of a truth teller and an artist. So Wally and Adeela don’t come to an understanding and leave feeling hostility toward one another because they’re not willing to overcome their prejudices. No one else would do this story. They’d do the uninspired “standard” one.

      Problem is, Batiuk doesn’t do anything but just repeat the premise and have the story die. He doesn’t examine why Wally and Adeela can’t and won’t look past their respective outfits. He doesn’t consider the wisdom or lack thereof in his characters’ unwillingness to challenge their prejudice. He doesn’t come to any conclusion at all, because he hasn’t even told a story. He just brings in two characters with characteristics that scare them and then leaves it there. He probably thinks he’s a brave truth-teller because he goes against the grain, but he hasn’t told any truths. He hasn’t done anything. He just came up with a premise and floundered around for a week.

      • Epicus Doomus

        They spend a week deciding that there’s just no way they can ever find any common ground, THEN they start talking to one another. It’s totally backwards. It’s a simple premise with an obvious resolution, for anyone else it practically writes itself…but not TomBan.

  5. Paul Jones

    Wally: We should subject the readers to six days of the professor telling us that we cannot switch partners because the others called dibs.

    Adeela: Agreed.

  6. Charles

    I love the smug Wally head in the first panel. Yes, that’s totally the right expression for him as he demonstrates his bigotry.

    Also, this story might be a smidgen less bad if Adeela’s facial template didn’t seem to be based on Matilda the white bird from Angry Birds.

  7. The Nelson Puppet

    Adeela became so uncomfortable at her reception in Westview, she transferred to UMBC!

    • gleeb

      There are plenty of good college actually in Baltimore City, rather than in the suburban hellscape of Baltimore County.

  8. bobanero

    So, will this arc continue, or are we back to Atomik Komix tomorrow?

  9. Jimmy

    I can’t even hate read this garbage anymore.