Where’s Wally?

Link to today’s strip.

Remember the “Where’s Waldo?” books?  Those were fun, because in addition to searching for the titular striped-shirt guy, there were lots of amusing details scattered here and there in the crowds.  Parallel series “Where’s Wally?” on the other hand, featured dull clods, blind alleys, unfunny non-sequiturs plus the added fear that if you touched the page, you just might have a finger wet with cat pee.

Today, I get that we’re supposed to find Wally’s behavior suspicious, but let’s be honest–Wally is a clod who can’t make a sandwich without getting his head caught in a jar.  He’s never going to have to fight off the females.  As I recall, Rachel basically threw herself at him, over and over, until she finally clung.   As a manager, he can’t be bothered to tell his employees where he’s going for the afternoon.   I get that this is the author manipulating things to create suspense, but…it ain’t working.

The most interesting aspect of this is the time of day.  I gather it’s sometime in the afternoon, as Cory notes.  What is Rachel doing there?  I figured she had to rush out of class yesterday to go home, put on some makeup, get out the nice dress and so on for the “date night.”  But I guess she just shows up and that’s when the “date” starts?

On the plus side, Rachel is drawn rather well in today’s episode.  It makes a nice change from the weeks of deteriorating artwork we’ve witnessed lately.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

47 responses to “Where’s Wally?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    The scene – Montoni’s kitchen. Crabby old Mr. Winkerbean is eavesdropping on Adeela and Wally, who he believes is gay.

    “Should I keep kneading it between my hands?”

    “Wait, let me show you. Like this.”

    “Oh Wally! You do that SO well!”

    (Mr. Winkerbean’s shocked face)

    “Now you try…that’s it, good!”

    “I think I get it now, the goal is to soften it up! Should I keep pounding it too?”

    (Mr. Winkerbean’s confused face)

    “No, that’s enough. Now take this sauce and pour it all over it.”

    “AH-HA! I KNEW IT! What are you two DOING in here!”

    “Mr. Winkerbean! Wally was just showing me how to make a pizza!”

    “A-a-a-a p-p-p-pizza???”

    “Oh Uncle Funky! (Hugs Funky) (Lisping) “You know how guys like ME are, you silly goose!”(makes exaggerated effeminate hand gesture)

    Cory could be the horny neighbor who drops by unexpectedly to flirt with the girls. It’s a good thing he mentioned Rocky, as at first I thought Henry was making a cameo. I liked Cory way better back when he was a surly jerk. He’s so bland now.

  2. SeaCountry

    Yeah, it’s probably super-boring. She shouldn’t worry.

  3. William Thompson

    So that’s Cory in the banner? Why does he look like he’s seven years old? Skippy looks more mature than he does!

    • comicbookharriet

      He looks both seven AND forty five. He looks like one of those little, thin, old men who putter around the children’s clothing section of Goodwill, looking for something vaguely age appropriate.

      The kid was in the army for Pete’s Sake! Where’s the beef!?

    • Charles

      It’s odd. When he joined the Army, he shrank significantly. He’s probably a good eight inches shorter than both Funky and Holly.

      I think Batiuk just has these characters defined as kids, so they’re always going to be kids, even though they’re well into their twenties.

      Summer’s almost Les’s height, but she’s still dressing down the same way she did when she was sixteen.

      I think only Rana’s changed at all since graduation eight years ago, and that was very explicitly in support of an arc Batiuk thought was going to be culturally significant.

      • Epicus Doomus

        “Young kids just starting out” syndrome. Like how Boy Lisa and Jessica are eternal newlyweds despite the fact they’ve been together for around thirty years now. Summer is apparently beginning her ninth year of college right about now and Cory and Rocky are “just getting settled” five years after being discharged from the army. Meanwhile Funky is aging like he sleeps with nuclear waste.

        • Hitorque

          Meanwhile 65-year-old Cindye still has the face and body of a 22-year-old Pet of the Month…

          I still believe that the real reason Batiuk shipped her off too Hollywood married to a movie star
          wass because her youthful presence in Westview would have caused too much reader confusion. I mean FFS Cindye would literally look younger than her own kids if they ever appeared together.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          So many boring, flat characters. Nice work from someone who claims to be a storyteller.

          It’s like some of these Netflix shows where the dump in a ton of characters to make the story appear deep.

        • Charles

          I think that might go too far with this next generation. I mean, Darin’s recognizably adult, despite the fact that Batiuk treats him as if he’s in his twenties rather than his forties.

          But this next generation is all kids. Cory’s about a third of the size of his parents. Keisha is easily nine inches shorter than her mother. Summer still dresses like and has the body of a tall eleven year old. Even Cody and Owen were smaller than all the teachers they interacted with. (Cody was bigger, which I think is further evidence that he was supposed to hook up with Summer) Bernie Silverman is tiny, so tiny in fact that he looks like a kindergartener sometimes. Hell, even Skyler, from the subsequent generation, is toddling around and whining like a 3 year old even though he’s supposed to be seven or something.

          • batgirl

            And yet both Summer and Keisha are basketball players, good enough to get athletic scholarships. This usually indicates height, even in female players. Apparently the average WNBA player is 6’ tall. Summer is (usually) shorter than Les, who can’t be taller than 5’9”.
            Is this one of those art therapy things, where the important people are drawn larger than the unimportant ones?

          • Charles

            Re: batgirl

            Your last point is a good one. Remember that Les was drawn as much taller than professional football player Bull. In fact, Bull was probably the shortest of all the men in his generation.

            Naturally, he towered over all the high school kids.

            Maybe Funky has his significant weight problem in lieu of being smaller than the clearly superior Les.

            Mason’s roughly the same size as Les, but he’s supposed to be Les v2.0 and playing him in a movie, so it only makes sense. I also wonder if the lavish lifestyle that he openly shares with the other characters would seem weirder if he was a puny little slip of a man.

  4. William Thompson

    Wally: “Adeela, let’s go to your mosque and pray to Allah.”

    Adeela: “Since when are you Muslim?”

    Wally: “I’m not, but I want out of this strip and I’ll take all the help I can get!”

  5. Jimmy

    An observation and a question:

    The Where’s Wally book would be more interesting if I had to find Buddy instead (the only interesting character in the strip).

    Is that really Cory? I thought: A) he was still in the Army and B) he’s addicted to puka shell necklaces.

    (Full disclosure: I used to have a puka shell necklace way back in the 1990s, but I lived on an island and surfed a lot….ok, it is as stupid as it sounds)

  6. Boots Gandalf

    We all know where this is going. 1,000 sitcoms have done it better.

  7. billytheskink

    Cory and Rocky are sure stuck in a rut, it seems. Neither appear to still be in the service, or even have a regular job, given that they BOTH have the time to wander over an help out at Montoni’s when Wally and Adeela decide to go off galavanting while on the clock. Since they apparently haven’t moved to Seattle yet, they are likely still not married. Now, I know folks take engagement at their own pace… but these two have been engaged since November 2015. They also appear to have been without regular employment since then. Hm… well at least they aren’t Les.

    Also, I believe “Where’s Wally?” is what the Where’s Waldo? series is called in illustrator Martin Handford’s native England. Had those delightful books kept their original name in the US, this site and its predecessor would have drowned in “where’s Wally?” jokes during his many many years as a POW-MIA

    • Epicus Doomus

      That the problem with his massive cast of characters and the glacial pace of the strip. He loses track of these C-list characters and takes YEARS to catch up with them. I had no idea the Cory/Rocky engagement goes back that far, but I’m not really surprised either. In this strip people go off to college for nine years and stay engaged for entire decades, which makes one wonder why he began the story arcs in the first place.

      What is the oldest dangling plot thread? I would guess it’s Becky’s mom on the scissor lift, or maybe Art Teacher losing his job, but I’m probably forgetting a lot of them.

  8. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Not pictured: customers. Maybe it’s not such a big deal for the manager and regular staff to duck out.

  9. Charles

    I posted a while ago that Batiuk made Adeela as homely as a Rankin-Bass troll because otherwise he would feel obligated to do a “Rachel suspects that Wally is cheating on her with Adeela” sequence. I see that I was wrong, and that he’s going to go ahead and do it anyway!

  10. Gerard Plourde

    Since it’s to be assumed that Rocky and Cory are honorably discharged from service, they could be attending KSU under the GI Bill along with the rest of the forgotten cast.

    Why do I get the suspicion that Wally is helping out newly arrived refugees at Adeela’s mosque? (And the mental picture of TomBa running imaginary bases for the home run he believes he hit?)

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Hooray, a no-stakes rom-com mixup between two fourth-tier characters. Think I’ll flip over to Gasoline Alley, maybe they’re stealing a hubcap or something.

  12. J.J. O'Malley

    By “filling in around here,” I assume Cory means “wiping the dust and cobwebs off the counter and tables,” since there’s not a soul in Montoni’s and seemingly hasn’t been since the Obama Administration.

    As for “Where’s Wally?,” I’m assuming he’s either A.) Taking ballet lessons to improve his bowling and help the Water Buffalos win the big tournament. B.) Practicing dancing with Fonzie so he and Rachel can enter a contest. C.) Working the extra babysitting job he never told his wife about. Or D.) Hatching a crazy scheme with Adeela to replace the valuable vase that he accidentally broke while playing baseball. I can hardly wait.

  13. none

    Gosh, if only they both had cell phones – she wouldn’t need to be asking anyone else about his whereabouts.

    Gosh, if only they communicated with each other like actual adults in a relationship – she wouldn’t need to wonder about something he does every day, because they would have discussed it previously.

    Gosh, if only they took a second to establish when and how this “date night” will go, so that there wouldn’t be any surprises about who and where they both are for the date to go as planned.

    Oh me, oh my. What a tragedy set to unfold.

  14. Hitorque

    1. Is anyone else disappointed that a Flash fanboi like Batiuk hasn’t once worked in a “Wally West” joke?? And if anyone tries to say Wally West isn’t a “real” Flash, go to hell…

    2. So presumably Walter and maybe Adeela were supposed to be on shift today and they asked off? What could be that important? It clearly isn’t an affair because Adeela is way too frumpy and nonsexual… And also because nobody in the Funkyverse ever has affairs.

    2a. Yeah, yeah we know — Wally and Adeela are off bonding somewhere over their shared cross-cultural trauma from different sides of the same battle, or Wally is trying to show her what it means to be an American while Adeela absolves all the sins of U.S. foreign policy. And next week she can bond with Bernie Whatshisname over shitty comic books….

    2b. Am I the only one peeved that Adeela moved to one of the few places in America with no Middle Eastern community whatsoever? Because right now she’s little more than a diversity mascot and immigration doesn’t work that way unless she’s in some witness protection program or something. Is there even a mosque within 20 miles of Westview?

    3. Do I have this correct? Wally set up an eagerly awaited date evening with his wife and then no-showed her? And a co-worker has helped him make huge strides in getting past his PTSD or anti-Islamic prejudices or whatever and he didn’t think it was even worth mentioning to her? Do Wally and Carrot Juice even talk to each other?

    3a. Lemme guess… Wally is working on some grand anniversary surprise with Adeela’s help? There’s only 2-3 possible directions Batiuk is going with this.

    4. Montoni’s Pizza is 100% empty in the middle of the afternoon, one employee is behind the counter doing nothing, no phone is ringing and no food is being cooked… Take a drink for all of these.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ever see a pizzeria with a lunch counter that serves coffee as a diner would?

      Me either. Now Luigi’s in Akron has a bar, but I’ve never seen people sit there drinking coffee.

      • Charles

        I suspect then that Batiuk changed it from a bar to a lunch counter because he couldn’t imply that USPS employee Crazy was hanging out there all day every day getting drunk off his ass when he was supposed to be working.

  15. Count of Tower Grove

    What’s the big Adeela?

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    Could Cory’s dialog be any more contrived? How does he not know who Rachel is? Or why Wally regularly leaves their workplace with a different female employee? Or have enough goddamn sense not to get him in trouble?

    And I like how Rachel’s wearing the same clothes she wore to class. Apparently her special date night doesn’t warrant changing out of that shapeless neon potato sack of a blouse. Or leaving her high school backpack behind. She might as well be wearing a poodle skirt so they can go to the sock hop.

    Oh well, if Wally isn’t going to take her anyplace better than Montoni’s, I suppose there’s no reason for her to put in any effort either. All the relationships in Westview run on the principle “you clearly don’t give a shit, why should I?”

    • newagepalimpsest

      TBF maybe this is an even more fantastically-rare appearance of “Cory the crappy little asshole who steals and causes drama.”

      TBF Rachel just got in and her apartment is just upstairs, so she probably originally meant to just poke her head in and let Wally know that she’ll be upstairs getting ready.

      TBF maybe Wally was going to… Take her to the Montoni’s in Centerville? I hear that the band box there sings “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”

  17. Perfect Tommy

    Jump cut to the comic shop: And this is The Flash. He runs really fast. And this is Superman. He has God-like powers and can do just about anything. And this is Aquaman. He, um, he talks to fish.

  18. The Dreamer

    Since Funky is over 65 and Wally is his cousin who grew up with him, Wally must be nearly sixty himself. Rachel knows Wally is too old to be shacking up with a twenty something Montonis employ. And Rachel, same age as Wally, obviously colors her hair and uses same anti aging cream as then I also over 65 Cindy (Funky’s ex wife)

  19. Gerard Plourde

    Over on TomBa’s blog today he’s running the identical copy regarding “the diaphanous Susan Smith“ that he did on September 4, just with a different illustration.

    Sloppiness is no longer limited to the strip.

  20. newagepalimpsest

    There is nothing wrong with being a manager at a pizza restaurant, especially in this economy, so I wanted to cut Wally and Rachel some slack this week. But why do they have to make it so hard?!

    Yes Rachel, Wally decided to run off for a romantic tryst with his (older? younger? ageless?) employee on the very same afternoon that he made a date with you. You are in an Archie Comic, except this particular one lacks the whimsy, the fun, and the zest for life. Enjoy your week of hijinx before you discover that they were… Let’s say making a banner and a cake for Rana’s “Good Luck in Afghanistan! Try Not to Die!” party.

    Hi Cory! You look… so good… Try not to take it personally if Les comes in and offers to write “Cory’s Story” anytime soon.

  21. batgirl

    Placing a small bet that Wally’s date night plan is to take Rachel for dinner at the Diversity Cafe with Adeela and Rana.