I suppose today’s strip indicates that Adeela was the mother and not the child in last Sunday’s strip, which makes her fairly close to Wally in age.
No, that wasn’t obvious. Wally has been back in Westview for 9 years now. He was taken hostage in late 2007, BEFORE the time jump*, so he hasn’t patrolled an Afghan street in about two decades (heck, it is still a decade plus if you ignore the time jump). Adeela easily could have been that child and, oy… piecing together this strip’s timeline makes my head hurt. Still, I gotta say that Adeela has aged better than anyone in this strip except for maybe Cindy.
* Back in early Act III when Wally had apparently disappeared from the strip after the 10 year time jump, TB stated in a blog post (the infamous “it’s called writing…” post, in fact) that a “clue” in regards to Wally’s whereabouts appeared in the October 11, 2007 strip, in the immediate aftermath of Lisa’s death and just before the Act II to III time jump. That clue being the newspaper in the newspaper box that Les slumps past before he is pickpocketed by a couple of hipsters. It reads, muddily, “Soldiers Taken Hostage”.
Wally remained a hostage until July 2009…
Wally goes full-on “Doug Funnie talking to Patty Mayonaise” in today’s strip because… that’s what this story arc requires?
Adeela is not exactly winning Miss Manners’ stamp of approval here either though. She also seems to think she has already introduced herself to Wally (or expected him to eavesdrop when she introduced herself to Professor Forehead, I guess). Is she just not a Three Stooges fan or is she one of those people who prefer Shemp to Curly?
Fair or unfair, the military briefing-college class parallels continue in today’s strip. Wally and Adeela are bad at engaging others in conversation. Professor Forehead makes Ralph from Sally Forth proud by assigning a group project on day one so he doesn’t have to spend any time at all lecturing these students. Buddy may have disappeared… I’m sorry that I am just recapping the strip, but I don’t know what else to say here.
What will happen when Wally and Adeela finally speak to each other (presumably) three and a half weeks from now? The suspense is mildly irritating me.
It is not really fair for me to question the comparison of a military briefing to first day of an unidentified community college class as in today’s strip. While I have my suspicions about how appropriate the comparison is, I have only experienced the latter situation.
I will, however, point out that both Colonel Crew-Cut and Professor Forehead are awkwardly stating what both their audience in the room already know and what newspaper comic strip readers could reasonably infer without such clunky exposition. It is like TB leading off each strip with a drawing of him saying:
The following is a comic strip I wrote. It carries the weight of substantial ideas. Silver Age Flash is also important literature.
Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that idea out there…
Today’s strip is actually kind of sweet, for the most part. It isn’t really a satisfying payoff to this past week’s glacial activity, but it does express a very nice sentiment.
Cory calling Westview “a sight for sore eyes” is, uh, some other things.
For one thing, it’s bizarre. In his teen years, Cory was pretty much never depicted as enjoying his life in Westview. Yes, that could be said about nearly every character in this strip, but unlike the adults around him Cory wallowed in it because he had no choice about living there. He seized his best opportunity of escaping and, until now, never looked back wistfully.
For another thing, calling Westview “a sight for sore eyes” in this context is a grave insult to the nation of Afghanistan.
How many haiku
Can today’s strip generate?
Maybe four or five
Funky cannot lift
As much as active duty
Where did Funky learn
To lift heavy things? Was it
On a fishing boat?
Off balance? Ha no
We all know “Weebles wobble
but they don’t fall down”
A dove in the park
Up on a helium tank
It makes a high coo
So sorry about
Last irrelevant haiku
Needed to get five
Check out today’s strip! Yep, we’re still at the airport. Looks like we’re in for a week of pacing that makes Rex Morgan M.D. look brisk (June Morgan, by the way, has been pregnant for 2 and a half years!).
But we’ve made it to the baggage claim at least, giving Holly her second opportunity in three strips to complain about the uniformity of military-issued equipment.
Rocky appears to have settled nicely into the engrossing role of panel periphery smiler. Wait, doesn’t Rocky have a mother named Carla who lived somewhere within a reasonable driving distance of Westview and who one would expect to be here to greet her daughter upon return from deployment? Why yes, yes she does. Kudos to beckoningchasm for reminding me.
OK, maybe Carla wasn’t able to make it as a working (single?) mother with two small children and two large golden retrievers still at home, but surely we’ll see her during this story arc, right? For the answer to that question, look at the status of her hope that she and Holly would become good friends…
The mystery of whether or not Holly can recognize her own son when he is wearing his military fatigues goes unresolved in today’s strip, as we do not get to see who recognized who before this embrace takes place.
Cory has no hug for Funky? No handshake? No “hello pops”?
Nope, just a stab at ironic humor that earns a pity smile from his mother and a slight change of expression from Rocky (or maybe a cardboard standee of her). Whether intentional or not, one can reasonably infer this as a nod to what I thought was the most underdeveloped potential plot line in all of Act III, Cory’s tenuous relationship with Funky.
Though TB has essentially ignored this fact for the entirety of Act III, Cory is not Funky’s “bio-son”, he is Holly’s son from a previous marriage/relationship and his attitude toward Funky is not unlike the attitudes that some stepchildren do display toward their stepparents. That strained relationship is a mine loaded with realistic and relevant drama, but TB really never tried to tap it. He hints at it, perhaps inadvertently, but the hints are there nevertheless. Cory was depicted as a petty troublemaker (even once a thief) whose behavior exasperated his workaholic father, but TB never explored why Cory behaved like he did. I guess that would have taken too much time away from the Lisa tape library.
What did Cory feel he needed from his parents, especially his stepfather, that he wasn’t getting? How did Cory feel about it being decided that he take Funky’s last name? How did being blackmailed by both Funky and Les affect his opinion of the two most prominent male adults in his life? Did Cory look to anyone else as a father-figure? How did Cory’s behavior affect Funky and Holly’s relationship? Why did Funky struggle or refuse to connect with his stepson?
All the readers got to see is that Cory was a hoodlum until he wasn’t, because the military builds character or whatever. Why and how that all happened could have been interesting, realistic, and relevant to a lot of people. Those are three things TB has been running from since about 1994.
Good Monday morning all, billytheskink here, back for another two week tour of deconstruction.
Of all the many places on this terrestrial ball, where would you most like to be on a Monday morning? If you answered “why, waiting for someone in the Cleveland-Hopkins International airport terminal Mr. theskink, where else?” then today’s strip is definitely for you!
While this strip is seemingly innocuous, would it really surprise any of us if Holly mistaking every male-female pair of soldiers at the airport for Cory and (I’m guessing) Rocky was the launching point for a “very special story arc” about Prosopagnosia?