Adeela finally gets to use the photo album corners in today’s strip. I think so, anyways. Is that her as a child or is that her with the child? Or is that her at all?
Wally was in Afghanistan long enough ago that a young child then would be old enough to go to college now, especially when TB treats his 10 year time jump as that, a time jump, and not just an age jump to make his Act I and II characters older (well… Cindy in mind only, not body). HA! OK, scratch that last part then, the “time jump” has never been more than excuse to age his characters.
Still, the story of a Afghan war veteran and an Afghan refugee struggling to feel comfortable enough around each other to complete a college project could well prove interesting. Now, if only we could find someone to write that story… If only.
Today’s strip was not available for preview.
So anyways, here is post-second captivity Wally shaking the hand of the Afghan-native who held him captive the first time and who sold the Taliban the missile that shot down the helicopter he was flying in prior to that first time being captured.
Have a nice Saturday, everyone!
Link To Today’s Strip
FW’s most beloved character (by far) is finally back! No, not that bizarre Wally impostor, whoever he is. Of course I’m referring to Buddy The PTSD Service Dog, who’s as fuzzy and lovable as ever. It’s about goddamned time too. That’s a good, good dog!
Mysteries abound in today’s somewhat peculiar installment. Did Wally always wear those scholarly glasses? Why aren’t Wally’s male classmates smothering Buddy with love as well? Why is Rachel so insecure? Didn’t Batiuk use this exact same gag at least once before? So people still say “co-eds” in this day and age? I really don’t know, but I do know that these idiots are a breath of fresh air after two hundred consecutive weeks of Pete, Boy Lisa and f*cking comic books, that incredibly clunky line of expository dialog in panel one notwithstanding.
If only Tom Batiuk trusted his characters to inhabit their own stories. and his readers to follow along. We’ve long since established that poor Wally can barely function in 21st century Westview. But in a story arc where he’s the main character, we must listen to Wally’s wife and
uncle cousin boss narrate the “action”. In the case of today’s strip, this is done in order to set up the wordless third panel punchline, where we see “focused and ready” Wally sitting intently, surrounded by his younger peers whose attention is anywhere but on the lesson. This marks quite a change for our Wally in the six years since his first community college go-round (see below), during which time he was not merely distracted but actually asleep in class. It’s gotta be those glasses!
Having exhausted the roster of cartoon cavemen, TB revisits a couple tropes from past Wally strips. First, the “Hey, you can’t bring that dog in here” guy, as seen in a restaurant a few years back. Wally explains that Buddy is “my service dog.” But according to the “Dogs and PTSD” page on the VA website:
A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. Service dogs can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, or help someone who falls or loses balance easily.
What you’ve got there, Private, is an “emotional support dog”:
An emotional support animal is a pet that helps an owner with a mental health condition. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and companionship…In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do.
Fortunately for Buddy, he does wear that swell little vest and has a winning smile. Not to mention he’s a “chick magnet.” Perhaps Rachel’s come to accept that aspect, but when Wally brought it up a few years ago she sure gave him the stink eye.
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.
Behold Saturday’s mild drollery.
Buddy sure is happy to be home, as he’s followed in the door by the Twits, who probably forgot to feed him before they left. Bet he’s headed straight for his dish. Meanwhile, we’re treated to blah-blah-blah followed by another lame attempt at a punchline involving Rachel’s mother. Rachel’s unseen mother, I might add, since T-Bats has attempted this kind of joke before…
Anyway, I was trying to think of what kind of project I’d make if I had a stack of Wallys at my disposal, and I figure I’d just notch them all at their enormous foreheads and interlock them into a little Ohio Wilderness cabin, like Lincoln Logs.
The only surprise left this week is Sunday’s strip, and whether or not there will be some sort of Rachel-and-Wally wrap up, and if so will the colorists make Rachel’s hair blonde like they usually do on Sundays in complete yet typical disregard for continuity.