Link to today’s strip.
Hello, fellow sufferers, BChasm back in the Agony Booth again after an extended hiatus. Thanks to all, especially Epicus, who covered for me while Life Happened. (Honestly, you don’t want to know.)
And a Happy Martin Luther King Day to you all. A reminder that there are things worth fighting for, and people willing to fight for them.
As opposed to other people who can’t be arsed to keep track of their own continuity. Today’s strip is a good example…
…actually, today’s strip was unavailable for preview, but I’m betting the above remark holds true anyway.
Thanks to BillyTheSkink for an excellent hosting stint. And, apropos of this, isn’t it the saddest aspect of this strip–the most Funky Winkerbeanesque aspect, if you will–that the most creative, hilarious and insightful things associated with this strip for the last ten years, come from the hosts and commentators on this site, and not from the comic itself?
If Tom Batiuk honestly had any sense of shame, this sort of thing would sting.
“If” may be the harshest word in the English language.
Link To Today’s Strip
That is one long, narrow table. And I assume that’s Rachel’s kid sitting next to her, even though I’m pretty sure he should be in high school by now. He’s definitely going to be in my nightmares for a while though, the way he’s staring right at the viewer for some reason. He looks like he should be in a horror movie, where none of the people can actually see him.
Wally’s expression is also pretty uncomfortable, although it’s more of the incredibly smug variety then creepy. I guess his expression is supposed to be saying “hey reader, look how awesome I am, having MUSLIMS at my (uncle/cousin’s) THANKSGIVING! Isn’t this mind-blowing, and award-worthy?! Damn, Tom Batiuk sure is one HELL of a writer”.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 🙂
Link To Today’s Strip
So apparently Rana can’t speak for herself, and Wally has to clear this with her mom, because she’s eight years old and not a grad student. Wait, that’s not right.
I mean, why would Becky object? It’s the first time in like ten years Wally’s even been aware he has a daughter. Becky’s got to seize that moment while she can. And this will allow her and John to have a romantic Thanksgiving alone. Who am I kidding, of course it would be the two of them and Crazy Harry.
And it’s one thing for an individual to say that they personally are putting on the “freshman fifteen” (grad school fifteen is just lame and continues the long Batiukian tradition of thinking just switching two words is enough to be hilarious). It’s another thing for Becky to “joke” about this totally behind Rana’s back to her dad. It just comes off like complaining about her getting fat, which is laughable, but totally in line with the general mean-spirited nature of Batiuk’s strips.
Link To Today’s Fine Strip
Based on appearances I’d say that age gap is maybe five years or so. Honestly, it doesn’t look like an age gap as much as a “Funky is a lot fatter” gap, since Wally doesn’t look like a young buck or anything.
It’s funny, Batiuk passing off forgetting the basic relationships between his characters as “oh yeah, that was a joke all along and you didn’t get it”. I assume coming up soon someone will say they call Pete by the wrong last name to be funny.
Link To Today’s Strip
“Dine like an Iraqi”? What does that even mean? And how has she been doing that? I assume we’re supposed to think they’ve been in this coffee shop more than once, apparently. I don’t think I’d call “doing schoolwork in a coffee shop while drinking coffee” any kind of dining at all, let alone Iraqi style dining. Or are they actually going out to dinners now? Because I don’t think Rachel would be thrilled with that. Actually, being a female character written by Tom Batiuk, “thrilled” is probably exactly how she’d react. And Wally has actually lived in Iraq. I have a feeling he would have learned how to “dine like an Iraqi” then.
Also, Wally apparently had no plans to see his daughter, who lives in the same town as him, on Thanksgiving. I really, really hope at some point he tells Rana “how Americans do” something. What a goofy guy.
Link to Today’s Strip
So, of course Adeela and Rana are friends. All Muslims know each other, after all. Since Rana is apparently getting her Master’s in Education, what is Adeela studying, that they’d have the same classes, and that she’d also share a class with Wally? Unless they just met in a Muslim student group. Which, if this school has one, you’d think Wally wouldn’t have gone six years or more without being near a Muslim.
And what is it with people in this strip never referring to anyone by name? Crankshaft is always “that cranky bus driver”, and Adeela only refers to Wally as “a goofy guy”, and not “Wally”, “the vet”, or anything else that would make sense. I mean, you know a guy named “Wally Winkerbean”, and can’t ever remember or mention a name as silly as that?
Link to Today’s Strip
Given the fact that this is Rana’s first appearance in this strip in years, and she hasn’t been mentioned at all since, I don’t think her going to “teach in Afghanistan” would make much of a difference at all. If this was Act 2, this would no doubt foreshadow an upcoming Very Serious Storyline. But this is just Batiuk being cheap and thinking just saying a character is going to teach girls in Afghanistan is Edgy and Relevant and Important, because I’d be incredibly shocked if this strip ever shows that. Or ever shows her again at all, honestly. And if she does she’ll probably just be teaching at Westview with no mention of Afghanistan. And then I’d be impressed that Batiuk even remembered she was supposed to be a teacher.
Adeela sure is fitting in well in Westview, sitting quietly and smiling while the male in her life talks about what interests him.
Link to today’s post.
I don’t know why, but it still amazes me how Batiuk will spend an entire week on boring, inconsequential stuff like Adeela and Wally sitting in a library, and then just completely skip over what a character who’s been missing for years like Rana has been doing with an “. . . and so”. I mean, what led up to that sentence? “I was disgusted by the decadence of western civilization, and so . . .”. “I’ve been spending a lot of time on ISIS message boards, and so . . .”. “I found out the actor who played Moon Mile Meek was a Muslim, and so . . .”.
I like how casual Batiuk depicts personal religious conversation and completely changing your worldview and lifestyle. He makes it sound like how you choose your sports team. ” . . . And so I became a Patriots fan. After all, it was the team of my family.”. I don’t really think this is how people work, usually. “Well, I was adopted as a baby and don’t really have any memories of my birth family, but I’m assuming they were Muslim, so I’ll become Muslim too.”.
Oh, yeah, and apparently Wally has zero idea what’s going on in his daughter’s life, which is just amazing. Although not at all remarkable.
Link to Today’s Strip
“Yeah, believe it or not, things used to happen in my life, back in the day! Now what passes for excitement in my life is the exciting tale of ‘Sitting a Table Away From A Muslim Woman!’. Also, notice how I emphasized that she’s my adopted daughter, and not my real or ‘bio’ daughter. In case you were wondering how a normal average American like me could have such a foreign looking daughter. But yeah, we adopted her and that was pretty much the end of me taking an interest in her life, obviously.”
Wouldn’t you think this had already come up between Wally and Adeela? Like, at the very least that he’d worked for an NGO in Afghanistan, and not just been there as a soldier? I mean, I think she’d be interested to know that a member of Wally’s family was literally from her country.
You know Wally honestly used to be one of the characters in this strip I halfway liked, if only because he actually grew and developed through dealing with his PTSD and getting back into a normal life. And damn if Batiuk hasn’t made him super unlikeable in a really short time. At this rate I bet the next arc is going to reveal how Buddy (who looks like a totally different dog in this strip) is actually a raging anti-Semite.
Link to today’s strip
Wow, this is shocking. I mean, what’s shocking is that Wally actually remembers Rana’s name. This is one of the many, many reasons why Batiuk is a terrible writer. If he’s trying to create relatable characters, having a father and daughter who apparently still live in the same town not have any clue at all what’s going on in each other’s lives to this point is not the way to do it. I kind of think this is the result of Batiuk explaining this plot to the artist, who, halfway through, reminded him “Wait, doesn’t Wally have a Muslim daughter?”. Batiuk probably laughed it off, of course Wally doesn’t, I’m the writer, shut up and draw. Then the artist pulled up a strip showing Rana, and Batiuk decided to just cram her in at the last minute like this, who cares if it makes both characters look like uncaring morons and realistically should render this whole arc pointless. It’s a whole lot weirder for Wally to react to one Muslim woman wearing a hijab when his own daughter is a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.