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.
The folks who bring you SoSF rely on Grandpa Google too: mainly to confirm a suspicion that ol’ TB has once again drawn inspiration from his tiny Ohio Universe. The black squirrel on the poster in panel 5 is another tipoff that we’re at Kent State. But KSU’s “Cultural Café” IRL isn’t a permanent dining facility: it’s a monthly series of events “that seeks to educate and familiarize [students, faculty and staff] about the home countries of our international students.” There’s one this Tuesday. With the exception of Adeela and possibly that swarthy guy with the glasses in panel 1, this “café” doesn’t seem any more or less “cultural” than any other spot on campus. But wait! Who’s the gal with the light blue hijab wrapped around her elongated head? Well, since TB teased it in his blog (and Gerald Plourde reminded us in a comment yesterday) it’s not really spoiling the surprise to tell you it’s Wally and Becky’s adopted daughter Rana, who, like Wally, has been missing in action for years.
Veterans’ Day greetings to our readers, and respect and gratitude to our vets. Tune in tomorrow when newly minted guest author SpacemanSpiff85 takes over the helm!
I liked this arc much better when these two were wary of each other to the point of antipathy. Their initial awkwardness and mistrust of one another has, almost in an instant, been replaced with gentle scatological humor and hijab hijinks. Of course, Wally has to take it too far and bring up the handshaking thing.
Programming notes: Saturday’s strip was not available for preview; look for a placeholder post after midnight EST. Also! On Monday we welcome our newest guest author!
October 27, 2018 at 10:56 am
Like everyone else in Westview, Wally has no empathy. He could take his jacket off (since he’s wearing a T-shirt underneath it) and ask Adeela if that helps in making her more comfortable so they can work on the project together. But that would require him removing his “I am a veteran who has suffered” clothing and since it’s all about him, that thought will never cross his mind.
Well now! Could this be Wally’s big breakthrough? He’s finally ready to relinquish his good old M-65 jacket. Keep in mind it’s only been nine years since he popped up on Becky’s doorstep. Long enough for the jacket to fade from olive drab to the battleship gray we see today.
Getting a little too chummy there, Wally. You think all that cultural sensitivity training he got in the Army would have him avoid such vulgarity around Adeela, but he’s suddenly so relaxed he forgets himself. And rather than being offended, she’s actually amused by Wally’s coarse talk.
Since this story’s moving at such a slack pace, let’s pick apart the draughtsmanship. Ayers has always been a better cartoonist than Batiuk, But like Burchett (where’s he been, anyway?) I get the feeling he has to dumb down his style for Funky Winkerbean. Note the hirsute zombie in panel 1, and panel 2 Buddy’s deformed, mismatched legs.
Well, which is it? Can’t get back to sleep or great sense of relief? Methinks TB found and liked this Churchill quote (actually a paraphrase), and made up his mind to insert it into a strip, however hamfistedly.
The year’s most utterly predictable FW arc rolls into its fifth week. To recap:
- Wally announces he’s heading into his final semester; Funky and Rachel remark on Wally’s progress vs. post-traumatic stress disorder.
- We meet Adeela, Wally’s hijab-wearing classmate. Wally and Adeela are thrown together as study partners.
- Without even really trying, the two decide they can’t get along, and agree to ask their professor to assign them different partners.
- The sound of a loud siren sends the two into a panic; when they regain their senses they learn it was merely a test of the campus tornado warning siren.
Now, let the bonding commence. Before their scare, Adeela refused to sit at the same table as Wally. Now she sits thisclose, and shares a memory about her life back home. Is Batiuk channeling Yogi Berra here? “…when you went back to bed, you’d be up for the rest of the night” feels kind of like “It’s so crowded, nobody goes there anymore.” Except, you know, not funny, although Wally’s rejoinder does draw a wry smirk from Adeela.