So much for Summer’s reappearance… with today’s strip we’re now seven panels removed from Monday’s “Hey Harry! What Brings?” with no end in sight to the sepia-toned sadness blocking Ms. Moore from view. If that’s not bad enough for poor Summer, Lisa can’t be bothered to even mention “her daughter” by name in the word salad she spits out in panel 2.
Are we headed toward another unnecessary and uninteresting retcon?
I’m sure Epicus Doomus is happy to not be blogging about old men having boring conversations for the first time in months weeks (tip of the Funky felt-tip to you for your endurance), but neither I (billytheskink, hello there) nor the readers are going to be so lucky. Nope, today’s strip offers a change of venue but not of subject, old men just won’t stop blandly contemplating the decline of themselves and their worlds… and our venue may well shift back to last week’s graveyard by the end of the week if Crazy can’t name that tune in 12 notes.
Yep, Crazy’s a goner. Dang, and I had Frd Fairgood in the death pool.
You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip…
At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.
Today’s strip is the worst thing we’ve seen in this story arc yet. It is everything wrong with every strip so far in this story arc scaled up into a Sunday strip: it is boring, nothing has really been accomplished (we all saw “talk to the professor” coming last Wednesday), Buddy doesn’t do anything, we learn nothing about either Wally or Adeela, we still don’t know what class this group project is even for. I guess it is missing a photo album corner flashback, but that is pretty much it.
Not only that, it is riddled with errors:
– There is no “mistake”. Professor Forehead never assigned partners, he just told students to pair up themselves. He is not going to be able to assign these two new partners without breaking groups up, and if he is like most of my college professors, he is not going to care much about this melodrama.
– This is not the first time these two have agreed. They agreed that they didn’t like each other’s clothes not three strips ago.
– These two also don’t have any significant history of disagreement beyond their apparent clothing-based assumptions about each other. They’ve known each other for maybe 2 hours. The debate about what table to sit at is quite literally the only disagreement we’ve seen between them.
And with that, I’m relieved to be handing this nutria dropping of a story arc off to our esteemed captain TFHackett.
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”.
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.
1. Professor Forehead channels his inner and outer Les Moore. 2. STATE sweatshirt-wearing bunhead has changed into a purple top. 3. Young Kevin James or that guy from Smashmouth? 4. Cindy? Mindy? Sadie? Jessica? Anon-o-blonde? I’m going with Mallory Brooks, the world’s perfect genome… 5. When did Ed Grimley start wearing glasses? 6. Thatsnought Hewmore would be smirking if someone hadn’t given him the dreaded hatchet face. 7. Emily/Amelia cements her new class project partnership with a handshake and a side smirk. 8. Wally’s cheekbones decide that if his mouth won’t smirk, they will.
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…
Nice as that introduction is, Epicus, I don’t know if my return is triumphant. Even so, billytheskink is here for a couple of weeks of wading through the marsh that is TB’s latest “substantial idea”.
Last week’s slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow build up continues in today’s strip. I guess this is supposed to build suspense while we wait for Wally to become uncomfortable enough around Adeela to win an award or at least generate a Tuesday Arts & Entertainment section quarter-page story about how Funky Winkerbean is more serious than Sherman’s Lagoon.
But there is no suspense in this strip. There is only Dilbert’s brother, the Human Bowling Pin: