Sunday, March 22, 2015

Domesticating Walter

In addition to Sunday comics, one of the great regrets of collections of Newspaper comics is how often storylines are shown once and never seen again after their publication.  We're fortunate if week-long (or longer) arcs remain in their entirety in a reprint, with all their recapping intact.  Having gone through various months of online archives, I can safely say that there's a lot of junk material out there, usually with forced punchlines.  To further drive the difficulty of selection, Newspaper comic arcs can come out of nowhere, necessitating the need to backtrack previous days to get to the start of the story.

As with any storyline, it starts out perfectly innocuously, with Adam trying to get his neighbor to be honest about his feelings.  Fanfic slashers, your material is right here.

Deny it all you want, you're only repressing yourself.

After this initial setup, we get to the heart of the conflict:

Walter certainly seems to be quite the stickler for detail, and focusing on the wrong thing.

In a previous post, I mentioned Walter being somewhat helpless in basic household chores.  In case it's not obvious here, he's taking a pair of scissors to the shirt, hence the "SNIP" sound.

The last line is supposed to read "I'm sure someone at the factory made a mistake", but with the faded text, it looks more like "I'm sure someone at the factory Male a mistake", which makes it unintentionally relevant.

To put this joke in context, the year these came out was in October 1985.  The danger of being obsolete may be one of the reasons many strips don't get reprinted.  People eating items that expired in 1947 only gets funnier with each successive year.

With Walter expressing complete ignorance over basic household cleaning products such as mops and vacuum cleaners, I'm guessing he's being intentionally dense or displaying situation-specific amnesia.

Of course, it wouldn't be a typical Adam/Walter confrontation without basic Male Chauvinist ingratitude.

And of course, it wouldn't be a classic Adam strip without a typical Sisyphean reward.

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