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Slylock Fox, 4/10/06

You know how else you can tell Shady Shrew is guilty? His name is frickin’ Shady Shrew. If only non-cartoon-dwelling, non-fox detectives were confronted with a criminal element that chose names with such blatant disregard for blending in to the population at large. “Chief, we’ve got three main suspects for the knife murders: Hunter Vanbecelaere, Merrill Colagiovanni, and Stabby ‘The Blade’ Stabokowitz. If only we could find one clue that could break this case wide open!”

I was fascinated by Slylock Fox, which alternates between simple-minded mysteries and jokes for particularly dull children, since its debut when I was in junior high; I seem to recall that my interest was piqued by an appalling installment in which an adorable tot speculated as to whether our Lord in Heaven, Almighty God, could beat Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fight. I do enjoy a lot of the incidental art in its panels, like the baby elephant’s sleepy eyes contrasting with Mrs. Elephants righteous, mascaraed rage, or the skateboarding rat who’s wearing a bowler cap for no good reason. The fact that Shady Shrew is a transparent anti-Semitic caricature reminds me that I used to think that this strip was called Shylock Fox, which would be an amusing, but much different feature.