Someday in the far future, when the only relic of 21st century human culture is a multi-volume hardcopy of TV Tropes, laboriously hand-copied and bound in a post-apocalyptic monastery, I will be chiefly remembered for coining the word nephewism to describe a scenario where fictional characters live with their aunts and/or uncles for never-quite-explained reasons. The relationship between Skyler and his Uncle Cosmo seems like a particularly grim version of this. Cosmo grudgingly supplies Skyler with a roof under which to sleep, thanks to blood ties and a ghostly memory of affection for a presumably deceased sibling, but that seems to be about it. Certainly we never see the two of them eating anything resembling a family meal; usually the Perfesser sits too close to the TV eating off his tray and and Skyler is left to fend for himself. There isn’t even another chair in the living room for the kid to sit on. I guess he’ll be eating his TV dinner in his bedroom, assuming he has microwave privileges.
Mary Worth, 6/19/14
There have been some hints so far in this storyline that Olive’s parents have been less than thrilled with her wild imagination, presumably to set them up as the villains, so you’d think that they’d be rather horrified by this pronouncement, and yet they seem to be giving each other pleased knowing glances in panel two. A possible clue: note the WOW CHIPS in the background of the first panel. WOW was a brand used by Frito-Lay in the mid ’90s to identify products that contained Olestra; Olestra, if you’re too young to remember, was an artificial fat substitue that had some less than pleasant effects on the human digestion system, leading to a tortuous negotiation between the food industry and the FDA over a vaguely commercially viable synonym for “anal leakage” that could be used in an on-package warning label (the compromise arrived at was “loose stools”). Anyway, Olestra never really took off, for obvious reasons, so I’m guessing the WOW brand is now being used for chips with similarly dodgy ingredients — mild hallucinogens, say — and so Olive’s parents are glad they’ve finally fed her enough of the stuff to get some marketable visions out of her.
Gil Thorp, 6/19/14
The past six weeks of Gil Thorp have focused relentlessly, and crushingly boringly, on the love affair between Amy and Lucky, and both kids’ inchoate ideas about good and bad luck and how they’re stealing it from each other, and it’s been so super boring that I barely made it through that sentence. Anyway, I just want to point that Gil somehow getting his players SUPER REVVED UP about clawing their way into a tie for second in the conference neatly summarizes the Mudlarks’ usual sports competence.