Summoning Shady Shrew
Slylock Fox, 9/7/22 (panel)
Well, you could find all the S-words. Alternatively, you could assign names beginning with the letter S to all the elements: Siamese, sycamore, stratus, sun, starling, shack: try it!
Slylock‘s original premise seems rooted in the ancient gnostic belief that knowing the “true names” of things and beings confers power over them. You could give that a try, too, and maybe acquire godlike power over the stuff in today’s episode of Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids. For which, congratulations, I guess.
Gil Thorp, 9/7/22
Wow, the plot developments in the new Gil Thorp are coming thick and fast. Here we learn that the Thorps’ impending divorce has less to do with Gil’s roving eye or frequent absences and more with Mimi’s long-suppressed LPGA dreams. Which I could really get into, except Mimi’s Mom is wearing Gil’s face and it’s creeping me out.
It’s an iron law in comics that nothing must ever change. Calvin and Dennis must stay five forever; Marvin never leave his diaper; Charlie Brown never grow up. When a cartoonist slips up in the name of “progress” or “development,” all hell breaks loose. Characters in real-time strips like For Better or for Worse or Gasoline Alley age out of their cute zones into boring adults or, eventually, horrifying rattletraps like century-and-change Walt Wallet. The famous time-skip in Funky Winkerbean tried to shift focus to sons and daughters, failed, and went back to its increasingly creaky main cast.
So it is with Luann‘s post-graduation stories. A few characters got cashiered outright: Knute, Crystal, Mr. Fogarty. But with some obvious substitutions—ethnic ciphers Dez and Bets for ethnic ciphers Delta and Rosa—the cast and plots are the same, except for Tiffany here. She literally grew out of her “shallow, pretty cheerleader” role when she gained weight “dealing with depression” in 2017. So, in classic Darwinian fashion, here comes Stef to occupy her niche. The strip is now working hard to throw her a lifeline with a “poor little rich girl” role. Hold onto it, Tiff—hold on for dear life. The shadow of Walt Wallet looms large.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/7/22
Buck! Buck! All is forgiven! Come back Buck, please! Buuuuuuuuuuuuck!