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Mary Worth, 5/15/24

Oooh, look everyone, Mary Worth is doing a bit where Wilbur is shouting “Stella!” like Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire, except it’s “Stellan,” the name of his fish, and instead of demanding forgiveness from a wife he’s just assaulted, like Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire, he’s just sad because the fish is dead. Is this what you want, Mary Worth? That we all notice and pay attention to this truly outrageous stunt? That we all titter knowingly at the reference, and maybe post on social media that we realize now that you’ve been playing the long game on this one, for two and a half years? Well, fine, fine, we’ll pay attention to you, but keep in mind that not all attention is good attention.

Slylock Fox, 5/15/24

The central fact of the world of Slylock Fox is that one day, for reasons nobody clearly understood, almost all the animals simultaneously Ascended to sapience, and every strip, in ways ranging from the trivial to the profound, attempts to grapple with the implications of that transformation. For instance: what happens when creatures that had long been solely concerned with eating and sleeping, escaping predators and perhaps experiencing bodily pleasures, suddenly become aware that there is a world out there beyond themselves, a world vast and unknowable — or, perhaps even more terrifying, knowable? What happens when they happen upon a discarded book of spooky fish tales, and learn that their bodies and the sea that sustains them is not all that makes up a fish’s world, but there is spirit and divinity as well? Would they be struck, all at once, with a combination of wonder and terror, like Adam and Eve in the garden, realizing what good and evil were, wondering what comes next?