Archive: Slylock Fox

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Shoe, 9/11/17

One of the main things I will remembered for long after my death is coining the term “nephewism,” which now has its own TV Tropes entry, and basically describes a common trope where the protagonist is cared for by an aunt and/or uncle with no actual parents around. Sometimes this is mined for creative backstory once the world of the strip has been established (as in the case for Spider-Man, which is what I made up the word to describe); other times, as in Shoe, it mainly serves to graft a younger character into the world of an established one without having to create a sexual life for the latter. Who are Skyler’s parents? How long has he lived with his Uncle Cosmo, who clearly barely tolerates him? We haven’t gotten much information on the rest of the Fishhawk family, which is why the Perfesser’s mention of his grandfather (Skyler’s great-grandfather) is kind of poignant. “Yep, grandpa used to lure fish into the boat by keeping his mouth filled with worms, which sounds disgusting but it’s not, because we’re birds! As birds, we’re actually pretty well known chewing up disgusting bugs and whatnot and then regurgitating them into mouths of our young. So if you think about it, this was actually a very tender and paternal move on my grandfather’s part, right up until he ate the fish. Just like he ate your parents. Oh no, I’ve said too much.”

Gil Thorp, 9/11/17

In slightly more realistic nephew-oriented scenarios, today’s Gil Thorp sets us up for the football season with a new character: Rick, who’s living with an uncle who he probably doesn’t know so well and who still thinks of him as a kid. What happened to Rick’s parents? I dunno, but after the decidedly dull summer plot, I am 100% ready for the story of the cargo-jeans-wearing Uncle Gary, who’s like a pageant mom only instead making his little daughter enter beauty pageants he’s making his teenage nephew enter talent shows down at the Elk’s Lodge, which he somehow thinks will jump-start a rocket ride to success for both of them.

Slylock Fox, 9/11/17

Most of these audience members are smiling because they’re excited to see a magic trick performed. Not Slylock, though! Slylock’s smiling because he knows this “magic trick” is going to suck, and that the rest of the crowd is going to be furious. “They’re gonna tear this clown apart,” he thinks, smugly.

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Blondie, 8/28/17

I genuinely enjoyed today’s Blondie because it does a little switcheroo by playing on a couple different things we know about Dagwood. Like, we know Dagwood is bad at his job. Really bad! I feel like we don’t dwell on this enough. I know Mr. Dithers is supposed to be an impossible-to-please tyrant, but everything we see about Dagwood’s work life — the napping at his desk, the way he’s always surfing food porn during business hours, the offhand references to all the presentations he screws up — points to him being genuinely incompetent. Which is kind of interesting, considering he’s the protagonist of the strip! Anyway, it’s in character, and actually funny, to get two panels of mounting panic email because he completely failed to wrap up everything he was supposed to take care of before he left on vacation.

But then, in panel three, we abruptly shift gears, and realize those emails are about something else we know about Dagwood: that he is a limitless appetite, a nightmarish spatial anomaly who can take any amount of foodstuff down his infinite gullet. Just imagine Lou at the diner, the sloshing sea of subpar chili reaching his chin. “Who usually ate all this,” he asks, baffled. “Where is it coming from? Where does it usually go?” He can hardly breathe from the smell. “Where’s Dagwood? Why didn’t Dagwood tell us he was leaving? Why didn’t we make plans?

Mary Worth, 8/28/17

Poor Dawn! She’ll be devastated! This will work out great for me, a guy who definitely wants to sleep with her but doesn’t have much to offer beyond being ‘nicer’ than an actual adulterer!

Slylock Fox, 8/28/17

Having eliminated all crime in the new animal-ruled world, Slylock is keeping himself entertained by just pointing out when his least favorite animals do things incorrectly.

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Spider-Man, 8/6/17

Tyrannus is an ageless immortal deposed Roman emperor born in the 5th century A.D., but I’m not sure what aesthetic he and Kala are going for here. Especially Kala, honestly. Tyrannus looks like he’s doing something barely a step above “generic off-brand superhero costume from Party City,” which is fine, but Kala is … a giant bee? A fake “Latin” nightclub act from the 1930s, performed by a white lady from the midwest? A fake “Latin” nightclub act from the 1930s, performed by a white lady from the midwest, and the nightclub act is bee-themed? At any rate, I fully endorse Newspaper Spider-Man continuing its trend of spending all its energy on the domestic lives of its super-powered characters.

Panel from Slylock Fox, 8/6/17

In their native riparian habitat, the Beavers are master architects, building secure lodges to live in and elaborate water-control structures to create an environment that suits them. But post-animalpocalypse, the new ruling class has dictated that all newly sapient beasts must move to the human cities and imitate their near-extinct predecessors’ lifestyle. Completely out of their element, the Beavers are reduced to smearing layers of hideous green paint uniformly over the walls of their newly assigned apartment. You can tell from the expressions on their faces how unhappy they are.