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Comic Strip / Slylock Fox

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How does Slylock know the painting is a forgery? Because salmon don't swim downstream.
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Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids is a newspaper comic strip by Bob Weber Jr., which consists of the Slylock puzzler and a number of other activities. The puzzler consists of the professional detective Slylock Fox and his assistant, Max Mouse, solving a number of mysteries, usually stopping a number of recurring villains.


Tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: There's one strip (not official) which has a Satanic accused of stealing a book from the Islamic Book Store. Said book is called "The Satanic Verses". (It also features the only animals wearing shoes in the strip.)
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: In one puzzle, the presence of a saguaro cactus is the proof that Slylock is trapped in Count Weirdly's hologram chamber, and not stranded in the Egyptian desert.
  • Alliterative Name: Most of the non-Slylock characters
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  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: All of the recurring villains.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal:
    • Slylock and most of the rest of the characters.
    • Averted in one strip where two birds were accused of walking on wet cement, and Slylock had to determine who was guilty by the way the footprints were arranged, since they were wearing identical shoes.
  • The Cameo: One strip has Rat as the culprit, in response to Pearls Before Swine taking a stab at Slylock.
  • Card-Carrying Villain
  • Clock Discrepancy: On occasion, how villains get busted. One example has Shady Shrew claim he was at home as an alibi and has a photograph of himself standing in front of a clock with the exact time, noon, that he was accused of committing an offense. Slylock knows Shady is lying because the sun outside is shown rising.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: All the time; proving that the accused is lying about something is the same thing as proving their guilt.
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  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Sometimes the "contradiction" isn't actally wrong. In the picture, Slylock deduces that the painting is a forgery because salmon don't swim downstream. Never mind the fact that some salmon do swim downstream, or that the artist may have not known about salmon, or that they might have just wanted to paint something unrealistic.
  • Crossover:
    • My Cage did a storyline wherein Cassandra Cat was hired and stole money from the company, with Slylock himself appearing later. Word of God states that Max from My Cage was meant to appear in Slylock, but an editor refused it.
    • One strip had Count Weirdly use his Time Machine to travel into a 1927 Krazy Kat comic.
  • Death Trap: Count Weirdly occasionally subjects Slylock and Max to these.
  • Dull Surprise: Regardless of if he's helping a character retrieve a $10 bill or escaping a death trap, Slylock has the same emotionally detached expression.
  • Fanservice: The Cassandra Cat shirt that Bob made for The Comics Curmudgeon.
  • Funny Animals
  • Funny Background Event: A running joke is Max getting into trouble in the background. If he's not part of the investigation, he's probably being pinched by a lobster or bonked by a falling apple.
  • Furry Confusion: Sometimes the Slylock puzzles show anthropomorphic suspects, victims, and investigators while non-anthropomorphic animals of similar species hang out in the background.
  • Furry Reminder: The Funny Animal characters are usually human for all intents and purposes, but some riddles are based around a suspect's species making them capable or incapable of committing the crime.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: One strip has Slylock and Max time traveling with Count Weirdly. It's mainly a tool to dispense facts about dinosaurs, but Slylock and Weirdly seem bizarrely friendly to each other.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Slylock and Max. Depending on the strip, they even live together.
  • I Am Not Weasel: A real-world example, is how many people as kids (and even adults today) mistakenly called Slylock, "Shylock"
  • Implied Love Interest: Slylock and Max occasionally entertain Tiffany Fox and Melody Mouse. There's no evidence that they're in love, except for when Max spent the night with Melody, mentioned above.
  • Mad Scientist: Count Weirdly.
  • Meaningful Name: Slylock and every recurring villain, though they might be nicknames.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle:
    • More often than not, the answer to a Slylock puzzler is an obscure real-world fact or a tiny clue in the drawing.
    • One puzzle whose answer is unlikely to be figured out unless you know the answer's logic: A prisoner escaped and hid in a movie theater. The police found his location and surrounded all exits. How did the prisoner escape? Through the entrance. Never mind that if it's possible to leave through the entrance, it should fit the definition of "exit" and be guarded by the police.
  • No Mouth: Slylock and Max are usually mouthless, unless speaking or emoting.
  • Poke the Poodle: Most of the crimes committed are these. Arguably the biggest criminal would be Koppy Kat, an art forger, but he leaves behind blatant errors in his paintings that gives him away.
  • Rogues Gallery: Count Weirdly, Wanda Witch, Slick Smitty, Cassandra Cat, Shady Shrew, Harry Ape, Reeky Rat, Buford Bull, Bruno Bulldog, and Koppy Kat (seen in the above image).
  • Rule 34: Josh Fruhlinger, a.k.a. The Comics Curmudgeon, linked to a Rule 34 of Cassandra Cat in his blog (the pic also had Slylock and two of the other characters). Bob Weber Jr. found out after it was posted, and was a surprisingly good sport about it — he thought it was funny, but politely asked it to be taken down so that kids couldn't find it.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: One strip had Max Mouse about to visit "one of his favorite Web sites". The site was www.ohbrothercomics.com, the Web site of Oh, Brother, Bob's other comic.
  • Species Surname
  • Shout-Out:
    • In an unintentional case, the fan-submitted drawing for one strip was a drawing of Sonichu — the same one that's on the work's page.
    • Another comic had a fan draw Terezi Pyrope. And yet another has Dave Strider.
    • And another one had a drawing of Greymon.
    • Animal versions of Ed, Edd n Eddy appear in one comic as apple juice vendors.
  • Timed Mission: Some "puzzles" ask the reader to find a number of hidden objects in a scene within a time limit.
  • Token Human: Count Weirdly is the most-featured example, along with Wanda Witch and Slick Smitty.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Debatable, as many of the alleged "crimes" are solved through the oddest of means. Even then they don't always make much sense, or even point out a crime in the first place.

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