Mr. Weber wrote:
A few years ago Pastis did a very funny Sunday parody of my Slylock Fox strip. A few weeks later I included Rat and Pig in a Slylock strip. I put Pig in this Slylock strip because I really like Pearls, and because Pig looks so wonderfully pathetic in the cage. Sorry you didn't like the solution.Knowing more about the relationship between the two strips helps me better understand and appreciate the appearance of Pig. And Weber's right -- he's a perfect choice as the Pearls character to put in this situation.
I'm a regular reader of Shylock Fox, and enjoy Weber's inventive puzzles. They usually involve either some piece of common knowledge, and require the reader to look for clues in the panel. And sometimes I miss it. My only complaint about the solution for this strip was that it required the reader to be familiar with the Popeye mythos. While I'd like to think that also might be universal knowledge, I'm not sure that's entirely the case.
"Lame" may have been too harsh a word, and so I'd like to apologize to Mr. Weber. Let's just say it didn't work for me personally. I still very much appreciate the talent required to come up with these minute mysteries week after week, and to keep them fresh and challenging. As I've said many times before-- comic strips are a vastly underrated art form.
And as always I feel honored when one of those artists takes the time to respond personally.