|Text & images © Michael Chevy Castranova|
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Friday, June 19, 2015
“SLIPPED”: The Adventure Thus Far …
For those readers who haven’t followed all seven-plus years of “Slipped” since the strip debuted online in March 2008 — and we’ll leave you with your own conscience on that score — here’s a very brief recap. All this information has been revealed within the past 338 chapters.
Tyler Wilson’s time line
Before the beginning: Arkady Wilson, most likely French, married an American, whose name has not been disclosed. Among their children are two daughters — Tyler Marie-Clotilde and Mendacity. Tyler was born in Paris in 1902 or in Cairo-on-the-Moon in 2075 — she’s still trying to work that out.
Arkady Wilson became a Parisian legend as a scarlet-masked cat burglar, using the alias the Scarlet Sparrow. He somehow obtained a Time Sword — much prized by beings of this world and others.
He vanished while his offspring were very young — possibly because of the problematic Time Sword.
When the comic strip “Slipped” begins in 1926: Tyler, by now a lovely, young dance student, comes by the Time Sword and dons the identity of the Scarlet Sparrow to rally Paris and western Europe to push back the occupying military forces of les Rongeurs, scientifically enhanced giant rats.
She subsequently has numerous adventures as the Sword pulls her back and forth in time — thus far, on Earth and on the moon. Though a natural leader, she is given to spur-of-the-moment decisions, and her choices often produce questionable outcomes. (Though, to be fair, all this going here and there in time has messed with the young woman’s memories — and so too with her judgment.)
Tyler also has had a few flirtations, including with Étienne (unnamed thus far in the comic strip), leader of a resistance group hoping to combat les Rongeurs; Dickie Talbot, who falsely claims to be her fiancé; le Capitain, a Rongeur officer; and Pablo Picasso.
Among her more loyal allies are Philip “Pip” Pirrip, a dog of mixed heritage who speaks to her and only a few others (though he’ll become a famous singer of the American Song Book in his future), and Pip’s Uncle Béla, who is not a canine, but a magician — or possibly something more sinister. (He uses his magic, or whatever it is, on more than one occasion to alter his appearance — most recently into a more dashing-looking man to woo Elise, queen of Tzanicor.)
Tyler several times outwits Dargelos, who may be the devil. Really.
In more recent chapters, Tyler, Béla and Pip go back in time a few years and travel with Tyler’s younger sister, Mendacity, as well as with the Tzanicor — known as Unicorns for their pointed head gear. Mendacity makes off with the Time Sword to keep it out of les Rongeurs’ paws.
Our heroes slow the development of the giant-making formula. Tyler hopes that will change history — now her future — and prevent les Rongeurs’ invasion of Europe. Last seen, Tyler returns to Paris to deal with …
Mendacity Wilson’s time line:
Having left Tyler and friends before the battles between the Unicorns and the Rongeur, Mendacity goes back to Paris with the Time Sword and, donning a scarlet-red mask, becomes the Scarlet Sparrow — a thief who robs from the upper classes has her father had done. She in effect does what Tyler did/would have done in her (Tyler’s) original time line had she (Tyler) not altered history/the future. Maybe.
But Mendacity’s motives are not as altruistic as her father’s or Tyler’s.
Pip’s time line:
After taking up with Tyler Wilson during an adventure in Moscow-on-the-Moon — where Pip and Béla had been performing in a Russian circus — he travels in time with her.
In old age, he will tell of his adventures with the Scarlet Sparrow to a ghost writer for his memoirs, titled “Slipped.” He may or may not be embellishing some of the story.
About the languages:
Most of the time Tyler speaks French. This is indicated by her use of French words such as “alors,” etc. But sometimes she shifts to English, depending on with whom she is conversing. She also knows a smattering of Egyptian Arabic.
Though she often, quite willfully, dictates how the plot will go — many times at variance to what the writer has in mind — she can’t know more languages than the writer does. At least, she hasn’t so far.
Prenez garde des rats géants. — MCC, June 19, 2015