This Week in Milford

July 10, 2007

This post one day only!

Filed under: Neal's friends — jasbeattie @ 8:22 am


The dialogue and pacing of this strip is very weird. Mainly because the third panel is devoted to a giant marquee sign of someone completely random…when Kelly or Bob could have easily dropped Gail Matin’s name in their fascinating two-panel discussion of her.  (Bob seems about as interested in the concert as I am right now. Wait…one night only in Central City? Crap, I can’t believe I didn’t get tickets!)

So who is Gail Martin? Is she supposed to be a fictional star? Well, my patented Research-’til-I-Get-Bored turned up the following:

  • Gail Martin was the trombone player on the classic Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds.” Nah that doesn’t sound right.
  • One of Dean Martin’s daughters, Gail Martin, recorded a few 45s in the 1960s…Not really a rock n’ roll Carole King though. And that would make this comic take place in the 1980s, which doesn’t jive with the occasional awkwardly inserted modern cultural reference.
  • However, as I was reaching the edge of research boredom, I came across this article, written by none other than Mr. Neal Rubin! Seems he is a friend of the above mentioned Gail Martin (now Gail Martin Downey) and a couple years ago they attended a Vegas show, “The Rat Pack is Back.” So there ya go: Our rock star Gail Martin may be fictional, but the real Gail joins the cast of Neal’s name-dropped friends.

More importantly, where the hell is this going? Maybe Kaz will get pulled up on stage, start rockin’ out, and end up on tour for the summer. Hey, why not? You have a better idea?


  1. Count me in for Kazapalooza. I’m willing to wait in line for days to get tickets.

    I’d also like to mention that it’s incredibly confusing to create a fictional rock star and give her the same name as Dean Martin’s actual daughter. But not as confusing as the radically different depictions of Kelly in panels 1 and 2. She manages to morph into an actual human in panel 2, but she’s some sort of gnome in the first panel.

    And lastly, look at the dimensions of the vehicle in panel 1. No way that thing is a car. Coach Kaz, being environmentally conscious, has insisted on taking the bus on their date. For some reason, he’s also brought along a steering wheel.

    And lastly for real this time, the question of what decade we’re in is a good one. Yesterday we had the bartender with the sleeve garters, today we have the revue billboard right out of 1958. If not for those awkwardly inserted modern cultural references, I would think that this strip is actually set sometime in the early 60s. Although Coach Kaz’s pearl earrings still wouldn’t make sense.

    Comment by Cash — July 10, 2007 @ 8:51 am

  2. Y’know, Frank McLaughlin is getting completely shameless with the self-recycling. Kelly’s face is virtually identical in the first two panels.

    I’m confused about Coach Kaz’ age. If I understand panel 2 correctly, he was not yet in high school when Gail Martin had her last hit “20 years ago.” So Kaz can’t be much more than 30 years old, and more likely in his 20s. I thought he was older than that, close to Gil’s age. I guess it’s beyond McLaughlin’s talents to create age-appropriate faces for his characters. But if his big hot date is a concert by someone who once impressed his girlfriend’s mother… someone whose last hit was on the charts in the mid-80s (think the Bangles or Rick Astley)… then he must be the least-hip 20-something in the world.

    Nice car, too. Everybody in Milford seems to drive big huge boxy cars — sort of a cross between a hearse and an old Checker cab.

    Comment by johnw — July 10, 2007 @ 9:03 am

  3. Central City, the Windy Apple!
    I didn’t think (s)he’d play moon river, than Bam, Second Encore!

    Comment by B — July 10, 2007 @ 9:04 am

  4. Sorry about my comment’s overlap with Cash… I was writing it at the same time but posted it later.

    And I’m still wondering whatever happened to the softball storyline. Maybe Gail Martin will be the surprise guest star of Thorpstock?

    Comment by johnw — July 10, 2007 @ 9:10 am

  5. #2: What Kaz leaves unsaid is that he only finished high school when he was 36.

    Comment by Scott de B. — July 10, 2007 @ 9:12 am

  6. I had to read the first panel four times “Rock and Roll Carol King”? I’m trying to get a grasp on that concept. (Carol King is from my generation, which is the ’70’s.) I’m trying to imagine “It’s too Late” to a heavy metal beat. Why is Neal Rubin making me think of these horrible things :-O

    Oh yea, Nice earrings, Kaz.

    Comment by Regina — July 10, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  7. Jason – you are going to be the latest victim of my language crusade. “Jibe,” not “jive.” As for the marquee, if you live near a rundown older town (such as Schenectady, NY), they indeed still do have marquees that look like that.

    Comment by James G — July 10, 2007 @ 10:35 am

  8. johnw, Gail Martin’s first hit was 20 years ago, not her last one. So she’s more along the lines of REM or U2 or the Beastie Boys, none of whom I’d describe as a “Rock ‘n Roll Carole King.”

    Regarding Coach Kaz’s age, I always thought he was supposed to be significantly younger than Gil, what with his tatoos and unruly hair and grandma earrings. In his introduction to the strip, he seemed to be in his early 20s, still looking for his first real J.O.B. But I don’t know how hip he’s supposed to be, since he spends 90% of his time working out or expositioning with Gil.

    Comment by Cash — July 10, 2007 @ 10:51 am

  9. Dear James G,

    I see these kids now with “Jive” printed on their shirts. Pftt… now, I can teach you how you’re supposed to say “jive”. You jive turkey. See? You got to sass it. Quit jivin’ me, turkey. A “turkey” is a bad person.


    Homer J.

    Comment by jasbeattie — July 10, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  10. Gail Martin’s first hit was 20 years ago; Kaz wasn’t paying attention then, but he “got caught up” in high school; ergo, Kaz is claiming to have been in high school less than 20 years ago.

    Nice try, Kaz. You are totally NOT some hip young 30-year-old. True, your age is almost as indeterminate as your gender, but I guarantee you’re older than me, and I graduated from high school 17 years ago.

    Oh GOD, I’m talking to a comic character with bad hair.

    Comment by jules — July 10, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  11. Oops, I overlapped at least two other comments with my comment. I suppose I should read everyone else’s first. Oh well, at least y’all got to witness my horrifying plunge into madness in the form of a Conversation with Kaz!

    Comment by jules — July 10, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  12. Jules, I graduated from High School 33 years ago (that’s why I know about Carol King!) and I say that Kaz is older than me! (Anyone that drinks in a place called “Pub” with bartenders that have sleeve garters is DEFINITELY older than me…maybe even older than my late grandmother!)

    Comment by Regina — July 10, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  13. I’m dying to see what Gail Martin looks like. I’m betting she’s going to look like either Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney or Connie Francis.

    Comment by Regina — July 10, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  14. Regarding #13’s comment, whatever Gail Martin looks like, you can bet her appearance will change from panel to panel. I think the “artist” will go for the Liza Minelli look and then fail spectacularly.

    Speaking of which, I think the “artist” should invest in one of those little wooden human body models they sell in art shops so that he may learn how to draw walking human beings that do not look like mannequins thrown into random positions.

    Comment by sir douglas — July 10, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

  15. My read on Kaz in this strip is that internally, he is really regretting that he ever started seeing Kelly because he’s being worn down by her incessant yammering.

    In Panel 1, Kelly’s turned completely sideways in the seat so she can aim her rambling right at him….”yeah, your mother says a lot of stuff that makes absolutely no sense, why do you have to repeat it all to me? I got my hands full driving this Sceni-cruiser all the way to Central City.”

    In Panel 2, Kelly again turns completely to Kaz, even though they’re presumably walking side by side….”yeah, yeah, twenty years ago, um hmm, in high school, whatever. Who the heck did she say this chick is we’re gonna see? Gail something…Man, I can’t wait til tomorrow, dead liftin’ with Gil!”

    Comment by Ned Ryerson — July 10, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  16. Okay, so after some mental math (and reading everybody else’s interpretations) I’ve got Coach Kaz pegged somewhere in his early to mid-thirties.

    Anybody know how old Gil is supposed to be? I’m assuming older than Kaz, but I have no idea by how much.

    Comment by brashieel — July 10, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  17. Gil? He’s been coaching for 50 years!

    Some guy is using The People’s Eyebrow in Panel 3 tommorrow.

    I’m dying to see what Gail Martin looks like. I’m betting she’s going to look like either Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney or Connie Francis.

    I’m not sure what that look is in tommorrow’s strip. I googled “Tarzana Nights”. Some blog sez: “It’s the great story of how (Ed) Bonham learned to write through his association with the earl of the pulps, a guy he prefers to call ‘Ed Oliver Ratt.'”

    Comment by Ennui Willie Keeler — July 10, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

  18. That jawline, those dimples… I’m pretty sure Kelly is a tranny.

    Comment by A. Chandler Moisen — July 10, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  19. 7/11: Boy, that’s some “rock concert”! Look at that massive stack of one amp. Well, not so much amp as office intercom speaker.

    Comment by Ned Ryerson — July 10, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

  20. You have a better idea?

    I do. Marty Moon finds out Clambake was a fake, and Gil gets fired. He spends all his time with Ted Forth watching “Press Your Luck.”

    Comment by Doug Puthoff — July 10, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  21. 7/11’s strip is awesome! I’m going to say this again tomorrow, but from now on, I’m going to be saying “Ease up, friend!” all the time.

    Comment by Cash — July 10, 2007 @ 8:30 pm

  22. That’s up there with “Lighten up, Francis.”

    Comment by Ennui, Willie Keeler — July 11, 2007 @ 6:26 am

  23. I’d be the first to concede that Carol King is no Gene Simmons, but c’mon– the woman who wrote “The Locomotion” doesn’t deserve to be written out of the rock’n’roll cannon by the likes of Kaz.

    Comment by Bill Altreuter — July 11, 2007 @ 8:27 am

  24. […] the end of this strip           Just in time to catch Gail Martin in Central City in […]

    Pingback by The dynamic rules of U.S. immigration law: Catch the excitement! « This Week in Milford — June 3, 2008 @ 8:10 am

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