This Week in Milford

February 18, 2008

So Long Frank McLaughlin, and Thanks for all the Fish

Filed under: Just plain sad, metapost, Pantheon of Mysterious Objects — jasbeattie @ 11:12 pm


Jumpin’ Kaz-Bots! I leave for the long weekend and this is what happens? Frank McLaughlin has been replaced as “artist” by none other than Frank Bolle, already the “artist” on Apartment 3G! Apparently the qualifications for this posh gig are to be an old dude named Frank, and to be familiar with having a daily deadline of submitting three squares of total nonsense.

Am I going to miss the old crazy Uncle Frank? Hell yes! We all are, of course. Nobody could match the particular brand of insanity he brought to the table. But life goes on, and for what it’s worth, we have a new old crazy Uncle Frank in town. At 83 years, the new Frank is sure to provide an exciting fresh perspective onto our cast of Milford freaks! It will remain to be seen if we’ll be able to tell the male characters apart without at least one of them dressing up like a gay cowboy at all times, but we can always hope (for more gay cowboys, that is.)

To give a little historical perspective: here’s the first week of this strip ever inked by McLaughlin. Note that for the most part, hands looked like hands, sports action was kinda clear and there was even some respectable resemblance to human anatomy going on. (Of course, for some reason all the students all looked like 70 year old men, but I guess there had to be some early sign that the wheels would eventually fly off completely.) So what’s my point? That drawing Gil Thorp can apparently drive a man off the deep end. If we’re lucky, (and hey, I like to stay positive) it’s all downhill from here! For instance, the first panel takes place in a venue that contains both a tree and an odd bureau/counter thing with some mystery object hanging off it. I’m already confused! Where the hell are they supposed to be?

As for the plot…well, I guess Andrew murdered his parents and pushed their car in a lake. Good for him.

So let’s all drink to Frank McLaughlin, your work here shall indeed be missed!



  1. Hell, and in Tuesdays, Seja’s uncle isn’t wearing pants and is apparently peeing on The A-Train’s bushes. Then, we get some classic Apartment 3-G style “There’s no possible way to tell those two people apart” in the final panel. I’m starting to come around on Mr. Bolle.

    Comment by The A-Train — February 18, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  2. in a freaky mix of time travel, Seja’s aunt appears to be none other than an middle-aged Margo Magee, resident tyrannical bitch from Apartment 3-G

    Comment by Mooch — February 18, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  3. Ye gads, either the tree is inside a house, or someone’s put all the furniture on the outside.

    I know everyone is saying that Seja’s aunt looks like Margo, but all I noticed is that Seja and her aunt look exactly the same, just with slightly different ways of putting their hair up in a matronly fashion.

    Comment by Mrs Tuddrussell — February 19, 2008 @ 12:27 am

  4. I’m kind of sad, because I can actually tell what’s going on in panel 1… what you describe as a “counter” is actually a building, across the street, with a sign hanging on it. The perspective’s all wonky, yes, but I can pretty much tell what’s going on. I know, I’m kind of a spoilsport, but I’m confident that there will be much insanity to come. I know that we’ll never see the glorious, nearly Cubist style of action we know and love in quite the same idiom, perhaps (I mean, I knew that January 29th’s Panel 2 was going to be the best that we were going to get for quite a while, I just got the reasons wrong), but since Bolle’s really not a good artist at all (I can’t wait for the “sandy-haired males” to start appearing! They’re just around the corner, I know it!), I’m sure there will be some good fun to be had poking at his representations of Milford and those within it.

    I’m kind of curious if PUB and CAFE are Neil’s doing or Frank’s doing, and if they’ll change now that Frank II (I move that this name be adopted… all in favor?) is on the job. I sure hope they won’t. I’d miss PUB.

    Comment by Zaq — February 19, 2008 @ 12:36 am

  5. Stalker Maureen looks like she’s aged 20 years under Frank II’s watch. I’m curious to see what Curleyhorse is gonna look like…is he now going to look like Alan from Apt. 3G?

    With Seja, it looks like Frank II was drawing a guy and threw on the ponytail (if you can call it that)as an afterthought.

    FYI Frank II use to draw another godawlful comic strip, Winnie Winkle. (anyone rememer that?)

    I think that we’llhave the same insanity as we did with McLaughlin.

    Does anyone know why he was replaced?

    Comment by Regina — February 19, 2008 @ 4:05 am

  6. Frank II (based on Tuesday’s strip) is moving away from the wacky 45o angle basketball, but moving us to a game where they now use rims that are bout 5 feet off the ground. Or else all the girls are 10 feet tall.

    Comment by James G — February 19, 2008 @ 6:02 am

  7. C’mon, Bolle’s only 82 (he turns 83 this year!)

    Comment by Clambake — February 19, 2008 @ 6:12 am

  8. .

    Comment by lester — February 19, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  9. I’ve got nothing against older people continuing to work as long as they’re able… but why in the world would the Trib syndicate hire an 82-year-old artist? Is there really no one on the planet more “qualified” than Frank Bolle?

    On the other hand, that’s one hell of an automobile in panel 3. Between that and the foyer-with-tree in panel 1, I’d have to say that things are looking up for a fresh round of art mockage.

    Comment by johnw — February 19, 2008 @ 6:43 am

  10. Wow! I am at a loss. This is going to take a while to sink in.

    Thanks for the link back to Frank I’s early Thorptations. I guess his “skills” have declined considerably. I feel a little selfish wanting to stay around just so I can marvel at his loss of ability.

    But all’s fair in comic mockery, so bring on the new old Frank. I also thought that Panel 1 was indoors somewhere and we were looking at some sort of bathroom vanity or a butler’s pantry or something. I was so intent on studying the faces that I totally missed the tree. I see what zaq points out about the across the street “perspective”. You really have to stare at that for a minute to get that. So I guess new old Frank is giving us something decent to chew on.

    I just can’t wait to see how Gil and Kaz will be rendered in this new Thorpian paradigm!!!

    Also, I’d like to say that, whatever deficiencies of skill the Franks suffer from, I commend them on being able to produce something (art or anti-art) day in and day out. It must beat workin’.

    Comment by Ned Ryerson — February 19, 2008 @ 8:17 am

  11. Zaq: My gawd, they ARE outside! It’s like that drawing that looks like an old lady or a young lady depending on how you look at it. (Though with Frank II, it looks like it will be all old ladies.)

    Jason, I think, for old times sake, this strip should get a “Just Plain Sad” tag.

    Comment by sourbelly — February 19, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  12. #4: Zaq, thanks for the help on panel 1. My brain was smoking trying to interpret it. It still hurts to look at it but at least I now know what was supposed to be happening…

    #7: Clambake, are you as good at math as you are at story-telling? ‘Cause even with only a bit of coffee in my system, I believe someone born in June of 1924 is currently either 83 or dead.

    #9: Johnw, yeah I should have mentioned Curley-Horse drives the same first car I did, a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo. (aka: “The Big Blue Beattie Boat”.) At least we still won’t see any cars manufactured after 1980 in this strip.

    #11: Sourbelly. I agree. This is just plain sad, and I will add the appropriate tag. My problem is that this tag, along with “What the Hell is going on here?” “Boredom in Milford” “Milford Weirdos” and “Milford Idiots” could all be standard-issue tags.

    Comment by jasbeattie — February 19, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  13. It’s fairly obvious what happened. In 2001, Jerry Jenkins was still writing the “plot lines” for Gil Thorp. He was also just getting rolling on the ever-so-lucrative Left Behind series. Exposure to this twaddle warped Frank M so thoroughly that he couldn’t produce anything but claw hands, curly locks, flashing lights, and confetti.

    Comment by Elmo — February 19, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  14. Look at the week before Frank McLaughlin’s debut…and the artist is…Frank Bolle! He’s got some Thorpian experience.

    Comment by Anonymous Novelist — February 19, 2008 @ 9:27 am

  15. Whoops! Jumped the gun. Please forget the above post!

    Comment by Anonymous Novelist — February 19, 2008 @ 9:27 am

  16. Seja’s aunt looks a lot like Margo’s mom.

    Comment by B — February 19, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  17. What happen to the guy who did the demo work on Gil Thorpe? Did he demand money for his work?

    Comment by michael — February 19, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  18. I have a feeling that the Trib was only willing to pay the new Thorp artist 25 cents and a ham sandwich, and Bolle was the only one who said, “Well, a ham sandwich does sound mighty tasty.”

    Comment by El Santo — February 19, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  19. Wow…the first week of Gil Thorp actually looks…like things…


    Comment by Chelsea — February 19, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  20. […] So Long Frank McLaughlin, and Thanks for all the Fish [image] Jumpin’ Kaz-Bots! I leave for the long weekend and this is what happens? Frank McLaughlin has been […] […]

    Pingback by Top Posts « — February 19, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  21. This change saddens me greatly.

    Comment by James Reed — February 19, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  22. He has made Maureen even more homely.

    Comment by ScooterAl — February 19, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  23. Wait… now I REALLY need to know how UncleFrank v.1.0 would have drawn Seja’s aunt… Would she be hiding behind the curtains like before? Would she still look like Margo in her old age, as she does now?

    So… Many… Questions…. *keels over from dizzying possibilities*

    Comment by Wynne — February 20, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

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