This Week in Milford

October 6, 2014

Too Long; Probably Shouldn’t Read

Filed under: actual action, football, metapost — nedryerson @ 6:08 am


I only just realized that Gil Thorp, the comic strip, is for teenagers! If you read Gil Thorp on the Gocomics site the About Gil Thorp blurb says:

Created by Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham for and about teenagers, Gil Thorp has developed an intensely loyal readership of all ages. It is a sports strip that is not just about sports, sometimes dealing with topical, teen-oriented issues.

Nevermind that Rubin and Whigham didn’t create Gil Thorp anymore than I created blogging. What does the Gocomics know? They think that since I am reading the Gil Thorp comic strip on their site, I might also like to read an article called “Seriously, Stop Refrigerating These Foods” (which I’m not making up and which I probably do want to read right now since it would potentially take me away from staring at True Standish and trying to think of something funny.)

Some of you may read Gil Thorp on a newspaper website like the Oregonlive from the Oregonian, which uses the Comics Kingdom engine to deliver its daily dose of comics. The Gil Thorp blurb there currently reads:

With sharp, contemporary story lines and new, graphically outstanding artwork, Gil Thorp takes readers into the halls of Milford High School, where the legendary Gil Thorp himself is an example of what high school coaches can be on their best days. The perfect bridge between the worlds of ever-expanding big-time sports and the slower-paced times of high school sports, Gil Thorp is the “Friday Night Lights” of the funny pages.

Well, we could take issue with some of that, too. Sharp and contemporary are not words that immediately spring to mind to describe these storylines. Whigham has been drawing this strip for six years now, etc. I could go on, but you read a lot of stuff on the internet that is only marginally true and/or mostly exaggerated.

So what is my point? I guess I haven’t much to say about True Standish leading Milford in this tense late game situation.

Do any of you TWIM readers have any marketing experience? How would you rewrite the Gil Thorp comic strip blurb? A secondary question: What kind of weird clickbait links do you think would be attractive to these mythical teens that are consuming the Gil Thorp comic strip? Our phone lines are all open and we await your calls.



  1. Not showing Don Stebbins any love, Twue? He dropped a pass too.

    Jaroo’s absense for the past three days just means he will pop up tomorrow or Wednesday, and the game against Shaw will last for a full week.

    An “M” tat, anyone?

    Comment by milfordian — October 6, 2014 @ 7:00 am

  2. That clock is really moving slow. How much time left in the game anyway?

    Comment by Jive Turkey — October 6, 2014 @ 7:30 am

  3. Not a marketing person but I tear marketing collateral apart as part of my day job. Let me ponder that blurb, Ned.

    Use Firefox with Adblock so do not see the clickbait ads.

    Shuford shouldn’t lead with his head; it’ll get shoved back into his shoulders. Too late! maybe he’s kin to that famous baseball player Walt “No-Neck” Williams.

    Comment by teenchy — October 6, 2014 @ 8:01 am

  4. But….but…but, if I don’t have clickbait, then I have to focus on Gil Thorp! I guess I’m totally bored with Gil Thorp and need any excuse to change the subject.

    Walt “No-Neck” Williams? Awesome. Remember that Steve Martin bit?: “I like a girl with a good head on her shoulders. I hate necks!”

    Comment by nedryerson — October 6, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  5. Have we been introduced to “Shuford” before? He must be the new Tipp Nunn.

    Comment by milfordian — October 6, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  6. Perhaps when they say “created” they mean “every day these two guys create a comic strip.” This is rather than “originated.”
    Oh, who am I kidding. The copywriter screwed up. I can just see him or her, with a pile of 70 comic strips clogging the tiny cubicle desk, that he/she could care less about, and a deadline of 5pm to get a blurb online for each of them. “What will I say about this stupid jock strip, it’s not even funny. Oh, I’ll just talk about the creative genius of these two guys for coming up with this compelling who-gives-a-damn every day.”

    Comment by Moon Mullins — October 6, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  7. milfordian@5: Austin Shuford has been around a bit in this arc. He fumbled earlier in this game on 10/1. He first met True in Janet’s Diner on 7/31. Later told Jarrod to “ease up” on True on 9/26.

    Comment by teenchy — October 6, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  8. The biggest laugh line is “intensely loyal readership.” This strip is in a few dozen papers nationwide. And somehow I think the vast majority of those “intensely loyal” readers are the writers and commenters on TWIM.

    Coming up in tomorrow’s strip: True is flushed from the pocket, he evades the rush and breaks free down the sideline. He COULD…GO…ALL… THE… Wait a minute! “QB Jarrod Hale” has run out from the sideline and tackled Standish! Game over! Shaw wins! Shaw wins! Shaaaaaaaaaaaaw wins!

    Comment by John S. Walters — October 6, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  9. Love the stadium lights in panel 1. When I hear “Friday Night Lights” I imagined more than three lonely bulbs trying to illuminate the field.

    Comment by Richard Sansing — October 6, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  10. “created, creator(s)” seems to be a term used for whoever is currently doing the strip.
    I’ve seen it used with other strips.

    Comment by Dale — October 6, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  11. “Created by Jack Berrill in a time long ago, and shamelessly bastardized by Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham, Gil Thorp is a high-school sports themed comic that explores the dark and depraved population of tank-town Milford and its drunken, vampire-like coach and namesake. Whether focused on local drug dealers, rampant teenage and adult hormones, sexting, or the seedy towns and their equally-seedy citizens that surround Milford, GT is a haven for readers that are not too interested in sports but who seek refuge from the disaster that is their own, pathetic lives.”

    Comment by milfordian — October 6, 2014 @ 11:40 am

  12. If your “phone lines are open”, I don’t know the number to dial, though. So I’ll just say this… Offhand, I think that the people who syndicate the strip should consider re-running its older strips from the 1970’s, the 80′, and the 90’s (up through, say, when the original artist passed away—around 1996 I believe). In other words, it was a great strip back in its much earlier days—-characters such as Ernie Fenton, his best friend Clyde Bean, Bitsy Twill, Bobby Loft (yes, he was not a pleasant kid—-but he was fun to read about), Lenny Hull, etc are still remembered today. I think that approach would be a lot more beneficial to the strip than the lousy story lines that it is currently running. For the record, I started reading the strip back in 1974. Not only that, I’ve read 3-4 of those paperback books that have collections of those strips from its glory days. But the strip has been a train wreck for years now ! Howard

    Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 12:08:16 +0000 To:

    Comment by Howard S Sample — October 6, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  13. I started following in 1975…

    Comment by Rowdyman — October 6, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  14. I started reading Gil Thorp at its inception in 1958, when my hometown paper picked it up, and have followed it ever since (except for those wasted years in college and grad school, when the Boston papers did not carry GT.) Thus i am a little resentful at the implication that GT has no fan base. I am willing to bet that if you counted up the number of people who have commented in TWIM (Billy, where are you?) there are at least FIFTY regular readers of GT nationwide.

    The attraction? Beats the shit out of me. Might be the notion that however awkwardly, and often mistakenly, GT tries to reproduce that small town high school experience everyone imagines but which has never actually existed. Except perhaps in “Hoosiers.”

    Meanwhile, back at Shaw HS, True is looking good. Uproar to follow with Harold Hale at the vortex. Will Gil intervene? Will False? I guarantee we will find out by January.

    Comment by vaganova — October 6, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

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