This Week in Milford

June 2, 2016

That First Hit Won’t Come on the Ballfield

I guess checking the B&W and color versions of the strip daily for discrepancies is gonna have to be a thing now. Sheesh, who’s got time for that?



Today’s difference has life-changing potential, depending on how time jumps in the Thorpiverse. Panel two in the color version appears to occur a few seconds later, when Boo has slipped behind the wheel, a/o/t the B&W version, where she appears to grip an air steering wheel.* (C’mon, Whigham, at least Photoshop out the thumb shadow.) Those few seconds could mean the difference between life and a grisly death at the hands of Del Bader… a fate that may await True Standish,  or whoever’s driving the car rushing headlong into Del’s.  If it’s true what they say about your life flashing before your eyes in the moments before death, then Del’s life has been nothing but the rocks at the bottom of a highball glass.

Could that car simply be flashing Del to warn him of a lurking cop up ahead? Or to turn on his headlights? If we check yesterday’s strip (both color and B&W) it looks like Del forgot to turn his on.

060116 - color

I guess only closers can afford cars with auto-on/off lighting.

If that’s supposed to be Boo’s 2008 Jeep Compass, then that’s not an entirely inaccurate depiction of its interior. I can’t imagine its automatic transmission can be left in neutral the way Whigham’s drawn it, however.

Finally, did we ever know that the “S” in Smart stood for “Swifti” before now?** Rubin may have vaguely set Milford in the Midwest, but his head’s in Mississippi. A fine segue into a musical number to bide our time as this slow-motion train car wreck unfolds before our rocks-in-a-highball-glass-filled eyes.


* The changes in yesterday’s and today’s strips both involve removing a teen character using a phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Just a WAG: Whigrub submitted the color versions first, got flak from the syndicate for promoting teen phone use while driving, edited the offending panels, then resubmitted – but not before some outlets had already prepped version one to run in advance. Taking that hypothesis to an extreme, somewhere there must be unedited versions of Luann involving rampant orgies.

** I guess pretty much everyone who’s been reading Gil Thorp since at least 2008 knew it’s for Swifti Mart. My fact-checking and institutional memory, like a Nutboy, is shitty.


  1. I guess checking the B&W and color versions of the strip daily for discrepancies is gonna have to be a thing now. Sheesh, who’s got time for that?

    I second your Sheesh! What gives? Whigham has one deadline to submit a strip to the colorist, but a later deadline to submit B&W, giving him the opportunity to tinker? Is he trying to foil our efforts at comprehensive, thoughtful blogging??

    teenchy, the SwiftiMart brand figured prominently during the great Nutboy caper.

    Putting aside all that and whatever pending mayhem we’re in store for, the most incredible thing I learned today is that people post Yelp reviews for places like SwiftiMart, Walgreen’s and Clark’s Shell. At least they do in Biloxi.

    Comment by nedryerson — June 2, 2016 @ 5:48 am

  2. Forgot to get milk? Suddenly I’m hoping for a guest appearance by J. Walter Weatherman: “And THAT’S why you always leave a note!”

    Comment by Roscoe P. Soultrain — June 2, 2016 @ 6:06 am

  3. Ned, duly noted. See edit above.

    Comment by teenchy — June 2, 2016 @ 6:17 am

  4. Well, with both True and Boo now using their phones out of the car, I guess this means Del won’t be narrowly avoiding a wreck only to find himself transported back to Milford in the 70s only to later discover that he really was in a wreck and was in a coma during his time travel adventure but that he also set off a chain of events during his coma-dream that somehow resulted in Tod Andrews taking over Milford athletics from Gil in the real world…

    I’d actually trust Whigham to handle that scenario better than Tom Batiuk did.

    Comment by billytheskink — June 2, 2016 @ 7:27 am

  5. I’m hoping Del is heading south on the northbound side of a divided highway. If you’re going for a pileup, go big!

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — June 2, 2016 @ 8:42 am

  6. Whoever’s involved in the bloody crash, I’m looking forward to Buddy standing over the smoldering wreckage, blaming the victim for driving into the path of his Dad’s wrong-way car.

    Comment by John S. Walters — June 2, 2016 @ 10:06 am

  7. Is that really Del behind the wheel? We are not getting a great view. This drivers hands look to be at 10 and 2 so I don’t know. But I might know by Monday.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — June 2, 2016 @ 10:32 am

  8. I’m fairly confident y’all are looking down the road towards the future (a pending cataclysm? I hope I hope I hope). Me, I’m studying the rear-view mirror to understand… just where the hell Del is driving(?). I cannot discover any use of triple broken road striping in the modern world. Perhaps Del has drifted onto an airport runway, which makes the oncoming vehicle a Terrafugia. Cool, but highly unlikely.

    Oh – and 10 and 2 is no longer recommended. Now that airbags are ubiquitous, they’re teaching nine-and-three to the Youth Of Today®. Del, he’s so old school.

    Comment by g2design — June 2, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

  9. We’ve had several days of teasing about who Del will hit: Boo or True?
    A possible plot twist, probably beyond Rubin’s capacity for invention: the soon-to-he-hospitalized driver of the other car could be Ken Brown.

    Comment by Philip — June 2, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

  10. FWIW I’m preferring the noir panels. Especially for this story arc.

    Comment by g2design — June 2, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

  11. Mikeflyer4

    Ken Brown ?? OR maybe buddy!!

    Comment by Mike Bruning — June 2, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

  12. Looking at belts, Boo is covered, True is not, but it’s not clear from that frame if he is moving yet. Cannot tell about Dipshit Del, hence no prediction on whether he will end up in the same area code as his car. Also trying to see the outcome– and purpose– of having one character rather than another in the other car. The only one that really makes sense is Bader the Less, and that only for the Darwin Awards. So I think the odds favor a stranger, with the kids arriving afterward.

    Comment by vaganova — June 2, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

  13. Incidentally, any theories on why Dipshit Del thinks drivers are flashing their lights at him to wrongly tell him he’s in the wrong lane? He could be on the wrong side of a divided highway, as downpuppy points out, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a double line in such a setting. We should find out by Wednesday or so in any case.

    Comment by vaganova — June 2, 2016 @ 5:19 pm

  14. vaganova @13: I suggested that he forgot to turn his own car’s lights on, or to warn him that there’s a cop lying in wait ahead (e.g., as a speed trap).

    Comment by teenchy — June 2, 2016 @ 6:29 pm

  15. Teenchy, I agree— I am pretty sure he is running without lights, which further testifies to his stupidity– how do you drive on a dark road without realizing you’re lights are off? I’m just wondering what (other than being blasted) makes him think they’re telling him anything about lanes. On my planet, flashing your brights at an oncoming car means only three things– speed trap ahead, dim your lights, or TURN THEM ON. In the latter case, some of us turn our own lights on and off a couple of times to make it more obvious.

    Comment by vaganova — June 2, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

  16. […] more innocent when the talking on a phone while driving panel was edited out in some […]

    Pingback by Six Months in a Leaky Plot | This Week in Milford — September 3, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

  17. […] Of course the dialogue helps with that too: Kelly has just seen the Third Billboard Outside Milford.  Speaking of Boo Radley, good on Whigham for drawing a Bluetooth cockroach in Kelly’s ear.  Hands-free phone usage while driving in the Thorpiverse from now on, not like the times before. […]

    Pingback by Snatch It Back (Up) And Hold It | This Week in Milford — January 5, 2019 @ 7:53 pm

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