This Week in Milford

February 1, 2017

They Like Him In His Own Weird Way

020117

It’s good to see that Mike and Ken are back on the case! I couldn’t recall AaAa’s apple gag so I looked it up. The relevant strips were essentially a pre-hash of the story in today’s strip. I’m not entirely clear how serial apple larceny is an endearing quirk, but a lot of things about Milford similarly elude me. That said, going over the point a second time does little to move the plot along.

Indeed, it makes me wonder if perhaps we are in for a refresher on how Molly is ostensibly the name of some girl from Tilden and almost certainly not the street name of one of the many esoteric chemicals Quadruple A takes during his all night raves.

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8 Comments »

  1. Have we seen anyone steamed at Aagard aside from these two? Anyone at all?

    Comment by billytheskink — February 1, 2017 @ 10:58 am

  2. Billy, unless i mistook their identities, two players other than Ken and Mike spoke out just yesterday, annoyed that Aa ducked out so quickly as if he didn’t care he’d given up the ball at the end, costing the game. Anyone who’s seen my posts knows I screw up all the time, but I think we’re being told that the “What the hell is wrong with Aagard?” sentiment is spreading.

    Comment by vaganova — February 1, 2017 @ 12:11 pm

  3. It dawns on me that Gil is a “one plot” strip. Maybe I’m dull, but can someone recall a time when several plot lines threaded in and out of the dailies? This is me with my epiphany; I get so annoyed with The Gil because it’s the same dang shiite every day. Other serial strips can juggle; JP has at least three arcs going right now and MW has 2 off the top of my head. But the Gil? AaAa. All. The. Time.

    Comment by g2design — February 1, 2017 @ 1:05 pm

  4. Following up on g2, I think we used to see more plot-weaving in GT than we have lately. It was kind of a natural setup, with boys’ and girls’ sports on separate tracks. Not so much anymore. Even with last year’s disastrous True/Boo story, the girls’ team got lost in the shuffle. They were nothing more than a plot device: show up, cry, and disappear again.

    Which brings me to the other thing Rubin’s doing now. He takes a single plot point and works it to death. Today, we’re back to the apple thing? Sheesh. There’s plenty of time to develop a major plotline and a minor counterpoint, instead of getting this one thing hammered over and over again.

    There’s a truism in continuity strips: you have to assume that readers are only occasionally tuning in and you have to overemphasize story elements. To me, Rubin takes it too far.

    And thus endeth the serious analysis of a little newspaper strip. On to the rest of the world’s problems.

    Comment by John S. Walters — February 1, 2017 @ 1:30 pm

  5. Nice analysis by g2 and John S. I agree about the continuity issue and also think Rubin could use the left pedal more. One of my guilty pleasures is “Prince Valiant,” a Sunday strip which usually has at least four panels and sometimes as many as five or six. But I find that I can be out of the country long enough to miss two or three strips and still piece together the story once I return to it. This may be because the story usually develops at a leisurely pace. This may be in deference to the drawings, which are stunning.

    Comment by vaganova — February 1, 2017 @ 2:27 pm

  6. You are correct about yesterday’s complainers, Vaganova. I just kind of mentally turned them into Mike and Ken, probably because one of them appears to be a blond version of Mike.

    Since Whigham began drawing the strip, Rubin has largely hewn to a formula of beginning and ending plot lines for each of the four seasons (football, basketball, baseball/softball, summer), never carrying them over from season-to-season. Sometimes there are separate girls and boys team plots, but Rubin often ties the two groups together in one single major plot. It is a tidy way to run the strip, but not nearly as interesting as what Berrill and Jenkins did stretching story arcs and character progressions across seasons and even years. Even in his first few years writing the strip after Jenkins departure, Rubin would carry character and story arcs across seasons. He seemed to lose interest in this once Brent Raptor graduated and has been jettisoning bits of continuity since (the Thorp kids, Kaz and Kelly’s relationship, Marty Moon’s shenanigans, Mimi having a life), only occasionally giving students featured roles in multiple seasons (True, Boo, Parker Bowen, and Molly Kinsella are about it).

    Jenkins received some guff for occasionally injecting his Christian ideology into plot lines, but he did a fine job telling stories and weaving plots and characters together in a way that maintained the strip’s universe. Berrill, of course, is unparalleled. Rubin’s approach probably works fine for folks who check in on the strip casually but for those of us who read it every day year-after-year, it comes across very disjointed. You could read the 2013 football, 2014 basketball, and 2014 baseball/softball seasons in reverse order and not find yourself confused about any plot point, because none of them are relevant from one season to the next.

    I do still genuinely enjoy this strip, largely because I like both comic strips and sports and there aren’t many things that combine the two. But it used to be better… heck, it used to be better even under Rubin.

    Comment by billytheskink — February 1, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

  7. So theyre 7-1 in 5 weeks of action; game 1 was December 26. Most teams play 2 games a week so theyre only slightly behind schedule, so to speak. By now most teams in my area have played about 22 games but they started in early November. And theyve played at least 3 holiday tournaments, Thanksgiving, Christmas and maybe another out-of-towner for kicks. So big deal they lost a game. It happens. Considering AAgards up and down performances theyre doing right well to be 7-1. Now we need to see more action and less apple juggling. Gil??

    Comment by robmize2013 — February 1, 2017 @ 9:11 pm

  8. Billytheskink, that’s interesting that you tie the change in Rubin’s writing to when Whigham came on board. I’ll have to go back and look at that. He seems off his game from a pacing perspective, and I don’t understand why.

    Comment by AirForbes — February 1, 2017 @ 11:31 pm


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