This Week in Milford

September 3, 2022


Gentle readers, I’m just an old newspaper comics reader. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the comments section of your blogs makes me want to put down my laptop and run off into the hills, or wherever. Sometimes when I look at a strip on GoComics, I wonder: “Did little demons get inside and draw it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know – when a new writer takes over a legacy comic strip and infuses it with too many current-day issues all at once, I want to complain and vow never to read that strip again. Thank you.

That’s how I felt, not after reading today’s strip, but after making the mistake of reading the GoComics comments before I posted like I said I’d never do. If I hadn’t, however, I wouldn’t have been able to put together the backstory behind today’s strip. For that we have to go back to a time before TWIM even existed, nearly twenty years ago, during the Jerry Jenkins era.

Melissa was a high school student who became pregnant by her boyfriend Kyle Gordon. Note the blatant product placement.

December 30, 2002

Melissa’s father forbade Kyle from seeing her again. The baby’s future was not in doubt, as least for the moment.

January 4, 2003

Melissa’s parents gave her the boot, and Kyle had no intention of marrying her…

January 13, 2003

… so his parents moved him out of state and forbade him from contacting her. Then the baby’s future came into doubt.

January 16, 2003

Kyle and Melissa concluded that Melissa should do something she had the constitutional right to do at the time.

January 18, 2003

Melissa ultimately decided to keep the baby and not Kyle, and the Thorps welcomed her into their home.

January 27, 2003

Note that the kid sitting next to Melissa is Keri Thorp, who would go into a state of suspended animation until very recently.

Marty got wind of the situation and tried to make a thing of it. Gil nipped it in the bud.

February 5, 2003

Mimi noticed Melissa “craving” Gil’s attention (!) but Gil was oblivious.

February 7, 2003

Turned out Mimi wasn’t wrong.

February 11, 2003

After Melissa concocted a story about Jami getting hurt and getting Gil to chaperon a movie date with three other MHS girls who mysteriously backed out, she got caught in the lie.

February 25, 2003

Melissa tried to play the Fatal Attraction angle…

February 27, 2003

… and then Gil blew a shot at an easy threesome professed his eternal faithfulness to Mimi. Where was Luke Martinez when this went down?

March 1, 2003

The Gil Thorp plot then pivoted to The Brent Raptor Story. I lost the scent after that, so I can’t say for certain that Melissa and Tabatha/Tobias appeared in the strip again until today. Now that she’s Melissa Gordon, can we conclude she and Kyle eventually did marry? Going down the rabbit hole of 2002-03 strips exhausted me. I’m sure someone will have done that legwork before I post again.

There was blowback to Jenkins’ anti-abortion/pro-life stance (e.g., the Chicago Tribune dropped the strip), but I can only imagine it will pale in comparison to the blowback Barajas is going to get after today.

Our minds could race with the possibilities raised by the mere presence of young Tobias in the strip. (Never mind that he should logically be a college freshman by now, with Melissa in her mid-to-late thirties and Keri in her mid-to-late twenties.) Gil’s attempts to get Tobias on the football team would no doubt meet with greater resistance than getting Heather Burns to play tight end. I won’t even dwell on Gil’s lame attempt at hygiene theater, his free-floating mask, or the loving care with which Steve Luhm polished the oreintation desk. Today’s strip has brought out Luann levels of commentary from people apparently as invested in this strip as the Luann trufans are (and if you don’t know anything about them by now, you’re better off not knowing.)

Me, I’m here for the ride. I just don’t know if I can dig through decades of archives every time I post.



  1. I’ve enjoyed the snark from my TWIM brethren for about 8 years. But it’s check out time. ROCK ON !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 3, 2022 @ 10:21 pm

  2. I’m going to have a hard time leaving this site without some punk/garage/stoner rock suggestions. Cro-Mags, Black Flag (of course) Queers, Dwarves, Local H (have you not been paying attention!) Flipper, Mudhoney, King Khan and the BBQ Show, Oblivions, Gories Mummies, Ty Segall( please check him out!) Bongzilla, Personal and the Pizzas, Melvins, Reverend Beat Man (I’m not gonna tell ya!) Meatbodies, Muchacha, Buzzcocks, QOTSA, Kyuss, Desert Sessions (Punk Rock Caveman…) Mike Krol (Red Mini Van) Teen Idles Sneekers), Pissed Jeans and the incomparable Chuck Berry. Hope you check them out and many more comparable bands. Fugazi, Chrome Cranks (Hot Blonde Cocktail) Fu Manchu and SO many other similar bands. You all
    have influenced me HUGELY!!!! Again, ROCK ON !!!!!!!!!!! Yep

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 3, 2022 @ 11:11 pm

  3. “I Can Laugh About it Now “ Negative Trend. “California Dreamin’” Big Stick, Deftones, Chevelle, Harvey Milk “Women Dig It” Jeff The Brotherhood , The Penatrators,Reatards and Supercharger.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 3, 2022 @ 11:56 pm

  4. Sonny and the Sunsets, (Too Young to Burn) does it get more melodic than that?! I don’t think so. Royal Trux ,Natural Child (1971 album) The Stooges !!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 4, 2022 @ 12:07 am

  5. I was skimming through those same strips when someone posted a link to that story. I never got to a point where they mentioned what happened with the two future parents, if it ever was addressed. (I’m guessing not.) What was interesting was I read through the boys basketball season (they rolled all the way to the State Finals before losing a heartbreaker – which would have been a repeat title for Milford), and then baseball which was the Brent Raptor beginning (and that team too made it to the State Final but lost a heartbreaker). The odd thing was it was almost non-stop sports strips for those two seasons and went all the way into August. The only non-sports was Brent battling his weight problem and his abusive mother. Girls basketball and softball were totally ignored.

    Comment by MopMan — September 4, 2022 @ 6:01 am

  6. Well, Barajas said that he was gonna do more strips with more recent issues so this really isn’t a surprise. I just hope this doesn’t turn into a Lia Thomas type fiasco of a story.

    Comment by franku2016 — September 4, 2022 @ 7:06 am

  7. Looking at Kyle’s head, Tobias has to be Gil’s grandson.

    Comment by Downpuppy — September 4, 2022 @ 7:59 am

  8. Appears from panel 1, 9/3, that The Chief is disoriented by the recent pace of change.

    Comment by vaganova — September 4, 2022 @ 8:36 am

  9. Excellent, teenchy.

    That 2003 storyline was a doozy. Of course all pregnant teens would be DTF Gil. Probably trans kids too. It’s just science!

    Let’s see what we get for me to deal with tomorrow!

    Comment by nedryerson — September 4, 2022 @ 9:02 am

  10. Jive Turkey, If this is indeed the time you check out, thanks for your contributions, My Man. You have kept me going with your unwavering support. Your insights were no-nonsense and on-point. And pretty damn funny. Thank you for the list and I WILL check them out. May God bless you wherever you go and whatever you do. ROCK ON!!!!!!

    Comment by tdrewhardin — September 4, 2022 @ 11:59 am

  11. Jerry B. Jenkins courted controversy with the Melissa and Kyle story as well as the story of ambiguously Jewish star running back David Greene… but it usually blew over pretty quick because the guy’s pacing was just thoroughly and consistently excellent.

    You know what else was going on at the same time as the Melissa and Kyle story? A state championship contending run for the basketball team that depicted 27 games.

    Comment by billytheskink — September 6, 2022 @ 12:37 pm

  12. […] Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, […]

    Pingback by More Pronoun Trouble | This Week in Milford — September 14, 2022 @ 2:30 pm

  13. […] was written by Jerry Jenkins. Yes, the Left Behind novelist. (And illustrated by Frank McLaughlin.) This Week In Milford dug out the original strips and summarized the story, with examples of the stri… I’ll make the story even shorter. Melissa, pregnant with fellow student Kyle Gordon, took […]

    Pingback by What’s Going On In Gil Thorp? What’s this about Coach Thorp telling a kid to get an abortion? July – September 2022 – Another Blog, Meanwhile — September 28, 2022 @ 6:30 pm

  14. […] flashing the love hands to Tobias. Is it her way of saying “I’ve been supporting you since I was a kid and you were a fetus“? We’ve already seen a bit of awkwardness on Keri’s part where Toby is concerned. […]

    Pingback by A Mudlark Victory, Both Literal and Symbolic | This Week in Milford — October 8, 2022 @ 9:08 pm

  15. […] concerned. Gotta be Toby’s referring to her in the past tense. (Never mind that Toby was in utero while Mel was under Kari’s roof; we’ll let the retcon slide for today.) Not so much the […]

    Pingback by It Won’t Be the New Year That’ll Suck, IYKWIMAITYD | This Week in Milford — December 31, 2022 @ 5:33 pm

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