This Week in Milford

September 19, 2022

Can I Get A THHLORP?

Filed under: Keri Thorp, Volleyball — nedryerson @ 11:10 am

If you wanted sports, here’s a concentrated dose of sports. The girls’ volleyball team wins again! I don’t know who announces the win in panel 3. Is there a radio play-by-play happening, or is it livestreaming on someone’s phone or is there an exuberant fan calling the action? Hopefully, whoever it is knows what they’re doing. Maybe that was just one point and this guy is really going to get on people’s nerves.

The sound effects are doing the heavy lifting today. Wack and Pop make sense, but Spike is a little iffy. Sure, we know what a spike is, but does a spike sound like SPIKE? Not really. It’s probably more of a FAP. But Gil Thorp FAP-ed a few weeks ago so maybe we’re all FAP-ed out. I think we probably need a guy like Don Martin to do this correctly. In case you’re curious, Don Martin did once use a FAP according to the link in the prior sentence. and no, it didn’t mean what we snicker about these days. It was the sound of “a huge extension arm launched boxing glove hitting a doctor in the face”. See, that’s roughly the equivalent of a hard slap on a volleyball. It’s closer than SPIKE anyway.

Oh well. Milford wins. Are we hitting The Bucket. GAG!

September 12, 2022

Hitting The Bucket

Filed under: Colorist Error, Keri Thorp, The Bucket, Volleyball — nedryerson @ 6:28 am

The Central Bobcats drop the volleyball match to Milford. The Bobcat who showed up in the wrong uniform couldn’t dig out the ball, so the let’s begin the celebration. (Yes, the colorists are still not getting the notes. Maybe a new crew of colorists checks in every week. I don’t know. It’s boring. The strips are colored by really cheap AI robots. We get it.)

The meat of the strip is an encounter between Keri Thorp and the recently introduced Tobias Gordon. I was confused by the dialog until I realized that Keri was talking to herself, nervously narrating Toby’s approach through the middle of the victory celebration. Is Keri talking to herself because she has a thing for Toby? Has she even met Toby before? Maybe Gil filled Keri in on Toby since Gil has been given the task of “watching over” Toby, by Toby’s mother.

Toby is not nervous though. He strolled right onto the court and asked Keri to The Bucket. Is he emboldened because he’s Gil’s charge? (Did Gil observe this? Did he not tell Toby to move his butt off the court unless he wants to join the team? We’ll have to wait and see what efforts Gil puts into his watching over.)

What say you, Keri? Can Toby take you to The Bucket? Is it okay if Gil watches?

September 5, 2022

Was This Concierge Oreintation?

Happy Labor Day, all. I think the holiday dictates that I needn’t give a full effort into dissecting this strip. Given that my full effort usually amounts to something approaching half-assed, we’re practically done here. It’s time for a picnic and contemplation of the efforts of my forefathers to organize themselves and give me the opportunity to develop leisurely pursuits like snarking on comics. Huzzah!

Okay, there are a few things here to talk about. Apparently, Gil’s role in manning the Oreinetation desk was loosely defined, and he was free to wander off and schmooze with parents if it struck his fancy. While Gil catches up with “Mel”, there’s another parent named Karen standing at the desk who needs help with her child’s schedule. Hold your horses, Karen. Someone will be along to help. Maybe Steve Luhm can show you around.

The Melanie/Kyle backstory timeline kind of baffles me. Their marriage fell apart after Kyle met a PA during filming of Robert Eggers’ new movie. So, this is a movie that’s new, meaning out now? Maybe there was a long postproduction period, who knows. Robert Eggers is a real director whose latest film The Northman came out this year. So Barajas is taking liberties a bit, but it does obscure the timeline a bit. It leaves me to question what happens faster, a divorce or the release of a movie.

What we’re mainly left with is that Melissa “Mel” Gordon requests that Gil watch out for Tobias, or is it Toby? I think if you choose a new name for yourself, you might be less inclined to be cool with someone using a diminutive variation. But Moms gotta mom, I guess.

August 29, 2022

Mimi Is Attracted To Big Dad Energy

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, Mimi Thorp, Pissy faced Gil, What the hell is going on here? — nedryerson @ 6:15 am

I don’t know why it is only striking me now that Lukey and Fran Martinez have coordinated their golf attire. I think in the initial reveal of Fran, I was probably focusing more on the length of Fran’s skirt, which seemed quite short. The panel one shading and perspective definitely gives the Martinez’s a more twinsie look and the skirt seems to have lengthened a bit.

Attire aside, Fran is giving us some background on Lukey. It’s a little confusing. Martinez was a stay at home dad but established and maintained credentials for coaching in schools. I guess there’s a way to do that. The point is that Coach Luke was instrumental in raising Pedro and an indeterminant number of other boys. That’s Mimi’s takeaway, at least. Being there to tuck the kids into bed gives Mimi a special feeling in her golf jorts and she’s not shy about letting Gil know.

I do dig the shock to Gil’s system as Mimi subverts his expectation and overlooks all of Coach Luke’s loutishness to focus on his parenting. Of course, Martinez might be as full of crap about this as everything else.

A few random thoughts:
Does Pedro still wet the bed??

I was today years old when I learned that “winning the chip” is a reference to championships. Cool, Luke, cool.

August 22, 2022

Got Golf If You Want It

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Gils kids, golf, metapost, Mimi Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:24 am

Gil and Mimi are hitting the links. Mimi wanted some more Coach Gil At Home time, but time on the course alone with Gil should be considered quality time. Golf is a very social game, with plenty of opportunity to chat and catch up with your companion(s) and Gil and Mimi are taking advantage of this. (I assume they are not participating in the other activities common to group golf outings, drinking and gambling.)

Gil and Mimi are catching each other up on what’s happening with the kids and that is obviously an integral part of Gil and Mimi Time. We do pick up on the fact that this is still summer despite what our calendars say. Gil asks if Jami might want to play in the Junior League this summer, so that is still ahead of them. According to Mimi, what Jami has ahead of him is hours and hours of screen time. That sounds about right.

In our final panel, we get a one-two punch. First, Henry Barajas gives a nod to all his readers (who he has commendably been very engaged with, at least those of us who devote portions, perhaps unhealthy portions, of our screen time to Gil Thorp and Gil Thorp related online activities). Gil’s line acknowledges that the Thorp children have been MIA from the strip for ages. But before we have too much time to savor the meta nature of this line, an out of frame voice identifies Gil to a companion loudly and with an expletive thrown in.

Is it Coach Luke?! Does he have a lady that he squires around the golf course on his summer break? Do we have room for another blowhard gunning for Gil? We’ll see, but the smart money is on Coach Luke. I can’t wait to see his “Baby”!

On the topic of Gil Thorp and golf, I recently went back to the beginning of the available Gil Thorp strips on the GoComics site. The strips there start in the Spring of 2001, in the middle of a baseball season featuring Jarvis White, who was using steroids, Marty DeJong, who came back for a bitter cameo later and a healthy dose of Marty Moon and his then ex-fiancée Peaches. When this plot resolves, a summer golf plot starts.

In the Summer of 2001, Gil plans to compete in a tournament, but his game is really rusty. Mimi is also going to play in the ladies’ division of the tournament, but she’s at the top of her game. Gil is determined to improve his game so he doesn’t embarrass himself. In one of the LOL funniest strips of the story, Gil sneaks onto the golf course at night to sneak in some practice and face plants climbing over the fence.

Gil is driving well but his short game is a mess, so he has Mimi help him out in the back yard, where he breaks the neighbor’s window. Eventually Gil straightens out his game and he and Mimi both win their respective divisions. The kids even make an appearance or two! If you want a load of golf, go back and check out that summer.

In 2001, Gil Thorp was written by Jerry Jenkins and the artwork was by Frank McLaughlin. The GoComics site is just really bad at acknowledging and honoring the creator, Jack Berrill, and all of the contributing writers and artists who have been a part of Gil Thorp over the years. I took a deep dive trying to establish a definitive timeline of the changes in writers and artists, but it’s rather fuzzy. I don’t have time to get into it on this post as it’s already into tl;dr territory. I will share what I have found and what is missing or unclear. Look for that in a future rambling post. Maybe we can piece this together.

The post title is a nod to the Slim Harpo blues tune, Got Love If You Want It. There are not performance clips of Slim Harpo playing this. As is the case with most of guys of Slim Harpo’s, the original bluemen’s songs were popularized by white kids (and mostly white kids from the UK). In that spirit, here’s a clip of some Irish white kids (and I mean kids) called the Strypes doing the Slim Harpo song. I don’t know if they’re still around. The trail is kind of cold.

August 15, 2022

Life’s A Beach

Filed under: Bare Midriffs, huge glasses, huge hats, Jami Thorp, Keri Thorp, metapost, Mimi Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:04 am

Here we are, visiting Mimi’s mother (who’s not doing well). Well, you can always swing by Shady Acres Assisted Living Facility, stop in for a quick visit, (Mother, you remember your grandchildren, Jami and Keri? No, sure you do. Remember how they would come visit you every summer? Of course you do, mother. Of course you do.) then get to the shore to enjoy the sun, the crashing of the waves and the absence of Gil Thorp. Seriously, did Mimi straight up lie to Gil?

For some insight on that last question, let’s turn our attention to the latest media appearance by new Gil Thorp writer, Henry Barajas. In this interview featured in The Daily Cartoonist, Henry says:

Something I’ve learned from better writers than myself is to never underestimate your audience—and the reader is always smarter than you. I intentionally leave things “vague” with the promise to follow it up.

So I guess we are smart enough to figure this out. I’m just going to say Mimi lied about her mother. But lying to your spouse and then involving the children is rather low. Maybe I’m not all that smart. By the way, if you read to the end of the interview with Henry, you’ll see that the Daily Cartoonist writer D.D. Degg (great name) throws in a link to TWIM and quotes teenchy’s last post. Wow, This Week in Milford is going places, after sixteen years. Today it’s The Daily Cartoonist (the source for industry news for the professional cartoonist), next up, who knows! (Hat tip to MopMan for calling attention to the TWIM shoutout.)

I don’t want it to sound like I’m throwing shade at Henry Barajas or D.D. Degg of The Daily Cartoonist. I love daily comics and the anticipation of cracking open a browser tab every morning to see what’s going on in Milford or Santa Royale wherever. (Yesterday’s Mary Worth was another one for the ages.) I salute these people who figure out how to pay the bills creating comics. I feel like “comics mockage” as Jason referred to it when he started TWIM is an outlet for our own creativity from the vantage point of the comic strip consumers. Does it veer off into some real aggro attitude sometimes? Maybe, but I think it’s mainly based on devotion to the strips. Am I being sincere here? I think the readers of TWIM are smart enough to know.

So let’s get back to the beach. Jami’s got an ice cream cone and there’s some sniping between him and Keri. Mimi’s reading a book in that classic pose that Whigham uses when the strip’s teen girls lay on their beds with their laptops. Keri is absorbed in her phone. We’ve yet to see the evidence that Keri is “missing her daddy”. We know her daddy has a flip phone and is a little unsure how to use it, so I doubt Ker is texting Gil. (If she was, would she have to keep up the visit Grandma charade? I’m having a hard time keeping the narrative I’ve created straight.)

August 8, 2022

Behind The Playbook Podcast Sponsored By UFS Canned Beverage

Filed under: Valley Tech, Where is Milford? — nedryerson @ 10:51 am

Marty Moon records a podcast at the studios of WDIG, the Behind The Playbook podcast to be specific. I have heard of some radio shows that are released as podcasts. Maybe Marty produces enough hot take content that he can put out a podcast seperate from his daily show. Maybe if his special guest Luke Hernnadez, the new sheriff from Valley Tech (hey, wasn’t that Luke Martinez? who goofed, the strip’s creators or Marty?), is as big a blowhard as we’ve seen so far, Marty can team up with him to make a real screaming freak show of a podcast. Dozens of people can download Playbook every week to hear new drunken ravings from goateed loudmouths.

So, what are Marty and Luke Martinez Hernnadez talking about? Well, Marty heard about the verbal sparring between Gil and Sheriff Luke at the Post Coach of The Year Hotel Bar Gathering. (Forget the award ceremony…THIS is the event of the year! Too bad it’s held at a secret location.) Where did Marty hear about the “stir”, from one of those two other guys in polo shirts or from the bartender that’s sweet on Gil? Who called the Marty Moon Behind The Playbook tip line (and what poor PA has to monitor the tip line and pull out anything useful among all the “Marty Sucks! Baba-Booey!” messages)? If this is the kind of content one regularly hears on the Behind The Playbook podcast, it wouldn’t surprise me if Marty just uses the studio to record it and puts it out on his own. I don’t think a radio station would want this going out under their name. Marty, what are you doing in there?!

Note that Luke Hernnadez states that he’s the young buck that this town needs. So, is Valley Tech actually in Milford? I’d always assumed that the Valley Conference was spread among many towns in a geographical area that includes Milford. That could be the case and Valley Tech could still be in Milford. It’s just weird that it has never been defined that way. But really, there have been and probably will be many liberties taken with things with the new writer and I’m not gonna harp on this stuff constantly. I gotta harp on something though, so why not a little more of the old Where Is Milford?

August 1, 2022

Gil Knows That’s A Wallet, Right?

Filed under: Gil Thorp, What the hell is going on here? — nedryerson @ 11:02 am

I had a post written, and I thought I published it, but the dog ate my homework. I’ll just blurt out my best effort to recreate and let everybody have at it in the comments.

I have two primary thoughts about today’s strip. First things first. The kids do exist! (What is this, WandaVision?) I guess structurally, if they could be winked out of existence, why can’t they be winked back in? I wonder if the kids will become fleshed out characters or if they will just be park of the backdrop in fleshing out the marital discord story. Are either of them high school age? Do they go to MHS and play on any teams? We shall see.

The other thing that still has me scratching my head is the nature of this award. Gil and others flew to this ceremony and booked hotel rooms. Mimi has flown in with him in the past. Where does this take place and who are the coaches eligible to receive this Coach of the Year award. It’s mighty confusing. Maybe some of the flying stuff is connected to the fact that Gil has been known to zip around in his private plane, so this could just be a couple towns over from Milford. Wherever it is, Gil knows the bartenders and they know him.

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