This Week in Milford

May 8, 2021

Color Me Inconsistent

Yesterday and Thursday it was Zane changing outfits from one panel to the next (not to mention Katy’s eyes changing from blue to brown). Before that, it was Mama Brito’s constantly color-changing hair. Today it’s the always-red Mudlarks in black and chartreuse. There’s a lack of institutional control in the Thorpiverse and it’s throwing everyone for a loop. Hell, even Marty’s so pissed that his notebook is bleeding out onto his shirt and he’s karate chopping his pencil. Then again, his sippy cup’s nowhere to be seen so he might just be having a case of the DTs.

The Mudlarks have apparently traveled to Austin, Texas, to face Crockett. (There are no doubt other Crockett Highs; as this one hasn’t been identified by nickname yet, I reserve the right to come back and edit this post.) After his shaky bullpen outing, Zane Clark has somehow earned a right to a start, and he almost immediately goes all Robin Roberts Max Scherzer and gives up a gopher ball. He’s not throwing strikeouts like Mad Max, unfortunately.

Gil and Kaz laugh this off Bull Durham style. Surprised Kaz didn’t make a crack about the ball having a stewardess.

They must figure if Zane digs a hole early, he can’t blow a lead.

Seriously, though. There has got to be someplace that still runs this strip in black and white, doesn’t there?

May 5, 2021

Highlanders: There Can Be Only None

Filed under: actual action, big arms, Brown Hair, Highlight reel, Neal's friends, softball — teenchy @ 7:48 am

That rarest of strips today, nothing but solid sports action, but here’s a twist: Milford’s opponent represents a school that no longer exists.

Finney High School in Detroit closed in 2009 and was merged with Crockett High School to create the East English Village Preparatory Academy. EEVPA calls its teams the Bulldogs, but at least the colorists got close here. Finney’s namesake was a prominent Detroiter who played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. So consider this a nostalgic shout-out for Rubin’s readers in the Detroit Free Press.

With bags full of Highlanders and the potential tying run at the plate, Landry Carlson gets out of the jam thanks to a diving stop by Katy Brito. Postgame, Landry will go back to, uh, Montana? and Katy will be off to The Bucket the Milford Public Library for coffee and snogs with Zane, that is if daddy dearest hasn’t immediately joined the Library Board and padlocked the place.

May 1, 2021

Baby Brito

Abel Brito is a pest
Fixating on the library
Why can’t he give it a rest?
Why must he be so contrary?

Katy Brito loves her guy
She’s thankful that her dad isn’t meaner
Gonna give Zane a surprise
After swinging by the Cantina

She knows what it’s about
You’d think she’d thought this out
You might as well just shout
It’s gonna get Zane kicked out

And then they started sucking face
Katy brought a little cream and sugar
Can’t bring food into this place
Who said anything about coffee?

Though he didn’t play last year
Zane should remember ’bout the former Mayor
If he gets tossed out on his ear
It’s the end of him as a player

She knows what it’s about
You’d think she’d thought this out
You might as well just shout
It’s gonna get Zane kicked out

You know it’s no butter knife
But if he gets banned for life
What will he do at night?

What will Zane do after this?
Can’t buy a new computer
Maybe he’ll take his bro and sis
Sit in the car and wait and be a commuter

If Abel Brito has his way
No computers, no drinks, no eating
Family’s gonna make him pay
Givin’ him a verbal beating

He knows what it’s about
You’d think he’d thought this out
He might as well just pout
When he sees his daughter make out

(apologies to the late Elliott Smith)

April 28, 2021

More Posts About Softball and Food

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, huge earrings, Mimi Thorp, softball — teenchy @ 9:09 am

Did we miss the return of Beau Dandy to the strip? Oh, wait, it’s just another Milfordian using a term no one else has this century. At least their euphemism for doing the deed is current. Good thing that pork loin came with a side of smashed potatoes.

That dull thud you hear is me banging my head against my desk at the physical return of Lotus Cortina Anna Karenina. Even Mimi is sick of her crap to the point she can’t be bothered to make eye contact. Didn’t she get the memo? She’s not at Valley Mod anymore, no more free food on the Milford dime. Well, uh, maybe we can make this one exception, especially since Mimi’s gonna lay something heavy on her. Just what unearned benefit will be bestowed on Milford’s self-anointed Greek chorus and righter of wrongs? Will Mimi finally acknowledge that her coaching skills are nonexistent beyond soothing words and hand over the reins to Mary Sue Karenna? Will she simply tell Corina she needs to split catching duties with the senior she pushed out from behind the plate? Or is it just time for Corina to pass on the communal pair of big round earrings to the next girl?

April 24, 2021

It’s the Latest, It’s the Greatest

There’s a place for you and a place for me,
it’s the local public library.
They have books and things that they lend for free
It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the library.

Educational, informational,
entertainment that’s sensational.
It’s a way of life, it’s for you and me
It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the library.

They have histories, they have mysteries
And for mothers, books of recipes
See a movie show, hear a symphony
It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the library

Not a song parody but an actual song. Originally written as a jingle for the New York Public Library. Dated lyrics but the sentiment is there.

Times are tough in the Clark household. Zane is having to share the family PC with his siblings, driving to the library (likely not in a car of his own, much less a Tri-Power Goat or Jeep) to use a PC, and cutting his own hair. Awfully nice of Katy Brito to cut her own hair in the dark in solidarity.

Credit where credit is due: Over the past several years Rubin’s done a fair job of working a lot of the same socioeconomic issues as the larger society into Milford. How he’s worked them in has been hit or miss, and the kids’ responses to the issues – from opioid addiction to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to mental illness to alcoholism – have been as varied as kids are themselves. So far he’s made Zane into a fairly sympathetic character, and it’s unfortunate we’ll have to slog through six to eight weeks of designated red-ass Abel making things even more difficult for the kid before he has some sort of epiphany. I still think Abel’s getting pink-slipped before it’s all over.

April 21, 2021

Off the Road, On to Home Cooking

As Ned alluded to in his comment to his Monday post, GoComics has switched to the color version of the strip, so we’ll be in living color from now on, most likely.

This of course will allow us to snark on inconsistencies in hair or skin color as well as the on the absurdity of coloring an already dark uniform red. Low hanging fruit. I preferred the b&w version myself as it left more to the imagination.

We start today’s strip with some exposition. Presumably Zane Clark got through another inning and “Gonzo” Gonzales closed the door on Nottingham and got the save. Zane then gets the hold and gets to hold Katy’s hand before she’s off to the Milford Activity Bus for a road trip.

The Lady Mudlarks have traveled to Syracuse, NY to face Henninger, a team whose home unis look a lot like the Padres’ road uniforms of the early 2000s. Maybe that’s not “sand” but “khaki” and, along with the nickname, a nod to the Black Knights of the Hudson. In any event, the colorists actually got it close to right on this one.

Tomorrow will bring us another Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? moment, one that will probably revolve around the use or lack thereof of the Milford Public Library. In the meantime, let’s just appreciate that today’s strip answers the question “Which Corina is best Corina?”: the one that is neither seen nor heard.

April 17, 2021

That Cavalry Must Be Custer’s 7th

Filed under: actual action, Bad Jokes, baseball, Coach Kaz — teenchy @ 4:02 pm

No deep analysis today, just the kind Marty Moon might do between pulls off his sippy cup of power.

Kaz’s gratuitous finger-point makes zero logical sense as he’s pointing in no particular direction. Maybe it’s just a general “up,” as in “You ready to get lit up, Zane?” Oh, Zane’s ready alright. He’s been tossing simulated games to his kid brother in front of nobody for the past two years.

Our cliffhanger: Will Zane blow the save? Will Mark indeed become “Fear of” Godleski if Zane loses his W? Will Gil apply his infallible Thorpian logic to explain Zane’s meltdown to Mark and the team that the only losses that matter are conference losses? Or can Zane find his stuff, recover and enter his relief pitcher period? Or will the Bulldogs suffer the same kind of screw-ups the Mudlarks typically do?

Nice early spring weekend out there. Baseball is back, and a little closer to the pre-pandemic version. Crowds are coming back to the ballparks. Now get out there and enjoy yourselves.

April 14, 2021

Don’t Worry, Luhm, Zane Isn’t Horning In on Your Turf

Okay, so the young lady with the tendrils hanging down isn’t a teacher but a fellow student, Priya (no last name yet), and this isn’t an academic class but a senior class meeting. I don’t recall what gets done in these meetings: cap and gown ordering, picking a class song or theme, deciding who’s “most likely to succeed” or “wittiest” or some other “superlative,” choosing a class trip and a prom theme, etc., usw. Really, just a bunch of stuff to pad your resume when applying to colleges, and there’s always that kid who takes it just a little too seriously and makes it uncomfortable for most everyone else involved. Here, Priya is that kid.

Among the suddenly dumped upon us exposition is that Zane has somehow managed to get himself elected senior class vice president. With everything that’s going on at home it’s hard to imagine how he would’ve run for and, if he won, agreed to serve in that role. Maybe that it serves as another form of therapy is what kept Zane from going all General Sherman on the Milford High Class of 2021.

Obviously Katy Brito doesn’t care if Priya’s nose is out of joint. Nor does Zane for that matter. Only When Abel Brito Charlie Delta sticks his nose in will things get truly snippy.

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