This Week in Milford

February 1, 2023

If It’s Wednesday, I Must Be Himeno

There was a time when if someone was Ari, his s/o might be Jackie. But that time was over half a century ago, so yhs has to spend time Googling to find out who Keri and Pedro are comparing themselves to.

All of these characters are from a manga (and an amine based on the manga) called Chainsaw Man. Its main character is Denji, a young man who can turn parts of his body into chainsaws and works as a demon hunter. I’m not sure who Ari is, but there is a character named Arai who is another demon hunter. Himeno is a female demon hunter who wears an eyepatch. Aki is yet another demon hunter who Himeno has a crush on. And that’s all I have to say about that.

The Bucket’s decor is looking a lot duller today. This convo must have something to do with that. Things will get livelier soon, as someone is offering the pair a refill. Odds are it’s The Bucket’s new resident pusherman Toby. Will he be pushing soda, vapes, or to get the name of this strip changed from Gil Thorp to Toby Gordon?

January 20, 2023

Falling further off the tracks

We switch from a non-Milford hoops contest to.. teens hanging out like they do in real life. I dunno, maybe Im selling todays kids short, but I must confess I didnt hang out like this when I was in high school. Most days after school I would get home, either by foot or by car, and after putting my books down in my room, I would head outside to shoot hoops in my driveway for a while, when my friend who lived 2 doors down came over we’d play one on one or shoot free throws, or otherwise I would head downstairs to the basement and play video games. Then maybe some TV shows either back upstairs in my room (I got a black and white TV for my confirmation in 7th grade, still remember watching Bucky Dents home run on it) or on the big TV in the basement after video games. Of course my friend would join me for the video games too, or we’d head over to his house to do similar stuff, or play chess or backgammon on the picnic table. Or Id go bike riding if it was nice out, and depending on the time of year, after dinner if it was still daylight I might do a little chipping in the front yard, using the lamppost in the middle of the lawn as my target, and going around the yard for various shot lengths etc. Or sometimes we’d do a little yardwork before dark or cut the grass if it needed it, although most grass cutting was done on Saturdays, like normal people did. I would generally do my homework after dinner, and quit in time for Monday Night Football or some other program I liked, (another show I really liked was Thats Incredible, which was on before MNF and I would stop my work to watch it, then go back to it if not finished, then catch what I could of the football game)

1 year me and dad joined a nearby gym and we got some weights at home and he would lift with me after he got home from work. I put on about 25 pounds in a year and decided to quit the weightlifting as it also entailed drinking this milkshake with bananas in it. No thanks. I just ate more instead. No more gyms after that year, save for a brief stint practicing for an indoor triathlon using the pool at another local gym.

So that was my after- high- school life. Plenty else to do besides what these characters are doing. I never smoked or did what these kids are doing, sitting on the ground against a building and getting offers to vape. Of course vaping is something new entirely and what I know about it, Im not interested. Sounds just as bad as smoking, although the flavors sound better.

Dont know why in P3 the 2 vape guys are walking away as theyre talking.. if its really free just let Sue have it if her hand is out.

Guess ol Henry has to show off his knowledge of vaping for us. Maybe tomorrow we’ll be back in Scottsdale for another golf lesson.

Finally, RIP David Crosby. I wasnt aware he started with the Byrds, and I believe if he stayed with them they’d be one of the alltime great bands instead of just another 60’s group with a funny name. He was an immense talent who made everyone around him better, and his incredible voice will be missed. Here’s a song performed 29 days after I was born:

…….And another on for good measure- he was so youthful you dont recognize him.

November 2, 2022

From Slash Damage to Slash Fiction, Just a Roll Away

Filed under: Boredom in Milford, Jami Thorp, Milford Weirdos — teenchy @ 11:27 am

Before composing today’s post, just for S&Gs I decided to look at the “About” section for Gil Thorp on GoComics:

With sharp, contemporary storylines and concise artwork, “Gil Thorp” provides an important link between high school athletics and contemporary social issues, taking readers to the classrooms and playing fields of Milford High School, where Thorp continues to raise the bar for coaches at all levels. Henry Barajas and Rod Whigham are giving the classic strip an update, ensuring that Thorp continues his reign as coach of the funny pages.

Then, through the magic of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, I decided to look at the “About” section for Gil Thorp on GoComics from 2018:

Created by Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham for and about teenagers, Gil Thorp has developed an intensely loyal readership of all ages. It is a sports strip that is not just about sports, sometimes dealing with topical, teen-oriented issues.

Subtle change but a change nonetheless. I’m waiting to see how Gil “raise[s] the bar for coaches.” Making the rounds of the bars in the Valley, flirting with the barmaids and rating their Old Fashioned game, I reckon. As for “continuing his reign,” will it necessarily involve The Fall of the House of Martinez? Only time will tell.

Now that we’ve been put on notice that the strip is being written with compilation as a graphic novel in mind, I think it bears repeating that we’re gonna have to focus on the long game, not only in plot resolution but also in snark. How, then, does Jami Thorp’s involvement in an RPG with the Martinez brothers advance the plot? Will it open a window into the Thorps’ home life that Luke Sr. will inevitably exploit as he seeks to bring Gil down? Or will Jami’s “magic blast” lead to other games, as innuendoed by his hand gesture and t-shirt graphic?

August 17, 2022

TFW Mimi isn’t the fan service Thorp anymore

Gentle readers, I am still genuinely freaked out by the knowledge that a portion of my Saturday post was quoted at The Daily Cartoonist. It’s not like I haven’t been published before; I’ve co-authored a pair of scientific papers and have had a regular column in both a baseball quarterly and a life sciences industry trade magazine (no humblebrag intended, mea culpa). In each of those cases my publication involved significant amounts of research followed by multiple rounds of peer review and editing. Here, it’s just my hot take on a comic strip published hours before I read it, with no input save any comments about it that may have already been made elsewhere – and again, I feel the need to emphasize that I almost never read those comments before coming up with ones of my own.*

If I think about that for too long, it’s gonna make me timid. A timid blogger has no place on a snark blog, so I’m just gonna stop thinking about it, okay? Okay!

Another thing I’m gonna stop thinking about is the dialogue in today’s strip. Typical spousal convo where one spouse has suddenly become concerned about their relationship and their place in it. The only piece really worth hanging onto is Mimi’s evasive answer as to where she and the kids are. Unless the corner of a building we saw yesterday is Mimi’s mom’s place, we have no evidence they went anywhere but to the beach. Those three little birds that have been hanging around Mimi the past two days are either a sign that every little thing’s gonna be alright or harbingers of Hitchcockian horror.

The real highlight of this week’s strips has been the art, particularly of Mimi. Kudos to the Chief today for drawing her holding a phone the way an actual human might. (This might be more challenging than it looks; take a look at how it’s done in Mary Worth, for example.) What’s really gotten my attention is how she’s been drawn relative to Keri – and to previous versions of herself for that matter. We’ve frequently noted how progressively younger Mimi was looking (e.g., in the Christmas strips) but in the past two strips she’s developed a noticeable mom bod. Has Whigham done this in response to some direction by Barajas, then? Dunno but I’ll take it as another sign of increased realism coming to Milford.

As for Keri: get your minds out of the gutter! She’s still building sand castles with her little brother.

*I will start reading those Gocomics comments now, but still not after I post here on the days I post. I also signed up for a Discord account but I couldn’t find where Gil Thorp was being discussed there. The less I know, maybe.

July 15, 2022

Old days, good times I remember…

I dunno what to make of the new writer so far; I know its a small sample size but… we havent done a thing to advance the plot again; all we’re doing is reviewing some old stories ex-players are telling to prove what a great coach Gil Thorp is, when the reality is he’s pretty much sucked eggs since most of us have started writing this blog. and if he thinks I’m giving him a pass he’s in for a rude awakening.

Of course they didnt have red uniforms years ago either but we wont dwell on that stuff. I suppose the writer is establishing Gils credibility as a leader of young men, so further stories have some weight from the past. I dont think any regular readers need made-up old situations that may or may not have actually occurred in the strip, and Lord knows there’s no way the writer had time to read through all the old strips available in book form or online. So he’s kinda winging it as if we dont notice nothing is happening for a week. Ha..

Anyway.. it appears the player Tays may have had some domestic issues, but, Gil, other players hit too. And we just got through a story where Gil was the last one to notice a players shortcomings, and now the writer thinks we’re gonna make a hero outa Gildo because of some old story that NOBODY can vouch for except Tays and Gil??

Not in this blog pardner. We need to see what you’ve done for me lately. Hey, a song!

April 16, 2022

The Mudlarks’ second baseman develops wacky signals, a breakdown

Hey kids! Didja ever wonder whatever happened to Jaxxxon Kiser? Well wonder no more! He grew up and changed his name to Eli “Scooter” Borden. Just look at him – the same monster paws, the same glazed-over stare at no one and nothing in particular – no way they’re not out of the same gene pool.

Anyhoo this little trivia buff has obviously burned a lot of brain cells coming up with this scheme that he’s only gonna use with this one pitcher, that’s gonna require the catcher to buy in and, oh yeah, that the coaches are gonna go along with too. Think Scooter and the Hammer are gonna let Gilberto and El Kaz in on this ploy? How many games into the season before Milford’s opponents pick up on it? It might work in a non-conference game against one of those school’s Neal’s buddies went to, but it won’t take long for, say, Goshen to pick up on Borden’s chatter and start banging on trash cans.

Smirky Charis does nothing to dispel the notion that she’s definitely not with Scooter because of his mouth.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Back to bed.

March 23, 2022

A Good Season? Guess We’ll Have to Take Gil’s Word for It

Boy that Hollis sure took some tough stands, didn’t she? Calling out teammates who sipped hard seltzer and twisting Mimi’s arm to get more playing time and fluff up her resume was tough. Speaking of tough stands, tough guy Gil finally eases up on Pranit Hollywood when nothing’s on the line…

… or at least we’re being led to think that. A quick scan of the game results and I see Milford’s at 4-2, 2-2 in the conference, with 1 unknown outcome.* More than one conference loss usually implies no playdowns, so it’s safe to say the Mudlarks are playing out the string. And of course Milford was out of it because Pranit didn’t play. No one ever steps up for Milford.

Now, with nothing on the line and Kaz pulling the baseball gear out of storage, Gil relents and lets Pranit Smoothie back in the game. A meaningless win, some platitudes for the next two days, a lame joke on Saturday, and then time to pound that Budweiser hit the old batting cage. Wonder if Pranit will ever collect on the gambling debts owed him. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if he shows up for baseball with all his limbs intact.

What a wasted use of Marty this season. No way he wouldn’t have gotten word of Pranit’s suspension and run with it like a drunk with scissors. Even the Chief is phoning it in. He’s put Tevin’s head on Gordon Achebe’s Ted Kluszewskiesque body.

* The season so far:

@ All Saints W, 57-56

Redford W, 60-54

Jefferson L

Goshen W (“a bounce back”)

@ New Thayer W (“comfortable”)

@ Madison ???

Central L, 58-60 (notice how a three would’ve won it? Pranit the implied scapegoat)

February 2, 2022

It’s No Secret: This Is Boring

Happy Groundhog Day, everybody! Just like in the movie and just in time for the rodent to see his shadow, we get a strip that feels as boring and repetitive as many before it in this arc.

Pranit “Call me Bob” Smith has been bragging about his online gambling from the moment we were introduced to him and pretty much every time we’ve seen him since. The only thing he hasn’t done was jump up on a cafeteria table and shout it to the entire student body (though he has bragged about it in the cafeteria proper). Why he’s acting surprised when Chubsy-Ubsy* rolls up and asks him about his gambling is a surprise in itself.

It’s only a matter of time before Gil, either directly or through his mouthpiece Kaz, confronts Pranit Smoothie about his little racket. What it does to Pranit and the Mudlark hoopsters remains to be seen, but odds are it won’t be positive.

Do those Milford High lockers keep getting bigger or what? Pranit Rock could stuff big boy in one of them without skipping a beat – that is, if he wasn’t so scrawny.

*Fun fact of the day: Norman Chaney, who played Norman a/k/a “Chubsy-Ubsy” in the Our Gang comedies, was a native of Cambridge, MD. Apropos of nothing, here’s a photo son of teenchy took of some ducks wintering in Cambridge.

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