This Week in Milford

April 1, 2017

I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that this story is ending!

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As another rando Mudlark continues to double fist pump for heaven knows what reason, exit stage right Quadruple AAAA and Big Ken Brown in best Rick Blaine and Captain Renault fashion. (This twin figures walking away into the shadows to end an arc thing is becoming a Whigham hallmark.)  All that’s missing is Tina Aagard boarding a plane with letters of transit to… a rehab clinic?

Here’s where I profess total ignorance. Is it typical for single parent addicts to be sent directly into residential rehab programs and give up custody of their children during that time, do not pass go, do not collect $200?  Is it typical for single parent addicts being sent directly into rehab under such circumstances to not even say goodbye to said children?  I’ll give Rubin a smidgen of credit for attempting to address some troubling phenomena facing the US today: the interplay between the spread of opioid addiction and the decline of the white working and middle class.

I will also profess total ignorance of this plot twist when I made my Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference a couple of weeks ago. I chose that reference thinking that Gil would use his animal charm to coerce Aaron’s teammates’ families to invite Aaron over for a series of meals. I did not factor race into the equation and, until reading yesterday’s post, didn’t really factor it into this arc at all.  Given that Hiatt-Brown household has been portrayed as one of the more successful ones in the Thorpiverse over the past few arcs, I did wonder whether Ken’s snoopiness about Aaron’s home life was going to lead into a subplot that gave him feet of clay.  Any thoughts of that have been erased now that Aaron will be getting a taste of Ken’s dad’s home cooking while giving the Hiatt-Browns an intro to the joys of EDM.

Baseball on Monday, then?  I wonder what usual suspects Rubin will round up for the team this season.

March 21, 2017

So, Gil’s Office Door Opens Right Into The Locker Room?

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I am amazed, again, at how much this whole thing is just Gil winging it and largely deferring to AaAa’s whims.

Panel three raises all kinds of questions as Mike’s hangdog expression and Ken’s exploding eyeball suggests that they still feel like they should be solving the case of the kid who’s parents do drugs (and/or live in Norway).

March 16, 2017

If Gil Only Had the Nerve

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Yeah, you called me on it, Tina
I’m just a Milford wiener
Don’t coach, I just observe

But now I’ve started meddlin’
Someone’s got some Oxy’s peddlin’
Yeah, I got a lot of nerve

Phallic trophies I may brandish
Thanks to golden boy True Standish
Honors that I don’t deserve

But my team’s been gettin’ beaten
‘Cause your Aaron ain’t been eatin’
But I got a lotta nerve?

Now don’t be getting nervous
I’ll be calling Social Service(s)
‘Cause they’re only there to serve us
And we don’t all always get what we deserve…

Then you’re sure to lose your jobs,
Your car, your son. Some nerve!

(apologies Bert Lahr)

***

Reason I like the color version of the strip today: without it, I’d have thought the furniture was made of the same plaster as the walls.

Reason I don’t like the color version of the strip today: Who has skintone teeth outside of a low-budget Hanna-Barbera cartoon?* Maybe I’m wrong and those are just Tina’s badly cracked lips.

*Speaking of meddlin’

March 6, 2017

Something Happened

Filed under: Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 4:19 am

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Now that we’re here at this pivotal juncture, it looks like we really have to linger on this interaction. Alright, the Monday morning reset dictates that we reiterate a bit, which accounts for half of the strip. So we can keep gnawing on this bone a bit more. Gil does have a duty to Aaron, now that he finally put on a blazer, paid attention and started to care in the morally upright, Gil Thorp way.

Of course Aaron doesn’t want to face this problem head on. He’s developed a coping strategy that he thinks will get him by. This is a bad situation for a kid. There’s no two ways about it. I don’t think Gil has a choice here, so Aaron’s eyeballs will probably be exploding for several days to come.

 

February 18, 2017

Ain’t No Answer in Me

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As expected, today’s installment reveals nothing except a potential physiological cause for Aaron’s inconsistent play: his horrible, horrible hip dysplasia.

What else to highlight? EES from some Milford rando, the usual shiny floors and Prairie Style windows, a couple other Milford randos shrinking back in fear from Raging Aaron? I’m going for Ken Brown’s nasty Gillette Fusion cut while maintaining his sideburns. Y’know, I’d kinda like to examine what Rubin’s done with Big Ken’s character over the past couple of seasons but I think that could get touchy. I think for now we can all agree that he’s been given feet of clay.

Post title came to me before anything else this morning. Rather than the more obvious invitation of comparisons between Gwen’s cover and the original, I thought of a more confrontational response.

February 16, 2017

McShane’s, Come Back!

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Pitchers and catchers reporting this week, so I reckon it’s time to move this wagon train along.

Gil does what Gil perhaps should’ve done already once Brown and Granger started snooping around Aaron’s personal life. Why this couldn’t be accomplished with a phone call is beyond me. My money’s on Gil wanting to see the poor side of town as a reminder of what might happen to him if the Milford School Board ever truly gets wind of his coaching abilities.

In any case we see that McShane’s Hardware is kinda run down and Tina Aagard keeps the books there. Though we don’t learn details, Tina of course thinks Aaron did something wrong and the sparks begin to fly. Tomorrow* we’ll learn that Aaltruistic Aaron’s performance is all a function of his worry about his overworked, underemployed mom and the guilt rays will emanate from Tina’s forehead. After that she’ll be ready to come back to the mind-numbing number crunching at McShane’s.

Way to sow the seeds of domestic discord, Gil. Now, can somebody help me roll the batting cage out to the field?

*or the next day, or the next day, or the next day…

January 28, 2017

Feed and Granger

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As Ned would say, “It’s Madison Time!”

Have you ever seen a basketball court where the free throw lane is three times as wide as the tipoff circle? No, that can’t be the three-point line since the lines for the lane are coming straight down from it with no top of the key in between. The basket doesn’t exactly line up, either. Follow that up with the weirdly foreshortened right arm of the Madison hooper and Aaron Aagard’s exploding forelock and the visuals are a bit much to take today.

Why am I expounding on this minutiae? Because it will come as no surprise on Monday when Quadruple A (channeling his inner El Hechizado in P3), missing his mommy, bricks the easy inside shot and sends Milford falling from the ranks of the undefeated. After that, we’ll spend the rest of next week trying to find out What’s Eating Aaron Aagard.

January 16, 2017

Hooping It Up With Aaron Aagard (While Waiting For Molly)

Filed under: actual action, basketball, boring memories, Exploding Eyeball Syndrome — nedryerson @ 6:33 am

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If you thought you’d wake up this morning to get the lowdown on Molly, your hopes have been dashed. Here are three panels of Aaron Aagard-centric basketball action. Bobby Mitchell gets involved from long range, but you’ll have to use your imagination to picture his three point form. (If it helps, Bobby was part of Milford’s impressively sized front court. Fill in all the other blanks for yourselves.)

That’s about all we’ve got folks. In studying this strip for inspiration, it occurred to me that I have never witnessed a single minute of actual, live high school basketball. I know you faithful readers and commenters have all kinds of deep prep sports knowledge from personal experience on the court and in fandom. Many of you may even live in regions where high school hoops puts asses in the seats. That never seemed to be the case in Florida, where I grew up and still live. I couldn’t even tell you if the teams fielded while I was in high school were any good or what kind of records they posted. Occasionally, someone would mention our state championship team from the early 70s featuring future NBA all-star Otis Birdsong. A decade or so later, Jack Deedrick was still coaching Blue Devils on the hardwood, but I only remember him shouting directions to us out in the Drivers’ Ed practice lot. “Wheel it, WHEEL IT!” He does have a new (newer, anyway than the stinky, humid barn I remember from boring assemblies and pep rallies) gym named after him.

 

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