This Week in Milford

September 21, 2022

It Must’ve Been Zane Clark’s Doing

How bleeding edge are we now, kids? The Linda Lindas’ new album is their first album, released only this past June. They’d previously released an EP in 2020. Their breakout hit was “Racist, Sexist Boy” which kinda seems on brand for the nu-look Gil Thorp. Here they are performing it at a public library, which kinda seems on brand for the old-look Gil Thorp.

Rock ‘n Roll Thursday comes a day early to TWIM, then.

That, in a nutshell, is what today’s strip is all about: getting past the hard candy shell of modern society to get to the chewy middle of adolescent desire to be popular and part of a group. Look beyond the hijab-clad volleyball player and her brown-bagged meal (possibly halal, because the MHS cafeteria can’t be trusted) and see the girl who wants to let her circle of friends know she’s hip to the latest music. Look past Arianna’s acknowledgement of the hijab-clad girl (who hasn’t been given a name yet IIRC) and see the girl who wants her friends to know she uses Urban Dictionary. Look beyond Keri’s suddenly green-dyed hair and bejeweled everything and see the girl whose nose is out of joint because she’s not in the team picture one of her teammates took and posted to social media.

So sit back, relax, and watch the old Too Cool For School drama play out with a bunch of new faces. At this rate, we’ll probably see more of that than we will of Mudlark football.

September 7, 2022

What is this, effing ponderous, man. Ponderous, effing ponderous.

“I want a concerted effort to come out of a strip that isn’t an up-tempo strip about fapping into a damned death dedication!” Here I am set up to spike some snark after Gil played setter yesterday and all I can think of after reading today’s installment is Casey Kasem’s infamous ranting outtake.

Well that puts a damper on my catty remarks about how sick Mimi’s mother really was, how far away (and how close to a beach) from Milford she was living, and how old Cami Ochoa is.* It’s taken me the better part of today to decide which is the bigger bombshell: that Mimi’s mother is terminally ill or that Mimi had an aspiring professional golf career we hadn’t heard about until today.

Let’s start with the first one. When Mimi took the Thorplets to the beach and/or to see her mother, we were under the impression that Grandma Clover didn’t exactly live around the corner. Now we’re told Mimi’s gone “to take care of her mom up north” only to find them at Milford Adult Care LLC? Either Milford is about the size of Sitka, Alaska, or Mimi went up north and brought her mom closer, well, to die.

A slightly meta digression is in order. In the time that I’ve been part of the TWIM rotation, I’ve lost both my parents: father of teenchy in July 2014 and mother of teenchy in November 2016. When my father died, I don’t think I missed a regularly scheduled post; however when my mother died I took a leave of absence from TWIM that lasted until late January 2017. In hindsight I think the main difference was that my mother died very suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, whereas my father had been terminally ill for over a year and his passing was not so much a matter of if, but when. It also didn’t help matters that I became the sole surviving member of my family after my mother passed and had to deal with the material consequences of that. That’s also why I spent a fair part of 2017 in Bakst country.

What’s my point? My point is that when you know with some certainty that a loved one has a limited time remaining, you are allowed an opportunity to prepare for that eventuality. In Mimi’s case, it appears that includes not only bringing her mom closer to her for the time she has left** but also preparing to pursue a golf dream that’s been on hold for as long as I’ve been reading this strip if not longer. I suppose next we’ll find out that Kaz has gone off on a spiritual trek to Nepal and Silent John Pascoe has returned to help Gil coach the football team.

*How many years of a time jump did Barajas make when he took the super soph from six months ago and made her a high school sports coach? Is there a fountain of youth in Casa Thorp that kept Keri and Jami from aging while Cami did the reverse Benjamin Button? If so, maybe they better give a glass or two to Mimi’s mom. Just sayin’.

**Not sure how Mimi’s mom can say with such certainty that she’s dying in six months and not tonight. Does she have a physician-assisted suicide penciled into her calendar for that date? Does she know that Mimi’s going to carefully wheel her into Milford Adult Care LLC and not do something else with her? There’s a string of morbid jokes as long as my arm I could roll out here but good taste (and maybe my earlier aside) won’t let me do that. Instead I’ll refrain and leave that for the commenters.

August 31, 2022

WOKE must be a new rival station to WDIG

Mimi Thorp.

Likes: Hairy stay-at-home dads. Passive-aggressive notes.

Dislikes: Successful coach dads with pilot’s licenses.

Gil Thorp.

Likes: Old fashioneds. Old tech.

Dislikes: Threats to his masculinity.

Jami Thorp.

Likes: Hentai. Staining his pants to hentai.

Dislikes: His mom knowing he looks at hentai.

Keri Thorp.

Likes: Playing her parents off each other. Wearing her politics on her sleeve torso.

Dislikes: Whatever it’s hip to dislike.

Gil Thorp readers.

Pronouns: y’all/ all y’all

Likes: Continuity. Artwork that matches the dialogue.

Dislikes: Retcons. Random pointy fingers. Consistenly inconsistent uniform colors.

August 21, 2022

A Pinewood Derby

We’ve got some connecting of dots to do today – or, at least, a timeline to string together.

If the events of today’s post# are current, how long ago were Mimi and the kids in Cancun at Mimi’s mom’s place that is conveniently close to a beach? How long was Gil at the Pinewood Summer Camp? Has Gil ever been to the Pinewood Summer Camp before? (How far back do I have to go to find records of the Pinewood Summer Camp? I searched this blog and found none.)

Perhaps more importantly, how long in advance did Gil know about the Coach of the Year award ceremony, and whether or not he was going to win it? Has Gil just been going to these things without knowing who would win? If that’s true then, if he knew about Mimi’s plan to travel to her mother’s, he could’ve sent someone to accept his award in his place. Kaz, for instance.

If Gil didn’t know about Mimi’s plans, why then would he ask her about leaving without saying anything about the trip?## Did Mimi not tell him about them, or did she tell him and he (conveniently or otherwise) not remember that she told him? Which one of them is Paul Newman and which Strother Martin in this scenario?

Perhaps most importantly, how long has Mimi’s mother been ill such that she made these plans? Has she recently fallen ill, or has she been chronically ill?

Too many questions and too few answers. In this new take on the Thorpiverse, we’re gonna have to forget about the easy putts and focus on the long game.

# I originally wrote this post yesterday but forgot to publish it after Rob’s. Mea culpa once again.

## Nice dunk on Marty by Mimi yesterday, BTW.

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.

August 6, 2022

A Dear Gil Letter

Growing up, there was a fair amount of country music in the teenchy household, much of it of the honky-tonk variety. Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, No-Show Jones, Fats Domino, to name a few – all staples. Lots o’ tearjerkers about mamas, babies, and trains, kinda like Steve Goodman and David Allan Coe’s perfect country and western song. One that particularly struck a chord was Jean Shepard’s first hit with Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter,” written during the Korean War. Take a moment to soak this one in before reading on.

Mimi’s not leaving Gil for his brother (does he even have a brother?) and maybe not for good, but she is leaving for a while. Taking the kids back to see Grandma Clover, where they’ve been staying for the last thirteen-and-a-half years. Hey, they had to be somewhere, amirite?

I’m having a hard time getting my head around the idea that Mimi and the kids aren’t as important to Gil as his wall full of participation awards. The kids, yeah, I get that, but I’m not getting how they’re more important to Mimi than to Gil. Not getting how coaching is more important to Gil than to Mimi either, for that matter. Doesn’t she also coach three sports at Milford? Do her teams generally suck more than his such that she spends less time prepping for the playdowns? Is it that she doesn’t have a female equivalent of Kaz to hang out with in the showers weight room and get sweaty with?

If you’re gonna retcon, you should at least retcon with consistent character traits. We’re not quite a month into the new regime so that may still be in the works. Meanwhile we’ve got a cliffhanger in the form of who might be calling Gil on his Nintendo Switch. Bethany the bartender? Ms. Holmes the pilot? Sweaty Kaz? Sodden Marty Moon? Talk amongst yourselves.

July 27, 2022

Oh !#%@! He Went There!

“Nice speech up there, Thorp.

“Nice attempt at a burn, Cornelius.

“The name’s Martinez. Luke Martinez. I’m fixin’ to be in your damn face like my cousin Davey.”

“Martinez, huh. Thought you might be kin to my old pal Martin Luna.”

“Oh yeah? Well you’re full of !#%@, Thorp.”

“Damn, Martinez, you can’t even tell the joke right. You see flies on me? No? If you did, you’d either say I was full of honey or that flies are attracted to !#%@. Now step off before I break off that hairy paw of yours and stick it up your keister.”

So Martinez has been hired to replace the lump who whined about losing True Standish to Gil, then had his flies handed to him on a plate courtesy of True, John Pascoe & co. Or maybe to replace someone who replaced the lump. Dunno about y’all but between the goatee and the lavender top, I’m getting a Jesus Quintana vibe from Luke here. (Is lavender even a Valley Tech color? With this strip’s colorists, don’t bet against it.)

Barajas has given us a Gil with a touch of the ol’ leatherneck from the strip’s inception. He’s also given us a bewhiskered antagonist to give Gil !#%@, at least through the summer if not through the rest of the year. Will Henry give us enough backstory to find out what Martinez’ beef with Gil is? If he’s playing the long game, I reckon we TWIMers can too.

July 10, 2022

You’re the only buyer, Gil

Filed under: freak hands, Gil Thorp, Milford Weirdos, Miserable characters — robmize2013 @ 8:07 pm

Hammstetter reveals he may continue on his path to ruin that we thought he was over, but at this point who cares what he does? All he’s doing is postponing golf and lemonade.

And how selfish is he? He’d rather write about his own eyes being opened while his sons’ wasted away instead of saving his sons vision and ending his illegal endeavors years ago. Listen to your wife Hamm! (Whichever one she is!)

And he better be his own publisher because who the hell will publish his story after hearing who he is and what he’s been doing?

And we all know how many people will buy his book– One. Gildo.

Another weak finish to a pretty sad story, and we didnt even have girls softball this season. The Fabulous Thunderbirds will tie a bow on this one.

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