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.

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.

March 20, 2021

Playin’ Burr, Sir!

Off to Vermont we go where we find the Lady Mudlarks playing a team that would seem better suited to be a rival of St. Fabian’s. (Burr and Burton’s most famous alumnus is Bill W.) The Chief has drawn Neal’s buddy at the Detroit News pretty accurately and has her throwing no-look passes and setting fruity picks. (Meanwhile, Louis C.K. is picking up the scraps of his career in stripes, though doing it a girls’ basketball games isn’t the best look.) “Toyota” Cressa Baxter’s efforts are quickly for naught as Milford quickly begins to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory… and oh, look at whose feet Rubin has chosen to lay the defeat: this season’s designated heel and shallow girl. Doesn’t take much to imagine a conversation like this:

Pardon me.
Are we playin’ Burr, sir?

…and Burton. Who’s asking?

Oh, well, sure, sir
Tessi “The Contessa” Milton, I’m at your service, sir
I have been looking for you

I’m getting nervous…

Sir…
I play the game at Milford.
I was seeking some attention for the Lady Mudlarks
When I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of Doug’s.
I may have teased him. It’s a blur, sir.
He handles the announcements?

You teased Vic Doucette.

Yes!
I wanted him to call for us.
Rile up the crowd, then give us silly nicknames.
He looked at me like I was date bait; I’m no prom date!
So why’m I so bad? Why ride in his grandpa van?

You shouldn’t flirt with nerdy boys just ’cause you can.

I’m a player. Of course, I’m a player!
God, I wish that I could score
Then I could prove that I’m worth more than Corina Karenna (whore!)

Want to hear what I think?

That would be nice

While we’re talking
Let me offer you some free advice.
Shoot less.

What?

Block more.

Huh.

Don’t lead on that kid Vic Doucette; he’ll go with four.

You can’t be serious!

You wanna get ahead?

Yes

Girls who can’t play defense will get read.

March 14, 2021

Time for Some Whompin’ Action!

**THIS IS THE SATURDAY POST**

The Lady Mudlarks go all West Virginia Ninja on Oakwood…

… but not before dropping some heavy hints on now-designated Shallow Girl Tessi Milton.

I’ve admired Whigham’s shot-blocking artwork in the past and here again, he delivers. I gotta say Becca’s stuff on that Oakwood girl is pretty sweet but how high is she that she can make that block with her arm out almost horizontally? Maybe the Oak is just that low – more like an acorn, amirite? In any event Milford gets the W though I wouldn’t exactly call six points a whompin’.

Minus the Contessa (hey, that’d make a good band name!), the Lady Mudlarks corral Vic at the announcer’s table. What’s next for young Mr. Doucette may be best left to the imagination, or at least until Monday. Will he roll up to the prom in his GMC Safari with a harem posse? Stay tuned…

February 24, 2021

Oh Godleski, Not This Again!

Hey look, some hoops action that doesn’t involve injury, unless you count the bruises the ball’s getting being clanked off the rim. No Muench and a sluggish Guthrie mean the Mudlarks are struggling until Mark Godleski puts one in, then catches fire after Vic eggs him on. Oh my! George Takei‘s not gonna be too happy with Vic’s second Bermanism (Doucetteism?) as Mark hits the no-look fadeaway jumper. Will the next basket be made by Mark “look at those” Godles”(s) heathens making the horns at me behind Vic’s back” ki?

I’m getting the sense here that the Tilden game, while not making or breaking the Mudlarks’ season (they’re not contending for the Valley, or else we’d have heard about it by now), may be dispositive of several characters’ futures. Vic’s gonna Vic and a future calling celebrity softball games awaits him. Muench will play at least another season of baseball as he’s the current version of Paul Beaudry. As for Guthrie, it will be time for him to fish or cut bait between hoops and wheels. He hurts the Mudlarks more than helps them, so maybe he’s best cut out for the garage. Still you’d think if all that time with his tailbone two inches from the ground was propelling his racing career forward we’d have heard about it by now. Doug should ask Corina if Valley Mod has any automotive technician programs and think about transferring there.

February 20, 2021

Some Wak! Haiku

Tom Muench on the bench

And Doug Guthrie off his game:

Central by thirteen

But it’s not a bench

It’s only a folding chair

Thanks to budget cuts

“Everything happens

For a reason” – Grandma Muench

Like ankle sprains

Anytime Doug makes

Car-related decisions

Mudlarks always lose

Vic Doucette could see

Doug was no Schumi when he

Smacked him on the ass

Clearly Doug isn’t

Firing on all cylinders

He needs a tuneup

Gil needs to send him

To a garage upstate where

He can drive all day

December 9, 2020

The S.S. Meaningful Drama? That Ship Has Sailed

Filed under: actual action, football, Gil Thorp, Highlight reel, Just plain sad, Valley Tech — teenchy @ 11:11 am

We’ve reached that time in the story arc where Rubin goes into his own personal two-minute drill. Plot elements get tied together quickly and not always in the most logical fashion. Since today’s strip is nothing but action, this gives us the opportunity to nitpick the details, find the inconsistencies, fill in the plot holes, and generally snark about it all.

After losses to Madison and Jefferson, the Mudlarks found themselves with slim chances to win the Valley. Since Becca Exposition’s little comment, Milford has peeled off wins against Tilden (punctuated by a sideline scuffle between members of Team Rapson and Team Thayer) and, apparently, New Thayer. Yet here we find ourselves in that most familiar of positions: Milford battling it out with traditional rival Valley Tech for second place in the Valley. We never did find out what it was that eliminated them from title contention but since they didn’t lose a game over that span we have to conclude that some other team(s) needed to lose games and didn’t. So once again, Gilbero & co. find themselves having to fight it out for the title of first loser.

That brings us to our manufactured drama, wherein the third-string quarterback gets injured and Gil is faced with the choice of which of his benched QBs – the game manager starter (whose overthrown pass helped lead to the Madison loss) or the gunslinger second-stringer, who’s been benched even longer – he should bring in to secure the victory. Odds are these two will play Mac and Tosh and implore each other to go in in their stead.

Thorpian logic tells me he’ll pull Corina out of the stands to suit up and go in.

Minor Nitpicks Dept: Dunno if the Mudlarks have more than one Leonard but the guy limping off the field in P3 (#40) ain’t the guy Rapson is congratulating in P1 (some # that isn’t 40). Also dunno if the Valley has rules for player numbering that might require Fleming to change his #40 for a number between 1 and 20, as is often the case. If that’s Chance Macy in P2, he’s switched jersey numbers from his traditional #31. He also looks like he’s hauling in a pass, not breaking off a run. Could he be – gasp! – showboating? Gil should bench him for the rest of the season (which amounts to about 15 minutes) so he can teach him a lesson and save him for next season.

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