This Week in Milford

September 7, 2017

This Had the Potential to be Interesting

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Wow, is this the ultimate in laissez-faire or what? Not only does Gil deliver a contrived platitude, we don’t even get to see him do it. Gil should’ve told his football team that if they had the potential to win back-to-back state championships, they didn’t need to prove it to anybody else. They’d already be back-to-back state champions!

Maybe this portends a new turn in Gil Thorp. Young athletes or wannabe athletes do or do not do something, followed by an exposition panel where the athlete/wannabe says that that’s what Coach Thorp told them to do/not do, or maybe they should’ve listened to Coach Thorp when he told them whatever off-panel. Or something.

Hopefully after Saturday we won’t hear from Jaquan for another five or six years, when he returns as a history teacher/life football basketball coach who gamely coaches his team to fall just short of the Mudlarks.  Then he can thank Gil profusely for all of his advice and for telling him he had the potential to be a history teacher/basketball coach and didn’t have to prove it to anybody else.

metapost: That whole “new turn” thing is stuck in my brain, as this Hurricane Irma prepares to turn and deliver a blow to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and maybe more. I’ve got a lot of friends and family potentially in the path, and it’s kinda messing with my concentration to deliver a daily dose of mirth via Milford. (You’re thinking, “Why should today be any different?”)  Just as with you TWIMers in Texas last week, you TWIMers in the affected areas please check in with us and let us know you’re safe.

 

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August 29, 2017

Expectation-Proof 6-Foot-8 Small Fish

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What’s a guy who’s apparently had a reasonably successful academic and athletic career to do, what with all the gushing and the tweeting? My dislike for ‘the Don’ isn’t particularly intense but it is growing, like a boil on my ass that I’d mostly just ignored but now was finally having to reckon with.

Meanwhile, off in the distance, Papa Burns looks at his watch and clears his throat.  Casting a sideways glance at Kevin, he says “Did I ever tell you about my last game at Monmouth?” Kevin, visibly exasperated, heaves an exaggerated sigh and tosses his shaggy mane. “Please, Mr. Burns…” He entreats, “If I have to hear about the time you led a drive in the rain during the fourth quarter that would’ve put you ahead of Canisius but then you sprained your ankle and the team lost one more time, I’ll go insane.”

Metapost: Shout out to any and all Houston area TWIM readers. Reach out if you need help!

August 12, 2017

Killin’, Wishin’, Hopin’

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I’m not gonna engage in mental gymnastics today beyond guessing what Jaquan has backward is that he wishes Heather (or Trey, or Pelwecki, or someone) would tell him they wished he coached basketball.

There’s been too much suspension of disbelief required to hang with this summer plot. An NBA star rehabs an injury under the supervision of one of his old high school opponents, in a gym he converted from his parents’ old house?  That old opponent is now some kind of master trainer with more than one client? The ex-soccer player, ex-undersized tight end is now a coaching genius? The greasy-haired big lunk lineman is suddenly gonna turn into a skilled ball carrier/receiver? The greasy-haired big lunk lineman’s regular-season coaches are gonna note this and give him touches (but not like the touches the coaching genius has been giving him)? Stop this crazy train, I wanna get off.

What I do find remotely plausible is that Jaquan wants to coach. We’ve heard nothing about his NBA career post-draft. Even after donning a hoodie in the middle of summer, he’s drawn only the attention of the cook at Janet’s Diner (via the waitress who looks like Claude Akins). Maybe he’s not the superstar we’ve been led to believe and has just been eking out a living on a string of 10-day contracts between stints in the D-League. Maybe he’s seen enough of how Gil skates by in Milford to want a taste of that life. Maybe I’ve run out of theories and just wish Herk the Mauler would show up again.

metapost: Even as I try to get back into the habit of posting the B&W version of the strip, it’s been pointed out to me that the color version contains a fairly egregious error.

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Musical inspiration for the post title:

July 27, 2017

Cavalier with the Facts

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“We are here at the Milford Country Club, where we’ve secretly replaced the lemonade they usually serve with a urine sample. Let’s see if anyone can tell the difference!”  At least I imagine that’s what the server who’s breaking the fourth wall here is thinking.

Another day of exposition on Jaquan Case, in which we learn that he spent three years at Mr. Jefferson’s University. Would Jaquan have been a contemporary of Sean Singletary? I’m grateful to have the archives* available to connect the dots on Jaquan and Trey’s backstories. (I can also see that Rubin name-dropped a couple of high schools local to me back then, too, which might’ve made me think Milford is in Pennsylvania, which it is, or at least one of them.)  Tronix may still have its fingers in Jaquan, or he may just have all that leftover swag from when his career fizzled out. We’ll learn soon.

Stick around; after that clinker of a spring arc this might be entertaining.  Who knows? Maybe Hadley V. Baxendale or Uncle Rudy will show up. Marty Moon may start wearing mascara again.

*metapost: If you have the time, I recommend visiting the archives. The TWIM hive mind contains some really long-time readers of the strip and their memories are great to have, especially if you went long years not seeing the strip as I did.  Going through the archives helps me appreciate the sense of continuity (such as it is) in the strip, as well as the vastly improved artwork – not only in terms of style but also in terms of accuracy. The sports uniforms, for example, aren’t just monogrammed shirts without numbers. Look at the Milford – Bishop Tardy game from 2005: Milford’s wearing Michigan cheerleader’s tops while Tardy’s jerseys look like something you’d punish a student with by making them wear, like a dunce cap.

March 23, 2017

Gil once begat Keri and, uh, some other kid

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“Seriously? With us? Haven’t we spent the last eight years or so removing any evidence that children once lived in this house?”

Maybe Mimi’s not as keen on having a live-in boy toy pool boy as we previously speculated. Fact is, I’m not even sure that’s the Thorps’ house, as a quick ‘n dirty search of the archives doesn’t conclusively show that they live in a split-level. Nonetheless I get the feeling that we’re going to be denied that long-awaited retcon of Gil and Mimi’s kids.

Dodging that bullet Gil, now pissy-faced for ever having taken that bait from Aaron, shows him the door. Maybe Aaron can walk through it and shout out what was just discussed to his teammates same as he did yesterday. Tune in tomorrow when Marty Moon finds a new boarder in his mom’s basement!

metapost: Completely unrelated but it’s nice to see Mr. Bakst giving back to his adopted community.

February 11, 2017

The Red and The Black

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Slightly meta: While I was away from the TWIM rotation there was a big change to Gocomics, where I used to crib the strip for my posts. You can no longer zoom on a strip, right click/save as, and insert into post anymore. I haven’t yet mastered the screen grab and resize to fit to my satisfaction – the strips always end up too big for my liking. Instead I’ve been saving the zoomed strip from various Comics Kingdom sites, which I don’t particularly like using because of the color monkeys’ slipshod work.

For example, whenever a Milford team is drawn in light uniforms, they invariably get colored red, which is very unlikely to happen IRL. Most teams wear white (or at least a light color) at home for contrast. Color-on-color games are more the exception than the rule, and when they do happen there’s usually a fair amount of contrast between the colors.  Having gone to a red-and-black school, I can say I’ve never seen black numbers on red jerseys without a white outline.

I’m bringing all this minutiae up because I don’t have a lot to say about today’s strip which, after a week of promising but not delivering on Mother Aagard’s mysterious line of work, promises but doesn’t quite deliver actual basketball action. Panel 2 gives us a couple other oddities: Whigham’s typical tonsure on the unnamed Mudlark gets colored brown, and the ref gives an atypical hand signal for the digit “zero.” I’m used to seeing a clenched fist represent that digit; this ref’s version could be interpreted as code for “I saw Aagard toking up behind the bleachers before the game. Don’t expect too much from him tonight.”

Song for today:

January 12, 2017

Do You Take Drugs, Danny?

Filed under: Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, Gil Thorp, metapost, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 7:50 am

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Mike and Ken have concluded their investigation and are sharing their suspicions with Gil. Smash cut to Gil’s confrontation with Aaron. I find this very interesting in as much as a public school teacher/coach would surely have to approach a meeting like this very carefully and might be required to follow some very strict guidelines. Perhaps parents would need to be present, perhaps other school personnel. Of course we know that it’s a free-for-all at Milford High and there simply isn’t time to include all the details needed for any level of verisimilitude. That would be another world entirely.

One also wonders whether Gil, armed with the circumstantial evidence from our intrepid boy detectives, might simply approach Aaron under the pretext of discussing his efforts on the court and seeming lack of conditioning. Are you getting enough sleep, son? Is there anything you’d like to talk about? In that vein. Again, that’s not Gil’s style.

All this is suddenly moot, however. Aaron is professing total innocence in the matter and he has a good reason. We have our plot now. Mom is in recovery or maybe unseen dad is a drug casualty or otherwise out of the picture due to a substance abuse problem. Aaron simply loves the night life. He likes to boogie, etc. Either that or Aaron is a good liar. We live in a post-truth world now, so why not just deny everything vociferously. Either way, details will follow. Maybe there’s something thoughtful to follow. Don’t hold your breath.

On the meta-commentary side, I used the color strip from Comics Kingdom today as the GoComics site took wasn’t available within my usual window for posting. Also, GoComics has recently updated their site and size of the default image view is different and there’s no alternate image available there anymore, so I can’t grab an image consistent with the ones I have used. I know that’s a bit OCD. Mostly, I don’t like to have to take multiple steps to produce this schlock if I don’t have to because I’m usually doing this at 5:00 am.

GoComics’ About Gil Thorp description is lazy and inaccurate, too. I submitted a comment to the site about that. Corporate overlords (or non-paid interns monitoring user feedback) need to know that Jack Berrill can’t be sent to the corn field with the Thorp children.

December 20, 2016

The Stud Earrings Clinch the case

Filed under: basketball, Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp, metapost, Prairie Style Windows — timbuys @ 5:21 am

December 19, 2016

Metapost: I saw there was no post last evening but I wasnt in the mood to throw it up, but today it was skipped so I inserted the 19th for continuity.  Aaron looks ready to rumble all right; love the no-defense dunk in practice. Gil sure is teaching that side of the ball well. First rule in basketball: Rest on offense, never rest on defense.

–Rob

December 20, 2016

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The moment it occurred to me that Aardvark might be Kaz’s illegitimate son was the moment I decided to move on from this.

Please make your case for greatest all time Milford Centers in the comments.

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