This Week in Milford

April 19, 2021

Very Pointedly Not Looking

Zane Clark’s relief appearance is off to a bad start. He walked Nottingham’s first batter and now he has given up a sharp single to right. The tension is rising in the Milford dugout! Kaz’s sideburn thinks maybe Gil should stroll out to the mound and settle Zane Clark down. Gil’s forehead wrinkles dismiss Kaz’s sideburn’s notion. Gil’s turkey neck adds that Gil is not even going to look in Zane Clark’s direction. It’s way too early in the season to start coaching. Everybody knows that showing up for a game and filling out a lineup card is really the most Gil can expect to contribute. To be fair, and we’re always fair here, Gil could be playing it casually because he doesn’t want to coddle Zane or because he doesn’t want to hit the panic button too soon and rattle Zane. Whatever the case, this game is The Zane Show and we are all along for the ride.

We see that Zane is giving himself his own talking to. Maybe Gil is playing this right. Maybe Zane has a good head on his shoulders and despite his disheveled home life, he has the mental fortitude to pull his own head out of his ass.

Here’s a pointed question for our readership: Do pitchers typically have the index finger sticking out of their glove? I did a quick search and looked at some images, but that was boring. It does look like the artwork has Zane’s index finger sticking out of his glove but the colorist colored over it with the brown of the glove. Maybe I’m just seeing it wrong or maybe Zane has a discolored finger. Maybe it will fall off.

While we’re talking Gil Thorp in color, I’ll report that today’s strip image is from the GoComics site, which has typically always used the non-colored strips, but today surprised dozens of people by using a colored strip. What the hell is going on here?!

April 6, 2021

Brito, Unfiltered

See Abel Brito.

See Abel Brito’s tiny body.

See Abel Brito’s tiny briefcase.

See Abel Brito’s tiny bolero jacket.

See Abel Brito’s huge ego.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Abel Brito?

We saw yesterday that Abel Brito is just a step or two behind the times when it comes to internet connectivity and the finer points of working remotely. Maybe even more than a step or two, since he feels the need to print out his work. Good thing Dr. Pearl with a dye job is there to tell him where the printer is. (What? You can’t tell me that’s not Dr. Pearl with a dye job! Things are tough all over, especially since the Milford School Board froze faculty and staff salaries a couple of years ago.) She didn’t tell him how much it costs to print; prolly 5 or 10 cents a copy but free for Milford Library Board members. He did hear there’s a vacancy on the Library Board, didn’t he?

Abel Brito might be a step or two behind the times when it comes to teenage relationships, too. He’s obviously not happy about his daughter Katy’s dating Zane Clark. Can’t be ’cause the kid is a slacker; he’s hard at work at that very same library Abel’s forcing himself to use. Must be because of his home life, some aspect of which must be making Zane unworthy of his daughter. Wouldn’t it be convenient if the Library Board found a way to keep kids from spending too much time at the library, forcing them to, I dunno, study at home?

meta: Thanks @tdrewhardin for covering for me on Saturday’s post.

March 28, 2021

Two Douches and a Four-speed and a 389

What have we learned today, TWIMers?

  1. Doug Guthrie’s favorite NASCAR racing family? The Pettys.
  2. Vic Doucette was seen by drove a Plymouth Satellite faster than the speed of light.
  3. When it comes to teaching your kids how to drive, Doug’s dad got it all wrong. Kid sits on dad’s lap, steers and shifts while dad works the pedals and takes hold of the steering wheel as necessary.
  4. Thanks to #3, Gil Thorp is the strip that has come the closest to a depiction of road head since For Better or for Worse introduced the bizarre term “going roadside.”
  5. A girl rejecting a guy for his grandpa van? Bad. Said guy catcalling said girl? A-OK!

I guess this wack-ass approach to putting Vic behind the wheel of a cool ride is cheaper than pimping out Vic’s van or fitting hand controls to Doug’s GTO. Style points to Whigham for getting the ’66 Goat interior close to correct, adding a column-mounted tach even if he defaulted to the cliched 8-ball gearshift knob.

Honestly this strip doesn’t feel like any kind of arc-ender, much as we might want it to be. If it is, a metapost might be in order.

meta: Well I’ll be darned; it is the arc-ender. Can you say “anticlimactic”? Sure, I knew you could. The post title is, of course, an homage to the second line of “Little GTO.”

March 17, 2021

Time to Tidy

We’ve come to that time in the arc where there’s a week, maybe two left and Rubin has to hastily come up with a way to tie all his little subplots neatly together. Multiple games are condensed into a single strip and the outcomes are told, not shown. Everybody’s little personality traits get lip service whether or not they actually advance the plot. A pun, a smirk, and a freeze frame exit down a corridor, then it’s on to the next season.

Yesterday’s seemingly random three panels are a prime example. So little ink has been spent on actual sports action this winter that only then did we get a hint that the Lady Mudlarks have a coach are in contention to win the Valley. Given how often Milford teams have lost the Valley through crazy flukes, it’s about time that a conference rival has defeat snatched from the jaws of victory – even if it’s completely via exposition. Marjie Ducey apparently had enough free time on her hands to call Mimi and inform her of Madison’s choke job at Oakwood; did she do the same today for their meltdown against weaksauce Valley Tech? Oh wait: it wasn’t Madison that melted down, it was Mimi’s face! Didn’t need Marjie to make that obvious.

The Lady Mudlarks’ on-court success has come in spite of being less than harmonious off-court. (Well, I guess if you can say the entire team vs. one player isn’t harmonious.) Milford’s version of the Bronx Zoo has won despite that one player’s lack of defense, so it may be safe to say that while Tessi Milton may not be the straw that stirs the Mudlark drink, she’s not the turd in the punch bowl either. That role falls on Co-co-rina who, as the self-styled Greek chorus and observer of Tessi’s every flaw, would probably be cast as the Sparky Lyle of the group. Now if only she’d sit bare-assed on her teammates’ birthday cakes, that’d seal the analogy.

meta: Apologies for the late post: early and long day on the job.

January 27, 2021

Jumping Into the Shallow End

Now we come to the part of a Gil Thorp season arc where the multiple plot lines come crashing together like a Jeep Compass and a pickup truck with a loose CD rolling around in the cab (or a GMC Safari and a Tri-Power Goat). It’s also the part where lines between protagonists and antagonists become a little less clear.

Take the case of Tessi. She’s a bit of a social butterfly, schmoozing it up in the locker room and at The Bucket. Kinda like one of those kids who start out running for student council and eventually end up in Congress. This somehow makes her “shallow” in the eyes of Corina (and maybe some others, if “some people” means “more people than the one person I’m talking to”), yet somehow the fact that the other girls are listening to Tessi recap a Kardashian show ep doesn’t make them equally shallow. Tessi’s less disputable flaw is an inability (or as Corina sees it, an unwillingness) to play defense, focusing more on her scoring and her stat line. Yo, Tessi, blocks and steals show up in the stats too!

About that Corina, then. She’s become Milford’s spunky righter of wrongs who, through the power of sheer snark and playing the new girl angle, managed to settle Gil’s quarterback controversy and increase turnout at Milford volleyball games concurrently. How’s it gonna play with her when Tessi moves in on her turf by suggesting Vic Doucette work the PA system for the girls’ games? Dare anyone else suggest a way to draw more attention to Lady Mudlark hoops? Not even Paloma Padilla and the Milford Pirate Network could do that!

meta: I’m a bit relieved to find out that it’s been reported that Henry Aaron’s death (see Saturday night’s soapbox) was due to natural causes. This, sadly and unsurprisingly, has not stopped numerous people from running with rumor.

meta2: Sorry so late with this post; lost my first draft and got caught up with work.

January 25, 2021

Sign My Bruise?

Filed under: huge earrings, metapost, The Bucket — nedryerson @ 7:15 pm

It’s Bucket time. Let’s drink milkshakes out of the highball glasses like ones in Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s groovy drinkware collection. I get lost in all the lines and angles of The Bucket. Do those windows lean out or lean in? If you wear a wide check pattern you might blend into the background. Can I get a seat where I can stare out the window with my back to the room so everyone can stare at my bald spot? All this thinking is making me thirsty. Another round of rum & chocolate malteds here, my good man!

Okay, let’s get down to it. Corina thinks Tessi doesn’t work hard enough on defense. Her friends (are these the girls she got all her intel from on the volleyball team?) listen to her break down Tessi Milton’s tale of the tape. Hey what’s this? Corina is aware of Tessi’s deficiencies, but what really grinds her gears is the way Tessi presents herself as an achiever! Poor Corina. Mimi isn’t invested in developing well rounded players, nor does she care if anybody on the team needs an attitude adjustment. Looks like you’ll just need to get creative to take down big headed Tessi. Perhaps you should just tease her about her weight until she develops an eating disorder. (Yes I stole that joke straight from a Seinfeld episode. It’s not the first time.)

eta: I’ve added Mopped Up Thorp over in the links lists. You’ll see it under Comics Mockage Posse and Mudlarkish links. All hail Mopman!

January 23, 2021

CK Likes It Rough!

Nice bit of analysis from Rob yesterday, and a bit prescient too. Walking fire hydrant Corina convinced Mimi to let her slide over and guard the Central forward while Tessi (she does have a first name) Milton presumably shifted over to cover the off guard Corina had been covering. The strategy pays off as Corina’s presence so flusters the Lady Bobcat that she dislocates her right arm at the shoulder and recalls Alexa Watson a former Ottawa Senator clangs a shot off the underside of the rim.

It’s not entirely clear how Corina, now dubbed CK, ended up with the shiner, but the Central girl’s elbow probably had something to do with it. Taking one for the team seems to have put her back on the good side of her teammate whose eyeball exploded when she called Tessi by her last name. It also saved her having to put it on CK’s face herself during practice. Now let’s see if the Lady Mudlarks run with this idea, letting CK bang into the opponent’s star players while freeing up Tessi to shoot rainbows.

metapost: Late in the day and it’s not news anymore but I can’t let the death of Henry Aaron pass completely without comment. There’s nothing I can say about the Hammer that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by someone else (his NYT obituary, for example). As can be inferred from a lot of my posts, yhs spent a number of years living in Georgia. I got to know a number of people associated with the Braves during that time but, unfortunately, Hank was not one of them.

Henry Aaron was the target of a lot of racial hate in the early ’70s as he closed in on and surpassed Babe Ruth’s home run record. Sadly the news of his death is being similarly clouded, as he died less than three weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Along with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, Aaron got vaccinated in public as a means of showing the vaccine was safe and of encouraging the public to get vaccinated. I haven’t seen that the cause of his death has been announced, but there are plenty of rumors flying that the vaccine played a role. Many people are skeptical of the vaccine’s efficacy and safety, and memories of the Tuskegee Experiment have created distrust of government-provided medical care among the population Aaron and Young sought to reassure. Until we know more about Aaron’s passing, we shouldn’t speculate, nor should we draw conclusions about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy regardless of his cause of death.

That’s about as much of a soapbox as I will get on tonight. The world has lost a great ballplayer, a great civil rights activist, and a great man.

December 28, 2020

Doug!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, metapost, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 7:27 am

Oh boy, we get three more panels of Doug Guthrie’s appeal to Gil be excused from practice for a Senior Kart race in Florida! Let’s just settle in and enjoy the splendor of Doug’s enthusiastic pitch to Gil conveying the thrills of Senior Kart racing.

Now Gil, being Gil, has to have a sarcastic response belittling Doug’s hobby as something for kids, like the kind of thing one does over in Central City! Gil dispenses his snark from the comfort of his bizarre office chair with oddly contoured padding. Maybe his chair is made from recycled volleyballs.

Au contraire, says Doug Guthrie. Senior Kart racing is not for kiddies! It’s a thrill ride at dangerous speeds and poses serious risks to ones tailbone! Yes Doug, that does sound like a party!

Do we need three more panels for Gil to deliberate? Maybe we need at least one for Gil to look Doug in the eye and ask him to never do whatever he’s doing in Panel 3 again. C’mon, attempt to be cool, Doug.

metapost: Here’s a little secret that only a few TWIM insiders know. nedryerson is just the account name I set up to comment here ages ago and I just continued to use it when I started blogging here. My actual name is Doug. (I mean, there’s really only one Ned Ryerson, amiright? Bing!) I just note this here because it’s weird writing my name over and over in this post. Also, this is the first character named Doug that I recall in the Gil Thorp strips I’ve seen, so that’s….something. I guess it had to happen eventually. Also, here’s a plug (a Doug plug) for Doug Benson’s podcast Wide World of Dougs. It’s kind of about Dougs, I think.

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