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Gil Thorp, Know-Nothing

Gil Thorp, 4/14/08

Gil Thorp is wading into the controversial topic of illegal immigration in typically baffling style. I’m not quite sure what Whitey McButtchin is getting at. Is our avuncular Rotarian saying that immigrants should follow Vargas’s legal path to US residency? That the 1986 amnesty allowed Armando and other illegal immigrants from his generation to become integrated members of U.S. society? That the Rotary Club should be given control of America’s borders? Whatever it is, Gil looks pissed, possibly because the mention of a Spanish surname prompted unsolicited commentary on immigration policy from his seatmate, but more likely because he’s bored and hungry. “Oh yeah, this is why I don’t take an interest in my students’ lives,” he reminds himself.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 4/14/08

Snuffy Smith today also ventures into political territory, with the Patriot Act and other domestic spying programs finally proving too much for the backwoods libertarian. His anger is largely academic, as his proud decision to live “off the grid” in Hootin’ Holler largely shields him from the prying high-tech eyes of the NSA; this is a strategy that already has served him well in his long-standing attempts to avoid paying excise tax to the revenuers on his corn likker. The parson, however, casts his gaze upwards and subtly reminds him of Yahweh, the Ultimate Spy, whose omniscience takes in all of our deeds and even thoughts; this causes Snuffy’s hat to vibrate in a righteous fear of the LORD.

Apartment 3-G, 4/14/08

My guess is that Lu Ann’s smirk in panel three indicates her joy in hearing about people who are even dumber than she is. But it could just be some kind of facial spasm caused by the aftereffects of the brain damage.

Marmaduke, 4/14/08

Marmaduke allowed himself a brief moment of introspection and even remorse before he began devouring the old man in earnest.

64 responses to “Gil Thorp, Know-Nothing”

  1. Uncle Lumpy
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Uh-oh, it’s that dreaded Gil Thorp/Mallard Fillmore crossover! Hold on to your beaks and flat-tops!

  2. Hogan
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Jumping from Exposition Monday in Rex Morgan to In Medias Res Monday in Gil Thorp is too much for my tiny, alcohol-infused brain. TOO MUCH.

    Maybe more alcohol would help.

  3. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    I thought Gil Thorp didn’t make sense to me because it revolves around sports. I feel a little better knowing it doesn’t make sense under any circumstances whatsoever.

  4. jvwalt
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    Man, if DHS has parked a satellite over Hootin’ Holler, then I know Michael Chertoff has way too much time on his hands. Either that, or he’s just gone plumb insane.

    Hey, Snuffy: don’t let it trouble you none. Jes’ line yer hat with tinfoil, and them gummint spooks won’t be able to read yer thoughts no more.

  5. Chris Opperman
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    Wow. Is it just me or have the strips really been sucking lately?

  6. shMerker
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    It’s just you. They’ve actually been sucking for years.

  7. PeteMoss
    April 14th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    If Marmaduke presses on that man’s chest any harder, the old guy’s face is going to pop, leaving a tasty, satisfying goo all over Marm’s snout.

  8. PeteMoss
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    I’d really like to see Snuffy Smith’s Parson “go off” like the Rev. Wright, and start blastin’ the gov’mint fer keepin the hillbilly in the hills, forcin’ him to live off of corn likker n’ poachin’ n’ such. Gol dern ‘merka! Long live the Confederacy!

  9. Violet
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never supposed Marmaduke to be a particularly gifted raconteur, but his catalogue of canine woe must be pretty damned tedious if Old Man Who Drags A Lawn Chair Under A Tree And Sits In It All Day is too busy to listen to him.

  10. Michelle
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Did anyone see this today? Note the last panel: Connie is transmogrifying into Grampa Jim. Her chin is balling, slowly but surely…

  11. PeteMoss
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Gil(l) Thorp(e) – Man, look at the fingers on Lou Dobbs in pannel 3! That is one freakish looking hand, man. I am lovin’ this strip again!

  12. yerwoodman
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke has found his own stress relief doll, much like PC in the most recent “Mac and PC” commercial from Apple. Careful, big fella– as the commercial clearly points out, those dolls aren’t indestructable…

  13. gnome de blog
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    I like that LuAnn changed from one pink Phyllis Schlafly suit to another just to have dinner at home with Gabriella.

  14. Hank
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    RE: FOOB. Apparently, re-running “classic” strips under the hybrid format isn’t lazy enough for Lynne. I think we’ve seen this “boy we sure had it tough when the kids were little” conversation as a “new” strip at least ten times now.

  15. John Hewitt
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Thank you for explaining the Snuffy Smith comic. It’s too bad you couldn’t make it funny, but at least I understand it now.

  16. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    #11 PeteMoss: I, as well. am thrilled with the new Thorpgraphicologist. Barky stick!

  17. PeteMoss
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke – That old man’s nose reminds me of something. What is it? Hmmm.

  18. SD
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    What troubles could Marmaduke have?

  19. teddytoad
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Who is that man in the lawn chair? I don’t recognize him as one of the usual people who tolerate Marmaduke’s terrorism rather than put the beast down. Maybe this is Hell, and Marmaduke is a demon assigned to torment Hitler and … er, Jesse Helms?

  20. PeteMoss
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    16 Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed

    I believe this new artist is capable of the greats acomplishments in Thorpogphicology. The mind boggles!

    By the way, did you get your name at Ikea? I think I bought a HØrse rak there to hang my towels on. The snacks there great, too.

  21. True Fable
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    bats :[, yesterthread:

    Yes, I DID sent that snarkily acidic letter to Coffee Squawk as a matter of fact.

    Do ya love me, baby? Do ya? :D

  22. sealouse
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    Since when is “Very popular!” an appropriate response to the question “How are you?”

  23. Mac
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    Lo, Snuffy Smith did what was wrong in the eyes of the LORD.
    And the LORD said, I shall smite him,
    And the LORD sent the revenooers upon him.
    And Snuffy Smith was afflicted with Taxes and with inspections.
    And Snuffy Smith was forced to buy his booze in the store like everyone else.

  24. Tice
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    I get more of a “Serves me right for stopping to chat with Preachy McGodpants.” vibe from Snuffy’s expression there. Snuff’s a gol’durned free-thinker, don’t ya know. Or else he’s a little slow to read the word balloon.

  25. Invisible Me
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    FOOB is again pissing me off. Lynn, stop making your characters into martyrs! It won’t work!

    I know there are too many arrogant young men who think all women are lazy, stupid, and greedy. I know they spend too much time ‘joking’ about how stay-at-home mothers waste their hard-working husbands’ money while sitting around eating Cheetos and worshipping Oprah. But there is no reason to respond to this arrogant ignorance by pulling at the heartstrings. This will not change these arrogant assholes’ minds; if anything, since these same jerks think any argument based on emotions they don’t personally feel is automatically wrong, it will make them suspect you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes and make your characters’ early lives seem more difficult than they really were.

    Cut it out. Guys who think like this aren’t worth writing for. They aren’t worth thinking about. Let them stew in their “all women are evil greedy bitches!” bitterness. And stop trying to prove a point you can never make – these guys don’t have enough logic or intelligence to understand what you’re saying, and they’ll always respond with bitterness and self-defensiveness.

  26. Mollie
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t recognize Gil Thorp — I didn’t even accept it as such until you convinced me that was Gil himself in panel 3. Boring courtroom non-drama? Angular closeups on powerful and therefore sinister businessmen? Words like “masonry” and “rotary”? People wearing suits, for the love of Mike?! I expect this sort of thing from Judge Parker. I’d be
    looking forward to seeing that guy in panel 1 get his beard punched off if this were Mark Trail. But dammit, Gil Thorp is supposed to be about high school sports. Don’t take that away from me!

    I must admire the way the gesture of the man behind the desk in panel 3 echoes the gesture of the fellow talking to Gil. It looks like a church fresco, with the saint in the foreground pointing toward Christ, who points calmly toward himself. “Check out the tie, Gil,” he seems to say. “How it should be done, indeed.”

  27. Bunnë, Official Comic Execrator
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I misread “Whitey McButtchin” as “Whitey McButchchin”, and thought you were talking about the guy in panel one. ‘Cuz he’s a total Whitey McButchchin.

  28. JB
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    No, you’d get a Dala häst at IKEA…the HØrse rak would be at Dania, most likely.

    PBS – I love that the crocs brought their building with them to the convention

    Luann – and tomorrow, maybe Brad will actually get a second date (the movie didn’t count)

    And Sunday’s Sherman’s Lagoon was pretty damn funny.

  29. Pseydtonne
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke is finally having a cry from the heart. He had hoped this would be the right person to start an intervention.

    “Ya gotta HELP me, lawn chair dude! I’m strung out on crank!”

    Delicious crystal meth keeps the big dogs going. He’s a celebrity, so of course he’s on drugs. He’s gotten old and he can’t drive his owners nuts like he used to unless he rides the snake.

    I wish Marm all the luck. It’s one strip at a time…

  30. AirForbes
    April 14th, 2008 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    Summary of Today’s FOOB:

    Connie: “Gosh, we’re wonderful, aren’t we Elly?”
    Elly: “I’m not half as amazing as you, Connie!”
    Connie: “Don’t be silly, Elly – you’re three times as fantastic as I am!”
    Elly: “And you’re twice as awesome as I am!”
    Connie: “How did we get to be so great, Elly?”
    Elly: “We were just born perfect!”
    Connie: “Right as always, Elly!”

    Readers: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….”

  31. audient
    April 14th, 2008 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    23 – LOL.

    Hey, Snuffy: Big Brother Jebus is watching YOU!

  32. TheDiva
    April 14th, 2008 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    25 Invisible Me: Hear, hear. I’m also rather tired of the corollary “we did all the work while our menfolk sat around twiddling their thumbs!” Yeah, we get it, men are evil and women are goddesses. Unless they try to be career women like Therese, in which case they are also evil.

  33. Lisa
    April 14th, 2008 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    I actually didn’t get that the other guy was a preacher till I read Josh’s comment, and wondered if he was super paranoid, more than Snuffy. But “God is Watching you” makes perfect sense, of course.

  34. Lisa
    April 14th, 2008 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Diva, evidently Connie gets a pass, though…. she was, after all, a single mother….

  35. electro
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    I like to think that Gil Thorp, the character, is just as baffled as the readers by Gil Thorp, the strip. And that his expression in panel 3 merely indicates that the three nonsensical, non storyline-related, Zippyesque non sequiturs making up the dialogue today leave him hankering for more of that delicious brain-freezing beer in his giant fridge. It’s the only way for him to forget about why his life makes so little sense.

  36. Slylock Foxy
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    The only thing that could possibly make Rex Morgan worse than it has been for the past couple of weeks is if they started lettering it in Comic Sans.

    Enough with the doctoring already. I want Niki back.

  37. Gal Friday
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    MW: It’s hard to feel menaced by the pooch nappers as they plot over tea sitting in front of their Laura Ashley frilled curtains.

    S-M: Is Jimmy Godero the stupidest criminal ever?!

  38. Kris
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    I very much enjoyed your take on Marmaduke, all of these years and not one chuckle, now I laugh out loud with the commentary.

  39. TennesseeJed
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    Heh heh, living in rural appalachia as I do, I instinctively thought the parson was referring to your neighbors spying on you, or keeping an eye out for you as you might also say. Our neighbors keenly notice the following:
    A) Horses got out and ate mennonite neighbor’s alfalfa
    B) Drove tractor into shed
    C) Built new door for chicken shed with old boards inhabited by powderpost beetles.
    D) Horses got out and ate own soybeans

  40. Harold
    April 14th, 2008 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    As I suspected, Armando Vargas is none other than Daniel Torres’ science fiction noir action hero, Rocco Vargas!
    As soon as he accepts his award, he’s off to the moons of Neptune to battle space pirates!

  41. Black Drazon
    April 14th, 2008 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    Luann’s smirk may actually prove that she had an out of body experience during her hallucinations and was carried across the cosmic void and into the Funkyverse.

  42. Glen
    April 14th, 2008 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    Thanks to the inimitable artistic stylings of the Gil Thorp crew, he…well, he certainly looks like Whitey McSomethingchin.

  43. Buck Ripsnort
    April 14th, 2008 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    #18– SD, deadthread but–
    Marmypuke doesn’t have troubles, he GIVES ‘em!

  44. fishmorgjp
    April 14th, 2008 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    25 Invisible: But… FOOB fans DO sit around eating cheerios and worshipping Oprah. They don’t have genuine emotions, so they FOOB and Oprah to have emotions for them.

  45. onesock
    April 14th, 2008 at 9:02 pm [Reply]

    uh. what’s the deal with the guy pointing at himself in the background of panel 3 in GT?

    i guess it must be pretty difficult in comics these days if background characters have to work that hard to get attention.

  46. Brick Bradford
    April 14th, 2008 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    GT Gil has no trouble with immigrants as long as they can hit for average and for power.

    FOOB I’ll say one thing for Ellie and Connie–most of the people I know who have those smug, self congratulatory conversations about how great they were (and how everybody younger than them sucks) are a lot older. E&C made the jump to old fartery at a suprisingly young age.

    DT–all of a sudden we’re in the Phantom of the Opera?

  47. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    April 14th, 2008 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    #20 PeteMoss:

    By the way, did you get your name at Ikea? I think I bought a HØrse rak there to hang my towels on.

    Haven’t tried the HØrse line at Ikea yet, but I do love the Ikea product line names. The handle springs from a beautifully over the top performance in “The Quick and the Dead,” where Jonothon Gill proclaims that “Spotted Horse cannot be killed with a bullet!”

    Man, do I love that movie.

  48. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    April 14th, 2008 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Quite probably the first time the verb “surveillin’” has appeared in a comic strip. I’m curious as to how our backwoods hero has come across the word. My guess is he’s actually got a shack papered wall to wall with pages torn from Nostradamus, David Icke, and R. Lionel Fanthorpe (because Snuffy believes he’s among the Enlightened Few), from which he periodically emerges to discourse on Queen Elizabeth’s webbed toes, the foreshadowing of 9/11 visible by folding American money, and the baleful influence of the Sumerian kingly visage on the moon.

    I mean, what else would you expect from a guy named “Snuffy” than coke-riddled paranoia?

  49. MichelFoucault
    April 14th, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    I’d like to think that the parson is not referring to God Himself, but the concept of an omniscient God in general. He of course has read Michel Foucault’s book Discipline and Punish. Snuffy sees the government’s attempt to make all citizens feel that they are being surveilled at all times, much like the prisoners in Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison, and mistakenly thinks this is a recent phenomenon. The priest of course realizes that the USA’s use of the Patriot Act is only the most recent iteration of a long-standing cultural tradition of keeping order through implied surveillance; a tactic we all know was performed for many years by the idea that God was always watching.

  50. Gal Friday
    April 14th, 2008 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    #49 Wow, Michel Foucault–lending some class–posthumous class–to these proceedings!

  51. Nemo
    April 14th, 2008 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    Holy hell, Marmaduke’s feet are growing directly out of his pelvis. The poor bastard can’t even walk. Maybe he’ll get put to sleep.


  52. Pozzo
    April 15th, 2008 at 6:19 am [Reply]

    The gag in Snuffy Smith today could be transferred to Kudzu or Herb ‘n’ Jamall…or even Beetle Bailey, fercrineoutloud…that it isn’t funny. The fact that it isn’t funny to begin with makes the process that much easier.

  53. NotAGoatHead
    April 15th, 2008 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Fie! on the comics! Fie! Fie! I say. Well… the 40 foot colon in BBlues is pretty good comedy material. Math? Hah! Reading the “soap” comics (and that includes Funky and it’s ilk) is like crawling through a 40 foot colon that’s diseased with cancer! Huh?! Oh, thanks for the valium. I feel much better now. Now, where my PBS. Love those crocs.

  54. Pozzo
    April 15th, 2008 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    Make that “so easily that it isn’t funny.” :(

  55. Edgy DC
    April 15th, 2008 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    I don’t know what Whitey’s implication is, but it’s bold enough to earn him the finger from lectern guy.

    I’m pretty sure lectern guy is Vargas, having undergone a quick tie change and moustache shave between panels.

  56. teegee
    April 15th, 2008 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Well, we’ve got the deity reference in Snuffy Smith, the crocs are thanking bejeezus in Pearls Before Swine … I fear that the influence of The Family Circus is finally taking hold. If Garfield prays to the Flying Spaghetti Monster before eating lasagna, I’m gettin’ right with god.

  57. Paul1963
    April 15th, 2008 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    #56 teegee–Next up in Spider-Man, Spidey battles serial litterbug and sidewalk spitter Murphy Wojkewicz with a little help from his old buddy Jesus. Twelve weeks into this exciting story arc, Spidey has to physically restrain Jesus after Murphy spits on the steps outside a cathedral, but to no avail. Jesus calls upon His father to “smite the sinner,” at which point a bus jumps the curb and turns Murphy into a smear on the pavement. Spidey asks if maybe that was a bit much, and Jesus replies, with a shrug, “Hey, I’m at least half-human. Cut me some slack.”

  58. js
    April 15th, 2008 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    “this causes Snuffy’s hat to vibrate in a righteous fear of the LORD.”

    No, those are lines of emphasis, to show the reader the importance of broad-brimmed hats to shield us from the gaze of the Lord. Likely, Snuffy ascribes to the same theology that made Ashton Kutcher wear a yarmulke for about two weeks.

  59. rocketbride
    April 15th, 2008 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    i love that the guy on the rostrum in front of gil is vainly trying to upstage the foreground action by pointing to himself. “hey everyone! look at me! i can be self-important and deluded too if you’ll just give me a chance!”

  60. Chromium
    April 15th, 2008 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    “Snuffy Smith” was actually hilarious until I got the God reference. I forgot what a Parson was, so I just figured it was two schizophrenic dudes discussing how they’ve always been watched.

    Man, if I can find a religious libertarian, I want to use that retort on him.

  61. Spratson
    April 15th, 2008 at 1:17 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps Pastor is referring to the Spy satellites that ruined his camping trip with Hootin’ Holler’s Boys and Girls club. Those memories make Snuffy shiver.

  62. Blondie
    April 15th, 2008 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Does no one else see the gag in Snuffy Smith as a breach of the fourth wall? My immediate impression was that the characters were just realizing that they were in a comic strip being read by dozens of people throughout the nation. This would make it a little less political and more funny, but not by much.

  63. Paul1963
    April 15th, 2008 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    Meanwhile, under a nearby bush, a man in camouflage gear is whispering frantically into a radio mike:
    “He’s on to us! Code blue! Pull back! PULL BACK!!”

  64. Clownbarber
    April 15th, 2008 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Better watch out for this Vargas character, Gil! Anyone who can get Anton LaVey to shag ass all the way from the right hand of Satan to stand up for him in court marshals forces you will never be capable of comprehending…….

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