Gil Thorp, 1/12/05
I’ve done a lot of diligent reading over the past few weeks, but I still can’t say for sure that I can tell you exactly what’s going on in Gil Thorp. I’d heard that the strip was a hotbed of conservative agitation, and it seems to be living up that reputation: one of the two (or possibly three) plots going on right now involves Hadley, a player for the girls’ basketball team, who’s outraged that nobody pays attention to the girls’ basketball team. This results not in an onslaught of sisterhood and feminist agitation on the part of the other team members, but rather a lot of eye-rolling and belittling. In a classic move used against feminazis everywhere, Hadley’s teammates have decided that what she needs to shut her yap is a boyfriend. Unfortunately, as we see here, they’ve set her up with Steve Luhm, an effeminate poindexter who’s every bit as determined to smash the patriarchy as she is.
Which brings me to the thing that actually interests me most about Gil Thorp, which is the hair. The barbers in the blighted, high-school-sports-obsessed burg where the strip takes place seem to have never met a flattop that they didn’t like, but Steve’s puffy, floofy ‘do may be the weirdest featured in this space since good ol’ Tommy went back to the clink. Panel one looks like what they used to call a “flattop with fenders”; panel two looks like he stuffed his hair into pantyhose and let it fall over his forehead. It makes the weird, Susan Sontag-ish white streak in Hadley’s hair look kind of normal.