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Gil Thorp, 4/13/05

I admit it: I’ve only been reading Gil Thorp for a few months. I’m a Thorpie-come-lately. I’m not up on my Thorpiana. I have a hard time telling these square-jawed, flat-topped jocks apart. And so until yesterday I hadn’t given much thought to goateed radio personality Marty Moon, whose life is apparently so empty and meaningless that he has nothing better to do than to serve as lone play-by-play announcer for every game of every sport Milford plays. I always assumed that he mainly existed to help the reader follow the action on the court/field/diamond/rink/ring/cage/whatever, and that the Milford athletic department was probably to some degree grateful for his fanatical if somewhat puzzling dedication to high school sports in general and to their team in particular.

But now Marty (who, we’ve learned, is really named “Martin Munenhausen”) is being hauled off to the clink, while Gil and his freaky-haired assistant just smirk smugly to themselves. What gives? Is this another Barry Bonds-style falling-out between the athletic establishment and the media that fails to be sufficiently reverent? If so, Coach Thorp can’t find a more willing objectivity-eschewing media mouthpiece than his own injured player.

Anyway, the best part of this strip, apart from the rent-a-cops in neckties, in the crowd scene in panel three. Gil Thorp crowds are always full of wacky characters, as if a film studio’s entire complement of extras decided to take in a high school baseball game after a hard day’s work. I’m particularly fond of the creepy dude with the combover, dark glasses, and striped polo shirt at the bottom left. He looks like the type who really ought to be prevented by restraining order from coming too close to school athletic events. Meanshile, the guy behind him is waving his arms around as if to say, “Hey, ma, look at me! I’m on the radio!”