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Gil Thorp, 7/9/07

Unlike most of you naysayers, I unabashedly love Gil Thorp, and I particularly love Gil Thorp’s summer storylines. As regular readers know, while the strip is pretty demented plotwise at all times, during the school year it at least is obligated to stay within the stately rhythms of high school athletics: football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball and softball in the spring. In the summer, though, without the structure of the traditional American team sports, anything can happen to the denizens of Milford. Here are some past summer storylines:

  • Von worked as a late night DJ, had a weird on-air romance with a 30-year-old, and saved her from a stalker.
  • A gymnastics team full of elementary school girls descended into racial hatred and fisticuffs.
  • Marty Moon lost thousands of dollars in ill-advised golf bets to a Ben Franklin lookalike grifter, and ended up passed out drunk in his car.

And that’s just off the top of my head! You can understand why I’m very excited to see where the next few months will take us. As we begin, Coach Thorp and Assistant Coach Kaz are celebrating the fact that they don’t have to be around teenagers anymore by getting ripped at the local PUB. Hopefully once they get drunk enough, Gil will work up the nerve to finally ask Kaz why in God’s name he wears pearl earrings.

Crankshaft, 7/9/07

I was a little disappointed when I saw that the ’Shaft was reading Readers Digest; I had thought he’d get his versifying from Adirondack Review or maybe the Inkwell Journal. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve had piles of Readers Digests in the bathroom I frequent, but in my memory that publication focuses less on poetry and more on funny but true-to-life anecdotes from the workplace and common-sense features on the liberal lies that are destroying America. But I do really like the look of languid blankness on our hero’s face in the second panel. He captures the ennui of the modern cultural consumer, always looking for the entertainment that requires the absolute minimum of psychic energy, but vaguely aware of his dissatisfaction when he’s done.

Apartment 3-G, 7/9/07

Cousin, eh? You ever notice that all of Lu Ann’s relatives, like Ruby and Blaze and Mim, are vaguely-defined cousins and nieces? My theory is that her home is actually a sprawling polygamist compound in Wyoming foothills of the Rockies, where, after two or three generations of isolation, everyone is related to everyone else by marriage or blood in one way or another. It would explain the squishiness of the family ties, and the stupidity.

I love the imperious command in panel one. Margo’s victories over her enemies have no meaning if there is nobody present to witness them. The combat must be memorialized in the form of epic verse for the generations yet unborn.