Archive: Gil Thorp

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Pluggers, 4/6/20

A rule of classic horror, which has somewhat fallen by the wayside in this era of all-too-perfect CGI effects, is to never quite let the audience get a good look at the awful thing you’ve been hinting at all movie, because their imagination will inevitably fill in something far more terrifying than anything you could depict in practice. That’s why I respect what Pluggers has done today, allowing us to dream up our own image of what that greasy slice of pizza, which just landed cheese-side-down on this plugger’s nasty-ass floorboard and is now covered by a thick layer of matted fur speckled with gravel, will look like right before he shoves it into his greedy maw.

Gil Thorp, 4/6/20

It’s finally baseball season and we can move on from the utter snooze-fest that was the basketball plot, though we’re still in the early stages of this storyline, which is to say that Gil is just rattling off the names of various players to his compliant, favored media outlet. Still there are hints of fun to come: the outfield will feature unapologetic fraud artist Tiki Jansen and violent scissors criminal Chance Macy, so I assume that by “a lot of speed” Gil means they’ll be running a amphetamine-dealing ring from the dugout.

Dennis the Menace, 4/6/20

“He’s still sittin’ there watching it, though! Dad says old age has really turned his brain to pudding.”

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Beetle Bailey, 3/28/20

Lots of people, me included, criticize legacy strips like Beetle Bailey for just going back to the same well over and over again. But I want to recognize the fact that they can be innovative too, often refining established joke premises into sharper and sharper barbs. Take this strip’s now beloved weekly regular, “The Halftracks Hate Each Other.” Today’s installment really presents us with a harrowing and baroque version of what’s usually a quick and savage interaction: Amos sitting in a bar drinking himself blotto, with every sip reported back to his wife, who’s no doubt lying in bed alone, staring at her phone and getting more incandescently angry and bereft with every text. I personally feel like I will never be warm again after reading this!

Gil Thorp, 3/28/20

Oh man, remember how this Gil Thorp storyline began with jokes about how annoying it would be to have the same name as a popular digital assistant? Well, guess how it’s ending! Let’s please do something dumb about baseball starting Monday and never speak of any of this again.

Dustin, 3/28/20

Dustin was of course created to specifically poke fun at the tensions between millennials (who suck) and baby boomers (who … don’t, apparently?), but that doesn’t mean it can’t also take on some more universal truths, specifically that women be shopping. Throughout time, in every nation, across generations: Women. Be. Shopping.

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Gil Thorp, 3/26/20

Hey, remember Gil Thorp? Comic about teen sports? Usually pretty reliably nutty? This basketball season plot, about how Chris and Alexa are both basketball players and also only a fraction of a GPA point away from one another in the race for valedictorian, has been so boring that I haven’t talked about it in a month, so here, let me catch you up: the mean bullies who have it in for Chris tried to trick him into studying off a stolen chem test, but Chris didn’t use the stolen test and Alexa exonerated him, and it turns out they only had it in for him because Chris had ignored one of the mean bullies being bullied, three years ago, and anyway Chris had already told the administration that he wanted to be co-valedictorians with Alexa before all this happened. And that’s it! Everything’s fine! Everything’s fine and all drama is over. Except: Chris’s girlfriend from another school is about to make an appearance! Will she hit it off with Alexa, or possibly Phoebe? Does she exist at all? Is she just part of Chris’s long-running lie that he “has a girlfriend” but she “goes to Mercy, in Goshen” and everyone will meet her at his “end-of-season party” and now he’s finally going to run out of room to continue the charade? Why hasn’t this been the engine of the plot for the entire basketball season instead of this extremely dull valedictorian business?

Arctic Circle, 3/26/20

My read on this strip is that the penguins of Arctic Circle and the polar bears of Arctic Circle are friends, but what if they aren’t? I can’t stop thinking about the (I assume polar bear?) hand/paw reaching in from the left of panel three. I really adds to the sense that these polar bears, being obligate carnivores, are about to follow up their unsatisfying vegan shoe snack with some delicious penguin meat, having surrounded and corralled these poor birds before tearing them to bits in a savage, bloody frenzy. And sure, real polar bears don’t hunt in packs, but they don’t drink coffee or talk either, so I think I’m not off-base in imagining some real horror in store here.