Archive: Gil Thorp

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Spider-Man, 3/21/19

I am, genuinely, done making fun here. If Newspaper Spider-Man wants to spend its last few days in the media landscape engaged in utterly pointless bait-and-switches over readership expectations vis-à-vis whether or not Peter is or is not wearing his spider-costume under his shirt, then I say go for it. One of the very first sequences I went through that really taught me what this strip was all about came in 2005, in which Peter’s undergarments were or perhaps were not a problem, with the changes having nothing to do with Peter’s own on-panel efforts. My point is that this feature is going out very much on its own terms. We should all be so lucky.

Family Circus, 3/21/19

One of my least favorite Family Circus things — and lord knows there’s a list — is when some semi-universal cultural touchstone unfolds in real life, like the Olympics or the NCAA basketball tournament, and we’re expected to believe that the Keane kids can’t stop pulling catchphrases from it. It took me a second to notice that Dolly is rubbing her arm here, indicating (I assume) that Billy hit her with the ball, or maybe just punched her and then quickly grabbed a ball so that he could say “I didn’t punch her! Both my hands are clearly occupied in holding this ball!”; before I realized that, I thought maybe he had just farted.

Gil Thorp, 3/21/19

I’m not really a “sports guy” so I sometimes I find myself in the position of wondering what it is that’s confusing me about Gil Thorp: the sport content or the trademark choppy narrative. Like, today, I don’t get why the idea of a scrimmage seems so freighted, and I don’t understand half of what Gil is talking about in panel two. But I do sincerely hope that panel three takes place nine days later, that the scrimmage drama was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and that the phone call Mimi is wrapping up here is acknowledging that and we never hear anything else about it.

Dick Tracy, 3/21/19

“It’s your case too, Joe. Go ahead, rifle through the drawers and get your fingerprints all over everything. Take a dump in the middle of the floor! Nobody can stop you!”

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Gil Thorp and Dick Tracy, 3/8/19

“Cinematic universes” are all the rage lately, as the twelve or so corporations that own all of broadcasting and publishing try to squeeze synergy out of whatever grab-bag of intellectual property they’ve assembled out of the last decade or so of agglutinative media mergers. One of those companies is Tribune Publishing (briefly known as Tronc), which hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory lately, and its current roster of comics is no match for Marvel or DC. Still, I’m pretty excited about this epic crossover event that will launch the Tronc Extended Universe, in which Marty Moon, having been humiliated by Gil for the last time, starts killing gym teachers and coaches across the country, honing his skills until the day he’s ready to take down his nemesis.

Marvin, 3/8/19

It is kind of sad that Jeff and Jenny have spent their entire date night talking about their awful baby, and it’s weird considering how happy they look. I guess they were probably mostly talking about how far away their awful baby is, and how they can’t hear or even smell him, even a little!

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Gil Thorp, 9/6/19

There’s an old joke/parable about a guy who’s trapped on his roof during a flood. As the waters rose, not once, not twice, but three times rescue boats motored by, but each time the man refused help, saying, “The Lord will provide.” Eventually, the waters rose up over the roof and he drowned, then found himself face-to-face with the Almighty. “I don’t understand!” he said. “You said you would provide for me in times of trouble!” And God replied, “Hey, I sent three boats.”

My point here is that just about every Gil Thorp plot involves Gil and/or his student-athletes and/or the Milford athletic department getting into a big mess, throughout which Gil just smirks smugly and reassures everyone that everything will work out for the best, and it usually does, thanks either to someone else doing most of the work or pure dumb luck. So you could see why Gil is serenely confident at this point that the Lord, or whatever the philosophical equivalent of an omnipotent deity is for a syndicated comic strip, is working tirelessly to rearrange reality in his favor. Unfortunately, when other people who believe they have free will turn out to be part of the Lord’s inscrutable plan, you can see how they might start to feel a little cranky and unappreciated after a while! Anyway, I hope this ends with Marty trying to rent B/Robby’s billboards to say more mean things about Gil, then finding out how much that costs, then just resorting to using WDIG’s photocopier to make a bunch of signs about how Gil is a jerk, which he’ll tape up on utility poles all over town.

Mary Worth, 9/6/19

Oh, man, communicating with a potential beau outside the internal SilverDaters messaging system is not recommended, both because it reduces the time-on-site metric SilverDaters uses to quantify customer engagement and because it reveals your real name and email address, opening you up to identity theft or whatever. I’m guessing that this latter route is where this storyline is going; this is going to make it awkward that Mary herself encouraged this online dating thing, since the final lesson will be that, once again, the internet is only good for desperate loners who deserve all the suffering they get. To counteract this negativity in advance, I would like to praise the SilverDaters user experience engineers who realized that an extra large font would be best for their targeted customer demographic.