Monday, September 12, 2005

Gil Thorpe

The comic strip Gil Thorpe is playing the old 1980's plot, "geek tries out for football team", a version of the old "geeks vs. jocks" plot. The updated twist is that the geek kid is a homeschooler who comes to the high school for their extra-curricular activities.

I never really understood the "geeks vs. jocks" plot, mainly because of Lance Bagley. Lance was the quarterback and the star player on my high school football team, which made it to the state playoffs. He was also a die-hard glasses-wearing geek with a positive self-image. Lance was relatively small compared to most of the hulks on the team, fast as the wind and most important he could think on his feet. Whenever the offensive line would get bogged down by the other team, Lance would figure out how to reach the end zone and he usually made it. Lance's friends tended not to bother Lance's other friends, even though we had nothing else in common.

Some folks object that this storyline portrays all homeschoolers as geeks. I look at it another way. Are the writers really trying to say that today's public schools are now so hostile to geeks that they can't imagine one surviving Milford High? Hmmm....

As a comics geek, I'm drooling over Frank McLaughlin's art. Very few illustrators actually know enough anatomy and perspective to handle the old action-adventure style well.

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