Smiling in spite of it all.Gil
began its life in 2008, after Norm Feuti (creator of Retail
) created and pitched a second series for syndication. It was a Slice of Life
strip featured a chubby, eight-year-old boy with a bright outlook on life and a huge imagination. This helps him deal with the reality that he lives with his divorced mother, Cheryl, who does the best she can supporting them on very little without the help of his father, Frank, who is a lazy slacker that rarely involves himself in his son's life. Despite the grim premise, the strip was focused largely on humor from its naive and optimistic protagonist and the people he encounters every day.Gil
didn't get picked up for syndication, and Feuti decided to upload the pitch strips online. After positive response from readers of his blog and fellow cartoonists, he launched it as a full-time webcomic. The strip never made money, but Feuti continued as a personal project at least partially due to its basis in his own childhood. Sadly, Feuti reluctantly ended it after a year's run due to the time commitment and the fact it wasn't able to support itself. However, Feuti never gave up on Gil
and compiled the best strips from the web comic version for a second syndication package. This time, he successfully sold it and it began its relaunch in syndication by King Features Syndicate in early 2012. The premise of the strip hasn't changed, though all of the strips are new (with a few that are reworks of older material).
Though after two years since the revival, Gil ended once again
because of the lack of newspapers picking up the comic. The comic ended its run in newspapers on 12/29/13.
Gil can be read on its official website.
- A-Team Montage: Parodied - Gil and Shandra decide to build a go cart...and are surprised one of these doesn't happen as soon as they suggest it.
- Black Best Friend: Shandra to Gil.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Comics for grown-ups? What a waste."
- Cancellation: Zig-zagged. The original run of Gil was cancelled when Norm didn't have time to continue it. After being uncancelled due to the comic being relaunched in newspapers by King Features Syndicate, Gil is once again cancelled due to not enough newspapers running the comic.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Sharla tries to ask Gil what he would do with three wishes, Gil instead keeps trying to remove the three-wish limit.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Gil doesn't want to go to the store, so he hides his shoes. Mom makes him wear bunny slippers.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Discussed by Gil and Shandra here.
- Garage Sale: Cheryl constantly drags Gil to garage sales on weekends, which he utterly loathes despite occasionally finding things he actually likes.
- Glamorous Single Mother: Intentionally averted - many strips directly or indirectly revolve around how difficult Cheryl's life is while trying to care for her son. One of the early storylines during the web comic era revolved around Gil begging for a birthday party at Cheesie Chester's (a Chuck-E-Cheese knockoff) until his mother finally broke down about not being able to afford to provide her son many of things he asks her. Another strip during the syndicated run even showed the readers that, as a factory worker, she gets no paid time off and debates sending her son to school sick simply because the family can't afford even one day without pay.
- For the Evulz: Morgan admits in her first appearance that she just likes being mean.
- From the Mouths of Babes: Gil accidentally outs his father letting him watch television unsupervised when he innocently wonders why his mom doesn't have a tattoo on her lower back.
- In another strip, when Gil and his father are about to enter a movie theater and the usher asks if they'll be buying any snacks, Gil says "No thanks, we brought our own."
- Insult Backfire: Morgan tries to insinuate the Gil is too poor to afford up to date technology and suggests years from now, he might be able to afford a used one in a garage sale when its obsolete. To her anger, Gil thinks this is a good thing.
- New Media Are Evil: Satirized when Gil's mom makes him and Sharla stop playing a video game she thinks is "too violent" and suggests they play a board game. They switch to a game about solving the violent murder of a defenseless old man.
- Missing Mom: Gil's best friend, Sharla, shuts down his complaint about his father cancelling one of their weekends again by guilt-tripping him over the fact that her mother abandoned her as a baby and cut off all contact.
- Moment Killer: Gil tells his mother he loves her completely out of the blue. She's happy...until he hits her up for a bowl of ice cream in the next sentence. "Now you ruined it."
- Parental Neglect: While Frank has custody of his son on alternate weekends and is shown to care for him when push comes to shove, he's far more likely to ignore or neglect him even on those weekends. He'll also cancel them on the drop of a hat.
- Parent with New Paramour: Towards the end of the web comic run, Cheryl began to date a man that was at least slightly better off than them. Since he actually did nice things for Gil, this was relatively drama free since Gil liked him. The character hasn't reappeared in the syndicated run (yet).
- Redheaded Bully: Morgan constantly teases Gil over his intelligence and his weight, and actually gets upset when he gets a C on a test because he didn't fail it.
- School Bullying Is Harmless: Skewered in a strip where Gil watches a television show in which the bully is really not so bad after all and the hero becomes friends with him. Gil is...cynical.
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: In-universe, Gil is upset one day to discover that his mom "accidentally" bought the "Fruit Hoops" knock-off of Froot Loops, ostensibly to save money.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: Gil gets a bad grade on a test where one of the questions tells him he has three friends with whom he needs to split 24 jellybeans. Gil fails for writing "2 or 3 max". However, the question never actually specifies how he should be splitting them (such as telling him to split them equally), meaning that Gil can pretty much write any amount he wants.