It was New Year’s Day of 2007 when the first of a series of Gil Thorp comics that referenced Duluth was published. According to a Duluth News Tribune story that week, writer Neal Rubin typically uses the names of actual high school teams in the comic, and simply liked the team name Denfeld Hunters. Frank McLaughlin is the artist who drew the strip.
“It occurred to me early on that I can either make names up or do a little bit of research and find actual schools in the areas where people read Gil Thorp,” Rubin told the News Tribune. “I have a list of cities where Gil Thorp runs. I just thought I haven’t done anything with Duluth and the Internet makes it so easy. I went online and started poking around. I like the name Denfeld. It’s distinctive and, bless its heart, it’s also short. Hunters is also unique and it fits the space in the strip. I made sure to use Hunters just to make it ring more true with people who know Denfeld.”
One week later, Duluth was again referenced in the comic. Milford traveled to the Zenith City to face the Marshall Hilltoppers, losing 66-64.
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