Meet Gil. He’s an 8-year-old kid. Gil is a bit of an underdog. He’s a little on the chubby side, and he’s usually the last kid picked at school to play dodgeball. He doesn’t have the newest toys or live in a fancy house. His parents are split up – his single mother supports them with her factory job income and his father isn’t around as often as a father ought to be. But none of these things seem to have an adverse effect on Gil’s relentless optimism and upbeat attitude.

Norm’s daily comic strip GIL was a realistic and funny look at life through the eyes of a young boy growing up under circumstances familiar to millions of American families.  GIL was syndicated by King Features from January 2012, to Dec 2013. In May 2014, GIL returned to The Providence Journal as a Sunday feature, and is currently self syndicated.

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Gil: A chubby and cheerful 8-year-old boy. He loves comic books, video games and superheroes, all of which fuel his already overactive imagination. He is an only child who lives with his mother and sees his father on alternate weekends. He’s somewhat oblivious to the complexities of the adult world, which almost always leads to a funny situation.

Shandra: Gil’s best friend, neighbor, classmate and supportive confidante. Like Gil’s folks, Shandra’s parents are also divorced. With her signature puffy pigtails and sensible attitude, Shandra is a loyal friend and well-adjusted child. She and Gil have a lot in common and speak openly about living in their respective single-parent homes.

Mom: A hardworking single mother whose primary concern is the welfare of her young son, Gil. She is a hands-on mother who works full-time in a factory. She struggles with the guilt that all working mothers face. Her income allows her to meet the necessities in life, like food, rent and utilities, but not always the bonus stuff like the latest video game console.

Dad: A classic under-achiever who is lazy and lacks motivation. He holds out hope that one day he will strike it rich with a scratch-off lottery ticket. He gives questionable fatherly advice and is an unlikely candidate for winning “Father of the Year” any time soon. He loves his son, but it’s clear that he simply isn’t ready for full-time fatherhood.

Morgan: Gil’s mean-spirited classmate and antagonist. Some say if someone teases you, it must mean that they secretly like you. That’s really not the case with Morgan and Gil.