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Comics archive! Mark Trail

Nature is also red in tooth and claw, so that’s two strikes right there

Six Chix, 8/24/14

Pluggers II — Ascension

The Change came faster than anyone could have imagined. Proto-pluggers, still in animal form, quickly learned to operate the machines left for them as the humans devolved. Seduced by simple sense-pleasures, their former masters abandoned the responsibilities of economic life, cleaning up after themselves, and caring for their — what did they call them in the Before Times? Oh, yes — pets.

Mark Trail, 8/24/14

It’s good to see that despite the change at the helm, Sunday Mark Trail is sticking to its time-honored themes. Take it from NOAA: whether by tidal wave, lightning, flash flood, or this tornado here, Nature is an implacable monster and will stone cold kill you — probably by blowing up your barn or throwing a tractor at you or some shit. We oughta global-warm the hell outa that bitch.

Sally Forth, 8/24/14

Faithful readers, summer is on the wane. Think of the pops. You know Ted has. The pops! Soon they will be but a memory.

Crankshaft, 8/24/14

If you’re looking for humor, try “the food is terrible — and the portions are so small!” But if you’re in the mood for mean, pinch-lipped, incoherent spite, you can’t go wrong with Crankshaft.


Ohmigod, Josh — just two days until you hit the road! HURRY HURRY HURRY!

–Uncle Lumpy

Maybe Gil is just trying to sprain True’s elbow as well

Shoe, 8/20/14

I like to make fun of the Goggle Eyes of Horror that often accompany Shoe punchlines, but I don’t mean to neglect their complement, the Heavy Lids of Despair, which the Perfesser is sporting in both panels here to excellent effect. Never mind why Roz is asking Cosmo the kind of question normally posed in a job interview — she probably sees him every day and he’s the only one in the restaurant, so lord knows it’s not surprising they long ago ran out of things to talk about. The facial expression accompanying his response is pricelessly appropriate: he’s in late middle age, working in a dying industry, and living in filth with a nephew he barely tolerates. What does she think he’s going to be doing in five years? The same stuff, obviously, only with more heart blockage and worrying letters about the state of the Bird Newspaper Guild pension fund he’d been counting on for his meager retirement. He’s asking Siri, which is notoriously terrible at understanding anything but the most basic and restricted questions, what the future holds, but his face tells you he’s only doing it because he knows the answer all too well.

Mark Trail, 8/20/14

New Mark Trail scribe James Allen may be shaking things up in the storied strip, but he knows how to give readers what they tune in for: namely, colossally moronic villains who just leave evidence of their misdeeds lying around in publicly accessible unlocked crates, and Mark saying “What th’!” And we can also see a new tradition forming: the shocking moment of revelation in each poaching-related storyline will include Mark sadly verbalizing exactly which animal part or byproduct is being poached. Anyway, Chris “Dirty” Whathisname is gonna get punched real soon. Note that even before finding evidence of his guilt, Mark refused to use the man’s ludicrous self-appointed nickname in his internal monologue.

Gil Thorp, 8/20/14

Welp, this summer’s high-stakes storyline about star football prospect/retro architecture aficionado True Standish considering going to Milford has ended with … True Standish going to one of Milford’s conference arch-rivals! And all because Coaches Thorp and Kaz refused to ratchet up the pressure and try to force the Mudlarks to become a high school football powerhouse that could really highlight True’s skills, an admirable attitude that also nicely dovetails with their desire to do as little work as possible. I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ll seen of True, but even if it is, we’ll always have panel three’s ludicrously awkward handshake to remember him by.

Dick Tracy, 8/20/14

Hey, remember when Dick Tracy’s wife couldn’t get an email for days and days because her ISP had a virus? You might think that represents a terrible technical failure on their part, but now that we know that Dick sends all his emails as large video files of him talking rather than just text like a normal person, I’m beginning to have some sympathy for the pressure this particular customer puts on their infrastructure.

Dennis the Menace, 8/20/14

This would be an extremely non-menacing installment of Dennis Misunderstands Very Common English-Language Turns Of Phrase In the Darndest Way were it not for the look of genuine terror on his face. “But — Mr. Wilson! Mrs. Wilson reported that you’d already chronovoyaged to 1935 and were living undercover backwhen to prevent General Murchinson’s grandparents from ever meeting one another! Our upstream agents report that the timeline is still polluted and there’s a 95% possibility likelihood that the coup will have occurred in the next six to nine weeks! Unless — have you been ricocheted back to nowtime by a paradox-eddy? Have-will President-for-Life Murchinson’s own time-scientists perfect(ed) the technology to set up a Time Travel Exclusion Zone around certain dates? We thought we will have taken every precaution!”

Marvin, 8/20/14

Marvin has taken a break from its usual array of poop jokes this week to focus on one of the more recent and unpleasant additions to its cast: Marvin’s grandparents’ unpleasant little dog. Today we learn that Marvin’s grandparents’ unpleasant little dog is openly obsessed with racial purity.

Queasy-making quickies

Beetle Bailey, 8/14/14

It’s kind of amazing that Otto is perfectly capable of understanding symbolic language — for instance, he knows that fire hydrants are a longstanding visual shorthand for dog urination in our culture, even though no dog urinates exclusively on fire hydrants — and yet he somehow can’t figure out how to go to the bathroom in a toilet.

Dick Tracy, 8/14/14

These movie assignations are actually a cover for Dick and Annie to discuss their escape from Weird Maybe Time-Travel Island, but still, the idea that an adult police officer would help break a tween girl’s crush on him by literally taking her on dates is pretty gross! Haha, but everyone in ThePastBurg wants to get into Officer Tracy’s pants, so it’s totally OK.

Funky Winkerbean, 8/14/14

Hey, remember a couple days ago when I said Les’s fantasy sequence would be mildly more interesting than the whole Lisa’s Story movie plotline? Well, that was before I knew it would involve sexy ladies trying to get Les to have sex with them! Now it’s grosser, and not just mildly grosser.

Mark Trail, 8/14/14

Mark trail is such a dedicated naturalist that he’s going to make sure you know what kind of python this is, before, under duress and with great respect and sadness, he’s forced to slice off its head.

Wizard of Id, 8/14/14

In a cross-promotion of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week that I’m sadly certain is entirely unpaid, the Wiz in Wizard of Id has turned himself into a shark! A shark that yearns for shark-sex with lady sharks. The intersection of monogamy and animagery is in fact deeply complex.

Pluggers, 8/14/14

The most common use a plugger has for computers is figuring out how to poop more easily.