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Comics archive! Mark Trail

These fancy flip-phones don’t buy themselves, Mark

Mark Trail, 10/24/14

Well now we know how Woods And Wildlife Magazine editor Bill Ellis can afford that fancy penthouse office! “Mark, I want you to take a trip to the swamp and do a story on the diversity of animal species found there! No, for God’s sake, don’t actually mention this Petroxx Chemical mine business. The Marigold and Philip T. Oxenham Foundation — ‘helping build a more verdant and prosperous world since 2003′ — is W&W’s biggest advertiser, and Phil Oxenham is Petroxx Chemical’s CEO, so we can’t afford to piss him off. Just … just write about all the different kinds of critters that live in the dumb swamp and let’s hope the right people see it and hopefully this’ll all work itself out, OK? I’ll send a copy to Phil, maybe he’ll put some money into whatever safety equipment the unions are bitching about this month. That’ll be a win-win for everyone!”

Pluggers, 10/24/14

I am sincerely enjoying the look of shock and alarm on the she-plugger’s face in this panel as she swivels her head around to look at that timer. “Oh my goodness! For whom is this bell tolling? Does it toll … for me?

Gil Thorp, 10/24/14

Welp, looks like we’ve hit the point in this storyline where the Mudlark coaching staff let someone else do their coaching for them! Usually this person is the janitor or just whatever crazy old coot wanders onto the practice field, so it’s actually kind of refreshing that this year it’s a player, at least.

Largely soapy Monday

Apartment 3-G, 10/20/14

Well, this is certainly the most shocking development in Apartment 3-G in some time: during Tommie’s multi-month absence, Margo hasn’t gotten bored and come up some new vaguely aspirational business plan, but has instead continued to be a publicist when the plot demands it! You might remember Skyler as the young starlet who Margo’s employee/sex slave/secret enemy Evan flirted with so that Margo would refuse to take her on as a client. Skyler used to be a brunette and then had black hair and now is a blonde, which is par for the course for actresses, I suppose. Less realistic is that she’s wearing a shapeless pink sweatshirt, or that she now looks more or less exactly like Lu Ann, or that Margo is a good enough publicist that anyone would try to hire her after she cruelly rejected them for no good reason.

Mark Trail, 10/20/14

Since this is Mark Trail, it’s a safe bet that the folks on TV here are aggrieved over some kind of nature or environmental issue, which makes me even angrier that, in an age of rapidly shrinking journalism budgets, Woods And Wildlife Magazine can still afford a high-rise office for its wholly out of touch top editor. Still, Bill Ellis’s uncanny resemblance to LBJ has never been more appropriate than it is here, as he smirks with hooded eyes at some damn hippies protesting on his television set.

Judge Parker, 10/20/14

Just in time for Halloween, and then for the seven to fourteen months after halloween: as darkness falls, the Parker-Driver clan is going to drive the Road Queen into a spooky, abandoned RV park! How many chainsaw-weilding murderers will be lurking there, and how much money will our heroes get as a reward when they arrange for those maniacs to be captured by the local police, with very little effort on their part?

Family Circus, 10/20/14

Remember the innocent days when the Keane Kids would cheerfully blame their transgressions on adorable ghost-things “Not Me” and “Ida Know”? Well, that’s all over now. Reality has set in. The kids know that nobody buys that crap anymore. One of them is going to have to take the fall. The question is: who? This will only be settled by an ugly outbreak of violence.

Beetle Bailey, 10/20/14

Ha ha, it’s funny because Beetle is injured and writhing in agony and begging Sarge to drive more carefully, which Sarge callously refuses to do! But the real joke is that all those injuries were almost certainly inflicted by Sarge in the first place.

Modern-day Hi lets his freak flag fly by wearing stripes

Mark Trail, 10/14/14

I got a lot of unsolicited feedback last week when I ignored Mark’s suggestion to Cherry that, after he finished fishing with Rusty, “maybe we could have target practice with the longbow.” Much of this feedback implied that “longbow” was a euphemism for something, probably something sexual in nature, and I refused to acknowledge these suggestions, for obvious reasons. Anyway, I’ll bet today’s strip sure has all you sickos feeling pretty foolish! Nothing erotic going on in today’s strip, just a couple of dudes talking about aligning their bodies and “release.” Mark originally proposed this as an activity he and Cherry could do together, but she’s actually nowhere to be seen, thank goodness.

Hi and Lois, 10/14/14

Hi and Lois has apparently decided to embrace its status as one of the squarest comics in syndication by just doing a whole week of “weren’t things different and maybe better in decades past?” Yesterday we had “Cars sure were larger and less fuel efficient back when gas was cheaper”; today we’ve got “remember when everyone used to watch TV, before the entertainment options available today existed?” Super psyched to see if they can drag this out for another four days!

Momma, 10/14/14

Momma has long been fascinated by parliamentary systems of government, and has indeed used a close variation on this joke pretty recently. Today’s strip does include one new element, though: Momma and MaryLou’s odd shared thought balloon. “Fair and square,” they both think in panel one, back when everyone is optimistic about how this debate is going to go, back before it was revealed that Momma thinks it’s “fair” to usurp executive power without receiving a vote of confidence from the democratically elected representatives of the people.

Blondie, 10/14/14

Aww, isn’t that cute, Mr. Dithers #gets #hashtags now! Unfortunately, the Blondie creative team doesn’t really #get that Twitter is not a texting or instant messaging service. Also, they didn’t manage to secure their #brand on this #social platform, seeing as @dagwood is actually a professor at Northwestern and @dithers is some guy who hasn’t tweeted since 2013!