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Comics archive! Mark Trail

Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Six: Mark Trail fights the power

By the sixth year of this blog’s existence, I had pretty much gotten into the groove of what the soaps had to offer. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when some of the plots of 2009-10 shook things up! For instance, Mark had always been a straight-arrow, law-abiding citizen … right up to the time he literally punched a cop in the face.

Don’t worry, Mark didn’t turn evil; it’s just that Rusty was being foolish and got trapped under a car and Mark broke into a store to find a jack but got caught and that sheriff just wouldn’t listen to reason!

In Apartment 3-G, it was the year of delightful Bobbie Merrill, who weaseled her way into the Professor’s practice to get some sleepytime pills, then won his heart with gift baskets and poinsettias and manic episodes. Later, she bought a gun to take out her real target — her estranged husband, Margo’s dad! Turns out she was the one who raised Margo as her own even though Margo’s bio-mom was the maid, which explains a lot about Margo. There was an armed staircase confrontation that sort of petered out, and eventually she was bundled off to a farm private psychiatric facility upstate. The following conversation between Ari and the doctor who referred Bobbie to him demonstrates the low state of professional psychiatry in the A3Giverse:

(And it hasn’t gotten any better lately, either.)

But the champion of long-lost not-relative storylines for Blog Year Six went to Mary Worth. It all began when Wilbur’s girlfriend left town. Left to his own devices, he decided to have a little fun online!

Only to get a very special message.

Kurt Evans was the son of a lady Wilbur had romanced back in college, when he was young and mildly more believable as an object of sexual desire.

Kurt showed up unannounced and the two bonded over some good old-fashioned fishing! Everyone had a good time, except for Wilbur’s actual offspring, who was super not cool with it.

Kurt didn’t want to get a paternity test and Wilbur didn’t push it, which led Dawn to take matters into her own hands and track down Kurt’s real paternal aunt, a delightful drunken snob.

Eventually Kurt agreed to the paternity test, then skipped town before he could be revealed as a fraud, much to Wilbur’s distress and Dawn’s shame. It turned out he just wanted to have a little male bonding time with the least objectionable of his mother’s many paramours, in preparation for his own impending fatherhood, which, good luck with your many inevitable psychological problems, future Kurt Evans-spawn! The two never saw each other again, but at least they’ll always have the memories of their frolicking.

Their frolicking.


Anyway! Tomorrow, year seven: gripping political drama, more drunken loutism, and the first (and last) adventure the A3G gals had together in years!

Saturday quickies

Apartment 3-G, 7/5/14

Oh hey it seems that Tommie is referring to the fawn she rescued as a “baby” in front of other people and not correcting them when they clearly assume it’s a human baby, as if that were a thing a totally normal and sane person would do. It’s almost as if weeks (months? years?) of hard work and not talking about your feelings isn’t the best way to deal with psychological distress.

Mark Trail, 7/5/14

“Oh no! The female appears to speaking about her ‘emotions.’ No flaming stick can defeat her! Will I need to talk about ‘emotions’ too?”

Momma, 7/5/14

Momma may be long-widowed and missing a man in her life, but that doesn’t mean she’s willing to compromise when it comes to the sexual skills and techniques of her potential partners.

Six Chix, 7/5/14

Hey, lady, I’m pretty sure your friends are just going to lob balls back and forth at each other using tennis rackets and golf club, which doesn’t really count as “sports,” really? Probably margaritas are involved, though.

Beetle Bailey, 7/5/14

Beetle Bailey took a moment to exhibit some pro forma patriotism yesterday before returning to its main theme: unrelenting class war.

Anniversapost: Comics Curmudgeon: Year Five: Art, of a kind

One of the fun things about going over my blog history is seeing just how incredibly long it’s taken some plot points to play out. For instance: Judge Parker Senior’s awful unreadable book that everyone loves for some reason? That’s been a plot point in one way or another since 2008! In the first major plotline involving this cursèd tome, Sam was sent to nail down the ludicrous book advance a Parker deserves; he was in the middle of doing just that out on the golf course when his negotiating rival was gunned down by a sniper. The whole thing ended, as you might expect, with Sam standing by stone-faced while a SWAT team unleashed a hail of automatic weapons fire onto murderous, knife-wielding stripper named “Dixie Julep”.

Mary Worth spent the summer of 2009 trying her best to prevent a forbidden love between neglected wife Delilah and Charterstone resident lech Charlie. Despite Mary’s best efforts to physically separate them, Delilah only turned away from the road to harlotry when she saw the hellscape that was Charlie’s bachelor pad.

But my personal favorite plot of this year was a weird, rambling Mark Trail story where one of the weird but virtuous backwoods families Mark is friends with for some reason decided to call our hero in to take care of a problem with the local water table, somehow. The little girl in this family had a pet raccoon named Sneaky, and Mark shook its hand even though he was told up front that it was a filthy little criminal.

The lady in charge of the company draining the swamp met Sneaky too! Doesn’t he look adorable? Doesn’t he look not at all rabid or like he’s just thinking about biting you all the time?

Sneaky later escaped (to the extent that a wild animal leaving a house and going back into the woods can really be construed as “escaping”) and was eventually captured by a band of sinister backwoods folk who ran an illicit dog vs. raccoon fighting ring. There was log-chaining involved.

Mark intervened with both his fists and some opinions about the legality of the whole scene.

This was, hilariously, local front page news, and the raccoon fightmaster, who was named “Rabbit,” was hired by sinister corporate interests to run Mark out of town. This failed, obviously, though Andy the dog did have to lick Mark free from some kidnappers. In the end, water was restored to the swamp, and Sneaky was free … free to plot against us. He’s still plotting today. They say in the night you can hear his sinister chittering.

Anniversaposts will return on Monday! Stay tuned for a review of year six of this blog, which I dubbed “The Year of the Bastard” for reasons that will become delightfully apparent.