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Comics archive! Mark Trail

THE GOLD STAFF OF IMMORTALITY! No, wait mortality, it represents mortality, never mind

Gasoline Alley, 5/26/16

Gasoline Alley seems a little too square to engage in metanarrative chicanery, but how else should we interpret today’s strip? After weeks and weeks of a boring, convoluted prison break storyline featuring some of the strip’s most irritating recurring characters, we suddenly switch back to Walt, complaining that the ceremony in which he received the Golden Cane Of Agedness from the mayor, which we never saw in the strip, wasn’t covered properly in the media. Poor Walt! Anyway, I’m very intrigued that whatever municipality he lives in has an expensive object that can literally only be taken from its owner by prying it out of their dead, cold hands.

Mark Trail, 5/26/16

OK, let’s be real: the last few weeks of “Mark ’n’ friends try and fail to escape from the cave” have been super boring. But today at least Chekhov’s rock-climbing gun, which was prominently mounted on the wall of the set in the first act, finally goes off. We also some mid-air derring do, as Mark and Carina almost tumble to their death off a cave waterfall but Mark saves them at the last minute by jamming his rock … climbing … axe … thingy into the cliff wall. And kudos to the strip for taking as much care to acknowledge the biology of Homo sapiens as it does for the other animals it covers; whereas most action movies feature characters grabbing onto things in mid-fall and suffering no ill-effects, Mark has saved himself and Carina at the cost of shattering his rib cage, just as he would in real life.

Family Circus, 5/26/16

Haha, I love PJ’s look of heavy-lidded disdain here. “God damn it, Jeffy, enough with this ‘everyone has a valid perspective’ bullshit. Kill the wolf! Kill it!

New Dawn

Mary Worth, 5/8/16

You know that movie moment when the hero/heroine makes some everyday gesture like taking off his/her glasses and the heroine/hero sees for the first time how attractive he/she really is? And thereafter their romantic entanglement is just a matter of time, typically seconds? Well that just happened for Harlan and Dawn in Mary Worth, and suddenly their whole world looks different and exciting! But don’t worry, you crazy lovestruck kids – gossip will still be gossip even after you systematically validate every accusation those haters make. So that George Harrison quote up there will still apply. Priorities!

New Wilbur waits for his entrance just offstage — four hairs askew; eyes locked on that beautiful, impossible sandwich; standing in a puddle of his own drool.

Mark Trail, 5/8/16

Of course for compelling Sunday comics art, one seldom needs to look further than Mark Trail. But the strip takes a chilling turn when it promotes giving a “colony” of timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus, for Pete’s sake) their own private Eden smack in the middle of densely populated Massachusetts.

“What’sssss the problem?”, whispers a tiny voice. “Those deathsssss were never documented, and everyone knows the peninsssssula … I mean the isssssland … is strictly ‘off-limitsssss.’ I mean we can read sssssigns, even if we can’t ssssswim.”

Mark, the serpent is a liar. Maybe you read that in a book once, long ago?

Judge Parker, 5/8/16 (panels)

Oh look, it’s Rocky, strolling in all relaxed and blissfully unaware of the histrionic and utterly pointless “where’s Rocky” subplot that’s been going on since last August. Hi, Rocky!

Haha once again, Josh has handed me the keys to the Comics Curmudgeon for a few days only to see something amazing happen in Mary Worth on my watch. It’s like my superpower, or maybe his. Back in 2010 it was a shootout at the Santa RoyMart warehouse; this time, it’s a major change in the Sunday strip’s artistic direction.

The new artists are the husband-and-wife team of June Brigman and Roy Richardson. Comic book fans will know Brigman’s work on Supergirl and as a founder of Marvel’s Power Pack; Richardson’s inking for Captain America, Iron Man, and The Flash; and their collaboration on the Star Wars: River of Chaos series of graphic novels. But I got to know their work from Brenda Starr, for which I was an unabashed fanboy. I am going to like the hell out of this, and I hope you do, too.

Outgoing (but not retiring – he’ll still do the dailies) artist Joe Giella, like Brigman and Richardson, is a comic-book veteran – check out his Wikipedia page for the portrait of a proud old-school Industrial Artist whose contributions helped define every comic-book “age” from Golden to right now. This interview is worth a read, too. He also has a great sense of humor, as revealed by this 2008 drawing that our usually lowercase Josh rightly called THE GREATEST MARY WORTH-RELATED THING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN.

And with that, faithful readers, I’m off the clock. Thank you for a great week, and for being so generous during the fundraiser. Josh returns Monday morning, with steaming hot cauldrons of that Joshy goodness we all know and love. Until next time!

– Uncle Lumpy

Jughead’s insatiable appetite has brought him to a dark, dark place

Archie, 4/26/16

I normally only mention the anonymous toilers who add color to the daily strips when they egregiously screw up, so let’s give big props to whoever had the job of dealing with today’s Archie. Not only did they notice the severed foot laying casually atop the debris that Jughead has layered on his floor to block his parents’ access to his room/slaughter chamber, but they chose the perfect off-pink color to represent human flesh that’s just begun to putrefy.

Shoe, 4/26/16

The city of Treetops consists of habitations scattered across the tops of trees, as the name and also just about every Shoe strip published in the last 39 years demonstrate. Rubber comes from trees, and Treetops is inhabited entirely by bird-people. Thus, this is a news item about a rapacious corporation that is going to stop destroying the townsfolk’s homes and will now move on to literally extracting profits from their bodies.

Mark Trail, 4/26/16

Mark and his fellow cave-captives have spent the last week wandering around this cavern marveling at the miracles of nature that created these gorgeous, enormous crystals. Today they figure they should get a mining corporation in here and make a quick buck. Everybody needs sheetrock!

Pluggers, 4/26/16