Mark Trail, 5/14/09
SURPRISE, everyone! It’s Mark Trail Plotline Payoff Day! Of course, the latest outbreak of violence in Mark Trail comes as a SURPRISE! to no one, as it’s how every single Mark Trail plot is resolved. But it is noteworthy that Mark is leading not with a fist to the jaw, but with with a shoulder to the groin. Is it possible that he’s actually become bored with punching people? Does he need to mix it up by causing pain to sideburned ne’er-do-wells with different parts of his body? Is that the only way he can keep himself interested in his work, and keep that magical feeling of how SURPRISingly wonderful life can be?
Something doesn’t seem quite right as Mark comes in low on Blueshirt McMoron. You’ll notice that, from the viewer’s perspective, Mark’s head is on our side of the baddie’s torso, but his elbows are between the dude’s various limbs, and he doesn’t seem to be leaning forward enough for that to be the case. It’s like some sort of optical illusion. Or, I guess, it’s like Mark is actually a pre-existing 2-D drawing that was dropped into the space and cropped somewhat inexpertly.
Also of note in this ruckus is the fact that Mark is shouting “NOW, ANDY!” after which Andy appears to do exactly nothing. Maybe he’s busy off-panel dragging Rusty away to safety, or taking the opportunity to take care of annoying pup Sassy by eating him.
I know that “continuity strips” (as they’re called in the biz) have to keep hammering even the basic elements of their plotlines home because even their most dedicated fans skip two days out of every five, but I think Peter’s last-panel thought balloon is a little much. “Hi, newspaper readers! Just wanted to let you know, in case you weren’t clued in by the title of the strip, that this feature isn’t just about some self-satisfied douchebag visiting his aunt in the hospital! It also showcases guys in tight spandex battling each other in dramatic lighting!”
I also think that the thought-balloon is a little self-serving. I don’t recall anything that exciting happening during their battle; I mostly remember the sandwich-eating.
Mary Worth, 5/14/09
Oh my God, the message of this Mary Worth plot really is going to be “Ladies are incapable of rational judgement and should have their potential romantic partners screened for them by their father, even when said ladies are medical professionals in their thirties, and even when said fathers think that Mary Worth makes a good romantic partner.”