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People! Normally, I don’t bother you with metaposts mid-week, but I’ve received a bevy of Mark Trail related delights from readers over the past few weeks that I feel deserve their own showcase!

First up is a book discovered by faithful reader Charterstoned:

Note that it’s Mark Trail’s Fishing Tips Created By Ed Dodd, with the actual authorship left vague. Presumably this book was churned out by strip creator Dodd’s lowly assistant, while Dodd partied till all hours with Hollywood big shots.

This is clearly the high point of the whole book, in which an innocent young boy cringes in terror at the approach of a menacing weirdo in a hat. Don’t worry, kid; he just wants your gum … for now.

Also, you can tell the difference between the various almost-identical kinds of catfish you catch, assuming that counting the number of rays on on a dead, smelly fish’s fins is your idea of a good time.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mark Trail without a freakishly oversized animal. Fishing dude who may or may not be Mark is so smug about his little pie-pan trick that he doesn’t even notice the giant carnivorous moth that’s about to latch onto his face.

Meanwhile, faithful reader Jasper Jinks sends a couple of scans from a 1956 Mark Trail comic book put out by the U.S. Public Health Service.

An “industrial problem” that’s “being licked all over America by plain citizens, working together at the local level for everyone’s benefit”? Translation: Mark Trail is a dirty communist. A dirty communist in terrifying jodhpurs.

The plot of this tract involves a rotten little kid who gets a little under the weather after swimming in a watering hole containing industrial run-off from some awesomely profitable factory. Here’s a scene of the crazed Marxist lynch mob Mark puts together to put a stop to progress. Note that Mark is clenching his fist in case political agitation fails and he needs to punch pollution out of the water:

Of course, seeing old Mark Trails like this makes one wonder how similar they are to the current version. Well, a lot more than you might think! Faithful reader These Strange Worlds has put together an exhaustive comparison showing how much of the current storyline is recycled from one that ran 30 years ago.

And, finally, fans of Mark Trail and making fun of Mark Trail should check out Mark Stale. “What’s wrong, Rusty? Why are you lying awake, whimpering like a baby?” (Thanks to faithful reader festoonic for the tip.)

Oh, also, if you are going to be in the mid-Atlantic region over the weekend of May 22, perhaps you will want to get in on a meetup faithful reader bourbon babe is planning? Certain bloggers who live in that neck of the woods will in all probability make an appearance! (HINT HINT)