OK, so here is my excuse as to why I was late with the first few days of this week’s comics, which is that I was in scenic Orlando, Florida. While in America’s #1 Central Florida tourist destination, I stopped by the Universal Islands of Adventure, and while maybe I was mostly interested in Harry-Potter-related activities, I was also keenly aware, thanks to a steady trickle of photos sent to me by faithful readers over the years, that there was a real live Mark Trail diorama to be found. And when I spotted it, it was all I had hoped and dreamed of … and more!
Yes, here we have Mark and Billy Keane interacting, for some reason! And what the pictures I had seen couldn’t convey was the fact that this display has an audio component as well! As I stood nearby and pretended to menace Mark with my feeble fist, his soothing voice was piped in from a speaker above his head, informing us that he works for Woods and Wildlife Magazine and loved nature. For reasons I cannot comprehend, Mark is the only character in the whole Toon Lagoon area who gets to speak! Do you think that any of that makes sense to anyone who visits the park, other than the soap opera strip obsessives who read this blog?
There were other characters on display there, and a weird grab-bag they were. They certainly weren’t the most popular characters, but they also weren’t from any one comics syndicate, which means we can rule out corporate synergy as a basis for the character choices. For instance, there’s this Shoe display! Kids love Shoe, right?
You also have the opportunity to stand directly under Marvin’s no-doubt poop-filled diaper:
And you can get some ice cream, if you aren’t scared off by Cathy’s looming crotch.
In summary, the Toon Lagoon section of the Islands of Adventure is a good place to spend a few minutes of ironic bafflement before moving on to actually fun parts of the park. (Although the Dudley Do-Right log flume ride is pretty great. I had forgot how completely pun-tastic that show was!)