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Mark Trail, 2/13/12

It’s well known that in the moral universe of Mark Trail, kindness to animals is the highest value. So, let’s ask ourselves: who are the real villains in this story? Mark and Tommy, who left poor Butch the blind dog alone in a field with only a jacket for company, and who have gone back to Tommy’s comfortable home to plot how to exploit Butch for big-time TV money? Or Jeff and Jamie, who, despite being on the run from the law and hiding out in some rustic cabin, are prepared to take pity on a poor hungry dog they’ve never even met before? I certainly hope that, instead of punching, this storyline ends with Mark taking a long, hard look at what he’s become.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/13/12

Starting with a punchline (even a good one, which this is not) and working your way back to create the set-up is always a terrible, terrible idea in comics. I mean, can you figure out any context in which it would make sense for Snuffy, Parson Tuttle, and a quartet of nameless Hootin’ Holler elder ladies to be gathered around one of the community’s few working TV sets to try to pick up the Grammys on its bunny ears? I guess it’s possible that inveterate lawbreaker Snuffy and notorious grifter/fraud Tuttle lured the town’s grandmothers to this viewing as a cruel prank, knowing that they’d be embarrassed and horrified by the flatlanders’ outlandish music and whorish outfits. So, yeah, actually, this totally makes sense in the strip’s milieu, forget I said anything.