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Mark Trail, 3/6/17

Mark Trail has had exactly three writer-artists in its 71-year existence — Ed Dodd, Jack Elrod, and James Allen — and Elrod and Allen both spent extensive periods assisting their predecessors before taking over the strip. Other soap strips have seen a higher turnover in syndicate-hired personnel, and I have it on good authority that, in the absence of organized archives, some of those writers resorted to using my blog’s archives for backstory on the strips they were taking over; but Mark Trail has institutional memory when it comes to the lore, man. That’s why the strip is able to casually bring back recurring characters like fecund Quebecker Johnny Malotte, who’s been around since at least the early ’50s. So even though I’ve been reading Mark Trail every day for the last 15 years and have never heard of Johnny Lone Elk (hmmm, Mark sure knows a lot of non-WASPy guys named “Johnny”), I have full confidence that the Water-World Theme Park Disaster was a real storyline that was published in newspapers, probably in the ’70s sometime, and was extremely hilarious. I am jazzed up for this next adventure, guys.

Hagar the Horrible, 3/6/17

I honestly love how Gus maintains his weirdly bug-eyed smiling expression even through Hagar’s blurted question in the third panel. You’d better believe there’s no ham sandwich, Hagar. There’s nothing Gus loves so much as blowing people’s damn minds.

Dick Tracy, 3/6/17

There are any number of hilarious things about this strip: The Spirit sleeps in his eye mask and white gloves! The Spirit has a bedside princess phone in his hotel! The Spirit thinks that a normal, comfortable way to talk on the phone is to lie face down on the bed and sort of rest the handset against the side of his head! Still, I’m a little disappointed that my initial interpretation of panel one, which as that the Spirit slept wearing a CPAP machine, turned out to be incorrect.

Slylock Fox, 3/6/17

Oh wow, it seems the colorists for today’s strip, in which notorious person of (green) color Count Weirdly implements an incompetent terrorist attack on a ceremony honoring law enforcement, have decided to suddenly portray him as Caucasian! Way to promote #whitgenocide, Slylock Fox.