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Mark Trail, 1/19/18

Welp, looks like those giraffes Rusty spotted last week are actually part of a whole herd of exotic animals freely roaming around Lost Forest, presumably because after the Tingling Bros. Circus farewell tour the circus’s creditors ordered the entire menagerie to be simply released into the woods rather than making an expensive attempt to find new homes for the beasts. You’re probably thinking that this uniformed monkey is in charge of all these creatures, but in fact he’s a mere lieutenant for their true king, the Great Wilhelm, who’s holed up in an inaccessible forest lair screaming out his orders.

Shoe, 1/19/18

Roz runs what I believe is one of the of the only dining establishments in Treetops (is there also a fancy white-tablecloth French restaurant with snooty bird-waiters? I’m pretty sure there is, but I’m not going to bother to check) but one of the jokes of the strip is that she is actually pretty bad at cooking. Nevertheless, all of the characters continue coming to her diner to order food, either because of their aforementioned lack of other options (but why doesn’t the invisible hand wing of the free market push someone else into starting a rival with more palatable fare?) or because they all love cruelly taunting Roz, and the gastic side-effects of eating her food is a small price to pay for the opportunity to do so. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I guess the joke in today’s strip is supposed to be that, like Roz’s burnt cooking, Roz’s cookbook (but how could someone mainly known for making unappetizing food score a coveted publishing deal?) managed to set off some smoke alarms, but the facial expressions on display here (Shoe all heavy-lidded menace, Roz bug-eyed with rage) imply that maybe Shoe just led a book-burning, right there in the middle of Barnes & Noble.