So I didn’t cover Crankshaft this week because it was boring and mawkish, but basically the deal was that there was a little girl who had a book on “layaway” at the bookstore Lillian runs in her attic without a permit or a business license or proper fire escapes or anything like that — layaway in the sense that the girl would come in every once in a while and pay a few pennies towards the ultimate purchase price of the book, and then be allowed to read a little of her book before leaving it behind. Crankshaft, still hanging around the store after his futile attempt to get a different child interested in literacy and/or baseball, saw this touching scene, and decided to pay off the rest of the girl’s debt so she could take her book home the next time she stopped by. But! In possibly the greatest denouement of a Crankshaft storyline since Crankshaft’s best friend lost the mayoral election because Crankshaft forgot to vote, the whole thing, which we assumed was an attempt by the comic strip Crankshaft to manipulate our emotions, was actually an attempt by this little girl to manipulate Crankshaft’s emotions! And it worked! And she and her friend are pulling the same scam at bookstores all over the state! I want this pair of elementary school book-grifters to get their own comic strip, stat!
Mark Trail, 3/3/18
I guess it’s just going to be an occasional thing in Mark Trail now where an ancillary character tells an absurd shaggy dog story whose action we occasionally catch glimpses of, like the time we saw a walrus give birth in an SUV last year. I’m in favor of this development, obviously, just like Mark is obviously in favor of drunk, disheveled, injured clowns lurching out of the graveyard and sending innocent little children fleeing into the woods in a state of utter terror.