Archive: Mark Trail

Post Content

Mark Trail, 9/26/18

OK, wait, what? Are these guys not in league with artifact-napping Becky? Are they actually a rival gang, working at cross-purposes with her? Or are they part of Mexican law enforcement, investigating in plain clothes to try to break up an artifact smuggling ring? When Rusty and Mara confront Jo(s)e and his associates, they’ll say “Kids, you’ve got it all wrong! We’re federales! You know, the Policía Federal, the institutional successor to the former mounted police!” And then Rusty and Mara will say, “If you’re the police, where are your badges?” And they’ll say, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We’re working deep undercover and can’t afford exposure. Showing you any stinkin’ badges would risk all of our lives!”

Mary Worth, 9/26/18

Oh, man, Mr. Wynter is an old grouch because he was forced to marry a woman he didn’t love! I certainly hope that we get smash cut from Bella’s lovingly tended grave in the pet cemetery to the overgrown potter’s field into which his hatèd wife was tossed without ceremony when Mr. Wynter was finally, blessedly, free of her.

Dick Tracy, 9/26/18

I’m reasonably sure that’s been well established that Honeymoon and Crystal are social outcasts at school, what with them both being mutant freaks and all. Still, I have to give props to this drug gang for trying to map out the social networks of the schools where they’re trying to sell their wares in order to maximize brand awareness rather than just having someone stand outside and say “Hey, kid, wanna get high?” to everyone indiscriminately like some half-assed dealers we could mention. It’s like the time the illicit tattoo parlor in Gil Thorp tried to woo twentysomethings by getting high school-aged customers: wildly misguided, but at least you’re putting in some effort to come up with something clever.

Hi and Lois 9/26/18

Hey, kids, it’s 2018! Why not try to get your fairly specific fetish into an extremely square syndicated newspaper comic strip? Nothing matters anymore!

Post Content

Spider-Man, 9/25/18

The thing about the super-hero genre is that it features lots of high-stakes combat but also (sorry, Mopey Pete) is mostly marketed to children, so there’s a bit of tension about exactly how far we should go in depicting the consequences of said high-stakes combat, and specifically the consequences on human bodies. Usually the way they get around this is by having a lot of the battling taking the form of just people punching each other, in a super fashion, and we can kind of gloss over that because punching someone out doesn’t really hurt them, shattered organs and traumatized brains aside. But Colleen Wing is wading into this mass of bad guys swinging around a god-damned sword, which by right ought to be leaving behind a trail of severed limbs and thugs writhing on the floor as they die from massive blood loss. Maybe she’s just … bad at swords? Despite swords being her whole thing? Truly, a worthy partner to Spider-Man!

Mark Trail, 9/25/18

Wow, I had assumed that this artifact-smuggling ring was full of dweebuses and losers like sleepy, drooly Jo(s)e and glasses-and-polo-shirt-tucked-into-jeans dude, who I guess is named “Pablo.” But now we finally get to meet the extremely cool member of their criminal gang: a bad-ass, motorcycle-riding, headband-and-skull-belt wearing dude who gets called in when the scheme finally gets to the point where they have to … murder some children? I just want to emphasize to everyone reading at home that murdering children isn’t cool. It’s just that, if your gang has to kill a couple of kids, that’s something you’re going to want your coolest member to do.

Shoe, 9/25/18

The only corrupt politician we’ve ever seen in Shoe is Senator Belfrey, who, despite what I assume have been the best efforts of the Treetop Tribune and its crusading staff of investigative reporters, has remained in office since the strip began running in 1977. No wonder Shoe always seems so uptight!

Beetle Bailey, 9/25/18

“I want this locker full of severed human feet by 0900 tomorrow! Get it together, soldier!”

Post Content

Mary Worth, 9/20/18

If you’re ever in Baltimore, I strongly recommend that you drop by the Baltimore Museum of Art (admission is free!) and check out the Cone collection, an amazing assembly of impressionist art that was put together by two sisters over the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, with pieces by Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, and other heavy hitters. The sisters only left their collection to the museum upon their death, and while they were alive much of it was just hanging on the walls of the relatively modest Baltimore apartment they shared. There’s a computer reconstruction at the museum, and you can see that every surface was just covered with these masterpieces, even in the bathroom; they were probably what would be diagnosed today as hoarders, who just happened to have the eye and wherewithal to hoard incredible art.

Now, we’re only seeing a pretty small portion of Mr. Wynter’s apartment here, and things aren’t at quite the density of the Cone sisters’ home, but just the fact the even on this little stretch of wall we have not one but two pictures of Bella sporting a bowtie to match her owner makes me hope that each step deeper into his condo unit is leading Mary into a disorienting spiral of omnipresent Bellas. Local lech Charley plastered his walls with “art of a kind … I suppose” but that perversion will be nothing compared to the bug-eyed dead dog nightmare that is Wynterhaven.

Mark Trail, 9/18/18

Everything that’s actually relevant to the plot in today’s strip will presumably be spelled out shortly, which is good because I intend to spend the rest of the day not thinking about that at all but instead imagining Rusty playing with “Snap-N-Rap,” which I assume is an app you use to upload videos of yourself rapping to Snapchat. “My name’s MC Rusty and I’m here to say,” Rusty raps, Mara beatboxing in the background, “I do foolish things and get into trouble and need Mark’s help every day!” The video goes viral, and more importantly contains location data that Snap-N-Rap harvests and shares with its advertising partners and mysterious group of Chinese investors.

Funky Winkerbean, 9/18/19

The thing with Funky Winkerbean is that I honestly have a hard time figuring out its narrative point of view sometimes. You’d think that, when you have a plot where a group of comic book dudes get extremely pumped after coming up with a character called “Atomic Ape” who’s going to be a “Lone Ranger in space” (a real thing that happened in this strip), but then one of those dudes gets very upset when a lady suggests that “Atomic Ape” have a sidekick named “Charger Chip,” the point is that the dude is being dumb for getting upset about it! But, like, also, the standard Funky Winkerbean party line is that Superhero Comic Books Are Good, and the world of superhero comics today is actually full of adult dudes who take their obviously goofy superheroes extremely seriously, and resist any attempts to make them not dark and gritty, especially when those attempts are seen as coming from or catering to women, so who knows! Maybe we’re supposed to be rooting for Mopey Pete here! How dare some woman try to water down the masculine majesty of Atomic Ape, the Lone Ranger of space?