Archive: Mark Trail

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Mary Worth, 4/4/20

“But if you don’t know? Well, in that case, you definitely still need to keep that person around — after all, you don’t want to be alone, heaven forbid! Just be sure to fend off any marriage proposals, so you’ll be free to entertain the offers from other gentlemen, at funerals or while you’re on vacation and such. It’s an arrangement that will work great for everyone, except for the guy you’re stringing along, but if he was worthy of better treatment I guess you wouldn’t be stringing him along, would you?”

Mark Trail, 4/4/20

For more than 15 years now, comic strip artists have been stuck in an awkward place where they have to draw daily strips knowing that they’ll appear in almost all newspapers in black and white but will be colorized by other hands for the web. This can be a real problem when you’re trying to, say, depict people walking through a dark, shadowy forest, where the inky black of the shadows cast onto them contrasts with the colors chosen for their flesh and clothes, which make them appear fully lit. Still, I’m glad to see this all happen in today’s strip, as it transforms Kevin’s pathetic mewling into something sounds like a supervillain’s origin story:

“I know I’m just an orphan nobody wants to adopt … but when I have my revenge, I will make orphans of every man, woman, and child on earth!

Dennis the Menace, 4/4/20

I admit I spend time on this blog making fun of comics that reuse old art, but here’s the thing: for some go-to- gags, they should do it. Honestly, what possible value is there to drawing yet another random visitor to the Mitchells’ living room for one of the “Dennis repeats something embarrassing his parents said” panels? Surely there’s literally dozens of them in the archives, so why not just dig one out and slap a new caption on it? I sincerely hope that’s what happened today, because it delights me to think of someone going through a bunch of old Dennis the Menace strips until they got to this drawing, and then they said to themselves, “Oh yeah, this is the one. This guy? This guy fucks.”

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Six Chix, 4/3/20

I suppose the “joke” in today’s Six Chix is that dentists love to ask deep, philosophical questions that require a lot of talking in response while they have their hands and a bunch of dental implements in your mouth, amiright folks? Amiright? But because this panel features only the basics of a dental facility surrounded by a blank, featureless void, I’m enjoying myself by thinking of this as a depiction of someone’s specific hell. “So what do you think happens when we die?” asks the dentist-demon. “Do you think it’s a real showy stereotypical fire-and-brimstone thing? Or do you think it’s something maybe less painful, but something we know, something we hate and fear, and we experience it forever? Probably the second one, right? Let’s get the tartar off that top gum line again.”

Daddy Daze, 4/3/20

So it seems that Coffee Goth is in fact Daddy Daze Daddy’s pal and a recurring character in this strip. The fact that the two of them are bellied up to a coffee shop counter rather than a bar honestly makes me realize how many male comic strip characters’ social lives revolve around going to a bar on a regular basis to commiserate with other regulars, which seems a little dated to me. But Daddy Daze Daddy isn’t like that! He’s not some sad drunk! He’s a much more modern archetype: a sad coffee guy! That’s a totally different and much more enlightened texture of sadness!

Mark Trail, 4/3/20

“But now you’re also going out into the woods with me in the middle of the night! That seems like a bad idea! But I still trust you! I’m not really very smart!”

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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/30/20

What’s your favorite part of this extremely improbable scene? Some might say it’s that the makeshift Hootin’ Holler clinic, which is in such dire shape that the waiting area is separated from the rest of the facility by a patched sheet in what is almost certainly a serious HIPAA violation, somehow has a functioning EKG machine, even if the accompanying treadmill is predictably not in operation. But for me, it’s that Snuffy has stripped to the waist so the electrodes can be attached to his gnomish torso, but is still wearing his overalls, the straps flapping behind him as he hops.

Blondie, 3/30/20

The only way this smash-cut joke actually works is if Blondie chloroformed Dagwood between panels one and two, changed him out if his work vest into his casual sweater, then hauled his unresponsive body to the car, dragged him into a restaurant booth, and waited for him to come to before delivering this zinger. It would mess with the rhythm of the strip to show all that, of course, but I do sincerely want to see it.

Mark Trail, 3/30/20

Wow, this really takes a lot of the weight off of Rusty, who thought he was going to have explain this! Thanks, Eric, for breaking the bad news to Kevin. You’re the real hero!

Six Chix, 3/30/20

“If You Truly Want To Be One Of The Six Chix, You Need To Do A Vaguely Pervy Bigfoot Strip”: another installment in a continuing series.