Archive: Mark Trail

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Mark Trail, 1/16/20

DRAMATIC MUSIC STING!!!!!! Much like Captain Ahab of literary fame, Dr. Camel has been on a single-minded mission of bloody vengeance ever since one of nature’s magnificent, savage creatures took his leg. And, sure, you’d think Mark or someone else would’ve noticed that Harvey has a prosthesis as they hiked together for miles through the foothills of the Himalayas, though maybe technology has advanced far enough that it isn’t really noticeable, making its revelation at this narratively opportune moment possible, or maybe Mark is so free of ableism that he noticed but didn’t find the fact remarkable so it never got worked into the strip’s narrative, who can say, but the point is that we now know how this is going to end: with Harvey’s corpse lashed to the yeti’s massive body, his arm seeming to beckon others to follow, and Genie, Mingma, and Pemba eagerly pursuing the monster into the forest while only Mark remains behind to write the tale, Ishmael-like, except unlike Ishmael he’ll be writing it for a glossy magazine with a fancy New York HQ, which will recompense him handsomely for his troubles.

Crankshaft, 1/16/20

Over in Crankshaft, we’re in the midst of a storyline where Ed and Lillian are in competition to see who can get more birds at their feeder, and today is the day we learn just how seriously Lillian takes this whole thing, since she’s clearly willing to sacrifice everything to win. Although perhaps she aims for a double victory: to escape by means of sweet death the unending sorrow of life in the Funkyverse, leaving Crankshaft, still alive and suffering, to watch the birds flock to his neighbor’s yard instead of his.

Crock, 1/16/20

We all know, of course, that Crock is in a twilight of endless reruns, and I have to assume that the same economic pressures that encourage syndicates to just rerun outdated comics instead of paying for new ones also preclude hiring much by way of editorial staff to supervise said reruns; perhaps the publication of old Crocks is entirely automated — I’m visualizing a robot arm pulling paper copies of strips out of a filing cabinet at random here. But let me gently suggest that it would be worth it to have someone to give these strips a once-over before they go out, if only to ensure that you don’t publish one where a punchline about some seemingly futuristic technology has now, a decade or two it was written, just become a straightforward description of a thing people do all the time.

Family Circus, 1/16/20

The Family Circus knows how to keep up with modern technology without much effort, simply replacing the earlier punchlines that ran with this panel (“See? I photocopied her” and “See? I bedoubled her once and then again, with the aid of my master, the Devil”) with something slightly more up-to-date.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/16/20

Oh, now I get why Les was withholding his emotional approval from this project: he was waiting for someone to explain that he could have more unearned praise heaped upon him, in the form of major awards, if it went forward! It’s a good thing that Mason doesn’t think the Oscars are a joke anymore, or, conversely, that he believes so firmly that they’re a joke that he thinks Lisa’s Story can win one, because it’s a sad story about a regular lady who died of cancer.

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Mark Trail, 1/15/20

So, uh, not only are we getting the rambling yeti story I asked for but it’s actually extremely violent and also … in a completely different art style, for some reason? I’m not sure if Mark would’ve been so eager to go on this expedition if he had known that yeti were very aggressive and also impervious to guns! Anyway, I guess the reason Dr. Camel doesn’t want to profit from the yeti is because he wants to murder it, in revenge for what it did to his family.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/15/20

You know, the thing about Les is that he’s actually kind of cheery a lot of the time — in a smug, insufferable way, admittedly, but still, he usually has a smirk for everybody. I’m genuinely kind of baffled why he’s just a total dick about literally everything about this movie adaptation of Lisa’s Story, which, to emphasize, is only happening because he agreed to it, despite the fact that he already sabotaged an earlier version of it. What’s his game here, exactly? Why has he come all the way to Hollywood to piss and mope? And since he’s not writing the script anymore, why did Mason fly him all the way out to Hollywood for him to piss and mope in person? Do they not know about Skype? Did Mason feel the need to see Les slouching and shitting all over his dreams in the flesh?

Anyway, once you’ve read this comic and learned that fighting against daunting odds — whether it’s to beat cancer or deliver a truly authentic film about your loved ones — is basically pointless, hopefully you’ll feel inspired to donate to Lisa’s Legacy Fund!!!!!

Dick Tracy, 1/15/20

Awful lot of bullets being exchanged in this “cold war,” huh? I’m beginning to think that Mr. Roboto may not know what a cold war actually is.

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Dennis the Menace, 1/11/20

“Admittedly, it’s kind of weird bringing this up while we’re looking at a shelf that doesn’t include any nerf guns — that indeed doesn’t seem to include any toys manufactured in the last forty years at all. Just a bunch of old-timey toys not even in packaging! Almost like this art was drawn at some earlier date and then the caption was grafted onto it. Anyway, it’s a relief that we’re finally admitting that we don’t like spending time with our son and hope he spends as much time at our grumpy old neighbor’s as possible. Like, each of us knew the other one felt that way, but it feels good to say it out loud, you know?”

Judge Parker, 1/11/20

Hey, remember when Judge Parker Emeritus admitted to doing crimes on TV and then went to jail, but then just a few months later he got out, and I can’t even remember if it was because of more illegal skullduggery or just some dumb technicality, but anyway, now that everyone’s forgotten that unpleasantness, it looks like it’s time for Alan to take his place amongst the town’s rightful leaders again! I certainly hope he calls upon Horace, an old Parker family retainer who you may or may not remember (and really, why would you, why do I remember him, why is so much of my precious, limited brain space taken up by plot points from soap opera comic strips from the mid-’00s) as the guy who ran Randy Parker’s campaign for judge way back when. He was really hot on Randy marrying his fiance, who was the leader of a cult of some sort, which he failed to do, thus giving his opponent the opportunity to start a homophobic whisper campaign against him. Fortunately Horace was there to remind the Parker camp that their opponent’s wife was a drunk, and so Sam and Randy smugly watched her melt down at a press conference and then quietly seized the judgeship that Randy felt was rightly his. Anyway, I feel like Alan’s very public crime-doing will require a lot more dirty-election-tricks help than Randy’s possible homosexuality did, so I can’t wait to see the scorched-earth campaign that’s about to be unleashed.

Mark Trail, 1/11/20

God bless Mark Trail for being so pure of heart that even though he can’t stand Harvey Camel, he instinctively believes him to the point of having his mind utterly blown when Harvey says “oh, yeah, I definitely saw a yeti, by the way.” I certainly hope the next three weeks are taken up by Harvey telling a long, rambling story, along the lines of “one time a train full of drunken clowns derailed in the forest” and “one time a walrus wrecked a rental SUV by violently giving birth in it“, about that one time he just glimpsed a hairy bipedal cryptid loping through the Himalayan dusk.