Archive: Mark Trail

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Mark Trail, 8/11/20

So as anyone would’ve predicted, this abandoned cat was befriended by Andy, brought into the Trail household/menagerie, and dubbed “Tabby.” Mostly I’m showing you today’s strip because it seems wild to me that Cherry, whose father is literally a veterinarian, is shocked to learn that sometimes people abandon their pets. But if Doc has indeed sheltered his daughter, who I’m reasonably sure is now in her 30s, from the more sordid aspects of the life of domesticated animals, it could also explain how she apparently doesn’t really know what sex is, either. (Remember, this is what Cherry thinks sex is.)

Funky Winkerbean, 8/11/20

You know, I’ve always had a sort of unreasoning hatred of Tom Cruise as an actor, to the extent that sometimes I avoid movies he’s in that I otherwise might enjoy. But when Vanilla Sky came out in 2001, its marketing campaign teased that Cruise’s character would become hideously deformed over the course of the movie, and I was like “Tom Cruise? Hideously deformed? Hell yeah” but it turned out I hated that even more, somehow! What I’m trying to say is that Funky Winkerbean is trying to stop me from doing more rants about how this isn’t the way urban wildfires or LA geography works (are they driving from … Burbank? Hollywood? NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE) by at least teasing me with the prospect of Les and Mason becoming terribly burned, like maybe their whole faces will get burned off, but sorry, you’re not going to fool me again! I still hate it!

Pluggers, 8/11/20

I was going to complain that the whole point of pluggers is that they hold down honest, solid jobs in factories and on construction sites where literal equipment malfunctions are actually a workplace hazard, but then I realized that this is probably a half-remembered reference to “wardrobe malfunctions” and I think it means that we as a nation are finally, finally getting over the time where we almost but not quite saw Janet Jackson’s nipple during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.

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Judge Parker, 7/28/20

You might be tempted to think that the current Judge Parker storyline has a certain political point of view based on current events, what with the antagonist incumbent mayor demanding his aides go mask free and lashing out against bad poll numbers. But you have to admit that he really is a victim of a “deep state” conspiracy, in which entrenched, corrupt officials and the town’s out-of-touch elite are working in concert to bring him down and replace him with their preferred puppet candidate!

Crankshaft, 7/28/20

The Phantom Empire is an old serial from the ’30s that has an extremely bonkers plot, starting off as a Western starring Gene Autry as, basically, himself, and somehow ending up deep under the earth’s surface battling a super-advanced civilization from the lost continent of Mu (“The idea for the plot came to writer Wallace MacDonald when he was under gas having a tooth extracted“). The important thing here though is that it’s not part of the Star Trek mythos, nor does it star Leonard Nimoy (understandable, as he was only four years old when the serial was made), so, uh, does anyone know what Pam’s talking about? I’m not sure what Pam’s talking about.

Blondie 7/28/20

Dagwood smugly shitting on the young is nothing new in this strip, so let’s just take a moment to appreciate how much chutzpah it takes to shit on the young while you lounge around the house wearing loafers and a mustard-colored polo shirt tucked into khaki cargo shorts, with a black belt really bringing the outfit together.

Mark Trail, 7/28/20

Am I sad that we’re not finding out what’s happening with Jeremy Cartwright? You bet. But is the vision of a man half-heartedly tossing a cat (?) into the middle of a dirt road and saying “Sorry about this… Good luck!” the absolute funniest thing you or I or anyone else will see this year? Yes. Absolutely yes.

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Blondie, 7/27/20

Look, I’m not going to complain about Blondie doing a toilet paper shortage joke now even though the toilet paper shortage that marked the early pandemic has largely abated; I understand long syndicate lead times and such. I’m not even going to gripe about Blondie half-assing it when it comes to coronavirus jokes in general, doing strips that clearly reference the pandemic without fully integrating it into the characters’ world. It’s fine, really! You want to do some topical jokes but also don’t want to upend everything about how you do the strip! It’s really OK! What I do have a problem with is how today’s strip, in which the Bumstead family is so obviously overjoyed at Blondie’s shopping find, has forced me to contemplate everyone’s almost certainly poo-encrusted buttholes. Look at how excited Daisy is! What horrors has she seen?

Mark Trail, 7/27/20

Uhhh, it looks like the the abrupt end to James Allen’s time as Mark Trail’s writer/artist has resulted in the abrupt … suspension? … of the Jeremy Cartwright storyline four weeks later, with a sudden jump into an Elrod-era story of animal abandonment. Normally I love a good animal rescue story, of course, but still: did Jeremy ever get that drink or what???

Mary Worth, 7/27/20

“In a way, by helping Madi, she’s helping us again as well, since we won’t have to help Madi. We can enjoy ourselves here, far from Madi, until … when did her dad say he was getting back from Venezuela again? September?”