Archive: Mark Trail

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Mark Trail, 10/20/17

Oh, hey, I’ve been neglecting the antics in Mark Trail, haven’t I? Well, Mark and the robbers ran out of the old saloon out into eye of the tornado [is this an actual thing??? check before publishing] and Johnny and Sheriff Violent McMustache have emerged from the bear cave at the same time, and now gunplay’s afoot! Blonde Bank Robber Lady Whose Name I’m Not Sure We Ever Learned And I Definitely Don’t Feel Like Looking Up probably thinks that running away from the gunfight is a good way to not get shot, but she hasn’t reckoned with the frontier’s casual attitude about officer-involved shootings, or even random-dude-an-officer-gave-a-couple-of-guns-to-involved-shootings. Presumably everyone will just testify at the cursory police investigation that the tornado blew the bullets into her, and then head out to lunch.

Gil Thorp, 10/20/17

Jeez, Uncle Gary, will you lighten up? Maybe head injuries are gonna cause a little light damage to Rick Soto’s brain sometime down the line. But that’s years away, and as we can all see in the final panel, the mysterious glowing space-barrier is tightening its grip around the Earth now. Only a tiny slice of sky beyond it is still visible, and who knows what will happen when it completely encases our world in its energy field? Live for the moment, I say!

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Mark Trail, 10/10/17

Say what you will about Mark Trail’s methods, but he will never, ever stop laying down the nature facts. It doesn’t matter how desperate the situation is, who’s sticking a gun in his face, whatever. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, probably a third of the soliloquies we get in the Sunday strips happen while he’s under extreme duress of one kind or another. If someone has a misapprehension about tornados or whatever, Mark will nip that false line of reasoning in the bud. If “A tornado is the vortex of wind, not the condensation cloud!” is the last sentence to pass his lips before he takes a bullet to the gut, it will have been an honorable death.

Hi and Lois, 10/10/17

I actually kind of love that, having seen this little one-bedroom bungalow with a pool, a fireplace, a deck for grilling, and satellite TV, our bachelor has flipped out his collar, ’70s-style. His emotional world was shattered and he was living in a depressing rented hovel but now thanks to Lois’s real-estate savvy he’s back, baby! These are the days when the job is really worthwhile to her, when she makes a difference in someone’s life. The difference is he’s gonna be having a lot more sex, and she’s earned that commission.

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Prediction is a mug’s game — so let’s get started!

Judge Parker, 9/23/17

Long ago, marital friction between widower Alan and his young wife Katherine was a Judge Parker staple. It was usually Alan’s fault: some clever con artist or sleazy Lothario would drop comments or plant “evidence” that would gnaw at his insecurities. He would of course be too proud/embarrassed/stupid to talk to Katherine about it, and off we went. In these stories Katherine remained blameless atop her pedestal, stepping down only for a chaste hug at the end.

But since Alan’s retirement Katherine has become more hostile — tension from sharing her days with someone after years of having them to herself, no doubt. And, to be fair, Alan has been up to some shady stuff lately.

But I predict that Judge Parker will end its dalliance with adventure and return to its soapy, soapy roots. Katherine will join Abby Spencer and April Bower/Abbott-Parker to go all Housewives of New Jersey on Alan, Sam, and Randy in a galactic six-way divorce, custody, and inheritance war. It will end with a silhouette of Sophie sunning herself alone on her yacht off Corfu.

Sally Forth, 9/23/17

I live in a town where tourists stay when they want to visit San Francisco without paying city rates for hotels and parking. So we have a lot of little shops just like “Small Wonders” where Sally’s sister Jackie works. As a small-c curmudgeon, I pass by all the local antiques emporia, cruisewear boutiques, holistic spas, and tea shoppes and think “these places cannot possibly make enough money to stay open.” Barter plays a part in the local economy, but you can’t make much of a living trading decorative plates for Capri pants and massages. So we’ve evolved into a community of grifters and small-scale drug, mob, and government-fraud money-launderers. Hey, it’s a living. You thought that whole Comics Curmudgeon Fall 2017 Fundraiser thing was on the level? Please.

Anyway, this idea of Jackie’s boss Tasha running a front has potential, and I hope Sally Forth sticks with it. Extra points if she’s a phony defense contractor pretending to sell hybrid electric robot monkeys or solar flying cars, and her collaborator is strategic sourcing expert Ted Forth.

Mark Trail, 9/23/17

Mark Trail has tipped its hand — after this story wraps up in 2019, the strip is going straight into advertising: “Take it from Sheriff Don Stober, Johnny — that’s not just any candy bar, it’s a GNUTZ bar! When you’ve got a BEAR of an appetite, gnaw on a GNUTZ!”

Pluggers, 9/23/17

“Say, why not try a GNUTZ bar? It’s got that chocolatey, salty flavor with the savor you crave! Take it from Sheriff Don Stober, Ms. um … Lady Dog — Even a runt will grunt for GNUTZ!

Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the Fall Fundraiser, which despite the vicious rumors is totally on the up-and-up — you guys are the best.

— Uncle Lumpy