Archive: Mark Trail

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“Hello kids, and welcome back to World of Animals — I’m your beloved host, Carl. Well, it seems like it’s been forever, so let’s all catch up — on fascinating Nature Facts from the wonderful World of Animals!

Family Circus, 9/4/22

“I guess they call them ‘charismatic megafauna’ because they hog all the damn attention! Even out of the mind of babes it’s pretty much mammal, mammal, mammal, except for that ridiculous bug. Barfy there seems as peeved as I am about this: Reptiles are creatures, too!

Mark Trail, 9/4/22

“‘Armored body,’ indeed—it looks like somebody is trying to grab a little of that turtle élan. And everybody knows leprosy is just the poor mammal’s salmonella. How would you like it if we reptiles put on hair and pretended to be like you?”
“Not much, I bet!”

Phantom, 9/4/22 (panel)

“Now, I’m not saying mammals don’t have their uses—like, say, if you’re a dead guy trying to guard the tomb of a different dead guy.”

Slylock Fox, 9/4/22 (panel)

“But if you want a real pal—to light your way in the darkness, sound the alarm, or take care of the kids—you can’t go wrong with Class Reptilia. It’s true!

Thank you for your kind attention.

— Turtle Carl

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It’s the 2022 Comics Curmudgeon Summer Fundraiser!

Soapers, joke-a-day, and occasional adventure strips are the meat and potatoes of The Comics Curmudgeon, but sometimes a body just craves something sweet. Prime your insulin pumps!

Rose Is Rose, 8/31/22

With Dondi’s 1986 retirement, Pasquale Gumbo became the undisputed Most Annoying Child in comics. Wikipedia says he “embodies the innocence that we only find in youth.” He has no bad traits, worships his Dad, plays with his Guardian Angel, works hard in school, goes on fantastical dream-adventures, and inhabits a world of adorable birds, squirrels, rainbows, and stars. He is also the Zodiac Killer, Ebola virus Patient Zero, and directly responsible for the 1999 Indo-Pakistan War.

Breaking Cat News 8/31/22

Normally a joke-a-day strip, Breaking Cat News is midway through an extended arc about how the rediscovery of a sealed-off addition to the Big Pink House will somehow resolve a financial crisis that threatens The Family with eviction. Here, the Robber Mice return from patrol to announce that the addition’s funky dècor is untouched since the 1970’s so a good dusting will make it move-in ready. How this will resolve the financial crisis is not yet known, but awwwww … CATS!

Mutts, 8/31/22

In related Cat News, anybody who’s met a real cat knows that ladybug has about ten seconds to live.

Daddy Daze, 8/31/22

Angus is in fact invisible; this child is an imposter. Watch your back Mr. Daze!

Mark Trail, 8/31/22

Once a rough-and-tumble adventure strip where Mark and Johnny Malotte clawed their way across ice floes to kill and eat delicious seals, Mark Trail has evolved through twists and turns into an ensemble comedy with a floating cast of vaguely nature-themed social-media oddballs, including, increasingly, Mark himself.

In the current story, Mark teams up with BikBok [sic] goose wrangler and Cherry heartthrob Rex Scorpius on the road to investigate Tess Tiger’s Tiger Touch Roadside Zoo/Spa and Secret Cult for fox-lovin’ Amy Lee, Mark’s Teen Sparkle editor and producer Diana Daggers’ old Racoon Rangers pal. Here, Rex ditches client Jimmy Songbird’s keytar recital to Facetime his puppy. Who‘s a good boy?

The ringing in your ears is normal and will pass if you lie down for a few minutes. Maybe eat a seal or two.

–Uncle Lumpy

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Mark Trail, 7/9/22

Hey everybody, remember Sassy? He was Rusty’s adorable little puppy (distinct from Andy, Mark’s big macho dog), and he was always prone to getting into trouble, just like Rusty! He sort of faded away in the past few years of the strip but now he’s back! … just in time to die horribly from whatever gross skin disease is afflicting Lost Forest. RIP Sassy, 1981-2022, you will probably not be missed.

The Phantom, 7/9/22

Man, I’m barely even going to try to explain the current Phantom plot, which has been very, very long and difficult to follow but is mostly a series of nesting narratives from Old Man Mozz explaining how the Phantom will ruin his life if he tries to bust his former flirtation partner Savarna out of prison, and it’s never quite clear if we’re watching the big guy actually doing this stuff or just hearing Mozz spin a what-if narrative about it, but the point is that you can apparently show a couple guys just straight-up dying from taking a bullet to the chest, right here in the funny papers! It’s Saturday, I guess? You can show dudes getting shot to death, on the weekend? And maybe if it’s just a story-within-a-story told by a wise old sage and not something really happening in the strip? Do the practices and standards departments at major newspaper comics syndicates take into consideration the layer of narrative distance at which a violent murder happens?

Mary Worth, 7/9/22

“I mean, I’m definitely going to have a lot of different opportunities to explore once the state Physician Assistant Board finds out about our extremely inappropriate relationship and I get my license taken away!”

Slylock Fox, 7/9/22

Welp, let’s take a look at the details here and see if we can guess the six diffOH MY GOD, is that a human femur, is that GRANDMA’s femur, oh my GOD