Archive: Mark Trail

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Spider-Man, 9/25/18

The thing about the super-hero genre is that it features lots of high-stakes combat but also (sorry, Mopey Pete) is mostly marketed to children, so there’s a bit of tension about exactly how far we should go in depicting the consequences of said high-stakes combat, and specifically the consequences on human bodies. Usually the way they get around this is by having a lot of the battling taking the form of just people punching each other, in a super fashion, and we can kind of gloss over that because punching someone out doesn’t really hurt them, shattered organs and traumatized brains aside. But Colleen Wing is wading into this mass of bad guys swinging around a god-damned sword, which by right ought to be leaving behind a trail of severed limbs and thugs writhing on the floor as they die from massive blood loss. Maybe she’s just … bad at swords? Despite swords being her whole thing? Truly, a worthy partner to Spider-Man!

Mark Trail, 9/25/18

Wow, I had assumed that this artifact-smuggling ring was full of dweebuses and losers like sleepy, drooly Jo(s)e and glasses-and-polo-shirt-tucked-into-jeans dude, who I guess is named “Pablo.” But now we finally get to meet the extremely cool member of their criminal gang: a bad-ass, motorcycle-riding, headband-and-skull-belt wearing dude who gets called in when the scheme finally gets to the point where they have to … murder some children? I just want to emphasize to everyone reading at home that murdering children isn’t cool. It’s just that, if your gang has to kill a couple of kids, that’s something you’re going to want your coolest member to do.

Shoe, 9/25/18

The only corrupt politician we’ve ever seen in Shoe is Senator Belfrey, who, despite what I assume have been the best efforts of the Treetop Tribune and its crusading staff of investigative reporters, has remained in office since the strip began running in 1977. No wonder Shoe always seems so uptight!

Beetle Bailey, 9/25/18

“I want this locker full of severed human feet by 0900 tomorrow! Get it together, soldier!”

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Mary Worth, 9/20/18

If you’re ever in Baltimore, I strongly recommend that you drop by the Baltimore Museum of Art (admission is free!) and check out the Cone collection, an amazing assembly of impressionist art that was put together by two sisters over the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, with pieces by Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, and other heavy hitters. The sisters only left their collection to the museum upon their death, and while they were alive much of it was just hanging on the walls of the relatively modest Baltimore apartment they shared. There’s a computer reconstruction at the museum, and you can see that every surface was just covered with these masterpieces, even in the bathroom; they were probably what would be diagnosed today as hoarders, who just happened to have the eye and wherewithal to hoard incredible art.

Now, we’re only seeing a pretty small portion of Mr. Wynter’s apartment here, and things aren’t at quite the density of the Cone sisters’ home, but just the fact the even on this little stretch of wall we have not one but two pictures of Bella sporting a bowtie to match her owner makes me hope that each step deeper into his condo unit is leading Mary into a disorienting spiral of omnipresent Bellas. Local lech Charley plastered his walls with “art of a kind … I suppose” but that perversion will be nothing compared to the bug-eyed dead dog nightmare that is Wynterhaven.

Mark Trail, 9/18/18

Everything that’s actually relevant to the plot in today’s strip will presumably be spelled out shortly, which is good because I intend to spend the rest of the day not thinking about that at all but instead imagining Rusty playing with “Snap-N-Rap,” which I assume is an app you use to upload videos of yourself rapping to Snapchat. “My name’s MC Rusty and I’m here to say,” Rusty raps, Mara beatboxing in the background, “I do foolish things and get into trouble and need Mark’s help every day!” The video goes viral, and more importantly contains location data that Snap-N-Rap harvests and shares with its advertising partners and mysterious group of Chinese investors.

Funky Winkerbean, 9/18/19

The thing with Funky Winkerbean is that I honestly have a hard time figuring out its narrative point of view sometimes. You’d think that, when you have a plot where a group of comic book dudes get extremely pumped after coming up with a character called “Atomic Ape” who’s going to be a “Lone Ranger in space” (a real thing that happened in this strip), but then one of those dudes gets very upset when a lady suggests that “Atomic Ape” have a sidekick named “Charger Chip,” the point is that the dude is being dumb for getting upset about it! But, like, also, the standard Funky Winkerbean party line is that Superhero Comic Books Are Good, and the world of superhero comics today is actually full of adult dudes who take their obviously goofy superheroes extremely seriously, and resist any attempts to make them not dark and gritty, especially when those attempts are seen as coming from or catering to women, so who knows! Maybe we’re supposed to be rooting for Mopey Pete here! How dare some woman try to water down the masculine majesty of Atomic Ape, the Lone Ranger of space?

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Mark Trail, 9/19/18

Remember that time Rusty accidentally took some pictures of a couple of bank robbers laying low (?) at a local cafe, and then they offered to buy his camera and when he balked at that they just grabbed the camera and threw money at him? Anyway, if you look at that camera it was obviously from 1953, which means he’s not super up on modern photo-taking technology and it’s thus not surprising that he has no clear idea what he’s supposed to do with his phone as he and Mara surreptitiously try to gather more information on their suspect. I mean, phones are for making phone calls! And who’s he supposed to call? Mark? The police? The library, to get information about Mayan artifacts? You’re not making any sense, Mara!

Beetle Bailey, 9/19/18

We all have a good laugh about not know what Beetle’s eyes look like because he never takes off his cap, but having now seen the weird fleshly lobe that normally lurks under General Halftrack’s hat and apparently flops grotesquely down over his eyelids when he removes it, I for one demand that we remain protected from whatever body horror lurks on Private Bailey’s skull.

Pluggers, 9/19/18

Look, kid, you might not get why pluggers had to aid and abet the Indoensian genocide in the late ’60s, but just trust us: sometimes you gotta kill a million people, for freedom and America, OK?