Archive: Mark Trail

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Funky Winkerbean, 9/7/17

Oh, hey, remember when beloved Hollywood big shot Mopey Pete went to Ohio and “found something that interested him,” and that thing was a lady, in whom he was interested in for sex? Well, that lady was Crankshaft’s granddaughter Mindy, now ten years older than she is in the Crankshaft-era of this bifurcated continuity that I’m being compelled against my will into thinking and caring about. We’ve been teased before that maybe in the ten-years-later Funky-era Crankshaft himself is a vegetative husk mouldering away in a nursing home somewhere, but maybe today’s the day when we finally find out if that’s true? Definitely a strong third date move is to bring a guy to see your comatose grandfather, and say “This guy used to be a real asshole, but he can’t hurt your feelings with a cutting, punny remark now!”

Gasoline Alley, 9/7/17

Oh, hey, remember the sexual competition between Rufus and Elam for the affections of the Widder Huffington? Well, Elam shaved and won her heart, and Rufus wandered off to parts unknown to nurse his grief, and now the Huffington kids have been left to roam the countryside unsupervised while Elam and their mom presumably have nonstop sex in her ramshackle hovel. At least their incongruously modern bike helmets will reduce their chances of massive head injury!

Gil Thorp, 9/7/17

Oh, hey, remember when Gil Thorp summer plots used to be fun, or at least have some semblance of a narrative arc? Welp, too bad, because this year we just got Jaquan musing about maybe playing pro football, and then Heather talking him into getting an utterly pointless humanities graduate degree instead, and Jaquan promising to help her get a coaching gig when she goes to college next year, and, hey, look at the time, is it after Labor Day already? Guess we better wrap this up before football season starts! The only question left unanswered is whether or not Gil looked up from his phone as he mumbled platitudes at Jaquan about how the only person he needs to prove anything to is himself or whatever.

Mark Trail, 9/7/17

Oh man, probably every single Mark Trail from here on in won’t end with a close up of a wildly spinning weather vane and a “GRRIIIINND” sound effect, but wouldn’t it be great if it did?

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Dennis the Menace, 9/6/17

Over the years, the overarching ’50s aesthetic and cultural milieu in Dennis the Menace has gone from “it was actually created in the ’50s so it was contemporary at the time” to “creative staff is aging out of awareness of contemporary culture, or maybe is trying to maintain a consistent tone” to “active indulgence of nostalgia, Mad Men style.” Even so, I find today’s panel particularly baffling. If this were actually published in, say, 1967, I’d describe it as “someone trying to draw a hippie who’s heard of them but never actually seen one and who is physically incapable of visualizing a man leaving the house without wearing a suit jacket,” but since this was in fact produced in the year 2017, I have to imagine that it’s … trying get inside the head of such a person from 50 years ago, who’s heard of hippies but etc.? Anyway, assuming we are in the early-to-late-mid ’60s window, the extremely mildly shaggy grooming plus earth-tone suit over sweater and dress shirt says “junior faculty at local liberal arts college” but the sandals say “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, returned to judge the living and the dead from His position as a junior faculty member at the local liberal arts college.” “My Father taught me many things, but the need to conform to the transitory grooming codes of this world was not among them,” the Son of Man thinks to Himself.

Mark Trail, 9/6/17

Speaking of Jesus, Mark seems to think that he’ll be safer from the coming twister underneath a house of worship, while our nefarious criminals have only one thing on their mind: getting as drunk as possible on whatever leftover booze has been aging deliciously over at the saloon in the decades since this entire town was abandoned. Mark’s going to feel pretty pious down there in the church basement, right until he realizes it’s part of the underground tunnel system where the Samson the biblically named but still bloodthirsty bear lives.

Beetle Bailey, 9/6/17

This strip has done plenty of strips about General Halftrack’s incipient dementia, but I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen one of the other characters cruelly laughing at his doddering panic.

Mary Worth, 9/6/17

It has come to my attention that some of you think that maybe this whole “Dr. Ned is still married” thing is a big comical sitcom-style misunderstanding, and that Jared overheard him talking to his daughter or something. It’s possible, I guess, but as contrary evidence let me point out that for their big dates Dr. Ned has taken Dawn to French restaurants called “The Love Dog” and “The Dishonest Snail.” This strip generally isn’t subtle, guys.

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Mary Worth, 9/1/17

Dawn may be clueless enough to believe that Dr. Ned is divorced, but at least she isn’t so naive as to fail to recognize that Jared has been lusting after her for the entire length of this storyline. Probably that time he said “If you’re at your apartment alone, by yourself, I can show up at a moment’s notice!” was the subtle “tell” she picked up on. I feel like the way Dawn is holding her bagel in panel two is extremely relevant here: it’s completely ridiculous if she intends to eat it, but it’s a perfect grip to, say, hit chuck it at someone and hit them in the mouth at point-blank range if it becomes sadly clear that they’re about to confess romantic feelings for her.

Spider-Man, 9/1/17

Why do you think Tyrannus needs to take a sip from the fountain of youth before he orders Spidey and Mole-Man’s deaths? Upon my first read of this strip I thought he was going to do the dirty work himself and needed youthful strength, but no, he’s just going to order the Dectopus to do it. Does this ten-limbed beast from deep below the earth’s crust refuse to take orders from anyone who doesn’t radiate the vitality of a twentysomething? Has the surface world’s cultural obsession with youth penetrated even down to the subterranean realm?

Mark Trail, 9/1/17

I sincerely hope that what Sheriff What’s-His-Name is going to pull out of his saddle-bag is a bouquet of flowers and bottle of champagne, and we’re about to get a long, rambling speech that includes the phrase “See, the way to deal with a grizzly bear is you have to romance it” at least twice.