…no, not that kind… not literally. Just look how tall he is next to Mark!
As Geoff falls out of focus and Mark returns to (more) familiar form, I am reminded of the very beginning of the cave adventure when Mark was free-climbing, all to set up the final scenes in the cave, in order that we couldn’t say, “Hey, where did Mark suddenly get those mad climbing skills?!” It wasn’t clear, to me at least, that it was Mark doing the climbing. In fact it might have been the first time Mark was ever presented without a shirt on, unless you count the time that we was treed by a bear after separating his shoulder…
And In case you all are wondering when the switch-over occurred, from Elrod to Allen, here is the last daily signed by Elrod and the first daily signed by Allen. Notice how in the latter the style seems to change panel to panel… a reminder that Allen has been at this (along with you scribe) for over 6 years… he’s probably looking for an out…
Mark Trail is so into Mark Trail. Geoff gives him an open invitation to future camping trips and Mark seems to think he’s being asked to join the Foreign Legion and live in another country, forever. So, he would just as soon “go home and spend some time with his family.” That’s like turning down an employment offer because you have a Netflix show to catch that evening.
And does that mean he is also done with his so-called job (the one where he writes and supposedly takes photographs) as well? But then, Mark is stuck in “comic strip” time, which seems to expand and contract as the plot requires.
Hmmm, don’t most pet owners—especially one whose livelihood is based on observing, reporting, and preserving “Nature”—consider their pets to be members of their family? If so, why single out Andy? Why not Cherry, for that matter? Okay, I’m nit-picking here, but when was the last time Mark took Andy on one of his adventures?
As for Mark being anxious to spend time with Andy, I think the reality is quite different, as shown in the Monday (5/25/20) sequence. There we see that Mark is too busy on his smart phone to bother with his Big Dog, Andy. Instead, he passes on the responsibility to good ol’ Rusty, probably to make sure that the kid knows his place in this comic strip’s hierarchy. Mark’s underlying message runs thus:
“This strip is called ‘Mark Trail’, son. That’s me. It isn’t ‘Rusty Grows Up’. You wanna remember that from here on, or I’ll make sure you only show up in the panels when you see me go off on another adventure and when I get home and you are standing there like a dork with your fishing pole. Got it? Good. Now, go play with Andy.”