First, to the story at hand… With the help of the operator, Cherry reaches Bill Ellis, who milquetoasts his way out of any responsibility…
But onto Breaking news!
Attention!! New Cartoonist in town!
Thanks to Faithful Reader Mark who pointed out in yesterday’s comments a sea-change in the offing – Mark Trail will be under a new pen come October!
I have to admit, to quote an MSNBC Anchor in 2008, “I’ve got a thrill going up my leg…“
Oh, this is going to be fun!! Such a departure from what came before. It’s interesting that in the NY Times write-up references appear to be limited to the Allen era (Caves, blowing shit up, etc…) so I wonder (hope) whether Ms. Rivera will dig a little deeper into the history and canon of Mark Trail…
Meet the new Scribe:
My name is Jules Rivera and I’m an illustrator, storyboard artist and graphic novelist, specializing in adventure and science fiction work. I am currently working my webcomic series, Love, Joolz, about hard truths, weaponized femininity, and screaming at the sky. I also do work in storyboarding and sci-fi design. On my off time, I go surfing and skating.
Hang on Campers!!
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Odd, it works now…
The reboot’s “intro panel” definitely kills most of my half-hearted predictions, except for the still-missing Doc.
Andy is still a St. Bernie, but a much more coiffed and fashionable canine. As for the wild animals, Ms Rivera must have had beaters off-camera to bring so many into one scene.
But those animals: What the hell is that standing grey thing on the upper left, below the bird caught in slo-mo? At first I thought it was a kind of an ill Winnie-the-Pooh. Otherwise, the animals look like cute, clipart images pasted onto a background. But, I don’t think Rivera is after the same level of verisimilitude that we saw in Allen’s work.
Well, all in all, I’m excited to see how this plays out. Will Mark go on fewer adventures (or shorter stories) and spend more time worrying in between assignments? Will he start feeling inadequate when Cherry becomes the actual breadwinner? At least, we see Mark finally using a camera, even if it is just for a panoramic family selfie
I must say, I am a traditionalist. A purist when it comes to Mark Trail. Looks like this will be for Generation Z. Instead of Mark having flapjacks by a campfire we’ll see selfies and poorly drawn wildlife. I do not want to be negative but I’m not enthused with what is coming out. I’m trying to think of an analogy. It’s like ACDC doing White Christmas rather than Bing. A fake tree rather than a real one. A real turkey for Thanksgiving versus chicken nuggets. In the big scheme of things it really does not matter. At least Allen tried to copy the heart of the strip. Another analogy is Wink Martindale doing Andy Griffith in Mayberry. It just seems wrong. Maybe Mark & Sherry will move to a condo in L.A.
In other words, I’d rather look at Elrods old strips.
I had a similar feeling when Popeye started getting drawn by different artists. After awhile, it seemed like a parody, rather than The Real Thing.
Agreed. This will not be Mark Trail anymore. Just a facsimile.
How about this…
Who’s your Daddy?!
Well, Rivera is clearly taking no prisoners. Most of us have chided the strip over the years for its recycling of panels, poses, clipart overlays, plot dead-ends, and long storylines that seem to move way, too slow (ie not enough action or plotlines). And that’s not to overlook its 1950s sensibilities, even with a few modern overlays (e.g. quitting smoking, using cell phones & computers, etc.).
So, now we have a new artist who has definitely brought the strip into The Modern Age. I’m anxious to see what kinds of stories turn up. Clearly, they will not all be of the “Mark Goes On Another Adventure” sort. But I hope when he does go on the job (and with whomever he brings along) we will read some good, solid plots with action and surprises. “Mark Trail” is one of the last (if not the last?) of the old continuity adventure strips. I hope Rivera keeps the tradition alive.