…live and in technicolor…
As you recall, Mark was wrapping up his taped interview with Jolly over how Trail, Sr. chiseled Jolly’s land out from under him… Well, that didn’t take long… Mark now has enough information for at least 3 column inches in Teen Sparkle… but fear not, we are about to learn from the master, all about Climate Change’s impact on the prevalence of toxic algae… Da da da duuuuuuuummmmm…..
I think that it’s well established that farm runoff has created a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the accumulated result of all the runoff in the Mississippi River system… Which has been measured since 1985, back when I believe we worried about Global Cooling…
But let’s go back to the Trailer park… Where Rusty is witnessing ugliness on a grand scale:
But Mother always knows best. Nothing a bucket of still, Mosquito-Larva-laden water won’t bring to a screeching halt… Yes, Cherry, it’s MAMA
“You pick a fight with my babies…” Is Cherry not one of “your babies” as well, or is it her first-born status that relieves her of that consideration? Cherry looks just like MAMA, for what it’s worth…
Cheap Shot: “You can take Cherry Pitt out of the Gerry Springer Trailer Park, but you can’t take the…. ”
And talk about a reboot of Cherry’s persona! Along with Mark’s emasculation, It’s easy to see why long-time viewers are feeling betrayed and turning away. Well, from a business standpoint, long-time readers are probably dying off, as well. And comic syndication is a tough enough business, even without the lingering death of newspapers. So I see this as a last-ditch effort to keep the strip going and maybe set it up for a parallel move into graphic novels.
But I still enjoy the more dynamic compositions.
I’m with you on that, George.
The strip is morphing into a very different sort of guilty pleasure for me: something akin to a watered-down reality TV show, but with an environmentalist, anti-patriarchy upside.
So I can continue to uphold my tattered dignity by scrupulously avoiding the electronic version of such entertainment, but still get the cheap thrill of manufactured drama each day when I read the funny papers.
As a bonus, I get a regular glimpse of exotic fauna, along with a weekly illustrated environmental factoid.
It ain’t the old Mark Trail, but I’m for sticking with Ms. Rivera’s reboot. Now if we could only get her to work on upping her game on including more detailed nature illustrations . . .
I see your point, both George and Richard. However, for God’s sake, don’t call it Mark Trail anymore. It is tailored towards younger readers who do not look at the paper nor the comics for that matter. In my opinion they should have just ended the Mark Trail Strip and given Jules a strip of her own called something completely different. People read Mark Trail for a reason. It may have been the yearning for retro Ed Dodd outdoor stuff. A variety of reasons. She is losing readers such as myself and not sure where her gain will be. Mark Trial should have a honorable demise and she can name the new strip Teen Sparkle or Cathy 2. Personally, I only check it to see how absolutely lame it has become out of morbid curiosity. The story line is all over the map but worse yet, the artwork is awful. Fellow Trail Heads, that is just my opinion.
I find it hard to argue against your position, Mark. I drift between positions. It is easy to see this as a completely different animal (pun intended). Maybe KFS should have taken up one of my glib comments from some time ago and given the strip over to Rusty, or just give him his own strip. The focus would be primary Rusty and Cherry (during Mark’s all too-often adventures away) and this stuff would fit right in! Then concurrently continue the original Mark Trail strip using a more conventional cartoonist.
Well, I’m hanging in here to see how things shake out. I’m hoping at least that the Teen Sparkle gig is a one-off, so to speak, and that Trail actually winds up doing gigs for the different rags that make up this so-called magazine empire. On the other hand, I think the light-hearted approach to the Sunday nature panels is an improvement over the sterile factoids “Mark Trail” has been shilling over the decades.