Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!

Frequent commenter Mark (presumably not Mr. Trail) tipped us to the 75th anniversary of the Mark Trail comic strip, whose history is summarized in this Sunday’s installment. I wonder if anybody has been following it for the entire run?

Another regular comment poster, Daniel Pellissier, recently compared Jules Rivera (seen in the last panel, above) to a new cook stirring up new recipes at your familiar corner diner. Good point. And while her drawing is often exaggerated and bold, I noticed a certain relationship between her new Mark and the original Mark Trail 1.0. Tell me what you think:

Okay, maybe this is a bit lame and not an extremely precise comparison. However, I’m picking up on the leaner, more rectangular structure of the Dodd and Rivera heads along with the longer chin. Whereas James Allen’s version retains some features, such as the arched eyebrows and falling hair lock, the face is more square, with a softer nose. Okay. Big deal. Perhaps I’m making too much out of too little. But I do think they share a similar gusto for adventure that the Mark Trail of intervening years had lost. As for the pipe, Trail kicked that habit back in 1986. -gka