As I wrote last week, this recap is an experiment to try to go beyond the daily pin pricks and reaction comments that we otherwise indulge in. Let me know if you find this dull, irrelevant, or too snooty!
Rivera has managed to portray Cherry’s initial meeting with the Sun Soleil Society within one week’s worth of panels. So the story is not padded out with meaningless panels. In terms of pacing, Rivera does a good job, moving between the protagonist and antagonist. I thought there was going to be a repeated visual theme of a close-up in the final panel for every day of the week, as there was the first four days in a row. But I reckon the story required Jules to use Friday to set up the Saturday ejection of Cherry. I also noticed that Rivera repeats the expression “Like a lady”: In the opening Monday strip, Cherry tells her Dad how she will behave. In the closing Saturday strip, Cherry has been expelled from the house “like a lady,” the caption tells us. Is this is a point of irony or a suggestion that Cherry’s “lady” act is not cutting it? But it does provide some sort of wrapper for the entire week, as if there is a moral.
The question we all face now is this: Does Jules switch the story back to Mark, who is working through his own humiliation and—as I noted earlier—being completely out of his element while doing it? Interestingly, both Mark and Cherry are at a similar tipping point: Resort to violence or find another way? This looks like a fork-in-the-road moment for both of them.
Regarding the drawing, readers who only see this in black & white must suffer from what appears rather stark inking with little depth, for it is in the color that the art is fleshed out. And I give Rivera credit for working the different angles for the daily panels of showing two people sitting across from one another. That could have been very dull. I have spoken earlier of the stylistic differences between this version of Mark Trail and the former, more familiar version; and I have suggested that, at the very least, a different drawing style was needed for the new personalities and stories.
And now we present today’s Sunday feature…
I like the fact that Jules designs her title panels to match the subjects of the Sunday panels. And her light humor keeps it from being too sterile. This week, the focus is the Sable Palm, and that is no surprise. What is surprising is highlighting California! Huh? It’s not as if Lost Forest or Cherry’s clients live there. So, Jules gets in a little jab at the whole California development scene.