The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Talk

I’ll be on my Family Visit for several weeks, so apologies for any sporadic or late postings, such as this one! This week has been another “Mark Trail Confession and Recovery Show”, as our comic strip protagonist once again goes through a painful reflection of his childhood on the way to gathering his wits about him to resolve this current crisis. And it is a twofer, as Mark is also going to help Reptilionnaire and his band of naïve nerds recover their animal oxygen detector (I think that was it).

Dennis and I wrote about Rivera’s creative and supporting role of caption boxes throughout her strip, which is one of her positive contributions. Captions are often a necessary feature of adventure strips so it is great to see Jules finding ways to use them. Then there is the use of annoying slang and verbalizing nouns employed by the Reptile Gang and Cricket Bro. Perhaps a parody of certain elements of California society? Or maybe just a stereotype Rivera believes the rest of the country thinks exists in California?  In any event, a chance remark has given Mark inspiration for a plan to employ against Cricket Bro, which he then sets into motion over a phone conference with his nemesis. Where Mark was clearly out of his element and little more than a target of jokes for most of this story, humiliation and shared confessions have helped Mark find a way to turn this disastrous trip into another causus belli for the righting of wrongs. And that is the week.

Clearly, Jules is still working on her naturalistic animal rendering skills. And an interesting scale comparison of the coyote to Andy, who was able to fight off a herd of wild dogs a while ago. So, those of you in coyote country, do be careful. And somebody (sorry, I forget) has remarked on Rivera’s use of the metric scale to denote size. Anybody know why?

Now, it has also been noted that Jules sometimes previews the animal of the week in the prior dailies. This did not happen for the skunk last week or the coyote this week. Or did it?

Since Rivera likes to use jargon and slang, perhaps these two animals are visual puns. “Skunk” and “Coyote” are old terms for low-down, cheating, conniving, disreputable villains. Anybody who has watched old Westerns knows this. So, maybe those animals were selected because they reflect on Cricket Bro, clearly a skunk and mangy coyote of the first order!