The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Chat

So we made it through another installment of Cherry’s Trail of Vengeance. Frankly, I’d like to see Rivera commit to story lines alternating every two weeks for Cherry and Mark. With the additional, continuous time, I think better continuity and pacing could be established. As it is, we moved through the execution of Cherry’s plan to stick it to the HOA by getting her reclusive, anti-government brother and his “feral” hogs to destroy the Butterfly bushes put in by the Sunny Soleil Society. Those of you coming in late should know that the SSS secretly and possibly illegally replaced Cherry’s original installation of indigenous plants at that faux roundabout. So this was tit for tat. Maybe. No doubt, there is some visceral satisfaction to seeing the work of your nemesis wantonly destroyed. But as in Mark’s case, we have moral and legal complexity here, as Cherry decided to take a vigilante approach to problem solving. Of course, this is an adventure strip, right?

But such an action is not what the old Mark Trail stood for, much less practiced. We are in a new (or parallel) Mark Trailverse, where those old sharply defined lines are more blurry. That blurriness stands in contrast to Rivera’s drawing style, which happens to feature sharply defined lines.  Not sure if there is a connection there. Still, we must wait at least another week before we see the fallout from Cherry’s adventure. Meanwhile, brother Dirk (who served as Cherry’s convenient dux ex machina), like other characters and subplots in the original Mark Trail, will likely disappear from the strip without further fanfare or attention.

And now for something completely different:  Sunday’s strip.

Well, the animal of the week was actually the animal star of the week this time. And no, I didn’t recall that feral hogs were such a threat, so thanks for the info, Mark! In spite of the subject, Mark delivers the info chat, rather than Cherry. Is this because Rivera is sticking to the tradition that Mark always delivered the nature chats in the past? Wikipedia says that these animals can host at least 34 pathogens dangerous to animals and people. That, alone is reason enough to carry a rifle, even though I don’t think we’ve seen Mark actually hunting for quite some time! And Mark might want to warn Cherry to check her vaccination records.

Mark’s remark about the 1980s is interesting, given that he would have been a small kid at that time (accepting his apparent age now). And what about that hot pink bathroom tile with the small, colorful shapes stuck on the wall. Where did that wall come from out there, in the wild? Is this some kind of nod to the 1986 movie, Pretty in Pink? There is a bathroom scene with similar tiles, where the character Duckie is pushed into the “Girl’s Bathroom.” Not sure those tiles were exactly this color, but the reference might work.

ADDENDUM: While doing some research on prior Mark Trail strips, I had forgotten and overlooked the fact that Rivera already covered feral hogs on a Sunday strip! “ThyTrailBeDone” creator Dennis Williams posted that Sunday strip here on March 2, 2021. A repeat so soon?

Also, I wonder if Rivera’s use of the term “vaccine” is incorrect. since vaccines are designed to protect against disease. I’ll let better researchers in that field find the correct term she alludes to.