Home » LA Confidential » The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Chat

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.


5 thoughts on “The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Chat

  1. Our local TV station is running PSA’s with an 80’s motifs: garish colors, obtuse triangles, big hair. They are telling parents times have changed, so talk to your kids about drugs. When did people stop talking to kids about drugs?

    I find it interesting in the first panel mark is holding a rifle. One would think the New Mark would abhor hunting. At least it’s not an AR-15……

    I don’t (successfully) post much, but read every post. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Rob! Always glad to find more readers out there. Well, I think the verdict is still out for Mark and hunting, though it seems his current incarnation argues against it.

      Also, he could be carrying it only for self-defense, since feral pigs/hogs will attack without provocation. It pays to be careful.

  2. Importation of wild boars was a thing in the 1890s, not the 1980s. This is at least the 3rd recent Sunday strip with a big, easily checkable error, after the 20M house & the California skink. Is it deliberate, or is she getting lazy?

    • Yes, true enough. It might be a case of casual research or being misled by current reporting. A National Post article on May 30, 2019, does repeat the 1980s incident Rivera alludes to, in the case of Eurasian pigs brought to Canada back in the 1980s for diversification purposes. They became feral and roamed across Canada and down into the US.

      Interestingly, this is the SECOND TIME Rivera did a Sunday strip on feral pigs. The first was on March 2, 2021, where her hog history was more on target!

  3. Everyone gets to have their own opinion, yet we must share the same facts. Explorers brought domesticated pigs to North America in the 16th century and they have been escaping to become feral ever since. Ignoring hundreds of years of history to make political points is very disappointing, especially on non-fiction Sundays when Mark shares nature facts. Mark can steal boats and kill people without consequence Monday through Saturday, but Sundays are for facts.

    Jules, this long-time reader expects more from you. I hope you read this.

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