There is are several contradictions or, perhaps, inconsistencies, in today’s strip. As far as the story goes, it isn’t going very far or very fast. The cars in the first panel look more like they are parked than involved in any kind of chase. Even the jackrabbit is looking at us, as if to say…well, you know what. He doesn’t seem to be worried about his safety!
Now panel 2 shows Reptile Man and Mark clearly under stress driving their pickup; I mean , the hybrid. I reckon Aparna decided to take a nap or just lie down to avoid getting hit by any stray bullets. In any event, panels 3 and 4 look more like two dudes taking a Sunday drive, not fleeing for their lives. I mean, Reptilionnaire isn’t exactly acting like he is about to be run off the road, much less keeping his eyes on the road. And with being chased, how does he have the time or ability to engage in clever “Buddy Comedy” banter with Mark? Oh, that’s right: Comic strip!
Now, what kind of plan is that, Mark: Take a quiet side street and cut the lights!? That is what you do when you have a big enough lead on the pursuer that they lose sight of you for a few moments. From here, it looks like the Mustang is about 5 yards behind the Prius! I don’t think your deception would work, even if you turn your car lights off first, before making your turn. Maybe you can just drive until you see a train happening to approach a street crossing, whereupon you can time your driving to just beat the lead engine without giving the Mustang enough time or room to continue. Of course, that dux ex machina stuff works in movies. No reason it can’t happen here, ya think? And remember, folks,, this is the Land of Absurdities (“LA”).
In spite of all that, the drawing is pretty good, overall, given the characteristics of Rivera’s style. However, I cannot give her much credit for drawing a foreshortened face from the lower side this time (see Tuesday’s strip featuring Aparna’s face). Mark’s stressed face in panel 4, including his “winter mitten” left hand, is just whack. Yeah, it’s easy to criticize. But I recognize how tough it is to produce a daily comic strip, especially one that must carry a continuing story line. I reckon the point is that comic strips are digestible, meant to be quickly consumed before moving on. Still, that panel 4 just doesn’t make the grade.
And I still miss Mark’s animal conversations. With all of the fauna we’ve observed, you’d think a few words would have crossed back and forth. For example, Mark might have convinced one of the hares to attract a coyote to pursue it across the road, directly in front of the Mustang, forcing it to stop or run off the road. Well, I put it to you: Is that idea any more goofy than what we’ve already seen?