Addendum to the August 5 post

I had brought up before the issue of coloring and how it can affect (pro or con) the appreciation and interpretation of a comic strip ; and I wrote a bit on that in today’s blog. I remarked specifically on the tree line in panel 1 being the same color as the background, which is not that common in Rivera’s panels, and how it tended to hide details and minimize the depth of field. However, I looked at the strip as it was published in black & white in my town newspaper and found what I think is confirmation:

Well, newsprint certainly lacks the luster and brilliance of a direct-from-screen image, doesn’t it? In spite of that (and my less-than stellar photography), I think it is interesting that the trees become more obvious and “closer” in the black & white version, with the forested mountains clearly in the background. Details of the eagle’s wings are clearer, as well. So here is one case where (the choice of) color may not have improved the artwork.

But, what do you think?


Mark and Cherry go out on a limb, er, walk

As the Trails hike along a path that looks more like a tree limb, they continue their cutesy double-entendres in order to fill out the week. Hmmm, I don’t think we need to take Mark’s final comment seriously, as it is clearly the expected punchline to Cherry’s provocative come-on. And heaven help me, folks, I’m doing my best to avoid indulging in similar innuendos. It’s hard enough to get some basic commentary put together. And I’m not sure if what I write always measures up.

Not much else here. Artwork is fine, though a bit heavy on the lines, I think. It is always difficult to comment on color, since I don’t know if Jules does her own or it’s left to the syndicate. Since hardcopy newspaper sales keep falling, they turn to online editions. Their comics section is essentially links to the comic syndicates web sites, so online comics are in color. So, I’m thinking the work is Rivera’s. I think it is an important point: No cartoonist would want to leave such decisions in the hands of somebody outside of the cartoonist’s studio. And one thing I notice is that the trees along the road behind Mark and Cherry blend right in with the dark green background. Normally, she would make that front row of trees lighter.

There hasn’t been much room for landscape in this last story, and even Cherry’s adventure was limited in background details. But, if you look at the panels of Mark and Rusty back in March, just before he went to LA, I think could see how Rivera’s approach seemed different today. I might be overdrawing a distinction here, and this is just a singular occurrence.

Otherwise, we can check off the box for “Do the Trails really love each other?” and move on to something else. Like maybe that Doc has a drinking problem because he has nothing to do (so far) and gets tired of sitting around waiting for his token appearance and gloomy utterance.