Flattery? Sure, that works!

Well, when humiliation and embarrassment won’t work, make an appeal to vanity! And Mark must have a lot of that, based on his fantasy-fed decision-making process in panel 3. I still think he better have a chat with his snake buddy before signing on. This looks like it’s going to be a take on the popular “Yin/Yang” partner format, especially popular in cop TV shows and movies. But please, no dancing and singing, okay!?

Now, what’s this about a conspiracy of “scary-powerful companies” helping to spread zebra mussels!? What’s in it for them? Are they the ones marketing solutions for expelling or reducing zebra mussels? That would make sense, of course. In any event, since this is not a normal role for companies to take (those that interact or depend upon public sales, for example), then it looks like we have the makings of an interesting adventure. I admit that the “scary company” angle is intriguing. Do you think so?

But, yeah. I can see that people still find it difficult to accept this new version of Mark Trail. It’s sometimes wacky world, flexible drawing style, and anti-hero values can look like a slap at old-time readers. Maybe they are. And I know that it can be painful. I was depressed when the old Popeye cartoons got taken over by studios that had lesser talents and smaller budgets. And it sure showed! I just had to stop watching them. Joseph Nebus’s Another Blog has been posting discussions of these later Popeye cartoons, discovering interesting techniques, jokes, and actions Nebus theorizes (if I understand him correctly) the artists and writers sometimes put in to help make up for the poor animation and weak stories. Okay, I see that and I get it. But it’s hard to watch them, all the same.

On the other hand, here we are getting a more in-depth, complex personality for a leading character than before (I’m not sure we can exactly say that Mark had much of a personality before), and a leading character that is not always on top of the situation (okay, maybe he is on the bottom a bit too often). He also has a more interesting family who have their own issues, as well. And remember, these were things Trailheads use to complain about for not being in the comic strip! We used to laugh at Mark’s face always looking the same (probably due to tracing one of the character sheet reference drawings over and over). Now we complain that Mark’s face keeps looking different. We Trailheads are a fickle lot!