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Loony Times?

Other fishing boats? Where? Surely, you jest. And are we to believe that a cargo ship just happened to be anchored along a forest shoreline? And is this shoreline that deep?! Hard to believe.Maybe that is the problem:  It lost its anchor(s) and drifted aground. And all of the crew have abandoned the vessel, except for the crusty old sea captain.

But where the hell are they, anyway!? I reckon that the “Lost Forest” location of the comic strip—if it is in Georgia—must be off the Gulf Coast by one of Georgia’s two main gulf rivers:  the Altamaha or the Savannah. But so much here seems just weird. I’ll summarize:

  • In panel 1, the cargo ship is described as “wild.” Why? Wild for showing up in this situation, or maybe because it hosts illicit hip-hop dances on the foredeck at sundown?
  • DDG” is the name on the bow of the ship, which turns out to be the company’s name. This is not standard. Normally, the ship’s name is on the bow and the company’s name is on the side(s).
  • In panel 2, Mark prepares to go fishing and acts as if there is nothing of interest, including the cargo ship directly in front of them. And does Diana need to get a pair of shades that work?
  • It’s either getting warm, or maybe Diana is already planning to put the moves on Mark.
  • In panel 3, nobody on the ship has waved them off yet, even though there are supposed to be crew manning watches to prevent such incidents.
  • There are enough double-entendres here to satisfy a Friends fan.
  • If Diana is a producer and videographer, where is all of the equipment: Video camera, microphone, sound mixer, clapper-board, Director’s beret, etc? You can’t make a documentary or gather evidence with only a small photo camera. If Diana has no equipment to speak of, why is she needed? Rafael sold Diana to Mark as an up-and-coming documentary star. I suppose this will be like props on Gilligan’s Island. When the castaways needed something, POOF! Like a dux ex machina, the needed things would appear (except for working transmitters and boats).

So, now what? Does Diana don scuba gear (not so far seen) and investigate the keel? Does she try to catch the attention of somebody on the deck and ask if they want to star in a new documentary about cargo ships illegally bringing zebra mussels into the country?

Okay, okay. Maybe I’m getting too far into the trees, here. That’s what the Loon seems to be telling me. This is just a comic strip, after all. It isn’t a documentary, nor a graphic history. And it’s not as if the prior versions of the Mark Trail dailies (not Sundays) were noted for their factual accuracy, either. Movies always play fast and loose with reality, so I don’t think it is fair to expect much more from comic strips. I didn’t intend to simply issue snarky comments and catch every questionable item or act. I’ll leave that to you readers in your comments (as you’ve been doing, thank you). I’m going to try and stick to the high road and deal more with the storyline, the art, and…and…a bit of snark, here and there.


4 thoughts on “Loony Times?

  1. Everything bugs me today.

    The bird bugs me. Green head & yellow bill says mallard, but the white breast only occurs in descendants of domesticated versions.

    Mark’s complete lack of preparation, and strategy of going fishing instead of looking for mussels bugs me.

    A huge cargo ship on a remote lake for no reason bugs me.

    “The other fishing boats”, when we haven’t seen any, bugs me.

    OK, maybe Diana Daggers doesn’t bug me. She at least seems to have a faint clue.

    • Indeed, a red-letter day for this story. The bird is actually a Loon, reflecting Diana’s soft insult. You have a point about Diana. Mark doesn’t even seem involved, hence my comments about who is in charge, who is acting like the authority, etc.

      Not sure what Rivera’s strategy is here, but it is kind of insulting to the strip, unless there is going to be some kind of surprise confession from Mark about his meandering, indifferent behavior.

  2. Rivera is definitely a Pokemon fan–“A Wild ________ Appears!” is the standard text the computer uses when you encounter a random creature while exploring. As I recall there was another Pokemon reference a few weeks/months(?!?) ago

    • Well, you were the one who caught the original Pokemon connections in the strip back in late June, and now you have found another. So, well done!

      And based on what I’ve learned about Rivera, I’d have to agree. The game context of the expression may not be not known to most old-time readers of this strip. And I’m likely showing my own ignorance of contemporary trends. The game reference may actually be well known to many (much younger) readers and help make the strip more approachable them.

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