Reckon I was right; this is the place to come and commiserate. Just how did Diana find it, though? Perhaps the eatery has a reputation bigger than we think. In any event, I reckon this is the watering hole (so to speak) for the Lost Forest At Large community. So how come there is rarely anybody in here?
And what’s this action: Everybody Dump on Mark Week!? Can that poor slob get any respect from anybody? Rodney Dangerfield has nothing on ol’ Markey Boy. But give Cherry some credit. In spite of what Mark must have told her about his California experiences, Cherry retained her optimistic nature and tried to extend a welcome handshake to Diana. But, sisterhood über alles! Cherry still managed to identify with Diana’s frustration over Mark. It remains for Cherry to go over and have a nice chat about Mark, bees, and the value of good hotcakes. Maybe Cherry will convince Diana to go over to the Sunny Soleil Society with her and scare the bees wax out of those other women.
I like how Rivera uses the diagonal lines and central axis in panel 1 to reinforce Diana’s dramatic entrance, drawing the attention of Cherry and Jeanette who flank either side of the central axis. They’re like two wings of a medieval triptych. If it was good enough for Van Eyck and Van der Weyden, it should be good enough for Rivera. Okay, I’m showing off again.
But all in all, the artwork is good and effective in supporting the energetic (and sometimes frenetic) nature of the strip, once you get used to Rivera’s style and stop comparing it to Elrod or Allen. That sense of frenzy and energy is not a feeling one gets from the older version of Mark Trail that we all know and still appreciate, which was more akin to a comfy recliner that you had to get out of once in a while to hit somebody that bothered you too much.