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The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Talk

Diner, Diana, and Dinner” pretty much sums up Cherry’s week. In a story break that does honor to the “Diner, Diana, and Dinner” pretty much sums up Cherry’s week. In a story break that does honor to the previous Mark Trail strip’s propensity for jumping from one unfinished scene to another, we find Cherry having a pleasant chat with Jeanette —the owner of the Planet Pancake diner—and apparently recovered from her ethical and procedural defeat at the hands of the Sunny Soleil Society regarding the fate of the bees. And suddenly, in walks Diana Daggers, fresh off her full day of nautical investigation with Mark, and ready to pull the wings off any bees that happen to fly too close to her.

Possibly Daggers got a food recommendation from her motel, which would explain her showing up here. Daggers now joins a growing list of people who find the need to bury their sins or their misery in a stack of hotcakes, covered in the sweetness of their choice. Cherry’s attempt to get past Diana’s mood is futile, so she orders a stack of flapjacks to go, in order to meet a friend.

The friend turns out to be some gal Cherry knows who heads some kind of vigilante garden group that takes matters into its own gloved hands when it comes to anything garden-related. In this case, the job Cherry has asked them to perform is to surreptitiously move the statue-housed bees from the Society’s garden before the pest control company (run by the husband of one of the Society’s board members) shows up and fumigates them to death. However…

…I believe we’ll return to Mark’s story on Monday. The last we saw of Mark, he had abandoned Diana Daggers, but unexpectedly ran into his old friend, Cliff, as he started his walk home. Seems like the story trajectory of both Cherry and Mark are moving along roughly parallel tracks, with some minor convergence:  Both suffered humiliation and defeat; both retreated from the scene; both dealt unsuccessfully with Diana Daggers; and now both find possible support from a friend. But for now, let’s move on to the Sunday nature lesson.

Okay, let’s welcome back the illustrated title panel! It’s a nice tradition to maintain for the Sunday nature strips. No animal today; the lowly mushroom is the topic du jour, and it is an informative overview with regard to the impact of mushrooms in gardens. But, rather than being a mere bit player, it would have been better to have Cherry lead this discussion, based on her credentials. I really don’t know why Rivera does not do this more often.

I finally figured out the symbols in the lower left panel. At first, I thought they were some kind official seals or warning symbols, but now I see they are merely symbols to reinforce “stop watering” and “more sun.” All in all, today’s strip is useful information. Finally, as instructive the topic is today, I do have to take issue with Mark’s pointing hand, which seems to be the wrong scale and coming from odd angle. In my art student days, I had similar issues, but I more or less resolved them by drawing the entire arm and upper body, extending outside of the panel, so that the angle and proportions of the part of the arm that was visible in the panel would be more realistic with regard to size and placement. Not that I claim any artistic merit of my own. In fact, I believe this idea was suggested to me by one of my teachers.


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