If you are up-to-date on the strips this week, feel free to skip down to the Sunday strip. For those of you who missed some—or most—of this week, Cherry and a surprisingly available Mark were working on all things gardening. A work van pulled up, out of which stepped “Honest Ernest”, a Good Ol’ Boy in yellow coveralls, who turned out to be the exterminator hired to kill the bees in the Sunny Soleil Society’s garden. In fact, this entire week of strips (about 5 minutes “in Trail Time”) was devoted to Honest Ernest first annoying, then shocking, the Trails (and us) with his phony “aw shucks” patter and sociopathic attitude. The Trails mostly just stood there, mouths agape; though Cherry once again put forth her weak bees defense, repeating her earlier failure to convince Violet and Caroline (Ernest’s wife). Once Ernest left, Cherry recovered enough to reiterate her intentions to raid the garden overnight with the help of her Garden Mafia to remove the bees to safety. Surprise of surprises, Mark offered to help, apparently indifferent to his current zebra mussel assignment.
All in all, there was little action, though the introduction of Honest Ernest is an important angle to the story. Maybe this week could have been compressed into just three or four days, allowing Rivera to use the other days to portray Cherry meeting with her Black Rose Society colleagues as they prepare to raid the garden. But, at least we can see better why Cherry’s defense of the bees went nowhere with the Sunny Soleil Society. It wasn’t just Cherry’s lack of persuasiveness, but the ignorance and delusional attitudes of the social-climbing members of the Sunny Soleil Society. Their pretense of sophistication was revealed by the cynical glibness and threatening attitude of Caroline’s rube of a husband. But, it’s time to move on to the Sunday nature strip. See you in three weeks, Cherry!
As Mark channels his inner “John Lennon” in the last panel (nice pun, Mark!), the Trails serve up a second helping of Sunday Bees; this time, the friendlier domestic version. Rivera’s tradition of making the Sunday title panel thematically link to the current subject continues, as does the tradition of linking the subject to the current storyline. This is not her best title panel, but it’s still a good tradition. Cherry continues to serve as the Second Banana. Frankly, most of this information has already been discussed in the daily strips. But repetition is generally a good instructional method. So, do you agree that the Sunday strips are generally better drawn than the dailies? Not sure why. Well, we might have a different opinion on the hands.