Here is the Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Talk

For those readers who missed the daily episodes, our story continues to focus on the travails of young Rusty Trail, stoically enduring a family cookout while his musical hero, Reptilionnaire, performs down the road. We daily readers shared his anguish, suffering through family reunion moments and the usual banal dialog one hears at family get-togethers. But the week ended up with Rusty (and his parents) very much surprised when Reptilionnaire showed up with his pet ‘gator and musical assistant. Good thing Rusty was not holding any of Happy’s potato salad, as his jumping would surely have sent it flying in all directions.

Meanwhile, Happy Trail has clearly tried to make amends for his prior bad decisions and crappy attitude and is once again friends with Jolly Roger. And it turns out that Happy arranged for Reptilionnaire to drop by. So this could be a good place to end Rusty’s mini-adventure, but I believe there will be more. But not, I hope, a week of Reptilionnaire ingratiating himself into the Trail family.

Don’t forget this story is supposed to be about a vacation in Portland, Oregon and Rusty’s chance to search for The Seaside Specter. Recall that under Allen’s authorship, Rusty got involved in a smuggling adventure in Mexico with potentially disastrous consequences. While I appreciate very much that Rivera makes Rusty a more believable adolescent, let’s get him into some drama and action. Being a kid didn’t stop Little Orphan Annie from tangling with all manner of dangers. Mark Trail is supposed to be an adventure strip, not a clone of For Better or Worse.

Before we see how the week unfolds, take a sip of coffee and peruse the Sunday nature chat.

Gee, so vultures circle around carrion, huh? Does that explain today’s title panel? Okay, there’s more to make fun of, but I’ll leave it to others. If vultures don’t circle around dying animals, why do they bother circling at all? Didn’t get that answer. Interestingly, in most Sunday strips the animals take center stage, but today, Mark seems to get the main face time, with vultures playing backup. I’d rather see more vulture close-ups, Mark.

Here are a few other interesting points I discovered: 1) Because of the strong acids in vulture stomachs, they are immune to lethal diseases such as anthrax and botulism, a great reason for humans to let vultures do their job. 2) The sense of smell in Turkey vultures is more important than their sight in detecting carrion and determining its food-worthiness, even up to a mile in the air! Now that is nothing to sniff at! Play, you Goth Kids!