Monkey see, monkey poo?

Okay, who is the Mark Trail impersonator in panel 2?

I suppose if you want to resurrect that NFT rant, this is one way to do it; though I thought Rivera covered it well enough in the prior story. Still, it seems like an unnecessary pothole in the road this story is traveling on, though I’m getting more and more confused about what this story is really about.  I worry that this NFT issue (that Mark foolishly brought up) is going to consume several days next week, further stalling this storyline (whatever it is).

And I still wonder why Rivera moved away from her original stylistic vision where inventive layouts, attention to detail, and mood were so important. For example, here is a late January 2021 installment from Mark’s first story, investigating his dad’s business: (sorry for the somewhat fuzzy image below, but it’s the best I could get)

You don’t have to be an artistic wiseguy (as I am) to see a clear difference. I hope you can agree that the January installment is so much more interesting, stimulating, and strongly composed, compared with today’s strip and with much of the work over the past several months (with a few notable exceptions). I would bet money that even Rivera’s strongest critics would have been won over had Rivera kept to her original vision. (Also check out the December 8, 2020 strip, especially the trees and shrubs.)

While not every panel is a work of great invention, the important thing is that Rivera was bringing her talent and imagination to the table to build a new aesthetic, which includes her efforts to expand personalities and update Mark’s traditional plots. That’s a lot to juggle. But even Dodd and Elrod used assistants. I’m not trying to sound a death knell or anything of the sort. I really do want Rivera to succeed.