Cherry, Mark, and an unseen Rusty spend the week flying cross country to Portland, OR. Along the way, Mark is fixated on the mysterious stepbrother of Cricket Bro, who goes by the gold-plated twit’s name of Jadsen Sterling; so much so, that he leaves a slice of pie Cherry brought along unfinished, as he searches the Internet for information on Sterling’s business interests.
After the Trails enter the terminal, a person who looks like a younger brother of Svengooli appears, identifies himself as Jadsen, and says he is their ride. What ever happened to the actual vacation, itself, seems to have been put aside. Rusty, who had been invisible for the flight, made a brief appearance (I think) in a long shot of the Trails’ arrival in the terminal. That’s pretty much the activity for the week. I won’t rehash the details of my diatribe on the art, though I probably should have just posted them all here, instead. You can scroll down to read the prior posts, if you like. Even though I do have concerns, I still support the strip’s general direction. I still believe that many of the changes Rivera has brought into the strip are a positive contribution (including the imagery), but they are endangered by the appearance of artistic inconsistency, sometimes weak plotting, and an over-indulgence in self-parody. We’ll have to see how Rivera—now in her second year—manages to overcome them. That’s assuming she also believes there are issues to resolve. Otherwise, on to the Sunday strip, which seems to enjoy more consistent output:
Okay, if Mark is only talking about the Western Gray Squirrel, I’ll buy the “forest” argument, because just every other kind of squirrel can be found just about everywhere, including cities, suburbs, and my wife’s bird feeders. The art in the Sunday panels tends to have a more consistent quality than the dailies. A practical reason for this is the size of the Sunday panels, both in the original format and published format, is larger than the dailies. But that’s not the whole story. Part of the difference is that Sunday panels are not linked to the dailies, so story continuity is not an issue. Also, I’m not going too far out on a limb here to think that Rivera might simply enjoy drawing Sunday more than the dailies.