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Oggi è il mio compleanno e ho 71 anni. But I’ll let it go at that.

Rusty is continuing to shrink back into his “vintage” Rusty persona, which is a great loss to us. I had high hopes that he had enough moxie to follow through on his adventure. But, Rivera seems intent on emasculating all of the male characters. I don’t think that’s necessary, if the intent is to enhance Cherry’s presence and worth. She clearly has enough self-confidence on her own without having to make Mark, Rusty, and the “rest of the boys” look like misfits and punks. As I have written before, it is fine to take Mark down a few notches from his prior idealistic, straight-arrow, classic male-hero persona and give him some actual feelings, personality, and faults. But there is such a thing as going too far. Surely, Mark can be seen as self-assured and confident without being arrogant or elitist.

I really think Rivera could use an assistant so she can spend more time on the art, which is clearly suffering from the never-ending deadlines she has to meet. All of the prior Mark Trail artists had assistants (even Allen), so it would be a great idea for everybody if King Features paid Rivera enough to take on a full-time assistant. Write to them and insist they do this.

As for today’s strip, I hope Mark just walks away with Cherry and Rusty and takes the vacation they actually planned on. Forget these dweebs! If Dad can’t look out for himself, he needs to get out of the business.


4 thoughts on “Uffa!

    • No doubt! We have no real idea how much time Rivera spends on the panels. Of course, Dodd had assistants for lettering, backgrounds, etc. Why Rivera moved away from her original approach to this current “style” is a mystery. It does not seem to appeal to most viewers used to the more representational approach favored by Dodd, Elrod, and Allen. But, maybe that is a deliberate choice? It would be nice to hear from Rivera on this point.

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