Smokey says: “When surrounded by fire, climb into a wooden tower!”

Why would Happy Trail take shelter in a wooden tower when he could have just run up a hill? Even the dialog doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense; as in, what the hell is there to work out, Mark!? And the artwork looks incompetent with awkward lines, out-of-scale anatomy, and sketchy figures.

Of course, we’ve seen clumsy drawing from the prior Mark Trail artists, Allen included. Rivera is not unique in this regard. What makes these gaffs stand out is her style, which transitioned over time into something more expressionistic than merely representational. Inconsistencies, such as what we see in panel 4, hit you immediately and painfully.

But the troubling issue for me—as I have pointed out several times—is that Rivera is an accomplished artist. Why transform Mark Trail from her original, refined stylistic approach into this slapdash version?