Artistically (to borrow a term), Rivera’s work seems to be shape-shifting. Based on what I wrote yesterday, I’ll take the strip on its own terms for now, though I am at a loss how to explain panel 4, where Happy Trail looks like his head is going through some kind of spatial distortion field. What happened to the lower half of the face, for goodness sakes? At first, the disconnect between the head and the mouth reminded me of that old quasi-animated TV cartoon show “Clutch Cargo”, which surrealistically featured human lips superimposed over the faces, to save on animation costs. The effect was quite amazing and eerie. You can find examples on Youtube (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEHsXKMtDzw). The panel 4 face of Happy Trail could double as a Dick Tracy villain: “SmudgeFace” or something like that.
But look: Even the radiance lines (panel 4) that Rivera likes to use around figures look weak and varies from her usual approach. Here is an example from a few days ago: Okay, I’m just pulling up examples and making some comparisons. I could be off-base.
But I don’t get why Happy is still acting clueless (like son, like father?) about the NFT thing, when Mark explained it do him back in Florida (March 7-11). Maybe ol’ Pop is suffering from dementia?