Joseph Nebus wrote a recent “What’s Going On In Mark Trail” blog which succinctly expresses many things I’ve been wading through the past year about Rivera’s take on the strip. And more. It is worth reading.
I still appreciate Rivera’s desire to add more complexity and storylines to the strip, but it can be hard to keep track of things in the constrained format of a comic strip. It’s calls for longer storylines, though readers (in general) seem to prefer quicker, shorter stories. I don’t mind length, as long as it is done to fill in and move the story. This past week saw Professor Sharp’s exposé of the Crypto/NFT scam broadcast during the outdoor celebration as well as Cricket Bro’s violent reaction, resulting in his attempt to literally run over Trail and Sharp. Instead, he crashed his car into a tree, resulting in a fiery explosion. Though Mark’s first thought is rescuing Cricket Bro, what will Sharp do?
Part of the complexity, as we have seen, is former opponents now acting more or less in concert with Trail, though with different motives and objectives. I think the currently popular portmanteau is “frenemy”. Cricket Bro, Diana Daggers, and Professor Bee Sharp have all opposed Mark, but recently played up to him, though Sharp’s relationship is more ambiguous and conflicted. In short, these are all shades of gray, not simply old-school black and white. Like the difference between “Dragnet” and “NYPD Blue.” Mark’s Dad may be the most complex and mysterious character in the strip, if you think about it. I’m hoping we see new opponents, so this doesn’t turn into a version of Batman fighting a circle of the same six villains.
A good Sunday topic, though it should have come out in April, when lawn-seeding time begins. I got over the “perfect lawn” syndrome years ago, just because it is a lot of work. Anyway, I agree with the content today, both philosophically and practically. We live in town, but our back yard is a combination pasture-and-garden. It draws in bees, lots of birds, butterflies, etc. The front yard is more clover than grass and looks just as nice.