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Zoo Alors!

I reckon that roadside zoos are not completely extinct (based on some additional online searching), though many people and groups would like that to happen, because of the generally poor treatment the animals receive. Rules for private ownership seem to be pretty lax, in fact. If there is danger, it is likely the animals who are in danger (of malnutrition, bad treatment, naïve visitors, and weak state and federal oversight).

Did you notice the difference between the way Mark and Bill Ellis are depicted? Two different styles! Ellis is clearly “more cartoony” than Mark. Is this because Bill is shown as seen on Mark’s smartphone? I think it is an interesting visual experiment that could get better over time. Still, I continue to be disappointed by Rivera’s retreat from her more original and complex compositions in favor of the more common front-on, flat layouts.

On a happier note, it looks like we might get another conversation with Mark’s favorite ectothermic, amniote vertebrate, Ralph the rat snake. I’ve always thought this homage to Dr. Doolittle is one of Rivera’s better innovations. I hope Ralph sets Mark straight on this “danger” issue. Say, wouldn’t it be just the thing if the zoo Mark visits is the location from which the rogue elephant escaped? If so, Bill Ellis is getting mighty devious with his assignments!


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