What Would Elrod Do?

This is all getting very creepy. Mark says he is not spying on Rex, but then pretty much shows that he has been spying with his stupid suggestion of a four-way pet call. Is Rivera being sarcastic in panel 4 about making friends, I wonder? I sure hope so.  If I was Rex, I’d send Mark packing back to Hicksville. If I read Joseph Nebus correctly in his “Another Blog Meanwhile“, he suggests that Rivera is attempting to emulate a Jack Elrod style of writing through her use of certain words—especially interjections—and putting greater emphasis on exaggerated poses. She is doing that.

Nebus’s hypothesis is that this look-back might be a deliberate appeal to old school Trailheads and might help them appreciate the strip again if they look at it with this idea in mind. It’s a tempting idea.`

I think most Trailheads would agree to the general assessment of the pre-Rivera version of Mark Trail as a person and world caught in a time freeze of the 1950s with often hokey stories, simple morals, and TV-style action. As Nebus rightly says, a lot of readers enjoyed the strip specifically for reasons like these. Certainly, online commenters enjoyed poking fun at the old Mark Trail. As I wrote many months ago, this could be a major reason they dislike Rivera’s version:  Because it could appear to be a deliberate parody, a continuous snarking, of Mark Trail (the comic strip), thus usurping their fun. Just a thought. Yet, I do think Rivera’s vision is larger than simply poking fun at a legacy strip and its long-time readers.

I still think Mark is acting very creepy in this story.