Artistically, a dramatically impressive panel 1. But where the hell are they!? The Atlantic or maybe Lake Superior? I don’t recall that the body of water that has always been depicted alongside the Trail’s cabin was anything other than a peaceful lake or river, assuming that is where they are. Then again, there is that river course somewhere near Lost Forest that has the capacity to hold cargo ships.
Did the boat really collide with a gator, or did they just run into some bad weather? Or maybe they hit a gator in rough water? You’d think Mark would have checked weather conditions before leaving, right?
Another interesting first panel on this one, again with a somewhat dramatic scene of the boat powering through rough water. Not to press a comparison farther than I can lift a house, it reminds me of some boating pictures by the 19th artist, Winslow Homer. Wait! Not in terms of artistic merit, but simply in terms of subject and dramatic effect. Check out Breezing Up and Gulf Stream. Again, it’s not a comparison of style or artistic merit. For that, no comparison can be made.
As for Mark, we continue to see how judgmental and out of touch he is, just like many parents. Mark is just an Everyman, I reckon. And maybe that’s the way Jules Rivera sees Mark Trail: Not the heroic savior of nature who always makes women swoon and always knocks down the bad guys, but a regular guy with a job who only rises to the occasion when the situation calls. I think of James Stewart’s Destry Rides Again or Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies.