Don’t fraternize with the enemy!

Well, was yesterday a replay or the beginning of Mark’s second day on the job? Simon Stump is no longer hanging around, nor are the rest of the guests, so let’s assume this is Day Two. We can’t tell from the clothing, since most characters wear the same clothes all the time.  This is a tradition in comic strips going as far back as The Yellow Kid, in which the clothes act as kind of identification badge or part of the character’s inherent identity. Little Orphan Annie almost always wore a red dress. Charlie Brown was always in shorts and a t-shirt with a horizontal zigzag stripe. Mark used to always wear a plain work shirt with two button-down pockets. Now it’s a red checked shirt, recently enhanced with a black tee undershirt. A bit of progress, perhaps.

Aside from yet another possibly unnecessary textbox in panel 4, this looks like a little story stretching going on. Or perhaps this is a setup for these three goofs to encounter a bear on their walk and either call out for Mark to come save them or retreat to camp to report the encounter. With luck, they could get “kidnapped” by the bear and never seen again.