Some commenters over on the ComicsKingdom web site noticed that Mark was not sporting any type of beard in Saturday’s strip. They were right! Whether this was a publishing accident or a deliberate decision, it seemed an odd time to shave! Frankly, I never liked Mark’s “new” beard style and much preferred the old stubble. So, Rivera: Go stubble or go clean-shaven.
This past week was—I hope—the final and true revelation of what the Water Bear Country Retreat was really created for: A fantasy arena for rich boys (think E. Musk) to see who is “king of the forest”, able to overcome animals and nature. The fact that the camp was mostly filled with 90-lb weaklings, one old fart, and two women who were clearly not in training suggested that Sid Stump wanted to ensure he had a better-than-average opportunity to win. Engineering the accident that took out the capable “Professor” Bee Sharp also helped ensure that probability. But Mark Trail would not leave.
Sid and the two Bozo Brothers (Jadsen and Rob) found Mark and Journalist Jeb Jeder in the forest, thanks to Mark shining his flashlight up into the air so it could be seen. Stump made various threats against Jeb and Mark. Meanwhile, Jeb’s bear protector was nowhere to be seen.
Stump admitted the true purpose of his work (see above) and suddenly moved against his most dangerous “competitor”—Mark—to take him out. Fortunately for Mark, Stump was also a wuss. But Mark remembered how to hit back and a right cross sent Stump stumbling in the opposite direction he intended to go. And that’s where we end the week.
When I was young, my mother sometimes took care of abandoned or injured baby birds. She nursed them until they were old enough to fly and live on their own. The baby birds would even stand on her hand as she fed them or helped them get used to flying. In one particular case, a now-healthy robin (which was also my mother’s name) flew off and that was that. But next Spring, my mother was surprised to find the same robin had returned and flew down to her when she called it. It even landed on her held out hand. I was amazed. It never happened again, however.
Moving on: Regarding Mark’s beard, keep in mind that Sunday strips are often composed weeks before they are posted, most likely before Saturday’s strip. Otherwise, good content, but rather quickly knocked out. Even Mark looks like he just woke up in time for his talk. Yeah, I’m surprised. Rivera usually takes more time on the Sunday strips. Today’s panels look like they are entries for a “Fill in for Jules Rivera Who is On Vacation” contest. No winners here.