This past week the fight between nut-job Sid Stump and Mark “Don’t call me Markey” Trail continued. An invisible cliff suddenly materialized around Stump and Trail as they duked it out. In addition, a very large boulder just happened to show up on the edge of the cliff. Jared and Cricket Bro rushed up to push it over onto Mark. But things didn’t work out that way.
The fight suddenly came to a halt when Millie, the so-named and so-presumed friendly bear, turned out to not be as jovial and hail-well-met as journalist Jebediah Jeter thought. Everybody found a reason to quickly be someplace else. As if there wasn’t enough “suddenness”, when the bear came bearing down on Mark and Jeb, Andy the St. Bernard suddenly teleported into the chase to to put a stop to it! I have to say (along with many others) that this was not a high point in Rivera’s animal drawing career. The bear, specifically, looks comical, even inept.
Are we now at the end of another adventure? In the pre-Rivera era of Mark Trail, I would say Yes! Mark’s adventures often ended abruptly with little attempt to tie up loose ends before his sudden reappearance back home in Lost Forest. So while we wait for Monday’s strip, let’s check in with the Sunday submission.
Okay, we have a pretty nice “classic” Sunday nature presentation with Mark, and another good title panel. Clearly, the animals shown here are very well depicted, especially compared to the cartoonish depictions of the bear in the daily strips. Why is that?
I’m not sure. Maybe Rivera puts more time in on the Sunday pages and just hacks out the dailies. Doing an adventure strip take a lot of time and research. As regular Trailheads know, the prior Mark Trail artists all used assistants for such tasks as lettering, backgrounds, Sunday strips, and writing (in Allen’s case). As far as I am aware, Rivera does not employ assistants. I think that is a mistake, but I don’t know if it is because of finances, personal preference, or something else. Still, there is a problem in consistency of quality in the dailies, even taking Rivera’s style into consideration. And I still don’t like the Ernest T. Bass beard.