Mark Trail channeling Jim Fowler…

Remember Ol’ Jim Fowler?  Marlin Perkins’ man on the ground?  He was never afraid to “go in” and take care of what needed to be done…  And it would appear that he is still kickin’ it at 85…

content03152018

Of course Mark will be perpetually 36 years old…  Young enough to make these moves, but mature enough to know a few tricks… One of which is to scoot under the belly of the beast and thereby avoid getting gored or stomped…

Even though I have taken issue with the size of the elephant, the drawings of said pachyderm have been first rate!  Let’s wait ’til tomorrow to see if Mark draws down at point blank range!

I still say that this is a smallish, juvenile elephant…

Allow me to make my point…  African Elephant, below:

animal-size-comparison-25

Unless this is an Indian (Asian) Elephant… which appears to be slightly smaller:

main-qimg-61d4b244f59a8a3a4e0331c7d24e0a4c-c (1)

But with its “Africa shaped ears” and single dome head it appears to be an African Elephant.

content03142018

But really?  I have already invested 30 minutes of my life I will never get back on this foolishness…  but oh well, helps me get my brain working in the morning…

Mark appears to be making a “move…” let’s see whether he’s able to avoid a goring!

Your Truck??

More like the state’s truck…  as if you’d be driving your own and if you were it wouldn’t be that nice a vehicle… have you priced new trucks lately?  We’re talking $40-50 grand!

content03122018

I am having a heck of a time piecing this all together though…  an F-150 goes three-ton at the curb…  can an elephant really up and toss something that big through the air?  Not likely…

content03132018

Actually Mark, even taking perspective into account, that appears to be a modest sized elephant…  And Dusty, Mark is asking you what he ought to do, not be…  Listen, man…

 

 

Attribution, please…

Or is it maybe even a nod to Star Wars?

content03102018

Whether attributed to Han Solo or anyone else in the Franchise that has brought forth this well-worn trope, it keeps popping up in the Trailverse, and I can’t decide whether I should appreciate the irony or blast the obvious rip-off…

Never mind the fact that we are also witnessing a scene right out of the first Jurassic Park movie where the approaching T-rex is making the ground shake…  the only thing missing here is a puddle or a glass of drinking water…

Is Dusty… Dancing??

Dusty is striking a really odd pose in panel one…  I’m thinking that arms folded or akimbo would be more in line with the seriousness of the occasion…

content03092018

Tiger in the Front Yard = Mark getting involved!?  As far as Cherry is concerned, Tiger in the Front Yard = we’re not having Ham for dinner!!  Given that Mark apologized to Rusty only yesterday, maybe a week or two down the road we will be let in on the “theory” that Mark was testing by feeding the tiger their dinner…

And what’s with the Army Surplus Green Canvas Tent?  Is that meant to imply that they will be at this for days?  That’s not surprising as we have only begun to milk this scene for content… Well, Mark is sure to get a story out of this… and he didn’t even have to board an airplane!!

Finally! The long-awaited apology!!

Mea Culpas all around!!  And the faithful Rusty is on display…

content03082018

He figured that in time he would be proven right, so what’s the big deal if the two most important people in his life think he’s a lying snake??  That kid has been through the wringer, let me tell you!

The slight slack-jawed look on Mark’s face in panel three suggests that Mark realizes this too.  Does this mean that Mark has learned a small lesson here?  Ha!  Not a chance!!

The Circus is Coming, The Circus is Coming!

Who does the sheriff think he is?  Paul Revere?  At this rate he will have at most 4 or 5 people alerted to this news by the end of his shift…

content03072018

But of course he had to stop by Lost Forest, because if Mark’s not in the know, then the story can’t move forward… s l o w l y  move forward… In the time it has taken the Sheriff to tell the tale, Dusty would have been able to muster the 5th Armored Division of the Georgia National Guard!  Where’s the Governor in all this?  Certainly he or she needs to get in on the act!

And we still don’t have a clue as to what Mark had in mind when he fed the big cat the ham that Cherry was counting on for dinner

To the untrained eye…

It might seem that James Allen, keeper of the Trail flame, relies on copies of previous images to keep his panels full of expressions…

content03052018

And certainly, if one compares the first panels of yesterday’s and today’s installments, there seems to be evidence of that…

content03062018

But look at the mouth.  Ever so slightly different…  so it would seem that he might start with a basic outline or template and then fills in the shading and the details?  Otherwise I would image we might be looking at faces that are nigh-on unrecognizable…  The way that Rusty and Cherry sometimes appear and you’d swear they were new characters!

But the story?  Rock salt?  I guess it’s a real thing, although not recommended by this fella…  He prefers more lethal rounds for home protection!  Castle Doctrine, anyone?

Anyway, the Sheriff sure seems to think it’s funny!!

Ha! Mark thinks that’s pretty funny!!

Hilarious, even!!

content03032018

But for a clown who only expresses himself non-verbally, (only screaming??) THE GREAT WILHELM is assuming not a welcoming stance, but rather a menacing one, not unlike the one made famous by Frankenstein’s Monster.  No wonder kids think that clowns are creepy, if not downright scary!!

But one has to wonder where the parents of the frightened tots are…  long gone are the days where mom and dad would say “OK” to having their gradeschool-aged kids hang around a cemetary bonfire, unchaperoned, hosted by some old dude…

I reckon?

Oh James, where are we going?

content03022018

Clowns are creepy enough without having them emerge through the mist of night to happen upon a bonfire where strange and gory tales are already being told…

So now that we are in the middle of the clown-zombie-apocalypse, what hope should any of us have?!