Slave to Clicks…

…and to tree frogs…

…and to Pythons, apparently.

What I don’t understand is that Mark drives to some dark swamp, gets a ride on an airboat, hooks up with this “Jolly Roger” dude, whose first name is apparently “Jolly,” who dons a poncho despite just having been in the water, who just made some off-handed remark about having his land stolen from him (by Mark’s father) and now Mark is wading, chest-deep, with poncho on, into a constrictor- laced pond? All this makes total sense… right? Whispers of the Allen yarn featuring under-cover CIA operatives posing as Sleepy Joe and either Cheech or Chong … delivery truck driver and biker in Central America chasing Rusty and his would-be girlfriend Mara around…

Kind of makes you wonder how Mark and Cherry met…

Oh, that’s right… we know! Back in 1946, Mark thought Cherry was being chased by a bear, only to find out that Cherry and the Bear were just frolicking…

Of course Cherry was modeled after an Ava Gardner or some other Matinee idol of the day…

But back to the latest re-boot… Looks like Cherry has some truth-telling of her own to do!

What?! Well, this is going to be interesting! An entire Family Tree put on its ear!

A Strong Reaction

As we get to know the <new> characters in Mark Trail, it would seem that family is a trigger point for all of them so far…

Based on today’s installment, Rusty appears to be fully aware of his adopted status, it would seem, so what’s the crisis brewing with Doc, aka Poppy? But I would imagine that this is a challenge for many adopted children- knowing from whence they come… beyond the emotional, there is the practical. What am I prone to medically? What do I need to be aware of?

So, Cherry snaps at Rusty as he dismisses the idea that he has a family… complete with eye-roll in the middle panel… maybe now is the time to have that “Discussion?”

Will the Roots be Revealed??

We are starting to come into focus, Campers… Secrets are burdens, especially when they are kept within Families…

Knowing one’s roots is basic, at least in my opinion… It boils down to single lines of cause and effect: but for the lives of two people who sprung from separate and random origins, but for the alignment of fate, I would not be here. Maybe that’s a bit overblown, but as I have studied, with the help of my elders, the lines of cause and effect that resulted in my life, I have discovered interesting things. For one, the luck of an intrepid man-servant plying the Atlantic ocean along with 101 other souls, roughly 400 years ago, swept overboard but lucky enough to have grabbed hold of a halyard and pulled back aboard-ship: that man was John Howland. He was mighty prolific in his day along with his wife Elizabeth Tilley, and through their first born daughter Desire, I am certainly grateful and certainly not the most famous of their many ultimate descendants.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Be safe and be grateful.

Return of the Random Animal!

This might be a first… Long perspective shot on the humans prattling on with an animal (in this case a Pileated Woodpecker) taking center stage…

I love how the Trail vehicles show age and wear, not like the $80,000 Escalade variety that Allen’s Cherry Davis Trail somehow found herself driving… Although this truck is ‘new’ enough to have head restraints, which first started showing up in 1969 when they were mandated by the NHTSA.

Question: Can Rusty keep up this rapid-fire, staccato interrogation all the way to Florida?

I guess we’ll learn more about the “Waterslide Summer Project Deal” in future strips…

Sunday Extra!

We find Mark still in Florida, pitching a cause… warning against the evils of invasive species- especially the likes of large constrictors!

That’s right, Campers, keep your head on straight and watch those impulses! Although this did give rise to an entire industry- snake removal services!

Back to the back story…

Appears that Doc Davis has secrets as well… but is the big “lie” the fact that Cherry is adopted too?

Awwww… cute. Cherry as a little girl. We also note that Doc was losing his battle with Male Pattern Baldness even, what, 30 or 40 years ago? And that his taste in clothing, jeans with a yoke style shirt, hasn’t changed. Looks like he sported the ol’ “bolo” tie when he was younger.

Ship you?

Clearly I am going to have to learn a few new words in this new take on the Mark Trail journey… “Ship you and the peacock?” ‘Ship’ as in short for Relationship

“Driving into a storm,” though, should be taken both literally and figuratively, even as Mark (I am sure) breaks any number of laws Facetiming behind the wheel… Nice ride, Mark…look at that Station Wagon! No head rests! Two-tone! Analog instrument panel! Reminiscent of the Plymouth Grand Fury or Buick Estate… Now we are talking!

uhhh… Speechless

I am back to taking my Trail medicine in doses of three…

Mark, you are now officially an SMW (Social Media Whore,) or more accurately a wanna-be. Who talks to animals…

…who show you no respect whatsoever. Can’t really decide what happened in the last panel above, but at least Mark isn’t blind… But what is Mark in Mark’s past? What’s he running from?? I guess that’s the mystery now.

Cute Mark, keep it up. You will be the darling of the internet in no time! Ironic that Old Mark was so dismissive of the Cryptozoologist chasing Yeti… The New Mark would give his right leg for that many followers…

Uh oh… Looks like Doc has a past…

Sins of the father and all that… left for the children to clean up? Except Doc is still alive??

Handle business?? What? We are about to meet up with the seamy underbelly of the Davis clan? Nestled in Florida? Where Mark happens to be going to research a story that could well reveal parts of his past? This has all the makings of an Allen yarn, notably the one about smuggling artifacts, where we weren’t quite sure who the bad guys were until the end… But I hate to draw those comparisons quite this quickly. We are, after all, mere days/ weeks into this. Prelude, as it were…