Excuse the question, please?

As we get to now re-live the story, first spoken aloud by Bill Ellis to himself, now spoken to Mark Trail complete with his pithy reactions, we must ask the question, Why would you need anyone’s permission to do a movie about Human Trafficking?  

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It’s not like the publisher of Woods and Wildlife magazine would suddenly wake up and say, “Hey, that’s our story!!”  But I suppose that this allows for a new chapter in the Mark Trail Story- Mark as expert… Oh wait, he plays that all the time…

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But who is the lead?  Is it the Mark Trail/ Nature Writer character or the Chubby Academic?  I recall that there was a bit of a siren involved- Carina!  Prof Gabe’s erstwhile assistant…  Who got less handsome and more siren-like as the story unfolded…

Comfort in the Familiar

Squirrel in the foreground, random voices coming out of the woods alerting Mark that his phone is ringing… Mark spending time with his best friend Andy…

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“It’s probably Bill Ellis?”  Is he the only one who calls you?  I love the fact that we are bridging old with new… back in the day it would have been “Mark, the phone is ringing…”  But now everyone has their own phone… a far cry from the party line…

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Oh, Mark… such a wag you are.  You’ll never forgive Bill Ellis for sending you on that wild Yeti chase…  the one that cost Harvey Camel his life… Oh, you tell it, Bill Ellis!

So, I guess we know now who has “rights” to Mark’s work product…

… and it ain’t Mark.  Signed the deal without even getting Mark’s input?

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Return to Bill Ellis talking to himself, explaining to himself what he, Bill Ellis, is fixing to do…  What’s he like off-camera?  “Hmmm,” Bill Ellis declares aloud to himself, “That Chimichanga I had for lunch isn’t sitting too well, I think I will soon have to avail myself of the private lavatory in my CEO-Suite… I will have to give the cleaning crew a heads-up to stay out of there for a while…”

What’s with all “That?”

As Editor Bill Ellis (white guy, first panel) continues to prattle on, to himself, apparently, we see the continued over-use of the word “that.”  I have never seen the like of it!  And how much effort and ink would it have cost to draw in an assistant, someone for Bill to talk to?  And now that he has told all of us what is going down, he still has to call Mark and repeat himself!  Or is he actually on the phone (right hand, first panel) and talking to Mark right now?

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What?  Kind of Johnny Depp bad?  Alcohol, drugs, out of control binges?  What constitutes a “Bad Reputation” in the Trailverse?  I can’t wait to see how this manifests!

Who is Bill Ellis talking to?

Sure why not?  Why wouldn’t Mark receive a prestigious award?   But the Dodd Award?  It appears to not be a thing…  And what better option do we have than to revisit an old story line that introduced tedium in our time?  Not to mention that Mark would have had to be clairvoyant to know that is little trip with Professor Gabe into the caves would somehow come full circle to include his trip to investigate Aztec ruins and Dr. Carter’s  use of LIDAR, but then Mark was probably busy and never goat around to writing the White Nose piece until after his brush with the traffickers…   But I digress…

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Bill, are you talking to yourself?  Are you the only one in the office? It would seem that the magazine industry is such that you probably had to lay everyone else off… Now you get to play all the roles, even to the point of being your own errand-boy and sounding board!

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Marne Spencer…  Enter the Siren!  Who seems to have a Thing (already) for Mark… And that Action Hero, Jeremy Cartwright, who hasn’t heard of him?  Who has, no doubt, wanted to play the role of MARK TRAIL his entire life!!

Who owns the rights to Mark’s stories?  That’s the real question here…