If you can tuna fish, you can tune a guitar!

As we turn to today’s installment, Mark is being chauffeured to a location out in La Tuna Canyon (near Eastern Malibu) by eco-rapper Reptilionairre and his pet iguana, Sherman, to help shoot a new eco-rap video. Let’s watch the action…

Okay, not a lot of real action, so far. We are now into Rivera’s second story. The first story was quite the ordeal for many long-time fans of Mark Trail. For those who were scandalized by the significant differences in the art, writing, and personalities in this updated Trailverse, our second story has definitely toned down the “in your face!” attitude. So far.

Looks like Mark is discovering that “going to LA” doesn’t necessarily mean “going into” LA. Mark’s ability to deliver an off-the-cuff sitcom-style tuna pun—while hosting an iguana on his head—assures us that Mark can still be master of the moment, even while his preconceptions are being challenged. And it’s a good thing Mark already has a relationship with snakes, as well. I’m anxious to see if Herp Hacienda compares favorably with the rich and luxurious landscape of the area.

But I don’t recognize the specific type of hawk we see in the strip. Do you? There are over 270 species! Dammit, Jim, I’m a blogger, not an ornithologist!

Welcome, George!

Welcome to George, the DAILY Trail’s most ardent and faithful follower and now contributor! Had I know it was so easy to add different roles, this would have happened sooner. Yes, there are many demands on my time these days, but that’s a good problem to have! More than that, however, was the desire to take a position on the other side! Thanks George, and well done with your first post… remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint!!

I will add, however, that this is not the first time we have met up with the Beaver… Witness

A Series of Unfortunate Events…

I guess we can call this LFF- Lost Forest Filler… as Mark runs into one thing after another! But Cherry! Water alone won’t de-stink your man and his best friend! And why is Andy on a leash?! Completely unacceptable!

And now we harken back to the last Old-school Trail we saw in the papers… Mark choosing Andy over fame and glory. Aren’t we hopscotching the time-space continuum a bit here, though??

Oh, darn!! Now to the scene where Mark learns of his true reputation… But hey! Flapjacks!!

Mark, if you think of the rabble as “Villagers” they will always turn on you- sometimes with pitchforks and lit torches!! And now back to Amy Lee? I guess we’d better get used to that. No more Bill Ellis- No more Magazine with a defined pension… Now that Mark is in the permanent gig economy!

LA! Confidential! Ralph the Hog Snake looks nonplussed… But is Mark allowed to cross state lines while he is still a wanted man in Florida??

Hog Wild!!

I guess we know where that phrase came from!!

That, and El Chapo’s Hippo Collection!

But we are finally home! Let’s see, we started on this new odyssey October 13th… and it’s now March 2nd, a new year, and that makes it an even 140 days! Yikes!! That’s James Allen territory, but at least not in line with the cave adventure…

Good Dog Daddy! That picture of Andy in panel 3 is, well, a little off-putting! At least he returns to St. Bernard in panel 4. Let’s hope Mark can get a shave and a shower, and heal a bit. The Article! An Article must be written!! And with the magic of the comics page, we skip over that toil, and behold:

Words heal, campers. Confession is good for the soul. Never too late to redeem oneself!

The house is much bigger on the inside!!

Is it me, or did we suddenly travel to a new house? The Modest Ranch we encountered upon the green-wood-paneled Station Wagon’s arrival has suddenly blossomed into a grand foyer (pronounced foy-ay) complete with trophies… surprised there isn’t a stuffed manatee somewhere…

Meanwhile, Jolly and his daughter, who happens to be an attorney, plead their case about the “taking” and discrimination vis-à-vis their land…

Ha! Plot thickens! You are a mean old chiseler, Happy Trail! Admit it!

Apparently Mark want nothing to do with what is going on right now, even though it’s the reason for his being there- to write an article…

But what Mark does determine causes Happy to go all zombie in the eyes… and admit that he is mean and alone in this world…

Like I said, Mark and Happy must not talk much… A lot of water under the bridge, so to speak, and years of not seeing each other… could this be the beginning? Maybe even the end of this little yarn? Nice (O)possum!

Swimming alone?

In what was a world replete with protagonists making sound, defendable choices, we now find ourselves running downhill with scissors in our hands… Sort of like Slylock Fox, “Find what’s wrong in this picture…”

Rusty swimming alone, Cherry hanging out in a casino, Mark leaving “Trails” of destruction, Cherry battling (literally) her family demons…

I predict that we will be learning about Owls this Sunday…

Thanks for the Play-by-Play…

…and the color commentary…

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“He’s burst through the line, and into the second level!”

                                “Yes, Jim, that was a tremendous hole opened up by superior blocking on the part of the center and left guard!”

“He’s Still going, only one player to beat!  Touchdown!”

Happy Superbowl everyone!  I am guessing that 80% of the population in the Twin Cities will be happy when this circus has moved on…  and for those who may have missed it, or aren’t one with “The Cities,” a local brewing company has done yeoman’s work in describing the zeitgeist

Actually, no…

While this is a finely drawn Rhinoceros, it would have to pivot hard to port if the tent was going to get it…  But that would require that the Rhino be drawn in reverse 3/4 profile, as opposed to full profile, which we see in this single, large panel…  I don’t know if Rhinos are built to make NFL running back style jump-cuts or not… they seem more like Downhill Runners

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And while Shannon and Kathy appear to be spared for now, we have to wonder if we got to know their names only for the purpose of demonstrating yet another unlikely encounter with a non-indigenous beast?  That’s a lot of Purple ink to spill for not much of a career in the Trailverse.

What? Is it Blind?

Or…  Just doing what Rhinos do?  And this is not the only animal that has had it out for trees… Remember the Wild Boar on Abbey Island?  Or, with its horn is still intact… could it be a refugee from the first time we encountered Dirty Dyer?

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So as Shannon wins the “Name THAT Animal” prize, we are left to wonder, “What circus ever had a Rhino in its menagerie?”  Seems a little off… by about half a bubble…  Well drawn though, I am focused on the skin, which reminds me of one of my favorite “Just So Stories” from Rudyard Kipling- How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin…  There is a wonderful audio/video version read by Jack Nicholas (Score by Bobby McFerrin.)  I think I enjoyed that more than my daughter back when she was a tike…