Mark has never looked happier

Look at him!  He is positively beaming talking to Editor Bill Ellis… and about invasive species.  And by the way- is it Spee-sees, or is it Spe-shees?  Sort of like Grocer or Grosher, as is Grocery (Groshery?) store where one buys food.  But I digress…

content08232016

And speaking of invasive species, look at what the Falcon picked up!  A mouse or a rat or something… even though pigeons and other fowl are an urban Falcon’s more natural prey…

falcon diet

…and thanks to ecully773 who pointed out that the building is question, the home of Woods and Wildlife magazine, is the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan…

I also continue t wonder if Abbey Powell gets anything out of this other than growing name recognition… If I were her I would be!  it was cute and fun to start with, but now it could become a professional liability, especially if she ever wanted to leave the USDA… but of course why would she want to do that?  Wheat with it bringing her fame and (perhaps) fortune and all…

Casual Mondays??

If ever there’s a throw-back element to the Trail-verse, it is Bill Ellis… count among them the fact that he is always dressed in a suit and tie, that the Magazine offices are ensconced in a Manhattan skyscraper (read Time-Life Building…) and that the Magazine appears to be thriving are things that we just don’t see anymore in Magazine-dom…   But today we see Editor Bill Ellis really dressed down… In fact I don’t know whether we have ever seen his neck like this- kind of creepy- unless of course we go way back to a time when he and mark were on a fishing trip aboard the rich publisher’s yacht down in Florida and were mistaken for two rich, ransom-worthy fellows… and were subsequently kidnapped.  But that predates my efforts here on these pages, so I might be a little hard-pressed to link us there…  but here it is!  Thanks Josh at Comics Curmudgeon!

content08222016

But when exactly did Mark have time to write his 20,000 word expose on white nose syndrome?  No sooner did he make it from the Rio Grande to Lost Forest and they were jetting to Hawaii! Oh well, we shouldn’t dwell on such timeline inconsistencies…  we have to maintain appearances…

In an unrelated vein, I sent the following to my local newspaper opinion page…  I know that there are more needlesome issues at play in the word, but since they are not likely to print it, I wanted to share:

I v. me

I’ve been told that it’s a heavy burden I carry.  Proper usage of  the English language-  and bristling and recoiling when I hear or read passages that are not properly constructed.  The sad thing is that I see it everywhere, perpetrated by people who ought to know better, people who are paid a salary to write and speak properly.  No greater offense exists than when the first person singular pronoun ‘I’ is used in place of ‘me.’  A subjective pronoun acts as the subject of a sentence—it performs the action of the verb. The subjective pronouns are he, I, it, she, they, we, and you. An object pronoun is a personal pronoun that is used typically as a grammatical object: the direct or indirect object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. Object pronouns contrast with subject pronouns. The object pronouns are me, you, him, her, it, us and them.  ‘Jimmy and I are going to the store.’  ‘She is going to the store with Jimmy and me.’  Would we ever say ‘She is going to the store with I?’  I think not.  Think about it, people.

 

Not my fault…

Where have we heard that before?  And this time he is adding a finger wag for good measure…  Guess what Mark, while you have a case for The Swan in the Great Dismal story line, your last outing with Mississippi Ken and the missing Cobalt 60 is totally your fault… you unloaded a flare into the leaking fuel of the cigarette boat…  in an effort to “slow down” the bad guys… when you could have elected to simply out-run them!  But what’s the fun in that??

content08202016

and my… what BIG EYES you have in panel one, Cherry.  You’re a real heart-melter…  Sensing that you might have hurt the big guy’s feelings, you go all Bambi on him… well done.  And by panel three, with Mark’s full understanding of the “joke,” his confidence is restored!  What would he do without you, Cherry?  Why do you put up with him??  OK, don’t answer that.

So sad when Mark isn’t in on the joke…

…and the joke is him…  It would seem that his obtuse-ness has survived the passing of the torch from Elrod to Allen.  For those of you new to all this, or maybe haven’t been keeping score, it’s Mark 2, really-expensive-rental-boats-paid-for-by-The Magazine zerozilch… nada.  So naturally Cherry finds this entire notion extremely funny, in a polite, tee- hee- hee way, not a rude guffaw sort of way…  but still.  Mark, perhaps you’d be better served by finding a charter or a tour that would take you there…  I have to say though, that face in panel 3 is a new one for Mark… probably because he’s never been challenged before, never had his plans actually questioned

content08192016

Lets also consider Cherry.  And her neck.  Is it me, or did it get longer in panel 1?  I suppose it had to in order to fit the speech balloon underneath her chin.  But her head just seems to be perched unnaturally on top of it.  Sort of like a golf ball on a tee…

Strange too that Cherry isn’t putting up a fuss over Mark’s apparent desire to go off and “work” on their “vacation…” Perhaps that comes later…

Uhhhh… you go that, Mark??

That’s w w w <dot> h u n g r y p e s t s <dot> c o m <forwardslash> t h e <dash> t h r e a t <forwardslash> i m p o r t e d <dash> f i r e <dash> a n t <dot> p h p…

Seriously?  And I’m quite sure that anyone that is inclined to move firewood from one locale to another (or hay bales for that matter) is going to somehow know to go to this website and check out the threat.  Abbey, you need to get a life.  Not to mention you, Mark…

content08182016

So, to hell with any “vacation” that was planned, or even underway, for crying out loud…  Mark is on the case!  I hope Bill Ellis (editor of Woods and Wildlife magazine) tells Mark to simmer down and enjoy his vacation… and besides, Mark, do you really “work for” the magazine, or is it that you “do work for” this magazine?  Big difference…  I have always assumed that you are in a free-lance, contractor role, not a W-2 with benefits kind of thing…

The Pelican lives!

…and I was fairly justified in my earlier comment regarding bill color, etc.  Here’s a lovely shot of what is a rather strange looking animal.

content08172016

But OH MY!!  Isn’t Mark fired up!  “FIRE ANTS?!?  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC?!?  HOW?!?”   Good lord, Mark, it’s not as if she’s found a new colony of aboriginal man…  Can you all just see Cherry rolling her eyes?  Well, she’s probably used to it by now.  That’s her man…  Does his best to show affection (more than ever under James Allen’s pen) but is still really only turned on by a good nature mystery…

So as Abbey and Mark geek out over Fire Ants, we are left to wonder what’s just out of the frame in the lower left…  some vague reference to a John Carpenter film is what we know at this point.  And for those of you new to this madness, not the first time this device has been employed- recall the Great Dismal Swamp adventure?  The bad guys who piloted the boat that was a dead ringer for Shaw’s boat in the movie Jaws?  Well, that boat was named “BRUCE,” which happened to be the name of the mechanical shark used in the filming…

Being mighty careless with that phone!

As Cherry dangles Mark’s phone over the pool’s edge, clearly she’s not risk averse… And of course in the James Allen Trailverse, that’s not the only thing (or things) that are dangling in panel one…  But of course Mark is seeing none of that and can’t wait to get on the phone with Abbey!  The phrase “Invasive Species” is all he hears, his ticket out of the pool and away from his wife…

content08162016

So with an enthusiasm not shown toward anything Cherry wanted to do, Mark engages with Abby to find out more about what happening on the nearby atoll.  Let’s consider for a moment (at least so far) how seemingly incompatible they are with each other-

“Hey Cherry, want to paddleboard?”  “No, I’ll stay here and drink”

“Mark, Honey, look at all these cool excursions we could take!”  <<silence>>  <<ring, ring>> “Answer the Phone, Cherry”

So the question is now whether Cherry goes along with Mark…