Reminds me of the time when…

…Andy was caught in a “Deer Trap.”  And no one knew where he was!  This would have been the late Summer of 1980, and I would faithfully check in on Andy every morning over my bowl of Wheaties…  and I knew that time wasn’t on Andy’s side, or mine, since I was about to leave home for a new academic year and I realized that the Wisconsin State Journal did not carry Mark Trail!!

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To my delight, my dear mother began clipping out the dailies and sending them to me on a weekly basis- mounted to typing paper, with (of course) snarky comments in the margins…  In case you wonder where I got this idea, The Daily Trail, I guess it all goes back to that…

And the artwork seems to be back on track… hallelujah!

Any port in a storm, right Andy?

When we last checked in, Andy was eye-balling this panel truck from a distance…  And Rusty had been dispatched by Mark to call Andy in from the storm…

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…what a difference a few days can make- Andy seeks shelter from the storm, leaps into the box, and voila, he’s made himself an unwitting captive.

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Trucker Travis closes the doors without taking a good look inside- I mean, why would he?

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Besides, Andy seems quite comfortable on the hard metal deck and isn’t fazed in the least in the fact that he truck has now started and is moving…

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So here we go, Ladies and Gents.  Remember- Andy has a tag.  People can read, there’s this thing called the internet…  Yet it will probably be a year before he is reunited with his humans…

Mark’s Home?

I’m Sorry, unless you show me some form of conveyance document, complete with consideration, the amount of which both parties acknowledge as sufficient, Lost Forest Is The Davis House, as in Doc an Cherry… Not the Trail House, as in Mark.  We have established over the years that Mark has fallen backwards into money and lives at Lost Forest, Schtupping the Owner’s Daughter (we assume) without so much as a farthing leaving his bank account…

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… But what have we here??  Development?  The bane of any good conservationist?  Especially the kind that is already set and “has his?”  Sort of like Al Gore’s house, which is not exactly Off the Grid…

Next thing you know, Mark will have a beer open…

…and scene…  Back we are at Lost Forest.  Andy running to?  from?  amok?

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Mark relaxing as best he can in a hand-made chair… leaning back, checking the weather on his phone.  Is that how he knows that there is a storm coming??  And Rusty, if he is to get more air-time, will have to agree to do more around the place that sit in his room reading the on-line comics…

I think Rusty just grew a foot…

…no, not that kind… not literally.  Just look how tall he is next to Mark!

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As Geoff falls out of focus and Mark returns to (more) familiar form, I am reminded of the very beginning of the cave adventure when Mark was free-climbing, all to set up the final scenes in the cave, in order that we couldn’t say, “Hey, where did Mark suddenly get those mad climbing skills?!”  It wasn’t clear, to me at least, that it was Mark doing the climbing.  In fact it might have been the first time Mark was ever presented without a shirt on, unless you  count the time that we was treed by a bear after separating his shoulder

And In case you all are wondering when the switch-over occurred, from Elrod to Allen, here is the last daily signed by Elrod and the first daily signed by Allen.  Notice how in the latter  the style seems to change panel to panel…  a reminder that Allen has been at this (along with you scribe) for over 6 years…  he’s probably looking for an out…

Who are these people?!

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again… Hell, I have probably even used this title before…  but really?  Look at the three pictures of Mark Trail.  It could be three different people, but for the annoying and always-available pink chamois-cloth shirt…

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I don’t know that I ever particularly cared about Mark and his family, but now I have generated actual disdain… I know… Lighten up, Francis…

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Who if Geoff talking to in the left hand frame?  And Rusty, best ever?  Greatest of All Time?  (That’s what GOAT stands for, you know, when you see it- took me a while figure that one out…)  Mr. Wizard, get me out of here…

Well… certainly didn’t see THAT one coming…

Now that we are all focused on the Crowleys and their growing family, while also enduring another close-up of Dopey McDope-face…

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Little Kevin’s dream just came true!

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But wait, little guy… I am sure there is paperwork to fill out!!  But then I am sure that this isn’t the Crowley’s first rodeo with adoption.  I’m sure it will all work out fine…

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Now can we just get the hell out of here?  And can we find someone who can draw??  That final panel doesn’t even look like Mark!!

Here’s an idea- just start running old Dodd-Elrod strips on a daily basis.  The sense of relief would be palpable across the Trailverse.  This latest story has everyone a little twitchy…