Faintly reminiscent of…

As Mark Springs into action, complete with a full load weighing him down…

…all he can bring to this party is his oversized walking stick… Whack Ka-Whack? Who the hell are we channeling? Fozzie Bear??

Unlike the African adventure when we met “Dirty” Dyer, and Mark saved the porter using a flaming branch… Who knew that Hippos respond to English commands? I guess if it works for T-Rex, then it would work for a Hippo…

But seriously folks, check out the artwork from 2016 compared to now. There is no comparison. It’s like we have been saying… James Allen has grown tired and is mailing it in…

Two things…

  1.  Why does Dirty have the same hair color as Mara?
  2. Why is Dirty such an idiot?

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Sure!  Why not?  Create witnesses to your intentions wherever you go!  Maybe he considers this a suicide mission- his last act.  He has no need to hide his intentions… I mean, isn’t ALL THE WORLD out to even a score with MARK TRAIL?   Won’t he be greeted with love an affection in jail, as he meets up with all the bad guys that Mark has put away over the years?

And certainly I underestimate the reach of Field and Forest magazine…  why, its readership extends across the globe, including Protectorates of the United Kingdom…  And the reaction is priceless- going from Easter Island monolith to Huh?!  What??!! at the mere mention of THE TRAIL!

Oh, your mother is going to be so disappointed!

There has to come a time in every felon’s life when he or she realizes they strayed from the path that had been hoped for them… even families steeped in crime must have expectations of not getting caught and going to jail…

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Oh Juanito…  ¡Lo siento mucho!  ¡La plantilla está arriba! Vas a ir a la carcel… 

But there is more to unravel here… What about Becky?  Is Professor Carter in on this or has he been duped?  What other authorities need to get involved?  Or do we just get to wrap this turkey up and go home?

The gag is growing thin…

Even as the Rhino breaks the fourth wall in the middle panel, looking back at us in classic Ferris Bueller style seeming to ask the question we are all asking (where the hell does this go and how does it connect to Dirty Dyer?)

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At any rate, it’s all putting Frank off his feed, so to speak, to the point that he plans to make a miraculous recovery from a feigned illness and actually go to work!

Yea… a BIG one…

Sick?  Yea- sick of work!  As Frank the Fisherman takes his twin-screws out for a day on the water (leaving his friends at the mill to wonder where he is…) he is excited by the prospect of landing “The Big One…”

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…only to become the third human to see the Rhino…

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Are we to assume that the Leathery Behemoth shook off the Canvas Cloak and swam across the lake, only to emerge on the other shore?  I guess so.  At least all the people witnessing this strange sight had grown up with enough Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom to know what they are looking at…

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.