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James Allen and Mark Trail Take Different Paths

Cartoonist James Allen disclosed today that he will be leaving the Mark Trail comic strip.

On his Adventures Group Facebook page James revealed:

“Tis true – Mark Trail and I have parted ways. The strip will continue with a bit of a new direction! For the most part, I had a good time doing it, it was after all a childhood dream and how many people get to say they lived their dream?”

As to whether it was his or King Features Syndicate’s choice, James said:

“- a bit of both – I’m tired and they wanted a new direction.”

James Allen took over the Mark Trail comic strip in the Spring of 2014 on the retirement of Jack Elrod. Before that James had been assisting and ghosting on Mark Trail since, at least, early 2007.

No time was given as to James’ departure from The Lost Forest.
Or who would be replacing him on the comic.
update: From that Adventures Group Facebook thread James was asked if he would be finishing the current movie story line and replied: “not me, no and I don’t know if the new person will pick it up.”

James will continue his Edge of Adventure strip “for a while and I have a few other projects on the drawing board.”

We wish James success with future endeavors.

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
June/30/2020
@ 5:49 pm

Wondering how much this has to do with a rather offensive joke he made about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, which I can’t think of any tasteful way to hint at, so here’s a screencap of his NSFW tweet, with another example of his grade of humor right after it.

#2 Shad Daly
June/30/2020
@ 6:41 pm

@KIP I think it’s definitely related. If you are going to make jokes like that, your twitter handle shouldn’t be “My Employer’s Name”

#3 Darryl Heine
July/1/2020
@ 4:45 am

Will the new Mark Trail artist to replace James Allen become a Olivia “Nancy” James or a Steenz Heart of the City wannabe or something like that?

#4 D. D. Degg
July/1/2020
@ 6:20 am

I don’t know what you mean by this Darryl. Comics have a long history of changing cartoonists going back to The Yellow Kid.
Mark Trail has had four signed cartoonists during its 74 year life: creator Ed Dodd, Tom Hill, Jack Elrod, and James Allen. The new cartoonist (or team) will add to that number of contributors.

#5 Kip Williams
July/1/2020
@ 8:31 am

Jack Davis was an assistant for a time, early in his career. Came in handy when he drew MARK TRADE! for MAD comics.

#6 Tom Stemmle
July/1/2020
@ 12:25 pm

James! Have enjoyed your great talent on MT. We wish you great good luck on all your upcoming endeavors!

#7 Steven Walker
July/1/2020
@ 4:25 pm

At least I won’t have to worry any longer about whether or not he has suffered a massive stroke when I try to make sense of his ridiculous plots and surreal artwork.

#8 Mike Peterson
July/1/2020
@ 5:24 pm

Steven, grownups don’t dance on other people’s graves or celebrate their tough moments. Show a little class.

#9 Maureen Santiago
July/2/2020
@ 3:42 pm

I hope the new Mart trail cartoonist will focus more on nature and conservancy. Maybe even global warming

#10 Scott Hodges
July/2/2020
@ 7:09 pm

Really is a shame that it appears that King Features wants a “new direction” with Mark Trail. In all likelihood James Allen probably didn’t do himself any favors with his recent social media posts. However, I have seen other creators/artists/writers that KFS employ as “hired guns” say things that many folks in James Allen camp think are awful too. The hypocrisy is dripping. It’s a good thing Scott Adams owns Dilbert and isn’t a hired gun, like Allen was on Mark Trail, otherwise his syndicate might “cancel culture” him too. Will be interesting who they bring in to write and produce it and if they veer into today’s world of topics, like I see some other comics doing.

#11 Jon Wright
July/3/2020
@ 10:31 am

I like how the notion of terrible people being held accountable for their aberrant beliefs got renamed to something tidy like “cancel culture.” As a result, the aforementioned terrible people have been magically transformed into the victims!

#12 Chris Carroll
July/3/2020
@ 11:39 pm

You are entitled to YOUR beliefs @Jon Wright, but others are not because they don’t fit in your beliefs. Is that it? Is the cancel culture creating victims? Perhaps. But, evidently the only belief(s) people are entitled to are what YOU believe or you get held “accountable”. Seems like the definition of fascism to me. Forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism. In this case by the cancel culture mob.

#13 Chunk Plepgeat
July/4/2020
@ 12:35 am

He got fired for making crass sexist jokes about Ocasio-Cortez from the official Mark Trail Twitter account and then doubling down on his offensive nonsense when he got called out for it.

He SHOULD have gotten fired for being a hack, but you know – there just ain’t no justice.

#14 Mary Ella
July/4/2020
@ 4:31 am

If I use MY EMPLOYER’S OFFICIAL TWITTER FEED to make statements that make the company look bad, I get fired. It’s as simple as that.

Sorry to break this to all the free speech warriors on here, but posting gross, misogynistic crap (even about AOC, your punching bag of the moment) on King Features feed makes it look like King Features is okay with it. The same thing would happen if it got posted under the feed for Burger King. If the company looks bad, they lose customers.

It’s American capitalism at work—I thought you people were into that.

#15 Chris Carroll
July/4/2020
@ 8:20 am

Mary/Chuck, great, got it. Understood. All good, didn’t know his social was tied to KFS. So, hypothetical, he makes the same comments, but not under the “Mark Trail Twitter Feed” tied to say on another a personal Twitter feed, does KFS have the right to terminate him? Just trying to understand the cancel culture line here. As, it moves a lot. Because their is a lot of judging going on, because you don’t like something.

Again, Scott Adams doesn’t have this issue, apparently, and many on the left hate what he says/thinks. But, then he owns his feature and the syndicate wouldn’t dare cancel him, because they would lose a bunch of money.

#16 Dora Mitchell
July/4/2020
@ 11:44 am

@Chris Carroll, the right wing has been attempting to “cancel” people for expressing opinions they didn’t like for decades. Remember the Dixie Chicks? Heck, how about burning Beatles records? Besides, “cancelling” doesn’t actually *do* anything, you know. Look at Mel Gibson–raging anti-semite, domestic abuser, racist…and still making movies. People might lose a job and have to lay low for six months or a year, but if they’re talented, they’ll get more work (except for the rare examples who get “cancelled” all the way to prison, like Weinstein and Cosby).

Perhaps you don’t understand the ugly, hateful misogyny in that particular comment of Mr. Allen’s, but it’s writ large for anyone who isn’t willfully wearing blinders. It’s very easy to express differening opinions without veering into the kind of vile sexism Allen indulged in there. He did this to himself.

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