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Analysis: Mark Trail v marijuana growers

Cyriaque Lamar has a funny piece on last month’s Mark Trail story-line about finding Mark going “John Rambo on marijuana farmers.” I admit, I missed the whole story and am not that familiar with the strip as a whole, but she makes a good point about how much wildlife is peppered throughout the strip.

But the main reason this particular arc is so damn magical is because Mark Trail is the absolute worst medium to tell a taut crime story. This goes back to artist Jack Elrod’s tendency to obfuscate the action with close-ups of animals.

So when Ranger Tom Martin is kidnapped by pot farmers, the reader is treated to consistent photo-bombs by deciduous fauna. If there is ever a Mark Trail movie, every other frame will be interrupted by a nosy muskrat or nutria or marmoset. And the below strips are just the ones that ran during April. Mark Trail’s wedding pictures likely occurred during a joint locust swarm/salmon migration.

Community Comments

#1 Brian Steinberg
May/1/2012
@ 11:06 am

This is a common theme in Mark Trail art, and something I’ve blogged about extensively on my Comics Examiner blog

http://www.examiner.com/article/those-pesky-mallards-return-to-steal-mark-trail-s-spotlight

There is a school of thought that “Mark Trail” consists of older storylines and art that are being refreshed, and that the big animal shots help obscure artwork that is no longer modern (not that most of Mark Trail looks particularly au courant).

#2 Donald Rex Jr
May/1/2012
@ 2:22 pm

Mark Trail was always its own nitch, it seems silly to expect it to jump the track now,

#3 Mike Peterson
May/2/2012
@ 3:59 am

There is very little wit involved in taking on the daily Mark Trail strip for doing what it has done so for a very long time.

Or Apartment 3G. Or Mary Worth. Or Family Circus.

We get it. Hipsters are very witty and have little tolerance for those four strips. And they don’t much like Gil Thorp, either.

And apparently their finely-tuned sense of irony doesn’t see anything odd in endlessly, repeatedly declaring that the same half dozen strips lack originality.

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