Mark Trail – Then (Dodd) and Now (Rivera)

above: Mark trail cartoonists Ed Dodd and Jules Rivera (via the Gainesville Times)

For the first time in almost 75 years the Mark Trail cartoonist won’t have a connection to Gainesville, Georgia. The Gainesville Times notes about Jules Rivera taking over:

King Features Syndicate announced Sept. 25 that Jules Rivera, Latina cartoonist from Los Angeles, will take up the torch starting Oct. 12, debuting “a new contemporary aesthetic that will return to the comic strip’s roots as a champion for environmentalism.” 

“I am excited to take up the ‘Mark Trail’ mantle to reimagine Mark for a new generation and honored to join a pantheon of such talented artists,” Rivera stated in a press release. “Dare to witness humor, action, environmental justice, women with strong personalities, mystical talking animals, gardening tips, and Mark like you’ve never seen him before. The new ‘Mark Trail’ promises to be a real trailblazer.”

above: Ed Dodd’s October 12, 1946 strip (Mark Trail © King Features Syndicate/N.Y.Post Corp.)
below: Jules’ October 12, 2020 debut (Mark Trail © King Features Syndicate/North America Syndicate)

Mark Trail’s “hometown paper” talked to Ed Dodd‘s widow about the news:

Rosemary Dodd of Gainesville, who was married to Ed Dodd, said she was “tickled to death” when she heard about Rivera becoming the new cartoonist for “Mark Trail.” 

“I’m excited about this young woman,” the 85-year-old said. “I certainly do have a bucket full of smiles. I smiled for two days because I feel like Ed deserves this, and I think ‘Mark Trail’ deserves this.”

Rosemary Dodd said she would love to meet Rivera someday and invite her to see the woods of Northeast Georgia.

When asked what her late husband would think about the new cartoonist, Rosemary Dodd replied, “I think he’s sitting on a big fat cloud and just thrilled and happy.” 

The Gainsville Times reports on the transition from Dodd to Elrod to Allen to Rivera.



2 thoughts on “Mark Trail – Then (Dodd) and Now (Rivera)

  1. It’s a running joke among MARK TRAIL fans that many panels, because of a habit of depicting animals in the foreground combined with speech balloons coming from tiny figures in the far background (or from people unseen inside houses etc.) that the animals in such panels are doing the talking. I think describing that trope as “mystical” is taking things too far, though.

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