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Jules Rivera, the New Woman in Mark Trail’s Life

Forget Cherry, now Jules Rivera is the woman in charge of Mark Trail.

I was contacted by editors who follow my comic on social media. Once I learned about Mark Trail, I saw there was a huge opportunity in this for me and my skill sets: art, science, and drawing dudes punch each other in the face. I knew I was the right artist for this job. Nobody in comics is punchier, more action-oriented or more hellbent on saving the world with sideways knowledge than me.


The Trails: Mark, Cherry, Rusty, Andy, and Squirrel © North America Syndicate/King Features Syndicate

Over at Comics Kingdom Edgar interviews Jules Rivera.

…Character facial expressions, intensity, things exploding, guys getting decked…

But what about Cherry and Rusty?

[Cherry’s] not afraid to get her hands dirty with animals or plants. 2020 Cherry is going to be a gardener and that’s gonna get interesting. Do you have any idea how much theft and criminality is involved with gardening?

Rusty is going to be an actual 12 year old, dealing with kid issues outside of his parents (especially since he’s the age where he’s starting to rely on his parents less). He and Andy will be best friends who go on all the ill-advised adventures you can expect a 12 year old to get on.

Only three more days until the all-new Mark Trail.


above: Mark Trail © NAS/KFS; Joolz © Jules Rivera

 

Elsewhere Gary Tyrrell applauds the new cartoonists taking on old comic notables:

Olivia Jaimes on Nancy and Joey Allison Sayers on Alley Oop, Bianca Xunise as one of the Six Chix and Steenz Stewart on Heart Of The City, a whole bunch o’ folks contributing to Popeye’s Cartoon Club, but most notably Randy Milholland’s monthlong run. The odd thing is, a lot of the stodgiest of the stodgy strips come from King Features syndicate, and an awful lot of the new-life breathing is down to their editor, Tea Fougner, who has an eye for matching the right cartoonist with the right project.

And now, the stodgiest, stiffest, slowest-paced strip of them all is getting a kicking-and-screaming drag into the present day, as Mark Trail is about to get a new writer/artist.

Community Comments

#1 Lisa Davis
October/12/2020
@ 11:29 am

….wow..not that I ever thought I would get riled about a cartoon..but what a COMPLETE travesty.

…….it was the only reason I subscribed to the Washington post (well, and the bridge column)…


.it was so noticeable today…the Snake story line was inane and incomprehensible and honestly Cherry looked like she was filming Mark topless…

…..are we going to have a bit soon about her breast augmentation procedure….pathetic…

…I don’t know if this was due to the retirement of the previous Artist….but please get him/her back…

….this is terrible…I am sure there are jobs for her Writing on real wives of lost forest ……but Please get her off this strip…

#2 Cailin Walsh
October/13/2020
@ 10:57 am

I liked today’s Mark Trail, and I’m definitely in the ancient readers demographic. I think the snake story was true to what a nature writer (or blogger) would take on as an episode and the (minimal but amusing) punchline was true to the strip’s history. Admittedly I wasn’t enamored of Cherry’s new ‘do but it was skillfully done as were the characters’ overall makeovers. Huge improvement over the blurry blobby faces and static personalities of recent years. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new artist keeps the stories going.

#3 Yvonne McQuade
October/18/2020
@ 3:34 pm

I dislike the new Mark, immensely…he looks silly and bumbling ….where is his cool dignity ? Ugh

#4 Nancy Jacobs
October/19/2020
@ 8:28 am

I do NOT like the new artist for Mark Trail! This is really awful!

#5 Mike Corrado
October/19/2020
@ 2:28 pm

It really is dreadful. Sorry.

#6 Mike Corrado
October/19/2020
@ 2:31 pm

To be a little more explicit, there’s nothing wrong with the art. It’s just a lousy fit.

#7 Carl Mason
October/21/2020
@ 3:04 am

Mark Trail has been taken over by an angry woman! She is ruining a wholesome and educational comic and replacing it with a distorted view of the world. Can 2020 get any worse?

#8 Mary Ella
October/21/2020
@ 11:11 am

Carl, if an “angry woman” trying to inject some new life into a strip that hasn’t been interesting since the Carter administration is your “peak 2020” experience, I would say you’re doing pretty well.

#9 dave wrausmann
October/21/2020
@ 2:19 pm

The old weekly Mark Trail was bad enough but the “new & improved” is terrible. There used to be a touch of science/nature in the Sunday strip but I understand that will be gone.

If the creator retired or died the Washington Post should have retired the strip. It’s as if I were trying to draw Calvin & Hobbs. None of this made sense until I just now googled Jules Rivera and saw her post:
“I am currently working my webcomic series, Love, Joolz, about hard truths, weaponized femininity, and screaming at the sky.”
Just what we need in the funnies.

If the Post is trying to check off a bunch of minority boxes, I’m sure there are better artists out there who meet the criteria. Perhaps you could interview the creators of Baldo, Curtis, and Candorville for some recommendations. [Notice that I left out Reply All Lite which seems to be another fill-in-the-boxes effort by the Post.

#10 D. D. Degg
October/21/2020
@ 4:29 pm

Dave, to clear up a few things:
The new “Science Sundays” will remain, as you say, a science/nature feature but with a bit of added panache. I dare say that Jules is more closely attuned to the STEM fields than her immediate predecessors.
Ed Dodd, the creator of Mark Trail, retired in 1978 and died in 1991.
The Washington Post is a newspaper that carries/subscribes to Mark Trail, they are limited to running the strip or dropping the strip. North America Syndicate (King Features Syndicate) owns the comic and controls who writes and draws the strip.
Reply All and Reply All Lite are distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group, but owned by Donna Lewis.
We do appreciate your opinions.

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