Saturday, November 24, 2007

Somebody Is Going to Get Shot in Mark Trail

Johnny, busy with "heading" his boat back home as if it were some kind of work animal, fails to notice the watchful eye of a myterious cossack rifleman lingering amid the prolific waterfront fauna. Some sort of marsh penguin waits pensively for any signs of action.

Johnny Appreciates Ranger Red's Friendship, Creepy Midnight Escort to the Dock

The aggressive French Canadian subdued and eager to boat home, Ranger Red returns to his dock beat, grimacing with pride at another job well done. Johnny's ever-shrinking watercraft suggests that the Mark Trail equivalent of Willy Loman is only a few hits in the credit report away from downgrading to a stryofoam cooler and a personal motorized fan. His ever-bloating face in Panel 3 suggests "come and eat with us soon, before I consume every edible morsel in my destitute family's house."

Monday, November 19, 2007

French Canadians Are Essentially Dogs

Awkward banter aside, Bull's camp successfully swiped Johnny's customers, and it's going to take more than pathetic name-calling to resurrect his naturish enterprise. Ranger Red manages to tame the beast with a calm-but-firm pat on the head, reducing a belligerent camp wrangler to a fist-pounding, soft-eyed creep in Panel 2. A little coffee will be had, yet one can't help but wonder how many panels it will take before this helpful ranger suggests the services of one woodsy journalist to salvage his floundering business.

Johnny Ambiguously Threatens in Front of Authorities

The hoe-wielding skirmish between Johnny and Bull has finally been broken up by the ranger and his band of cossack sailors. Malotte continues to make threats in spite of a fevered plea from that yellow-shirted guy's knee cap, which doesn't seem to faze the ranger at all. What he has lost in mustache girth, he more than compensates for in eyebrow growth, so perhaps Johnny's threats aren't as empty as they have been over the past two weeks. Mark is still unavailable for poorly worded comment.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Recap Part 3: Scuffling, Followed by Rangers

Like all swarthy men before him, Johnny's heart is pure, his loins are potent, and his mustache is ferociously uncomfortable. But below that mass of tight, glistening curls lies a firey mind incapable of mercy or composure, one that will stop at nothing until the Malotte name is unsullied, avenged, or the surname of every caucasian on earth.

But Paul's empty-handed return to the camp is doubtlessly the most unswarthy blow to Johnny's sporting camp yet, and the man you see in the panel above is not the man you will see just 10 days later. Witness the disintigration of a gentle mind:

Johnny's concerned, but not enough to touch his face. This is clearly an unsettling gesture.

It's difficult to grasp Johnny's state of mind when his body language suggests so many intense, seemingly unrelated emotions. He's eager to hear Paul's explanation, but it looks as if he's going to run away before the color-coordinated lad can conclude his frayed excuse. Is he losing weight or gaining it? Again, impossible to tell. Paul is still holding the oar for a reason.

Fear begets rage in the Malotte household, and after hearing that pant-sy camp competitor Bull Malone is behind the boat-soaking, Johnny's has no recourse but to head down the only road he's ever known in the unscrupulous world of commercial outdoorsy stuff.

It's going to take more than a frightened, possibly pregnant wife to convince Johnny that Bull's boastful ways don't warrant gunplay. Thankfully, a desire to taste the flesh coaxes Malotte away from his firearm.

Violent ambitions aside, Bull proves to be quite the adversary after Johnny stops talking to himself on the dock. Strangely enough, both pugilists in the Mark Trail universe can sustain more than one hit before conceding defeat, leading to several panels of implausible action.

Only when Bull takes the fight about 30 times too far do the ranger and his rangery cap decide that they've seen just about enough. There won't be any hoes impaling skulls on their watch.

And that's were we stand--two weeks have passed, emotions have been put on physical display, and our eponymous hero is nowhere to be seen. Stay tuned for more gripping episodes of the most enjoyable Mark Trail saga ever.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Lied, Here's Recap Part Deux

Paul ponders his failure to procure business for the hunting camp and the impending bite of his father' s best extension cord. Who's to blame for this pant soaking, and why?

Bull Malone, owner/operator of a competiting camp and the sexiest jerk in the woods, caught wind of Johnny's friend-recommending plans and took matters into his large, large coat collar. Clearly fluent in the preferred body language of all Mark Trail characters, Bull assures the pensive businessmen with a hearty tug of his pants that his camp is as better than Malotte's as his pants are deep and wide. Mister Johnson tugs his blazer to signal his approval, and the usurping is complete. The apparantly eldest Mallote son is in for the extension cord lashing of a lifetime.

Fray on, Paul's jacket, but fray carefully, because this recap isn't over yet.

NLR Is Back; Let the Recap Begin

No excuses, let's just begin and pretend the last 3 months never happened....

The airport birdstrike saga wrapped up as follows:

Buzzard kidnaps Sammy Sam Sam,
Mark punches Buzzard once, defeats Buzzard,
Mark goes to question Leo and Lawson, Leo voluntarily caves,
Everyone goes to jail, Mark grimaces with pride at another closed case,
Mark returns home to Lost Forest, having never written the birdstrike article he set out to write.

This took roughly 30 strips to conclude. After that, somebody's love for a duck prevented totally capitalist developers from building a Mall on fragile wetlands. Mark grimaced with pride and accomplished nothing he set out to do. Yes, this is a trend you're witnessing.

And now the shaky foundations for another Trail saga have been set, the first quivering stones being laid by impossibly mustachioed Trail buddy Johnny Malotte:

By the looks of his ravenous brood, Johnny has obviously been working hard to clear up the misconception that his camp is a place to hunt and fish, not to be hunted and fished. It's going to take all of the children and a coffee cup chock full of badgering optimism to land this friend-recommending deal. Johnny taps Paul's stomach goiter to pick up the clientele.

The goiter's plans take an unexpected turn, however, when a mysterious boat appears from the ether, in one of the surest hurries Paul's young cap has ever seen.

Unable to stray from the prime objective, young Mallotte is reduced to bold-lettered stammering.

Eventually, the bigger, stronger boat overtakes Paul's dinky one-prop vessel, dashing the hopes of a timely arrival at the trading post. Panel three finds the saboteur's boat reflecting loudly on his pilot's intentions.

And that's where the recap begins and the steamy strip-by-strip coverage takes over. Please enjoy. I won't let you go this time, promise.