Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mark Trail Goes with the Wind

The current artist/writer of the comic strip Mark Trail just seems to go from strength to strength. As I mentioned in an earlier post (A Marked Improvement for Mark Trail) James Allen has brought some dynamic and contemporary graphic story-telling techniques to this 50-year-old strip.

And, beginning with this sequence from May 28-30, 2016, Allen also seems to have raised the heat. In this story arc, Mark and two friends are trapped in a cave by coyotes (not the animals -- the immigrant smugglers) and are forced to find a new exit. (Another sign that Allen's pulled this strip out of the 1950's)

Carina slips and tumbles into an underground pool. Mark Trail dives in after her. And then...

Is it getting hot in this cave or is that just me?

It's a great sequence, and any steaminess attached to a basic first-aid technique is part of James Allen's artistry. Not the positioning of Mark and Carina in the second panel of the middle strip.  Look familiar? It should.

The male figure looking down on the female he's holding is often tied to romance and passion. See the poster at right.

While Trail squelches any such ideas immediately, it's still something that -- however briefly -- entered the strip. And I suspect not for the last time.

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