Mark Trail

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Mark Trail is one of the Print Long Runners of newspaper comics, first introduced in 1946 and written by Ed Dodd. The comic focuses on Mark Trail, a photojournalist and outdoorsman for a magazine. His assignments always lead him into danger and misadventures in the Lost Forest National Forest. Joined by his friends and family there, most strips had him discovering some environmentally unfriendly evil-doer that he would punch out, and then tell about the endangered animal of the week.

It's often poked fun at by The Comics Curmudgeon, and is ripe Snark Bait due to its over-the-top green aesops. Also notable for demonizing the endangered elephant into something that is a danger to all in one strip.

Tropes used in Mark Trail include:
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: It frequently featured miscolored animals, such as ducks with green bodies and brown heads (instead of the other way around) and baby-blue chicks. Who often grow to the size of Buicks and talk out of their butts, but that's another issue.
  • An Aesop:
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Mark Trail has no nipples.
  • Asexuality: Some would say Mark is an asexual.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: In a ludicrous strip once, it was said that a man who abuses his wife was under stress from work would be all fixed and a good husband if he adopted a child. Um... No.
  • Beard of Evil: Played straight. More explanation here.
  • Bold Inflation: Often when something GASP-inducing happens.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Beards are evil, long sideburns are evil, and bald is sometimes.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Played terribly straight. Start your sentence with "Um," and you're a villain.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Andy, Mark's St. Bernard. Once untied a captured Mark with his teeth.
  • Narm
  • Off-Model: Ed Dodd was very talented when it comes to drawing animals, but sometimes his rendition of people... suffered. This was one of the reasons why the shots in the frame were zoomed in on an animal with the speech bubbles coming from an unseen human to the side of the panel, giving it the unintentionally hilarious effect of looking like the animals are the ones spewing exposition.
    • The current artist, Jack Elrod is even worse at drawing humans than Ed Dodd was—his rendition of Rusty for instance has been nicknamed "the Elrod Abomination" by more than a few. Fortunately, Elrod is at least in the same league as Dodd was when it comes to drawing wildlife.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Happens a few times
  • Print Long Runners
  • Purity Stu: Mark.
  • Spock Speak: Contractions and informalities are apparantly forbidden in Lost Forest.
  • Standard Fifties Father: Mark again.
  • Two Decades Behind: Possibly literally; in one 2008 comic strip he tells the kid he's taking with him to leave his mp3 player cassette boom-box at home.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: In one story Mark Trail loses his beloved puppy. This apparently is so important that an enormous picture of the dog is put on the news paper's A section, and a two column story on it.