The May 12 Free for All letter “Next time on ‘Mark Trail’: Literal shark-jumping” said that the “Judge Parker” and “Mark Trail” comic strips have declined in quality beyond the point of recovery. I could not disagree more; furthermore, the complaints about dialogue seemed petty. I am enjoying the current plots enormously. Also, unlike in most comic strips, the artwork in each strip is detailed and realistic. Such high-quality artwork is rare in the comics sections of today’s newspapers and should be encouraged.

Mark Trail has always been an action hero, and the longer and elaborate story lines are fun. “Mark Trail” is also highly educational and reminds readers about the wonders of our natural environment, which is under ever-increasing assault by humans. The use by “Judge Parker” of sudden, devastating natural disasters such as a sinkhole is not only realistic but also clever and rather cool. Such phenomena change lives instantly and provide surprises and interesting obstacles to overcome. In today’s quest for action and excitement, what’s not to like?

These unique and high-quality strips are part of our heritage and add to the richness of the comics section. Readers deserve for them to continue into the distant future.

J. Michael Picone, Falls Church