The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Why I read terrible comics such as ‘Mark Trail’ and ‘Judge Parker’

From the June 6 "Mark Trail"
From the June 6 "Mark Trail" (James Allen/North America Syndicate)
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Regarding the May 12 Free for All letter about the comic strips “Judge Parker” and “Mark Trail,” and the May 26 letter in response:

As a reader of both “Judge Parker” and “Mark Trail” for five decades, I can attest that the quality of both strips has plummeted in the past few years. The plots of both of these serial strips are absurd, filled with illogical constructs, poorly conceived endings and glaring plot holes. Gag strips can get away with such incongruities, but not serials. “Mark Trail” relies on oddly executed depictions of the main characters. It amounts to repetitive faces combined with cameos of various animals and planes/trains/automobiles that have nothing to do with the story. They evidently appear only because the artist wants to show that he’s better at drawing pelicans and boats than people. There’s nothing to “draw” me into the bland characters and their ludicrous lives. These two strips are part of our heritage; that’s why I still read them, hoping that the writers and artists might have an epiphany and learn how to craft an entertaining strip. Unfortunately, that hope has been waning for some time. 

Asher Roth, Broadlands