If there is anyone I feel sorry for, it's the artists responsible for Mark Trail. Especially Jack Elrod.
Mark Trail is perhaps the longest-running shitty comic strip to date. It began in April 1946 as only what I can conclude as a sick joke against nature artists everywhere that nobody ever had the balls to stop.
For those of you unfamiliar with Mark Trail, the premise is simple - create a comic that focuses on ecology and the environment. Kinda like a flannel-shirt wearing Captain Planet, but with BUTTLOADS random and unneeded nature scenes.
The problem is that Mark Trail is not only boring, the idea of making a comic that must carry some "Earth Day-esque" message is a heck of a lot of work. In the same amount of space that it takes for Garfield to smell some lasagna or Charlie to kick a damn football, Mark Trail has to convince you to save the frikkin' planet. And you thought your boss had unreal demands.
Mark Trail always has the same formula...and it never fails to deliver:
1. Storyline is based on saving the planet.
2. There will be an assload of text to read.
3. A GIANT RANDOM NATURE SHOT (usually of an animal) will hijack the strip.
Mark Trail's problem lies with number 3 on the list. Remember, they still have to somehow squeeze the "save the earth" message in just a few panels, which makes it hard when some giant fuckin' fish is taking up half the page. But thankfully, this one quirk of Mark Trail is cause for unexpected laughs as the artist is forced to to squeeze speech bubbles near the animals. This speech-bubble misplacement often leads to the strips only saving grace; the animals appear to be talking.
Thanks fate, for making a shitty comic strip somewhat bearable. Heh.
.....thus sayeth the Bitter Old Bitch.