Comic mark the trail just announced a big redesign today: Jules Rivera will take over the tape from next October 12, bringing his STEM background to a character who has championed environmentalism for over 50 years.
Still syndicated to over 150 newspapers, mark the trail will get a 21st century update with contemporary storylines and a bigger focus on Mark’s little-seen wife and son, Cherry and Rusty.
But Rivera has shoes to fill: although the band was created by Edward Benton Dodddesigner jack elrod took over after Dodd’s death in 1978 and made Mark Trail a campy cult favorite for its sometimes bizarrely on-the-nose storylines and bizarre nature legends.
Elrod drew the strip until his death at age 91 in 2016. Cartoonist james allen subsequently took over, but of late had been subject to reprints as a new cartoonist was sought.
And they found it in Rivera. Best known for her webcomic Love Joolz – which we literally just spotlighted yesterday in A Year of Free Comics – she’s now the only Latinx female cartoonist syndicated daily. A former electrical engineer with a passion for surfing and gardening, Rivera plans to return to mark the trailhis roots as a champion of environmentalism.
“I am delighted to take over the mark the trail mantle to reinvent Mark for a new generation and honored to join such a talented pantheon of artists. Dare to witness humor, action, environmental justice, women with strong personalities, mystical talking animals, gardening tips and Mark like you’ve never seen him before. New mark the trail promises to be a true pioneer,” Rivera said in a statement.
“When we began our search for the next mark the trail cartoonist, we knew we needed someone who could genuinely bring the Trail family to new audiences,” said Fougner tea, editorial director of comics at King Features Syndicate. “Jules’ work speaks for itself and his passion for conservation and comics makes him an ideal person to reinvent mark the trail. Its thoughtful yet humorous approach makes environmental issues accessible, educational, and fun while honoring Mark Trail’s roots as a classic adventure comic.
The band’s return to its environmental roots couldn’t be more timely, but a focus on the environment has long been part of its legacy: over the years it has won more than 30 conservation awards from private organizations and from government agencies, including the American Waterfowl and Wetland Association, Georgia Wildlife Federation, National Forest Recreation Association, National Wildlife Federation, US Coast Guard and US Fish & Wildlife Service.
You can read mark the trail online at https://www.comicskingdom.com/mark-trail. And while you wait for Rivera’s run to start, check out some of that old Elrod stuff because it’s WILD.