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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 03/ 4/2009

Find-the-Dialogue: Help Give Mark Trail a Silver Tongue

By Michael Cavna

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

Today, Ken the Gored Boorish Bankrupt Jealous Deer-Shootin' Wife Abuser is not the only one who needs some serious help. So, it's clear, does Mark Trail.

The second panel (right) in today's strip just cries out for writing that grabs us by the gullet. Be it something more surreal, more stilted or even just a superb non sequitur, it all addresses the same problem: Significantly more entertaining dialogue is begging to be had. And in this hour of need, we turn our attention to... other comic strips.

Surely other cartoonists can help Jack Elrod by providing superior wording. (Paging "Pickles"...Help us, Hagar.) For example, consider dialogue borrowed from today's "Candorville," where Clyde is saying: "Don't tell nobody I'm sensitive. Tha's between you an' me."

Out of Clyde's mouth: Funny. Out of Mark Trail's mouth? A fresh twist that suddenly lets us appreciate "Trail" in a whole new light.

Gary Larson used to say that when a "Far Side" caption of his was accidentally swapped with that from another feature (say, "Dennis the Menace"), both features were -- somewhat alarmingly -- immeasurably improved.

I wouldn't go that far in Gary's case, but I would say: Playing the Gary Larson Game with "Mark Trail" is especially entertaining -- nay, necessary.

Looking at any and all other comic strip published today: What adopted dialogue would you like to see Mark Trail utter today? The floor -- like the dialogue balloon -- is now yours...


As "Watchmen" hits the big screen: If you're a fan but you missed Comic Riffs's interview with "Watchmen" artist Dave Gibbons several months back, you can catch up to Gibbons's discussing his efforts to reach a new generation of fans.

By Michael Cavna  | March 4, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Cavna, have you seen this site?

He alters the text and images of comics, its hilarious!

Posted by: jessecline | March 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Candidates for Mark Trail dialog:
1. Lio (any panel)
2. Get Fuzzy, last dialog balloon
3. Baby Blues - EEEWWW! GROSS!
4. The Pirahna Club - What do I do now?
Or, combine 3 & 4.

Posted by: SpringfieldBob | March 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Today's Pickles:
"That's true. He beat the daylights out of my poinsettias with a stick last Christmas."

Or La Cucaracha:
"I wonder if Bob Barker would come over and neuter me personally."
Leading to the next Mark Trail panel:
"No, wait I already had that done."

Posted by: Montanan | March 4, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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