American comic strip character. Created in 1946 by Ed Dodd and drawn for most of its run by Jack Elrod, the strip currently appears in 175 newspapers. The main character, Mark Trail, is a clean-cut, sparkly outdoorsman who has various adventures against evil, often-unshaven villains who shout bad dialogue and commit a host of crimes, often environmental ones.

Nominally better than his daily strips, the Sunday Mark Trail comics tend to spotlight interesting facts about animals, plants, and nature in general. It often instructs readers about how to properly care for natural resources and stresses the importance of preserving the environment for future generations.

Elrod has also produced educational material for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Mark Trail is the official spokesman -- uhh, spokescartooncharacter -- for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Though I like and respect the comic strip's attitude toward nature and environmental concerns, I must stand by my long-standing opinion that the classic version of "Mark Trail" is a god-awful comic strip. But at least it's aged better than crap like "Mary Worth" and "Judge Parker."

Since 2020, the strip has been written and drawn by Jules Rivera, who has created a less clean-shaven Mark and a more humorous comic, while still putting focus on environmental protection and education. Of course, the grognards who get angry if comics ever change are absolutely furious about this. 

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