Mark Trail is a newspaper comic strip created by the American cartoonist Ed Dodd. Introduced April 15, 1946, the strip centers on environmental and ecological themes. In 2006, King Features syndicated the strip to nearly 175 newspapers.
When Mark Trail began, it was syndicated through the New York Post in 1946 to 45 newspapers. Dodd, working as a national parks guide, had long been interested in environmental issues. The character is loosely based on the life and career of Charles N. Elliott (November 29, 1906 – May 1, 2000), at the time a U.S. forest ranger who edited Outdoor Life magazine from 1956 to 1974. Dodd once said that the physical model for Trail was John Wayt, his former neighbor in north Atlanta.
Mark Trail, the main character, is a photojournalist and outdoor magazine writer whose assignments lead him into danger and adventure. His assignments inevitably lead him to discover environmental misdeeds, most often solved with a crushing right cross.
Trail lives in the fictional Lost Forest National Forest with his St. Bernard, Andy; veterinarian Doc Davis; Doc’s daughter, and Trail’s girlfriend and eventual wife, Cherry, and their adopted son, Rusty. “Mark reflects a reverence for God’s creatures, nature, and the conservation of woods, water and wildlife” (Hill, 2003). His assignments in recent years have involved more sleuthing than wildlife photojournalism.
11 pages/strips Mark Trail 1950
20 pages/strips Mark Trail Various
74 strips 1952