The Bee recently tweaked its comics page, first dropping and then reinstating Mark Trail. Apparently the eco-friendly strip had more friends than Bee editors expected, given the flood of mail they received. It had been dropped to make room for new material, so when the decision was made to put Mark Trail back into the newspaper, something had to give. The editors dumped Prickly City, a politically conservative strip that suffered from a humor shortage and a lack of creativity. (One strip was a direct rip-off of Walt Kelly's Pogo: “Are we the most intelligent life in the universe?” “Either way it's pretty scary.”) However, the strip was not without its defenders.
From the June 2, 2006, Letters to Scene:
Let's see here. Duke is a chain-smoking and drug-abusing alcoholic who is constantly on the make. His most recent gig was graft and corruption in the appropriately named Iraqi town of Al Amok, where he skimmed off reconstruction monies.
I was sorry when Mark hit the Trail, but I found him at another newspaper online—and in color!—and I'm very glad he and company are back in The Bee.
But not at the expense of “Prickly City”! Talk about adding fuel to the fire of apparent “liberal bias.” ... “Prickly City” is the needed counterpoint to the flaming-liberal portrayals of the “Doonesbury” characters (except for Duke—he's pretty red state).
Thanks for the quality product and important service. But quit messin' with the comics!
John Munro, Sacramento
By golly, John got it right: Duke is the perfect representative of a true red stater.