Created by artist and naturalist Ed Dodd in 1946, Mark Trail was an environmentalist before it was fashionable to be one. Mark’s mission has always been that of preserving the American wilderness, water and wildlife for future generations. The comic has been awarded more than 30 conservation awards from private organizations and government agencies, including the American Waterfowl and Wetland Association, the Georgia Wildlife Association, the National Forest Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Today, Mark Trail is syndicated to nearly 150 newspapers and digital news outlets worldwide.
Mark Trail is now written and drawn by Jules Rivera, the second Latina woman to become a nationally syndicated comic strip cartoonist. Jules brings her background in engineering and lifelong interest in nature and the environment to Mark's adventures.
Mark Trail would never claim to be the original American nature nut-- that’s Teddy Roosevelt-- but he’s probably a close second! A reporter and photojournalist with Woods & Wildlife magazine, the outdoors is his first love, and he is proud to do work to educate people about why conservation is so important. He’s one of the last true idealists, and sometimes that’s a tough job, but fortunately, Mark’s a tough guy. And what he can’t solve with a well-placed investigative report, he can solve with a well-placed right hook. Or maybe an exploding boat.
Andy, the Trail Family dog, is Mark's best buddy and favorite wildlife adventure companion. Loyal, brave and true, Andy has rescued Mark from danger on multiple occasions. Andy has a soft spot for Rusty, and Rusty has a soft spot for him! The largest and (Cherry says) wisest member of the family!
Cherry Davis Trail
Where would Mark be without Cherry? She’s got an upbeat, positive streak that feeds her can-do attitude and makes her Mark’s number one fan. A natural with plants and animals, she runs her own landscaping business and still finds time to nurture her creative side by making art, jewelry and knickknacks that she sells online. While Mark is more driven to large-scale adventure, Cherry thrives in helping out around the local community. We also hear she makes the best pancakes in the Lost Forest!
Rusty, the youngest of the Trails, is Mark and Cherry’s 12-year-old adopted son. He’s been through a lot in his short life, but he loves living in the Lost Forest and learning about wildlife from his dad...if only his dad would learn to stop embarrassing him.
Doc, Cherry’s dad, is a devoted veterinarian, father and now a wonderful grandpa to Rusty. A supportive confidant and mentor to the entire Trail family, Doc is always there when they need him. And, as the man who taught Cherry to cook, he’d like to take some credit for those pancakes.
Mark Trail’s “boss,” the Editor-in-Chief at Woods & Wildlife, is the last holdover from the era of the three-martini lunch and still wears a suit to the office while his coworkers are in jeans. But Bill isn’t afraid to change with the times, and sometimes having a little old-fashioned insight is exactly what’s needed.
Amy Lee is the bubbly and boisterous editor of Teen Girl Sparkle Magazine, and the newest addition to Mark’s life. Don’t be fooled by Amy or her magazine: Teen Girl Sparkle readers are just as interested in the latest major corporate pollution scandal as they are in the latest lip gloss, and she and Mark just might have more in common than it appears.
Jules Rivera is an illustrator, graphic novelist, colorist, animator and writer, prompting SyFy Wire to call her “a multi-talented force in indie comics.” She is the creator of the webcomic Love, Joolz, a contributor to the Eisner Award-winning Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge) and Ringo Award-winning Where We Live, A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas (Image Comics). Jules is the co-creator of sci-fi graphic novels Spectre Deep 6 and 200.
Jules mixes her love of art with a love of science. She has a degree in electrical engineering and had a career in STEM before turning to comics. She also creates sci-fi designs for TV and film and teaches storyboarding at California Lutheran University. She lives and works in LA and goes surfing on the weekends. Her passion for science and nature, combined with her talent as an artist, makes her the perfect person to take on the Mark Trail mantle.