Original artwork for Mark Trail comic strip, December 12, 1988

N.p. N.p., 1988. Original three-panel artwork by Jack Elrod, dated December 12, 1988, of Ed Dodd's preeminent comic strip Mark Trail. "13244 MON 12 - 12 - 88" written in holograph non-photo blue pencil in upper left margin.

Edward Benton "Ed" Dodd, hailed from Lafayette, Georgia, and spent most of his life in Georgia. As a teen he went to work for Dan Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America. He continued to work for Beard at his camp in Pennsylvania for 13 summers. Beard tutored Dodd in writing and illustration and it was here Dodd developed his enthusiasm for conservation and ecology. He studied at Georgia Tech and the Art Students League of New York before purchasing a ranch in Wyoming in 1926. While working as a mule pack guide guide in Yellowstone National Park he began "Back Home Again," a single-panel cartoon featuring a hillbilly family from Georgia which ran until 1945.

Dodd launched his iconic environmental and ecological daily strip "Mark Trail" in 1946, adding the more educational Sunday page in 1948. Written by Dodd, drawn by artist and naturalist, Tom Hill, "Mark Trail" was an extremely early champion of wildlife conservation and environmental causes. By the 1960s the strip was distributed to about 500 newspapers through North America and loved by tens of thousands. Dodd continued the series until Hill's death in 1978, after which it was continued by assistant, Jack Elrod. Dodd, a widely respected conservationist, was also the author of several books on conservation, camping, hunting, National Parks and animals.

Jack Elrod first met Ed Dodd while a Boy Scout, Dodd being a Scout leader. He began working on "Mark Trail" as a background artist and letterer in 1950. In 1978, shortly after Hill's death, Ed Dodd retired. Elrod continued the strip, drawing it under both Dodd's and Elrod's names, until his retirement in 2014 with assistant artist James Allen taking over the strip.

17.5 x 5.5 inches. Black ink on heavy paper stock. Near Fine, two small pinholes in upper corners.


[Book #146116]