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Ray and Gail on the Trail of Life’s Adventures


Ray and Gail are twins, whose father died during the First World War, and whose mother dies just as they turn 18.  They are not so much on the trails of life’s adventures, as they are standing around while their friend Willie and his family plot against each other, fighting over a treasure map.

Ray cannot find a job, but his pal Willie enlists them both to join his family as crew on the yacht Monsoon. sailing off on a mysterious journey.  Willie’s Aunt Millie has a treasure map, of which a fake has already been made by Willie’s dad before the story begins.  Millie gets drugged, and then appears to go overboard and get eaten by sharks.  The art on this is unintentionally hilarious, with eagerly diving sharks and a hand sticking up out the water clutching a map.  Willie’s observation “shark sandwiches” does not add solemnity to the moment.

But it turns out Millie is fine, and a never before mentioned character, Silas Slump, was the one to steal her clothes and grab the map and get eaten.

Everyone screams and yells and fights over the map, except for Ray and Gail, who just stand around.  But as no one is minding the ship, it runs onto a reef and sinks.  Everyone except Captain Gewgaw and the mysterious Sir Ghaut get onto the lifeboat; Gewgaw and Ghaut are too busy fighting with each other, and presumably go down with the ship.

But since the series ends here I suspect the rest of them keep fighting with each other and overturn the lifeboat and they all become shark sandwiches, as Ray and Gail sink motionless to the bottom of the sea.

The art on this series is just as bad as the writing, extremely static figures, which only serves to emphasize how little Ray and Gail do in the story.

And while the line “shark sandwiches” deserved comment, I do believe the worst line comes as they discover the ship is sinking, and Ray, in his only moment of passion, yells at Willie “a fine lot of seamen you are!”

Ray and Gail: New Comics 1 – 3 (Dec 35 – Feb 36), 5 – 8  (June – Sep 36)

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