Hagar the Horrible, 11/10/16
Well, it looks like someone at Hagar the Horrible likes to stoke my fascination with where the Hagarverse falls on the timeline of the Christianization of Scandinavia. Fun fact: the ritual slaughter of horses and eating of horsemeat was deeply ingrained into Germanic pagan ritual, so much so that the Vatican banned the practice in the 8th century as a means to promote Christianity; this is the origin of the modern-day Western taboo on eating horse. Anyway, Helga and the waiter look appalled by Hagar’s discovery, but Hagar himself is more quizzical than anything else. Maybe he’s cautiously feeling out the possibility that this restaurant is a secret hideout for crypto-pagans — and he’s interested in joining them in returning to the Old Ways, where you celebrated blót to gain fertility and good health, and then got to eat some tasty horse.
I love the weird, fossilized cultural nuggets and attitudes you can find embedded in the structural material used to build comic strip punchlines. How ancient is the use of “Wayne Newton” as a signifier for “very bad music,” do you think? Honestly, I would’ve gone with “Justin Bieber,” which is still a solid five years out of date but might tickle the irritation that the old people who read comic strips harbor for anything that’s happened in pop culture since they turned 45.
Meanwhile, I want a lot more information about these two condemned criminals, the Falcon and Guzzwanker. “Guzzwanker and the Falcon” has a better ring to it in my opinion, but maybe they aren’t a criminal duo but just happen to be scheduled for execution on the same day. Guzzwanker is a mild-mannered accountant who, if he hadn’t slipped up and left fingerprints on the murder weapon, nobody would’ve suspected of killing his parents to speed his inheritance. The Falcon, meanwhile, is a notorious international terrorist, and also an actual falcon.
“Maybe we’ll never get you convicted for murder, Starr … [one panel of dialogue that distracts you from how this sentence started] … and all four of us heard you confess to murder, so we will definitely get you convicted for it!” God, I hope that camera is still recording. The whole world needs concrete evidence of what dipshits these guys are! And, uh, evidence that Egghead is a murderer, I guess.
Mark Trail, 11/10/16
Ahhh yes, the helicopter explosion will be continuing indefinitely, just as I requested. That’s the stuff we need in these troubled times. That’s the stuff.
Hagar the Horrible, 10/29/16
“More stomachs!! Each larger than the last!! My gut distending grotesquely as the innumerable extra organs writhe unnaturally within me, groaning as they funnel massive amounts of food into my single small intestine, which can’t handle the load! But I keep shoving chicken wings down my gullet, bones and all! I’m insatiable!!” Haha, more like Hagar the Body-Horror-ible, am I right?
Mark Trail, 10/29/16
So, months later, I’m still kind of grumpy about Mark’s interminable cave adventure. But if that massive, record-breaking ant mount were to suddenly burst open into a seething mass of red ants, which flows towards a terrified Mark and Abbey like an awful, chitinous wave — well, would I consider that just compensation? Yes, yes I would.
Funky Winkerbean, 10/29/16
Far away, at an island resort, the head of R&D at Riddell Helmets watched the event on her phone and smiled. This should keep up the flow of money to our department, she thought to herself. Might as well go ahead and reserve the honeymoon suite for next year now.
Hagar the Horrible, 10/14/16
You know I’m fascinated by Hagar strips about the transition from Norse paganism to Christianity, but today’s strip is a particularly unsettling entry it that canon. Traditionally, Scandinavians believed in a sort of vaguely defined afterlife that resembled Greek and Roman versions of the underworld; the idea that there was a distinction between Hel and Valhalla, with only the latter allotted to brave warriors, comes from a late, post-pagan source, and is now widely discredited. So the idea that death might be followed by some kind of divinely ordained reward for virtue — or, in this case, awful, eternal punishment for inadequacy — is a new one, and one that some are apparently embracing with more gusto than others.
Gil Thorp, 10/14/16
Speaking of things that displease the gods: I had been holding out that we hadn’t yet seen the ritualistic season-kickoff bonfire in Gil Thorp because it precedes our heroes’ home opener. But here we are, with Milford playing its first game at Mudlark Field (note: may not be actual name of stadium) without having received the ordained benediction by fire. Already we can see the divine punishment beginning: that pouring rain will not cease until Coaches Gil and Kaz, the entire Mudlark team, and the heretical Milford school board that nixed the bonfire as a cost-cutting and public safety measure are wiped from existence in an awful cleansing flood.
Beetle Bailey, 10/14/16
One of the running bits I did in the early years of this blog was that the secret subtext of Beetle Bailey was that Sarge and Beetle were lovers, which I eventually dropped because, with changing mainstream mores and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the idea got a lot less transgressive. It’s good to see that the strip agrees with me and is upping its game when it comes to these two. I’m not sure what exactly is happening here today, but it’s definitely unspeakably perverse.