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Comics archive! Hagar the Horrible

French fries made from the finest potatoes brought back from Vinland

Hagar the Horrible, 9/26/16

I’ve slowly come to believe that the episodes of Viking life we see in Hagar the Horrible aren’t disconnected vignettes in some timeless comic-strip eternal now, but actually a coherent story told out of sequence, if only we can piece it together. Today, I think, comes somewhere close to the end. Usually it’s Hagar and Eddie and their band who are raiding castles, as you would expect from a mobile band sustained by plunder. But now they find themselves in the position of defending a castle. Presumably they managed to capture a stronghold, somewhere in the temperate south, and after butchering everyone inside decided to trade their thatched fjord-side huts for the chance to live like Frankish barons. And what did they get for it? Just the responsibility of fighting off the next band of Norsemen who came sailing up the river in their longships. The men have gone all soft, expecting the comfort of prepared food instead of just scarfing down whatever could be hunted or gathered. Was it worth it? Was this really victory?

Dick Tracy, 9/26/16

Ooh, looks like Dick Tracy is going to do an Aliens Are A Metaphor For Those We Deem As “Others” plotline, beloved in scifi and scifi-ish franchises everywhere! Haha, who could’ve guessed that when Dick Tracy did a plot where the government set up internment camps, Dick would be against them.

Etymological antics

Hagar the Horrible, 9/19/16

Just to prove to you the lengths I go to in order to make my silly jokes about comics on my blog, here are some fun facts I learned while researching today’s Hagar the Horrible:

  • The common origin story of coffee cultivation — that an Ethiopian shepherd noticed goats getting jumpy when they ate certain berries — is probably a myth. The first written record of coffee being drunk comes from Yemen in the 1400s, which explains why there’s no coffee for Eddie to drink, five centuries earlier and thousands of miles to the north.
  • Anxiety and worry are the end products of parallel linguistic evolution: both ultimately descend from words (in Latin and proto-German, respectively) that mean “to strangle.”

Anyway! I don’t know if those facts add up to much, except that maybe Eddie — who Hagar has already turned his back on in that final panel — has felt phantom hands around his throat for a long time, and it has nothing to do with caffeine withdrawal.

Gasoline Alley, 9/19/16

I’ve been reading the non-adventures of the chumps in Gasoline Alley for more than a decade and while I’m vaguely aware that they’re all part of a huge, sprawling family, I still couldn’t tell you how any of them are related to any of the other ones. Beardy Dude and Ranger Gal are thus connected by a tenuous web of kinship, though that didn’t come up when he guided her forest birth; it’s sort of coming out now, not that I can really follow what the hell’s going on in panel two. Are they visualizing … each other, but younger? Each visualizing his younger self? Why does the kid in the rightmost thought balloon have three legs? Why does he have three legs? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY DOES HE HAVE THREE LEGS

Slylock Fox, 9/19/16

I just want to point out that Slylock is a compulsive ratiocinator. Like, he does it to solve crimes when he doesn’t even need to. “So, I saw the whole thing go down with my own eyes, all you need to do is take down the information. The ape parked his car in the deale–” “IT’S THE ONE WITH THE LICENSE PLATES!!! Right? Right? I said it before you said it! IN YOUR FACE, RABBIT!”

Marvin, 9/19/16

Guys, it’s Monday, so I just want to leave you with an uplifting image: an infant with a thousand-mile stare, openly worrying that someday — maybe someday soon — he’ll become unmoored from any conventional system of morality and perpetrate unspeakable horrors. Let’s all have a super week!

Let’s chat by the water cooler (our only source of sustenance)

The Lockhorns, 9/6/16

“Like, take the guy who designed this building. How high do you think that ceiling is? Six feet? Six and a half? I’d like to use the democratic process to let that architect know what I think of him! Too bad we can’t. Too bad he works for the Management of this building, which is an enormous edifice built on the post-apocalyptic wasteland that used to be ‘outside.’ Or that’s what they say, anyway. I’ve never seen a window. Have you? Has anyone? How many generations has humanity been inside this fortress? Has anyone seen the Manager, who has enslaved us to inscrutable busywork under the eternal glare of flickering fluorescent lights? Did you catch the big game last night? Working hard or hardly working?”

Gil Thorp, 9/6/16

Oh hey, now that phenom QB True Standish is off to anchor the Wake Forest Demon Deacons’ 114th-ranked offense, I guess there’s a new quarterback battle shaping up in Milford! Soon enough we’ll learn if Kevin Pelwecki is a standard-issue “overly cocky high school athlete” of the sort we get once a year, or actively delusional!

Hagar the Horrible, 9/6/16

Legitimate shoutout to Hagar the Horrible for depicting how the only way to truly survive war with your mind intact is to pretend your enemies aren’t human! The carnage behind Hagar and Eddie is particularly great — but nothing compared to what happened to Eddie’s soul.