Hagar the Horrible
Hagar the Horrible, 12/5/13
Like many Vikings, Hagar typically returns from his missions of plunder in the more civilized parts of Europe to his simple thatch-roofed house in Scandinavia. But now it appears that, just as Rurik led his followers to settle permanently in Russia and Rollo led his to Normandy, Hagar is turning his back on his desolate homeland and is setting up shop further south. It’s not clear whether he purchased this castle from some impoverished and presumably terrified minor aristocrat with loot he plundered elsewhere or if he just killed everyone inside and is going to move his family in without even bothering to wash the blood off the walls, but one thing’s certain: as far as Helga’s concerned, these are just temporary digs, a defensible base for their clan to occupy while Hagar steals more treasure and gathers more followers until he’s ready to conquer a truly grand palace where she can live in style. Haha, barbarian women, amiright fellas?
The Lockhorns, 12/5/13
One way that Loretta keeps herself entertained is by coming up with increasingly convoluted ways to say that her husband is a desperate alcoholic.
Hagar the Horrible, 11/20/13
Isn’t this the way of the world? You try to rule your corner of 9th century Europe with grace and dignity, administer justice to the peasants, use the carefully stewarded wealth of your little dukedom or county to add a little splendor to your court — as much as anyone can expect in this fallen age — only to have a lifetime’s work destroyed in a day by vicious pagan raiders from the North. And then, to add insult to injury (and the injuries to your soldiers and servants, injuries dealt out by blood-soaked Norse swords, are quite literal), your son, your own flesh and blood, cares nothing for the meticulous day-to-day of rulership to which he’s the heir, but only dreams of adventure and travel and plunder and murder, and idolizes the unlettered savage who has burned everything you’ve ever loved.
Once upon a time Heathcliff had dreams, too, dreams of an empire of cake. We can only guess at what disappointments he’s suffered since, but we should perhaps be alarmed at the great lengths he’s going to this morning to announce his overwhelming ennui to the world.
In order to put today’s Rex Morgan, M.D., into its full delightful context, we need to backtrack to yesterday’s strip. Heather, the Morgans’ long-ago former nanny who they decided to fire because they wanted to raise their daughter themselves but then she quit before they could fire her so she could start a day school where they’d send Sarah anyway, has now decided to sell that day school so she can monitor her lunatic husband full-time instead:
Panel from Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/13/13
Aw, Happy Otter Schools! That sounds nice!
Rex Morgan, M.D., 9/14/13
…nice for other children, that is. Lesser children. Sarah is different and shouldn’t have her mind contaminated by some garbage Canadian McPrivateschool chain. Only the very best and most elite schools are good enough for Sarah. Sarah’s non-Morgan classmates, who have also been Heather’s beloved pupils, will not be hearing anything about this “really good” school. The name is probably in some language that poor people don’t even speak!
Hagar the Horrible, 9/14/13
Oh, look, it’s apparently complaining about double negatives week in the comics! I’ll say this for Hagar: it’s at least true that negative concord was not a feature of Old Norse. (In fact, that may be why it’s absent from Northern English dialects!) So, props for historically accurate linguistic peevery, I suppose.
In other news, Hagar the Horrible is doing the “Hagar tries and fails to cheat on his wife” thing it does every few years or so.
Mark Trail, 9/14/13
Now we know why Senator Mason is so eager to drill for oil in Lost Forest: his daughter’s boyfriend desperately needs petroleum byproducts to maintain his magnificent pompadour. Our nation’s current strategic reserves simply aren’t adequate for the task.
Welcome to today’s Blondie, where the punchline only offers that element of surprise necessary for humor to those readers who are so senile that they have no idea what month it is. Do these guys know their audience or what?
Hagar the Horrible, 7/16/17
You know, somewhere among the many, many posts I’ve written about how Hagar the Horrible whitewashes the Vikings’ well-documented history as bloodthirsty murderers and thieves, you might start think that I’m missing the joke, which is that the whole point of Hagar’s pillaging strips is to contrast the general good nature of the characters with the actual historical carnage. I promise I’m not! I just think it’s funny to reverse it back to a more realistic configuration. I do sometimes wonder though if even the toilers down at Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC have forgotten about the strip’s central conceit, but I take installments like today as pretty strong evidence that they haven’t. “Ha ha, the people who live here sure care about their landscaping! Let’s hack them to death with our swords, steal all their stuff, enslave their children, and burn their castle to the ground.”
Whew, you guys, Spider-Man was saved from unmasking by a combination of his spidey-sense and the quick thinking of his antagonist’s mom. It’s cool to see our noble hero being totally unable to let this thing go. “Will this curious little scamp grow up to be a murderous supervillain? Probably! Will I have to kill him to keep the world safe? Almost certainly! Can’t wait!”
As we’ve discussed, the venerable Heathcliff is a secret hotbed of surreal whimsy these days. Sometimes, though, it’s just jokes about birds shitting on you.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/16/17
“And I paid this nice lady with the camera-phone to record it! Just pretend she’s not here. But, you know, make sure she can always see your face.”
Better Half, 6/9/13
Sundays are great because we get a quadruple dose of the Parkers, the adorable, relatable couple we know so well. What ordinary life problems are these two grappling with this weekend? Clockwise from top left:
- Harriet is so unhealthily obsessed with her weight that she literally fantasizes about losing parts of her body, just so that she can see that number on the scale get smaller.
- No matter what time of day or night it is, Stanley is just sitting around the house, hazily slipping in and out of consicousness.
- Meanwhile when Harriet falls asleep, she immediately falls into the grips of intense anxiety dreams.
- Stanley’s body is falling apart.
Hagar the Horrible, 6/9/13
As a bloodthirsty Viking chieftan, Hagar has sacked and burned countless villages across Europe, and rules his own warrior band by threat of brutal violence. It should really come as no surprise that somebody’s trying to assassinate him.
Here’s a sentence that’s probably never been written: I don’t understand Archie’s emotional arc here? Veronica’s dialogue in panel one is stereotypical “Ha ha the ladies like to gossip about their network of relationships with other ladies and we hate that amiright fellas” talk. But what are Archie’s sweatballs in panel one supposed to represent? Is he already nervous about being cruelly snubbed by Ronnie for daring to ask for some quiet study time? That would seem to undercut the vague surprise of the punchline, then. Is it sexual arousal, always a good bet with Archie? Is he saying that the reality of Veronica’s conversation is interfering with his ability to think sexy thoughts about her? Those word-balloon icicles are perhaps well deserved.
Hagar the Horrible, 3/7/13
So, mild historical accuracy: It’s true, that, in their colonization of Greenland in the 10th through 15th centuries, the Norse came in contact with the Inuit! Inuit names tend to be polysyllabic, though, and not, you know, incoherent grunts, but sure, let’s have Hagar talking to “Oog.” And let’s give Oog slits for eyes too! Why not!
Unironic praise: Nearly everything about this is perfect, from the fish-costume’s terrifying eyes and weird fin-feet that would be very difficult to stand up in, to Heathcliff just standing there with his hands behind his back, dreaming of ripping open the great fish and feasting on its hundreds of pounds of succulent flesh, to the bored dude with the hair in his eyes inside the costume, who isn’t being paid enough to deal with any of it.
The Lockhorns, 3/7/13
“But I’ve finally managed to poison mine! Now help me move his body to the car so we can go dump him in the river.”