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A good walk spoiled

Here’s the sort of hard-hitting commentary you come here for: What’s the deal with men in the comics and golf? Every male in the funnies, from modern-day types like Dagwood and General Halftrack to anachronistic duffers like Hagar the Horrible and B.C., pines to get back to the links the way Proust wants a madeleine. Is golf equipment intrinsically fun to draw? Does the comics community view it as a metaphor for so many of the important things in life, like walking, carrying heavy objects, and hitting things? Or do comics artists themselves hanker to be on the course so badly that they can’t get the thought out of their heads and end up drawing golf-themed strips out of desperate longing? If the latter is true, it would explain a few other things as well.

Speaking of Hagar the Horrible, some poor soul recently posed the following profound question to Ask Jeeves: “Does Hagar the Horrible have a last name?” Sadly, their resulting trip to this site didn’t answer the query. However, nameless seeker, I’ll tell you this: If Hagar were a real Viking, he wouldn’t have a last name in the modern sense, but would have a patronymic — that is, a name based on his father’s name. Leif Ericson, for instance, just means “Lief, son of Eric.” So If Hagar’s father was, say, Thor, his name would be Hagar Thorson. However, if Hagar were a real Viking, he wouldn’t play golf, either, so take all this with a grain of salt.

A linkback goes to Mike Donovan, who has his own comic. And, one final metanote: my previous post was the 100th since I began this blog! I’m very happy that it was about meth addicts in Mary Worth.

6 responses to “A good walk spoiled”

  1. Brent McKee
    October 19th, 2004 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about any of the others, but Johnny Hart (who created “B.C.” is an enthusiastic golfer, to the point where he actually has a PGA Tour event named for his comic strip — the BC Open — for which he designed the trophy. The BC Open is the event that touring pros who don’t want to fly across the Atlantic play in, since it’s held on the same weekend as the British Open.

  2. Tim Begley
    October 21st, 2004 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Congrats on your 100th posting!

  3. Mark Jackson
    October 21st, 2004 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    And it isn’t just Hart. Consider the center panel in the middle row of Sunday’s Hi and Lois (http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/comics/archive/showComick.mpl?date=20041017&name=Hi_and_Lois). And there’s been at least one “cartoonists’ golf tournament” in Jamaica; that’s where the International Museum of Cartoon Art was conceived (http://reuben.org/mortwalker.asp).

  4. Zack
    December 16th, 2004 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    Actually, there was a gag in a Fox Trot Sunday strip a few years ago about just this thing- and the characters came to the same basic conclusion you did.

  5. Buzz
    July 22nd, 2005 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    But … But … Hagar’s last name IS “the Horrible,” right? As in his contemporaries: Harald “Hardrada” (i.e. Harald the Hard-Ass), Sven “Forkbeard,” Harald “Bluetooth” and the like. Like you said, last names weren’t exactly hard-coded in the Middle Ages — they were whatever you (or your peers/subjects) wanted them to be. Apparently, Hagar really was Horrible — and so he was named.

    Then again, since hoary old Dik Browne is essentially Hagar’s father, I guess he could just as well be Hagar “Diksson,” too.

  6. gnbman
    April 17th, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    >Every male in the funnies, from modern-day types like Dagwood and General Halftrack

    >from modern-day types like Dagwood and General Halftrack

    >modern-day types

    >Dagwood and General Halftrack

    Riiiiiiiiight.

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