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And I don’t understand this

Hagar the Horrible, 6/8/05

  1. Hagar the Horrible has decided to cheat on his wife.
  2. Hagar the Horrible has decided to cheat on his wife … with Vampyra, queen of the undead!

I’m not sure which I find more disturbing. Is Hagar’s decision to stray from the marital vows he took before Odin, Freya, and all the Valkryries supposed to just serve as a setup for this joke (or “joke,” if you prefer)? Or are we going to be treated (or “treated,” if you prefer) to intermittent “Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places” strips?

I’m just a simple comics reader looking for answers. I do like the composition of the second panel though: Hagar stares off into the distance, having been made a fool of, with the word balloon containing the phrase that was the agent of his humiliation hanging mockingly over his head.

39 responses to “And I don’t understand this”

  1. Timbo
    June 9th, 2005 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    Hmm…clearly Vampyra knows Hagar already, as she tosses out her mockery without even bothering to turn and see who she’s talking to. Of course, she may just offer casual cruelty to anyone who enters her (h)airspace. That’s the Viking Way.

  2. Battlefield Streaker
    June 9th, 2005 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    At least she’s a new character. Maybe that’s what caught Hagar’s interest. She’s the first VILF to come his way in a while.

  3. Moesy
    June 9th, 2005 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Vampyra looks nothing like anyone else ever in this strip before. At least she coulda been drawn with a sexy viking costume. Then she might have made the running list of attractive cartoon women that our Cardinal men so enjoy lusting after…but no, she’s frumpy!

  4. Monkeys Uncle
    June 9th, 2005 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    I agree the composistion of this strip is wierd. The third thought ballon hanging in the first panel is just not right. I had to read it twice to make sure I was not misssing some part of this lame joke.

    On another note, in the second panel why isn’t Hagar hanging the severed head of this cruel women from his belt instead of sitting there looking dejected. Is he a Viking or not?

  5. Nala
    June 9th, 2005 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    A VILF? Bwhahahahaha!!!

  6. just mama
    June 9th, 2005 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    We should have seen this coming.

    All the times that Helga has shown up at the bar looking for Hagar, not cooked him his dinner and that dang blasted yearly bath! Helga is the one who is horrible!

    I just can not belive that he let it go though. Isn’t he a viking? A noble warrior? Is he not going to sacrifice this woman to the fjords of Norway?

    In any case, watch out comic wives, comic husbands are starting to fight back!

    Lois, get rid of your job jar. Hi is going to be looking over the fence at Thirsty’s lovely wife, Irma. Since there are no “little Thirsty’s” running around over there, she MUST be infertile. We all know Hi would love to tap that without having to worry about more children. Besides, do you think Irma wants someone with whiskey dick all the time? Hi would be a welcome change!

  7. Lysana
    June 9th, 2005 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    I’m not so sure that’s Vampyra. With that necklace, I’m thinking Wilma Flintstone (zombie Wilma, perhaps?). Since she never even looked at Hagar, she must have assumed from his bulk in her peripheral vision that it was Fred, and managed to call it right regardless.

  8. Lysana
    June 9th, 2005 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    As for Hagar’s infidelity, you gotta understand. A Viking has NEEDS. Especially ones involving zombie redheads.

  9. Bart Simpson
    June 9th, 2005 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    Clearly, she’s modeled on Patty Bouvier.

  10. fluffytufts
    June 9th, 2005 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Holy crap! It’s Wiggy from the late-and-less-than-lamented Pebbles & Bam-Bam Show. Remember her? So this is what became of her! Fending off drunken Vikings. I tell ya – Hanna Barbera sure went to hell in a handbasket, I tell ya.

  11. fluffytufts
    June 9th, 2005 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Although, she kinda looks like Mrs. Roper, also. Makes me uncomfortable!

  12. Adam-12
    June 9th, 2005 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Hagar mistakenly wandered into an Andy Capp strip; the next panel would have “pet” (does Mrs Capp have a name? Blanche maybe?) coming in and whapping Hagar over the head with her purse.

  13. fluffytufts
    June 9th, 2005 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    Mrs. Capp’s name is Flo.

  14. Islamorada Girl
    June 9th, 2005 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    Whiskey dick!

  15. laska
    June 9th, 2005 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    The joke is so lame that the beer cried itself into overflowing.

  16. Beasley
    June 9th, 2005 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    When I first saw this strip earlier today the first thing that crossed my mind was that the oddly placed word balloon was, in fact, coming from Helga across the room. I figured that the OPWB was some sort of printing/placement error. But, yeah, I see what was intended.

    I think that MY version is funnier: Helga went to the bar with Hagar but sat in the corner (unseen). Hagar sauntered up the the bar and tried to be sly. But Helga saw him…and heard him …thus giving the “simpleton” answer.

    Okay. Maybe I just read into it too much.

    /I’ll have that drink now, f-tufts

  17. johncomic
    June 9th, 2005 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    Actually, a careful reading of Hagar over the years will show that:

    a) Hagar has been using the “wife doesn’t understand me” line liberally all along
    b) the most he ever seems to get for it is a sympathetic ear… and it seems to be the most he ever expects
    c) so I suspect that’s all he’s really looking for… that the line isn’t intended as a pick-up, but simply means exactly what it says. [Such literal-mindedness is well in keeping with Hagar's behavior in general.]

    And I agree that the strange placement of the final balloon is indeed a deliberate and clever usage of comics iconography to produce the “lingering over his head” effect… after all, this guy learned his craft from a master.

  18. Wes Rand
    June 9th, 2005 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    In the second panel, is Hagar supposed to look depressed? To me it looks like he’s trying to figure out what Vampyra just said. “Did she just compliment or insult me? Is she saying she really understands me? That I have simple needs …”

    But I AM impressed that Vampyra manages to slap around not only Hagar’s ego but also insult the intelligence of his wife … all in the same one liner.

  19. johnwhorfin
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    It is a sad day when my ancestors resort to such lame pick-up lines, especially with red-haired members of the undead. It was probably the red hair that attracted Hagar in the first place; the Norseman has always had a soft spot for the those with flaming scarlet tresses.
    This may not be exactly on point, but I would advise against calling out to your bartender, “More beer, Mule!” when ordering at your local watering hole. I did so with my very favorite bartender, and was severely reprimanded. Even after showing her my fine Cafe Press t-shirt, she was not swayed. Actually, it was probably trying to explain the convoluted Byzantine plotline of Apt. 3G that put her off (just love my thesaraus). Calling her Zipper to try and reduce the damage probably didn’t help either. Live and learn.

  20. Nom du Jour
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    I always pictured Vikings as raping and pillaging at will. I guess I was mistaken. I will have to stick to BC to get historical accuracy.

  21. Islamorada Girl
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    After studying the redhead for a while, I think Hagar is trying to pick up a tranny.

  22. Smitty Smedlap
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    The horns on Hagar’s helmet should’ve gone limp in the second panel.

  23. Beasley
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Hmmmm…what does the stylized ‘c’ on Hagar’s helmet refer to? Is it, in fact, a crescent moon ?!

  24. Curious George
    June 9th, 2005 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    What Hagar doesn’t know is his wife Helga’s a tranny too.
    C’mon, huge woman-like creature who takes every opportunity to sing (or mime) bad torch songs?

    Sadly, Chris still doesn’t have the confidence to draw without Dik’s character sheets as guide.
    The first panel has Hagar’s head unnaturally twisted all the way round backward to deliver his line to the redhead.

    Shows a determination not to draw a new angle, a determination born of sheer terror.

  25. PizzaBagel
    June 9th, 2005 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    Methinks this is some kind of awful vaudeville skit from the Middle Ages. Note the spotlight on the two players. Great deadpan, Vampyra/Wilma. Love the unblinking eye-roll – and the pursed-lips smirk in panel two. Zing!

    You have to admit that if nothing else, it’s been fodder for Curmudgeon-worthy scrutiny. For that reason alone it’s better than the usual boilerplate “gags” which have been foisted upon us for years.

  26. Dub Not Dubya
    June 9th, 2005 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I think what happened is that whoever colorized the strip made an error, and Vampyra is supposed to have black hair. Thus her true identity is obvious: Jan Brady when she decided to adopt a new hairstyle. Now you know.

  27. Mr.
    June 10th, 2005 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    This is the funniest Hagar strip I’ve ever read.

    Hagar sucks.

    –And, not in a GOOD way.

  28. PizzaBagel
    June 10th, 2005 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    I’d like to see Vampyra/Wilma make appearances in other comic strips to offer her stinging observations:

    John Patterson: “I’m having yet another mid-life crisis.”
    V/W: “You should get a Crevasse, you idiot!”

    Rita Begler: “Woe is me. My daughter died in a tragic car crash, and I’ve been kicked out onto the street.”
    V/W: “Get a job, you #%$*&! jerk!”

    Pearl Foxworth: “My son was beaten into a coma.”
    V/W: “Go sit on a fence post!”

    Leroy Lockhorn: “I’m stuck in a loveless marriage.”
    V/W: “Go cry in your beer with Hagar the Simpleton!”

  29. Matt McIrvin
    June 10th, 2005 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    In the second panel he’s realized that the redhead has decided to ignore him and is looking backwards in time at her previous instantiation, who at least is still talking to him through the fourth dimension. Meanwhile, she’s been staring at a point outside of their pocket universe all along. There’s lots of advanced physics here if you look carefully.

  30. JIM
    June 10th, 2005 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    Clearly, that’s actually Helga herself in a fright wig. They’re just role-playing.

    And y’know what happens after they get home from the bar…

    VIKING MONKEY LOVE.

  31. Eric Blair
    June 10th, 2005 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    What I want to know is how lame strips like these manage to drag on year after year after year.

  32. Jay Nickola
    June 10th, 2005 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    As a wannabe cartoonist myself, I’m irritated to see allegedly professional work done so carelessly. This would have worked better as a single panel — that is, to the extent that the feeble “joke” here “works” at all. Worried that the strip would look a little bare? Then learn to fucking draw, Browne. Be Watterson and put in some unnecessary gorgeous fucking scenery. Show us the rest of the fucking pub. Give us a diverse and eccentric clientele. Hell, make it a Star Wars cantina gag. Something, ANYTHING, interesting to look at.

  33. Mr Scrod
    June 10th, 2005 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    For all the Vampyra/Wilma Flintstone commentatorists: IT’S LIL ORPHAN ANNIE, YOU CRETINS!! OK, it may be hard to tell since she’s grown eyeballs, but c’mON!

  34. Ron
    June 10th, 2005 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    No, no, no, Hagar is looking at the balloon rather than the person speaking. He’s a simpleton, get it?

  35. chopper
    June 10th, 2005 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    Y’know, if Hagar was a REAL Viking, he wouldn’t be wasting time talking to this hussy, he’d just take her right there on the bar….Berzerker style.

  36. johncomic
    June 11th, 2005 at 5:59 am [Reply]

    Jay Nickola: a hefty percentage of Watterson’s strips were barren and backgroundless. He didn’t make the mistake of confusing clutter with artistry. He included stuff when it helped him make his point, left it out when it would be a distraction from his point. Knowing how to make that call is one mark of the professional.

    Whatever else Browne fils may be, he is professional, he isn’t careless, and he can draw. Note: Jim Davis’s art is professional and accomplished, too, yet I still don’t enjoy his work. These are separate issues.

    And the fact that you choose to adopt a different perspective re clutter etc. in your own work, is also a separate issue.

  37. Curious George
    June 11th, 2005 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    >>Whatever else Browne fils may be, he is professional, he isn’t careless, and he can draw<<

    Isn’t careless?. Fact is he cut and pasted an ugly ass reverse view of Hagar’s head in frame one which looks crappy.

    Is that professional?

    Can he draw? Probably. But you could get a thousand other guys a year who could ape Dik’s line if you gave them ten years to learn.

    A real cartoonist would see this gig as the equivalent of sticking needles in their eyes every dam’ day.

    I’m not getting into the dead guys hogging all the space debate, but if you’re going to be a one trick pony, at least do the job competently is all.

  38. Edgy DC
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Why has a stream of urine starting winding towards Hagar in panel two?

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