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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.