Archive: Hagar the Horrible

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Mark Trail, 3/6/17

Mark Trail has had exactly three writer-artists in its 71-year existence — Ed Dodd, Jack Elrod, and James Allen — and Elrod and Allen both spent extensive periods assisting their predecessors before taking over the strip. Other soap strips have seen a higher turnover in syndicate-hired personnel, and I have it on good authority that, in the absence of organized archives, some of those writers resorted to using my blog’s archives for backstory on the strips they were taking over; but Mark Trail has institutional memory when it comes to the lore, man. That’s why the strip is able to casually bring back recurring characters like fecund Quebecker Johnny Malotte, who’s been around since at least the early ’50s. So even though I’ve been reading Mark Trail every day for the last 15 years and have never heard of Johnny Lone Elk (hmmm, Mark sure knows a lot of non-WASPy guys named “Johnny”), I have full confidence that the Water-World Theme Park Disaster was a real storyline that was published in newspapers, probably in the ’70s sometime, and was extremely hilarious. I am jazzed up for this next adventure, guys.

Hagar the Horrible, 3/6/17

I honestly love how Gus maintains his weirdly bug-eyed smiling expression even through Hagar’s blurted question in the third panel. You’d better believe there’s no ham sandwich, Hagar. There’s nothing Gus loves so much as blowing people’s damn minds.

Dick Tracy, 3/6/17

There are any number of hilarious things about this strip: The Spirit sleeps in his eye mask and white gloves! The Spirit has a bedside princess phone in his hotel! The Spirit thinks that a normal, comfortable way to talk on the phone is to lie face down on the bed and sort of rest the handset against the side of his head! Still, I’m a little disappointed that my initial interpretation of panel one, which as that the Spirit slept wearing a CPAP machine, turned out to be incorrect.

Slylock Fox, 3/6/17

Oh wow, it seems the colorists for today’s strip, in which notorious person of (green) color Count Weirdly implements an incompetent terrorist attack on a ceremony honoring law enforcement, have decided to suddenly portray him as Caucasian! Way to promote #whitgenocide, Slylock Fox.

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Hagar the Horrible, 2/27/17

Oh, man, it looks like the ongoing Hagar the Horrible exploration of the Norse transition from paganism to Christianity just got simultaneously more philosophical and more real. Because when you stop believing in a pantheon of fallible deities who fight amongst themselves and start worshipping an all-knowing, all-powerful, omnibenevolent creator God, you quickly run into the problem of theodicy: why do bad things happen to good people? How can a God capable of perfect action be displeased with, or even hostile towards, His own creations? We can see that some of the vikings are having an easier time reconciling these contradictions than others.

Hi and Lois 2/27/17

At the other end of the Walker-Browne Cinematic Universe’s timeline, our heroes are grappling with a decidedly more modern problem: an economic system that crushes the lives of its laborers so thoroughly that all they can do in their off time is more work. Any God is invisible to them behind so many layers of capitalist apparatus.

Mark Trail, 2/27/17

Look, Cherry, Mark was just thinking about wolves last week, OK??? He just … is it wrong for a guy to sit around spending his spare time thinking about wolves? And for one species of howling canid to prompt a pop-culture reference to another, closely related species????? Jeez, leave Mark alone, Cherry! (Real talk: Mark seems to be having some problems, and he better get his headspace in order before he becomes “Dirty”‘s prey.)

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/27/17

Ha ha, it’s funny because … Loweezy is losing weight because she’s clinically depressed? That … that’s not funny at all, actually.

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Hagar the Horrible, 2/26/17

The half-fish sea-witches who live just offshore from Hagar’s village have a ravenous hunger for human flesh. There’s only one defense against them: because they are immortal, the sight or smell of any dead thing repulses them and keeps them at bay. Hagar is suffering here to defend his people!

Panels from Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/26/17

In the grinding rural poverty of Hootin’ Holler, even the children’s games stick close to the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Crankshaft, 2/26/17

As well you shouldn’t, Crankshaft! Literally everybody dislikes you!