Saturday, February 07, 2015

Dik Browne. Hagar the Horrible on the Loose #3 (1974)

     Dik Browne. Hagar the Horrible on the Loose #3 (1974) When Hagar first appeared, he was a lovable overweight naif, unable and unwilling to live the respectable life, addicted to misbehaving, kept on a shortish leash by his wife Hilda, flummoxed by his daughter Loni who wants to be a Viking raider like him, and flummoxed even more by his son Hamlet who reads and writes poetry. He’s been around now for forty years, and not much has changed. Hagar still goes on regular raiding journeys to England, still drinks too much beer and eats to much venison, still gets into scrapes that would destroy a lesser man. Browne makes no attempt to show Viking life realistically. Hagar is a 20th century suburbanite with an unusual career, is all. He’s also shrewd, loyal (usually), and rather sweet on Hilda. That makes the strips comments on contemporary life. Here are some of my favourites in this collection, ones that work as well in straight print as in a strip. Many Hagar strips depend on the drawings, they’re visual puns, bizarre situations, and so on.

Hagar: Don’t you see it? It’s a joke...
    Aw, women have no sense of humor.
Hilda: Oh Yeah? Then how come we marry men?
Hilda: You’re Crazy!!
Hagar: Well, if I’m crazy, you made me crazy.
Hilda: I did not! You were crazy when you married me!!
Hagar: I’ll drink to that! [Hilda grimaces]
Hagar [sucking up soup]: SLURP! SLURP!
Hilda: Oh lovely! Just lovely!
Hagar: Thank you.
Hilda: That’s sarcasm, stupid!
Hagar: Well, whatever it is – it tastes good.
Hagar: What are you looking at?
Lucky Eddy: I never saw you without your hat.
Hagar: So?
Lucky Eddy: How do you get it on over your horns?

OK, so you may not roll on the floor laughing. But Hagar is still worth a look, you’ll spend a pleasant few minutes every time you open a Hagar collection. Warning; this is potato chip reading. **½

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