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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 06/22/2009

Is 'Hagar' Not Horrible? Time to Defend That 'Toon

By Michael Cavna


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Today, we introduce a spankin'-new Comic Riffs feature titled "Defend That 'Toon," which each week will test the reader popularity of this or that particular comic strip. First up: "Hagar the Horrible."

(This, by the way, comes on the heels of a flurry of impassioned response last week over the relative merits of "Family Circus" -- and whether you would move it to KidsPost.)

Comic Riffs kicks off "Defend That Toon" with "Hagar" because -- unlike "Family Circus" and most other strips in The Post -- it is a legacy strip. That is, a feature in which the original creator (in this case, Dik Browne) has died and the strip has been continued by family members. (Also known in fan parlance as a "zombie strip," natch.)

"Hagar the Horrible," now in its 36th year, is said to be carried in nearly 2,000 newspapers -- a fairly staggering number compared with most features of more recent vintage. Yes, the vermilion-bearded Viking has proved to be remarkably resilent, impervious to social change, fashion trends and shifting mores. Times may change, but marauding, pillaging and conjugal sniping, it seems, are eternal.

So this week's question to you: Does "Hagar the Horrible" deserve to retain its real estate on The Post comics page? (Note: This exercise is all in good, nonbinding fun.)

If you're not a "Hagar" fan, feel free to Impugn-That-Toon. But if you are a fan, then here's your chance to Defend That 'Toon.

By Michael Cavna  | June 22, 2009; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  Defend That 'Toon  
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As far as legacy strips go, Hagar is still pretty good. I read it daily, and unlike most other legacy strips, I don't roll my eyes at it. I'd say it's worth hanging onto.

Posted by: Roto13 | June 22, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

After 36 years Hagar deserves to stay. I've been following him and his exploits since I started reading the comics. I look for to seeing him in my local paper, "The Virginian Pilot".

Posted by: BobbyWoods | June 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hagar should have been replaced by 'Raising Duncan' but like Al Pacino in Godfather III, Chris Browne got dragged back in.

Face it, all the strips of Walker/Browne Industries are pretty disposable. Here is my battle royale amongst them from a few years back:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hagar pretty well owns the Viking demographic. I foresee no competition there.

While I sometimes — often — forget to read it, I usually enjoy Hagar when I take time to read every strip in my local paper. It's one of the few strips that I could understand as a kid, aside from the alcohol- and plundering-related humor.

Posted by: goldpress | June 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Definitely keep HtH. Every day, I read the strip and then look at my list of "eleven HtH jokes" and mark the date and up the tally.

Right now, it's VERY close, with Hagar standing on a cliff with Lucky Eddie just ahead of them about to storm a castle but delaying that whilst a discussion with the king.

In case you care, "Honi discussing marriage" is in eighth place.

Posted by: filfeit | June 22, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Dump it.

Posted by: gorilla_monsoon72 | June 22, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Raising Ducan and Hagar are must reads, daily. Keep Hagar and thank heavens both are on line...
The SA Express-News gave up on both quite awhile back. So, WP, keep printing!

Posted by: ZeldaJane | June 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Bil Keane is not dead, but he has passed the strip on to his son. That counts as a legacy in my book.

Dump Hagar. It's never been funny.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 22, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The Post has a mixed record on handling zombie strips.

Parker / Hart zombie conglomerate:
1. "B.C." by Johnny Hart (died 2007; strip now credited to daughter Perri Hart and grandson Mason Mastroianni) - WaPo dropped
2. "Wizard of Id" by Johnny Hart and Brant Parker (also died 2007; strip now credited to son Jeff Parker) - WaPo dropped
3. "Crock" by Brant Parker, Bill Rechin, and Don Wilder - WaPo dropped

Walker / Browne zombie conglomerate:
1. "Beetle Bailey" by Mort Walker (strip now credited to son Greg Walker) - WaPo still runs
2. "Hi and Lois" by Mort Walker and Dik Browne (died 1989; strip now credited to sons Greg Walker and Robert "Chance" Browne) - WaPo dropped
3. "Hagar the Horrible" by Dik Browne (strip now credited to son Chris Browne) - WaPo still runs

Be consistent. Dump both Hagar and Beetle.

Posted by: seismic-2 | June 22, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Please keep Hagar - it´s always a refreshing break from all the political humor in a lot of the other comics. Oldie but goodie!

Posted by: ewlk2 | June 22, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Every time you drop a strip, I feel like a family member has passed away. I don't read Adam anymore though, whoever is drawing it must be 10 years old, the art is terrible. So keep ol' Hagar and dump Adam.

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | June 23, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Tedious, generic humor. I bet they use paid jokewriters. Dump it.

Posted by: johnqpublic3 | June 23, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Like Alley Oop of my childhood, Hagar has outlived his time. Dump him, by all means, and bring Frazz back to the adults!

Posted by: wsheppard | June 23, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

By all means, PLEASE keep it. We need more "funny" comics in the "funnies" and much fewer political ones. Let the opinion page handle the political messages, keep the funnies funny. Same with Blondie, and bring back BC and the Wizard. We need humor in the mornings, not more politics.

Posted by: JCollins1 | June 23, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Hagar's an anachronism to the 60's and 70's. Times change ... it's Ok to change with them.

Posted by: greasypores | June 23, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

A very mediocre comic strip. Lots of others to dump first, including (drumroll) Zippy.

Also I have a big vote for putting the political strips elsewhere.

Posted by: keepandbear | June 24, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Economic factors have caused the comics to shrink continually for years. The fact that newspapers are hanging onto a legacy of outdated garbage causes an overproportional shortage of space available for qualified new cartoonists.

The comment by Seismic-2 is right on target: Kill ALL of the
"legacy" and/or "zombie" cartoons. Besides "Hagar" and "Beetle
Bailey", the very first strip to get dumped should be "Dennis the Menace". And even though I sometimes enjoy it, it's time for "Blondie" to go, as well.

Posted by: kilby | July 7, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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