Saturday, April 01, 2006
NCCC Walker-Browne Division Championship
The final game of the second round of the NCCC™ has Walker-Browne Division legend Hi and Lois against Hagar the Horrible. We have some bad blood sibling rivalry going on here with Chris Browne facing older brother Chance who has teamed with the Walker Brothers, Brian and Greg (and Walker sister Dot, oops, wrong family) to continue to run the empire patriarchs Mort and Dik built.
And family is the business of Hi and Lois. This suitable for all ages strip has been doing family based humor for over half a century. Over the years, the clothes and haircuts have tried to stay in style, but the mere timelessness of the humor makes drastic updates pretty unnecessary. Not that it hasn’t kept up with the times in small ways. Would Blondie have ever started a catering business if Lois hadn’t led the way by becoming a Realtor®? As Brian Walker tells in this radio interview, he would like to veer a little more into Arlo and Janis territiory, but the syndicate makes him keep it squeaky clean. The family oriented comic strip is a crowded market and H&L, while not groundbreaking, is still better than many of its wannabe rivals (yeah, we’re looking at you Drabble).
In many ways, Hagar is a family strip is Viking drag. Chris Browne’s late lamented Raising Duncan had almost a one-to-one correspondence: Chubby Patriarch – Hagar/Big Daddy; Plus Sized Wife – Helga/Adele; Wacky Sidekicks/Kids – Lucky Eddie/Duncan, etc. The running gags in Hagar are also done a lot better in other strips. For hen-pecked drunk at a bar, go with General Halftrack. For battle-ax wife, go with Loretta Lockhorn. For dumb as a brick lackey, go to Zero. For sexually confused youngest son, well, let’s just not go there. The only eye candy is the strip, Honi the Underage Valkyrie Hottie, doesn’t even show up all that often. For tepid family humor, the Flagstons are a lot more real and a lot funnier.
On to the Final Four.