September 8th, 2013
by Chris Browne
When last we left our fierce warrior, he was preparing to strut down a catwalk in a stunning floor-length furry ensemble, complete with matching spear and shield, at one of the most anticipated fashion weeks of all time…
Whoops, wrong story! Hägar and fashion in the same sentence? Let’s begin again, shall we?
Hägar’s 40th anniversary party was coming to a close and most of the crew were finally surrendering after seven straight months of celebrating. At least that was the plan…
With plenty of liquor barrels still filled to the brim with gin — and let’s just face it, leaving them full would just be alcohol abuse – the liquor continued to flow and so did the tall tales from none other than Captain Hägar.
The crew’s favorite stories involved the infamous Dik Browne: the man, the myth, the legend and Hägar’s very best friend. A man so extraordinary that to most of us, Norwegians, Dik probably wasn’t even human with all the amazing accomplishments that came from just one man.
The year was 1954 and a little place known fondly to its weekly journalist residents as the Pen & Pencil in NYC would set the scene for the handshake felt all across the world.
The legend goes a little something like this according to Dik Browne, “Mort Walker and I got together and we had a drink at the Pen & Pencil. We shook hands, and that’s all we still have, is a handshake.”
This was the first time award-winning cartoonist, Mort Walker, creator of the beloved BEETLE BAILEY, and soon to be award-winning Dik Browne, creator of HÄGAR THE HORRIBLE, would join forces and seal a deal of a lifetime with simply a handshake.
Hägar, on the other hand, always takes a bit more convincing…
Perhaps Dik was not born a Viking under our terms of the word, but he was a fellow Viking brother to the end, nonetheless. Whether he would admit to it or not, Dik had the “Midas Touch” and everything he would touch soon turned to gold. But if you asked Dik he would deny any such compliment by saying, “I have no political axes and damn little wisdom to spare. I sell giggles.”
And that would be exactly what he would go on to do for over thirty years as one of the savviest giggle salesmen of all time.
Dik’s increasing fame and innate ability to tell stories — armed with just a pen and pencil and his trusty pocket filled with giggles — was absolutely magical to watch unfold. But to Dik, he believed all his many accomplishments to be “purely coincidental.”
You see, when you’re Dik Browne, I think we can all agree this man is entitled to call his life anything he sees fit — even a mere coincidence if he wants. However, one thing is for certain, the uncanny resemblance between Dik and Hägar is no coincidence no matter what name you call it.
…and what better a character to replicate twice in a lifetime than the legendary, Dik Browne — fashionista extraordinaire and all! Well, maybe not the fashion part exactly.
Dik’s interesting fashion choices may have never won him top honors on the catwalk or even a round-robin discussion on E! channel’s Fashion Police for the worst dressed; but one thing we can all agree on is Dik knew how to tickle a funny bone better than anyone else in the comic strip business.
Thank you, Dik and Hägar! Or is it Hägar then Dik? Oh shoot I forget which is which now!
If you want to see more of the Tales of Hägar, we will be right here next week tickling your funny bone. What team won their first big championship in 1973? It’s the same year Hägar made his first appearance. Send us your comments, and we will be sure to make sure everyone knows what a Vikings/Hägar genius you truly are!
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