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"Hägar the Terrible" turns 50: raise your cups!


"Hägar the Terrible" turns 50. On February 4, 1973, Dik Browne's first comic strip featuring the red-bearded Viking appeared in the US Sunday newspaper. We have to celebrate this!

"Hägar the Terrible" turns 50. On February 4, 1973, Dik Browne's first comic strip featuring the red-bearded Viking appeared in the US Sunday newspaper.

We have to celebrate this!

Bananas and Vikings - they are more closely related than some Central Europeans might think.

In the end, southern fruit and northerners were both on the drawing board of Richard Arthur Allan Browne, whom everyone just calls Dik.

So: Dik Browne, born in New York in 1917, is not only described by his contemporaries as shy – he wasn't exactly on the sunny side either.

At least not at first.

Art studies dropped out.

Reporter career ruined.

Briefly on the road as a court draftsman, for the "Newsweek" after all.

Then the gods had enough and understanding.

Browne got into advertising in the 1940s, and his most important work can still be found in every supermarket: the Chiquita banana – the logo is his.

Already as a contract artist he experimented with comics and, conversely, learned through advertising,

Hägar the Terrible premiered on February 4, 1973

With this talent, he was to have a significant influence on pop culture in the 20th century and create one of the world's most successful comic strips: "Hägar the Terrible".

50 years ago, on February 4, 1973, the first story appeared in the Sunday newspapers of the United States;

the next day the first workday strip followed.

A success with promise: Even before the premiere, 200 publishers booked the Viking - which from then on took the world by storm.

To date, "Hägar" has been printed in almost 2,000 publications in around 60 countries and in dozens of languages.

The red-bearded rowdy brother, his resolute Helga, the always somewhat difficult children Honi and Hamlet inspire (of course!) the readers of "Münchner Merkur".

"I wanted a character that was immediately identifiable ... universally recognizable," says Dik Browne, who died in 1989, in the recently published anniversary volume

(Dik Browne/Chris Browne: "50 Jahre Hägar". Egmont Comic Collection, Berlin, 288 pages; 35 euros.)


"I didn't want the reader to have to waste time trying to figure out who this character is supposed to be.

People are always in a hurry these days.” Also, according to the artist, who passed the drawing pen to his son Chris in 1988, everyone just loves Vikings: “They get away with the most horrible behavior — because they're Vikings.”

Hägar Creator Dik Browne: "I Sell Laughs"

That's right: Nobody can be mad at Hägar.

Sure, he likes to fight.

The rude swearing!

And then these constant raids!

(Especially against the English!!) Yes, his table manners can be improved.

And heavens, don't forget this booze!

But maybe that's also the secret of the enormous international success: Hägar talks about us, about the Viking that slumbers in us, who we are or at least sometimes want to be.

Because hands up who likes to do the house cleaning!


In any case, Dik Browne knew exactly what he wanted with his work: “I have no political bones to pick and damn little wisdom to spread.

I sell laughs.” Some may be flat or as rough as his drawing style – for free.

Because in the barbarian (of course!) there is also a philosopher: "The world is changing so quickly",

complains Hägar once.

“I wonder if people are happier now.” Anyone who laughs definitely is.

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-02-05

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