Comic Book Legends Revealed #479
COMIC LEGEND: There was a Hagar the Horrible brand soda.
STATUS: Sort of Technically True, but Largely False
Hagar the Horrible is a comic strip about the wacky misadventures of a viking and his friends and family, created by cartoonist Dik Browne, who wrote and drew the strip until he passed away in the late 1980s.
His son, Chris Browne, has been doing the strip ever since (here is the website for the strip).
Hagar the Horrible soda has long been mocked and given as an example of a terrible marketing idea, as an example of the hubris of a creator feeling that his creation is so popular that it could sell anything, even soda pop.
However, while it is true that there WAS a Hagar the Horrible soda…
I believe that that fact is so misleading that it is very much unfair to Dik Browne.
There WAS a Hagar the Horrible soda, but it was not a solo endeavor, it was part of an overall line of sodas called Sunday Funnies sodas, made up of other King Feature Syndicates comic strip characters like Popeye, Beetle Bailey and Blondie…
Was the line of 1969 sodas (still in STEEL cans!) a good idea? Probably not, but King Features has licensed their characters en masse a few times over the years (Sunday Funnies cereal, for one), so it seems like they try to make money where they can.
The key thing to note is that it is not a matter of Dik Browne thinking he can go out there on the market with a soda based on his comic strip, it was a whole BUNCH of comic strips.
Either way, though, it is pretty darn funny that there was a Hagar the Horrible soda.
Thanks to the Can Museum (not a phrase I thought I’d ever type) for the images of the Hagar cans!
On the next page, was the Ventriloquist originally intended to be a Judge Dredd villain?