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Five comics that should never hit the big screen

Kevin Buist, blogging over at spout.com, reacts to the news that Fox is green lighting a Marmaduke movie. He contends that five comic strips should never be made into movies. They include: Family Circus, Cathy, Hagar the Horrible, The Lockhorns and Calvin and Hobbes. His argument isn’t that the comic strips themselves are bad, just that a transition to the big screen would be difficult. He does, however, offer some “how it could actually work” advice should an attempt be made.

His advice for Hagar the Horrible?

The world is hungry for a good viking movie, and Hagar the Horrible could provide the brand recognition needed. If Pirates of the Caribbean was able to build an entertaining and financially successful franchise from an amusement park ride, I don’t see why Haggar couldn’t do the same. A few things would be key: First of all, it has to be pretty violent, a PG-13 rating would be best. Also, the film would have to really delve into Hagar and Helga’s tense gender conflicts, which the comic only hints at. How does Hagar behave on long trips away from his overbearing wife, as his men rape and pillage?

Community Comments

#1 Shane Johnson
March/11/2009
@ 12:51 pm

Didn’t Family Circus do some animated movies? or were those tv specials?

#2 Charles Brubaker
March/11/2009
@ 1:19 pm

Just TV specials. There were three made.

“Cathy” also had three specials, produced by Melendez-Mendelsohn, the studio known for making “Peanuts” specials.

Hanna-Barbera made one “Hagar the Horrible” special, aired just around the time Dik Browne died. Chris Browne stated that he hated the special.

#3 Rick Ellis
March/11/2009
@ 2:45 pm

Of course you can see them on youtube.

Hagar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J89cAJThghE
Family Circus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04XdHC_RUjQ
Cathy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w_wZ0YyxLI
Lockhorns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wla4TFEmpk

Proving that Kevin Buist is so right.

#4 phil tography
March/11/2009
@ 6:25 pm

It would be interesting to see how Calvin and Hobbes would be done as a movie. I suppose Hobbes would be a stuffed toy and morphed into a computer generated tiger.
What other strips would not make a good movie ? I think justice could not be done to B.C., Wizard of ID, Nancy, Opus and Heathcliff.

#5 Rich Diesslin
March/11/2009
@ 9:00 pm

Mary Worth, Apartment 3G, Henry, Fred Basset … ;)

#6 Joe Rank
March/11/2009
@ 11:19 pm

No on “Doonesbury”. Yes on “Get Fuzzy”.

“The Far Side”, an existentialist fantasy?
Maybe.

“Mallard Fillmore”, the John Waters triage.
Otherwise, paper targets.

Course, I always wanted someone to do an “Andy Gump” review…since my Grandad was a drinking buddy of Sidney Smith.

“Pogo” is my all-time fave, so I place it in my pantheon of untouchables.

#7 D. Anthony
March/11/2009
@ 11:58 pm

They already made a “Pogo” theatrical feature in 1980. It was a claymation film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087925/

Here’s a clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qze-g9xhaik&feature=related

Walt Kelly was also involved in “The Pogo Birthday Special” which was directed by Chuck Jones of Warner Bros. and Grinch fame.

Here’s a clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Oej3nBMzQ&feature=related

Both films were released on Walt Disney Home Video in the 80s.

#8 ray friesen
March/12/2009
@ 1:15 am

actually Mr. Joe, just to be pedantic, there are several pogo movies, one from the 60’s(or maybe 70’s) written by Walt Kelly and Animated by Chuck Jones called ‘The Pogo Special Birthday Special’ that’s worth checking out. There other one that I know of is Claymation, and while good looking, not necessarily as pogish.

Pogo is my all time favorite too, my favorite possession is a piece of original art from 1963.

#9 ray friesen
March/12/2009
@ 1:16 am

in theory a dilbert movie with CG dogbert is in the works. I’d love to see Liberty Meadows, Get Fuzzy, Foxtrot, and a live action peanuts. Maybe.

#10 Tom Heintjes
March/12/2009
@ 7:13 am

Hagar would be great if they played up the pillaging and had Keira Knightley as Honi (always nice in a bodice). And Apartment 3G with Keira Knightley has one of the gals. In fact, just adapt all strips and put Keira Knightley in them.

#11 peter murphey
March/12/2009
@ 8:57 am

Calvin and Hobbes was made into a movie:

#12 John Lotshaw
March/12/2009
@ 12:14 pm

And maybe John Goodman as Hagar?

“Lucky Eddie, you’re outta you’re @$%&ing league!”

#13 Bearman
March/15/2009
@ 8:33 am

I thought they already did a Dilbert movie….Office Space.

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