Growing Old Gracelessly With Broom-Hilda

« Modern technology has tripled the life expectancy of the professional insulter »

It was forty-eight years ago today, which is to say Thursday, April the 20th, 1970, when a certain short, dumpy, cheap-cigar-chomping 1500-year-old green witch first crash-landed into the funny pages, though we wouldn’t know she was green until that Sunday.

The cast’s principal players: Broom-Hilda, Gaylord Buzzard and Irwin Troll. Colour by Barbara Marker.

Russell Myers‘ (born October 9, 1938 in Pittsburg, Kansas, and still with us) Broom-Hilda has been easy to take for granted… it’s never been a trendy strip, but it’s always had its adherents, a somewhat enlightened, or at least less dim than average, passel of loonies, to which I proudly belong.

One of my favourite B-H collections… an oversize one-shot issued in 1978. And don’t let the subtitle throw you: *all* Broom-Hilda books are profoundly silly.
An undated strip from 1970.
Grelber always gets the last laugh. August 17, 1973. Bet you never knew that Grelber shared a genteel hobby with Nero Wolfe.
This Sunday strip comes from just about a year into the run, April 4, 1971, back when Broomie still was allowed to enjoy all of her little hobbies. A day in the life of the resilient Irwin Troll, Mother Nature’s Personal Friend.
Low-key and surreal, the March 11, 1974 strip. Pour me a cup of that jaunty java!
Wise words from the strip’s resident intellectual, Gaylord Buzzard (Sept. 13, 1973)

Over the long years, the changing times and the powers-that-be had Broomie clean up her act, stripping her of her beloved vices one after the other. Well, she’s held on to her gluttony and lust, but no longer indulges her passion for third-rate tobacco and beer. Still, since there was so much more in the strip’s DNA, the eschewing of Broomie’s low-down habits was not fatal.

The author as he appeared in 1985’s Broom-Hilda Book One (and only), in the “Blackthorne’s Comic-Strip Preserves” series. « To retain this standard of madness requires a good deal of sane and sensible methods. The gags don’t just occur to Russell; he creates them. Like all humorists, he observes where others only look. Others see a man going through a revolving door, Russell sees a man stuck in a revolving door. Perverse, perhaps, but perversity is the trigger of humor. Why else do we laugh at a man stepping into a manhole? »

But how I miss that nasty no-goodnik Grebler!

Music has its charms, even Grelber music.

Keep up with the current state of Broom-Hilda: 


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