Herman Hedning

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Herman Hedning (lit. Herman the Heathen, known as Marwin Meathead in English editions) is a humorous comic strip from Sweden drawn and written by Jonas Darnell.

The story[edit]

The comic has three main protagonists, Herman Hedning (Marwin Meathead), Gammelman (Oldhead) and Lilleman (Shorthead).

Marwin Meathead is fat, sadistic, greedy, lazy and self-important; he possesses all the bad qualities one can possibly find in a thinking human being. Always wearing his helmet and carrying a weapon, a wooden club with a huge nail right through it. It is revealed to be made of the corewood of an Arch-oak. He is unstoppable in plotting against his two buddies - Oldhead and Shorthead. Despite his sadism, brute nature and professed lack of any kind of intelligence, he's shown to be quite intelligent when it comes to certain subjects, as well as being shown at times to be extremely cunning when it comes to finding ways to make money, often taking advantage of the trusting nature of others.

Shorthead is often the target for Marwin’s evil plans - he is a kind, naive, nature-loving soul who wants to be everybody’s friend. At times, however, he's been shown to be just as malicious towards Marwin, switching from pitying him and outright despising him, being perfectly willing to let him suffer from the consequences of his own actions.

Oldhead with his glasses and beard, grumpy and blasé, is quite happy to simply sit back and watch Marwin and Shorthead beating the living daylights out of each other. He often does this from his laboratory, where he invents various dooms-day machines and more or less necessary gadgets to reform the world. Like the others, he has been shown to be able of extreme greed, malice and violent outbursts, putting others on the line if it benefits his research. Much like Shorthead, however, he's been shown to be very compassionate and kind, even towards meathead. These instances are few and far between, though.

History[edit]

Herman Hedning first appeared in 1988 in "Fantomen" (the Swedish edition of The Phantom). Since then Jonas Darnell has written over 700 strips, and a number of lengthier stories, typically 8-10 pages. About 680 have been translated into English. The first of twenty albums was released in 1990, and the first magazine in 1998. Since 1998 there have been 130 issues, or eight per year, except for 1998 and 1999, with two and six issues respectively, and a few years where nine issues were published.

Popularity[edit]

Herman Hedning is published in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and is a steady seller, outlasting many of its contemporaries.

Recurring characters[edit]

Supporting protagonists

The Creator - A parody of the Christian god. Posing a large beard and an anonymous black line over his eyes, he is the one who is "Incredibly responsible of precisely everything on Earth". Sometime after creating the world, he starts using a device called "The Holy Laptop", a computer capable of instantly creating pretty much anything. This device is sometimes the target of interest for some, including Marwin, Oldhead, The Devil and The Prime Computer. He is very keen on experimenting, such as replacing all organic life forms and vegetables on earth with robots and plastic. It is revealed that he created Marwin, Shorthead and Oldhead in his own image, but found the result to be "So damned ugly" that he had to start again with Adam and Eve.

Ragnar - a Big, Purple dinosaur of unknown species. He is the closest Marwin have to a friend, often partaking in his schemes to mess with everyone and everything. Just like Marwin, he enjoys drinking and fighting.

Adam and Eve - Two humans, that were created after Marwin and co. Their two sons, Kain and Abel look just like Marwin, or as their loving father, compassionately put it, "Became disgusting, empty-headed freaks", because of Marwin's mere presence and incredibly bad influence during Eve's pregnancy. Not quite allies, but neither evil, they show a uninterest in Oldhead and Shorthead, and contempt for Marwin

Antagonists

The devil - or the red Airhead as Marwin calls him, is a parody of Satan. He is red, has horns, a long tail, and, from time to time, big wings and a moustache. He is evil and loves everything evil. He is by far the most recurring villain in the comics. Always trying to make people suffer, in one way or another, always failing miserably. These attempts involves trying to pollute the world on a massive scale, trying to heat the world up to an incredible level, giving the Holy Laptop a Panic-anxiety-virus, among other schemes. He was originally an Angel who was testing a "Flaming Sword", When Marwin arrived. He stole the sword, and accidentally torched the Angel's wings, thus making it impossible for him to get home. He was then ordered to "Create a subterranean Sister-corporation", which he dug out himself and called Hell, because it was "Hot as Hell". He is shown to have a vast storage of "spareparts", such as heads, and gallbladders. One of the latter is currently worn by Marwin as pants. It is shown in the episode "Fan i Helvete" that the devil created the tick to pest Marwin. The tick almost instantly died from drinking Marwin's blood.

The Pandora-Department - Bureaucrats. The ultimate Doomsday-device. A gigantic temple, filled with mummified bureaucrats. It was created by the devil in an earlier version of the creation. It managed to create global collapse and world war simultaneously, forcing god to start over, and the Devil hid it as a virus on the Holy Laptop, recreating it once it upon restart. Outwards, it resembles, and works, like a multi adapter for electricity, making it capable of connecting to any group, like a corporation, bank or Soccer-club, and through the use of incredibly complicated bureaucracy, turn it into a babbling looneybin in an instant. The Devil created it to connect it to the Creators office, and get revenge for being kicked out of Heaven. This plan was foiled by Marwin. It later returns as P.U.R.G.A.T.O.R.Y (Special Unit For Soul Evaluation and Failed Abbreviations). The bureaucrats reappear from time to time as Lawyers, Court Notaries and the like.

The Prime computer - A computer originally built by Oldhead. He strikes a deal with Shorthead to get rid of Marwin and after a gruesome fight chases Marwin to the edge of a cliff. Marwin then tricks him to not kill him by illuminating the paradox of The Prime Computer, A wonder of Artificial Intelligence, the complete opposite of Marwin, a not-so-great wonder of Unartificial Unintelligence, being unable to use brute force since he is obviously above that. While debating on this, Marwin kicks The Prime Computer off the cliff and destroying him. He appears again in a later episode in a more robotic form, this time attempting to steal the Holy Laptop. This plan was foiled and the prime computer was seemingly destroyed. He reappears in a later episode, however, having teamed up with the villain Klustero. How he managed to do so is never specified. Their plan foiled, they return in the following episode which has the theme Online games such as WoW and Runescape. He is again beaten and, in true Supervillain-fashion, vows revenge on the world.

The Apocalypse - the master of Chaos, the real-estate manager of destruction, crusher of mountains, swallower of oceans and kicker of small white dogs. He is skinny, dry and wears a horned helmet. He resides on the moon, which is made completely of lard, with four centaurs known as the four roadies of the apocalypse. They work backstage to him and other musicians. In his first appearance, the apocalypse creates a lard-powered chaos-generator (this does not impress Marwin since he has been that his whole life) Marwin destroys it though. He participates in Marwins Roleplaying games as well as Hunting competition. Later he receives the chessboard of war. A recurring joke is Marwin being unable of pronouncing his name correctly. To date Marwin has only called The apocalypse by his true name a few times, and that by accident. It is unknown if this inability is stupidity or arrogance from Marwin.

External links[edit]