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Heathcliff, Misc, News,

Erik Hagen Explains Heathcliff

I’ve been going through this thing for over a year now, trying to make sense of the senseless. I don’t understand it, but I want to, I really want to, so I keep trying. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning, it’s the last thing before I fall asleep. It occupies my every waking thought. What does it mean? What does any of it mean?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m talking about Heathcliff.

If you’re a person who doesn’t know who Heathcliff is, first off I’m afraid I have to inform you that you’re in actuality a unicorn because YOU DO NOT EXIST. Sorry you had to find out this way. And then second, Mr. Sprinkles (I assume that’s your unicorn name), Heathcliff is a popular orange fat cat from the comic strips with a bad attitude. No, not Beatle Bailey. The other one. Now, what you just read in that last couple of sentences was supposed to be a joke, but did you notice how it didn’t make any sense? Beatle Bailey’s not a cat. Well, congratulations regardless. You’re halfway to understanding the humor of Heathcliff, a series of comics that are ostensibly supposed to be jokes, but aren’t quite grounded enough in actual reality to qualify as humor. Keep your brain exactly in the position it’s in right now and let’s get started.

Okay. So. Let’s get our bearings, first of all. There is a family of raccoons, two owls in a tree who can speak perfect English, and Heathcliff in a karate gi. Heathcliff is giving the youngest raccoon his yellow belt. The owls inform us that the yellow belt is in the discipline of “garbage.” These are all things that should not be happening. Garbage is not a form of karate. A cat cannot train a raccoon to tip over a garbage can. Birds can’t talk. Thus, uproarious laughter. You get it yet? No? Alright, we’ll keep going then.

Mental illness is a serious thing and not to be joked about. So the joke here is that there is such a thing as “cat therapy” because how would that even work? The therapist can’t understand the cat. What does a cat have to even be depressed about? Also, I think there’s some sort of word play going on in the punchline with “scratching” because that is a thing that cats often do. I’m still working it out. Let’s move on.

This one takes some explanation of previously established Heathcliff lore. There is an ape in the Heathcliff Universe called the Garbage Ape who has garbage cans for hands and ransacks Heathcliff’s neighborhood frequently. The local neighborhood cats love the Garbage Ape because <undefined>. Here, we find out that the Garbage Ape is also beloved by robots. Wait, robots, you ask? Where did the robots come from? Who is making the robots? Why aren’t the robots stopping the Garbage Ape? To this I say, shut up. There’s a perfectly rational explanation for all of this.

Again with the karate? Again with the karate. Please do notice that this is a one-panel comic extended out to seven panels, most of them without backgrounds. Also, the punchline is recycled from earlier. That punchline gets used a lot.

Jokes are way funnier if they’re repeated 89 times or so.

Topical humor! The mouse would probably be even more tempted if those things weren’t completely worthless right now. I bet Elon Musk would’ve laughed though. There’s a guy who appreciates unfunny, shitty things.

Heathcliff started a band and called it Body Fat. It did a fairly decent gate of a 26-headed amorphous gray blur, who are all having a very good time watching three cats wearing sunglasses standing on a fence in front of two water coolers.

Heathcliff is friends with a robot? I don’t know. What’s with those owls? Do they ever do anything besides provide commentary to the madness that surrounds them?


There’s a Gum Store. They sell gum there. It is popular. Existence is suffering.

The beef cider was not selling all that well until Heathcliff thought to parade around town on an elephant playing a tuba. That turned things around, as was expected.

That fish recognizes that other fish that is soon to be murdered quite gruesomely. 

Heathcliff is a fan of ham, which is why he has the word HAM written on his helmet. Those pigs are likely to take umbrage. Heathcliff is probably going to try to eat the pigs alive.

Yup. They sure do.

This is it. The apex of human achievement. The most perfect sentence written since Shakespeare. “Children love the meat tank.” When I die, somebody please carve that into my gravestone.

So. How’s your brain and your soul feeling? Flayed alive? Good. I do so hate suffering all by myself.

-Erik Hagen