Brian Wood’s Vertigo title Northlanders was an easy sell to make to a particular subsection of my friends, what with its Vikings crossed with Battles Without Honor or Humanity conceit. I guess I just didn’t push it hard enough. In honour of Northlanders imminent demise, I present Walter Lantz’ Vicious Viking.
Right from the start I was getting serious flashbacks to a childhood wasted on indiscriminately watching fourth-rate cartoons on television all day, every day. Chilly and Smedley are both so stiff and cloying, then the titular viking shows up and everything becomes a whole lot more awesome. There’s some really nice bits in there, including the Viking’s bite anticipation and his paranoid jumping around once thawed out. There’s also something wonderfully off about having him eat an entire moose head, or stabbing a bomb with his sword like it were a meatball. Sure, the Viking comes off as a cheap knock-off of Yosemite Sam and The Tasmanian Devil, but it works, and I would love to see more of him. And really, if you’re going to watch one cartoon with a surf version of The Ride of the Valkyries today it may as well be this one.