Trolls are creatures that come from Norse Mythology and live in caves and or under rocks that are not friendly, stay to themselves and avoid interacting with humans. Trolls in modern folklore and media have taken on the personality traits of eating humans, being dim witted pranksters henchmen to evil beings, giants and keeper of bridges. In other words, Trolls are not nice creatures and are mythic monsters that have been around for centuries and that’s why our second update for our countdown to Halloween 2020 is about a troll that lives in the woods and roams around nature avoiding humans…and the troll we are talking a look at is one who is not mean and loves life and everything in it as this update is about Irwin Troll from the comic strip Broom-Hilda. So while this one is by no means scary nor a Horror Comic, it is one that needs to be done, so sit back relax and enjoy this quick and fun update.
Russell Myers was born in 1938 in Pittsburg, Kansas but was raised in Oklahoma and had a pretty normal childhood. Russell had a talent for drawing and tried to come up with comic strips to be picked up for syndication in newspapers and could not get his big break. In 1960 he started working for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri where he drew greeting cards, and all the while he never gave up his dream of being a comic strip artist. In 1964 Russell married Marina, and they have two children that are son Stewart and daughter Rosie. While talking to writer Elliott Caplin, the brother of Lil’Abner artist and creator Al Capp, Myers got an idea for a strip called Broom-Hilda. The pair worked on the idea, and in 1970 they got the stripped and picked up for paper syndication! The first Broom-Hilda strip was printed on April 19, 1970 in the Chicago Tribune Syndicate. In 1975 Russell received the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Humor Strip Award. And while the strip is not at popular as it once was, it still does live on in some papers as well as on weekly comic strips on its official website. I myself want to thank Russell Myers for delivering comic strips and characters I grew up reading in paperback books that I would find at second hand bookstores and garage sales.
Irwin Troll is a purple skinned short troll that is covered in hair who lives in the world of Broom-Hilda. He is not very smart, is fun loving, respects nature and has a great sense of humor making him a lovable character. Irwin cares so much for animals and even has a pet rock that he cares for, has a horde of butterflies that act as his bodyguards not to mention he also watches over his jerky nephew Nerwin who is a handful. His best friends are the witch Broom-Hilda as well as talking and walking bird man named Gaylord Buzzard. One aspect about Irwin Troll that makes him so likable is the fact that he is always happy and seems to see the best in all life. Growing up reading the paperback books of Broom-Hilda, the one character I always liked was Irwin Troll so I am very much looking forward to reading this book again as it really has been decades since I have read a Broom-Hilda comic strip or book. Also did you know that Irwin Trill and his friends also appeared in some animated cartoons? Check out below to see what Irwin Troll looks like and get the vibe of this fun loving guy.
Like all classic comic strip characters, Broom-Hilda and her cohorts have also gotten their fair share of merchandise that includes not only paperback books but also stuffed dolls, Halloween costumes, drinking glasses, patches and even got a cartoon series! While Irwin was in the books, cartoon and had a plush doll, he sadly did not get a patch or a Halloween costume. Growing up I had lots of the paperback books and would have loved to have one of the drinking glasses and the stuffed dolls of Irwin.
So as you can see, Irwin Troll is not a spooky character and is more of a cute fun one. I do think he makes for a very silly Halloween countdown update topic! As I have said before, I have not read a Broom-Hilda strip or paperback in decades and remember liking them back in my youth so it will be interesting to see if they humor and characters hold up for me still in 2020. Plus will Irwin Troll still be my favorite character of the series? I want to say I only chose one of the paperbacks to cover as only one of the book series was all about Irwin Troll. I also want to thank the vendor at the Heart Of Ohio Antique Mall for having this book in stock for only $2.00! I want to remind you that I grade this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready to travel to the woods on a troll hunt, let’s see what fun times Irwin has in store for us.
Irwin Troll # 1 ***
Released in 1976 Cover Price .95 Tempo Books # 5 of ?
This book is tons of one-page stories featuring the one and only Irwin Troll having silly and fun adventures! So while I cannot cover each one I will select 10 of my favorite strips in no real order. The first one has Irwin getting ready to take a shower and when he turns it on one massive water drop falls comes out and is hard as a rock and crushes him, and he explains he needs to get some water softener. Second has Irwin Troll and Broom-Hilda using an Ouija Board in the woods calling on a spirit and when one answers it turns into a joke about Lawrence Welk. The third is has Broom-Hilda being upset that she is not losing weight, when Irwin Troll walks by and says that she can not lose weight because even fat doesn’t want to die! The silly fourth strip I enjoyed was Irwin at a movie theater with Broom-Hilda and Gaylord Buzzard, when Irwin asks Gaylord if he is against noise pollution and when he says yes Irwin hands him a soaking wet bag of popcorn and informs him that is why he watered down his snack! The fifth strip I liked has Irwin sitting hear flowers talking to them and saying he will be there all night if need be and shows us readers that he is staying up with a sick flower seed, this one really does capture the amazing and caring nature of Irwin Troll. The sixth strip has Irwin talking with Broom-Hilda about how his father lost everything in the crash of 1929, and when Broom-Hilda asks him how did his father deal with it Irwin claims that he acted like an adult as he could build up his comic book collection again! The seventh one I enjoyed has a armed robber with panty hose on his head pulling a gun to rob Irwin Troll who walks past him unafraid and claims why should he be scared of a man who wears his socks on the wrong end, as clearly he would not know how to use a gun. The eighth strip for me has Irwin Troll standing in front of a sign that is for his zoo that will cost you .50 to see, and when Broom-Hilda pays the admittance she finds out the zoo is really just Irwin in a cage. What I selected for ninth strip has Irwin talking to Broom-Hilda about how there is a food price hike and that the government saying growing your own food is a great idea, but he is worried as his pork, beef and chicken has not grown in his planted garden. And for the tenth and final strip I picked has Irwin looking in the mirror placing oil in his hair and running a comb through it, we next see Irwin with hair like Johnny Cash who claims that this is the only way to listen to country music records as his player plays.
Revisiting the world of Broom-Hilda was lots of fun and reliving stuff like this is why I do these updates at Rotten Ink, and after revisiting as well I can say that Irwin Troll still is hands down my favorite character from this comic strip. This paperback book has each page filled with its own gag and each and everyone of them in this book features Irwin Troll in all his hairy glory, and as well does a great job of showing Broom-Hilda and Gaylord Buzzard. In the book Broom-Hilda is nice to Irwin about 40% of the time and its clear that while she is annoyed with him she still values his friendship. And that’s the thing about Broom-Hilda she is pretty mean at times and almost seems like she gets joy in hurting people that cross her on bad days. Gaylord Buzzard is wise and seems to be close to both Broom-Hilda and Irwin Troll, and I would say its clear I think he is Broom-Hilda’s best friend. Irwin’s pet rock, bodyguard butterflies and even other nature items are all his friends and help watch out for him, besides the sun who burns him when the troll wants to be his friend. Irwin Troll in this book does the right thing at all times and while he does make some silly decisions, his heart is always in the right place. The humor in the book is very silly, and while very dated, I do think people in their 40’s and older will enjoy it and get some of the very dated jokes. I do think that most of the humor would fall flat for younger kids of today. The cover for this book is great and had Irwin Troll standing in flowers while the back cover has a flower goosing his butt! The art by Russell Myers is fantastic classic Sunday Comic classic style art and is really fun and cartoony. So if you grew up enjoying Broom-Hilda comic strip or just enjoy the Sunday Funnies, give this paperback book and all the others in the series a read, as they are a true blast. Check out the art below to see the style of Russell Myers and behold its comic strip glory.
So as you can see, Irwin Troll and the world of Broom-Hilda are a kid friendly read for people of all ages and delivers fun characters and cheesy humor. For our next update we are leaving the safe forest world of Irwin Troll and will be heading to a world that combines both DC Comics and Silent Horror Movies as our topic is Batman Nosferatu! So until next time, read a comic strip or three, watch a Troll Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Hope you are ready for Count Orlok vs. The Dark Knight!