The Waterhole is an oasis. In a dual sense. The animals come down here to adjust their fluid balance. But it’s also where they come to ... have a drink! And it’s then, after downing one or two, that it appears: That charming, pointed humor, which is theirs alone.

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Presiding over the waterhole, you will find two ladies wallowing majestically. With their all-encompassing presence, the hippopotami Gladys and Hilda keep a keen eye on everything and everyone, and gossip with anyone who’ll listen. As well as those who’d rather not. They are literally too much, as broad in the mouth as they are in the beam. You can tell which is which from their gape: Gladys’s teeth are closely packed, while Hilda’s are as widely-spaced as the mane of the lion, King, is tightly spaced.

King, though, is no Lion King. But he desperately wants – and needs – to assert himself. To convince his ’subjects’ – and himself for that matter – he visits the Waterhole where he daily proclaims himself King of the Jungle ... but where the jungle might be, in this endless desert waste, he has, of course, no idea.

Clarence, the crocodile, isn’t just a relic from a bygone age. He seldom leaves the Waterhole, not even when it fills up with all the animals of the savannah at Happy Hour. There’s no doubt that Gabriel is a survivor; it’s how one becomes a relic.

Someone who never comes down for a dip is Hamlet, the vulture, although he is one of its more frequent visitors. He just sits on a tree stump keeping his feet dry, waiting for some stillborn creature to float up to the surface.

But the only things that can be considered stillborn are the visitors’ discussions, punctuated by Hamlet’s often caustic remarks. Not good from a nutritional stand point. Being a carrion eater, he is not of course very popular with the Waterhole’s other guests. But he doesn’t give up. As he waits for his next morsel, he entertains the gathering with gallows humor and sick jokes.

Hamlet is dead cool, even if he may say so himself. Just like the Waterhole series –which can also become your oasis in the comic strip’s section.

Waterhole, Syndication, Edgy, Humour