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Comic Book / He Done Her Wrong

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The Great American Novel (with no words)!

He Done Her Wrong is a 1930 wordless comic/novel drawn and written by cartoonist Milt Gross.

The story is centered on an unnamed young countryman who falls in love with an also unnamed barroom singer. A jealous villain (likewise unnamed) tricks the couple and takes the singer to New York. After a chain of humorous occurrences, the protagonist is reunited with his love and discovers that he is the son of a rich industrialist. While the protagonist and his love settle down and raise a family, the villain is cornered by the angry fathers of five women with whom he has fathered children, ultimately driven into a life of unhappiness.



  • Babies Ever After: Interestingly, this is both Played for Laughs and played straight in the same ending. The villain is forced under the threat of a few shotguns to return to the five woman he eloped with and their six babies, and is forced to do housework under their eyes and threat of their rolling pins. Meanwhile, the hero and the singer end up getting married, and are shown living happily together with four kids of their own.
  • Bowdlerized: In the 1971 reprint (which falsely claimed to be complete and unabridged), a scene where the hero mistakenly beats up a black man (who he assumed was the villain charred in coal dust) in the middle of an entire club full of black people (who are all drawn in Black Face) was edited out. The Fantasgraphics reprint reinstates the scene, but adds a disclaimer explaining that it was brought back for historical purposes.
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  • Dastardly Whiplash: The villain is drawn to look like this, just in case you needed any other hint that he's the bad guy.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: The unnamed hero of the story has a squarish jaw to go with his strong build.
  • Marry Them All: The villain is forced to do this at the end.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Played for Laughs; at one point, the hero is chasing the villain through the city and they both get covered in soot. In the chaos, the hero makes his way into a club full of black people and starts strangling one of them, assuming it was the villain. It takes a moment for the situation to sink in when he realizes where he's at, and its strongly implied that they beat the stuffing out of him afterward.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters are given names.
  • Parody: The comic is partially meant to be a parody of woodcut novels being published around the time, such as the works of Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel, lampooning the high-artistic style and intentionally ambiguous messages of their wordless novels.
  • Shout-Out: The title is play on the film She Done Him Wrong.
  • Silence Is Golden: There isn't a single spoken word of dialogue in the entire comic, although there are a handful of words written on signposts throughout the comic.
  • Slapstick: One of the comic's main sources of humor, and necessary considering there isn't a single spoken word in the tale.