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Another cartoon character to die soon?

Discussion groups yesterday lit up with chatter about the possible death of For Better or For Worse character Jim (grandpa) who suffered from a stroke last year and appears to have suffered another one. Yesterday’s installment depicted a lifeless Grandpa being found by Iris who gasps, “Jim!!!” Today’s strip confirms that Jim has had a stroke and sets the stage for the possibility of a death.

Yesterday the For Better or For Worse web site posted several e-mails from readers responding to the presumed “death” of Grandpa.

Sometimes I hate it when I am right. Last week I told my husband that I thought something was going to happen to Grandpa. The flashback seemed to personal. He agreed, and lo and behold here we have it. I know we must all go in our time, but it is always such a blow, whether it is a blessing or not.

When I asked Kathie Kerr, assistant VP/communications at Universal Press Syndicate, if the character was to die the official line was:

What happens to Jim/Gramps is a secret that Lynn chooses not to reveal at this time. However, I do think that some people might be confusing his future with that of Lisa in Funky Winkerbean.

Community Comments

#1 Chris Myers
October/4/2007
@ 9:11 am

Why not have grandpa kick off too. Maybe Lynn needs to settle the score with her hubby and kill him off too?!?!?!

Johnston needs to do something after he threats to leave the strip as a rerun money grab. Now that word is out that she now has second thoughts another comic artist needs to think they matter more than they do.

Hello, it’s not real. Grandpa does not exist. Comics are for a chuckle and then trashed.

Dibs on grandpa’s wallet!

#2 Alex Hallatt
October/4/2007
@ 3:31 pm

What about Garfield? Can you imagine the response if Garfield popped his clogs?

#3 Shane Davis
October/6/2007
@ 12:12 pm

Why not just drop the ‘Funny Pages’ and start a ‘Death and Weepy, Squishy Boo Hoo’ pages in the newspapers.

What is it about these idiots that they feel the urgent need to cry and wet themselves in order to feel alive or try to feel ‘real’? It is so %#$@*& immature to emotionally ‘manipulate’ yourself like that – this reminds me of all those stupid junior high teen death songs like “Teen Angel” or “Last Kiss”.

These emotionally stunted child-adults desperately need to grow up. The sad thing is that people stupid enough to get busted up over a CARTOON DEATH are actually allowed to vote!

See, this is why that spawn of Satan Hillary will become elected Dictator and Fascist Tyrant of America – because the millions of morons that cried and lost their bladder over cartoon Lisa getting whacked are going to vote next November.

Maybe Batiuk can get around to doing a ‘Hillary gets a pilonidalcyst on her frontal lobe’ story line. After a long weepy illness she joins the invisible choir along with Idi Amin and Roger Nash Baldwin singing show tunes on a floating barge on the river Styx.

#4 Danny Burleson
October/8/2007
@ 10:56 am

Interesting. My life is officially better now that I know that fictional characters serve only to affect the comedic centers of our brains. I guess I’ll only eat vanilla for the rest of my life, because chocolate just has no place in the ice cream section. Mind you, it has to be genuine vanilla, because artificial flavors don’t get the job done…

Furthermore, movies can only be true-story dramas. TV shows can only be reality. The news must always be real… wait.

Seriously though, didn’t Johnston already have him have a stroke, and isn’t she doing partial reruns now? Is this a new strip or a repeat?

#5 Sandy
October/10/2007
@ 6:10 am

Such tragedy in cartoonland this week. My goodness, I am so glad that the funny pages have made me aware of such important issues. It is so touching (grabs 2 tissues instead of 1 to soak up all the tears and snot I’m shedding over this).

What really concerns me is that deaths happen in 3’s. We have lost our precious Lisa from FW (and her weenie husband has decided to leave his daughter to live with friends), now Jim’s gonna croak, and what’s next? Dagwood chocking on a sandwich and Blondie not being there to do the heimlich because she’s out shopping with Tootsie? Ooh, I shudder at the thought.

#6 R Pyle
October/10/2007
@ 8:00 am

The weenie husband has left Summer to stay with friends for a few days while he goes to New York, scatters some of Lisa’s ashes in Central Park as he promised her, and goes through that grieving process that some of the commenters had formed a pitchfork-mob to demand.

I’m sure he’ll go back to being on the shrink’s couch and regretting his handling of the situation shortly.

#7 Wiley Miller
October/10/2007
@ 8:31 am

Shane Davis October 6th, 2007
Why not just drop the â??Funny Pagesâ?? and start a â??Death and Weepy, Squishy Boo Hooâ?? pages in the newspapers.

Sandy October 10th, 2007
Such tragedy in cartoonland this week. My goodness, I am so glad that the funny pages have made me aware of such important issues.

Apparently it needs to be pointed out again that it is not “the funny pages”. It’s called the comics section. Comics have a very wide scope and not relegated to the narrow parameters of gag writing. Granted, the comics section has become mostly gag-a-day features, but there is still much more to comics than that. In fact, it was the story/adventure strips that brought comics to the peak of their popularity many years ago.

I think a cartoonist who takes his feature that is ordinarily dealing with light fare into an area of a serious nature, he or she should be praised for taking such a creative tightrope act.

#8 Dawn Douglass
October/10/2007
@ 8:56 am

The same people who gripe about wanting only funny comics will turn around and say that even those comics that are intended to be funny aren’t funny at all.

I wish people would get off of this “everything must be created for me, me, me” mentality and understand that comics are purposely created for a variety of tastes and interests. If you don’t like this comic strip, read that one. If you don’t like any of them, then comics aren’t your thing. Go read a book or watch TV.

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