12 Memorable Comic Strip Deaths

With all the attention now on Funky Winkerbean’s Lisa Moore’s impending death, the A.V. Club looks back at the 12 most memorable comic strip deaths which include: Farley (For Better Or For Worse), Dick Davenport (Doonesbury), Dead bird (Calvin & Hobbes), Grandpa (The Family Circus), Anonymous corpse (Kudzu), Daddy Warbucks (Little Orphan Annie), John Darling (Funky Winkerbean/John Darling), Phyllis Blossom (Gasoline Alley), Mort (Rudy Park), Mary Gold (The Gumps), Bill The Cat (Bloom County), Garfield (Garfield).

Some interesting facts in that story.

17 thoughts on “12 Memorable Comic Strip Deaths

  1. Quite an eclectic list Alan. Dead bird from Calvin and Hobbes and Bill The Cat from Bloom County. Ah, the bitter sweet memories. Perhaps Lisa Moore could be cloned from her tounge.

  2. Daddy Warbucks died?!

    When did that happen?? Wait…why do I care? Oh, crap, I do care…

    …was his a recent death?

  3. I’ve always been a fan of the AV Club, and I’m glad they’re showing a spotlight on an interesting bit of cartoon history.

    Are there notable deaths they neglected to mention? I think they hit all the big ones.

    The dead bird in Calvin and Hobbes…I’ll never forget that one. What a powerful image.

  4. I suppose if you had questions about the death of a comic character, you could read the story that I linked to and find out the details. A thought.

    I actually think including Garfield in the list was a mistake. The story arc that the story cites isn’t clear enough as to whether Garfield actually died.

  5. I love that Garfield death theory. It makes me want to read Garfield in today’s paper and see how his imagination is suffering! It’s brilliant, really – as Jim Davis runs out of ideas, it can be blamed on Garfield’s descent into madness.

  6. Alan,

    Sorry if I seemed snarky, I was only kidding! I read the story and truthfully, I forgot about those strips.

    When I first saw Garfield’s name, I instantly thought of that cartoon from the 80s where he lost all 9 of his lives, but God’s computers were down, so he got to go back to earth and start over.

  7. As it seems to me, that weird little Garfield storyline was the only truly radical departure Davis has made from the Garfield formula…ever.

    As for the rest, I would say that those are all of the big ones, except maybe for Kudzu;s anonymous corpse, which seems a little less notable to me.

  8. I suppose many strips deal with death from time to time. I draw a police strip and quite honestly most of my material of late has dealt with death, reflecting my own city’s soaring homicide rate and the fact that it’s something I see and deal with every day here. It’s cathartic to draw about it.

    Which brings me to an off topic (or not so off topic) question for those here;

    When you write for your strip and look back on your material and notice a trend or tendency to focus on certain things,do you just let your writing take you where it’s going to take you, or do you consciously decide, okay I need to focus on something else for a while?

  9. Oops…my bad. I read the story. That’s what I get for posting right before bed…

  10. Bill the Cat! Dead! No, not Bill. Doonesbury was dropped from our local paper several years ago. Bill’s dead; that bites really hard. Who’s next? Opus?

  11. Garey, to your question, I’d say it’s some of both, although I do mostly single-panel (no ongoing characters to contend with). Is that what you find too? I still get a chuckle out of your strip characters being pigs … shows there’s a sense of humor in your main audience!

  12. Berke Breathed has also revealed that Opus will die. He said so last Spring (2007) in interviews promoting his book, “Mars Needs Moms!”

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