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Death (split from "Uninformed Bob" topic)
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Rob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 11:04 am    Post subject: Interesting Reply with quote

The Morning Improv strips seem to be unusually focused on death lately. First Meadow of the Damned awhile back, then death is a part of the ending of Parallelogram's Revenge, and now our sad comicstripwriter Morrie Dugan's fate seems downright tragic. Is this a trend?
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trendy enough, I suppose. I hear everybody's going to be doing it one day.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

! ! !

Greg Stephens, Ladies and Gentlemen.
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Interesting Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
The Morning Improv strips seem to be unusually focused on death lately. First Meadow of the Damned awhile back, then death is a part of the ending of Parallelogram's Revenge, and now our sad comicstripwriter Morrie Dugan's fate seems downright tragic. Is this a trend?



Actually, almost all of the Morning Improv strips pertain to death. In Happy Town a guy gets killed by tarantulas, then another guy gets shot. In Proto the Pet, both of our main characters die out in the desert. Brad's Somber Mood is about a man obsessed with mortality. Lots of little microcritters die in Flap those Flagella Like You Mean It. Then, there was Man Eating Shoes and Meadow of the Damned. Inertia Man includes an entire city being blown up.

In fact, of the 15 comics so far, only 4 haven't involved death -- When Luna Smiles, I Am the Most Beautiful Dog in the World, No One Tells Interesting Jeff What to Do, and Robots Love to Dance.
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T Campbell
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 1:05 pm    Post subject: Death, to McCloud Reply with quote

But Scott's fiction has always had a strong awareness of mortality, from 9-Jack-9 the futuristic death-god to Abraham Lincoln deducing his own assassination to the "wherever you go, dead you are" structure of "Choose Your Own Carl."

I don't think it's quite a full-bore obsession, but it's certainly a recurring theme.
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Mephy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Death, to McCloud Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
But Scott's fiction has always had a strong awareness of mortality, from 9-Jack-9 the futuristic death-god to Abraham Lincoln deducing his own assassination to the "wherever you go, dead you are" structure of "Choose Your Own Carl."

I don't think it's quite a full-bore obsession, but it's certainly a recurring theme.


I agree. But whatever it is, I think it's funny. Meadow of the damned and Man Eating Shoes are still my favorites. I have yet to be dissatisfied with any of the Morning Improv comics.

~Mephy
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nihon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can tell that 5%-10% of comics (and novels and movies) never recur on death.
Eros and Tanathos are amongst the strongest elements that make a story emotional.

More than this, anyone involved with improvisations knows they have a strong trend in ending with death...

GG
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Zaratustra
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't see a lot of 'Eros' in there, tho.
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Rob
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 1:18 am    Post subject: Well Reply with quote

I guess my thought was that previous deaths were more comic - getting eaten by your shoes, starving because of the commands of a totem pole, being blown to constituent atoms as a result of inertial inaction, or dying and being sent to the lamest hell ever concieved - even drunk driving becomes funny when you die 100 different times over from it . The Parallelogram's Revenge, however, was a sad death, I was intriuged partially because I can't say I'd ever felt sympatetic for a geometric figure before. And with Dugan, malignant melanoma isn't a particulary funny way to die, and the last strip being in darkness, and Bob crying... I find it a bit disturbing, honestly... I suppose I wonder if the morning improv is going from "comics" to "tragics" . And I'm not saying that's a bad thing necessarily, that's why I titled the first comment "Interesting" and not "What do you think you're doing, Scott McCloud?"
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 1:50 pm    Post subject: DEATH! Reply with quote

It always seemed to me that most fiction deals with the topic of death in some way or another, even comics.

OK, maybe not Garfield, Cathy, or Hi and Lois, but who can forget the death (and later resurection) of Bill the Cat from Bloom County? Villians in Dick Tracy were always biting the dust.

What was one of the top selling issues of Batman? The death of Robin.
Remember the hub bub when Superman died? Spiderman fans all remember the death of the Green Goblin, and Aunt May always seemed to be on the verge of meeting her Maker.

Death is a part of life. We all fear it to some to degree, and most of us don't fully understand it. It's only natural to write about it.
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Byron Pennyworth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 7:00 pm    Post subject: but...... Reply with quote

I thought aunt may had med her maker.
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2002 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: DEATH! Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
It always seemed to me that most fiction deals with the topic of death in some way or another, even comics.

OK, maybe not Garfield,



Actually, even Garfield, to an extent. He's eaten pretty much any small bird or goldfish that John ever brought home. And he sure does hate those spiders...
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2002 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: but...... Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I thought aunt may had med her maker.


Did Aunt May finally die? I haven't read Spiderman (or any current superhero comics) in a long time, not since the late 80's or so. That's a shame, because one of my favorite sub-plots was Peter Parker always needing money to get Aunt May another operation. Please tell me J. Jonah Jameson is still alive.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2002 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a Spider-man fan so I didn't read the issues in question, but here's what I gather happened- Aunt May finally died due to- I don't know- something and on her deathbed told Peter that she always knew he was really Spider-man. Sounds really cool and touching. So of course it was later revealed that it wasn't really Aunt May, but rather some clone or alien or something and she's actually alive and kicking.
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Byron Pennyworth
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. Damnit.

I stopped reading Superhero comics in '94, and Scott'll tell you why.
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2002 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ernest Hemingway once wrote:
Quote:
"Any story going on for long enough, will eventually talk about Death"



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Brent P. Newhall
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:41 am    Post subject: Garfield Reply with quote

Actually, even Garfield has died, though only in fantasy. One of the Garfield books contained a lengthy fantasy sequence in which Garfield, space captain, doesn't quite manage to make it out of his situation alive. It turns out that he's in an arcade simulator, of course.

And who can forget the Calvin and Hobbes series in which Calvin finds the dying baby raccoon?
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Zem
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Byron Pennyworth wrote:
I stopped reading Superhero comics in '94, and Scott'll tell you why.


Why, Scott, why?

Brent P. Newhall wrote:
And who can forget the Calvin and Hobbes series in which Calvin finds the dying baby raccoon?


Or the dead bird, &c...
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Wallbat
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Death, to McCloud Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:

Meadow of the damned and Man Eating Shoes are still my favorites. I have yet to be dissatisfied with any of the Morning Improv comics.


Man-eating shoes has that great children's book look despite the carnivorous footwear. It kinda looks like Crockett Johnson's "Harold and the Purple Crayon" or maybe Thurber. I just love the bizarre contrast. There should a whole series with that hapless little man being eaten by stuff. "Man-eating Hat" "Man-eating Wallet" "Man-eating Coffee-Cup." Maybe it can be the replacement for "Choose Your Own Carl."
Okay, maybe not. Just keep up the good work, Scott. We're all excited to see "The Right Number."
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