Cartoons allow us to laugh in the face of death, or at least poke some fun at our fears. Here are a bunch of comic strips that comment on our fears and avoidance of acknowledging our mortality.
This Lio cartoon is about “the elephant in the room” that no one wants to talk about… that we’re all going to die at some point.
Non Sequitur is always a good source for thought-provoking Death Cartoons. In this panel, a couple are on a boat to the underworld, pushed along by a dark hooded Grim Reaper. The woman says to the man, “Okay… so sometimes it is the destination and not the journey.”
Here’s another great Non Sequitur, this one titled The Last Schmooze. Guys in suits have been deposited out of a chute to face the Devil. The Devil says, “Thanks for the offer, but we already have an abundance of banking and legal representation.” Wiley is convinced all bankers and lawyers will go to hell.
This Pearls Before Swine cartoon offers a little philosophy at the bar. Goat asks Rat, “Why do you drink so much, Rat?” A wide-eyed Rat replies, “Because I’m trapped in an existence I don’t understand, save for the fact that one day it will end unexpectedly and tragically, thrusting me into utter nothingness, peace, or flames, all of which apparently last forever.” In the last frame, Goat has joined him in a few beers and looks wide-eyed too, and says, “We should do this more often.” The Terror Management Theory in action!
Even this recent Retail cartoon mentions mortality. Val and Cooper are sitting on the sofa, and Val says, “I never liked the phrase, ‘He died before his time.’ If you believe that we all have a predetermined ‘time’ when we’re supposed to die, then technically nobody can die before their time.” Cooper comments, “You have to admit, ‘He died exactly on time, just like everyone’ wouldn’t be very comforting.” Val replies, “No, but it would be philosophically consistent.”