How 8 Comic Strip Characters Will Die
Comic strip characters rarely ever age and almost never die (not so much due to clean living as due to their creator’s need to keep making that sweet $8 a week in salary). But all things must come to an end, and so it will be for the following beloved icons of the funny pages.
1. Charlie Brown
Thanks to Charlie Brown’s life-long struggle with chronic depression, many assume he will die due to self-inflicted gunshot wound, a prescription drug overdose or by glumly walking into a bull pasture smelling of cow pheromones. But due to Lucy’s aggressive therapy (which she later details in her bestselling book “You CAN Kick the Football”), Charlie Brown will overcome his demons and live a life of excitement and fulfillment. In fact, so great will his zest for high-octane thrills be that he will completely forget the old saying—“When you dive from great heights, make sure there is water, a cushion or at least something other than lions wielding chainsaws below.”
2. Beetle Bailey
Although he’s been in the army for over 60 years, Beetle has yet to see a single day of combat (despite the fact that the U.S. is currently engaged in 17 wars, including two secret ones with the Martians and Alternate Universe Canadians). So naturally no one would ever expect him to die on the field of battle. But that is exactly what will happen when he becomes heavily involved in live-action role-playing and tries to defeat a fire-breathing dragon that is played by a semi-truck outfitted with numerous flamethrowers but not a single set of brakes.
Most people know Dagwood for three things—having married way out of his league, having trouble getting to work on time and having an appetite that could only be the result of an unchecked tapeworm. But few know about his secret other family in another comic strip. Or his losing thousands of dollars at the racetrack, betting on cats who wander in every direction except towards the finish line. Or his hundreds upon hundreds of composition notebooks detailing how his militia will one day overthrow the government. Alas, the FBI will be all too aware of the last one, resulting in a massive shoot-out that not only kills every character in “Blondie” but also eliminates countless stars from nearby strips on the funny pages, including Hi and Lois, Sally Forth and Archie just before he and Betty are about to do it.
4. Mary Worth
Mary Worth has always been free with her advice, even to those who don’t want it, those who don’t know who she is or those who don’t know they can’t outrun an 76-year-old woman who has won the Senior 10K Sprint five years in a row. So it will be no surprise when Mary strong arms an organized crime syndicate into hiring her to be their consigliore, advising on all matters of racketeering and swift elimination of the competition. But when she tells the Mafia don to stop focusing on prostitution and gambling and pursue his life-long dream of raising monarch butterflies, the mob is immediately overthrown by the Yakuza, who decide to make an example of Mary Worth by killing her in a Sunday comic in full-color glory.
Friendless, hairless and pantsless, Ziggy has always led a life that could best be summed up as “hate to be THAT guy” even by hobos. So it will be no surprise when the secret hoarder’s bloated body is found months later under a pile of several hundred old newspapers. And several old engine blocks. And several old refrigerators. And several old demolition balls. And several old above-ground pools still filled with water and swimmers. And a pet parrot on top of the huge pile of fallen debris, repeating Ziggy’s last words—“Why couldn’t this have happened to Mallard Fillmore instead?”
6. Dennis the Menace
When Dennis is laid off at age 48, he not only loses his health insurance but also his ability to afford his countless mood-stabilizing prescriptions. Soon his long-in-check menacing ways start to resurface. First he fashions a crude, homemade slingshot only to upgrade it to a crude, homemade crossbow. Then he puts on his old red overalls, despite no longer fitting and causing him to wander around town mostly naked. Then he heads towards Mr. Wilson’s house, seeking revenge for when the old man refused to give him a cookie back in 1958. Of course, Dennis will discover that Mr. Wilson is long dead, leaving the middle-aged scamp to head back home, only to be disemboweled by the great-great-grand pup of Marmaduke.
7. Almost Every Character in “Family Circus”
What happens when the entire Keane family moves into a home that their new neighbors lovingly refer to as “The Murder-Murder-Murder-Murder-Murder-Suicide House” but the realty agent describes as “Charming with just a hint of viscera”? The ghost “Not Me” will inhabit eldest boy Billy, who will go on a killing spree clearly marked by a dotted line. One by one the Keane children and parents will drop until all that is left is Billy and baby PJ, who has used his time hiding in his toy chest carving throwing stars out of building blocks while trying to call for help on a toy phone. The baby will successfully vanquish his brother and then roam the night for the rest of his life, killing demons but never learning how to count or read.
8. Calvin and Hobbes
After leading a childhood of non-stop adventure and limitless imagination, Calvin will enter adulthood with a renewed sense of inner peace and focus. He and Hobbes will then open a home-based knit goods business selling cozies for every appliance, including washing machines and freezers. Children will pass by their house, swearing that they could hear the single sixtysomething politely argue with a small toy tiger over fourth quarter earnings projections and the necessity for increased fiber in their daily diet. Eventually the two will pass away quietly in their sleep after chuckling how Christopher Robin could have ever thought that Winnie-the-Pooh was actually alive.
How do you think other comic strip charcters will die? Let us know in the comments!