One favorite subject for cartoonists is our old pal, Death, the Final Jokester. We do our best to humiliate him. We endow him with human weaknesses and failings. We dress him up funny, mock him, and even turn the tables on occasion and attempt to kill him.

It’s our way of dealing with the guy, who, as we all know, in spite of everything, always gets the last laugh.

Eventually, when we tire of trying to get the best of Death, We draw cartoons about the afterlife, usually the familiar Heaven and Hell.

We get God in there, too, usually patterned after the “Big Guy in the Sky” image promoted by some religions, or thinly disguised as Zeus, borrowed from the ancient Greeks to avoid outright blasphemy.


Another approach to the subject of death is the gravestone gag, in which the caption appears within the drawing as an epitaph.

This gives me an idea.

That panel of celebrity judges I employed to evaluate entries in the recent reverse caption contest here are still hanging around. They’ve had nothing to do since then (Or even when the contest was happening, actually) and have been making a nuisance of themselves, lounging around in their underwear and complaining about everything between their many trips to my refrigerator.

I’m going to take a chance here and suggest another contest:

You Really Could Be Writing a Witty Epitaph
(Not for your own gravestone, necessarily, but for some other, presumably departed, soul.)

(Selected entries will end up on their own tombstones in a graveyard drawing in a future blog).

Send your epitaphs to

If nothing else, maybe it will get these people out of my hair so I can get some work done.


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