In memory of CIDU Bill Bickel

Several years ago, Bill commented upon the unusual frequency of “Grim Reaper” comics, and he even held an informal submission contest to prove his point.

For this reason, I suggested scheduling the following comic collection for today, the second anniversary of Bill’s extremely untimely passing, in memory of a dear friend whom we all miss terribly, and who (I believe) would have understood this rather unorthodox memorial presentation in the humorous and good-natured fashion in which it is sincerely intended.

It’s simply a real shame that Bill could not have had the chance to read and comment upon these comics with us all.

Michael Kilby

This Strange Brew was contributed by Andréa, originally as an Oy:

Leigh Rubin keeps on returning to the Grim Reaper theme:


  1. So, the litter box is nailed down? What about the litter and the stuff that is put into the litter box. Oh yeah, there are ‘enclosed’ litter boxes now, aren’t there?

  2. @ Andréa – I assume that those are supposed to be urns (for cremated ashes), but the shape does not conform to anything I have ever seen.(at least not at German funerals). In my experience, such urns are shorter and wider (and therefore less likely to topple over).

  3. I was wond’rin’ how DEATH smoothed out the ridges made by its finger bones. I have an urn containing my Mother’s ashes and several with my dogs’ ashes, none of which are that shape, but I got the general idea.

  4. We just had a “siblings only” text thread on the subject of “It’s been years, we need to do something with Mom’s ashes”. Naturally, nothing was resolved.

  5. My dad’s went into the Colorado River, via the Old Yuma Bridge, Yuma, AZ. My dogs’ and my Mom’s will stay with me until I die; then it won’t matter to me anymore.

  6. @ Brian & Andréa – Germans are normally not permitted to retain possession of cremated ashes; there is (or at least was) a requirement that they be “interred” in an “appropriate” (licensed) location. This led to a certain amount of “cremation tourism”, especially near the Dutch border, because the Netherlands does not have this restriction. I know that the German laws were adjusted not that long ago, but I’m not sure how far the relaxation went.

  7. It’s called ‘inurnment’ – the placement of cremated human remains in an urn and placement of such urn in a niche, crypts, grave, or other suitable location in the Cemetery.

  8. @ Andréa – Tatulli’s setup is a bit too contrived for my taste. I think it would have worked better if the car had belonged to the man, and not the Grim Reaper, who should have been carrying a lug wrench, rather than a scythe. The drawing in the third panel would have been the same (except that the car would not have needed the clumsy label), and the punchline would still be “the tow truck wins!”

  9. @ Andréa – Being a gentleman, I took just one of the two comics, and left the other one for you. Of course, it doesn’t often happen that we see two Grim Reapers (or in this case: 2½) in one day.

  10. @ Andréa – I suppose I should admit that “Liō” is on my “CIDU filter list”. While I do enjoy reading the strips that show up here, I find that the enjoyment palls when I read them every day (the same is true – at least for me – with “Frazz” and “PBS”. YMMV).

  11. Yes, my mileage does vary; I read ’em ev’ry on the off-chance (well, to me, there’s very much an on-chance) they’ll be funny. That’s why the DELETE button was invented (and I have a variety of audiences to please on my lists, so I have to keep that in mind, too).

  12. @ Mitch – That’s an excellent “OY”, potentially even worth a repeat appearance in the regular post next Saturday.

  13. In celebration of May Day, here’s a random Grim Reaper strip that I just discovered in a CIDU post from 2014 (as archived by the Wayback Machine). Since Mother Goose & Grimm has changed syndicates, Comics Kingdom has removed it from their archives, but so far GoComics only offers 2023 strips. Therefore, this image is also from the Wayback machine:

  14. @ Brian – My problem was that they have removed MG&G from the selection menu, and since I wasn’t sure about the exact spelling of the path in the URL, I wasn’t able to recreate that link. However, since wordpress cannot embed a CK image URL, that link is a good backup.

  15. Here is another take on “Swiss Death” that I actually prefer, because it avoids the Victorinox logo:

    P.S. Don’t bother visiting Easterling’s website: it has been pirated by a URL vulture, much like what happened to Bill’s original CIDU URL.

  16. P.P.S. Seems like a mild case of annual synchronicity, both comics are dated 2014.

  17. @ larK – Either way, Peters appears to have protected himself from any trademark violation claims, by inverting the colors. His drawing has a red cross on a white field, whereas both Wenger and Victorinox use a white cross on a red field (just like Switzerland, of course).

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.