Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > Commentary and Features

Five For Friday #43—It’s a Sad, Sad Situation
posted August 19, 2005

Name Five Moments From Comics That Made You Sad Enough to Cry, Even If You Didn't

1. Barnaby can no longer see Mr. O'Malley
2. The Last Encounter with Soba in "Soba"
3. Maggie's letter about Letty in Wig Wam Bam
4. The final Peanuts
5. That scene in Murmur where the guy visits his mother

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jeffrey Meyer

1. "At the time I really couldn't see what was the big deal about the moon and the stars... Your grandmother won't come down here any more." From "Like A Weed, Joe" by Clowes, that heartless bastid.
2. "I was eight years old when my father died. Now, as an adult, I'm taller than he was. In my mind, though, he's still bigger than me." From Mazzucchelli's "Big Man"
3. The scene from LOVE & ROCKETS when either Maggie or Hopey (good lord, I can't remember) is sitting on the sidewalk and says something like "I wonder what would happen if I just sat here for the rest of my life..."
4. Chris Ware's "Ann Stark's Warning" from DUPLEX PLANET ILLUSTRATED #2
5. Every time Joe Matt masturbates.


Rob Schamberger

The end of Brubaker's Lowlife, seeing how pathetic the character had become, and wondering how true to life that was.
When the Earth blew up in Legion of Super-Heroes #38.
When Jurgens killed off some JSA members in Zero Hour.
When Superman screwed Jimmy Corrigan's mother.
The death of Morpheus in Sandman.


Tim O'Neil

1. The end of Chester Brown's "I Never Liked You"
2. Cerebus #300 (yes, even after the stupid parts I was still attached to the little guy)
3. "Dylan & Donovan" from Optic Nerve #3 (still his best short story)
4. The issue of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing with the Pogo pastiche
5. The death of Krypto in Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" (that one still chokes me up just thinking about it)

... and of course, the part in Spunky Knight #1 where the main character is revealed as a hermaphrodite and they all fuck for ten pages.

Almost forgot ... the sequence in Achewood where Phillipe gives the french fry a funeral...


Pat Dean

1) Tom Hart's "Hutch Owen" story in the Alternative Comics 9-11 book, that ends with him collapsing on the floor of a diner crying. There was alot of trite crap comics that came out of 9-11, but that one was sincere and sadder n'hell.
2) The very last page of the Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth book right after the page of his office mate looking at the snow and saying something like "It's really beautiful, isn't it?" and flipping over to the two pages of snow and a tiny superheo figure carrying someone small. I damn near woke my wife up sobbing at that.
3) Chunky (the turtle) throwing the fish back into the sea right as the bird returns to Solomon in Goodbye Chunky Rice.
4) The end of Eightball #23, thinking that this guy would zap the world out of existence if he ever got fed up enough... but he loves his dog so goddam much. That killed me.
5) Okay, bare with me on this one. I was attracted to this book by Igor Kordey's artwork, but the sixth issue of Darko Macan & Kordey's Soldier X (The Cable relaunch. Yes, that Cable) has this page of Cable having grown to a giant towering over an Armenian gang and a mass of sick peasants in the middle of Russia after a thunderstorm as he's retrieving a tiny robot arm torm off of a dwarf. He has this sad look of wonder on his face looking at this tiny metal arm as everyone's scattering in horror. Above him there are dark clouds, and behind him is a giant rainbow. I swear to you, it's the most gorgeous page I've ever seen in a modern Marvel comic book.


Christopher Duffy

1. The final page of Grant Morrison's Animal Man run, where the author sends flashlight signal across a bay or some body of water to an imaginary fox friend from the author's youth. It's hard to describe, but it was practically religious for me.
2. Krypto's death at the hands of the Kryptonite Man in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow."
3. Gen (in Barefoot Gen) taking care of that guy with the horrible skin condition when not even his own family would.
4. John Porcellino's comic about his dog Sammy. I didn't even get choked up when the John character hears about her death, but I cried when I turned to the back cover and it said, "Her favorite food was pancakes."
5. The end of Chunky Rice where Chunky sees the mouse's bottle bumping against the ship.


Warren Craghead

1. Barefoot Gen, when the house is on top of his family and they're burning.
2. Speedy's death in Love and Rockets, esp when he "visits" Maggie and Izzy.
3. That Pogo issue of Swamp Thing someone else mentioned.
4. The last Peanuts -- I went out and bought the newspaper specifically to get it and heard in the car on the way home that Schulz had died.
5. Quimby Mouse stories by Chris Ware.


Will Pfeifer

1. In V FOR VENDETTA, when V asked Evey how it felt to be willing to let her body die to have her principles live, and she says "I felt like an angel."
2. The end of FLEX MENTALLO, where the heroes are believed back into existence. Flex saves the day, the pills turn out to be M&Ms and Nanoman and Minimiss stop saying "I love you" long enough to realize that they're real again.
3. In THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, when Luthor tries to appeal to the Kandorians by offering to enlarge their city, but they stun him by remaining true to their sense of justice. (It's a corny story full of powerful moments.)
4. In that first SWAMP THING ANNUAL Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben did, when Alec rescues Abby from hell and she says, on the last page "Alec, are you crying?"
5. In WATCHMEN, when Dr. Manhattan tells Laurie that every single human life if a thermodynamic miracle, as the camera pans out and we see them standing in a (real) smiley face on Mars.


Sean T. Collins

5) "What?": Lucille's last word in Sin City (inexplicably cut from the movie!)
4) The panel in Chunky Rice where the puppy licks the guy's face right before the guy drowns him and the rest of his little puppy brothers and sisters
3) The end of Hey, Wait...
2) "Just to feel. Just to feel something.": Serial killer Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins's explanation for why he mutilates himself after killing, in Arkham Asylum. Having become something of an expert in both serial killers and self-mutilation since I first read this comic, this line is now one of the saddest I've ever read, because it's true
1) Acme Novelty Library #13, pretty much from start to finish.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Pat Dean for reminding me how good Soldier X was. Sadly, this book just missed inclusion in Marvel's "We'll collect ANYTHING in trade paperback" era, and now will probably languish in obscurity until the end of time. That's kind of sad right there, when you think about it.