Bizarro is brought to you today by Shrouds 'N More. "Filling your final needs since 1973."
The Grim Reaper has been a cartoon cliche for decades and rightly so. What could be funnier than death? Okay, you're right, almost anything is, but still, he makes a terrific spokesperson for what is untenably a very unpopular product.
The surprising origins of the Grim Reaper are fascinating. The character first appeared in a Road Runner comic book in 1914, at the height of the Nazi scourge of Europe. Because Hitler invariably wore solid black, the color was assigned to G.R. The skeleton face, hands and feet were a recent addition, however, the original reaper had no face but the hands and feet of a house cat, presumably because they are such good hunters.
Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the implement G.R. never seems to be without. Most modern-day hominids assume it is a scythe, but according to the comic in which the character originated (Road Runner vs. The Black Terror, #45, page 13) the weapon is "wrought from the crooked limb of the baobab tree, fixed with the fang of a saber-toothed tiger."
Furthermore, the original character had a prominent upside-down star, or "pentagon," on his chest, the well-known symbol of the Nazi Party. Historians tell us, however, that even though they carried that name proudly, the Nazis were not particularly good party givers. Many personal accounts and documents from the era recount how stingy the Nazis were with snacks and libations and that their choice in party music was, "dour and sometimes downright dirge-like."
Whatever your opinion of death, Nazies, WWI, or the Road Runner, I hope you enjoyed today's cartoon.