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<   No. 1890   2008-03-30   >

Comic #1890

1 Me: So... in order to maintain my popularity, I have to stay dead?
2 Head Death: LOOK AT HOW IT WORKS FOR OTHER ARTISTS. VAN GOGH. EMILY DICKINSON. ELVIS.
3 Head Death: SHAKESPEARE. CHARLES M. SCHULZ. PAUL MCCARTNEY.
4 Me: What? Paul McCartney is still alive!
4 Head Death: ARE YOU SURE?

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2018-11-15 Rerun commentary: Emily Dickinson might seem like an odd and obscure choice for a dead artist, especially first up in this list. The reason I chose her was because I wanted someone who was fairly obscure during their lifetime, and only really achieved fame and popularity after their death. Vincent van Gogh also fits that mould.

The others, while just as, and arguably more popular after their deaths, were not really obscure or unknown during their lifetimes, and in fact made a pretty good living out of their fame. The reason I didn't go solely for people who were unknown in their own lifetime is that apparently there aren't actually all that many of them, and those there are are not exactly household names. Even lists of Top 10 Now Famous Artists Who Died Poor and Unknown have to pad themselves out with people like Johann Sebastian Bach and Claude Monet, both of whom were very famous and well liked during their own lives, but who "qualify" for the list through some quirk of the compiler's selection criteria.

The main joke in this strip, by the way, is a reference to this phenomenon (spoiler).

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