Stephen Pastis's PEARLS BEFORE SWINE newspaper comic strip parodies the killing off of a character trend in comics, specificall referencing the death of Lisa in FUNKY WINKERBEAN. As E&P writes in its 'Pearls' Comic Gets 'Funky' With Death Spoof:

The Rat character and a cartoon version of "Pearls" creator Stephan Pastis have seemingly died. While on the clouds, they meet a Phantom-of-the-Opera-looking guy reminiscent of the guy who "escorted" the Lisa character to her death (from cancer) last year in "Funky Winkerbean."

That "Funky" story line made the King Features-syndicated Tom Batiuk a Pulitzer Prize finalist this April.

The PBS (that's Pearls Before Swine -- NOT the Public Broadcasting Service) storyline begins with the July 7th, 2008 strip (above). Here's a link to the strips at, where you can read the entire story.

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