It’s getting harder and harder to catch the reader off-guard when I’m writing these strips. Taking a nice little situation and turning it dark isn’t enough to make it funny, because that’s what the reader is expecting now. I think that’s why Red Meat seems to have gotten a little stale over time, because it keeps doing the same thing over and over and eventually you have to start seeing the gag coming.
For this one I took it dark to begin with, going into what scary tales about punishment in the afterlife these kids had been told to make them do their chores, then took it a level below that.
This is also the first strip where I have made fun of the clip art I used.