The 10 Best Loss Management Comics


Life is full of loss, be it the loss of a family member or friend, the loss of identity, or even the loss of hope that things can get better. Everyone has experienced a version of this emotion and dealt with it in their own way. Stories of loss aren’t just about things that are gone, but can teach life lessons and hopefully help people come to terms with their stronger experiences.

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The comic’s unique combination of words and images makes it the perfect format for personal stories. The medium brings out nuanced feelings and its natural intimacy connects readers and creators in ways that conventional film and literature cannot. As a result, comics about loss can help people on both sides of the equation process loss in the real world and learn from the experiences of others.

ten Rosalie Lightning is the story of parents who lost a daughter

Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, by cartoonist Tom Hart tells how he and his wife coped with the loss of their two-year-old daughter, Rosalie Lightning Hart. Hart commemorates his daughter by talking about the things she loved, her favorite lyrics and her activities.

Hart also goes into detail about the grieving process he and his wife went through, grappling with the question of what one is supposed to do after the death of a child. Hart’s expressive artwork and his candor about their pain and the difficulties he and his wife faced as the world around them changed make this a must-read on coping with loss.

9 Tim Drake’s career as Robin is punctuated by the loss of loved ones

In the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, the third Robin Tim Drake has come a long way during his early crime-fighting adventures. He lost loved ones, including his parents, his girlfriend Stephanie Brown and his best friend and bandmate, Superboy Conner Kent.

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In Robin #156 , by Adam Beecher, Freddie Williams II and Guy Major, Tim meets a boy on a ledge who is contemplating suicide. Tim uses his own experiences to connect with the young man and encourage him to talk with someone about his issues. This helps Tim examine his own sanity and contact Dick Grayson for help.

8 The Anthology Grief explores the five stages of grief

Pain, the 82-page anthology by writer Frank Gogel and a host of independent artists, examines the five stages of grief through comic book genre stories from superheroes to horror and more. Written to start conversations, the book focuses on the everyday things people go through and how they go through them.

Pain don’t try to solve this problematic human emotion. It’s a book designed to instill a sense of hope over time. Grieving isn’t just something to go through, it’s a feeling we need to experience in order to recover from real losses. This anthology superbly illustrates this idea.

seven Superman/Batman #26 deals with losses on many levels

The extra large problem Superman/Batman #26 was partially written by Jeph Loeb’s son, Sam, who died of bone cancer at the age of 17. Set before Conner’s death during Infinite Crisisin collaboration with Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines and Peter Steigerwald, explores the complex friendship dynamic between Tim Drake and Superboy that blossomed during their days as founding members of Young Justice.

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The issue includes a six-page story, Sam’s story, speak Superman for all seasons creative team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, with Jose Villarubia. Dedicated to the memory of Sam Loeb, it tells how young Clark Kent lost a friend to bone cancer and decided to work harder to give people much-needed hope.

6 The YA Graphic Novel Hey, Kiddo Is About Growing Up With Loss

Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mom, Found My Dad, and Coped With Family Addiction is a 2018 graphic memoir by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Here, Krosoczka recounts his mother’s struggle with drug addiction, his absent father, and the opinionated grandparents who raised him.

Jarrett learns to make sense of his stressful life and childhood, expressing himself through drawing while learning the truth about his family, accepting his mother, and tracking down his father. It’s a story about the importance of honesty in difficult circumstances and about transcending loss.

5 Fallen Son Examined How Marvel Heroes Dealed With Captain America’s Death

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America is a five-issue series by Jeph Loeb showing how characters from across the Marvel Universe dealt with the death of Captain America. Based on the Five Stages of Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, the premise was introduced by J. Michael Straczynski and written by Loeb, who drew from personal experience.

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In the series, Wolverine personifies Denial, the wrath of the Avengers, Captain America himself, Bargaining, Spider-Man personifies depression, and Iron Man is Acceptance. The series illustrates various of these stages and how the characters move through their lives. The series also shows that even though superheroes have extraordinary powers, they are still human to their core.

4 No one else shows the consequences of loss

Nobody else, the graphic novel by R. Kikuo Johnson, captures a family in the wake of loss, transitioning to the possibility of eventual recovery. The story follows Charlene, a full-time nurse and mom, who cares for her crippled father while keeping her family together.

When Charlene and her father are suddenly alone, Charlene sees an opportunity for a fresh start, until her vagabond brother Robbie reenters their lives. Nobody else reveals a big, tender truth about loss and its aftermath, as the family must learn to navigate their new normal while chasing their dreams and facing their fears.

3 A contract with God helped Eisner cope with the death of his young daughter

The little story A contract with God is part of the landmark 1978 graphic novel of the same name by cartoonist Will Eisner, which follows impoverished Jewish characters around New York City. In this opening story, religious Jew Frimme Hersh makes a contract with God, promising to live a life of good deeds in exchange for happiness. After adopting a baby girl left on his doorstep, only for her to die unexpectedly, Hersh is furious and accuses God of breaking their contract by renouncing his faith.

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The story invoked the feelings of the Jew Eisner regarding the death of his 16-year-old daughter, Alice, and how it changed his thoughts about God. Eisner called the story “an exercise in personal angst, exorcising the rage he felt at the death of his daughter.” It’s a raw but honest exploration of loss.

2 Last Things Chronicles The loss of a family member to ALS

Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love, by Marissa Moss, is a graphic memoir about how she lost her husband to bulbar ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Here, she recounts the harrowing journey Moss and her family went through after learning of her husband’s diagnosis.

Last things doesn’t just focus on death, loss and terminal illness. It’s also a personal look at the daily life of Moss’ family and the struggle to find stability amid their personal chaos. Moss skillfully captures alienating diseases like ALS, how it can change a person, and the helplessness loved ones feel as the dying process unfolds.

1 In I Kill Giants, Fantasy And Real World Trauma Collide

I kill giants is a seven-issue Image Comics Here series, Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura tell the story of fifth-grade student Barbara Thorson, a loner quick to tell others she’s battling giants with her Coveleski hammer. Barbara’s home life doesn’t offer her much of an escape as she and her younger brother are cared for by her older brother.

I kill giants is the story of a young family struggling with an absent father and a terminally ill mother. As it progresses, it is evident that Barbara’s “giant” battles are symbols of her mother’s illness and her need to redeem herself before it is too late.

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