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->''"whatever happens you guys will do great-ish things, probably. unless you don't, like most people. but you will be doing it together. unless you get divorced."''
-->-- '''Gary''' describes the toast he wants to give at his brother's wedding

''[[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/ pictures for sad children]]'' was a webcomic by Merry Graves[[note]]formerly known as John Campbell[[/note]], until the author removed all comics from the website and [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/73258510/sad-pictures-for-children/posts/759318 forfeited on her kickstarter]] on February 27 2014.

The comic featured a minimalist style of art, humor, and grammar. Originally, the comic also featured character-driven stories about a ghost and some other people.

The two main characters were Paul and Gary, although sometimes the comic would follow the other minor characters for a little bit. Paul, [[PhraseCatcher who was a ghost]], who was wearing a bedsheet, died just before the first strip. He wore the bed sheet to look [[BedsheetGhost ghosty]] of course. He hated everything and didn't care. Gary was a grad student who worked at a call center that took the overflow of Indian help lines. People called him and [[{{hilarity ensues}} hilarity ensued]].

After 226 pages, the story of Paul and Gary came to a very abrupt and inconclusive end. After that, the comic continued as an unconnected series of surreal one-shots with occasional story arcs but none as long as the big one.

The world of ''Pictures For Sad Children'' was [[CrapsackWorld cynical]]. Most of the characters were depressed even though they knew that they had no real problems. The main characters also resigned themselves to a life of unfulfilled dreams and crushing meaningless jobs. There were many [[MagicalRealism magic realist]] elements to the world as well, like an ipod that played you your regrets, a family that had the powers of Jesus, and passive-aggressive post-it notes that seemingly came from no one.

In March 2014, the author suffered [[CreatorBreakdown a mental and emotional breakdown]], tore down her entire webcomic page, and burned the unshipped books (encapsulated dead wasps and all) that she promised to her Kickstarter backers. In May of that year, Max Temkin (of TabletopGame/CardsAgainstHumanity fame) managed to get and ship out all of the originally promised books.

!!This webcomic provides examples of:
%%* AerithAndBob: Afsheen and Sara
* AllLowercaseLetters: The comic (and Graves herself) spoke this way.
%%* AndThatsTerrible: you are not dead you are just a bad person
* AltText: Well, until they were taken down, anyway, the comics usually had unique alt text. They're all gone now.
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: "up the mountain to see the dead man" was the first of several comics to experiment with {{medium blending}} and employ a significantly more surreal tone.
* ArtShift:
** One comic is a sunday strip from a fictional syndicated version of the comic, done in full colour (and complete with [[http://www.kingfeatures.com/ King Features syndicate]] small print in the margins).
** Also, as part of her minor but protracted breakdown, Merry Graves posted her work in various media in place of regular comics.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: In the original and [[AbortedArc abandoned]] storyline, [[PhraseCatcher Paul, who is a ghost,]] [[CelestialBureaucracy being unable]] go to Heaven is the main plot.
* BedsheetGhost: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]]: Paul is dead, and wears a bedsheet so he looks more like a ghost.
%%* BlessedWithSuck: 212 HAPPY BIRTHDAY
%%* CelestialBureaucracy: Paul waits in line to get into the afterlife.
%%* CoitusUninterruptus: "i'm ben franklin and i'm giving it to a french lady, this is what i do."
%%* CorruptCorporateExecutive: One or more may be involved, not like it matters because the result is the same no matter what. There is no point in thinking about how many different ones there are in this strip.
* CrapsackWorld: It's not {{after the end}} or anything, everybody is just kind of bored and unfulfilled. Also, gravity is just because atoms get lonely too.
* DeathIsCheap: Best shown through Paul, who is killed by a car hitting him and simply becomes a ghost, and otherwise continues to live his day-to-day (un)life unchanged. Then when his time of haunting is up he is forced into hell but ends up escaping it very easily.
* DeusAngstMachina: One strip features "impossibly tragic grandma", whose tragic backstory combines multiple mutually exclusive tragedies and historical events.
* EmbarrassedByAChild: Played for surreal {{black comedy}} in one comic. A child points out a man on the street who has a large misshapen head and sharp teeth. The kid's mom just says not to stare at him. The man kills and eats a person right there in public and the mom insists the child continue ignoring him.
* EpisodeOnAPlane: "we are all going down together" is a guest strip where Paul gets annoyed with passengers on his flight and simply throws himself out of the emergency exit. A particularly stupid passenger is inspired by Paul (who is a ghost and will emerge from the fall unscathed) and his lack of hesitation and jumps as well. To his death, obviously.
%%* Fetish: "do you have any pornography that simulates having a significant relationship, that is my fetish"
%%* FlatWhat: What.
%%* TheFunInFuneral: A beach funeral.
* {{Hell}}: Apparently it is a hotel in Latin America. Underwhelmingly, the ironic punishments are pretty lax; the worst part is that the wi-fi is slow and you have to pay for it.
%%* HypocrisyNod
* ImagineSpot: Gary imagines his horrifically unfulfilling future with a girl.
%%* IslandHelpMessage: Poor dfw
%%* JumpOffABridgeRebuttal: Everyone is doing it.
%%* KafkaKomedy: u may have been in this situation b4
%%* LiteraryAllusionTitle: so it goes
%%** Creator/TSEliot, prufrock
%%** Creator/KurtVonnegut, [[Literature/SlaughterhouseFive slaughterhouse-five.]]
%%* Metaphorgotten: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/108 In the alt text]], [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/272 in the text text]].
%%* MixedMetaphor: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/192 Lampshaded in the alt text]].
* MundaneAfterlife: Hell is a hotel somewhere in Latin America.
%%* NoPunctuationIsFunnier: Or I mean if you think it's funnier.
%%* ThePlague: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/304 it is not very convenient]]
%%* PlatformGame: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/263/ This one]] contains examples of {{scoring points}} {{designated villain}} and {{goomba stomp}}.
%%* PoliticiansKissBabies: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/192/ this leads]] to a massive moment of {{that came out wrong}}.
* ProductPlacement:
** A small series of strips supposedly sponsored by fast food chain Long John Silver's features such ironic horrors as a frycook holding his arms in the fryer until they burn into "long john"-shaped crisps, and also [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking the ennui that pervades the rest of the comic]].
** Another series has a woman working for an ad agency and includes nonsense like Purina Dog Chow that makes your dog vomit up ads for Purina as well as inversions where chewing gum companies hire homeless people to [[AntiAdvice advertise for their competitors]].
* RacistGrandma: Two characters visit one's racist grandma, [[SubvertedTrope but she simply does normal politically correct grandma things]]. This leads the pair to leave abruptly, as "if she is not being racist, then she is just boring".
%%** Also you may consider [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/111/ this tree]] to be a racist grandpa, it was certainly planted by one.
%%* ReligionOfEvil: There may be a pedophile priest involved but he may also just be a SinisterMinister. Either way your soul will be crushed.
%%* RoboticReveal: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/340 And it gives his roommate a BSOD.]]
* RunningGag: A character calls for help and reaches Gary instead of who they're calling.
* SelfDeprecation: One comic's alt text is Graves insulting her own comic.
-->''i can almost see something mediocre. it says pictures... of small children??''
%%* SeriousBusiness: Don't talk to Jeremy about Saint Shoot unless you want [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/58 this]].
%%* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial}}: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/308 An odd variation]].
%%* ShoutOut: In early comics, to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
* SuddenlyEthnicity: Everybody is normally drawn as an identical stick figure, so this pretty much happens by default. Paul (who is a ghost) is revealed to be Chinese upon removing his bedsheet to wash it, while Gary's ethnicity is "[[AmbiguouslyBrown brown. ish.]]" The latter is lampshaded with a comment from Gary daring Paul to guess what his ethnicity is.
%%* TakeThat: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/7 Huge slam on Oklahoma out of nowhere.]]
* TalkativeLoon: One strip has a bird-man and his bird-son journey across the world to glean wisdom from a gigantic hermit in the mountains, but he turns out to be completely incoherent and rambling about folk music [=EPs=] when they find him.
-->''lacking the hazy hooks of their debut, a pleasing middle ground between lo-fi and club, this folk ep will be making year end lists for the east coast shitgaze tropicalia no wave dubstep sxsw bedroom split single''
%%* TalkingPoo: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/58/ The voice of reason.]]
%%* {{the singularity}}: A rather cynical take on it.
%%-->''it's flying car bullshit: surely the world will conform to our speculative fiction, surely we're the ones who will get to live in the future''
%%* WhoShotJFK: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/299/ Your mileage may vary on whether this is black comedy or what,]]
* WritingAboutYourCrime: A serial killer discovers that he's the subject of a media firestorm, so he takes advantage by writing a book about his killings. It's a ''non-fiction, self-help book'', encouraging readers to follow in his footsteps. The media thinks [[PoesLaw he just wrote it as an elaborate prank]], but he's quick to point out that he's completely serious.
%%* YouBastard: [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/94/ i am not telling a joke. you are terrible]]