Human decomposition comics from Mary Roach and Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi

Stages Of Human Decomposition 1 Stages Of Human Decomposition 2
Following up on the castration comics, here's another pair of panels by Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi, inspired by my books (in this case, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers). This one draws on the stages of human decomposition. Ariyana zeroed in on food images and references in the chapter, using a visit to a sushi bar to illustrate phenomena like "skin slip" and end-stage soupiness (not a technical term). Her work just floors me. More at


  1. (sits down to read BB while eating his take-out sushi)

    (remains frozen in place for several minutes)

    (thinks back to his days as a news camera operator and that time when he arrived at the beach before the cops showed up to deal with the corpse that had washed ashore)

    (remembers the smell)

    (puts his chopsticks down)

    BB: always a bright spot in an otherwise dull day

  2. Puts me in mind of a story my dad told me about an experience he had as a volunteer fireman in the Ozarks about 10 years ago. As a first responder in a large, spread-out rural area, he’d occasionally be exposed to fairly revolting instances of mortality. He told me about the time he discovered a large gentleman who’d expired while seated upon the toilet a week or so before being found on a hot, humid summer’s day, in a small single-wide trailer way out in the sticks. The poor guy was extremely large, and apparently extremely rotten. When the coroner (or late-90s Ozark equivalent) enlisted my dad’s assistance in pulling the guy off the john, he broke in half. Rather messily.

    For a retired machinist whose Navy years were spent building runways in the Philippines, comfortably sandwiched between the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, I’d have to say he handled this particular nightmare with admirable aplomb. If I had been there, I’d probably still be ralphing.

  3. Decomposition is fascinating though. Some times I wish I had gone to school to study forensic science.

  4. I have a strong stomach, but the juxtaposition of the sushi shop and the decomposition discussion made me walk the edge.

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