1.5.20 Update: As of right now it appears that Dead Philosophers in Heaven is back online. That said, the comics are not appearing and seem to be missing. I am still trying to contact the creators.
Dead Philosophers in Heaven: one of the wittiest, well-made comics on the internet… and it’s gone. As of right now, http://www.dead-philosophers.com/ shows a blank page. It appears that the owners of the site, Matt and Nick, are no longer paying for their server. So, What happened to Dead Philosophers in Heaven?
I have a few theories.
When I talked to Matt Russell (the co-founder of the comic) a few years ago about webcomics, he mentioned his busy life. Back in 2017 (when they last updated) he was working on a doctorate on top of being a father. As for Nick Gibbs (the other co-founder), I believe that he had a residence at a UC. This may not be the most dramatic end to a comic, but it is likely that they are just too busy with their personal and work lives to work on a philosophy comic. It happens. And with things like COVID-19 ravaging the world, it is possible that two chaps in academia had to make a tough decision on what they pay for, and unfortunately, an irreverent webcomic staring Camus was probably bottom of the list. Matt does have a family to feed.
This is a pretty common ending to webcomics. This very site used to be solely dedicated to comics for years, before I pivoted to post-apocalyptic parody novels. Being in the webcomic game since 2009, I’ve seen a lot of webcomics disappear without a trace. Especially gag comics, like Dead Philosophers in Heaven. From my own experience, burnout and writer’s block is very real. Coming up with new gags every week is not sustainable if you want any semblance of quality. Most webcomics cease getting updates, get a second (and shorter) wave of updates, and then fade into the ether as web registration expires.
I again, just want to be clear that this is all theory. I have not been able to get a hold of either as the emails I had for them were attached to their site, and are likely not working now. I have also tried their Facebook, but are still waiting to hear back.
Where can I find the Dead Philosophers in Heaven comics?
Right now the best resource I have found to read the comics is Wayback Machine, with the archive here. I do not know of any mirror site or any other place that they were submitting their comics. That said, occasionally I find their more popular comics on Tumblr, and Pinterest respectively. A quick search for “Dead Philosophers in Heaven” on either site will pull up a few.
My search for the comics, as well as a concrete answer for why this very beloved comic disappeared is ongoing. If you have any insight as to what happened to Dead Philosophers in Heaven, or know of a better archive for the comics, leave a comment for others and I will update this post accordingly.