Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Black Comedy

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ twice a month. Yes, it’ll take me a year. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:


Black Comedy


humor that touches on the darker sides of storytelling such as death and fear; also known as black humor, dark humor, dark comedy, morbid humor, and gallows humor

Tipsa to z

  1. Find humor in the negative results from or aspects of situations.
  2. Often, it makes light of subject matter that would generally be considered taboo (such as gallows humor).
  3. Explore vulgar issues that will make readers uncomfortable but appeal to your core readers.
  4. Popular themes include discrimination, disease, and human sexuality.
  5. You might focus on police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews, morticians who make their days more palatable with gallows humor.

Popular Books

  1. Black Humor (an anthology edited by Bruce Jay Friedman)
  2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  3. In Bruges by Martin McDonagh
  4. Let Me Watch You Make Love by Black
  5. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More B Genres:

Help me crowdsource the books

This year, instead of searching for popular books in each genre, I’ll crowdsource them–include books as often as possible written by Indie authors. That means yours. Here’s how you get involved:

  • Go through the list of genres (and subgenres) below. They are less common than the usual so you’ll have to read the definitions and decide where your books fit. If you’re close, that’s good enough. For example: If you write suspenseful historical fiction, add your name to “historical suspense”.
  • In the comments, tell me your name, your book, a link to where it’s sold, and the genre it fits.
  • If no genre fits your books, give me your favorites in a genre. I’ll still credit you with a linkback.
  • When I get to that genre (between April 1, 2021 and about two years later), I’ll put your book in the list of examples with a link to where it can be purchased. If you suggested a book, I’ll link to your blog.

That’s it! I sure hope you play along with me on this!

Here’s the genre list (links aren’t live until publication).

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 

46 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Black Comedy

  1. Long before I met my husband, who is Jewish, I read some of the true evidence given by survivors of Polish ghettos in WW2, and the amount of dark humour which emerged as a safety valve, was amazing. Believe me, it was very dark…but helped them mock their dire circumstances. I have been happily married for 68 years and therefore mixed with many Jewish people and can confirm that humour – some of it dark – is very popular! I am more than delighted and grateful that all types of humour are alive and well in our family.It certainly helps iron out the bumps in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aren’t human beings fascinating! So many conflicting traits within us…I’m a bit of an empath and an optimist and yet I’m a fan of black humour. But not too dark…I’m particularly fond of Jewish humour and a fan of Woody Allen, eg: “I don ‘t mind dying, as long as I’m not there when it happens.” I enjoy writing from facts but with fictional characters, laced with gentle/sometimes a little darker, humour. After all life itself is, sometimes, a bit like that…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 5th April 2021 – #Reviews D.Wallace Peach, #BlackHumour Jacqui Murray, #Haddock New Vintage Kitchen | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Even in darkness I think humans still try to find something to laugh about.. Much of the comedy of the 70s such as Monty Python and the mid 80s with Black Adder took dire circumstances and still made us laugh. Not usually my choice of reading genre but Catch 22 was so well written that you could not help but appreciate the ironic use of humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been a huge fan of Black Comedy. I remember my year 8 english teacher setting a black comedy for me to read – maybe it was a poor example, but I really didn’t enjoy it and that set the bench mark for all to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Jacqui for shedding light on black comedy. Yeah, like someone else commented, at first I also thought it was about skin color. But thankfully no. And allow me to expand the remit of black comedy from ‘darker sides of storytelling such as death and fear’ to ‘taking any situation to a logical extreme that is uncomfortable as well as funny.’ In fact, I would use black comedy and satire interchangeably.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to admit, when I saw the title “Black Comedy,” my first thought was of race. Richard Pryor and Chris Rock popped into my head. Black comedy is not something I typically read as I enjoy lighter humor. One of my favorite types of humor is irony, and sometimes black comedy delves into this area.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I first ran into Catch-22 it was on a high shelf in the school library and I had to get permission to get it. I think they secretly wanted us to read it but didn’t want to cause a fuss. I laughed myself until I cried.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. I am a bit fragile in that I don’t handle negative comments well so I don’t give them either. As a result, this isn’t my genre but I do know lots of people who enjoy it.


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