Wow....this is one of the things I love about your humor, Coop. Things are gliding along with nice and funny 'straight' jokes and then boom, some delicious darkness and humor at the same time. Well done. Well done indeed!
To be honest, I didn't even intend to make things "darker" ... it was just a natural progression. The current storyline deals with Kira's family and friends back in the little village where she grew up, and her father is an outlaw, so the joke in strip #748 just popped into my head. But you're right in saying that a joke about a dead outlaw swinging from the gallows is a little dark.
I'll try to never let this strip become TOO dark. It's a comedy, after all, not GAME OF THRONES. But it's also a sword-and-sorcery fantasy that's aimed at adults, not kids, so it's never going to be confused with THE FAMILY CIRCUS.
(Sudden thought: Wouldn't it be great to have Ulf make a guest appearance in THE FAMILY CIRCUS?)