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  December 07, 2006 | Canada's New Anthem « Previous | Current | Next » | Archives | About Email lind at

Now and then, I find it fun to play with verse. I've done the Lord's Prayer (as told by George W. Bush at a state dinner that features cluster-bomb seared baby Iraqis in a tortured detainee-sweat sauce); Twas the Night Before Christmas (when Horst was in jail for a short time under suspicion of being a terrorist, and I was able to [partially] rhyme Saddam with Oxfam); and another version of Canada's national anthem (that time as a pean to O-Dubya).

As Stephen Harper endlessly trumpets, we have a New Government. (The way he puts it, you'd we were getting another constitution.) Well, that means it's high time for a New Anthem. (Last week featured Harper's made-in-Canada plan to cut suicide emissions -- and unveiled our New Flag.) I know I've stretched the rhyming a little, with "Rogues Canada, Iran and North Korea" being a far-fetched stand-in for "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee." But the syllable count was about right and the image was too good to pass up.

The first verse refers to the fact that because an area the size of Florida is slated oil sands strip mining in Alberta (a quarter of the province), Canada's greenhouse gas emissions will actually double by 2012. This is more than simply ignoring Kyoto. It's an inverse Kyoto. We're burning down our house as if there are plenty more where this one came from. More on how oil sands development will decimate Alberta's forests, cause acid rain and create a moonscape (in addition to the climate repercussions) can be found at the Pembina Institute's Oil Sands Watch.

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is collecting Air Denials points.

10 Years Ago This Week: December 5, 1996
This cartoon commented on Ontario Premier Mike Harris' privatization rampage. No public service was exempt from his marauding free-marketeers. Jails, schools, hospitals -- all were fair game. Life-Mart was the New Ontario. You could never leave. (Notice that nothing in Life-Mart has any shade of gray. It's all black-and-white.)

Looking for a gift for a politically minded comics reader? The Weltschmerz comic book just might be the ticket. No need to go to Life-Mart -- order it here (see ad at top) or visit one of the fine independent bookstores below:

Pages, 256 Queen Street West (at John). On the graphic novels table.
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street (near Bloor and Bathurst)
Book City, three locations - 501 Bloor St. West, 348 Danforth Ave., 663 Yonge St.
Hairy Tarantula, 354 Yonge Street (near Dundas).
David Mirvish Books, 596 Markham St.

The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec Street.
Macondo Books, 18 Wilson Street

Waterloo: Words Worth Books, 100 King Street South

Kitchener: KW Bookstore, 308 King Street West

Hamilton: Bryan Prince Bookseller, 1060 King Street West

Ottawa: Collected Works, 1242 Wellington Street West (at Holland)



You can see a more extensive portfolio of my work at the blog, including This Bright Future, a distilled and partial continuation of Weltschmerz, Turtle Creek, a daily comic about a turtle and a computer, and Footprint in Mouth, a quarterly cartoon I draw for Alternatives.

Weltschmerz in Print

Weltschmerz ran in Toronto's Eye Weekly from 1997 to 2007. It ran in weekly papers in southwestern Ontario, Ottawa and Edmonton between 1995 and 2008.

Notes on Writing a Comic Strip

I wrote this 17-page, 4 MB PDF document for my workshop at the 2006 Eden Mills Writers' Festival. It details the creation of one strip and gives tips on writing comics.

Politics and Environment

Monbiot | Guardian columnist and Heat author George Monbiot's blog. Not only about global warming, but expect plenty of refutations of the flat-earthers. His writing is witty, incisive and bang-on.

Desmog Blog | An indispensible (and Canadian) resource that "clears the PR pollution that clouds climate science."


Weltschmerz playlist at CBC Radio 3 | Some of the music I listen to while drawing this comic -- independent and Canadian.

This American Life | Radio documentaries that hit the heart, brain and funny bone.

CBC Podcasts | I don't listen to much live radio. Now, podcasts allow me to catch a lot of what I miss. I listen to The Current, Ideas, Spark and Search Engine while inking.


Diesel Sweeties by R Stevens | Witty repartee between guys, girls and robots drawn in a pixelated yet surprisingly versatile style.

Scott Pilgrim Manga-style indie-rock romance by Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley | The most fun I've had in a comic book in recent memory. Highly recommended.

Dykes to Watch Out For | Alison Bechdel's brilliant weekly strip has been ghettoized because of its gay themes but deserves a wider readership.

Doonesbury | Garry Trudeau is still great after all these years.

Kevin Heuzenga | Enviable drawing style and dry wit. Start with Time Travelling.

Graeme MacKay | The editorial cartoonist for the Hamilton Spectator has a distinctive, addictive drawing style. And he makes me chortle.

Friends and Neighbours

Blog Guelph | Hometown photos and events.

The Narrative | Riveting photoblog. Matt O'Sullivan is at the right place at the right shutter speed.

Breast of Canada | A calendar promoting women's health.

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