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  January 03, 2007 | MP3 Levels « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

For the record, I do not have an iPod. My MP3 levels seem normal, at least to me. (Sorry -- I desperately wanted to insert that empathy/MP3 pun in the strip but couldn't find a home for it without the dialogue feeling forced. A lesson I have to relearn again and again, and sometimes do not heed: Be ready to leave favourite gags on the cutting-room floor if they get in the way of the flow.)

Another lesson: re-read the comic strip again and again before sending to print. A word was left out when inking -- it was too late to correct the error in Eye Weekly, but it's correct here and in other papers. When I letter, I sometimes get so caught up in the ink flow that I lose track of the meaning. I think I was looking forward to a week-long respite from cartooning deadlines and quality control went through the window.

[Cartooning Geek Speak Ahead!] For this cartoon, I experimented with a different technique to convey nighttime. Normally, I would colour the cartoon in shades of blue (see the previous bed scene). While it made for a quicker colouring process, it got a little boring. Here I coloured everything normally, then applied a desaturate filter, plus a muted cyan layer (set to "mulitply") above it. I like how it looks on-screen; it remains to be seen whether it turns to mud on newsprint.

10 Years Ago This Week: January 9, 1997
As 1997 broke in Ontario, we were being buffeted by a cutback culture, so cutting the new year by 20 percent fitted the Zeitgeist. But no amount of cuts could prepare me for the spike in seventies fashion crimes.

Retailers for Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells:

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).

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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