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  January 10, 2007 | « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

Diesel Sweeties, an excellent long-time web comic, starts its well-deserved syndication this week -- "reformatted for print publications and respectful of the taste conventions of family newspapers." Hats off to cartoonist R Stevens for making the leap, and taking on the seemingly impossible task of creating a daily comic strip and a different daily web comic at the same time.

R Steven's brush with The Force partially inspired this cartoon. Last year, his "Chewie is my co-pilot" T-shirts brought him a cease-and-desist letter from Lucasfilm. He ceased and desisted, pulling the shirt. I'm not sure if any publicity was generated via litigation marketing, but now he has a syndicate deal. So The Force is with him, even when it's not.

Of course, the other inspiration was the gimmicky, money-generating web site that sold ad pixels for $1 each (and the myriad others that ask for money in return for the dubious pleasure of supporting one guy's drive to be a millionaire).

(This was originally going to be a two-parter, with Cosmo receiving a cease-and-desist letter, and unipixel versions of Mohammed and Osama bin Laden being uploaded to his site and causing Jihadists and the CIA to target him as well. But my gut said one strip was enough; I risked getting too obscurely Photoshop-centric and a little dated.)

10 Years Ago This Week: January 16, 1997
The below cartoon (with enlarged "2000 - The Movie" poster) was written before the furor over Y2K (or even the phrase Y2K) had emerged into public consciousness. But even so, there was a certain apocalyptic giddiness in the media. If the Y2K virus hadn't come along, someone would have invented it. (Or maybe, as I speculated in a later, not-yet-posted Weltschmerz cartoon, some 60s nihilist hacker actually did.) It is an interesting hindsight read, since our almost religioius obsession with landmark dates and round numbers has not subsided.

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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