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  April 18, 2007 | The Emperor's New Clothes « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

Update: Speaking of clothes, it seems Stephen Harper has a personal stylist, paid for by you and me. I didn't know this before I drew this cartoon -- honest!

Occasionally I take a peek inside the lives of the rogues governing the world Horst & Co. inhabit (which is remarkably similar to our own). The fact that Stephen Harper wouldn't be caught dead in chiffon and crinoline doesn't mean he doesn't at times feel as confined by minority status as he would were he wearing it. Imagine. For years, he said things like:

“Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations." (according to the Star)

"You’ve got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society." -- The Report newsmagazine, January 22, 2001)

"I believe that all taxes are bad." -- news, December 1, 2005

(More Harper quotes at Wikiquote.)

Now he is forced to court those self-same ghetto dwellers and socialists by buying their votes and breaking some of his more overt Bay Street broker-coddling promises.

I actually had a hard time committing to go ahead and draw this cartoon, which I thought up a month ago. On some fronts (Afghanistan, crime), Harper has led Canada further right than ever. But he is a great strategist and has worked hard at a fine, Liberal-inspired balance. Plus, I couldn't resist depicting him in a dress. I'd rather not find out what Harper's like when he wears the pants in this country.

10 Years Ago This Week: April 17, 1997
Horst is asked by the interim intern assistant to the nursing assistant if he wants to upgrade his injury to something more life threatening in order to get quicker treatment for his sprain.

Retailers for Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells:

Pages, 256 Queen Street West (at John).
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street (near Bloor and Bathurst)
Book City, two locations - 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



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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