Biting political and social satire by Lind. Fresh every Thursday.
Pay by cheque?
  May 30, 2007 | Facebooklash « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

A month or so ago, I joined Facebook to see what all the fuss was about. What I discovered was yet another reason to sit in front of a computer screen. Deciding I didn't need any more of those with summer around the corner, I forgot about it -- only to receive a "poke" from a friend saying, "hey is that you?" So we sent messages back-and-forth via Facebook, me wondering why this was different from simply emailing eachother as we used to do. Then three more (real-life) friends made me their (Facebook) friends. Coincidentally, Celia had just broken up with Horst. Perfect timing, I thought. The results are in the three-parter that starts today.

I did find it odd that four of my friends joined Facebook at around the same time, independently of one another. Very tipping-pointy. After the above cartoon was inked, I was reading my former home rag, Eye Weekly, where I came across this article about Facebook's downsides, which gave me even more material. (Did you know there are more Facebookers per capita in the Greater Toronto Area than anywhere else in the world? What does that say about the GTA?)

And so the facebooklash begins.

People ask me if I draw Weltschmerz totally on the computer. The images below should give you an idea of the process. The computer comes at the final stage, when I clean up a errors in inking, perhaps rewrite a few phrases, then painstakingly add colour. The colouring is not automatized, despite the use of a computer, since I don't draw in contained areas that can be automatically filled (and refuse to change my drawing style to do so.) I use a stylus and draw as I would with a pen. Two to three hours is the computer time; 10 or more hours are spent at my drafting table.

I like the energy of this initial idea sketch. It was clear at the outset that I wanted to do something different, with a massive panel riffing on the old RKO Pictures logo. At this stage, there are many dead ends and false leads. I was thinking of ending the strip with Horst hiding in the cellar beside a hot water heater (lower right) to escape all his friends converging on his house with condolences. But it didn't work in the virtual world of Facebook. It took much trial and error before I finally came up with the "faceprint" line.

After a few stages of pencils on translucent layout paper, I rub down one version drawn in reverse from the layout paper onto clay-coated Linetek paper, which they don't make anymore (I'm dreading the day my hoard runs out). Then I fine-tune the pencils and add inks with a crow-quill pen (Hunt 108). The Linetek's ultra-smooth finish prevents my nib from catching.

This closeup shows the rich, thick black ink over the pencils (Windsor Newton Acrylic).

I ink backwards because I'm left-handed. Otherwise, the ink would smear everywhere.

For more detail on the process, download this 4 MB PDF file, Notes on Writing a Comic Strip, that I produced last year.

10 Years Ago This Week: May 29, 1997
10 years ago, we were on the eve of a national election. Alliance Leader Preston Manning was having a hard time controlling his lunatic fringe (which were his party's mainstream). I did this over-the-top caricature in a cartoon about a spate of bizarre polls, which Horst believes are the result of a virus he let loose at his polling firm. (I got a call of protest from Pollara Research about the similarity of the name of the firm where Horst works. I didn't even know about Pollara; I had chosen Pollera because it rhymes with cholera -- a wink-wink joke that nobody likely even noticed.)

Peter Mansbridge leads off the strip with this news report: "With less than a week to go in the campaign, a new poll indicates that if an election were held this instant, 20% would take up yogic flying, 12% would start Pychon's new 783-page novel, 7% would engage in sex with organically grown vegetables and 3% would attempt to clean the bathroom tiles. The rest are undecided."



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.

Designed by LINDdesign.
Coded by Matt O'Sullivan.
Powered by Moveable Type.
Plagiarism Plagiarism Detect.
Entire contents copyright Gareth Lind.

Progressive Bloggers