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  May 17, 2007 | Hewers of Wood « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

Often I like my pencil sketches better than the final inks.

On the subject of providing raw materials for other countries to add value to, many free-marketeers are now warning that we're in danger of becoming merely hewers of wood. Of course, we've always been sort of a banana republic -- with very big bananas. It's amusing to hear CEOs warning about the dangers of unfettered capitalism. Many of them pushed for free trade and no protectionism. Now they're seeing our big fish swallowed by even bigger fish, and they don't like it.

I'm not one to cry for endangered Canadian corporations, but I'd say we're better with the evil we own than the evil we don't. ("We" only includes those of us lucky enough to have a cushy RRSP or stocks, of course.) I don't usually dwell in the business section, but David Olive is a good writer and his article, Canada beating industrial retreat, in last Sunday's Toronto Star is a sobering read. A nation should be able to control its own economic future. In this light, Canada's future doesn't look bright.

10 Years Ago This Week: May 15, 1997
Horst's first job was working in a polling firm. In this cartoon, Horst vents on having to process consumer research on Jiffy-Kwik fat-free, egg-free scrambled egg powder. Also starring the researcher behind Deep Blue, the computer that beat Kasparov at chess and will go on to make elections obsolete.



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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