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  June 27, 2007 | Bunker Mentality « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

On Saturday morning on the way to the farmers' market, I glanced at the front page headline of the Globe. "Troops won't stay unless all parties agree, PM says." I let out a groan. A cartoonist's worst nightmare.

I had just inked the cartoon to go to print and web today. It focussed on Harper's intransigence when it came to Afghanistan, his inability to see that getting into an interminable guerilla war was only escalating the problems besetting that country. I was happy with the cartoon -- especially timely since the carnage there had increased while I was working on it. Then, suddenly, with Harper willing to pull out, the cartoon was suddenly dated.

We cartoonists dread this sort of thing. The line between timely and dated is very thin. Everything can change in a split second: The challenge is to get the cartoon to print before it does. I had spent extra time writing this cartoon, putting it through a number of revisions, latching onto the iPhone launch as the key framing device, happy to discover iDay was June 29. Then Harper made his big compromise.

But all was not lost. I considered scrapping the cartoon, but realized with some adjustment, it might still work. I went into my studio Sunday night and rescripted the lower panels. I was satisfied. The cartoon had lost some of its zing but was printable. Even more so if Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor resigns as I write this. But the world does not bow to a cartoonist's needs.

For a look at the scrapped version of the above cartoon, click here.

10 Years Ago This Week: June 26, 1997
Mike Harris appears topless, on a rampage against Ontario kids -- squeegee or otherwise. I've always loved drawing ungarbed politicians. A primal form of satire, I guess (see The Emperor's New Clothes and Men With Hoses for Harper in various states of undress, if you dare). Note the riff on Michelangelo's The Fall of Man and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden in panel 2.



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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