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  July 12, 2007 | Side Effects « Previous | Current | Next » | Archives | About Email lind at

I know, Weltschmerz has been even more of a downer than usual of late. It seems whenever I brainstorm ideas these days, they come up dark. I thought Gaiagra might help Horst, but it's only made things worse. But contrary for popular belief, I'm actually not that grim as my main character. (Ask my wife, though; she may not offer corroborating evidence.) Perhaps that's because I've got the venting outlet that is Weltschmerz.

This and last week's cartoon were written in response to Putin's nuclear ranting in response to Bush's missile shield (which was supposed to make the world safer, remember? But don't get me started). It's off the headlines by now; everybody's at the cottage. I've got a dangerously fragile two-week buffer that will allow me to go on camping without you missing a week of Weltschmerz. Hence, I'm a little more behind the headlines than usual. I really want to run the two-parter I'm writing now on the various poisons that have been found in Chinese food products. But they must go in storyline sequence. Next week.

Speaking of dangerously fragile, the world stands at only five minutes to midnight. The Doomsday Clock, set up in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to symbolize the likelihood of global catastrophe, was at least this close to midnight in 1949-1960 and 1981-88. It was moved to five minutes again this year. Here were the reasons cited, according to Wikipedia:

North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia. Experts assessing the dangers posed to civilization have added climate change to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest threats to humankind.

Disarmament is no longer sexy, though. We've got Live Earth but no Ban Nukes. In fact, many who are serious about fighting climate change would see us make nuclear power more freely available, increasing the likelihood of us nuking the Earth before we toast it. Then again, wasn't the fear in the 80s of a nuclear winter? Maybe that would be a final solution to global warming.

In less earth-shattering news, the CBC Radio 3 Weltschmerz playlist, which I update regularly as I come across new Canadian independent music that turns my crank as I work, has appeared fifth in the "most-shared playlists" category. (Click on User Playlists at the top right of the site.) Who knows that "most-shared" means. But when my ego needs boosting, I'll grasp at anything.

Give it a listen. It's a Celine Dion-free zone, I guarantee it.

10 Years Ago This Week: July 10, 1997
Horst's boss berates him for losing consciousness in their meeting. "As you may recall, consciousness is central to your job description."



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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