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  August 16, 2007 | Woohoo « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

Camping this year distilled some of my thoughts about the made-in-China syndrome, about which I've cartooned a lot of late. Here we were, in one of Ontario's most glorious parks, and people are doing their utmost to buffer themselves from their environment.

The beach was riddled with fold-up chairs, digital cameras, iPods, all manner of blowup toys; campsites were jammed with astro-turf, bright lights, every comfort from home -- all now considered necessary to mediate our experience of nature. We are further domesticating ourselves. We crave the wild because it is an essential part of our psyches, but we are incapable of experiencing it first-hand anymore. We look at nature through a lens. We remove ourselves from warm, flat rocks with chairs.

This is possible, in part, because stuff from China is too cheap, not reflecting the true costs to health, environment and workers, allowing most of us to afford it all. And all this stuff needs to be transported, so larger and larger cars are necessary. These wreck havoc on the very environment we journey there to "experience."

That's the subtext for this cartoon, which presents another Catch-22: A drug that allows us freedom from worry about the environment actually makes global warming worse, creating more reasons to worry.

Gaiagra is fictional (barely). Some readers may not have caught the wordplay on Gaia, the Greek Earth goddess. It also refers to the Gaia hypothesis by James Lovelock that the Earth's biological processes can be considered that of a single, highly complex organism.

I was surprised to discover that Gaiagra hadn't been coined yet. So I purchased You never know.

Toronto readers, don't miss the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on August 18-19. I am sharing a booth with my friend, Guelph-based comic book artist and illustrator Nick Craine. I'll be signing copies of my comic book, Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells, which will be available at a special low price. So if you're in town, be sure to drop by. I'd love to meet you.



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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