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Soundtrack: Sisters In the Struggle by Lesbians on Ecstasy, from Montreal (what is it with Montreal these days?)

This week's cartoon was originally written a few years ago. I knew at that point that Celia and Horst would break up. How or when, I didn't know. Originally, the cause was to be that Celia slept with Cindy, and Horst found out. But then, the plot evolved on its own, a combination of the circumstance and character: Stephen Harper was elected and global warming finally started becoming a dominant issue. As a result, Horst became more and more difficult to live with. When Horst fought with Celia about the thermostat setting and canceled their Cuban vacation, Celia called it quits.

Nine years ago (though perhaps not so long in Weltschmerz time), Cindy came on to Celia. I've just posted that cartoon (excerpted above), part of a series that brought Cindy back into Celia's life. Celia's response then was, "If you're coming on to me, Cindy, I should tell you, I'm ambiguously, reluctantly hetero, despite the gravitational pull of Planet Lesbian Chic." Cindy said she'd file that for future reference. Since then, Cindy's attraction to Celia (and dislike of Horst) has been alluded to. And now, here we are, in the future.

As I mentioned, I wrote the "sex got a little Republican" line two years ago. When I revisited the cartoon last week to bring it to fruition, I realized the meaning of Republican sex had changed. So I built that realization into the cartoon, making its double meaning (both prudish and sordid) a source of humour, and coming up with "GOP 2.0."

I did feel a little wary tying the Republican sex scandals to this significant development in the lives of my characters, for fear of grime-by-association. But a more extensive rewrite would have been necessary if I didn't reflect on the current state of U.S. politics. So I adapted -- and the cartoon became more relevant and (I hope) funnier.

Next week: Creationist blahs.

Earworm: Midnight Snack by You Say Party! We Say Die! (great name!), from Abbotsford, BC.



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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