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  January 24, 2008 | Disputing the Benefits « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (2) | Archives | About Email lind at

Reduce, reduce, reduce. It's a mantra I mutter as I go over these cartoons again and again, editing down, finessing the dialogue to fit the space allotted. I totally rewrote this cartoon at the inking stage (from the second row, third panel on) because it got bogged down in clever dialogue that didn't move the story or characters forward, didn't have the right rhythm or punchline.

I have no idea how I am going to edit down next week's cartoon to 8-10 panels. It follows Celia and Cindy to the hospital to visit Donya, who is bedsitting her comatose husband. It relies on some repetition and minimal dialogue (a rarity for me, I know), but requires multiple panels. I'm debating having three rows, which I've only done once before. The dialogue riffs I'm into these days keep wanting to extend beyond my format. Is it time to try other, longer forms? Or does the discipline involved in fitting each week's episode to the same format result in tighter, better writing?

I'm curious how my next post will look, what form that cartoon will be in a week from now. After that, we'll go back to Horst, at a support group for sufferers of Phantom Girlfriend Syndrome.

A rarity: I've got a lot of strips written in advance. I just need more time to flesh them out, pencil, ink and colour them.



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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