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  January 17, 2008 | Upgrade Issues « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

This cartoon and last week's arose out of a single-panel New Year's cartoon I was trying to write about a fundraising party for the comatose Raj Malik. I've done a few like this, with a bunch of one-liners from various characters' mouths. But this time I wasn't able to get it to fly. One of the snippets found a home for here in the opening panel above.

It looks like this entry is really about last week's cartoon. My friend and neighbour, Sue Richards (who is the force behind Blog Guelph), called Frank an asshole. That he is. But he's also a lot of fun to write. Humour and drama arise out of conflict -- you gotta have a few assholes around to keep things lively.

Of course, I use a hyper-exaggerated satirical parlance. I know nobody quite like Frank. He came on the scene near the outset of Weltschmerz, in the mid-90s, talking about one of the great crimes against humanity, male circumcision. I found him an essential character. He counteracted Horst's progressive angstiness and served as the strip's resident neo-conservative Harris-apologist.

I admit, it does strain credibility that Horst is shacking up with him, or indeed, that they remain friends. I attribute it to bonds forged during high school.

And, perhaps, just perhaps, Frank says what Horst doesn't dare saying, just as Cosmo is the ├╝ber-geek techno-wizard that Horst wishes he were.



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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