The webcomics blog about webcomics

At Night, The Ice Weasels Come

One of the most influential cartoonists of the last fifty years is hanging up his comic; while not a webcomic, Matt Groening’s Life In Hell (with its monstrous overbites, bulgy eyes, and sardonic observers dripping iconoclasm from every pore¹) provided an example in bizarro stream-of-consciousness via recognizable character that would find expression in a hundred later creations². For all that you taught us about junior high school, petty authority, and the airport snack bar, thank you Mr Groening. Now could you please tell us which one is Akbar, and which one is Jeff?

You know what it’s like today? Hot. The kind of oppressive, viscous, walking-is-an-effort kind of day where the only respite is the occasional good fortune of passing an open doorway, and catching the cold air rushing out before the storekeeper yells at a departing customer to close the damn door. It’s dangerously hot out, with official warnings about the risks , and school boards wondering how what an acceptable number of heatstroked kids might be before they decide that maybe losing the graduation robes would be a good idea. If the kids are the future, maybe a few more of them should live to see tomorrow instead of roasting inside nonbreathing nylon tents in solid colors.

And lucky us, it’s going to be worse tomorrow.

Hey, you know where it’s not quite so foul? Toronto. They even have a chance of a sweet thunderstorm to bring down the heat and humidity maybe. It’s also traditionally quite pleasant in TO in the early autumn, which is why I want to mention that during Toronto’s inaugural iteration of the venerable Just For Laughs festival come September, there will be 42 separate acts of the humorous variety³.

Act number 7 on 21 September, 7:00pm? Kate Beaton. Because webcomics needn’t be the entirety of her creative drive, because she’s still got the performing bug from her monthly series with Michael Kupperman, because she is funny as hell. If you’re in the (blessedly cool, possibly even cool enough to support the ice weasels, ) GTO in September, be sure to check her out.

¹ Especially personified in the form of Akbar & Jeff, who are “brothers, or lovers, or possibly both”; their weltanschauung (look it up) was especially malleable, and disdainful of nearly every philosophy that’s ever flirted with saying “Feh”.

² Speaking of which, did I mention that there’s a new Achewood today?

³ Unlike Groening’s description of “What is funny about man get kicked in crotch?”, it is unlikely that any of these will feature that particular occurrence for big surefire laugh-chuckles.

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