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Matt Groening ends Life in Hell after 32 years

Matt Groening's Life in Hell

Despite great fame and fortune of creating and producing the longest running and most successful TV animation program in history, Matt Groening has quietly been drawing his alternative comic strip Life in Hell each week for 32 years. Until last week. He tell’s USA Today that the decision was to free up his time for other things:

“Life in Hell ‘prevented me from doing other projects,’ he says, ‘because every week I had to go back to the same drawing table.’ Quitting ‘will open me up to new things, more animation, more stuff. I may just sit and stare into space.'”

Rob Tornoe has an excellent write-up of the news over at Poynter. He talked to former LA Weekly staffer Pandora Young who underscores that despite Matt’s enormous success, he was still very dedicated to his strip and the newspapers that carried it.

“Groening has been good to the Weekly over the years – making himself available to the staff for interviews, illustrating covers for the Weekly for the paper’s small standard fee despite his enormous success, and continuing to read the paper itself,” Young wrote when she found out.

“Dropping the cartoon seems incredibly short-sighted, so it’s probably safe to assume it was a decision made by the corporate offices in Phoenix.”

Here is a video interview from USA Today:

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:00 am

I can see why he decided to call it quits. Especially seeing that he only had 38 papers in the end, down from 379.

#2 Tony Kinnard
@ 9:32 am

My local alternative weekly was one of those 38 papers that still carried “Life in Hell”, and while it was a good comic once upon a time, I’m not surprised it ended considering every single new one I saw was an Akbar and Jeff comic.

#3 Jonathan Mahood
@ 9:59 am

I can still remember back in residence reading his books and the whole room howling at the 16 Types of Brothers comic. Such funny stuff!

#4 Jimmy Delach
@ 7:08 pm

I didn’t realize “Life In Hell” was active all this time. The Tampa Tribune used to run “Hell” in their Friday Extra section (don’t know exact timeline off-hand).

#5 Gerry Mooney
@ 9:56 am

I only saw it in “Funny Times” and it was always funny. It’s amazing that he continued to crank it out all these years!

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