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: