The newspapers over here never ran his comic strip...
While his animated comedy “The Simpsons” has been on the air a mere 22 seasons and counting, series creator Matt Groening has spent those years – and then some – drawing his syndicated comic strip “Life in Hell.” But soon that streak and the comic itself, which ran more than 30 years and played a crucial role in the creation of “The Simpsons,” will be no more: Mr. Groening has said he is ending the strip.
“I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way,” Mr. Groening said in an e-mail to the Web site Poynter.org, “but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off.”
“Life in Hell,” which introduced the aforementioned characters – three bucktoothed, anthropomorphic rabbits and a fez-wearing gay couple – first appeared in Wet Magazine in 1978, moving to L.A. Weekly and then the L.A. Reader while acquainting readers with Mr. Groening’s sardonic perspectives on childhood, dating, family and rock-music criticism.
In the 1980s “Life in Hell” came to the attention of James L. Brooks, who was looking for a cartoonist to create animated shorts for Fox’s “Tracey Ullman Show.” Outside Mr. Brooks’s office, Mr. Groening quickly sketched a human clan he named the Simpsons, and the rest is cartoon history.
Poynter said that the last original “Life in Hell” comic, Mr. Groening’s 1,669th strip, was released on June 15. Publications that run the comic can choose older “Life in Hell” material until July 13, after which its archives will be closed.