Quitting is an action most won’t peg on Matt Groening. After all, The Simpsons has been going strong for a couple of decades with no sign of slowing down. Yet, at a panel on alternative comics for the Chicago Humanities Festival, Groening revealed he may quit making his weekly comic strip “Life is Hell.”
The subject of quitting came up often during “The Not-So-Funny Situation of Alternative Comix” panel on Saturday afternoon, which featured Groening, Lynda Barry, Jules Feiffer and Chris Ware. While discussing the painful and torturous nature of producing a weekly comic for little-to-no money, Groening mentioned that he may, in fact, decide to leave “Life in Hell” behind.
While the general decline of alternative weeklies was discussed and each artists mentioned when they ended their respective weekly strips, Groening was the sole comics artists still struggling with a weekly deadline. Groening, who started “Life in Hell” in the late ’70s, talked about how the syndication of the comic dropped significantly over the years. What was once published in The Village Voice can be found in the tiniest of California weeklies.
So, Groening may have entertained the thought in front of the several hundred people in the audience, but will he actually go through with it? Though he did mention at the event that he loses more money on “Life in Hell” than he could gain, it’s clear that the love for creating the comic has carried him through the years. (Besides, I think this whole Simpsons thing is starting to find an audience, so he shouldn’t have to worry about money.) But will Groening make an official announcement? Will he really bow out? Would he ever entertain the idea of making “Life in Hell” exclusively for the web? Only time will tell…