A tribute by fellow comic artists to Matt Groening’s "Life in Hell"

In June 2012, "after 1,669 installments (and down to only 38 papers, amid the smoking wreckage that was once the alternative press), Matt Groening put an end to one the funniest and most caustic comic strips ever. To commemorate the dearly departed strip, 22  of Groening’s cartoonist friends, admirers, and sycophants decided to pay tribute." View the comics at Slate Magazine.


  1. I was honored that James Sturm and R. Sikoryak kindly asked me to contribute to this.  Matt’s work has not only been an inspiring force in my life, but he’s been unbelievably influential in two fields of popular culture.

    I will say if that my contribution seems somewhat obtuse, it’s because I drew it as more of a personal note to Matt than as a published comic (I was only told that it would be made into a poster that would be presented to Matt — not that I mind its publication!), and it’s based on a joke we shared when we last saw each other, at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

  2. When I first got my cats, I wanted to name them Akbar and Jef. (They’re brothers. They look almost exactly alike. Before we got them spayed they were sometimes more than friends.)

    Sadly, my husband had never read Life in Hell, so he didn’t see why the names would have been perfect. 

    The lesson: Make sure your spouse reads Life in Hell. 

  3. Bolling’s strip reminds me of the Life In Hell strip that Groening did in memory of Jerry Garcia after Garcia died. Creepy!

  4. I remember going to work with my mom sometimes as a kid in the 80s, and she kept a copy of Work is Hell in her desk. She worked in a NYC government office – flourescent lights, crappy old coffee-and-soup machine in the break room, cracked vinyl chairs – and when I was done reading whatever books I had brought with me she would let me read her Work is Hell. It was so bleak and yet so funny. I must’ve made dozens of those stupid eraser/push-pin pigs.

  5. i used to love how he’d put a pronunciation guide for his name somewhere. “Groening – Rhymes with ‘complaining'” is still one of my kneejerk phrases whenever his name comes up in mixed company.

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