After 30+ years, Matt Groening is done drawing his Life in Hell comic strip.
“Life in Hell” actually earned Groening his big break in Hollywood. It started running in Wet Magazine in 1978, then moved to the now-defunct LA Reader, where Groening worked. The strip eventually made its way to LA Weekly. Its popularity grew, amassing a client list of more than 250 papers, when producer Polly Platt noticed “Life in Hell” and showed it to actor/producer James L. Brooks.
Brooks contacted Groening and wanted him to develop a series of “bumpers” based on “Life in Hell” for “The Tracey Ullman Show.” Groening was a bit apprehensive at the thought of handing over the rights to his characters, so he created the Simpsons to fill the slot.
Life in Hell was perhaps the first alternative thing I was aware of as a kid. I used to go with my dad to Minneapolis on business trips and I always grabbed a City Pages while walking the skyway…Life in Hell was on the back page (or close to it).