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Hey Comics fans! Gareth Lind is a friend of mine who creates this excellent strip called Weltschmerz. He's releasing his self published collection of the strip in full colour and large scale for all to enjoy. I've been admiring Gareth's cartooning since I first saw it years ago and I'm excited to feature him on my blog today! I asked Gareth for some choice words to tell us what he wants us to know about Weltschmerz and he sent me this...

Weltschmerz has a cast of characters that grapple with the effect of politics on their lives. Some are personally affected by political decisions – Raj, the terrorist suspect, who is held without trial for having talked about nuking suicide wings. Some are simply worried to death about the future-- Horst, who meets Donald Duck, Big Bird and Tweety in his dreams and wonders whether bird flu has crossed the reality-cartoon barrier.

One reader told me he reads Weltschmerz for its bracing outlook, because it wakes him up when he is "asleep at the wheel." That's what I aim for. Many of us treat politics as separate from life. I want to bridge the gap and help make politics accessible. Probably the most similar existing strip is Doonesbury, though Weltschmerz has more caricature in it, is weekly and is, of course, Canadian.

Oh, and I try to be funny too. To avoid finger-wagging and didacticism. My focus is not only political; recent themes include blogging, having babies, supermodel Kate Moss and so-called intelligent shoes.

Most people are stumped by the strip's name. Sometimes I wished I'd named it differently. But it's been over a decade of people saying, "I like your ... uh ... strip," not wanting to dare treading in the lingual minefield of attempting to pronounce it. For the record, it's pronounced "velt-shmairts" and means, directly translated, "world-pain" in German -- the unbearable heaviness of being. (See the Wikipedia definition. The comic strip is also there. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weltschmerz)

Weltschmerz appears in Toronto's Eye Weekly and several other Ontario papers, as well as on the Web. Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells, the first comic book of Weltschmerz cartoons, goes on sale on April 6 at lindtoons.com.