When Matt Groening retired his weekly “Life in Hell” comic strip in June after 32 years, it was running in just 38 papers, down from 380 in its heyday. The low circulation numbers were a big part of why Groening threw in the towel, but as the cartoonist explains to Editor & Publisher, being cut out of his hometown paper was of special consequence:
It was particularly aggravating that I wasn’t being printed locally in Los Angeles. “Life in Hell” was cut out of LA Weekly, along with other cartoons.
I’d draw the strip, send it out, and wouldn’t see it reprinted anywhere. If “Life in Hell” were still in LA Weekly, it would probably have kept me going.
The LA Weekly dropped “Life in Hell” in 2009 as a cost-cutting measure. Cutting the strip saved the paper $18 a week.
Read the full interview, conducted by Rob Tornoe, at the Editor & Publisher website.