I wonder how differently I would be viewing Life In Hell if it wasn’t for the fact that I grew up watching Golden Age The Simpsons and actually watched the first seasons of Futurama when it was on. Like I am so used to the Matt Groening style of animation that it is weird to see where he actually started out – and actually continued to write until fairly recently.
Where his television shows are spun from his original concepts – or at least he was involved in the original concept – Life in Hell is just Matt Groening himself. Having read a smattering of them from a wide range of years, thanks to a Tumblr that has been trying to archive a number of the strips, it’s oddly gratifying to realize someone whose work I have adored for years has similar political views to me. Reading Life in Hell you see how liberal his views, like two of the recurring characters are an arguing gay couple in fezzes that would appear to be doppelbangers.
One thing I have against Life In Hell is just how repetitive the art gets. Like, I understand having some recurring jokes and frames – but I saw a lot of variations on the same drawing with just different text. For some of them, like when Binky the bunny has done something bad, it’s funny – but with Akbar & Jeff it gets a bit samey. Still though, this has been fun.