Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Lazarus 6, originally released February 4th, 2014.
Patrick: Matt Groening had been writing and drawing his comic strip, Life In Hell, for five years before The Los Angeles Way of Death caught the attention of James L. Brooks. Brooks had received a framed copy on the strip and the simple message of the piece eventually lead him to mentor Groening, ultimately developing The Simpsons together. That’s a Cliff Notes version of their history, but that specific Life In Hell strip is notorious for all the right reasons — a quick, clear series of images that expressed the existential slog of living and working in LA, but without being beholden to any narrative, save that which the reader projected onto it. There are clever observations throughout — like that “Gun” and “Cop” are basically the same drawing, or that “Sea” and “Air” are both true and elemental (come to think of it, Fire and Earthquake would also fit) — but the most poignant panels are the last two: “Failure” and “Success.” Both are prisons in their own right, and the uber class system at play in Lazarus makes the similarity between these apparent opposites explicit. Continue reading