Some fans’ lives in hell might just be beginning, now that Matt Groening’s announced he’s retiring his Life in Hell newspaper comic strip, which printed its final (1669th!) strip last Friday, June 15.
Life in Hell, which ran in the Bohemian for over ten years, featured three talking rabbits (one of which has only one ear, curiously) and a gay couple. The characters began their careers through Groening’s self-publication in 1978, later running in the LA Weekly in the ’80s.
At the zenith of the strip’s popularity, Groening’s five characters appeared in 379 newspapers—but as more papers turned to cutting their comics content due to restraints in budget, this number dwindled down to 38. Even the comic’s first home canned the strip in 2009.
In an interview with USA Today, Groening admits that Life in Hell prevented him “from doing other projects.” He had originally blocked out his Friday afternoons for the comic but now hopes to spend the newly cleared time slot to other new things in his life. “I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way,” Groening told the Poynter Institute, “but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off.”