Thursday, June 28, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #63 - Part 5

And another thing...

I wanted to make note of two RIPs of different sorts.

The first is kinda sad, but not tragic: After more than 30 years, Matt Groening is ending his comic strip, "Life in Hell." It was a world populated by "anthropomorphic rabbits and a pair of gay lovers" and was what really provided the opening for a new group of cartoonists to appear in alternative weekly newspapers around the country.

You may not know "Life in Hell" but you do know Matt Groening. For one thing, he's co-creator of one on my guilty pleasures, the animated cartoon series "Futurama." But before that, back in 1985, an actor/producer named James Brooks say a "Life in Hell" strip and wanted Groening to use the characters to develop a series of what are called "bumpers" - short features - for "The Tracey Ullman Show." Groening was worried about the prospect of losing the rights to his characters, so he created an different set of characters for the purpose: the Simpsons.

The other RIP is a sad one: Caroline John has died in London at the age of 71.

I know most of you have no idea who Caroline John was and even after I tell you, a lot of you will still have no idea. No matter. Those of you who do find the name rings a bell might be reminded by this picture.

Caroline John played Liz Shaw, a companion to Doctor Who during the John Pertwee era in the early 1980s. For you poor benighted souls who have no idea who Doctor Who is, he's the one in the middle. Doctor Who, a time-traveling alien who can regenerate his body 12 times (and so has 13 lives) is now on his 11th incarnation in what is the longest-running scifi/fantasy series in TV history, having been on the air over 30 years. Caroline John was only on for one season - 25 episodes - out of that time, but no whovian worth the name (you didn't think my email name of whoviating came out of nowhere, did you?) does not recall Liz Shaw.

RIP, Caroline John.


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