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Matt Groening
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Matt Groening

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Posted by Jan den Breejen ( on September 16, 2003 at 09:36:21:

What kinda character would produce these cynical & sarcastic cartoons? Must have a lot of Leisurely-Negativistic Style in his character..


cited texts:

The popular underground comic creator of Life in Hell and author of the recent Love is Hell now takes on the one subject everyone needs to laugh about; the nine-to-five, modern office war-zone of work.

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Hello '80s!, May 18, 2003
Reviewer: robbanzai (see more about me) from Los Angeles, CA United States
I'm not trying to date the book as it's lessons about work defy the passing of time, but I remember encountering "Life is Hell" in the L.A. Weekly back in the mid-eighties and I was dumbfounded at how these simple little cartoons could pack so much weariness and cynicism.
If you have trouble identifying with the themes and characters in Groening's work it might be time to step outside the mansion, put the Trust Fund aside and join the real world. Let this be your guide!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Very Funny, October 23, 2002
Reviewer: rd1241 (see more about me) from St Louis, MO United States
A dead on interpretation of the working world from the genius behind the Simpsons. Much of the humor is in the same vain as the Simpsons, so if you are a fan of the show, you will find "Life in Hell" books just as enjoyable. If you hate your job, or have ever hated a job, this book will speak directly to you. The book, which is a collection of the comic strip written mainly in the 1980's, deals with such things as the different types of bosses and employees and how an employee should act in certain situations. Each subject is brilliantly approached in a humorous and sarcastic manner by Groening, and each page will have you laughing out loud multiple times. An extremely enjoyable reading experience I highly recommend.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Reviewer: Loren D. Morrison (see more about me) from Los Angeles County, U.S.A.
I share Matt Groening's attitudes about the workplace almost across the board. Why, then, can't I express these attitudes as well as he does? Could he possibly be more talented than I? Could he be more creative? Nah! Must be dumb luck. He quit his day job and became a successful cartoonist. If I had quit my day job with a similar intent, I probably could have been his poster boy for "How to tell everyone off, go into business for yourself, be completely fulfilled, and starve to death."

I did recognize several of my past bosses and their management approaches in WORK IS HELL, particularly on the cover of the magazine, "Lonely Tyrant." Some of its featured articles were:

"Humiliating Some Poor Sap In Front Of Everyone Else"

"The Three Part Plan For Squelching New Ideas"

. . . . 1. Say "Put it in writing."

. . . . 2. Study idea carefully

. . . . 3. Ignore it completely

. . . . Repeat until employee gets the point.

"A Tense Office Is A Productive Office"

And, of course, "How To Make The Veins In Your Forehead Throb Alarmingly."

All of his humor is not restricted to bosses, however. There is a section devoted to the 81 types of employees with the 81st slot reserved for the readers own photo. I'm sure that most of us will recognize some of our co-workers here, and, if we are even a little honest, a description or two of ourselves.

WORK IS HELL is also an instruction manual with segments devoted to creative ways to kill time, how to play the game of work, and how (not) to get a raise.

I do have to mention one more instructive chapter: "How To Get Along With All The Jerks At Your Crummy Job."

If you are not a member of the idle rich nor were you born into royalty, there's probably some little tidbit hidden away in this book for you.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:

Before Dilbert was cool, there was Work is Hell..., September 4, 2000
Reviewer: Jim Carson (see more about me) from Issaquah, WA United States
In "Work is Hell," Matt Groening, who would later bring us The SImpsons, concocts some very subversive laughs at the workplace with pearls like "The Secret of Success: 1. Get a job. 2. Get a better job. 3. Get an even better job. (repeat if necessary)"

You have to love the titles of the cartoons: "How to face up to your first job", "The 9 Types of Bosses", "The 81 types of employees" (including The Boss's Spy :), "How to Get Along With All The Jerks At Your Crummy Job," "Just How Bad Is Your Job," "How to Get A Raise (or humiliate yourself trying)," "So You Got Yourself Fired" and "How to Tell Everyone Off, Go into Business for yourself, be completely fulfilled and starve to death."

The rest of the book includes cartoons from the Life In Hell series such as "The Road To Manhood" and "The Road to Womanhood" and gratuitous Akbar and Jeff.

If you want to be "An Unrecognized Genius," Groening will help you determine what kind of genius you are, suggest things to hate, and remind you to practice your autograph for your impending fame.

This is an absolutely hilarious book.

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