Derf Ends 24-Year Run of Comic Strip 'The City'

Local cartoonist Derf Backderf published the final installment of "The City" today. Have a bittersweet look-see.

Here's the rationale in his own words:

I'm ending the strip So I can concentrate full-time on graphic novels. It's all good. I'm not slinking away from a failed endeavor as a washed-up has-been. I'm leaving it behind in a blaze of glory, as a newly minted, internationally-best-selling comix creator. The past couple years have been the best of my career. After 30 years of toil as a (at best) cult favorite to suddenly find success? I'm loving every fucking minute of it! I simply no longer have the time, nor, quite frankly, the desire, to devote to The City. Typically, it takes almost two full workdays to write and draw one strip. That's time better devoted to other projects.

Derf adds loads of additional context behind the strip in today's blog post. He promises more work in the future - graphic novels, namely and excitedly - so Derfheads should find a nice silver lining on the other side of their lament.

The Scene alum's satirical strip lampooned everything under the sun and appeared in 174 publications over its lifetime. A Cleveland-centric version ended publication last year when The Plain Dealer shifted to a three-day home delivery model.

Here's a nice coda from the artist:

For serendipity’s sake, this is the same week of the year it debuted way back in 1990, in the pages of the long gone Cleveland Edition, and changed my life and career. The last strip is drawn in glorious b&w, just like the first. I've also included the original logo. Drawn in scratchboard!

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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