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OTRC: Matt Groening, creator of 'The Simpsons,' retires 'Life in Hell' comic

Creator and Executive Producer Matt Groening and Homer during the dedication ceremony of the bronze bust of Homer Simpson, along with his signature donut on the FOX Pico Lot on Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. / Matt Groening's 'Big Book of Hell' appears in a still photo. (FOX / Barnes & Noble Books)

Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons" has decided to retire his longtime comic, "Life in Hell."

Groening announced on June 20 that he would stop producing the cartoon strip, which follows the lives of a gay couple and several talking bunnies. Groening had been producing the comics on his own since 1978.

"I've had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off," Groening told Poynter.org.

Groening moved from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles to pursue a career in cartoons. "Life in Hell," which initially followed Groening's life in Los Angeles, was featured in Wet Magazine in 1978 and picked up by the now defunct LA Reader in 1980. The strip eventually spread to 250 newspapers at its peak and was down to 38 newspapers when Groening decided to end it.

Groening launched his hugely popular cartoon series "The Simpsons" in 1989 and "Futurama" in 1999.

In October, "The Simpsons" was renewed for two more seasons, cementing their record as the longest running scripted TV series with what will be 25 years on the Fox network.

The series underwent tense contract negotiations after the network announced that it could not continue past the current 23rd season without cutting costs. Though the details of the negotiations weren't revealed, the Hollywood Reporter suggests that the actors took a pay cut of around 30 percent and will earn about $300,000 per episode.

"The Simpsons" is the longest running animated series of all-time and aired its 500th episode in February 2012. It is estimated that Fox could earn an off-network syndication deal of around $750 million if the show were canceled.

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