2 July 2006


You really outdid yourself with the last entry - both the cartoon and the artist's statement. I wept when I saw the bumper-stickered derriere on the tricycle, and the lip liner and bags under the eyes of the beauty in the last panel are subtle but devastating. You must also have had a very smart dance teacher.



Arsen Azizyan:

Mr. Kreider appreciates your attention to the details of his work, particularly now that he is so inconsolable. It is the compliments of the readers such as yourself that bring him energy to continue vis-a-vis the brutal indifference. To be assured that he will return to its work with the strength replaced after his short hiatus.

The instructor of dance of Mr. Kreider' s was never in the second place to any. You should have seen him dancing the hammer.



Mr. Kreider received so many touching responses to the announcement of his hiatus that I was forced to compose a "model letter" in the answer:

Mr. Kreider would ask me to thank his readers sincerely for their pleasant words. The reaction of the readers to his hiatus was exactly as he would have hoped for: the devastation coupled with the understanding. The response of his readers means more with Mr. Kreider than he will say and I can tell you that your messages encourage him considerably.

I also wish to make excuses for my error and to clarify: the hiatus of Mr. Kreider's is for two months only. He returns to work in September, after the holiday of the Day of Working. While waiting I will continue to answer his mail and can report from time to time on his facts. For now, he takes refuge in the profoundly disagreeable works of the American lunatic H.P. Lovecraft, which offer much perspective, if little solace.

Sincere Gratitude for your Support,


I will reproduce below only my answers individuallly adapted to the customer requirements.

4 July 2006


I'm so upset to read about Tim's hiatus. Sure, he deserves it, but I don't think I can live til October. I hope he's doing well. Please tell him I'd love to meet him on the nude beach at Assateague State Park, anytime this summer. Better yet, tell him to book a massage with me. In Baltimore, or Rehoboth, or at his secret location on the Chesapeake.

Tim, I love you, and only want for you the best.

See you later. Jeff

Mr. Kreider asks me that I enquire about the details to schedule a massage but also wishes me to reinforce his rather strong commitment to heterosexuality. Still, sincere gratitude for your support.

4 July 2006

Dear Tim,

I am disappointed to hear about your decision to call it quits over the summer, however, I wholly understand your reasoning behind it.

While I consider myself one of the most right-wing 19-year-olds I know, your weekly stab at the same old ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East, and the utter stupidity of His Righteousfulness George II, your beloved leader, has been a vital source of procrastination from my university studies.

I assure you, on that fateful day that I become the first non fee-paying uni student in Australia since the 70s to have the slightest whiff of money, I'll lash out and buy myself a copy of at least one of your books.

Until that time, good luck with the summer break, and enjoy the substance abuse for us all.


Josh Lazarus.

It is particularly pleasant to learn that his work has reached the other side of planet, and that his humor has affected even the incomprehensible and unbalanced youth of the Right-Hand Side.


4 July 2006

Mr. Kreider,

I'm a recent fan. In fact, I've only been poring over the archives for the last two weeks, on the recommendation of a random person on MetaFilter. While I was a bit sad to learn of the hiatus, I understand that creativity and inspiration can't be treated like a faucet. I've seen too many good artists burn out trying to adapt to the demands of schedules made by "the suits."

Anyway, I think your style is fantastic, and the artist's statements are always an interesting read. Great work.


Mike C.

I can tell you that your message has encouraged Mr. Kreider considerably in his fight against Those in Costume, as you call them.

4 July 2006

Dear Ms Hautpänz,

Very sorry to hear that Tim Kreider will suspend my favorite comic for the rest of the summer. The Pain is such an inspiration in these absurd times when the Jesus-luvin, wildlife preserve-drilling, flag-obsessing, warmongering inmates run the asylum.

On a purely selfish note, the break could not have come at a better time for me, since I'm about to move to Illinois for library school and won't have access to the City Paper. But I'll miss reading new strips online. I hope the hiatus will do Mr Kreider some good.

Cthulhu for president in 2008!


Caroline Nappo

"We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free." - Bill Hicks

Mr. Kreider joins you in support of the frightening tentacled god of death for the office of the Presidency, and also in the admiration of the late Bill Hicks.

5 July 2006

Woe that Mr. Krieder has decided to take a hiatus from producing "The Pain!" I am a reporter for The Baltimore Examiner, covering parts of Harford County I'm certain Mr. Kreider has drawn upon for some of his model specimens of true 'Murikans. I am already at a loss for what I will do when the real-live rednecks aren't counterbalanced by the biting cartoons that lay their ignorance and idiocy bare. I was just entering that sad phase where each week I await more of The Pain, that it might be a balm for its namesake.

Yet I cannot fault Mr. Kreider for his decision. To keep seeking the humor in our crumbling society was a noble goal and a horrible burden at once. Producing a weekly editorial comic that surpasses the labelled flaming monkey asses we see everywhere else is a task few people could keep up for as long as Mr. Kreider has. I can only hope that the post-flood miasma of the upper Chesapeake proves therapeutic, that current events once again allow a glimmer of hope --or too much bullshit to resist-- and that Mr. Kreider has a speedier return to his old form.

In the absence of The Pain, will there be any other projects filling the void? Are there any other cartoonists you'd recommend that, taken together, might be enough to stave off the D.T.'s from Pain withdrawal? I already turn to Emily Flake and Tom Tomorrow, but I crave more.

Matthew S.

Mr. Kreider grew up in Churchville, Maryland and went to the public school there, thus he is overly familiar with the specimens troglodytic about whom you speak.

Mr. Kreider is a friend and an admirer of Ms. Flake but considers Tom Tomorrow as annoying and without humour. In the interim, he would recommend "Tom the Dancing Bug," by Ruben Bolling.

5 July 2006


I can dig it. I look forward to your work each week.

I am a working musician in Chicago and am fighting myself to get real work done in this current cultural climate. My own problems compounded by those of 'fellow men'. Life seems mired in pathetic cop-outs and excuses and inspiration seems frustrated and hateful.

Each generation of people probably believes that theirs is epoch of darkness but they're all the same shit with different names.

Most times I drink my way through it but at 35 it's getting more than a little stale.

Thank you for your work so far and I look forward to your return. A lesser artist would have allowed his pen to dry.

Rock the fuck ON.


I can tell you that a message from a comrade artist encourages him considerably. Mr. Kreider, at 39, also wearies of drink, but perhaps not soon enough.


5 July 2006

Hi Tim,

I am not at all surprised that you are taking a break given the spiraling blackness of your artist's statements, but I am gravely disappointed that I won't get my weekly Pain till the fall. And I just set up the RSS feed so I'll know the second a new one is up. Just remember, they love you in Britain.

I spent my Independence Day wearing a fucking sweater -- the Scottish "haar" clung to the city exactly like a wet blanket. You can look up haar.

Enjoy your hiatus. I imagine you will quickly get charged up with new ideas and vitriol in time for October.

Cheers, Jason

6 July 2006


Just wanted to drop a quick note. It seems unfortunate that Mr. Kreider feels he needs to take time off from The Pain, and I'll miss it in the coming months. But, speaking as a fellow artist, I absolutely understand the need to step back and recharge and reevaluate when creative work starts feeling too drudging. I hope the haitus goes well and is enjoyable.

I don't hold quite the same political viewpoint as Tim does, but his creative style and pull-no-punches attitude are inspiring to me both as an artist and an activist. I will be eagerly awaiting his anticipated return. Please let him know that, if you would.

Thanks, Ryan Voss

It is especially gratifying to learn that his humor reaches those of a different political view.

6 July 2006

Dear Tim:

Hope you once again climb back in that saddle after a long vacation and put pen to paper once more. Your cartoon is by far more hard-hitting than any lameass entry in the Opinion section of any paper I receive, and also a hell of a lot funnier. (I mean, come on....would anyone else have the balls to feature a carrot jammed up a grinning man's ass?) One of my favorite online past-times is checking for a new installment of the Pain. I hope to resume this past-time as soon as possible.



It is true that among Mr. Kreider's colleagues only he dares to stuff the carrot to the top of the ass of the grimacing old man.

7 July 2006

I can't believe you're abandoning us! At first I figured I'd write an email explaining how I understand how drained you are and to enjoy your time off, but then I realized that you'll be getting tons of those from everyone else, so I might as well be sincere: you bastard! Your comic is one of the depressingly few "bright" points of an otherwise dreary week. The same talking heads repeating the exact goddamned thing assault us from nearly every facet of the mainstream media, sometimes I wonder if perhaps I'm just losing my mind and maybe it really *is* the way they say it is. But then I read your comic and realize that someone else out there sees through the bullshit and hasn't lost sight of what really matters, and how we're all being fucked over practically every day.

I'm sorry that it wears on you as much as the rest of us, and I hope that this time away is good for you. Bastard.


In particular he appreciates your decision to give up the courtesy and to curse him with the bitterness. He appreciates devastation at least as much as understanding, perhaps really more. Moreover, I can corroborate that he is indeed a bastard one.

7 July 2006

Tim -

I wish you the best of all possible Baltimore summers as you relax, away from the weekly grind that is "The Pain." Bear in mind that my personal experience with Baltimore is exclusively limited to religiously watching episodes of the HBO series "The Wire" and the comment a friend of a friend once made to me to the effect that when she was at Johns

Hopkins she feared for her life. With that in mind, be well, be merry as much as any cogniscent being can living under the spell of our collective, national wicked stepmothers in the Government, and know that if you happen to travel to Chicago, there's at least one person here who'd buy you a drink.


Peculiar Marks are the Only Merit. -Blake on Reynolds

Mr. Kreider also currently views “The Wire.” He would say that Baltimore is really a place excessively to his liking to live, although full with the eccentric and the grotesque. He himself attended the Johns Hopkins University, and although he did not have fears during his life there,he started to strongly drink.


10 July 2006


I came across this comic of yours [”Jesus vs. Jeezus”] in an image forum, and subsequently by following the link at the bottom your primary site. I admire your work and your sense of humor.

I live in a bible-thumping community. There is a church on every corner, a fish or WWJD sticker on every car, and weekly I get pamphlets, booklets, and papers in my mailbox, tucked in my door handle, or under my car’s windshield wipers about my “salvation.” I’d like to start a little counter-revolution, as it were. I was hoping I could get your permission to run off a few hundred copies of this strip that I might hand back to the people who come knocking at my door or slip into the mailboxes of the churches who send me invitation to worship.

Any publicity is good publicity, however if you would rather not be associated with my efforts, I understand.

Best regards,

Thomas Corey

Thomas Corey,

Mr. Kreider concedes you this permission. He delights in the confusion of the maniacs of Christ to the point of apoplexy and approves this effort. He hesitates to have his name on the booklets, however, for he fears the insane ones of Christ and does not have any wish to burn with the stake or be drowned in a barrel or subjected to any of their other favoured pastimes.



13 July 2006

Mr. Kreider—

It was with great sadness, but a certain degree of understanding, that I read about your six-month hiatus. I hope that Ms. Hautpanz passes this along to you....

I had been planning for some time to write you an actual paper missive, detailing my utter and complete delight with your absolutely faboo comic. Not only is your sense of humor unsettlingly similar to my own, but your drawings are fabulous. I and several of my girlfriends have remarked that we would gladly consider you a candidate for some of the more depraved (and fun) adult activities depicted in your strip, as we find men with your degree of skill to be terribly, terribly interesting. Unfortunately we live in Chicago, Oregon, and New Orleans, places far removed from your Eastern Seaboard haunts.

I do understand the incredible bitterness with which you note the lack of attention to your comic, but I must say, dear man, are you surprised? As you note with unerring accuracy in your strip, we are a nation of extremely poor taste. The New Yorker is too stuffy, pretentious and self-conscious to actually publish a funny cartoon, and most people just want to read Garfield before they go to Wal-Mart to get Funyons and beef jerky. Your cartoon, because it is intelligent, well-executed, and deeply funny, will probably be an "underground classic" for far too long. But then, so was R. Crumb and a lot of other excellent cartoonists, and I think you're a helluva lot more talented than Crumb. We are a large and wonderful country, so many folks will enjoy your strip, but many more are going to just say, "I don't get it" and go look for a nice Danielle Steele novel.

While being an "underground classic", is nice, it's not exactly going to help elevate you from ramen noodles. So that kind of sucks. Paying your dues is only fun if you're rich and living in France and you can look back on the years of "paying your dues" through a comfortable haze of Bordeaux and filet mignon.

I speak from experience, because while you may think that "cartoonist" is a career fraught with poverty and lack of recognition, my own personal trade is one that is even more moon-cow impractical:

I am an herbalist.


At the ripe age of seventeen, I decided that I wanted to study the medicinal uses of plants, and I dropped out of state college (and let me tell you, that was an interesting conversation with my folks) and moved to New Mexico, where I took classes for three years from a variety of professionals, including physicians, midwives, and wild-eyed old dudes that taught us how to dig up roots from alongside mountains creeks. It was utterly fascinating, and I don't really regret it.

However, as you may well imagine, monster.com isn't exactly overflowing with paying jobs for someone that's studied an old, anachronistic system of medicine. Nor is there any sort of recognition whatsoever. In Britain, Australia, and most European countries, herbalism is a licensed healthcare profession...in the U.S., people usually respond to "I'm an herbalist!" as if you'd just confessed to having an unfortunate mental disorder. Or, they just look at you and ask you, "No, what do you *really* do?"

At least most people know what a cartoonist is, if only vaguely. But my financial and professional life can be equated with trying to juggle while competing in a lumberjack-style logrolling competition, which I suspect is what being a cartoonist is also like.

I tell you this merely to commiserate a little bit, not to play a game of "My life sucks more than yours!" because my life is pretty cool, and I suspect that yours is, too, but to say that maybe, just maybe I get it a little bit, and to tell you that I really enjoy your talent and I hope that you don't remain discouraged for too long.


Sarah Hasler

14 July 2006

Hello to Ms. Hautpanz [and Mr. Kreider],

Last week I was taking some vacation and was surprised this week by the news of the cartoon stopping. I guess also that the world will hold many same things true as before, so I will visit the old cartoons.

I hope and take that you will find the entertainments this summer. The weather is good here as it is where you are too.


Mahault K.


For now it is to him a “total stop of news”--I try to say to him that war commences in the Middle East and he makes him the gesture tired of masturbation. Instead he reprocesses the literature of boys--“With The Mountains of the Madness” and the Foundation Trilogy. The weather is intolerably moist. I fear for the world.



Ms. P.C.H.,

I want to permit that I, of the limits on the web, became confused. Both say are months the 'you,' 'the work of hand of Day,' and 'the rest of summer'. I criticize my guess of English, and of American in the detail.

The masturbation of gesture of toil is international. I know of this that you speak.


17 July 2006

Dearest sir,

I beg you on the behalf of many wann-a-be groupies and honest to god fans to finish your hiatus sooner then later. The pain is what keeps us going, the unique art and kick ass message is all that a bunch of college kids in Michigan look forward to every wendsday or whenver you feel like updating the strip.

Until your return we shall hold a beer drenched vigal, complete with buying several books, lots of smokes, and maybe some Where is Tim t-shirts.

You have supporters in the mitten.... isn't that all that truly matters?

Thank you

Colleen A. Marquis

Colleen Marquis,

See please the new announcement posted on the Web site. Mr. Kreider intends to return to work in autumn, after the Day of Laboring. While waiting, he sent to me a new cartoon from his travels. Independently of this drawing and the photograph also posted, I have heard nothing from out of him but for the occasional long-distance call from a phone box.

Mr. Kreider will appreciate your message of adoration I am certain. He already has a certain number of potential groupies inside Michigan. I know that if you are in earnest in your desire he will do lot of mileage thereafter to grant your wish.



20 July 2006

Just a brief message to Lord Krieder.

Coupled with a disgustingly large amount of artistic talent, your vast satirical humour and inability to bow to censorship makes you one of the most exciting and important artists alive today. I first discovered you via the When Will It End book, then I found your website and it kept me sane in work.

Don't worry, when you’re dead, you'll be an icon, and your estate will be worth Billions of Earth Credits

Your Fan


Mike Crossey,

I thank you for your pleasant words and will transmit them to Mr. Kreider. He is already ensured of his posthumous success. It brings little consolation to him.



21 July 2006

RE: “Science vs. Norse Mythology”

This comic is EXTREMELY offensive Norse mythology is still worshiped today as Asatru i am a follower of this religion this comic is made of lies and insults and the Creator has no knowledge of the truth on the topic this is insulting to all followers of Asatru!

David Young,

Mr. Kreider's textual sources on the mythology of Norwegians are Bullfinch's Mythology and D'Aulaire's Guide, that he considers infallible. The comic strip does not judge one philosophy advanced to the other but simply it introduces both for the comparative appraisal of the reader. I can ensure you Mr. Kreider does not have any desire in order to offend the burly and violent devout people of Wotan.