March 2007

1 March 2007


I enjoy your cartoon and statement every week, but had to write and suggest Thomas Kinkade - Painter of Shite - as a much worse artist than Wegman. While Wegman might not take risks - at least the dogs are nice to look at. Kinkade has no redeeming qualities and is a christian asshole too.,,1739383,00.html

Please draw him in the near future and we can hope he dies.

best wishes

William Wright

William Wright,

By seeing your subject heading and the "w.w. " of your address, we have dreaded that you could be the scorned William Wegman himself come for us to réprimand.

Mr. Kreider is aware of Thomas Kinkade the painter of the light. The reason why he chose William Wegman for death above him is that Kinkade is a creator of kitsch, taken seriously only by the insipid ones, while Wegman has the unexplainable reputation within the world of art.

Thanks additional for the link to the article. We are frightened to learn that Mr. Kincaid in the past urinated on Winnie-le-Peuh.




1 March 2007

Bush will try to hold onto power after Jan. 20, two thousand NINE.

Confusion about this led to my current state of having BLUE BALLS.

When are you coming to Austin, Texas?

Boyz Rule:

You are naturally correct. Mr. Kreider regrets his error and your blue stones. You will have to indicate which promise Mr. Kreider currently breaks. He has made so much and all are lies. Unless the sex is implied it is not very probable he will even remember. You are not the married witch priestess who promised to him an American "work of blowing"?



Timmy promised me nice American good time!


1 March 2007

Dear Ms. C-H,

Please convey to Mr. Kreider my deepest appreciation for his recent commitment to portray "less politics [and] more monsters" in his cartoons. Therefore,  feel that I must respectfully put forward a request that he devote more coverage to the current threat that our nation faces from the Fungus from Yuggoth. Although Mr. Kreider has been quicker to pick up on recent Plutonian interference in international politics than his slack-jawed colleagues in the so-called "media", I feel that he has been of late somewhat lax in emphasizing the horrors of Mi-Go brain abduction. Please, Mr. Kreider- you are the last bastion between us and the gibbering horror that awaits us in the endless void of interstellar space.

And don't think that we haven't picked up on the fact that "Kreider Waminals" is just an anagram for "A Mere Ink Swirl Ad."


Ben Carlsen

Ben Carlsen,

I certainly regret any concern I may have caused you with my foolish and hysterical alarmism about these much-misunderstood and oft-maligned beings, who I can assure you mean us no harm. It is the first instinct of all creatures to recoil from the unknown, but the mark of the more highly evolved human is to master his ignorance and fear with reason. A closer investigation has revealed to me that these creatures are not only not our enemies but our allies and benefactors--indeed, our betters. If only I could show you the things I have been privileged to see borne on their tenebrous wings, Benjamen! The blind Cyclopean towers and black rivers of fabled Yuggoth; blue-litten K'n-yan, uncounted fathoms deep beneath the earth; the howling cosmic abyss between worlds—visions out of Ernst and Geiger and Pickman! All seen with--I was to say, 'with my own eyes,' but indeed, I have seen these things with senses far subtler, senses that can discern the shimmering ultraviolet, the pulsing infrared. I have felt the chill of the unholy Void-wind in my soul as a man feels the cold of a knife in his heart. I would invite you to join and travel with me, if you would seek to truly understand these wonders instead of cowering from them and condemning them as a blasphemy, in the manner of the barbarian who seeks to destroy what he cannot comprehend. The initial horror at the procedure is only ignorance, and the momentary pain soon forgotten; then dark wonders will unfold for you such as you have not dreamed of.

Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!


Tim Kreider


6 March 2007

Hi -

I'm a devoted follower of 'The Pain' website. Living in New Zealand, I probably don't see as clearly the state the US is in, but I try to keep moderately up to date since I study international relations and it's worth keeping track of what the most powerful country in the world is doing. I know that the Bush administration is not representative of all Americans, but from the outside it can be hard to keep that in mind thanks to Fox News and so on.

I was just curious as to whether Mr Kreider has seen the following items.

The first is that the JSDF has adopted a mascot by the name of 'Prince Pickles', apparently in an attempt to improve the image they have worldwide. Links to pictures of this are here:

Comic books can apparently be downloaded here:

Being of a somewhat cynical turn of mind, I immediately started wondering what sort of cartoon character the US might need to design in order to restore international confidence in them and their leaders. I eagerly await Mr Kreider's suggestions.

Secondly, you probably know of Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia ( ). Apparently it's not Christian and American enough, and an alternative has been created to rectify the situation. Located here ( ), I find it pretty terrifying. The articles on evolution, dinosaurs, or examples of bias are thrilling in their position on certain issues. It looks like a fairly standard trick by the right-wing when they can't directly confront their opponents successfully, to create the illusion of multiple valid perspectives on the matter. Again, however, being cynical I can't help wondering what they do when they run into other publications that don't fit with their preconceptions. The easy answer is 'burn them', but again I'm sure Mr Kreider might have other ideas on their reactions.

Anyway, please pass on to him my best wishes and gratitude for the humour, insight, and cutting commentary he brings to cartooning. If he ever needs a place to hide on the other side of the planet, my friends and I would be happy to take him in and feed him superior lager beer.

With respect -


Tim Wilson,

Mr. Kreider with sadness thanks you much for your disturbing facts, of which he has already a superabundance.

A miasma of cartoon ideas before the eyes of Mr. Kreider: the Prince of Pickles at Pearl Harbor; the Prince of Pickles and the rape of Nan-King; the Prince of Pickles resembling the coyote Wile E., charred and astounded by dynamite, in Nagasaki. Indeed, this Don Quixote-ish and unhappy coyote would seem the ideal mascot for the aspirations of foreign politics of America.

As for your other idea, Mr. Kreider suggests a secular version of the Bible, with the "miracles" replaced by sleight-of-hand and demonstrations of chemistry?

Mr. Kreider more cordially thanks you for your pleasant invitation. Often he has wished ardently to visit the New Zealand to see the splendid statues of the kings of Numenor and to flee the radioactive fallout. He may well one day accept your offer of enormous beer.




6 March 2007

[Subject heading: "Reservations at the Empire Lounge"]


Mr. Kreider does not have a concern on this matter. He assures that the Russians are the crazy people like the crap of the bat and will never permit those Maoïstes on the Moon. They will surely bring downward the first Chinese astronaut who attempts it with an old rusted ICBM. With this obliging scenario I leave you.




7 March 2007


Just because it obviously reminded me of your cartoon with reagan in his


Michael Aubert, UK

Michael Aubert,

Mr. Kreider is not clear: this is true history of news or a work of parody? It is not easy any more in this surrealist world to be certain.




7 March 2007

Not to wear out my welcome of correspondence, but I think Mr. Kreider let the Christian e-mailer off easily in the most recent artist's statement. He concludes that anyone who takes the Bible seriously must see that homosexuality is an abomination, rationalizing that anyone who takes the Bible seriously is a moron... which is fine by me.

BUT: Mr. Kreider is encouraged to check out the full text of Leviticus. As well as calling homosexuality an abomination, it encourages the beating of raped slaves:

"19:20 -- And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free."

Explains how a good Jewish man should shave:

"19:27 -- Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard."

And encourages the death penalty for cursing your parents (20:9) or, of course, the scourge of wizardry (20:27).

The point being simply that it's hypocritical for your Christian to argue that Leviticus bars homosexuality without fearing for evil wizards.

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan,

Mr. Kreider will alert not only this insane person of Jesus but his readership as a whole to the threat of the evil magicians.

You will excuse I hope if for obvious personal reasons I choose not to pass along to Mr. Kreider the scriptural sanction for the rape and the scourging of the servants.




10 March 2007

Battle Royale (Part II) Sunken Chest, Fist of Dishonor, Gnome Sorcery Federation

This Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Sabala's at the Mt Tabor Theater 4811 SE Hawthorne Boulevard 
Portland OR 97225

9:30 pm Price: $5 21+

"Fist of Dishonor is truly Portland's premier ninja rock band. Their next excapade is a grudge rematch versus Sunken Chest, Portland's Loudest Pirate Rock Band! At their last meeting, Missy Jitsu stole the Captain's ship's wheel, rendering the Chest directionless. Only after the Captain offered up his favorite cabin boy did Missy Jitsu return said wheel. Can their ninja style defeat rum-soaked pirate rock power? Come to Sabala's on Saturday, March 10 to find out!"

-Clambeard of Sunken Chest

"I could tell it was going to be an awesome concert when I saw the table full of Mexican wrestlers. They stood out in Ash Street Saloon, because the other patrons were dressed as ninjas, kung fu masters, or spacemen..."

-The Doc.

Brian Cummings:

Mr. Kreider does not attend executions of music because which it is too strong noisy and he cannot understand only the words and there is no place to be rested forever. Moreover, the music is seldom good. He regrets his lack of interest.



Yeah, so, sorry about that, I just mass e-mailed everyone on my list... How DARE I?  I know that you're so busy doing a picture and then writing about the picture EVERY WEEK, gawd, just imagine if they were in color?  You wouldn't even have time to eat!!!   And if you couldn't do your comic, people all over the city would have nothing but a blank 4" square in the paper to look at, then what?  Jobs lost, economy failing, road-rage increasing, all because some jerk was trying to share his art and he took time away from another jerk with more important art.  How DARE I?  I can agree with you about the music being seldom good... I live in Portland, Oregon and let me be the first to tell you there are about 1 and a half bands that are worth a fuck out of 5 billion bands in this city alone, but I've listened to them ALL, and I'll keep listening for that 1 and a half that really make a difference, so writing off something with that "seldom good so-I'm-not-even-going-to-try" attitude does not become you, sir.  If your an arrogant piece of shit that can hear nothing outside the clammerings of your own mouth, because YOU'RE the only one who's right in the world, and whatever anyone else has to say can't possibly mean anything at all.  Then I had you pegged all wrong.  Our music has no words.  Because you and others like you take them out of our mouths.


p.s. gotcha!  I really do like your art and attitude.


11 March 2007

Dear Ms. Czochula-Hautpanz:

Firstly, please convey to Tim my profound respect for his comics and his writings.

I had the pleasure to sit in on his panel discussion at the Bethesda SPX convention, and also enjoyed that, depressing as the current political state of the union may be. I noticed that while Tim declined to work the crowds and indulge in any shameless hucksterism, his politically-cartooning counterparts felt no such compunction. I recall a Mr. R___ as particularly vigorous in his attempts to sell original artwork; the phrase "Well, I usually get $500 each for these things, but I could let this one go for $200, just because I like you." sounds so much more appropriate to a dealer in used Dodges than to a chronicler of the follies of modern mass culture. But I suppose it pays the rent.

I digress. I would like to ask that you pass along to Tim a suggestion that he make more work for you and Webmaster Dave and include a section of original art for sale on The Pain website. I, at least, would be interested in owning a piece of cartooning history.

If Tim decides to have you proceed, I'd love to have a crack at "Everywhere the same", featuring Dr. Frankenstein's Monster on the moon. It'd be almost as cool as owning a B. Kliban original.

Thanks again for keeping Tim functioning from day to day.


Eric McKee:

Alas, the feelings of Mr. Kreider on art and trade are noisy and tedious. He generally gives only the original drawings to his friends, and women for which he has conceived an irrational desire or which have agreed for to sleep with him. Alas, the drawing of the monster of Frankenstein badgered by foreigners is one of those which he already gave. It belongs to his friend Jennny, a transsexual, who appreciates it on the levels that we cannot apprehend. I am certain that you can understand.

If you are interested by others of the originals of Mr. Kreider' s, please to let us know and he will consider if he is laid out to sell it. I will try to persuade him by pointing to him that his principles about art are in disagreement with his complaints about renumeration. Mr. R____, after all, has a house and a family, unlike Mr. Kreider who lives in a wasted fuselage and has only his miserable cat.

We thank you for your respect and support.



P.S. On the personal note, I also appreciate your recognition of the difficulty of maintaining the operation. It is a considerable drudgery. Some artists are happy and trustful, regular in their practices of work, and thus productive. Mr. Kreider is not among these.


13 March 2007

[Subject heading: "God: Repub or Dem"]

Really good take on it.  Made me see things in a diff way, especially with the visible representation of the republican God.


Alex Rediger

Alex Rediger:

Mr. Kreider most truly is touched by your message. It is the compliment most high an artist can receive: to show one things in a new manner.




17 March 2007

Dear Ms. Phelatia/Tim Kreider -

First of all, kudos on another great comic. As a fan of Marvel superheros in general and Capt. America in particular, I thought the final panel of this week's strip was a particularly nice touch - and if you'll indulge me, it gave me an idea for a great cartoon, too. In that timeless 40's comic book cover, it struck me how fun it would be to see the Captain dish out some justice not only to Bush, but Karl Rove, Cheney,   Alberto Gonzales, and any number of other neocons, most of whom are a pretty easy substitution for  Hitler's cronies anyway. Plus, it's a great excuse to draw high-ranking political officials getting thrown through windows, smacked upside the head with the Captain's trademark shield, and generally getting the everliving daylights beat out of them.

I think for a lot of liberals, Capt. America represents what we'd like to see in the world but know is impossible. The upper Bush administration, with their battalions of lackies, fanatics, and peons willing to take a bullet to protect the hierarchy (i.e. Scooter Libby), I don't think we'll see any senior member of the cabal forced to answer for the abysmal job they've done running this country. If the Captain were around, I think a long time ago the D.C. police would have discovered Bush, Cheney, et al tied up in a bunch and dangling from a streetlight, with a box full of damning evidence placed neatly at their feet.

Long Live the Cap!

John P. Mills

John P. Mills:

Mr. Kreider shares your right visions of justice and of revenge, but feels that the scenario that you describe more resembles the work of a certain "slinger of webs" than that of Captain America. He perhaps would ravel them before the congress in the chains to be judged by the process due.

While the rumours of Marvel resuscitating "old head-of-feathers" proved to be cruel falsenesses after all, you can rest you ensured that more of him in the work of Mr. Kreider you will see.




19 March 2007

Hi Phelatia (better that I am writing to you, as you seem much more lovely than Tim),

Wanted to say hi to Tim and thank him for the comics. I discovered Tim through one of his friends, Rob Content, who is a colleague of mine. Rob hung the Mr. Cthulhu-head comic outside his office and gave me much joy, so I went in and found out who had drawn it. I have been a loyal reader ever since. So thanks!

A question... Tim, you aren't a Mennonite by chance? That would be amazing. I grew up in a very loose Mennonite family, so I am familiar with the history without being involved in much else. There are a lot of Kreiders who are Mennos, so I'm very curious... if you were of Mennonite descent, you would join the ranks of... um... Menno Simons? That's about it really...

Now that I think about it, Menno Simons was grizzled enough that you could probably do him justice... how about surly Mennonites getting upset about being mistaken for the Amish... then the specter of Menno Simons could visit them and tell them to shove it. I would circulate that comic for you.

Finally, here is something you may be interested in:



Simon Halder,

We are grateful to the brilliant if alarmist Rob to draw aside the word of the work of Mr. Kreider. Our greetings of respect to him.

The parents of Mr. Kreider's were indeed Mennonites as you speculate, and raised him in the Church of the Brethren. It is perhaps obvious that he does not adhere rigidly any more to their precepts. The lapsed Catholics become the sluttish and the naked dancers and practicioners of sorcery; the Fundamentalist ones, the obvious homosexuals and punk musicians; the Mennonite made bitter and atheist, a creator of humorous drawings, delivering himself imaginations of violence and sexuality.

Mr. Kreider subjected his Head-of-Mr.-Cthulhu to the companies of toys. There was no answer.




26 March 2007

Dear Mr. Kreider,

Hello sir.  You don't know me, but I have emailed you once before, and am an old friend/former roommate of Ms. Emily Flake, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

This week's cartoons, with the teddy bears exploding and Captain America throwing himself back into action after death, is one of the most joyfully indulgent and exciting things I've seen you draw in a while.  It was exciting to read and look at.  I admire (and largely agree with) your political commitment and views and a good number of your more political cartoons are excellent, but I can't help but sense that your heart is in the conveying of nightmares, horrors, and ecstatic joys, rather than in the making of a point.  There's a lot of your point of view coming through in either case, but the ones where you indulge the id are the ones that come alive most for me.  They are thrilling and hilarious.  They are desperate in the best ways.  And they are the ones that I most accurately strike a chord with me.  I humbly offer this point of view not as an exhortation to do less of one thing, but as encouragement to indulge in both.  I love, love, love it.  The cartoons over the years that most vividly come to my mind are the woman cornered by giant penises, the stake through Reagan's heart, the Jesus on the cross, cursing the people around him, the ones with people at their wit's end, the nightmares.  And the joys:  The over the top love of pie; the Yais, yais. 

I hope that you accept my perspective in the friendly and humble spirit in which it is intended.  I am a huge admirer of your cartoons and have been for a long time.




Did we once eat pie in a hot tub with a bunch of other people on Emily's 21st Birthday?

I'm sorry it's taken me this long to respond to your kind message. The last months have been hard ones for me. One reason for this is that it's gotten harder and harder to sustain interest in drawing political cartoons. So it's especially encouraging to read your generous and discerning appreciation of my sillier, stranger, more primal and joyful work. (Another reader, calling himself "a loyal but concerned fan," wrote in a letter: "I fucking love your political cartoons but this teddy bear crap is horseshit.") I don't think I can continue doing political cartoons much longer, but I also don't think it'll be teddy bears and vampires from here on out, either. I'm not sure what to do next, but it's heartening to know that some readers will enjoy it, whatever it is.




27 March 2007

Dear Mr. Tim Kreider,

    Normally I try to avoid contacting artists whom I admire, as I figure most of them have better things to do with their time than to read fan mail (lord knows I'm arrogant enough to think I would). However, recently in my own "art studies" I've been looking for a better understanding of the world around me concerning politics and most other national and international topics (global climate change, fundamentalism versus science, etc.). When I discovered your cartoons, it was a god-send that I would not normally expect from the seedy bowels of the internet.

    In your editorial cartoons I found that what set them apart from other material I'd referenced before was your personal statements about the pieces. While I'm afraid your knowledge and interpretations of politics (let alone American Politics) far outweighs my own, they provided a wonderful window with which to view current events that I wasn't aware of before.

    This lack of awareness, I'm afraid, comes from having grown up in Canada, where politics seems more a game of who can make the least changes while making out with the most money. Your passion for politics and current affairs leaves me in awe most times, and while I've tried to immerse myself in discussions on politics before, it's always hard to remain interested. The only thing more difficult than that is preventing myself from becoming apathetic in the face of everything I come across.

    Sorry that I should take so long to get to the point, but it's very early in the morning and my brain runs backwards without enough coffee. I'm writing this e-mail in an attempt to understand how you're able to do what you seem to do. Taking a topic you feel strongly about, one that has prevelence, and laying it out on a page with a bit of wit and venom. The technical aspect and creative are not beyond my comprehension, I just find it hard to grasp whatever emotion drives you to draw "The Pain, When Will it End?".

    I'd understand if your schedule does not permit you the time to give me a full or comprehensive answer, or even enough time to read this. But like I said, it's early, I've just finished reading "Teddy Bear Space War", found it funny but worrying at the same time. Made me realise that in everything I've seen and read, I still don't quite get it yet.

    Thanks for giveing it a read (if you did).

                                                     Sincerely, Max Arnold

                                                     A Sleep Deprived Canuck

P.S. I hope there aren't as many typos in this as I think there might be.


Ms. C.-H. passed on your message to me, thinking it seemed to require a personal response. I'd like to try to answer your question, but I'm not sure what to tell you. I'm really not all that well informed, politically; I read the New York Times and listen to NPR, the standard sources of vaguely-liberal/mainstream news. I read Matt Taibbi's weekly column for Rolling Stone, which is often more of a media than a news column, and everything Christopher Hitchens writes, purely for the style. Often I can barely stand to pay any attention to the news--especially lately, since it seems to have gone into reruns. But, then, I also think it's possible to get too obsessed with the picayune trivia of the news cycle and lose sight of the Big Picture, following particular scandals as though they were cases on court TV, when individual scandals aren't the problem, and in fact are often used as a sort of routine sacrificial rite to reassure us that, whatever its flaws, The System Works. If I have any privileged insight into current events (which let's not assume I do--I may well be completely full of shit), I would credit it to these factors:

I spend a lot of time by myself, which gives you the space and time and quiet, the independence of mind and trust in your own judgment, to think a few of your own thoughts now and then, which is much harder than most people suppose. I get to choose who I spend time with--a rare and invaluable privilege--which means that I don't have to waste much of my time making smalltalk with ordinary fucking people. I never watch TV, which immerses you in a world of propaganda and makes you stupider. And I read a lot, constantly and eclectically. I read books that give me historical context and psychological perspective, like "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," and Kim Stanley Robinson's recent trilogy about global warming; books that fill in some of the more egregious gaps in my education, like Emerson's essays, Boswell's "Life of Johnson" and "The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan"; and of course entertaining crap, like that awful "Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" or my current subway reading, "Stories for Tomorrow: An Anthology of Modern Science Fiction," edited by William Sloane. So that when I am just parroting other people's opinions, which, let's admit it, is what we all do 99.997% of the time, I have reason to hope that I am at least parroting a better class of person than the hacks and spin doctors and celebrities that most people let tell them what to think.

As for what motivates me, it's a truism that most humorists are driven by anger. If you look at my old cartoons, as collected in "The Pain--When Will It End?", you can see that I used to be angry about more personal issues and the big existential questions. I'm not sure whether it represents psychological progress or not that I am currently angrier about political issues. I'm not sure why I get so upset about politics; it's not as if it affects me any more than the outcome of March Madness actually affects basketball fans. It's not my job going to India or my kids going to Iraq. In fact, the Republicans' shamelessly venal fiscal policies are only going to make me richer. Not to sound like some sort of Myshkin or Parsifal or anything, but I guess I'm just naiively offended by lies and injustice. There is some ineducably innocent part of me that is still shocked, on a daily basis, that vast institutional crimes and atrocities go unrecognized and unpunished, that bigotry and greed triumph over reason and sanity, and that men are well paid and widely revered for lying and having people killed. I am, in other words, a sensitive guy. Albeit "sensitive" in the worst possible sense: not that of appreciating beauty or being empathetic but of being unable to tune out irritants that most people seem easily able to ignore: car alarms, supermarket muzak, crass advertisements, screaming children. Things get on my nerves.

But, as I get older, they also wear me out. Frankly it's been a struggle lately to keep paying attention to, much less caring about, politics. I resolved to stop even pretending to care about Israel and Palestine a few years ago. I am on the verge of abandoning all pretense of caring about Iraq. The upcoming Presidential election interests me, mostly for symbolic reasons, but it's far too soon to begin caring about that, which can get draining. Hence the teddy bears and Dracula. Don't worry; you're not missing out on some obscure allegorical significance there recognizable only to the cognoscenti. It's pure stupidity. Which looks like it may be the artistic direction I'm headed in these days.

Hope this answers your questions.



28 March 2007

Hey, I don't know if someone already e-mailed you about this; if they did, I'm sorry.

Concerning your comments on Cap not really being dead ("By the way: turns out Captain America isn't dead after all. He's in critical condition and the Avengers are keeping his survival a secret to protect him and find out who did it."); that wasn't true. The person who said this, Carol Danvers, was lying. 
Of course, this doesn't mean Cap won't ever be brought back by some 
writer, but as of right now he is still dead.


Oh God damn it--the lies! The lies! Why Do They Lie to Us? Jerking us around like that, giving us false hopes and crushing them again—

That's it: I am using Captain America as my own personal character from now on. They don't deserve Cap. The fuckers, the fuckers!



28 March 2007

Dear Tim, Ms. Czochula-Hautpänz,

Just wanted to say thanks for keeping Captain America alive and fighting, we need him more now than ever. Thought you would like this song by (a little surprisingly) Jimmy Buffett, from 1970's Down to Earth album. The words are all the more poignant these sad days: "Can you tell me where I might find my friend and companion?" indeed.

All the best,

Ben Madeska


Can you tell me where I might find my friend and companion

Now he looks a little different from anything you’ve seen

He likes to beat the bass drum for justice and salvation

He’s got the brains of Einstein and the brawn of Mister Clean


He’s a lightnin’ flash who’ll make the dash from one coast to the other

To stop a crime or lend a dime or help his aging mother

Captain America we love you, captain America you’re grand

Oh Spiro Agnew eat your heart out Captain America’s our man


Now he wears a mask his clothes are weird and some folks call him hoky

But he is hip he just can’t dig the Okie from Muskogie

Captain will help anyone a friend or a stranger

Now number one without a gun he’s bypassed the lone ranger

He’s a do-good who loves apple pie and kisses little babies

He'll guard you against everything from atom bombs to rabies


Captain America we love you, Captain America you’re grand

Oh Spiro Agnew eat your heart out Captain America’s our man


Can you tell me where I might find my friend and companion

He looks a little different from anything you’ve seen

He likes to beat the bass drum for justice and salvation

He’s got the brains of Einstein and the bod of Mister Clean

He’s a lightnin’ flash who’ll make the dash from one coast to the other

To stop a crime or lend a dime or help his aging mother

Captain America we love you, Captain America you’re grand

Oh Spiro Agnew eat your heart out Captain America’s our man

Captain America’s our man

Ben Madeska:

Apologies and excuses to delay this answer. The last months were the hard ones for Mr. Kreider. But it is I who am delinquent to have you informed that the lyrics of this song which you dispatched moved and touched Mr. Kreider much. Where, indeed, he asks, is our friend and companion?




29 March 20007


Been meaning to e-mail you for ages now. Being typically delinquent, I now feel obligated to cram six months of thoughts on The Pain and commentary into one rambling e-mail. Fortunately for you, I've aged enough that I've forgotten most of those thoughts :)

Space aliens! Whoot! Your political cartooning is usually quite sharp, but an occasional return to your roots of silliness is, at least for me, refreshing. My favorite cartoons of yours are still some of the vulgar old ones (the taco bell one in particular has me scarred for life). So, any return to the character of the old days brings a smile to my face.

Iraq is a mess, no doubt. There is a potential bright side though, one that doesn't seem to get a lot of air time. What about the Kurds? Michael J. Totten reported from there a week or so ago, so did NPR, and I have to say I'm really, really surprised: it actually seems like they have a chance of a mostly autonomous, stable, sane state. Three things that don't go well together in the Middle-East (its like we say in engineering: "Better, Faster, Cheaper, pick any two").

Is Iran a scary as hell place or what? I don't believe for a minute that those

British sailors were in Iranian waters. All the evidence indicates otherwise.

Which means the Iranian quasi-navy is engaging in state-sponsored kidnapping with the entire world as witness. No matter what any outside party does here, nothing good will come of it. Could you imagine the United States Republican Navy Division, led by Admiral Delay, kidnapping Venezualen sailors in the Carribean? That's the equivalent, and its just insane. Loony we might be at times, but we got nothin' on those guys.

Since I've managed to bring up politics, I'll dive in there too. So right now we have the 'R' party looking completely incompetent, with no clear candidate, indeed seemingly no hope at all in 2008. And we've got the 'D' party running with a lot more promise, including one candidate that manages to be charismatic, articulate <grin>, intelligent and a minority all at once. This can't possibly keep going the way it is. The Dems will select Hillary, and all moderates will scream, yell, gnash their teeth and the Reps will get some goon elected. That's my giant fear. And yes, I'm generally on the 'R' side of the fence. I really, really want an acceptable 'D' candidate, but I think that the 'D' machine has proven to be so grossly incompetent that they'll screw it up. Hillary is just not acceptable, period.

My brother (no longer the little monster) suggested his ideal ticket to me the other day, and while unrealistic the idealist side of me says "cool idea." Guliani/Obama. No chance. Every 8 years or so someone suggests a cross-party ticket, and the party machines nuke it. Screw the greater good, they've got power to protect.

My hope is that I gave you some ammunition, or ideas, or maybe just glimmers of thought that lead to some grandiose haxploitive imaginative space battle amongst the politicos that sinks the Iranian Revolutionary Navy in a cartoon near you someday. If not, hey its only a few bits on a wire!



Sorry it's taken me this long to reply to your thoughtful message. The last few months have been complicated, with travel to Tibet, moving out of New York and back to Maryland for the summer, plus the usual sordid complications that inevitably attend the life of a cartoonist.

The truth is I know about as much about politics as the next guy--well, okay, not the next guy, the next guy is unbelievably fucking dumb, but let's say I know less about them than most people who presume to write or draw about them. I have no idea what we should do about Iraq. My last good idea there was: don't invade it. It's true that things seem to have worked out well for the Kurds, at least for time being, and if they manage to maintain an independent state in the coming years, that'll be one good thing we've accomplished. Not sure whether that'll compensate for the half million dead, the destruction of an entire country's infrastructure, the civil war, the sudden and radical worsening of the power dynamic in the Middle East, and the end of America's credibility and honor. I don't know how you even try to balance those kinds of moral accounts.

No argument the Iranian government is a bunch of religious bigots, like having a country run by the Southern Baptist Convention. (I never really forgave them for the whole hostage thing.) But bear in mind there are probably as many--probably more--sane and reasonable people living there who consider their government dingbats as there are here. I'm hoping we end up not bombing them.

I consider voting for Hillary out of the question because she voted for the war. Most people won't vote for her because, deep down, I suspect, most Americans still hate and fear women even more than they hate and fear blacks. I'm assuming there will be a great deal of excitement about having a female and a black candidate on the Democratic side and then they'll go ahead and nominate the rich white guy like always, probably Edwards. The Republicans will nominate the most easily bought candidate, probably Giuliani. I fear we'll end up with a tedious race between two indistinguishable stuffed suits arguing over symbolic non-issues. And if anyone is capable of losing this election to the Republicans after the criminality and incompetence they've demonstrated, it's the Democrats. (As the Israelis like to say, "If we have to have enemies, thank God they're Arabs.")

I'm finding it all pretty hard to care about at this point. As you can tell I am about burned out on politics these days. We may be looking at another hiatus soon, or maybe just a lot more teddy bears and vampires.

Thanks for writing, Tom. Always good to hear from an old friend.