May 2008


1 May 2008

Dear Tim,

Your latest is a masterpiece. I admire your adeptness at drawing the female form. The artist's statement was awesome. I, too, have terrible tales of unfaithful women from my past, which trouble the heart and too often poison one's hopes, but I am pleased as punch to hear you are getting your conjugal due. Your comics help me remember my own artistic responsibilities and valences, and your artist's statements are a guaranteed laugh every week!

Keep up the good work man. After 15 months in China, I am back in the US, and I am proud to have you out there among the subaltern ranks of the, oh, what, "True Americans?"

Yes. Just that.

With gratitude and respect,
William S. Atha


1 May 2008

just e-mailing to say how much i enjoy your comics/commentaries. they've had a profound impact on the way i view issues, which is quite a feat considering i'm a sophomore in high school and am generally disinterested in anything that doesn't involve my girlfriend, my friends, and my family.



Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your note, but I moved into my new apartment last week and have had little time for correspondence. Thanks very much for your message; I take it as high praise indeed. Sadly, the older you get the less art (or anything else) influences your opinions--you never quite love any books again the way you loved the books you loved when you were young. So it's an intimidating responsibility to know that a young person is taking my work so seriously. Please bear in mind that I don't know what I'm talking about either--I'm just reacting to the things in the culture that irritate my nerve endings, from what I hope is a perspective of plain old sanity and decency.

Now don't go on any school shooting sprees or the media will blame me.



6 May 2008

Subject: "Wizardry is a crime"

No, really.


7 May 2008

My friend and I were discussing NY fashion and she sent me a bunch of pictures that her friend took. When I saw this one I was like "Hey, I recognize that coat!" Is this you?

Adam Allen:

Good God. You think I am some lunkish, heavy-lidded mouth-breathing goober who consorts with painted bridge-and-tunnel trash? Now I must hunt down this racoon-wearing impostor and kill him and strip him of his coat.

Tim Kreider


8 May 2008

Hey Mr. Krieder,

First off, thanks for being such an inspirational cartoonist. It's good to have the horrible thoughts that are constantly running through my melon come to life in a medium with word balloons. At least I know I'm not the only one...

Secondly, what is the non-penis pump wielding gentleman doing in panel three today? Is that pot through a cheese grater? I don't want to come across as naive, but I am confuddled.


Heh. Cylon vote. You should really incorporate some more Cylon tomfoolery to your strip.


8 May 2008

What is the object that the guy in the 3d panel is guy running through a cheese grater?

Or ... do I not want to know?


8 May 2008

In panel three of "It could be true", what the heck is that person -
Boyd's mom? - doing, shredding some Parmesan cheese? In a Hawaii

-Mr. Clueless About the State of Sex Toys and Performance Enhancers.
(i.e. I'd rather be anonymous this time. Last time with the booze-up
offer I didn't expect you'd toss my name all over the internet.

Apparently the use of rhino horn as an aphrodisiac in some parts of the world is not as widely known as I had assumed. You're the third person to ask about this.

Tim Kreider


9 May 2008

So, my friends and I have started this really awesome indie zine. We've got some really bitchin' freestyle poetry in there, and I wrote a totally conclusive essay laying out my fourteen-point thesis about what REALLY happened on 9/11. There's a little bit of room there, and I was wondering if we could run one of your cartoons in there. We can't offer you any money, but it'll be great exposure for you--and you'll have the warm satisfaction of knowing that your brilliant work isn't being sullied by consumerist ideology. I can just use the images from the website; the guy in the copy room at my dad's office says he can work with whatever we send him. Rock on, dude!
Too soon?

More relevantly, as I have no idea where you live, I just used the snail mail address on your site. When I met you (I'm not sure if you remember me--you were visiting James the Large; I ate an oyster for the first time and saw llamas), I was still unemployed, but fortune has smiled on me, and I'm currently pretending I'm in the middle class. If the address isn't good, please let me know right away so my bill-pay system doesn't send the check to the wrong place. It's not huge, but I hope it buys at least a few fish sticks, and I hope I'm not the only person who thought this. I'm as guilty as anyone else of taking you for granted, along with everything else ponied up free for my perusal on the internet. So, thank you.

Have you considered working for commission? There's a long history of artists supporting themselves by working directly for people; the idea that artists sell to middlemen (publishers) who take care of the business side of things is an artifact of our modern times. Bach wouldn't have gotten very far without Duke Leopold's patronage, nor would Bouguereau or Vigée-Lebrun without their patrons. (Yes, I'm a fan of classical realism. It's the fascist in me, no doubt.) As you don't seem to be compensated very well for your time, this would at least let you set your own price for said time. You mused about pulling a B. Kliban and doing a book of cat drawings; people fucking love cats, and you might do well selling random drawings of Quetzal looking adorably surly. Also, people have huge egos, and being the most talented caricaturist this side of Dave Sim (I'm not even kidding here), there might well be an untapped market of people wanting to send you pictures and get back cartoon versions of themselves. ("Send fifty bucks and I'll draw you; send a hundred and I'll draw you
desperately humping a pile of squid.")

(An aside: sponsorship does apparently tend to lead to rather obsequious art. My favorite painting *ever*, "The Oath of the Horatii", is a breathtakingly moving work, but it's also a political piece encouraging the viewer to place loyalty to the state above all else, which is kind of horrifying. I wonder if it's even possible to make art that inspiring in the cause of individualism and freedom, or if that's kind of oxymoronic. Those French-Revolution icons of Liberty and Reason personified just became more symbols of their authoritarian nightmare. All this is, of course, just academic blithering when you're reduced to sharing meals with your cat.)

I bet you're feeling like Arthur Silber at this point. He's a bit cranky at being underappreciated; people occasionally refer to him as being brilliant, but he lives in a shack and his teeth are falling out.

And I want to thank you for introducing the question "when will *you* flee the country?" into my chats with family members. You've made the last seven sometimes-excruciating years far, far more bearable.



But of course I remember you and Carin. You never forget anybody's first oyster.

I actually believed your email was real for a few sentences, the Platonic Form of my least favorite email. In general these days I'm having a hards time distinguishing reality from parody.


The Oath of the Horatii is your favorite painting?



14 May 2008

M. Krieder,

This week's comic ["The Heartbreak Fairy"] is simply brilliant.

There's nothing more to say.

--M. Moyen


14 May 2008

The Heartbreak Fairy. Once again Tim, you are right on the money, right on time. Thanks for that. Sometimes I feel like the internet is just for me. This is one of those times.

Spite is such a crazy thing. I found out that her bike got stolen. The bike upon which she rode out of my life, was stolen. Probably by some kid who got 10 pounds for it at the market early the following Sunday. I didn't feel sad or outraged or frustrated on her behalf. Nor did I say
anything when a mutual friend told me about it. I just smiled a little. If you take a physics class at almost any level now, they'll tell you that the Strong Nuclear Force is the most powerful force in the universe. That's the force so strong that it holds sub-atomic particles together without gravity and regardless of their charge. The Man will tell you that it's the most powerful force in the universe. But according to my research, the most powerful force in the universe is actually Spite. I figure number two must be Lust. Followed closely in third place by theforce that holds sub-atomic particles together.

That seems to be the order in which I feel the forces affecting my life anyway.

Pass along my condolences to your bartender.

MIKE "airquotes" WOOD


20 May 2008

With your latest comic, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on this opinion piece.



This is a pretty interesting piece (from TIME magazine, no less--I didn't know they still ran text along with their pictures.) It's always a dodgy business trying to draw lessons from history, and this argument in particular pends on a lot of historical hypotheticals--we don't get to know What Would Have Happened had things gone differently. (The main issues in this election seem the wreck of the economy and the disaster in Iraq, both of which are owed to one George W. Bush, and the Republicans would have had a hard time of it this election no matter who the Democrats ran.) But he does make a persuasive case. And yet it seems to an extension of the usual Clinton defense that "they're just doing this out of political expediency so that they can enact their real agenda later" to the point where we're supposed to give them credit for never having done anything that wasn't politically expedient just so the Democratic party might be able to enact its real agenda decades later. Still, even if we grant his argument that the Clintons may have been politically necessary, it doesn't mean we shouldn't hasten them from the stage as soon as possible. Tim Burton's Batman may have been necessary to prove that the character could be a viable franchise, but this doesn't mean we should prefer it to Batman Begins, or ever forgive Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Freeze.
Me, I have always liked Big Bill, and the thing I relished most about the prospect of another Clinton Presidency was the specter of him back in the White House, eating bacon guacamole cheeseburgers and getting sucked off by Heather Graham. But my admiration was always for his vices rather than his policies.



21 May 2008

Hello Tim,

After pointing you to the "stake through Milosevic's grave" story, I am hoping
for a repeat this year. pointed me to this:]

I expect somebody else will have told you about this by now.

Anyway. the U.S. is doomed. get out while you can.

I have recently decided to even refuse my job sending me there.

Michael Aubert


21 May 2008


Long time reader, first time writer. For the sake of providing feedback I'm sorry to say that the latest comic in which Hillary is depicted as the terminator... well...

It turned out really poorly, Obamas feet vary in size as well as his hands.. and his shoulder and right wrist appear dislocated and/or strange in proportion.

I love "the pain" but comics like these really let me down. He just looks... weird and stale with strange proportions.

I thought it'd be in your interest to hear even negative feedback. I do love Hillarys face, though.

Kind wishes//

Albin Aspgren:

I generally like to diplomatically sandwich constructive criticism between compliments, especially to people I don't know, but this is just me. Thanks for the feedback. Sorry to disappoint you with the Obama cartoon--sometimes I don't have time to make the drawings as perfect as I'd like, and things get sloppy. Hope you feel the work has improved of late.

Tim Kreider


21 May 2008


Long-time reader, first-time caller.

Please tell me you have already heard about the plans for a Baghdad amusement park, planned and executed (sorry) by our people in Iraq. It's a story, and I apologize for that, but here it is, in all its hideous glory:

Thanks for all the great cartoons,


Kerry Warren:

Sorry it's taken me this long to read the article and respond--that's how it's been since Ms. C.-H. left for Hungary or Romania or wherever.

Once again reality outstrips the wildest parody. It's hard to know how to feel reading this story. On the one hand, it seems so naiively, insanely American--building a theme park in a war zone, handing out thousands of free skateboards to kids who may not have enough legs left to use them. On the other, misbegotten and abominable as this war has been, I do hope that the violence will end and Iraqi kids will be able to do stupid stuff like go to amusement parks and skateboard soon. And of course that some American contractor will make a fortune off it.

Tim Kreider


22 May 2008

Dear Tim,

One other thing you mentioned recently that was interesting: your friend hiding himself away on the old self-sustaining organic food compound. Was it in Oregon? Anyhoo, there's a key point the hippie survivalists are missing. He's planning on some kind of apocalypse, a complete breakdown of society as we know it, resulting presumably in lawlessness and some sort of famine or at least widespread shortages from which he wants to be insulated. The way I see it, this would play out in one of two ways:

a) the government is still in control, in which case if there was a famine they would confiscate stable food supplies (like his) to be rationed out to the ungrateful masses;


b) the government is no longer in control, in which case hungry people would show up at his farm and take what they wanted, unless he was willing to defend it with firepower. Even if he was, there are more than a few high caliber rifles, automatic weapons, and even heavier equipment floating around out there. In the kind of conflict where you're defending something of value from everyone else, it's doubtful he would come out of top or be able to continue sustainable farming. If things don't get that desperate, and he enjoys the lifestyle, more
power to him, but in a worst case scenario, he would have nothing.

Take care!

Scott Hamm,

As I think I've pointed out in previous cartoons, all Rob's meticulous planning and stockpiling is likely to prove to have been for naught when our friend Boyd shows up and shoots him and takes all his stuff, and his woman. Not sure whether Rob has figured this eventuality into his calculations and bought a gun.

Tim Kreider


22 May 2008

Hey Tim,

What would be so wrong with Hillary "insisting on getting those votes in Florida and Michigan counted"? Are those votes not worth counting? Florida alone accounts for close to 2 million (something like 1.7 million) of the democratic votes for the nation; by 2004 numbers that's something like 2.4% of all the voters in the whole of the Democratic Party. Hillary claims that with Michigan and Florida she has the popular vote. Isn't there a large sanctimonious portion of the Democratic Party that like to remind everyone that George Bush didn't win the popular vote in 2000 and by doing that are making an insinuation that the election in 2000 was not valid? I think the same applies here, if Obama's nomination is to be valid shouldn't all the votes be counted. I keep reading in the news paper how Michigan and Florida disqualified themselves because they voted early. Do you really think Jane and John Democrat in those two states gives a shit when they vote, they just want to vote and have it counted. If I was a Democrat I would be defending every Democrat's right for their vote to be counted in the party primary regardless of where they live and how they voted. Party politics are a joke; I can't believe anybody joins a political party with shit like this going on. You have no constitutional guarantee that your vote will be counted by your party in a primary and since the Democratic Party is not even taking individual votes seriously why even bother. Democrats, quit your party they don't value your vote.

James The Large
Currently ruling the land between blah blah blah….


I do think that people in Florida and Michigan ought to get to vote in the primaries, but the only reason HIllary gives a shit about it is because she won there, since Obama wasn't even campaigning there when they voted. What really ought to happen is they should hold a second primary in those states but no way is that going to happen. It's hopelessly fucked up.

Hillary wouldn't be so bad. She just wouldn't be so good, either. The best thing about it would be how much it would infuriate everyone we hate, and that Big Bill would be back in the White House, hopefully getting blown by a different former Playboy Playmate every night. I just can't excuse her vote for the war and I think her behavior in this campaign has been kind of Republican and scummy.


Well I don't know if I am pulling for her or not, but it just seems those votes should get counted. On her being scummy, well it won't be long until we can say the same thing about Obama. I am starting to think there is a pretty good chance the Democrats will fuck up this election, I think we will see the first signs of that when Barack picks his running mate, I am thinking hawkish liberal.

Hillary really has fucked herself the only way out of it now would be for the Clinton's to announce that they are bringing Monica into the family as second wife to Bill. If she won we would have both a first gentleman and first lady.


30 May 2008

Dear Mr Kreider,

the second panel of your most recent cartoon (05/28/08) managed, in that rare and elusive fashion that good cartoons have, to sum up a great many feelings regarding lapel pins. As such, I have recently felt compelled to quote your work in conversation as often as possible. I have even taken the lofty step of citing you within the hallowed realm of Facebook.

I realise that this sort of praise is commonplace to you (and if not, then it should be). I also realise that you'd rather receive a donation than anything else, and as soon as I find myself capable of holding down a job I intend to comply (up to "drinking buddy", at least). That said, I would like to add that the level of enjoyment I derive from your work (both the cartoons and the statements) is on par with the kind of intellectual and emphathically consensual thrill that I get from reading the likes of Matt Taibbi and Hunter S. Thompson, particularly in terms of aesthetic pleasure and, perhaps most importantly, the exhilaration of realising that there are others that share your convictions, and indeed express them not only succinctly but amusingly to boot.

All the best,
Morgan Davies.

P.S. My girlfriend recently remarked that you are far more attractive than you draw yourself. I hope that all is splendid and rampant on your end.

Morgan Davies:

Sorry for the long delay in my reply. Since Ms. C.-H. left I have not kept on top of "the mails," as she called it/them.

Glad you appreciated that lapel pin panel. I was pleased with it myself. You place me in honored company and I am duly flattered. I am flattered, too, by your girlfriend's compliments. Tell her to should look me up if she ever dumps your ass. Just kidding! Ha, ha! No, really, though.

I don't know about "rampant," but things are middling splendid around here. I saw a girl in spandex pants spitting fire on Bastille Day, so that counts for something.

Tim Kreider


31 May 2008

Dear Tim,

Have you heard the ramblings of Eben Moglen? He is a dreamer who fights with the law. He talks about a future utopia where the Internet directly connects us with those who create our culture. As a society, we will no longer have to concentrate our wealth so that the Media may forge ahead with the difficult task of deciding what content defines our culture, and when and how it is available. Instead, we consumers will directly survey the artists and support those with the most to contribute. I shall do my part, as long as you do yours.

Nick Fico

Nick Fico,

Such is the backlog since Ms. C.-H. left that I only just now got around to googling Eben Moglen, a name that sounds like it's from Asimov's Foundation trilogy. Well, he sounds like a that rare combination of logician and idealist, and like he's got an an uphill battle ahead of him. I would endorse the metaphorical sentiment behind his declaration that "the more we give away, the richer we become," but I have to say that based on my own experience drawing a free webcomic this is not empirically true in a mundane, literal sense. In other words I have to experience how this new media paradigm is good for artists. But then again I never experienced how the old one did us any favors, either.

I do have some qualms about the dissolution of a common ("mainstream") media, e.g., the atomization of consensual reality--like, not only does everyone have their own opinions and ideological points of view but now they have their own news, their own set of facts, their own mutually unrecognizable versions of reality, so that we no longer even agree about what we're disagreeing over.

But I don't mean to rain on the free-software parade. Don't mind me, I'm just a crank, plus I'm only one cup of coffee into my day and haven't even meditated yet. I agree, broadly, that the more information is available the better off everyone is, and that art should be a gift. And I probably ought not to be be griping about lack of renumeration to someone who sent me____ bucks. Anyway, don't worry; it would appear that I am doomed to continue drawing cartoons no matter how little reinforcement I receive.

Tim Kreider