1 June 2008
I always enjoy your work. However, reading this week's commentary, I couldn't help but feel that you were making some dangerous assumptions, and also doing the same kind of stereotyping you denounce.
Not everyone who lives in the Midwest or South is a bigot.
Not all racists are poor.
Not all racists are stupid.
Look at James Watson. Look, if only poor, ignorant, can't-pay-bills-or-child-support crackers were still racists, racism wouldn't matter any more. It's institutionalized racism among the wealthy and powerful that perpetuates racial disparities in this country.
2 June 2008
...thanks, Tim, for soldiering on with the comic.
I really appreciate your intelligent and soulful
artist's statements. Whether it's about politics,
relationships or scum, you always hit the nail
on the head and articulate points I wish we'd
see more of.
3 June 2008
Dude, a lot of american jews are in the Reform
camp, but even they would
am so tired of this new right wing Democratic
Party that Bill Clinton and
And i'm sad to see Obama succumbing to the corrosion.
it would be worth losing if we could have a
candidate who stand up
4 June 2008
Dear Mr. Krieder (please excuse me, if i misspelled),
I was inspired to write by the following excerpt from your commentary:
" I am once again reminded that my own work is but an inept imitation of the much more talented artists I admired as a child. Do all artists feel like this? Did Raphael secretly feel like nothing but a third-rate Leonardo?"
If it helps at all: from what I have read, nearly all great artists have compared themselves to their predecessors, usually unfavorably. However, while I regret to inform you of this, judging by what i have seen of your work (limited to your web-comic The Pain), your work is not that of an "artist," but, strictly speaking, that of a "caricaturist."
This is not meant to belittle you. Indeed, I hold you in the highest regard, ranking you with the likes of Thomas Nast and George Cruikshank. I have been a lifelong fan of astute political parody, especially when rendered in comic form.
Moreover, I share with you a fairly dim view of the intelligence of our nation's people, as well as hope for our nation's future. Let us both pray (for whatever that's worth) that that view is dim as in "un-enlightened," rather than seeing the darkness we both expect.
I look forward to your weekly web-comic nearly religiously, and often find great comfort in how you are able to able to extract the sublime (even if sublimely ridiculous) nature of our current socio-political reality.
No response is necessary to this note, however I would welcome a dialogue with you (I am not usually this pedantic). Also, as I live in Pennsylvania, it does not seem impossible to me that a personal meeting might be arranged in the future (please be assured that while I am a gay man; I am not now, nor have any intention of ever, hitting-on you). I admire your creativity and your intelligence, and I believe I could be a decent drinking partner for you.
In any event, I am,
6 June 2008
First of all, let me say I'm a big fan, and want you to know that even in Denmark your comic is appreciated.
Found this article earlier, title pretty much tells the story.
10 June 2008
Dear Tim Kreider,
You may have noticed my greatly praising your talent and plugging your site and books many times on the Comics Journal message board. I could go on at length about how much your cartoons and splendid accompanying "Artist's Statements" mean to me, especially during these years when the human race seems determined to plumb deeper depths of madness and idiocy, but for now want to "get down to business."
I want to donate to aid your continued cartooning. Have never gotten into using PayPal, and if it's OK with you, would just prefer to mail you a check*. (It'd put me in the "Sugar Daddy" donor level, if you're wondering.)
If, again, it's all right with you, would sending it payable and addressed to Tim Kreider, at
11 June 2008
OK, so a bunch of overly sensitive imbeciles
are at it again re the Obama's
to do, kemosabe? My title here lends a clue;
it comes from an episode
I dunno....half the damn time
I think these people who whine like dogs about
Sorry. There's been a big snafu
re my stimulus check and I'm kinda acting out
11 June 200
I was reading the statement following June 11th's update and found a poignant nostalgia in the comment of that childhood game "Smear the Queer". Though I am of a younger generation than Mr. Kreider (Not meant to be gloating - I already feel old and cynical having seen just what 8 bitter years gave the world), when I was in Middle school from 2000 to 2002, I witnessed and participated in that very same game. It had been rather remarkable to have witnessed in those teenage years (Currently 19 years old) the transition of acceptance, however flighty, towards homosexuality. That in Middle School faggot and gay were thrown around as common, primary synonyms for negative or bad, yet I could see gay, even flamboyantly gay individuals be treated with much more acceptance in the later years of Highschool. The continued use of such derogatory terms I think stems less from actual bigotry than it does the colloquial need for some derogatory insult - much as we still use the term cocksucker or motherfucker, despite it's impact being less that you fuck mothers or suck penises and more that you are simply seen as less than shit in the person's eyes.
What is tragic is to realize that following some tipping point of acceptance towards gays and lesbians, then it will be the transsexual's turn to have to climb a steep uphill battle for acceptance.
12 June 2008
Suibject: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Now that I've triggered the tune of that 1990's
shmaltzfest in your brain,
for all the hand-wringing over the world's
population, it may help to
So yes, things may
all work out in the end. But just remember
Things only get better so that they can get that much worse later on.
12 June 2008
The man who kisses things! I am happy when he shows up, just as I am happy whenever you draw wiggly people.
Keep up the great work!
ps I heard that you are a little bunny rabbit.
pps ever read 'Scary Go Round'? Lovely stuff.
12 June 2008
Dear Tim Krieder:
Two fans of yours are profoundly, breath-takingly high right now, and thought of you. Thought of you as the screen of this laptop becomes paisley and as my friend stares up at the ceiling insisting he’s still sober enough to write. I noticed that last week’s Artist Statement had a surge of goofy, trippy optimism that we are, of course, totally on board with right now.
We are also writing from the viewpoint not just of the high condescending to the sober, but of the Alaskans condescending to people in the states. We are tripping balls on a splendid porch-deck in the middle of a forest with a black and white cat and thought “Hey, Tim Krieder”. We really, really can’t hold our shit together, but this is a fan letter, and we love you.
PS: You have no idea how fucking tiny this cat is. O her precious feets.
13 June 2008
I like the cartoon very much, probably because
I am very much the same, except
However, given your audience's
cynical, may I say "viciously-minded and
P.S.: Karen Abbott's "Sin and
the Second City" is worth the read; it tells
13 June 2008
I have been a devoted (in a non-creepy way) fan since your completely unexpected and unprecedented talk at an otherwise unremarkable NASA workshop in Houston (Outer Planets Mission workshop? I can't remember) back in 2001. If I ever attain a position with some real pull in NASA (not completely out of the realm of possibility), I intend to try to funnel some more work your way (or at least get you a free invitation to a launch or something). Meanwhile, I actually paid real money for your book (new, not used!). Yeah, I was the guy who bought that one on Amazon in '05.
I have tremendous sympathy for the hard path of an artist. Scientists are similarly unappreciated by society at large, but we have the undeniable advantage that some of the stuff we do can make other people wealthy (which is what it takes to get ahead in this great country). So I pull down what would be an obscene salary if the definition of obscene had not been stretched beyond recognition by CEOs, one that allows me to afford a house in LA. But all of my children took the less well-compensated path in life (two in classical music, one in environmental advocacy, one in snow boarding/whitewater rafting), so all of my discretionary income goes into subsidizing their as yet unsuccessful attempts to gain a financial toehold in the Republican personal-responsibility economy.
I truly enjoy your weekly cartoons, and especially especially look forward to your artist's statements. You manage to articulate many of my own thoughts, and although I do try to listen to viewpoints different from my own, I always enjoy a reflection of my own opinions the best. It's especially heartening to know that when I feel that I must be insane, given the behavior of everyone around me, there are others who think like me. If there are enough of us, at least we might get a named disorder in the DSM.
I'll try to send some support your way every once in a while. At this point, Obama doesn't seem to need it so much as before. Maybe if you are in Southern California some time I could give you a guided tour of JPL and buy you a drink (directly, as it were).
13 June 2008
Read the comment, know the feeling - to the extent, in fact, that I've attached Heinrich Schütz's "Unser Keiner Lebet ihm Selber," a tune that confirms that whatever else you can say about humanity, we got that "setting Romans 14 to music" thing done right. There's actually quite a moving story to it as well: Schütz, a 17th century composer living through the Thirty Years War, had his young wife unexpectedly die of an abrupt illness; before she died she gave him some consolatory scriptural passages, including the one he set to music here some years later. It goes
"Unser keiner lebet ihm selber und keiner stirbet ihm selber. Leben wir, so leben wir dem Herren; sterben wir, so sterben wir dem Herren. Darum wir leben oder sterben, so sind wir des Herren."
Which, if we render it into the Jacobean English that Paul wishes he'd actually written Romans in, reads
" For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die onto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."
A passage which, if you squint at it sideways a little bit is both comforting and communitarian; with the result that it's apparently been popular with socialists since way back. Of course the backstory would be pointless if the setting weren't breathtakingly beautiful; certainly different from the modern ecclesiastical stuff you mentioned, but this is generally the mp3 I use to prove to doubting friends that German is not, in fact, a hideous language. He even makes "sterben" - the pretty much undeniably ugly German word for "to die" - sound rather pretty.
For the Jackson 5-esque follow up, I reccomend "I was made to love her," classic Stevie Wonder motown. If I ever need the happiness equivalent of the atropine-needle-to-the-heart I'm thinking it'd be that. Relentlessly joyous.
I'd definately send you the money that, as a grad student, I don't have; however, I sent it all to Barack Obama. (Felony-tastic, as a Canadian.) I'll get back to you when I don't have more.
14 June 2008
I'm more than happy to support The Work. I am in fact a native Canuckistani, but the spirit and mad, maniacal brilliance of your work transcends any international border. "Beacon of Sanity" is not quite the phrase for it, so much as it is a handy shorthand for the many superlatives I could mass upon you.
The Pain is one of the few things that can give me belly laughs on multiple readings. It's also one of the few reminders that there are like minded, outraged people out there, and that it's not just me who spits up bile when the George's and Mr. Cheney's of the world turn things like "Iraq" into "Faggots is tryin' tuh get married! Wes gots tuh stop 'em!" If that makes any sense.
The sheer audacity of some of your material is a breath of fresh air compared to the watered down piss that passes for most political humour...or any humour, for that matter: your rendition of the mecha-terrorist in "More Reasons to Look Forward to the Next Terrorist Attack" cracks me up for too many reasons to list.
If you're ever in Vancouver, my pal Nick and I would love to show you around. We also have much to discuss with you concerning Richard Milhous Nixon, for we feel much the same way about him as you do.
You're a genius, Tim, and if there were any justice in the world, you'd be held right up there with R. Crumb or Swift (or R. Crumb and Swift's love child). Your comics are liquid hope and hilarity.
"It's the stuff that dreams are made of."
--Humphrey Bogart misquoting The Tempest, Act IV, Scene 1
PS: I found your essay on Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut illuminating.
19 June 2008
Dear mister Kreider,
I'm a long-time visitor of thepaincomics, somewhere from around 2005, when I first followed a link to your comic from a site named ruthlessreviews.com . I have always been into american cartoons, since there's so many of them and the styles are so diverse. Most of it is crap; but YOUR comic never fails to bring a smile to my face, to make me warm inside - your cartoons, political or not, never fail to deliver. Even altough I live in Eastern Europe, you manage to present american political debacles in such a funny and original way that I can immediately understand them, even an ocean and a landmass away.
Thinking of the way thepaincomics has moved the past few years, it appears to me that the cartoons that delivered most were the ones that stood apart from the usual political themes - these are the cartoons about Onan the Barbarian ( which achieved a near-cult status in my own little bulgarian designer communities ( the artline comics forum, the graphilla forum ), the animal-americans, the waminals, and many more. I believe this are the cartoons that you will be remembered by, not the weekly political sketches. Every cartoonist, if he wishes to be considered 1st class, has to have one cartoon character. Disney had Mickey; Carl Barx - Donald Duck; Jean Eiffel - Adam, Eve and God; and if you wish to be remembered primary as a master of humour, I sincerely urge you to work further in the direction of the waminals - they may not be the best you've ever done, but they are cute, adorable, sympathetic and have a good chance to become your personal logo around cartooning history. Whatever you do, I will continue to visit your comic page, no matter if your art declines ( you drew the one arm of the legal guy in the last panel longer then the other ) or you loose your originality, or decide to move into lettering ( The style of the titles of your cartoons is amazing; I'm looking forward to the KraiderHand Script Font ).
I wish you best of health and luck,
PS. If you ever need anything vectorized, feel free to notify me - I will do the job for you, considering I have the time.
21 June 2008
You may remember me as the Brazilian programmer. (it's ok if you don't.) I'm currently in Barcelona enjoying the extremely low-priced Absolut, but I took the time to use the newly released Spore Creature Creator (it's used to make creatures for a game that hasn't been released yet. This is what happens to companies that do not deal in perishable goods.) to make one of the wacky and wuvable Waminalz.
You can see it in
you can see the little bastard being adorable
I hope I have captured the essential Waminalnezz in the design. If not, you can always launch some sort of contest and I'm sure more people on the Intertubes will try to outdo me.
This Is In Lieu Of A Donation,
26 June 2008
First of all, thank you for the acknowledgement of my email. I passed along your regards to Jessica, who is, as you said, completely gorgeous. (Members of that Facebook service can see the profile picture of her, thus my eager confirmation.)
To be a slight bit more egotistical and annoying for a moment, I would just like to thank you for, well, your thoughts and your work. Since I am coming up to the end of my degree (in Philosophy and History, which, I believe, makes me even less employable than a political cartoonist) I believe that I have the right to reflect upon my last few years and my influences.
I first came upon your site maybe a first and a half ago, while I was having a slight breakdown because of Albert Camus, Vonnegut and Nietzsche, three writers whom you don't really want to start reading at the same time. Within a week I had seen every comic, read every statement, and gone searching for any other essays that you had thankfully set upon the world. I printed off your comics (is that the right word? I will continue to use it) with statement and posted them on boards around my university and paraphrased you in the all-too-common "serious" conversations that we who read book and have open, if reluctant, ears to politics have.
As with most good influences, what reading you gave me was not a set of ideas or opinions but a certain attitude. I now believe that we do not have to have all the answers, and that just because we both live in democracies (or in my case a democracy under the Queen) doesn't mean that we honestly have to make a choice. This is not a decision between activism and apathy, a case of either taking sides and voting or not caring at all.
We are constantly told that we have to back someone, that if we don't have a team to back then we are soft, fence sitting pussies. As Stephen Colbert says, "Pick a side, we're at war." But do we have to pick sides, should we pick sides? Take the example of the Palestinian situation. Can this situation be as simple as line like "the Israelis are monsters" or "the Palestinians are terrorists?" I don't really know. What I do know is that I care. I care about the Jewish people and their need for a homeland and I care about the abuse that the Palestinians seem to have suffered and continue to suffer. I cannot take a side but this doesn't mean that I am apathetic. And the lesser of two evils is not really good enough, I don't want to have to make an evil decision. This type of "indecisiveness" is ignored in most democracies, you either have your say or you do not matter.
And this is what you gave to me. Now I know that I don't really have to have a firm idea, I don't have to have a complete opinion. But I should care; I should feel passionate about certain things. I should feel passionate about issues and questions that I don't have an concrete opinion about or answer for. That's what we have, passion and compassion. Even if we are completely ineffective, at least we care about what we do and who we affect.
I also have to thank you for introducing me to Matt Taibbi, who I have also become similarly obsessive with
I'm sorry if this email is slightly heartfelt and, thus, creepy, but I have
been hesitating about writing you a not for a while now. I might as well lay
things out while I have the courage to type a single word.
30 June 2008
Your thoughts on the LHC (Large Hadron
Collider) and the small albeit worrying
You kinda of have to hand it to
us, as humans. I mean, the options for ending
It'll almost be a drag if it
just buzzes a little and does what it was built
Anyhow, your thoughts sir?