July 2008

2 July 2008

Dear Mr. Kreider,

Your web page says that you're "on vacation" this week. How exactly do you
go on vacation from what it is you do?

Thank you,

Bob Alberti:

I invite you to fill in for me any week you feel up to it.

Tim "Mister Touchy" Kreider


6 July 2008

Dear Mr Kreider.


Those sketchbook outages are not something to spring on a man without prior warning for sobriety

Love them!

Also love your lighter lines lately in general.

Should that not have been a "westwaining oWder" a couple weeks back though?

Deeply disturbed at your wack of wespect for westwaining owders

W.A.F., aka boris chwosta

Bo[w]is Chwosta:

I was glad to get some favorable feedback on the lame substitution of sketchbook pages for an actual cartoon. No matter what hastily-drawn crap I post, somebody out there always likes it!

Shouldn't that be "deepwy disappointed"?

Tim Kreider


7 July 2008

Mr. Kreider-

I recently received a fine birthday gift, in the form of Mr. Tehn. I have composed a Rubai upon the occasion.

It is entitled:

Mr. Tehn in the Dressing Room

He has great hopes that a loose-fitting tunic
will hide the features that she found "Cthulhunic."
" It's not so bad!" he thinks. "Love conquers all!"
He briefly wishes that he were a eunuch.

I hope you enjoy it.

Daniel Wright

Dan Wright,

No one has ever written me a Rubai before, or even told me they existed. (Too bad the form didn't allow you to work in "runic.")

Tim Kreider


9 July 2008

Hi, Tim.

Great comic and commentary this week! I am of the same naive opinion about science - though I have the opportunity to feel like I'm making a difference. My beautiful and intelligent wife was unfortunately raised with a creationist point of view, though excelllently educated otherwise. Though there's been a bit of tension, I was able to make it through and help her get some of the awesome ideas that make up science - natural selection, astronomy, and all the fun cool shit. I hear ya, man. David Attenborough's documentaries are a great bridge.

Anyway, I wanted to call your attention to NASA's photo of the day website - if it's not on your daily list, it should be! It's a mix of super cool astronomy and meteorology photos with short explanations, but they have Hubble photos, snapshots from the Space Shuttle, weird weather phenomena like sundogs and the green flash, etc:


Thanks again for your brilliantly vicious work!


TJ Kudalis:

In fact I have a link to the NASA site on my "friends" page, and am well aware of the NASA image of the day--though it drives me bats when the image of the day is a lame photo of a guy in a spacesuit or some satellite in the lab. Yeah guess what: I've seen guys in spacesuits before. How about a geyser on Triton, or an exploding star, or galaxies colliding?

Good luck with the education of your creationist wife. Maybe we can win them all over through intermarriage.

Tim Kreider


10 July 2008

Dear Tim Kreider,

Your comic and artist statement this week were two of the best things you've produced in a while (not to say your other comics weren't great, but I enjoyed this one much more). It's been my reasoning for a while that it's instinctual for humans to create a God figure to rationalize and explain things they have yet to learn. A psycological security blanket that keeps them from having to think to hard. And it's my belief that as societys progress and more is learned, that these gods be dropped and science take their place. In recent years, the numbers of athiests have risen exponentially, which I think proves my point. Unfortunately, there will always (probably) be a group of people who simply are to insecure, and need a God to make them feel validated and safe. I'm fine with that, but when they start asserting there beliefs forcefully and often times stupidly, they've become a force against modern progress. I don't often find people who have similar thoughts on this topic, so it was refreshing to read your work this week.

Thanks for a great comic,

Beige (Beige?),

Do you really find it hard to find people with similar views on this subject? Seems to me like atheism in is vogue in book publishing these days? How about "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, or "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens? I haven't read either of these because I figure I get the gist of them already but if you're a relative newcomer to the dubious joys of atheism and looking for intellectual reinforcement for the position they're your go-to guys. Although I, too, have fucking had it with these simpletons trying to write three-thousand-year-old tribal laws into modern legislation and pushing my gay and female friends around, believe it or not, I'd advise you to try to feel a little empathy for them. They're mostly just lost and scared and not all that smart. Even though it seems to us like they get to dominate the national discourse, they feel like it's us and our whole vulgar secular society who are marginalizing and persecuting them (they like to feel persecuted--it goes way back). As grownups used to tell us about bears, poisonous snakes, and a lot of other dangerous animals, "they're just as scared of you as you are of them."

Tim Kreider

10 July 2008

Dear Tim,

I'm not going to spend much time on this email as I doubt you will either. I only want to write about your artist's statement. The panel can be excepted for space constraints. It is pedantically simplistic and demeaning to someone of your obvious intelligence to lump every American who doesn't agree with your political and spiritual and scientific positions into one stupid and dumb "they." Seriously? Powerful prose, sharp wit, and the best you can come up with is to rant against that mythical beast, "most people" and "they"? You can do better.

(And as someone employed in science: 1. Good luck finding scientists who can agree on almost anything, much less what you seem to assume - lack of religion = liberal politics. 2. Some of the most best scientists I've met are also intensely religious. Reconcile that with your simplistic world.)


Daniel Eisenberg,

I think you are connecting the dots of the disjointed, hit-and-run polemical points I make to infer a whole constellation of a political philosophy or worldview that is not necessarily mine. (I certainly don't equate irreligion with political liberalism--in fact I think most liberals are motivated by sublimated religious impulses on some unconscious level.) My artist's statements are more closely related to stand-up comedy than to the essay (or even its idiot cousin the op-ed), and you may be assuming too much coherent intention behind my desultory rants.

The panel in question refers very specifically to Fundamentalists who refuse to accept the best-tested scientific theories because they conflict with their own doctrines, and muck up scientific and political debates with their nonsensical beliefs. (And I do think there's a high correlation between Creationists and Bush's hardcore 35% of support.) It's you, I think, who make the assumption that I am depicting them as representative all religious or spiritual people. I'm well aware that many scientists have been religious, although it seems to me that most of them have a reverence for the mysterious order of the universe and its laws, which is a pretty abstract, Spinozan sort of God, not the abusive bearded daddy in the clouds most Fundamentalists seem to be envisioning.

On the other hand, I think your email got under my skin because there is some truth to it. I am sort of snobby and condescending and it is too easy, for both comedic and rhetorical purposes, to fall into facile, comforting Us vs. Them dichotomies. And it's also true that I am picking on fairly broad and obvious targets here. An old friend of mine wrote me to say essentially the same thing, though his gripe was that I'm mocking the scientific illiteracy of lower-class, less-educated people, rather than the far more serious and potentially dangerous scientific illiteracy of the elite ruling class, which continues to believe, in defiance of all evidence, that our resources are infinite. But the idea of fundamentalists protesting the LHC just occurred to me, and you simply do not look gift horse in the mouth when it comes to comic inspiration.

I would point out that in my essay I professed sympathy for Creationists, and this was not rhetorical faux-sympathy, the way someone will spit "I feel sorry for you!" in a rage. I'm trying to take a more compassionate and encompassing view these days, believe it or not. I'd ask you to look more carefully at that drawing of the three protesters. Broad and uncharitable caricatures they are, to be sure, but isn't there something human and pitiable in the old man's flinty insistence that he is not some purely materialistic agglomeration of "string" (although his jowls and wattle and even his tie are all awfully stringy)? Or in the Jesus lady's desperately bright, deluded eyes? And, most heartbreakingly of all, in the filmy comb-over of the pudgy guy on the right?

Anyway, I just wanted you know that your criticism was not dismissed out of hand.

Tim Kreider


11 July 2008

Dear Mr. Kreider,

How wonderful to see the Large Hadron Collider featured in your fine drawn serial! Like many, I eagerly await the start of data-taking -- not because of the potential for the return of the Elder Gods, but because I do theoretical physics on Higgs, supersymmetry, etc. and the SSC was canceled during my first year in graduate school.

This one is going on the office door.

Heather Logan

Heather Logan:

That SSC thing must've been a kick in the head, huh? Well, at least the research is still going forward. As I said, science is a stupid thing to get jingoistic about but still, it's kind of a national shame.

Glad to know the LHC cartoon will be puzzling students for years. Let me know when the first Christian informs you that s/he is offended.

Tim Kreider


14 July 2008

As someone who has studied economics and politics since he was ten, I can tell you that your comic is almost dead on about everything. Keep up the good work.



If I am right about anything, it is purely by dumb luck.



16 July 2008


JJ from Columbia, Maryland here. I, too, and an anti-Bush obsessive, artist, musician, blah blah blah...

I've been reading your strip for a while now, and I get a big fucking kick out of it, so I couldn't let the "chicken" + "ass" panel go by without alerting you to some songs you might like. Years ago my cohorts and I recorded some songs, and one was called "Asschickens". I'll attach the song. It's about what you think it's about.

More recently, my brother and I have launched an online campaign of wiggedness in music called "PUMMELER". We got some attention in the local media for our song "Ovechkin" as the Capitals made their run to the
playoffs. It turned out to be a great opportunity to insult opposing fans and sling fuckwords throughout teh innarnets.

Other song titles include "Sleestak Attack", "Fuck Dat Pussay", and "Hang Up And Drive" (currently not up). Enjoy...


I almost emailed you earlier when you were talking about Stevie Wonder helping your moods, as Stevie has always done that for me. So much so that I got a tattoo of him on my leg for inspiration. Saw him at Pier 6 last summer, and he was fucking incredible. 3 hours, never missed a note, never took a sip of water. He's inhuman. Hope you enjoy the music, and keep cranking out those strips.


JJ Barkett:

"Asschickens" is an amazing artifact. I forwarded it to my friend Boyd (subject of the relevant panel). He was keenly interested in hearing "Sleestack Attack."

Tim Kreider


16 July 2008


Actually pretty good one this week. I also remember much of your early work not
available online, best one I thought was General Tso vs Colonel Sanders. (Bet
you never thought anyone would remember that one, eh?)

I also googled Wittgenstein and got his article in Wikipedia. He seems to have
been a fascinating man. The quote regarding silliness seems to have turned up
rephrased in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Wonka says (or sings)" A little nonsense now and again is a quality prized by the wisest men."

Marty F


Always nice when people preface a compliment with "actually" as though to imply it is contra expectation.

I believe the verse "A little nonsense now and then/ Is relished by the wisest men" is by Edward Lear. Mr. Wonka is given to quoting (and misquoting) widely.

The best thing about the Wikipedia entry for Wittgenstein is the photograph of him in grade school with Adolf Hitler.


I was a little freaked by the Wittgenstein / Hitler thing too. Good thing the poor guy is dead now, so if he ever ran for US President we'd not be subjugated to attack ads to the effect (Stentorian voice) "Wittgenstein was a SCHOOL CLASSMATE of one of the world's most genocidical dictators! If he was HIS friend, how can we trust HIM to deliver a balanced budget, stop gay marriage in its unholy trcaks, and win the war on terror?"


16 July 2008

"I expect to publish my collection of the last four years¢ cartoons and essays, Fuck Them All: A Chronicle of the Era of Darkness, Volume II, sometime next year after the Bush regime has been driven from office."

Are you backing off your claim that the Bush regime will contrive to remain in office after 2008? I've got some money riding on this, kiddo.

Phil Pierson:

You've got me there. Strange to realize I am now regarding Bush's departure, and even the ascendancy of an Obama administration, as a foregone conclusion. I seem to have succumbed to the general tide of optimism, which may well be unwarranted. But journey back with me to the dark days of 2004 and recall how the Bush administration still seemed smugly omnipotent and invincible in public opinion--the American people seemed like they'd eat up whatever bullshit they fed them, and acquiesce to any atrocity they wanted to commit. But that was all before the fiasco of Katrina gave us a close-up, domestic display of the same direction and competence evident in Iraq.

Mind you, I still maintain that they would've done it if they thought could get away with it. I remember a few years back some lower-level Republican party functionary floated the idea of arranging an emergency contingency for postponing elections in event of a terrorist attack (a notion immediately quashed by public outrage) which seemed to me like Step One of the plan. And there are still months to go before the election, and lots could still happen--another terrorist attack, war with Iran--that would give them an excuse to cling to power. So cheer up, we could still win our bets.

Though it's not clear to me whether our wagers stipulate that the administration will successfully retain power beyond their eight alloted years or only that they will attempt to. Because at this point I think if they tried it they might be physically forced from the White House. People can't stand that pipsqueak anymore and they're not going to let him stay in the Oval Office thirty seconds longer than he's legally allowed to. I'm just sorry it took most of the American people seven years longer than it took you and me to realize he was a useless shithead.



16 July 2008


The "asterisked" ( How appropriate, ASS-terisk.) footnote about anal sex on the first date with someone who will later prove to be insane. It is within my experience, a truism. I present my ex-wife to the court as exhibit "A". Fortunately, I have been ignorant of her whereabouts since 1984. One good thing about that ominous year.

[Name withheld just out of common decency]


18 July 2008

The other day I was driving east on I-90 from Seattle and stopped at the rest area just past Cle Elum. Most rest areas serve free coffee, but this one also served free popcorn. I decided to ask about the unusual item on the menu, and the man informed me that "it's a republican thing." It was then that I noticed that the rest area was staffed by the Kittitas county republicans. This made me think 'What have the Republicans ever done for us?' and it seemed to me that one answer to this 'Life of Brian' question would be 'provided popcorn and coffee to motorists who follow the American tradition of driving in the face of the environment, gas prices, etc.' Of course they have also provided us with many other wonderful things such as making sure we have gasoline for a little while longer, population control, and so on.

Anyhow, I thought you might like to know that popcorn is a republican thing.

- Ann

Ann Barcomb:

I'm assuming this was just his vague way of explaining that it was some Republican-sponsored gratuity--like the telescopes on the Brooklyn boardwalk last night were some Sci-Fi Channel thing--rather than sneering at you, obviously a college-educated city girl: "It's a Republican thang, honey--don't bother yore pretty li'l haid about it." As if they imagined that Democrats didn't even know about popcorn, just sat around eating bonbons or lichee nuts while we watched Antonioni and Kurosawa films.

I do like the idea of "What Have Republicans Done for Us?" as a cartoon idea. Certainly nothing springs to mind along the lines of child labor laws, the 40-hour week, the New Deal, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Civil Rights, etc. I'll have to meditate upon this question, or else get drunk with friends and bring it up. Watch and see if it doesn't show up on the website in a few weeks.

Tim Kreider


20 July 2008

Mr. T. Kreider:

I have just recently stumbled upon your web site after Googling 'feed the cats.' A gut feeling instructed me to click on the Archives, and, boy, I must tell you something: When you have titles to click to get to a certain cartoon, and the title is THE EXACT SAME WORDING as the punchline of the cartoon, (as in "Your Feelings Suck" and "I don't give a shit,"), the emotion that is hoisted upon the first-time viewer is one of disappointment and ennui, as if one has already been told, weeks in advance, what one will receive at Christmas. (Well, no, not really. Sometimes that gives you a feeling of excited anticipation, depending, of course, on what the gift is.) I would suggest you change the wording of the titles, post haste, to, for instance, "Something about Feelings," and "Something about Giving" respectively. Then at least the reader can still be excited about Christmas, and wonder animatedly and excitedly about what could be on offer.

Caring for your future,

beverly smith

P.S. I did not really Google "Feed the cats." But do you know how difficult it is to begin a letter to someone completely unknown?? Huh??

Beverly Smith,

The cartoons you're referring to are pretty old ones, back when I almost exclusively drew single-panel gags. More recent titles tend to state the premise rather than the punchline. And frankly I never really thought of those lines or phrases as the punchlines of the cartoons; the drawing itself is really the punchline. In any event, you willl be gratified to know that going back and re-titling cartoons I drew nine years ago is now #837 on my To-Do List. I should get around to updating the titles on the archives no later than, let's say, spring of 2031.

Tim Kreider

P.S. I am the #2 google hit for the phrase "catfucker." You googled "catfucker," didn't you? Admit it.


20 July 2008

Hi Tim,

It's not often that I see a picture of a dude and ask myself "did Tim Kreider draw that?"

So there you go.



22 July 2008

Dear Mr. Kreider,

I kind of feel like I should call you Tim, but that would be rude as we haven't ever met. The reason I'm writing you today is honestly probably something you've heard a thousand times before, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to tell you again. You're an amazingly funny cartoonist. I was referred to your website a week ago by an online friend and have since read through everything (comics, artists statements, crap you've linked to in those statements) that
you have on the site, and I loved it.

Not to say that it wasn't difficult to get though at times. There were times that I was reading (the leadup to the 2004 election being the most memorable) and I was thinking to myself "oh that poor, poor man, he doesn't even know yet". Which is of course ridiculous, of course you know that Bush won the '04 election, of course you know that we've been subjected to 4 extra years of draconian idiocy. But you didn't know then, and reading your artists statements all full of hope that maybe, just maybe this nightmare could be over finally was kind of painful because I knew what was coming. I knew the utter deflation that was around the bend. And then it happened and you bitched defeatedly at the bastards in the "flyover states" for being ignorant redneck idiots. And while I live in one of those states (Indiana to be precise) I didn't hold you any malice for doing so, after all I bite my tongue and curse inside my head whenever I see a "Support the Troops" ribbon (or a depressingly common one now that simply states in jingoistic vagueness "Support America" as though anyone who doesn't vote for the next homo hating bigot is somehow a traitor).

Anyhow, enough of that depressing bullshit, as I was saying, I found your work to be strikingly witty and extremely well done. If for some unknown reason you find yourself stranded in the desolate corn strewn wasteland that is Indiana, feel free to email me (or just post it on your comic) and I'll show you around to the one drinking establishment we have in this state that isn't either a sports bar or a hick dive playing Toby Keith 24/7.

Thanks for all the laughs (and the tears too)

Joel Dent

Joel Dent,

Now you've got me feeling sorry for myself of four years ago. Not as sorry as the future me will probably feel for the optimistic me of now, though.

Tim Kreider


24 July 2008

Thanks for making me laugh , you're one of the good guys.

My friend from Sweden (by way of Pakistan) enjoys your comics, too. She can't marry me because I'm not Muslim. Doesn't that just totally suck? If only more Pakistanis read your work...

J. Feezer
Woodlawn, MD

Jay Fez,

It's nice to hear I'm one of the good guys. You never really know for sure.

You probably ought not to marry someone to whom religion is so important, but, if you really want to spnd your life with this woman, maybe you should just convert. Someone who won't marry you because you're not Muslim is obviously such a stickler for the letter of the law that she won't care whether you really believe or not. The praying five times a day is a bitch, as is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is not exactly the Greek Islands, but it's up to you to decide whether it's worth it.



24 July 2008

Hey there,

Long time reader, first time writer. I enjoy your comic tremendously, as I feel it's one of the few political comics these days that's not pulling any punches.

The one thing I want to write in about is your recent comment - "Of course Iran isn't helping matters by firing off missiles and making with the supervillain rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map."

I agree that Iran is acting with a lot of bombast, and not particularly helping defuse any situations here, but the comment about "wiping Israel off the map" is something I keep seeing that is in fact one of the most dangerous mistranslations I've ever seen.

The problem is, and it's been a bad problem in this country for a long time now, our ability to translate Middle Eastern languages SUCKS. The idiomatic phrase "wipe off the map", as far as I understand it, doesn't actually exist in Farsi. What Ahmadinejad actually said was something closer to "the current Zionist regime in Israel must be brought to an end", with the emphasis on "current regime", referring to the hawkish factions that have come to prominence in Israel since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. It's more akin to saying "we've got to get Bush out of office" than it is to "let's push the country into the sea". And it's something that the entirety of Western media has run with - even otherwise responsible publications who usually do their research correctly. It makes me sick and sad - but when I was taking Arabic in school, even after 9/11, there were only twenty students in the class at a major American university, and about half of them dropped out.

We don't really understand what they're saying. We don't want to understand what they're saying. Bush and McCain in particular wouldn't even understand why we need to learn to speak Arabic, Farsi, etc. - but we've recently given airtime to a terrorist faction on the U.S.-sponsored Al-Hurra network because the network managers didn't speak a word of Arabic.
It's a bad situation, and I hope that you will take a bit of time to research the translation issues surrounding this highly sensitive and divisive issue.

Thanks for the rest of your work.

Drew Seidman

Drew Seidman:

Thank you for the crucial clarification. I am unembarrassed to spout my stupid opinions so long as they are based on fact, but I'm ashamed to have repeated misinformation. I will rectify the mistake in tomorrow's edition of the artist's statement.

Tim Kreider


25 July 2008

Dear Mr. Kreider:

I have been a monstrously huge fan of your work since about 2004. I'm writing to correct a small error you made in Panel 2 of your most recent cartoon:

Because he was tortured in Vietnam, John McCain is physically unable to lift his arms above his shoulders, thus rendering him unable to pull off a Nixon pose. The best he could do would probably be to put his arms out at a 90 degree angle perpendicular with his spine. Being the America-hating liberal/heartless bastard that I am, I think that this could look pretty hilarious if he were rendered in your style attempting to do so with his "Popeye" expression:


Thanks for everything you do; I really enjoy Wednesdays a lot more than I normally would.

Sam Finer

Sam Finer,

I was actually aware of Senator McCain's disability when I drew the cartoon, but the exultant gesture seemed more important than verisimilitude--like, this is the moment he's been waiting for his whole life--so I took let's call it poetic license. I actually do feel kind of bad making fun of McCain since, although I can't think of anything I agree with him about, he's such a cantankerous and entertaining old bastard. And conservatives hate him, so he can't be all bad. Plus, that Popeye face is truly amazing. We'd certainly have been better off is he'd beaten that dumb frat boy George in 2000.

Tim Kreider


26 July 2008

I'll tell you what uplifting thing you can draw if that day comes, Tim. You can draw the little kid who watches it on TV and quietly resolves to take up the mantle, eventually becoming the nation's first black president.

Matthew Carlin:

A promise: I'll split the Pulitzer money with you. (I've already promised to take an old girlfriend to the award luncheon, though.)

Tim Kreider