Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 8/14/02

Artist's Statement

I was going to go to New York for a long weekend and wanted to get a cartoon done on Friday, before I left, so I wouldn't have to worry about it on my trip. I spent most of the day putting it off, running errands, packing, trying to think up funny ideas, and, as I do every week, bitterly cursing the bastards who make me do these cartoons and wishing I could just quit. Somehow this seems to be an indispensable part of the creative process for me. I really don't remember how it occurred to me to do a Presidential "to-do" list, but I knew right away what should be on it, and then the little doodles, which are the best part of the cartoon, began to appear. Note to aspiring cartoonists: it wasn't until I sat down and started doodling the cartoon that the ideas began to come to me effortlessly, cracking me up likealways. I don't know why I always forget this lesson: don't pace around moping and racking your brains trying to come up with a funny idea; you just sit down and draw and somehow it just happens.

Like most sane and thoughtful people I can't even understand this insane plan to launch a war on Iraq, which, assholes though their despotic government may be, had no connection to the attacks of 9/11--which is, if I'm remembering this right, the whole reason we're supposed to support this perpetual war on all the shifty-eyed brown people of the world in the first place, right? The "to-do" list as I've draw it really does seem to reflect the entirety of their thinking on this matter. It seems obvious to me that the only reason the Bush administration has for attacking Iraq is because they have to do something about the whole terrorism thing, and still haven't figured out how to fight an enemy composed of a few thousand guys of different nationalities dispersed in a decentralized network throughout the world because their intelligence agencies are a bunch of infighting bureaucrats who have a total of like three guys who even speak any Arabic languages and the military is still trained and equipped to defeat the Soviet Union in a conventional land war in Europe, so they figure they'll just flatten some third-world nation-state we never liked anyway and it might get them re-[sic]elected even if the economy goes to shit. Plus, hey, oil!

I don't know why George W. Bush has become a figure of pathos in my cartoon world. In reality he is clearly a hateful person: a dumb, arrogant frat boy who blew off an Ivy-League education a lot of working-class kids would've done anything to get, had everything, including the Presidency, effortlessly given to him, never questioned a single thing in his life and always done exactly what his daddy's big-business cronies told him to. He makes me want to beat him up. In political terms, he's nothing, a figurehead not worth paying attention to, much less satirizing; it's the corporate gangsters and war criminals who've hired him as their spokesmodel who ought to be mocked and pilloried. But in my cartoons he's this earnest, feckless character that I feel almost sorry for, stuttering through mistranscriptions of his prompted speeches, choking on his popcorn in outrage as he watches Spider-Man, getting yelled at by mean old Mister Cheney. I've always felt sorry for Nixon, too. I am a disappointment to my country and to myself.