Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 9/22/04

Artist's Statement

I am particularly proud of this cartoon because, at least as far as I can remember, I did not steal any part of it from anyone else at all. I thought it up all by myself. It was inspired by a line from last week's artist's statement: "George Bush actually believes himself to be divinely appointed." It was, as always, in the boring in-between moments in my daily routine--while I was doing dishes, or taking a shower--that the details came to me, including the one touch of genius, the Ronald Reagan portrait. That's Colin Powell desperately trying to influence policy by grabbing for the mike, by the way. "A crazy half-breed" is what my friend Jim always calls my friend Boyd (a dangerus Korean/Tennessee mix).

Although thinking it up was easy and fun, drawing this cartoon may have been my least pleasant cartoon-drawing experience ever. I have been frantically trying to hash out a final cover design for my next book all week, and was in the middle of a week of all-day work on that--the kind of work that leaves you having anxious, boring dreams about Photoshop--when, on Thursday afternoon, the City Paper sent me an e-mail letting me know that, by the way, there'd be an early deadline this week, noon Friday at the latest, thanks. These people do not understand the kind of extremely complicated lives led by professional cartoonists. Then my White-out pen ran out, and I had to go out at night to buy a new one, and Happy Harry's was out of my favorite brand, so I bought an alternate brand, the Bic white-out pen, which proved out to be A PIECE OF SHIT. It left a thin, watery layer of white-out that crumbled as it dried and then stopped working almost immediately, so that I was just scratching at the paper with a metal tip. In a fit of pique I destroyed the White-Out pen, which was not easy, believe me--I had to saw through it with a bread knife, and then of course White-Out exploded all over my kitchen sink. I had to draw the cartoon without white-out, which for me is almost as debilitating as drawing without ink. Plus I'd wanted to find a photo of Reagan and a Gothic font online but in the end could find neither in any downloadable form and had to draw Ronald Reagan and all that cramped Gothic calligraphy by hand, which left my whole hand and forearm burning. I finally got the cartoon e-mailed in at six minutes after twelve.

Megan Kelso tells me that as a result of seeing last week's cartoon, she finally lost all hope she had for the upcoming election. This was not my intention.


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