Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 1/05/05

Move your cursor over the image to see how our heroes fare in the New Year.

Artist's Statement

This cartoon was basically dictated to me by Dave Israel over cheese steaks and beer at Cox's Pub on Thursday afternoon, in the middle of a days-long event called simply "The Cruise," about which the less you know the better. Everything funny in it, including the Foghorn Leghorn tattoo, was Dave's idea. The original conception for my character was that I would be in a tight black tank top with moussed hair, but somehow, detail by detail, it metamorphosed into what you see here. It's not exactly clear what's happened to me in the intervening year, actually--I appear to have become a decadent Eastern European count. Dave suggests I have moved into elegant and foppish circles of the fine art world. He describes my look as a cross between Salvador Dali and David Niven. Worse things could happen, I suppose.

I note, with rueful satisfaction, that my friend and colleague Emily Flake and I have both independently taken as our New Year's theme an amused pessimism at the notion that human beings are capable of change. (Although Emily herself would apear to give lie to this pose--when I saw her New Year's Eve she semed happier and more self-assured than I have ever seen her, and I hereby express my happiness for her, only slightly tained by self-pity and envy.) I really do give this speech to Boyd around Christmas every year. The Turn of the Tide speech, we call it. For the first couple of years I didn't realize I had given exactly the same speech the year before, and when Boyd finally pointed this out to me I fell into a deep despair. Sometimes I still give it as a melancholy holiday tradition, but more often we just say "Our lives suck," and drink whiskey. Recently Boyd and I made a bet, stacking Boyd's book collection against everything I've ever drawn, over which of our lives, in the end, would be worse.


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