Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 10/10/07

Artist's Statement

It's funny: the Mr. Tehn cartoons are like the W______s cartoons; I never know whether they're funny or any good or what to think of them at all until I read the reactions from readers. I'm always ashamed whenever I resort to running a W_______s cartoon, and yet every time I do the same friends, including my colleague Emily Flake, the novelist Jenny Boylan, and my racquetball partner Jesse Fuchs, predictably write in to express their delight (except for Boyd, who always writes in to let me know that, no mattter what anyone else says, the W______s suck ass). And people seem to adore Mr. Tehn with an almost unbearable intensity. As Jenny wrote me this week: "Now hear this. I want all future comics from the Pain to feature Mr. Tehn. Clearly, you have hit upon a deep deep vein here. He is me, and we are all him. I cannot speak of him any more. But I want to
There's something about a multieyed tentacled monster that arouses our helpless pity and love. As Brian Ralph (or was it James Kochalka?) once mused, "A monkey lost in space is much sadder than a human lost in space." It's a handy axiom for cartoonists. If I were to draw these cartoons about myself, readers would write in telling me to quit feeling sorry for myself and calling me an emo bitch. But Mr. Tehn breaks everybody's fucking hearts.

Last week I was walking near Lincoln Center when I saw a hulking black homeless man with only a few crooked teeth left sticking out of his head slumped on a bank's windowsill, holding out a paper cup and groaning the word "CHANGE... CHANGE... CHANGE..." over and over, tonelessly, like a broken automaton. As I walked past him it occurred to me: "If that was the Frankenstein monster instead of a person sitting there begging for change, your heart would be riven with sympathy. You would give him a thousand dollars to buy himself a new suit and get a good meal and set him up in a nice hotel for the night. Why is a homeless monster sadder than a homeless human being?" I went back and gave him a dollar. His face lit up. He said, "Hey! Thanks, Chief!"

I love it when people call me chief.


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