Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 11/28/07

Artist's Statement

Note: Apologies, again, for the cruddy image quality of last week's cartoon. If you'll check it out in the archives you'll find it much more pleasantly legible now. Since Ms. C.-H.'s departure I've been abruptly thrown back on my own Bronze Age understanding of the software programs involved in running this website, and it's been something of a process of trial-and-error working out all the little
snags. Thanks to colleague Jason Little for his help in figuring out why my jpegs were coming out so cruddily and how to make them all nice and smooth and eye-soothing like Ms. C.-H.'s always were.

A decidedly Flakean cartoon this week (this coinage being an allusion to my esteemed colleague Emily Flake). My friend Boyd and I had one of our get-togethers over the holiday where we watch old movies and hash things out. Historically, it's around the holidays when I've tended to give him my "I Really Think Things Are About to Turn Around for You and Me" speech. This year, however, I no longer believe this. Instead of indulging unrealistic hopes for improvement our schemes centered around practical matters like revenge and the long-postponed Great Eastern European Fuck Tour. I meanwhile had to shunt aside the usual barrage of hilarious but unprintable Boyd cartoon ideas, like "Men are From Mars; Women, Bend Over," "To Bang or Not to Bang," and "Boyd White's Homemade Sex Toys," an unspeakable chamber of horrors that would've included such items as "Ol' Stinkfinger," "The Cockateer," and "The Dolly Madison." You should all be grateful that I act as a human shield between your innocent eyes and the depraved and bestial imagination of Boyd White.

My friend Jim, after some intriguing experimentation with mind-altering drugs with dangerous side effects, recently went on a new prescription for his Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now, he says, instead of being the kind of guy who can't get out of bed and face the grim chore of doing the dishes, he's the guy who does the goddamn dishes and then says, see, that wasn't so bad. Jim and I took some online tests for clinical depression as a lark when I visited him a few weeks ago, and I learned that Jim really is more depressed than I am. It was kind of embarrassing, like learning that a good friend has a slightly higher I.Q. that you do. Apparently I am not truly depressed, just very unhappy. Unfortunately this means that I will actually have to do stuff to change my life instead of just taking pills. What a rip-off.

F.A.Q.: Is there really the possibility of a hot bisexual hippie chick three-way in your life?
A: Yeah I wish.

I considered making my panel "My screenplay!" instead, but a hot bisexual hippie-chick three-way is inherently funnier. My screenplay is about as likely to turn things around for me as a hot bisexual hippie-chick three-way is to occur. I have a meeting with my producers this Wednesday, at which meeting I feel it is quite likely I will be fired for having failed to do one lick of work since June. If, however, I had drawn that alternate panel, I would surely have drawn myself typing the line:

(hands raised)
Dawg--it's my birthday!

which Ben Walker once spied onscreen over the shoulder of one of New York City's seven million coffeeshop screenwriters. It was a line that cracked us up the rest of the day, seeming like not only the stupidest line of dialogue imaginable but one that implied the existence of the stupidest screenplay imaginable. We said it over and over again, in every conceivable inflection, amazed at how it came out sounding stupider and stupider no matter how we said it: "Dawg---it's my birthday!'

Boyd was insistent on the subject of his own panel. He is not kidding. (The giant robot, or powered armor, if you prefer, was my own embellishment.) Alas, being cowardly men who hope to avoid sodomy and prison, we will probably have to wait for our enemies to die in accidents or of natural causes. I can only hope we won't have to wait too long.

I was almost embarrassed to include the panel about George; it's just too easy at this point. And yet we musn't let our professional boredom prevent us from taking the Bush administration harshly to task at every opportunity for squandering the lives of thousands of Americans (and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Iraqis) for no reason at all. It is unforgivable. Unforgivable. I spent Thanksgiving with my mother and a friend of hers who just sent her son to Iraq. He was at our Thanksgiving dinner last year; we talked about Thermopyle and Cannae. I can only imagine that his knowledge of military history must make his trepidation about going to Iraq all the more well-informed and rational. I wish him well there, and a speedy and safe return.

BACK TO The Pain Homepage

Webmaster's Disclaimer