Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 12/19/07

Artist's Statement

“(That’s) The Last Thing I Need” is one of those phrases I utter all too often. A couple of weeks ago it struck me as a suggestive cartoon title and I jotted it down in my little black notebook. For the record, the last panel was the first one I drew. I vacillated between making it the first panel and the last panel, but the question was cinched when my art director at the City Paper said he felt this panel was the up note, the happy ending. “Yes,” he wrote, “I said witnessing a man with an alco-port in his head made me feel cheerful.”

The list in panel #1 really does represent a day and a half of attempting to follow my friend Jim’s normal drug regimen. It nearly killed me.

I actually drew panel #2 several years ago and never got around to finishing whatever cartoon it was meant to be part of. I was happy to find a home for it here. I will not deign to comment on Christmas again except to say it should be abolished once and for all. There’s no reason anyone over the age of 16 who’s not a parent should have to have anything to do with it. It’s as if the whole world were still being taken to Chuck E. Cheese’s for their birthday or made to do the dreaded Dave Wottle Run once a year.

No offense intended to any bisexual hippie chicks by panel #3. It’s just how I fear any actual encounter with bisexual hippie chicks would be likely to go—me getting dragged all over town to boring dance clubs, being made to stay out past my bedtime. Maybe a bit of sour grapes on my part. (Last week I went to see a band with a group of younger, fun-loving friends and, to my embarrassment, I had to bid them all adieu when it got to be eleven P.M. and the crappy opening band had only just finished. I’ve been alone on the subway platform waiting for the F train at 3 A.M. a couple times too often.) The thought balloon of me and my beloved cat was partly inspired by a cartoon the incomparable B. Kliban once drew for Playboy magazine, very un-Playboyish in its sentiment, showing a big tangled lump of limbs and flesh clearly intended to represent an orgy, out of the middle of which emerged a wistful thought balloon showing a sandwich and a glass of milk. As one friend of mine put it, “I spend all the rest of my time thinking about sex, and then when I’m actually having sex I suddenly find the time to think about everything else.”

Yesterday I learned about a so-called “Death Star galaxy” whose central supermassive black hole is shooting a jet of powerful radiation directly into a neighboring galaxy, doubtless ripping the ozones off of and laying radioactive waste to innumerable planets there. This, it occurs to me, would in fact be the very last thing I need. Although I suppose it would solve a lot of our problems, albeit in a Gordian Knot kind of way.

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