Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 04/09/08

Artist's Statement

First of all, thanks to everyone who wrote in with sympathy, praise and practical suggestions for making money off this website in response to my very petulant artist’s statement of last week. Suffice it to say that you’ll be seeing some big changes here at www.citibank/kfc/ in the very near future. Not to worry, though--we vow to remain true to the subversive, edgy, in-your-face, radically outside-the-box spirit of the Pain brand that you’ve come to know and trust!


It often happens that the bitterest thoughts produce the funniest cartoons, just as the biggest and deadliest battle stations are destroyed in the most beautiful explosions. It’s taken the better part of a year for me to distill some truly ugly insights into this work of pure, harmless foolery. My old dance instructor used to tell us: “A joke is an epitaph on the death of a feeling.” In this sense, my archive of cartoons constitutes an emotional boneyard the size of Arlington Cemetery. But it would be artless as well as ungracious of me to elucidate these unpleasant matters. To you readers, happily innocent of the charnel houses that lie beneath your feet, it is no more than an amusement-park in which to frolic and dawdle. Enjoy!

Panel #1: In a sort of homage to The Big Lebowski, I depicted Our Lord and Saviour kicking back, drinking a fruity cocktail, and listening to Creedence, not unlike El Duderino. (It was either gooing to be Creedence or “’65 Love Affair,” an unremarkable one-hit from 1982 for which I’ve always had an embarrassing and hard-to-explain soft spot.) This was one of those images that just appeared in my head as I drew, naturally, as a matter of course, like divine inspiration.

The one time I was certain I was about to die (I had just been stabbed in the throat with a stiletto, and was gushing blood from what it seemed fair to assume was my carotid artery) I did not appeal to Jesus or any other divine entity or agency, either for life eternal or for the more mundane and temporal but nonetheless widely preferred physical kind. I am hopeful that when the time comes around for me to actually, no-kidding-around die I will have cultivated some deeper spiritual resources to draw upon, but I still think a frank admission of mortal terror is more respectable than a craven ER-gurney conversion. Besides, I figure if it turns out Jesus really is in a position of official mediator there he’ll remember me from Sunday school and will have kept up with my work from time to time, and He probably thinks I’m not without my flaws but basically a good guy. Just as they're about to throw me in the old lake of fire he'll tap St. Peter or whoever on the shoulder and give me a wink and say, "It's okay, I know this guy. He can stay."

Panel #2 is a minor masterpiece, if I say so myself, like the cover of some crazy Doc Savage novel. That’s my fantastickal raccoon coat Boyd’s wearing, and my beloved intern Ms. Czochula-Hautpanz on his arm. In fact it only now occurs to me that I should’ve drawn my beloved cat in the gondola as well. If you see the cat there it will mean I got off my ass and added her in.

Panel #3 includes a rare portrait of my mother’s dog, Maggie, the only dog in the world I truly love. O Maggie! Magwort! Maggie Maroo! Maggle! Maaaaaags! Much as I love her, I have serious doubts about Maggie’s likely usefulness in a crisis, unless that crisis involves either a herd of sheep or a stick.

Yes well and there I am in panel #4, naked and shivering on the tundra, left to my own meager internal resources. For some reason my face in this last panel, as I am freezing to death, has turned out to look vaguely like that of the late William F. Buckley. This is wholly unintentional. I attribute the coincidence to Mr. Buckley’s own drawn and cadaverous appearance.

I never did join the Boy Scouts and so did not learn to be brave, reverent, or thrifty, or to make a fire with sticks. (When my best friend growing up, Michael Kirby, quit the Scouts, he was told by his former scoutmaster, Mr. Potter: “Michael, you’re always going to be on the outside looking in.” It seemed like some heavy shit to lay on a nine-year-old. But in time it proved to be perfectly true.) As it happens, though, I just got certified in CPR/First Aid by the Red Cross, which included finally learning to tie splints. I also learned how to use those heart-shocking devices, how to save a tooth that's knocked out so it can be reimplanted, and even what to do for someone who’s got an object jammed in their eye. Basically you wrap a towel around their head. These are now added to checking the oil and changing tires in my repertoire of the manly arts. I am now vigilantly on the lookout at all times for somebody to get something jammed in his eye. I will be first one in there with a towel, man. I’m going to be right on top of things.

The moral of this cartoon is clear: the only things we can count on in this life are the security and service of Citibank©, and the great taste of KFC©.


NOTE: Artist’s statements on www.citibank/ are for entertainment purposes only and are not to be used as guides to emergency first aid. Citibank/KFC/Pain, Inc. disclaims any liability for botched first aid efforts based on the content of this artist’s statement. Do not wrap a towel around the head of anyone with a thing stuck in their eye. The towel-wrapping thing is, seriously, only for after you’ve immobilized whatever the thing jammed in the eye is to keep it from swishing around in there, scooping out their eyeball and turning the whole socket into a godawful pulpy soup. What you do is, you wrap a cloth around the thing, whatever it is, to hold it still, and then bandage the whole head, including the other eye so they don't look around at things and wiggle their injured eyeball and further mush it up. Then of coursse you get them to a doctor ASAP. Just wrapping a towel around their head will only push the thing, let’s say it’s a railroad spike, push the spike in deeper and maybe poke it through into their brain. Also, obviously, this should go without saying but you never know with you morons, DO NOT try to pull the thing out. Their whole punctured eyball will just deflate and leak down their cheek like a poached egg. And then someone will sue Citibank©’s ass and it’ll be your dumb fault. Nice going, fuckbrain! Maybe you should've taken the Red Cross CPR/First Aid course yourself instead of trying to remember something you read on a cartoon website once. So do not do it.


BACK TO The Pain Homepage