Mr. Kreider (Tim),
I just read your story in the Urbanite (True Stories), and I felt like I should write you an email. First, let me say that I've been a fan of yours since I picked up my first City paper when I moved to Baltimore. I look forward to your strip every week. Please don't retire.
Second, I know what you mean in so far as the story looses it's fun in telling the more you tell it. I won't bore you with my own story, but when I read your piece, I felt (feel) a definite "yeah, fuckin' A right it's a long story." Needless to say, some stories require a large amount of alcohol and cigarettes to tell –not to mention someone worth telling the story to.
Anyway, scars are cool, and they remind you of not what you've been done to you, but that you've been through it –and are still drawing breath.
If you come back through the city that spits on your tour, send me a note. I'd offer you a place to crash, but you probably have plenty of connections here still. I'd offer to cook you a meal, but we have 3 dogs –and being a cat person, you might not dig it too much (we have 3 cats as well, plus lots of other things). I can offer you a drink though, perhaps many –and a story, if the mood is right.
I had to laugh when I saw that you labelled the city of Caen on your
-Christopher, from Canada
Though I don't agree with all of the views you express in your comics,
"...with their vividly rendered CGI scenes of our buildings and
immediately brought to mind Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (the
I also noted that you have received an influx of "doom and gloom" so I
Decline of violence:
Decline of poverty:
There are many parallels between the decline and fall of the Roman
Thank you for your entertaining comics. A day with a new "The Pain"
Thank you again,
Wellington, New Zealand
I did like last week's comic about the ancient Americans -- it is posted on
On the subject of people sending you horrible things to contemplate, I
Illustrious Mr. Kreider,
Just chill out, OK? So I took last week off on the comments front. If I'd known you weren't going to get any response to the installment of July 30 (which was indeed a brilliant cartoon) I'd have sent something, but I figured you needed a break from my silly blathering (and dire need for Spell Check).
As for this week, that was good too. I loved the Marcus Aurelius quote, its a damn shame his son turned out to be Commodus. The Lovecraft quote seems, troublingly enough, to be an accurate reflection of our own age. Three guesses which beady eyed smirking dickwad and his sneering monster of a retainer are leading the way towards the darkness....
(offhand wondering) Wonder if standing against all this onrushing madness like the Spartans in 300 is a sign of madness.....
I really liked the Ancient Americans comic. It's along the lines of stuff I've been bitching about for years. I'm from northern Indiana, which when the original German settlers arrived, was a massive malarial swamp. For decades, the settlers chopped down one giant hardwood tree at a time and hauled it out of the swamp, all with hand tools. Slowly, at the expense of their health, they managed to eke out acre after acre of arable land. They didn't do it for themselves - they would never see the benefit of all this hard work. They did it so that me, my parents and grandparents, could have a comfortable and prosperous life, a hundred years in the future.
The farm, which once produced mostly dairy and corn, is fallow now, as nobody in my family wanted to take it over. My uncles and cousins are too busy shooting things and driving drunk to do anything with the land.
I'm not blameless - I moved to Colorado, the fuck away from the Scum Belt. But the farm is a good exemplar of the lack of future orientation that seems to breed and feed the apathy in your comic. When it's easier to buy a fucking $40,000 car on credit despite the fact that your house is in foreclosure, then yeah, we're fucked.
Anyway, thanks for the comic. Hopefully I'll be able to send a few bucks your way when I get my next paycheck.
Dear Mr Kreider,
I was flipping through your archives, as I often do at work when at a computer, when I noticed something in "My Slogan" that I had been missing: your Tick shirt. As a person who often finds himself talking about the Tick as one of his favorite super-heroes (in fact, the family car is proudly adorned with a "SPOON!" bumper sticker), and having everyone else in the room go "...the who?", It's nice to see somebody else who knows and respects him.
I can't believe you didn't get a single email about last week's comic, "Secrets of the Ancient Americans". Like you said, it was one of the better pieces I've seen on The Pain. Maybe it's too late, like when my wife points out that it's a NEW dress and I should have noticed it earlier.
After reading the SotAA comic, I looked up the details on the Empire State Building to see how long it took to build. I'm a Canadian from the west coast - details on New York construction are not generally taught here.
Holy shit, it got built in just over a year. It's just amazingly tragic to know that there's still a fucking hole in the ground where the Twin Towers used to be. That's just inexcusably fucked up. To know that The United States - the country that went to the moon, discovered atomic energy, developed the production line, etc, etc, etc, etc, - can't build one lousy building in SEVEN years is just heartbreaking. If you're "Under Construction" for 7 years, you had better be a failed dotcom's website. You're supposed to be The Big Guys, the "We can do the impossible" guys, the mavericks. Seriously - "fuck it, it's just the moon. It's not THAT far." Now it's "Well, if we get buy-in from all these agencies, we can form a committee to look at our options."
I could probably rant about this all day. Instead, I'll just tell you that I really like your comics and I think your commentaries are great.
So. You broke the story about Edwards 4 years before anyone else and don't get any credit? Lame.
Keep up the good work.
You don't think it'd be fun to go all Leto Atredies on people? God Emperor Krieder the First, Worm King of Earth has a nice ring to it. We just need to find you some spice.
First I want to get the ass kissing out of the way and say your comics kick ass. Second, I know how much you, like myself, hate Bush and I think I've found something that would cheer you up more than any vividly described fantasy involving him. This is an actual fantasy someone on the internet (where else) has had about him, and it's so fucked up, I find myself always going back to it for a good laugh:
Please don't take this as a request to draw this though, because my penis would die.
I know you are irritated that this week's cartoon is not up to its usual level of polish but I swear to God every time I look at the left wolverine in the final panel it sets me all to giggling. It is like the perfect horrible thing. I freely recognize that my reaction to this comic is fucking retarded but I cannot help myself. It's like something in my forebrain shuts down when I see those googly eyes and that round mouth -- it's like an evil version of the aliens from the Muppet show, the ones that were all "mmmmyep yep yep yep yep yep mmmhhmmm" except that the wolverine muppet would howl something about how your taxes are due.
In other news, I got no idea if you are still planning your journey across deepest America to yell about your new book, but Twice Sold Tales seems kind of like the place where you should talk. Granted, Elliot Bay Bookstore is where they will likely allow you to talk since Twice Sold has no real room to speak of, but I humbly submit you should pursue those two venues for a talkin' in Seattle. I certainly hope you intend to hit Seattle, since the West Coast is excellent and we have a fucking Spock Pants Museum.
Be cool, man. Money coming your way when it comes mine. I think that is your problem with the donations- your comics appeal to broke nerds. Start making more tepid office jokes and the cash should come a rollin' in!
Dear Mister Kreider:
Switch the speech bubbles between the dessert and the presumed woman's hindquarters and you will have comedy gold. even better, just remake the panel with all 6 possibilities between your cat, the pie, and the pastry. you'll need grizzled old 19th century prospectors to help you plow through that goldmine.
FYI i miss the blowjob giving kermit the frog doll please introduce it surreptitiously in a waminals cartoon.
keep on rockin
whats with the really? yeah its my last name what you want to fight about it? Anyways glad to know a talking ass saying "now noone will eat me" didn't occur to just me, along with a cat saying the same thing and a pie saying goodbye. bring on the funny.
"deservedly little knon....robert altman's Quintet"
Thank you for that little gem.
How is it that McCabe and Mrs Miller is a work of genius (at least to my way
I once read they were considering releasing an actual board game version of
American Psycho > The Dark Knight.
Carry on good sir.
In your recent artist's statement you write that "China, a capitalist behemoth whose economy is the envy of the world, is run by the same cabal of scared, senile totalitarians who ordered college kids crushed under tank treads at Tiannamen Square", apparently trying to draw a line of continuity from China's "authoritarian-communist" past to its "authoritarian-capitalist" present. However it is no surprise that "the same cabal" preside over the massacre of 1989 and the sweatshops of today, since the government that sent tanks into Tiananmen Square (not at all the same people Mao led in the Cultural Revolution) was introducing market reforms at that time. In fact, the majority of those protesting (and the ones who suffered the most from the crackdown) were not the "college kids" calling for Western-style democracy in Tiananmen Square, but labour activists throughout Beijing who, unlike most of the students, were protesting those very market reforms that have reduced China's working class to near-slavery today.
Possibly this is just annoying nitpickery to you but I couldn't let that go, sorry. Thanks for the comics and keep up the good work!
Subject heading: "Have you cracked yet?"
Just wondering, because I figure it'll be soon - the way you bitched over the (lack of) response to the Ancient Americans 'toon indicates it's not far off. By the way, you were right in that Ancient Americans was one of your better works; you're probably getting the same thing musicians have when they play an exceptional piece of music, in that once you're done it takes a while for the response to reach you: the stronger the wave, the slower the start.
Anyway, still thinking that I'd love to have t-shirts with some of your more memorable works on them - I'll be watching, and when you do crack completely, especially if it ends with you being dead, I intend to have some clandestinely made.
If you don't crack, or at least not in the next few years, I'll probably do it anyway - might sell a few to some friends who've loved the image (mostly the Science vs. Religion one) but can't be bothered to actually read much; I know a money-making opportunity when I see one.
Hope your cat is well and got over her worms.
"Crazy Chicken Eddie"
Dear Mr Kreider
If there is a webcomic equivalent of 'first time caller - long time listener' then I must place myself fully in their camp for the purposes of this communique (I believe a better term is 'Lazy Bastards What Can't Be Arsed Typing Some'). In a number of your recent and not so recent Artist's Statements you've given out that you feel under-appreciated for the stellar work you do. I'd like to say, as a long term fan, I'm very sorry I'm only writing to say thank you now.
I've been trying to compose a properly worded summation of how much I've respected and appreciated your work over the years (as Myles Na Gopaleen would say I've been a fan of Tim Kreider long before it was popular, or profitable) but frankly it's well past Beer O' Clock over here in Ireland and I have some amount of boozing to get through before I can claim contentment. Suffice it to say, you are a funny funny son of a bitch and like all great comics you can muster up at least a crack-throated monstrous cackle at even the most horrendous of events. As this whole world goes to hell in a hand basket your sense of humour keeps pace. I can only imagine the personal toll it takes on someone to put his belly to the bar every week and draw a funny picture about carpet bombing or the death of the American Dream or whatever sick prank Cheney decided he'd play on the world that week. It must corrode the very marrow from your bones sir. Yet you seem to do it, not for money or for shits and giggles but because you are compelled to bear witness for the-way-the-world-was-meant-to-be and for this I thank you. As you said yourself "The Truth $2.... No Refunds.
Apparently the party started early and people are looking for me to play some music so I'll draw this to a close as briefly as I can. Every Wednesday (or thereabouts) you produce absolutely stellar work. Your love of H.P Lovecraft has made my childhood adoration of his work seem slightly less geeky. You've introduced me to the wonderful work of B Kliban (that alone means I owe you pint) and you've made me laugh till I near cried on more than one occasion. Finally you're essays and artist statements have on occasion provided me with a bit of hard-earned wisdom that really helped during the knotty fucked-uppedness of my early 20's.
Thank you very much for your continuing efforts
It is appreciated (even in Ireland)
ps: Should you ever venture to these shores please allow me the privilege of getting you shitfaced.
I just wanted to write to say that this weeks cartoon was especially magnificent. More than anything else, the "Bigger Fish to Fry" theory captures the general feeling I've had about the world for a few weeks now. With all the shit going down, who has time to care about some douchebag's love child?
One of my favorite things about The Pain are all the little details, and this weeks comic was particularly rich in them. The panel with you and Tony Consiglio(?) stealing a pie off a windowsill was the highlight of my day. You also captured John Edwards' hair perfectly.
P.S.: Draw more explosions.
I was reading your May 2008 Letters (http://www.thepaincomics.com/l0805.htm) and
Two additional points of interest:
After reading the the artist's statement, and then reading the
It's a shame you've stayed away from narrative comics. Your pacing
Also, last week's "In the end, the wolverines." has had me cracking
Hey, if you do a Chicago stop on your book tour/signing thing, you
Jesse Dorje Irwin
The multi-page stabbing story was very enjoyable. Looks like a lot of work.
Your case for being (one of) J. Edwards first Love Child(s) -- which does sound better than hot dirty irresponsible sex child--is actually quite strong. As he is out there broadly offering to take paternity tests, maybe you could jump on that. It would generate you some publicity, once we have all gotten bored with russian massacre until it arrives palatably once more in blockbuster form....although the challenge of the emotional resignation, should it prove as true as it likely seems, may be too much to risk.
Subject heading: "one small step"
A small victory for the good guys, I guess:
"A federal judge has told the University of California that when considering
Subject heading: "A HILARIOUS CARTOON IDEA + A poem about squid"
HILARIOUS CARTOON IDEA: Mecha-Scalia
You asked for it. I'd also like to voice my approval of the
Poem About Squid:
The Kingdom of the Squid
There is a place where the Atlantic eats
No mermaids sang, no human sound was heard.
The sea became an eye, and a pale gaze
The sea pulled back another sheet of sand,
- Daniel Wright
I'm not talking about yours, though I worded it like that so you would read it. I couldn't believe it when I saw this shit, it's just too fucking unreal. Don't worry about offending anyone, Tim, as long as shit like this is allowed to exist, and Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have careers, there's nothing you can, even intentionally, do to get in major shit.
HAHA, do you see that Mexican woman dropping out that ugly Mexican baby? And the white woman giving Obama a blowjob was such a great touch! It's so true, black men only want to run for office so they can have sex with our white women! And you said the right has no creativity!
Dear Sen. Edwards,
Your piece in the Urbanite was great. Thank you for that. I hope
Wow, was your toon of Aug 20 so bad as that, you won't let the world see it online? Geez? You want to at least provide a description so we, the public, can decide for ourselves just how bad it is?
What? No Waminals this week?
I'm just kidding. I wanted to write a quick note from a new reader and
PS - The first panel in "From Bad To Worse" is a riot. I laugh every
Keep kicking ass,
Subjkect heading: "8-20 shitty comic"
Dear Mr. Kreider:
I don't imagine it's that shitty. Tell you what, i will send you a shitty comic I made in MS paint and you send me the 8-20 atrocity and i promise not to post it anywhere and just laugh and die a little and delete it.
behold it is shitty but it is mine. please send yours.
Just sign me once again as:
P.S. Also, I've been entertaining this idea that with outrageous
It is your fault I even know that this woman exists.
And because of that fact, I share this link with you out of spite. As long
Sob. Sob yourself to sleep.
MIKE "why can't I be Dennis?" WOOD
Is everything okay? No comic for two Mondays, not such a great sign...
Thanks for all the comics you've done so far!
Whoops! I guess I overreacted, my bad... I'm glad to hear everything's
By the way, as a geneticist, I'm fascinated by your two-headed turtle
Subject heading: "Dude you been quoting Marcus Aurelius a lot lately"
I do wish I had better news to offer regarding the two headed turtle. However a different two headed turtle has turned up in Mishawaka, Indiana (I enclose this link: http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/27288834.html and assume this isn't the missing one in NY. Also a curious coincidence disclosure: my grandfather was born in Mishawaka, Indiana.)
I am a bit curious though: who's the lovely young lady expressing such deep concern in this week's strip?
Just so you don't loose hope while attempting to ignore the election:
Yes...some recent polls indicate the worst...but careful analysis of the all
Yet here we still are....balanced on a seemingly impossible point between
Carry on sir.
Dear Mister Kreider,
From diligent reading of your comics and musings in the artist's statements, I have noticed that your dislike for Republicans and right wing politics is generally counterbalanced by your love of beautiful women.
See for yourself: http://stylemens.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/02/28/meghanmccain.jpg
I hope this sudden revelation doesn't cause you to shift your political allegiances.
- Mark Sawko-Michalski
This reminds me of a doomsday religious cult I read about, whose members went seriously into debt because they were fully convinced the Second Coming of Christ was imminent, and they would be Raptured before they had to pay their bills.
Stuff like that was widespread in 1999 with the dire predictions of Y2K. The magazine "American Survival Guide" went under just after January of 2000 because many of their advertisers were convinced civilization would collapse and sold out before they ran for the hills. The end finally did arrive... but it was for the magazine.
Steven F. Scharff
In this, of all weeks in the Political Calendar, you should not be straining for targets to satirize. I realize this. However, I miss the George and Mr. Cheney panels, and this idea came to me during my digestion of the Palin soon-to-be debacle:
In light of McCain's never robust, but increasingly befuddled, mental capacity, who will really be running the show should the unthinkable happen and Republicans pull out a November win? Viola, a chance to introduce the eminently caricaturable Sarah Palin, exhume Ronnie Reagan, and showcase a swan-song for George, though perhaps not for Mr. Cheney. Cthulhu references are always good, too.
As an aside, I doubt that you're the type to waste time browsing any user-driven political fora, but if curiousity should ever strike you, I'd suggest the Politics tab at Fark.com. Fark has some wildly creative people, mouth-breathing knee-jerk hacks, sharp observers of American culture, and above all, vicious snark. Even the non-political threads can be pretty entertaining.
Retaining hope of no worse than a polite dismissal, I remain,