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Freaks's Illustrated FML

What's going on? Something weird is going on. I can feel it in my bones. Can't you? People are acting weird, as if they're short-fused all of a sudden. There's definitely something afoot. Rumours abound that One Direction are at the tipping point where they're too old to be teen-idols and ticket sales are dwindling. The days are getting shorter. The time it takes me to down a pint of Belgian lager is even shorter than before. Everything is shrinking. It's like the whole world has been standing with its knob in a cold lake. And funnily enough, this week's illustrated FML is about short people, so let's check it out before I have to think about any more shortness-related stuff.

FREAKS'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I have anatidaephobia. I'm terrorised by the idea that somewhere, one way or another, a duck is watching me."

Self portrait Freaks by Lola

This week, we're being joined by Freaks. Not actual freaks, unless you count that guy who keeps posting nasty comments but sends me weird PMs about wanting to show me his love pump. Freaks is also known as Lola. Not that it's got anything to do with the price of eggs but she's a female girl of the womanly kind, yet another one in this column-slash-blog, which is a good thing because it's pissed off all the machos and sexist twits. You can find Freaks pretty much everywhere: on Facebook, her blog, on deviantart, and probably down her local pub, but I don't know which one and I didn't ask.

What are her details then ?
Age : 17
Location : "Lost in Normandy, France, in between a cow and an apple tree." 
Blog : The life of a blog punk
Her illustrated FML : The one about the short girl.


Blog Punk. I have to explain that one. In France, there's a certain category of people (that you'll probably find all over the world), the punk guys who hang around on the streets dressed like 1978 never ended and who always have 143 dogs with them. In France they're called "Punk à Chien", which means "Dog Punk". I myself am a Cat Punk, because I have two cats that I spend hours brushing while listening to Black Flag, and... There, I said too much already. Freaks shared her life with her rat called Cunnilingus ("it's not perverted, it's an homage to Mathias Malzieu!"), her cat Isis, her domesticated demon Skrät "who loves apple juice", and "my best friends, a mohawked bear and French-Canadian My Little Pony fan. And I love playpusses." Sounds like a nice home life, but I'm not really sure what a 'domesticated demon' is, and I'm not sure I really want to find out.

She spends most of her life drawing. "To tell you the truth, I've never really thought about it. I just feel the need to draw, that's the way it is, I have stories to tell. If people like what I do, great, otherwise, doesn't matter. And it allows me to mock people without getting caught, too." That's a bit how I see writing some of these articles. But I'm never nasty. Sometimes, someone will say, "What does it all mean, what you wrote?" In that sort of case, I do the head-tilt, smile, get up and go get a Prozac-flavoured sandwich. Or I bash my head against a car, depending on my intake of booze. Billy Idol used to sing, "Face to face and back to back, you see and feel my sex attack." That has nothing to with anything, but I needed a transition.

Lola, sorry, Freaks what do you need ? "Publishers to support my projects. A kneaded eraser. A better tablet. More time to doodle. And some talent, it can be useful." Oh come on, don't talk out yo' ass. Go check out her DeviantArt page to she if she's bluffing or if she's unaware of her talent. 

Talent or not, what about your projects ? "I'm working on two comic books which should appear some time in 2015, at least as webcomics and maybe on paper as limited releases. Other than that, I'm praticing 2D animation, and continuing my blog and little strips." She does all this from home, "because I have everything I need, but I also like to settle down outside a café and doodle for a bit." That's what's so good about these sorts of jobs, the portability aspect. 

My inspiration comes from buns of steel workout sessions and jokes found on popsicle sticks. And yourself?  "Manu Larcenet, Alexis Koleszar and Maliki, to name a few. I like Mirion Malle a lot, even if I don't always like the drawings, the comics are always well-written and send an interesting message." A lot of illustrators seem to mention Manu Larcenet so I guess he needs checking out! 

In the middle of the interview, she makes a startling revelation. "I ride ponies! For real, for six years now. And besides drawing, I loooove movies, even if I don't get much chance to go to movie theatres." I stopped listening after, "I ride ponies". Any other vices to declare? "As many people do, I procrastinate a lot... No, I will not mention the three litres of coffee that I chuck down my guts every day." Oh, don't worry about that, most of the world turns on coffee and coffee fumes. 

Freaks is currently into stuff that is totally different to mine. "In comic books, I've fallen head over heels for 'Punk Rock Jesus' by Sean Murphy, a real gem. I also like the 'Blast' series by Manu Larcenet, which has just ended. As for the movies, I love the film 'Freaks' (which is where I get my moniker from!). And I LOVE 'The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart', whether it's the book, the CD or the movie." I'm curious about her selection, because I'd never heard of a few. My favourite things at the moment are... Nah, I've already talked too much about myself as it is. 

To end the show, how about your own FML ? "Today, and as always, I'm short. My best friend, as usual, calls me a midget. I defend myself by saying, 'I'm not a midget, I'm a little person.' He replies, 'Tyrion Lannister is a little person. You're a midget.' FML" Hey, well done, it fits in nicely with this week's theme. 

OK, that's it for this week. Thanks Freaks/Lola for taking part. I'm going to bail out pretty quickly this time, and leave you with a summery punk-era song by The Undertones, for all those people who are having shitty weather. See you next week for some more of the same but not exactly. Be excellent to each other.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

 

#1463 - Illustrated FML - On 08/01/2014 at 9:54am by Alan - 11 comments

FML on vacation #1: Getting there

A lot of people will spout off the tired old cliché that the destination isn't as important as the journey itself. Well, what if you're on your way to the Playboy Mansion then? Anywayyy, has everyone jam-packed their suitcase? Is your mother-in-law in her carry-case? Is the suntan lotion jammed into the sunglasses case? Did you get to print out the train tickets after realising that the printer needed a new ink cartridge right at the last minute? Good, then we're all set to leave our daily troubles and strife behind and head off to confront the usual bullcrap that goes along with going on holiday (or vacation, or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods).



(Things were getting intense at Grand Central Station this morning)

Every summer, millions of people rush towards airport gates, motorway tollbooths and trains with broken-down airconditioning systems to escape everyday life, in search of a beach, a bit of ocean, a house in the countryside or just to bungee jump over Death Valley. Anything that will allow them to forget life back home. Here at FML, we get to watch each step of your vacation, from departure to the eventual sad return home, through the stories you send in along the way. This summer, instead of the usual Best of the Worst (I know, some of you have been requesting it, it'll be back, don't worry), I'm going to do a sort of compilation of what's great (and not so great) about vacationing, step by step. I'll start with the first part: Getting there, wherever "there" may be.

Today, I was stuck at the airport overnight waiting for my flight for about 5 hours. I then went and looked at the departures board. It said that my flight had already departed. FML


Some people manage to get things right. Many strive for excellence, and can organise everything from A to Z, nothing goes wrong, no trouble with cancellations, packing, kids throwing up in cars, or pets chewing their way through their carry-cases on the train at all. Nothing is outside the allotted guidelines, it's all clean and efficient and their holidays run with military efficiency. These people are called psychopaths. Or they travel alone. For the rest of us, taking a vacation is somewhat less relaxing than taking a ride on a high-speed rollercoaster in a fairground run by alcoholic lunatics. We'd like to believe that it's going to be fantastic, that we're going to chill out to the max, that when we eventually return home we'll be full of beans and our life force will be all Omega and Alpha Nebula or whatever the New Age hippies say, because you've been down in the dumps for a while now, maaaan. The thing is, though, a vacation is just a way of moving your personal issues from a point A to a point B. It's still you, but in another location. Just because you're in a straw hat on a beach somewhere doesn't make you less you. You've still got that voice in your head telling you to shove those cashew nuts up your nose for no reason, or you still think you're hearing God telling you to kill Fred Flintstone. But that's a subject for another article. 

Today, while traveling with my cat, I had a mini-freakout when I realized that I left his favorite toy in the hotel room. I'm a 30-year-old man. FML


There's the usual public transportation you can rely on to get you where you want to go, but a lot of people prefer to travel by car. "It's cheaper" they say. It probably is, especially if you pile 8 people into a clapped-out '78 Ford Escort, when comparing it to say, a ticket on Concorde, which doesn't even exist anymore. But... cars are expensive to buy for a start. Gasoline is expensive, especially since the 4-year-old who decides on gas prices has pushed the setting up to "High". And travelling by car is a pain in the hole anyway; you have to stop every 5 miles because your annoying little brother wants to pee on something for the 15th time, your mother wants some more Sudoku magazines and dad wants another beer because it helps him concentrate when he's behind the wheel. 

Today, I traveled by plane for the first time. Once in the air, I was absolutely terrorized by the whole experience. Luckily, they had free booze on board, so I necked some to steady my nerves. Unfortunately, the vodka mixed with air turbulence made me spurt some vomit into my lap. FML


When they reach a certain age, kids start going on vacation without their parents, and thank Xenu for that. It's good news for the teenagers as much as their parents. The kids go off camping with their friends, smoke weak joints and go off to sleep and blow chunks into their sleeping bags at 9 pm, while their parents go off and rent houses in the countryside with their college buddies to smoke super-strong doobies and pass out, due to the fact that weed is way more potent than in 1972, while listening to Pink Floyd and Jefferson Airplane. However, for teenagers to get to that level of trust is quite a struggle, due to the fact that most parents don't trust them enough to let them go off with their friends without supervision (especially with the weird ginger kid with the ninja stars collection). To get to that stage, kids will be required to show to their parents that they're mature enough to handle it. So you, yes, you, kid A or whatever your name is, learn to cook something, to darn a sock, make a fire out of bits of wood, drive a combine-harvester and grow a beard. Then maybe people will trust you to go out on your own, and maybe let you become Amish as well.

Today, I was standing at airport security. One of the bag inspectors asked me to remove my travel pouch, pointing to the lump under my shirt. I didn't know how to tell him that it was just one of my fat rolls. FML


Before you leave, don't forget to secure your house and get it protected by Navy SEALS, just so you can give your paranoia one last spin before relaxing on your cheap holiday in other people's misery (thanks Johnny). Oh, and get your pets looked after. Or better still, take them with you. Cats love the beach and are great at surfing. Dogs like to bark at waves and pee on sunbathers. Some people just dump their pets by the side of the road before leaving for a vacation. There's a name for people like this, but I'm too much of a gentleman to write it down (hint: they're total shitcannons). Just thinking about it makes me tense. I'm going to have some orange juice to calm down. 


(A driver finally realises that using his horn in a traffic jam has no effect)

Watch out for people who are in a hurry, whether in airports, train stations, or in traffic. People are in a rush to get to their holiday destination, but won't be in the "hey, I'm relaxed, it's cool maaaan" mood until they've actually reached the designated area where the brochure said that they would feel relaxed. Before that precise moment, it's a free-for-all. Don't be surprised to find someone sitting in your window seat in the plane. Don't let these people get away with it. There's a certain type of person that specialises in doing this sort of thing, who'll try and brush it off with, "Oh, am I in the wrong seat? Do you mind exchanging? It would be a shame to disturb everyone else, my seat is the aisle seat over there." Say no firmly without breaking eye-contact. They know very well they're in the wrong seat, they've done this before. They've come prepared. These people are pros. This is how wars start. It's because of people like this that measles are back. Well, them and the idiots who won't vaccinate their kids because they think they know science better than people who actually know science. Don't back down. Claim your seat. Fight the power.

Travelling should ultimately be a moment of quiet reflection. You should be able to demand it, but also spread it. Like a nice new fun STD. Your vacation should start right the moment you leave your workplace, your college, your high-school; it's the last day you have to stare at the people you share the drudgery of everyday life. Put on a Hawaiian shirt, some shades and smile. Even if it's night time and it's pouring with rain. Of course, the thought of having to sit in a crowded train, wait in line at a freeway toll or gasp for air in a fart-infested airplane in few hours time is sort of daunting. But it's all for a good cause. At the end of the journey there will be... what? You can never really know. The trouble with leaving town for a vacation is that we hope that at the other end the grass will be greener (chill out mum, I mean metaphorical grass, put your bong away), but wherever you go, you still take your own emotional baggage with you. That's why when I go on holiday, I always take a lot of LSD with me. 

Today, I went to the airport to start the amazing 3 week vacation in Costa Rica that I've been saving for and planning for more than a year. They wouldn't let me on the plane because my passport expires in less than 6 months. FML


Next time, I'll be looking at whether it's really a good idea to go anywhere on holiday at all, and that maybe we should all stay at home with loads of cans of soup and batteries for the television's remote control. And Beach Boys albums. And for those of you who can't go on holiday due to lack of funds or other reasons, try to avoid being bitter when your annoying friends post pictures of their feet on the beach or next to swimming pools on Facebook or wherever. I say that, but I genuinely posted this as a comment once: 


(Anger is never the correct response, but it helps)

Remember, the journey is not as important as the destination. Having a comfy window seat is just as important.

#1462 - Ramblings - On 07/22/2014 at 8:31am by Alan - 26 comments

Élodie's Illustrated FML

Aaaaah, the beach, the sunshine, cool water against our skin...  Nah, just kidding, I can't afford a trip to the beach. This blog is being written from a grotty apartment in the less salubrious parts of Paris, and it's brainmeltingly hot. My undercarriage is stuck to my chair. Yes, I'm naked. Anywaaaaay, this week, we're soldiering on despite the heat, the football being over, we have to find other ways to keep ourselves busy and the thought of inevitable death furthest from our minds. On that cheerful note, let's talk stabbings and french fries with this week's guest! 

ÉLODIE'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"If I was to meet a genie and he granted me a wish, I'd wish for Iron Man's armour. Or for it to start raining puppies, that would be cute."

Self-portrait Élodie by Kororo

This week is Élodie week. I don't mean that in a National Holiday sense, although if she plays her cards right and gets even better at drawing, it could happen. I have suspicions that there's more than one person inside her head, because she started out by requesting some sort of anonymity under the name "K", which would've been confusing after having had the excellent Monsieur K a few weeks ago, and then she explains, "Hmmm, I think my plan to be anonymous is compromised because I talk about myself a little in my blog. Anyway, my name is Élodie and my nickname on the Internet is Kororo (it comes from the Shaman King Manga, it's the cute little ghost's name)." OK, so I'll just call you Élodie if that's OK, the rest is too complicated and I prefer Élodie, it's a nice name. 

So, what are her stats ?
Age: 25
Location: Dijon, France
Blog: Koroko's little worlds
Her illustrated FML: The one about the stabbing incident involving a fork


Dijon is famous for its mustard and... not much else. Maybe Élodie can change all that and become the most famous person to ever come from Dijon, if not from her artwork then maybe she can invent something in her spare time like a never-ending Diet Coke fountain. Speaking of spare time, she has a lot of it at the moment because she's "employed full-time, or should I say... actively looking for work". I won't comment too much on her situation, because some people will say, "But why don't you just get a job then?" And as Charlie says, "Oh, get a job? Just get a job? Why I don't strap on my job helmet, and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into job land, where jobs grow on jobbies!" Good luck in any case. She also has a Facebook page, so if anyone has anything to offer her, just get in touch. She's just got to 50 likes, so why not show your support and add your own. Be brave. 

Has she even been to school? "Secondary education in environmental and workplace quality/security until last year." Get that, any recruiters out there? For the moment, her projects are basically "increasing the amount of drawings I've produced and maybe not one day make a career out of it. I have a lot of progress to make to actually consider it ever happening, but you have to have a dream." Yes, you have to dream about something, it's what keeps most of us going. I still can't draw, though. I've almost given up, the best I can do is crap like this. One day it might work out for me, who knows? 

Élodie creates her artwork on her bed or on her couch, but when she's not creating, what is she into ? "Like many people, Japan and Japanese culture fascinates me, with Mangas and Pokemons (except Pikachu because he's a bit gormless) made me want to start drawing at a young age. I also liked arts classes in high school but I was one of the only ones! She also mentions being a fan of Game of Thrones. Hmmm. I think I've already mentioned this, but I just don't get it. OK, I'll keep my trap shut. She also likes Doctor Who, Dragons 2, Avatar the last Airbender, and, more in line with my own personal tastes, "I watch a lot of very intellectual TV shows when I'm drawing like Extreme Makeover." I can go along with that. Speaking of which, people who say, "Oh no, we don't have a TV in our house, so much crap on there, and it's but for little Tarquin's brain" really grind my gears. For a start, you sound really snobbish. And it's a terrible argument, especially when these very same people will then rave about Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Wire, which were all MADE FOR TV. Hypocrites. You wouldn't stop going to libraries because they contain Dan Brown books now would you? Anywayyyyy... as for the artists Élodie appreciates, "AD_e because I like the humour she conveys through her drawings. Her ideas have a WTF quality to them ! Marlène Marques for the quality of her drawings and their style, and Tseumpfeuh because her drawings are beautiful, and full of little details (and her dog is cute) ! 

Élodie's passions and pastimes, her everyday life is a bit like everyone else's (and that's not a negative comment on my part): "I like finishing off the spoon of Nutella in the morning at breakfast, eating a certain brand of potato chips, eating... I could say that eating is a pastime, but then people are going to think I just feed my face all day. Other than that I like my 3DS with Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright." Damn, I feel hungry now. As soon as I've finished with this, I'm off down the supermarket to get some potato chips. 

How about a personal FML? "One time I was in a shop, and I just needed a pot of Wasabi. I won a prize once I went to the check-out: my entire shopping trolley for free. FML" That's interesting, I'd always thought those stories about sirens going off at check-outs were urban legends. They DO happen? I'll have to be more careful. ’

That's it for this week Élodie, it's been great having you on board. I'm not going to stick around for too long, it's too hot for that. I'm just going to leave you with a little bit of music, something that feels like summer and which is a sort of shout out to our Brazilian friends who must be feeling despondent since the football is over. Despite the fact that I'm British, I couldn't give two shits about football, but I do know that Brazil has given us Os Mutantes, one of the weirdest psychedelic pop bands of the '60s. They sound just right in the summer. I'll see you all next week, so until then, be excellent to each other.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1461 - Illustrated FML - On 07/18/2014 at 5:47am by Alan - 12 comments

Estelle's Illustrated FML

Hey, did you see that thing that happened ? Some guys dressed in white t-shirts kicked this spherical thing 7 times in between these metal bars, and the other guys who were dressed in yellow t-shirts (so we wouldn't confuse them with the other guys), well they only managed it once. And then a lot of people around the world went doolally. They absolutely lost their shit about it, like, some people reached inside their minds and colons and started flinging figurative shit at the walls. It was unbelievable. I didn't get it, to be perfectly honest with you. It was like watching an old episode of "Animals do the funniest things" on YouTube to me. Anyway, we're here to talk serious business, like Serious Cat would. We're going to talk work, jobs, job interviews, ninjas and chickens.

ESTELLE'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I'm my own boss, and I give myself 27 weeks of paid vacation every year. I'm a pretty cool as bosses go." 

Self-portrait Estelle par PDB


OK, you're now probably wondering what the Poulette de Bresse thing is all about. Our artist of the weeks is called Estelle, but her nickname (and website) is called Poulette de Bresse, which literally means "Chicken from Bresse". See, she's from France, and she comes from a place in France called Bourg-en-Bresse, which is well know for producing chickens, and Estelle really identifies with chickens. Well, not really, but I secretly think so does. She's got issues as people insist on saying when they have no clue what they're talking about.

So, what do we know?
Age: 31
Location: Lyon, France
BlogPoulette de Bresse
Her illustrated FML: The one about the girl on her way to a job interview...
 

Estelle is talkative, but in a good way. She works as a self-employed illustrator, so she's her own boss. "I give myself 27 weeks of paid vacation every year. I'm pretty cool as bosses go." It's safe to say that she loves her job, because when I ask her what she specifically likes about what she does, she replies "EVERYTHING". It's quite nice read something like that, it's quite rare when someone actually likes their job these days. Everyone's so cynical about everything. People need to stop. Don't be like that. It makes Dora cry. "Drawing, think, imagining, eating a whole pack of Smarties instead of lunch because I didn't have time to cook, receiving e-mails that state 'that's exactly what we asked for' followed by others that say 'here's the list of the 140 modifications that need to be done', working out how much time I've spent working on something only to realise that I've only spent 10 more hours than billed, receiving the visuals that I've already printed, telling sad-sack stories in comic-book form, getting "likes" on my Facebook page, creating greeting cards, animations... Even putting together telephone directories is fun for me." Of course, like for many illustrators as well as normal people, she says that she lacks time to do stuff, especially now that she's gone "into a another time dimension" since she's had a kid. Kids are the end of your social life. My friend Charlotte only ever says, "I have to go pick up my son at kindergarten!" ever since she's had a kid. That was 28 years ago. That's my Stewart Lee homage done, on to the next bit.

So, what's her news, besides bibs and "Mommy Magazine, the magazine for modern moms who love to be Moms about town"? For the moment, she's all about the Facebook updates telling everyone about new items she's discovering that modern parents get to use. But she's got projects bouncing around in her brain-box, such as getting Poulette de Bress published, but "for that I need to send a mock-up version to various publishers, and to do that I need to actually make the mock-up version, and to that I need to (here comes the glamorous turn of phrase) pull my finger out." She also wants to make her company a viable one, and to be paid in something other than beer kegs.

The way she started out in illustrations and publishing have a charming back story: "The event was a sort of FML. A friend and I were ATTACKED by masked men (well, the were actually 3 short children with woolly hats on) who threw grenades at us (it was actually snowballs). The situation was ridiculous, so I drew it and published it on Facebook. That's when everyone told me, "You should make comic books" ("And you're unemployed, you've got nothing better to do"). So I created my blog two weeks later and it's my friends comments, then friends of friends comments which boosted my confidence. 

What about her everyday pleasures, her vices and passions, besides drawing? Yeah, because all the illustrators who tell me that "More drawing" is their vice is getting old, people. "It's quite simple: seeing that the weather is nice and means that I'm going to be able to go for a walk, when I've finished/validated a job, when my little boy gurgles at me, when I eat asparagus (because eating vegetables gives me less of a guilty conscience, but the mayonnaise is for the protein); when I get a request for an estimate; when I go on a shopping spree; when I take up sporting activities again (a walk once a year); when I have a nice beer in the sun... Simple things. My vices? Laziness. There are days when I'm terribly lazy. If I could empty my dustbin before it started leaking, I wouldn't have to clean it." 

She admires other artists, she will check out websites belonging to Nathalie Jomard, Margaux Mottin, Pénélope Bagieu and... "Pampers and my local supermarket, are they considered artists? I spend a lot of time on their websites..." I also suspect that she has some sort of fantasy involving Ryan Gosling but I avoiding asking any questions, I'm scared of chickens and guys with heads shaped like aubergines.

How about a little personal FML to finish the article? "My mother turns up with a little packet. "Here, it's from your grandmother." I find inside it a fabulous stripper's thong, all strings everywhere and diamonds. Surprised, I ask, "Why is she giving me a thong? I'm going to look like a piece of roast sow in this thing!" My mother then says, "She wants you to have it because she bought it for herself but it turns out that it's too small for her." Classy. 

That's it for this week. I'd like to thank Estelle the Chicken from Bresse for taking part, as well as her enthusiasm. It's a real breath of fresh air. Next week, all this football bollocks will be over, so we will be able to go outside again without fear of electrocution from all the static electricity generated by the shitty team jerseys that people insist on wearing. And with a bit of luck, the weather might actually turn nice; we might dance around in Johnny Clegg trousers to the sound of James Brown or Sly Stone, in spiritual harmony, no longer held back by cynicism, hatred or greed. We can dream, eh? Until next week, remember to brush your teeth, be excellent to each other and to once again quote the wonderful Sophie-Marie Larrouy: "Slow down on the cynicism, okay?" 

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1460 - Illustrated FML - On 07/11/2014 at 9:08am by Alan - 6 comments

Monsieur K's Illustrated FML

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours. Right, that's this week's Kylie Minogue reference done with, let's get on with the show. It's the weekend so it's time to delve once again into the murky waters of the world of illustrated FMLs, and I promise that no references will be made to that World Cup thing that everyone seems to be banging on about at the moment.

MONSIEUR K'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I don't have a shitty life. Things just seem to look good to me. Or maybe I only remember the good stuff."

Self-portrait Monsieur by K.


This week, we're welcoming Monsieur K. OK, so all I know about him is his moniker, Monsieur K. I've left the French "Monsieur", because it sounds classier. He's a mystery wrapped in a shroud stuffed into a quandary, a bit like UFOs, Swedish girls and people who use homeopathy. But as I've learned, subjects such as those should remain unquestioned, otherwise men in black turn up in vans and rearrange your kneecaps with big sticks, so let's leave it at that.

A quick look at his details:
Age: 39
Location: Montpellier, France
Website: His Facebook page
His illustrated FML: The one about the neighbours who...


These last few times, I've welcomed a few young artists. I'm not saying that Monsieur K. is an old guy, it's just that when he speaks, you can tell he's been around the block a few times: "In my life I've done a few more or less useful things, little self-produced films, music festivals, an adorable daughter, a few low-end jobs to get by and some memorable hangovers, but recently, to avoid things getting too out of hand, I've decided to concentrate on doing only one thing: making comics." Like many artists and creative people, he uses his talent to escape the mundane: "Real life is not always exciting, more filled with trivialities and problems than marvelousness, so I like to hide away in a bubble we'll call fiction. Comics in particular are remarkable because I don't have to chase after money to move forward and I can remain master of my own domain, in front of my drawing board. I decide the rules without having to argue with anyone else than myself, and with no collateral damage or victims."

As for his news and projects, he's launching his first self-edited comic book called K-World, and you can get a copy if you contact him directly. As for projects, he's creating an alternate history story with Phil Barnson. "The first book is underway and is called "The shadow of the Beast." Its backdrop is history's greatest mysteries and the revelations will be astounding." 

Food and inspiration: He recommends diversity when selecting biscuits, which is a great way to live your life. When asked where his passion for drawing comes from, instead of replying "your mom" like everyone else would, he revealed that he was a bit like Newton and the apple: he got his inspiration from a fruit: "I've been drawing since before my memory can recall but what I do remember is copying old Tintin albums from the '50s, in Brussels,at my grand-mother's, eating raisin bread, with grape juice. So I think it all comes from grapes." 

What are the latest things he's liked? "Erm... the problem is that my memory is terrible so I repeat myself. Check out Kubrick's movies and read Franquin's "Dark thoughts" comic books. After which, it's like with biscuits, I suggest diversity. There's a lot of good things out there, you can't beat curiosity." I couldn't agree more. You can find some wonderful things by looking around and being nosy, instead of waiting for someone to dish it out. Something tells me that if I was to sit down for a pint with Monsieur K, the conversation would soon sound like two grumpy disappointed but passionate old men, and it would be great!

Speaking of being passionate, what about other stuff than drawing? More drawing I suppose, right? "All my vices and pastimes, passions and everyday pleasures have all been recently concentrated towards drawing. I stopped drawing when I was 20 to do a million other more or less constructive things (usually less) and now 20 years later I've decided to become single-minded. See you in 20 years to see how it worked out." I'll see you there! I'll probably still be grumbling at young people who still haven't listened to and loved the first three Velvet Underground albums, or considering that a house that doesn't contain a copy of "Psychocandy" by The Jesus and Mary Chain isn't a home. 

A final thing to say about his personal FML: "I don't have a shitty life. Things just seem good to me. Or maybe I just remember the good things. It's better for your mental health to believe that you're lucky... even if I always get the postman ringing the doorbell for me to sign for something on the only day I could've stayed in bed until noon." 

Yep, we're lucky. Think about it. We're reading FML, on computers or smartphones. Many of you are on vacation or are planning them. I'm not, though. No beach for me. As the late great Bill Hicks used to say, people at the beach are all tanned skin, white teeth; I'm all white skin, tanned teeth. No, this summer, I'm staying indoors and watching Big Brother UK, drinking non-alcoholic Jack Daniel's and cokes. Yes, they exist. I swear on the baby Jeebus. Anyway, time to go for this week. Here's the JAMC that I mentioned earlier to play us out. See you next week, and as always, be excellent to each other.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1459 - Illustrated FML - On 07/04/2014 at 11:39am by Alan - 9 comments


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