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Tom Fonder's illustrated FML

Hey folks! Today is special. We have to admit we're quite excited to welcome one hell of a guy, one who can draw the most expressive stick figures and who has the kind of humour that can entertain you for hours. Yes, Tom Fonder, creator of Happy Jar, is truly one of our favourite webcomic artists out there. You'll see how fantastic his comics are, the kind that make you go, "That is so true. And funny." Let's start this interview and get a chance to know him!


-What's your name? Do you have a nickname?
-My name is Tom Fonder and that’s exactly what I go by online. I don’t have any other aliases or nicknames because I’m a pretty boring guy.


-How old are you?
-As of two weeks ago I am, unfortunately, 25.


-Where do you live?
-I live in London, UK. To be clear though, I live in a part of London that is more akin to a small village and populated almost entirely by people over the age of 60. I find this arrangement beneficial as I, too, like to shake my fist at today's youth and their infernal dubstep musics.


-What’s your job?
-At the moment my job is scraping together money wherever I can, be it freelance projects or otherwise. I guess in that sense Happy Jar could be considered my job as well. I’m mostly just lucky to have a partner who knows where she wants to be heading career wise and that allows me to pursue any flight of fancy I may have.



-Tell us more about Happy Jar.
-When I think back to Happy Jar’s inception (which was in 2007 if you can believe it), I actually remember having very little interest in the project at all. A good friend of mine at the time wanted to make a webcomic based on the little doodles we had been passing around in chem/physics class and I agreed to help essentially because it would be super easy to trace his stick figures with a tablet. I came up with the name Happy Jar and we started by uploaded them to his personal blog with many of the initial strips just being little in jokes that were only intended for close friends to see (some of these have been removed from the archives entirely at this point). A few comics in I started to get more involved in the writing and at some point thereafter I believe there was a notable shift in trying to give Happy Jar a more distinctive style than just generic stick figures. I’ve stopped and started the strip many times since then as life got in the way and the original co-creator left, however just recently decided to pick it back up again. I’ve been fortunate to have been met with a very positive response this time around and so I hope to continue for quite some time.


-What are your inspirations?
-Wow, hard to pin down, really. Just life in general, I guess. I think the everyday mundanities of life and its harsh realities play a huge role in what inspires me. People’s beliefs, actions, and societal values can be equally fascinating. Anxieties, fears, consciousness, death, and existence all play a part. But mostly I’d say it’s just cats and dick jokes.



-Do you read webcomics? If so, which ones?
-I’ve started to check out more as of late, but prior to doing Happy Jar the ones I’d visit more regularly were Penny Arcade, Whomp!, Chainsawsuit, Perry Bible Fellowship, and Nedroid. Junior Scientist Power Hour is also great… Hark A Vagrant… xkcd… I guess I actually follow quite a few. Of course, the problem is that the more great artists I discover, the more inadequate I start to feel about my own work.


-How do you work?
-Nowadays I like to try and keep a good buffer of strips ahead of me. I find that this helps particularly when I have ideas for longer form strips where I can spend a bit more time focusing on details rather than having to rush it out the night before. Generally I’ll just scribble down the basic blocking of the panels on a notepad rather crudely until I have an idea of the pacing/dialogue and then start drawing directly into Photoshop with a wacom tablet. Nothing fancy.


-Why did you choose this FML story?
-Oh man, where to start? It just has everything. It’s that kind of story you hear on the internet that is almost certainly complete bullshit and yet just plausible enough that you want so badly for it to be true. The whole scenario is just utterly absurd and the description - to me - conjures up imagery that is at once both hilarious and mind numbingly terrifying. It reminds me of that ‘goat man’ news article from a few years back. You’re forced to wonder what the mindset is behind a person like this and that rabbit hole runs deep. Secondly, it features Nicolas Cage who might just be one of the most bizarrely entertaining actors ever to have been committed to film. This man can take the simplest line of dialogue and deliver it in a way that you never in a million years would have imagined. I can’t think of a single performance in any other movie that makes me laugh as hard as Nicolas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss. Were Nic Cage’s face not on that mask this story would have been both less entertaining and far, far less horrifying. Finally, it features cats. And as anyone who reads Happy Jar already knows, I can’t get me enough of them cats.

-Thank you Tom for taking part!




Happy Jar is here !



If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!

#1435 - Illustrated FML - On 02/21/2014 at 1:59am by Alice - 6 comments

FML's Single Person's Guide to Valentine's Day

Damn. It's back again. That time of year is slowly creeping up on us again, smelling of patchouli oil and cheap roses. It's all well and good being in a relationship - well, for some people it is - but it's not always like a Drew Barrymore movie, is it? But for single people, it's worse, especially if it's not by choice. A lot of single people will claim to be single by choice. "Yes", they'll say, "I don't have time for a partner or a relationship; I'm too busy with my job. If I'm not there to put glass eyeballs into those fluffy gibbons, who will?" Hmmm. We're not fooled. Most of us want to conform and find the one true love that years of watching The Love Boat and reading Danielle Steel novels has ingrained into our brain-boxes. It might be a fantasy, but so is my dream of having a 30-inch waist. Never going to happen.

(source : Buzzfeed)

To counter the sludge of Valentine's Day dross that we are subjected to, I've decided to trawl through the FML archives to come up with some sort of guide for the single person on how to avoid getting bogged down by all the depressing forced-jolliness that goes with the 14th of February. While the rest of the planet is out with their significant others, we'll be having our own singles parties, trying to get off with one another. OK?

So, where do we start? Well, the usual point where the wheels come off a well planned-out Valentine's Day is usually a point-blank rejection, before you've even started. So what sort of rejection would that be, then?

Today, we wrote Valentine's Day poems in class. I wrote a very depressing poem about how I was rejected by all the girls I like and how it hurt to be alone. When it was read to the class, they laughed and told me it was hilarious. Even the teacher. FML

This story encapsulates everything you need to know about the risks involved in asking someone out for Valentine's Day. Just don't do it. For a start, it's too much of a cliché, and you could get hurt worse than someone jumping into a volcano. It's that bad. So, if you're single, don't count on Valentine's Day to magically make you some sort of sex magnet. You're not, despite those trousers.

But why would you want to put yourself through all that anyway? How does the other half live? If you've never actually been in a relationship on Valentine's Day, what is it like?

Today, I was informed that my boyfriend's mother would be joining us on our Valentine's dinner. I'm not sure if this momma's boy thing is going to work out. FML

Hmmm, sounds like fun. Not sure that I'd enjoy that, even though I've had a few girlfriends whose parents were a lot more fun than they were.

Today, for Valentine's Day, my boyfriend gave me the half-eaten chocolate bar that I left in his fridge two weeks ago. FML 

Right, that's it! Sign me up for a relationship right now! I want one!

OK, these two FMLs are probably worst-case scenarios, but they do show that Valentine's Day is only worth putting up with if both partners are willing to make the required effort. This can be infuriating for single people, who have all at one point been in an unrequited love situation, more specifically been in love with someone who was already in a relationship, and thought, "Hang on, why isn't their partner going out of their way to give them EVERYTHANG?" Unfortunately, this sort of situation if left boiling over for too long can lead to the kind of mindset of the twit who believes in the existence of "The Friendzone" (hint: it doesn't exist; just because you're obsessively nice to someone doesn't mean you get to do sex to their body bits), and who'll spout inane rubbish like "girls only like guys who treat them like crap." No, they don't. They just don't like you specifically in "that way", so get over your teenage crush and find someone who does, dill-hole.

But what about being in a relationship? Why do people actually do it? Why do we, as single people, get all depressed about Valentine's Day? I mean, OK, things like love songs on the radio and TV shows constantly berate us for not being in a relationship, as if we were outcasts. But really, we're not. There's a lot at stake in a relationship, as this story seems to convey:

Today, while out for our romantic Valentine's dinner, my boyfriend of 2 years told me that he believes in women being subservient, and I'm not allowed to have opinions anymore. And that he's "the Alpha Dog" and I'm merely the "Beta Dog", so I have to "get used to it.” FML

Sadly, this is a growing trend. A lot of people believe in this alpha/beta stuff, and applying it to a loving relationship is just plain silly. Even weirder is getting bent out of shape about gender equality. Some guys feel oppressed by the ladies enjoying the same rights as they do. They think that their rights are being taken away, that the mean feminists hate them and want to cut their cojones off and take their Xbox away or something. But they're not losing any rights, they're just losing the privileges that they enjoyed free of charge up until now. Society is becoming fairer. Equality isn't a dirty word - it's great. But try telling them that; it's like trying to explain heavy metal to a wasp.

So be careful what you wish for, single people. Right now, you might very well want to have date set up for Valentine's Day. You might get invited - unfortunately by someone who you'd rather kick in the eye - or maybe even wind up on an actual date with someone you actually like. But would you want this for anyone?

Today, I received a single, hand-made Valentine's card from the weirdest kid in the school. It said, "If you ever get mauled by a bear, I hope he doesn't damage your face.” FML

Actually, I might like it if someone sent me that. But I'm odd in the head since I got whacked in the head with a golf club when I was 5 years old.

Today, I tried convincing my Valentine-hating boyfriend to send me a card, explaining how important it is to me. He finally agreed. I opened it up; it wished me 'harmony and well-being on Lupercalia'. What is Lupercalia? It's an ancient Roman festival where men run down the street naked, whipping people with goat skins to encourage fertility. FML

Not too sure about that one, though. Goat skins are hard to come by where I live.

A common theme amongst the Valentine's Day FMLs is the supposed loneliness of us single people. But that's got to stop. This sort of wank has to stop:

Today, I arranged to have some flowers delivered at work for Valentine's Day so that my colleagues will think someone likes me. FML 

We're better than that. Stop pretending. We deserve better. So, this Valentine's Day, let's all meet up somewhere and have a party. A big singles party. I can even host it in my hovel. And NO non-single people pretending to be single so they can get off with someone because they're bored at home. You made your bed, now lie in it. We're single, not sad. OK?  So, bring the booze, I'll make sure there's some plastic cups and something to eat, and maybe this year's Valentine's Day will be less of a snoozefest. Oh, and we'll avoid playing that annoyingly patronizing Beyoncé song as well, because being single and being unmarried are two different things. That stuff about having to put a ring on it? You don't need to put rings on people you love; you need to put love on people you love. 

Until next time, here's a great love song, and remember: be excellent to each other, and if you've got it, flaunt it.

#1432 - Ramblings - On 02/13/2014 at 8:30am by Alan - 53 comments

Kira's illustrated FML

Helloooooo darlings! Yes, I know, it's been ages since we welcomed a new amazingly-talented-artist together! One week? Well, okay, maybe not ages but it's certainly felt like it. Plus, today's artist is one of our current crushes, so we can't wait to introduce her (we even thought about publishing the article on friday, but you know, TFIF, party, beer, etc.). She's young, she's canadian, she has a unique and poetic artstyle and she draws Sherlock fan-art... basically she's the perfect woman. Anyway, there are other things to know about her, so let's start the interview!

-What are your name, surname and nickname?
-My name's Kira Buro, and the only thing I've ever had in the way of nicknames is "Kiwi", which dates back all the way to elementary school and my Neopets age... a little bit embarrassing. 


-How old are you?
-I'm 17!


-Where do you live?
-I'm from Alberta, Canada.


-What do you do?
-I'm currently a full-time student in highschool, but in the free time I can garner I do freelance artistry! Most of the money I make comes from commissioned work that I advertise through my tumblr. I'm thinking of starting a print shop or selling originals of my sketchbook pages but I'm not sure how to get that set up quite yet.



-What's your journey?
-What a question! Well ... I think I'm just starting to understand what it means to be an artist in a world of so many relentlessly talented people. After having attended the CSSSA Animation 2013 program, I realized that a community of artists is an amazing thing, full of creative energy and endlessly inspiring - and that's the kind of vibrancy I want to surround myself with and contribute to. Personally, I've overcome a lot of personal pitfalls and setbacks and I'm trying to learn that no matter how many mistakes you've made in the past, every day is a new opportunity to recreate yourself and improve. I think it's okay to be a completely different person from one day to the next - you don't owe anyone an explanation for trying to find out who you are. I don't know. It's all a big mess at the moment, but I'm doing my best to find my way through everything and come out on the other side knowing that I've grown. Some things just take time.


-What are your inspirations?
-I find inspiration everywhere I go - I try to turn the every-day into art. If I'd have to pick an all time favourite artist, it would have to be Gustav Klimt. 


-Do you read webcomics?
-No I don't, sorry!



-Tell us more about your presence on the web!
-I originally made a tumblr as a space for me to post the doodles and fanart that I'd do periodically- eventually, though, I got very tired of dedicating so much of my time and energy into art that I wasn't serious about, despite a small fanbase that had grown accustomed to it. I started posting my original works: paintings, both digital and traditional, and my sketchbook pages. These started getting far more recognition than I had ever expected and I've been posting solely original work ever since. It's a really great confidence booster knowing people like my original work as much or even more than they liked my fanart! What I'm doing in the way of selling my art hasn't gone beyond commissioned work - but, again, I'm working on setting up a print shop if there's enough interest.


-How do you work?
-For my traditional work, I typically just go straight to ballpoint pen. I find the finality and the dark quality of the ink poses more of a challenge and a richer end result than my pencil work - and it's taught me to try to make every line count. Occasionally, I dabble in watercolour paints and pencil crayon. My digital media is created primarily in Paint Tool SAI using a very beat-up 7-year-old tablet that I am hoping to replace! Methodically, I just work from one line to the next.


-Why did you choose this FML story?
-It reminded me of my own brother, a little bit, when we were kids.


-Thank you very much Kira for taking part!





Kira's tumblr



If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!

#1434 - Illustrated FML - On 02/13/2014 at 1:37am by Alice - 7 comments

Leonard's Illustrated FML

Hi gang! Another week, another illustrator! Once again, we're going over to France to meet someone from VDM, our sister website, or should I say, the mothership! This week it's Leonard's turn.

Yes, I know what you're all thinking. No, it's not that guy from that awful TV show, it's a cool twenty-something French guy who lives in the wonderful city of Paris (I'm only saying that because I live in Paris too and it's such a cool place to live, it's like a Disneyland for boozehounds). 

So, welcome Leonard! Who is this guy, and what does he want from us? Nothing much, really. He doesn't work in a field that has anything to do with comics, unfortunately. Which means that, "What I lack is time. I wish that there were more that 24 hours in a day. 48 hours would be nice." He likes telling stories, though. "Knowing (a little) how to draw allows me to create my own stories and that's cool! I use my imagination, culture, desires and use all that to create a story and make it into something quite personal." He gets quite a kick out out the fact that he's made it all by himself, with his own two hands. And also the fact that sometimes people pay actual money for his drawings!

Newswise, what's cooking? Well, as his amateur status is still in place, he doesn't have much going at the moment. He has his blog, and he has a comic book called "Pirate2.0" which he posts once a week on his blog and on He has projects though, especially one which he intends to put in a lot of work for: a total overhaul of Pirate2.0, the plot, the drawing, characters... "There won't be a lot left in common with the first version!" he reckons. He then intends to present it to publishers. Fingers crossed.

Oh, one extra quality to Leonard: he owns a cat. Or he is owned by a cat. Or is he? The eternal conundrum. Or is it? Limmy has the answer to that question. "I used to prefer cats," says Leonard, "but ever since I've got one and he's pissed on my bed and clawed at my Calvin and Hobbes collection, I think I prefer dogs."

Hmmm. We can all empathize with that, even if you don't live with a cat.

Leonard is an ex-History student, so we can expect some historically accurate comics from him in the future. We can't wait. In the meantime, we present you with his illustrated FML, and what a corker it is:


To see Leonard's illustrated FML, click here.


That's it for this week! I know, short article but Leonard isn't much of a talker, he's a thinker, see? Instead, I'll leave with a song, an old clip of Charlie Brooker on "My Sweet 16", and a link to the best old-school troller on the Internet. See you next week!

If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!

#1433 - Illustrated FML - On 02/06/2014 at 5:49am by FMyLife - 9 comments

The Best of the Worst #2

A few months back, we published an article containing a selection of rejected FMLs, which were all a bunch of odd submissions that probably never should’ve seen the light of day. Some contained terrible spelling, grammar and no actual stories. It was like reading the ramblings of a drunken horse, and most of them were without a doubt just plain weird. All were deemed funny enough to be revealed to the public, so we did. The article was so successful with you lot that we’ve decided to do it again. Yay! 

As we’d said at the time, looking through FMLs for something to publish is a bit like being a gold digger, sifting through the mud. Sometimes you get a gold nugget; sometimes you get a lump of shit. However, in some cases you get shit-shaped gold. Damn fine shit. This is that shit. Read on, but be warned, you might need shades.


Fad diets

yesterday, i was eating cats. i ate 3 then i ate 2, then i 1, and then i threw up. it was good. i had hairballs. yay me!

Needs more cowbell

On valentines day I got my girl friend a gift, it was a $899 ring, I looked all around school, and couldnt find her. I called her after school. She said she had moved. Her plane destin for new york had crashed and she was killed.


RIP, nutsack

Today, i died by cutting my balls off. FML


Goats head stew

Today, i found out that one of my good friends is OK with people drowning goats in vinegar in order to prep them to be eaten. This is not OK. FML


Horsing around

Today an asian kid decides to spit on me. So I decide to chase after him. He knows the area around better than I do and he quickly dodges out of the way. Right before a large male horse. I go face first into his rectum. Turns out the horse liked it and started ejaculating on my backpack FML


Lonely as a cloud

Today, I was looking out my window and i noticed a very dark cloud. I looked at and said that a big cloud. I leave the room come back and its the biggest cloud I’ve seen in a year, and the stupid thing is, i got scared of a cloud. I though it was gonna hurt me. FML


Robin Thicke writes an FML

So, it has been a while since I have had a proper lay. Tonight I was watching TV and just honey as fuck! So I started masturbating. Right as I was getting into it……. “adopt a starving third world kid” commercials come on. Man can’t I just get some real dick and not deal with this crap?


Captain Sensitive

Today I walked out to my car to get my generic vicodin. I took a look around at my old, small, home town. 20 minutes later I wrote a poem. FML


The ghost of horniness past

Today, a man in a powdered wig claiming to be the past life incarnation of myself propositioned me for sex. FML


The Emma Delusion

Hard to believe but im in a relationship with a famous actor. She is in actor for the Harry Potter Series! Well, unfortunatley she doesnt want to come out to the public about our relationship. I continuously tell her i LOVE HER. BUT she never replies with the same answer.FML FML FML FML FML FML


There. Will that do for now? Do your eyes and brainbox hurt like after a Mogwai concert? The good news is that as of now, once a month, we’re going to publish another selection of 10 oddball submissions from the recesses of the FML mailbag. Happy now? 

Oh, and another thing: these stories have all been carefully collected since the beginning of FML in 2009, so there’s no point trying to submit weird FMLs to try and get published in an upcoming article! Now that that's clear, see you next time. Now go outside and kick a ball or something.



Bonus not-really-hidden track:


One born every minute

Today, I will kill myself if my message doesn’t appear on Fmylife. If you click no, I will haunt your nightmares.

#1431 - About FMyLife - On 01/29/2014 at 6:15am by Alan - 112 comments

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  • Hello everybody, how's it going? This week we're looking at the delicate art of getting along with your neighbours. If you've ever lived in an apartment building, you'll know that having people live…

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