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FML's Question Time #1: Valentine's Day

It's a brand new Valentine's day, so here's a brand new blog section. Yep, you read that right, we're using the fact that Valentine's day is vaguely a controversial subject to launch this blog column thing, to let you have your say about it.

The main idea behind this new column is quite simple:  we'll be asking you a question every month, the sort of question that usually rustles people's jimmies, and all you'll have to do is give your opinion, back it up with facts or just by telling us a relevant and amusing story in the comments. This can be the starting point of debates, funny exchanges and stories that'll clash together like planets colliding in far away galaxies. Or something. There are no limits to lengths you can go to to convince us all, let your passion for typing stuff take over and maybe this whole exercise will be cathartic and therapeutic.

This month's QOTM: 


Valentine's Day: Who gives a f***? 
A day to love love, or a cynical Hallmark holiday?


To get the ball rolling, we've asked a few people to give their opinion.

"I hate it. I don't like having to buy roses, it's such a cliché, and besides, I hate surprises. And ever since I was dumped by a Wookie outside a combination Taco Bell and Pizza Hut on Valentine's Day three years ago, I'm not really in the mood for love." - Darth Vador

"Valentine's Day is a man-made construct, a patriarchal oppression tool that women have to conform to as a whole if they want to belong to the caste, otherwise they are shunned by society. We have to fight this abomination by metaphorically castrating Cupid by refusing all promotions on chocolate in supermarkets, but it's still guys who have to pay for the restaurant tab on Valentine's, OK?" - my neighbor, the sociology student 

"I love Valentine's Day, it's the cutest day of the year. I'll do anything and everything for the person I love the most in the world. Me." - Kanye West


Anyway, you get the general idea. So, Valentine's Day, are you into it, or do you loathe it? You must have stories of Valentine's days from your past that were absolutely shitfests. Or maybe you've got plans that you hope are going to be totes amazeballs (as annoying twunts will insist on saying). 

Stick on your procrastination hat, kick back and speak your brains. It's Friday, work can wait.

#1501 - Ramblings - On 02/13/2015 at 11:29am by Alan - 168 comments

Caroline's illustrated FML

Love, love, love. Yuck. Tomorrow, it's Valentine's Day. Big whoop. The Hallmark holiday. Well, it's not really a holiday. We never get a day off for it, and it's on a Saturday this year. Anyway, recently I found myself sat between a few girls, who I consider friends, and they were discussing who or what they'd encountered on Tinder. It was quite depressing, especially the way the "products" available were being described. It was like watching a metaphorical play in which the death of romance and emotions was being played out in front of me. It was like they were discussing collecting Panini stickers. It seems like a lot of us are all looking for that ideal person that doesn't really exist, and all these apps and websites are just bullshit put there to make us believe that the grass is not only greener on the other side of the street, but it's homegrown stuff you only usually get in Amsterdam. Let's put an end to this masquerade right now, together, by loving one another without the illusion of that "better someone", because, let's face it, that "better someone" is probably looking for someone better than you. This week's illustration is in that ballpark, in that the protagonist should know when to quit. Wait, what? Check it. 

CAROLINE'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"You've got to be scared of something, otherwise it's just not funny."

Self portrait Caroline by Caro.

 


Caroline also known under the name Carogribouillis. "But I don't like that nickname anymore." It means Caroscribbles in French. I wanted to suggest some others, but her website is already called that, and I doubt she wants to be called A$APDrawings or CaroLsinger.

Her info:
Age: 28
LocationBrussels
Blog: The illustrated daily life of a Brussels girl
Her illustrated FML: The one with the nurse


Same as Gib last week, Caroline contacted us via e-mail. I'm just pointing this out to try and get other illustrators reading this to write in too. I'm always looking for new talents to illustrate FMLs, even if sometimes I have to disappoint some who write in, not because we don't like their art, but because we have to stick to certain rules on FML. Unfortunately, the independent style, drawn all in black, with dark humour, which might be enjoyed by a small percentage of us (I'm not going to say 'an elite' but I want to because I'm ill at the moment so I'm pumped full of drugs) won't be appreciated by most of our readers. So we have to give the people what they want. But don't let that stop you from contacting us at the address listed at the bottom. We always enjoy hearing from people. 

Caroline, who are you? "
I'm a nanny and I created illustrations now and again for magazines and books." Ah, a professional nanny. That's a hardcore kind of job. I'm only saying that because after about 10 minutes in presence of a kid I start to feeling dread, boredom and I feel like carrying out scientific experiments on it. How did Caroline get to where she is now? "After I graduated from high school, I was trained in cartooning. And since then, I've had orders here and there, illustrations for magazines and books, portraits, but that's still not enough." It's difficult to establish a clientele base it seems, especially if you're counting on making a career out of it. I hope this appearance on FML will allow her to get some publicity and that people will spread the word. 

How did you get started? Did something or someone give you an initial urge to start drawing? "No, no particularly, I could grip hold of a pencil when I was 2 years old, and I haven't stopped drawing ever since." I had a friend in high school who was really good at drawing cartoons, and I've always wanted to learn to draw as well as him ever since. People who have been reading these ramblings since January 2014 know that sometimes I post ridiculous stuff that I've done, but not recently. It's one of my great regrets that I never learned, but I'm such a procrastinator. I wish I could go back to that time, when I was at school, and learn from that friend. And knowing all that I know now. Starting over, but with today's wisdom. Yeah OK, that's another story, a science-fiction project for another day. 

How about you Caroline, do you have any projects as ambitious and as easy to accomplish as mine? "There are so many bouncing around inside my head, I'd really like to publish a book containing all my blog's little comics. And also illustrate a childrens book." OK, so, right after saying that, she says that her hero is Christian Grey. Right, so the movie has just been released so I'm going to let that slide, it was surely a little joke, she made a funny, because I read that book when I was getting over a broken ankle (someone thought it would be funny to lend it to me while I was laid up in bed) and it's THE worst book I've ever read. The people who thought it was romantic and sexy don't deserve to be taken out to the restaurant or anywhere for Valentine's Day. That book is the romantic equivalent of ass cancer.

Anywayyyy. Tell us about things you like, your pastimes, your vices. "Drawing, obviously, but also painting (I have to do some more of that), reading, the colour pink (I think you can tell by looking at my drawings), animals, boozing… My biggest fault is (like a lot of girls) that I like shopping. At the moment I'm reading a lot of romance novels like 50 Shades of Grey, that I read in one go…" Oh shit, she wasn't kidding. Seeing as she's a guest on this column, I'm not going to say anything mean. I mean, I'm not going to say anything else that could be construed as mean. But the book is still horrible. I almost feel like going to one of the movie screenings with my current bronchitis to blow bits of my lungs everywhere, take the piss and have a laugh. Let's continue. "I also love Gilles Legardinier's books, I've practically read them all. I love thrillers too. I loved the thriller Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. I like TV Shows The Mentalist and Shameless (the US version). And as for comics, I really loved "Hey Miss" by Yatuu, which was very funny." 

And what about the artists you check out now and again on the internet?  "I really like Yatuu (I've mentioned them before, but I've read all their books), Piratesourcil (I never miss an episode) Diglee, Pénélope Bagieu (I loved following her stuff, but it's a shame that's there's hardly ever any new short stories) and many others but the list would be too long…"

How about a personal FML to play us out? "I was once locked with a friend inside a train station in Brussels, during the night, for 5 hours, after missing the last tram. We were scared after going up the escalators, because huge shutters were closing the underground station. This was a long time ago, but I can remember it very well. It was a fantastically shitty night." I've always dreamed of getting locked inside a supermarket for a night, I don't know why.

Right, time to go home. Pick up your things, and sling yer hook. Tonight, don't forget to turn off your phone so that you don't get woken up tomorrow morning. It's the weekend, so you can sleep in. Unless if you're working in retail or whatever, in which case, I salute you. Tomorrow it's the day of lurrrrrrve. Or vomit. Have fun. Here's some actual love. Be excellent to each other, and see you next week! 

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

#1502 - Illustrated FML - On 02/13/2015 at 11:28am by Alan - 14 comments

Gib's illustrated FML

Hell is full of a certain type of person. The people who eat boiled eggs on trains. The people who cut their finger and toenails on the subway. And of course, people who do evil, who let evil happen. But there's also those who pretend to be nice. They say they want the best for you. They're cute and cuddly, but they're actually Satan's little helpers, sent to torture you. Liars, cheaters and twisted pieces of work. But it just takes a slip up, a compromising picture or a screen grab for everything to come tumbling around them. Then the evil mess oozes out of the dark recesses of their brains and then… Woah, steady on. Wrong meeting. I got the wrong blog article there, I thought I was writing for Bitter Guy Weekly. But still, it's kind of this week's topic. The more the year's pass, the more you realise that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but also, as you get older, you progressively tend not to care what people think of you. Intrigued? Read on.

GIB'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I love Mikado biscuits, the real ones, with dark chocolate. But they're expensive. So, I usually buy the cheapest store brand cookies from Aldi, they're good too."

Self-portrait Gib by Marie.

 


This week, it's Gib's turn, who is also known as Marie. The explanation for the nickname is apparently written somewhere on her blog, but I can't find it. You can have a look, but it's in French. Good luck !

Her info:
Age: "A quarter of a century"
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Blog: Gib's Doodles
Her illustrated FML: The one with the magazine


Gib had contacted us a while back with an email that start with "Hello Mister FML". I'd liked that approach, and it made me want to check out her work, which turned out to be quite good. That was in September 2014, so you could say that this illustrated FML has been a long time coming. A middle-distance runner. There's been Christmas, New Year's and all sorts of goings on ever since. My conspiracy theory is that this illustration lark is just a cover, and that Marie is actually a secret agent who has been off on a mission since September, like some sort of girly James Bond, in her Aston Martin, drinking vodka martinis. Or not. Maybe she just had other stuff to do than illustrate FMLs. People have lives to live. I know I have. That's a lie. I don't have a life. I haven't been outside since 1998.

Marie, Gib, what do you actually do, if you're not really a secret agent? "I recently got a diploma, and I'm looking for employment in the publishing/communication world. What I enjoy about my non-activity: having the time to do what I want, like the housework, the washi… erm, no, not really. What I need right now: money!" So, let's make the most of this multimedia platform to see if there's someone out there looking to recruit Marie. Come on, she's got talent, she's smart, she's got qualifications and she's nice. And she might have a licence to kill, but I'm not sure about that. I was only guessing about the whole secret agent thing earlier, but you never know. If you don't hear from me next week, you'll know why.

How did you get started? "I've always been into drawing, I've always done it for pleasure, but it's Romain Pujol's blog that gave me the impetus to launch my own "comic book blog" 6 years ago. Before that I had a blog, but it was a "non-comic book blog" and on a crappy host system."

Speaking of which, which other blogs/artists do you check out and that you can recommend? "I'm a fan of loooooots of people, of which my faves are linked on my blog. I'll mention Nathalie JomardElsa Chang, and Brittney Lee… and loads more." 

What are your little everyday pleasures and vices? "I like junk food a little too much. Which means that one of my pastimes is saying that I'm on a diet when I'm not really. My vices: pizzas, Nutella, foie gras, vanilla-flavoured Häagen Dazs vanilla and custard to name but a few, but all separately. Other than that, I like dogs, the theatre, reading, writing, browsing the internet, travelling, taking photos… I'm the annoying person holding up the people I'm with, always trailing behind them, taking photos all over the place, yelling, "Wait for me!" Hmmmm, I wonder if she's one of those people who pose with their hands outstretched to try and create an optical illusion that they are supporting monuments and stuff? Here in Paris I see them everywhere. The best ones are the people in front of the leaning tower of Pisa. Have you never seem pictures of them? Check this out

Besides Mikado biscuits, that were mentioned at the top of the article, what other cultural references have you got to share? "I've been listening to a lot of movie soundtracks, especially ones created by Hans Zimmer. I've just finished reading the fifth tome of the "I am number 4" sage. It's about a bunch a nice alien teenagers with badass superpowers who are fighting ugly alien baddies on planet Earth. As for TV shows, I'm a bit upset because I have to wait a year for the next Sherlock episode, and as for comic books I'm in love with Aurélie Neyret's drawings in 'Les Carnets de Cerise' ('Cerise's notebooks') and Mara's in 'Clues' (and Gotlib, because he's hilarious. And finally, at the movies, I really loved Imitation Game, the biopic about Alan Turning (who really had an FML…). And YES, I have a crush on Benedict Cumberbatch, it's not my fault." So do a lot of people in my circle of friends. The guy has to be applauded, he's managed to have quite the career despite having an unpronounceable name and a weird head. If you' re still struggling with the pronunciation, a brilliant YouTube channel is here to help. Click here


Can you finish us off with a personal FML? "Today, I had cycling accident. While immobile. I put the wrong foot down when I was stopping, and I fell into a ditch. FML" Yep, that's quite embarrassing. I do hope there were loads of people around to point and laugh and/or film the scene. What do you mean I'm mean. Not at all. 

That's it for this week. We wish Gib/Marie all the best in her job search, but she doesn't seem to be in hurry. She does have talent and she's nice, so there's no reason that a boss shouldn't offer her a job. If I can get a job, she can get a job. Anyhoo, it's time for the weekend, time to go outside in the sunshine or the snow depending on where you are. Just don't forget to be nice. Don't be one of those people I mentioned in the intro. Slow down on the cynicism. Cynical people are boring. As Morrissey sang, it takes guts to be gentle and kind. So, actual love from us here at FML. Have a great weekend, and week. See you next Friday! 

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

#1500 - Illustrated FML - On 02/06/2015 at 5:48am by Alan - 9 comments

Ronald Grandpey's illustrated FML

Hello everyone, how's it going? You doing OK? Friday is the right time to get your glad rags on, go out, meet your friends, have a drink, get your freak on, shoot the breeze, shoot some hoops, don't shoot the deputy and then go home and fall asleep in the closet. But before all that, have a go at this week's illustrated FML. You've got time to fit an illustration into your busy schedule, come on dude, we know you're sitting at home with curlers in your hair, we can see you through the window. Look, we're waving at you! For those of you reading this on a Wednesday morning in 2047, I do apologise, I'm not taking into account the space-time continuum while typing out of this article. (By the way, how's President Macaulay Culkin doing in 2047?) That's enough of that, let's move into this week's inner sanctum. 

RONALD GRANDPEY'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"A beef rib (2 kg for 6 people), brochettes, some melon, a raspberry tart, and Mary Jane's fudge.
Which isn't very FML."

Self portrait Ronald by Ronald.

 


This week we're welcoming a friend of mine. "My name is Ronald. P.E.E.P.S isn't really a pseudonym, it's more of a signature amongst many others, in many different ranges. In my mind, P.E.E.P.S is an imaginary author. You can call me Ronald. Or Wonawld." And I hope no one will accuse me of nepotism, he's got a lot of talent. Just check out his stuff, make up your own mind.

His info:
Age: 40 
Location: Rennes, France
Website: His eponymous website
His illustrated FML: The one with the hotel


I've been asking Ronald for an illustration for a while. He's finally come round to reason and accepted. Up until now he'd been claiming that he hadn't got time to do one. We had to negotiate sort of deal, too. Two roast chickens and three bottles of Cinzano Bianco. OK, that part is a lie. He's finally found the time to give illustrating an FML, and it's a real treat because what he's done for us all is pretty epic. And I hate using the term epic these days, because everything seems to be epic with some people. So, OK, Ronald, you're epic. There.

So, who is this Ronald dude? What's his beef with life? Tell us what you do to stave off the boredom? "Comic books
, animation films and illustrations." OK, that's a bit of a short summary. I know him in real life, and he's one of the most talkative people I've ever met. I'm not exaggerating. He's being modest about his talents because if you check out his website, especially his personal animations, you'll quickly realise that he's not some bum that we dragged off the street. Even though he may look the part sometimes. 

I asked him how he got to where he is today: "A gallop under the trees in the morning, tight bends over the ridge that looks out onto the bay in the evening, scuba diving and speedboat races at night." 

What is it that you like about the strange world of comic books? "I like drawing outside in the hills in the countryside, working on animation movies at night, improvising stories and lighting moods, going in different directions, not necessarily taking the beaten track, flitting between comic books and animation movies, personal jobs and orders, working a lot and living from it. What do I need right now? Palm trees, and a large balcony so that I can draw by the ocean side. Can you do something about that for me?" Unfortunately, I can't. The last time I tried to sponsor someone, they turned into a monster. I found this kid, a singer, nice guy. Bunged him a load of cash, he got all big-headed, changed his name to Kanye West, never returned the favour. So I'm afraid that I can't help you out, because if I did give you any money, you'd turn into another monster and turn your back on me. I'd rather you be poor and nice to me. 

We're also here to talk about your projects, so come on, what's going on? "Several book projects are under way, under different guises (P.E.E.P.S, Franky Bartol, Ronald), to be released by Misma an other publishing houses. Some illustrations for a childrens' story by Chloé Alibert. A comic book with Stefen ‘Yea Big’ Robinson, for whom I made an animated clip a few years ago. I'd really like to make an animated series too." We hope that you make one too, Ronnie. Do you mind if I call you Ronnie? No? OK, I'll stop right now, put the stick down.

Ronald has things going on! Fact me till I fart: 
"Right now
, quite a few things:
- The Angoulême comic book festival in France, where I will be signing copies of ILS ONT DES NOUVEAUX POUVOIRS ("They have new powers"), volumes 1 and 2, on the Misma editions stand.
- An animated loop for a collective exhibition by l’Employé du Moi, an independent editor from Brussels and fried who will be celebrating their 15th anniversary this weekend at Angoulême. 
FRONTIÈRE, a self-edited comic (with 7 editions having been published already), with a unique hand-drawn cover for each copy. 
- Some personal illustrations.
- Some animation films and illustrations that people have ordered here and there.
I like people who make lists.

What have you enjoyed in life recently? "I saw  Pasolini's "Salo" recently, which is amazing. Musically, Run The Jewels and all of El-P's projects, the recently rereleased "#3" album by Diabologum, Psykick Lyrikah, and a bunch of stuff. In books, "Terminus Radieux by Antoine Volodine. The last comic book to really knock my socks off was "The Double Happiness Book" by Joe Daly. And "Lune L’Envers" by Blutch. And all the works by Goossens, Pierre La Police, John Porcellino, Killoffer, Jim Woodring, Ruppert & Mulot, Luke Pearson, Glen Baxter, Mattotti, Gary Larson, etc etc, the list goes on. And Yuchi Yokoyama : genius." I think I've mentioned Diabologum a few times in this column, and I've tried to get Pierre la Police to take part, but to no avail. As a superfan, I was just happy he replied! 

Who are the artists you check out on the Internet? "El-P's Twitter account, but that's not comics though. Not many comics blogs actually, I read books or fanzines. Oh yeah, Thunderpaw by Jen Lee, but that's not really a blog. A few illustrator friends: Nylso , Gilles RochierSeb LumineauJonathan Larabie… And Grandpapier, a comics portal run by L’Employé du Moi." And if one of these illustrator friends wants to come on here, it's with great pleasure. Tell them from me, OK Ronni… Wonawld.

Tell us about your everyday pleasures. "On top of all that? Leaving on a whim to meet up with friends on the other side of the country to drink Nikka whisky while listening to great records. Eating profiteroles. Driving. Walking. Imagining the future. All that at the same time." I think I've been a part of some of those things, haven't I? Hmmm, I'll quit with the nostalgia, it's boring people. Anyway, it's time to go down the pub and annoy Dagmar.

We're going to let Ronald go back to his drawing board. We can now sit around and work out how to draw as well as he can. A year ago, when I took over this column, I had the ambition to learn how to draw, and that ambition has fallen by the wayside. A year has gone by, and I'm still shit. I think it's time to give it another shot, with the help of the illustrators I talk to on this blog. I'll keep you up to speed. I'll leave with with a band that Ronald and I know very well because we met through Michel, one of the founders. Ronald designed the sleeve for their album, part of which you can see here. Here's the Binary Audio Misfits. As ever, be excellent to each other, and see you next week!

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.

#1499 - Illustrated FML - On 01/30/2015 at 6:23am by Alan - 7 comments

The Best of the Worst #11

Yes, we're late. We've been doing stuff, the New Year and our birthday party got in the way, but there's no excuse. So, we're sorry for not churning out another Best of the Worst in due time. As Douglas Adams famously said, 'I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.' Anyway, we've got our life back together, we've straightened ourselves out, we've stopped drinking pure alcohol mixed with maple syrup and we're here. Let's dive straight into the shittiest of the shit submissions bag!

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of reading one of these, the only way to describe these articles is to say that we get sent a buttload of stories every day, very few are usable, many are mediocre. But some are just batshit insane. They seem to have been written by drunk ponys, or people who have reached the end of their tether and are about to crack. And those people who like to type things out using their pee-pees. Anyway, the stories here are those weird and wonderful stories from the very bottom of the submissions pile. And here we go for this month's selection.
 

The Bill

Today, I just realized Bill Cosby Is hiding Ebola or Kim Jong Un Banned It Why Bill, FMLL

Trading Places

Today, my parents both announced they are getting sex changes. My mom will soon be my dad, and my dad will now soon be my mom. FMLL
 

So…

So i was on Skype and my friend kept messaging me and she would to this thing where its like ***** *** is ___________ FML
 

Drama queen

Today, my daughter got hair dye all over the carpet. I ruin everything and am about to kill myself. FML
 

And they say romance is dead?

Today I walked in on my mother and father, going at it like bats from hell, on top of my dead grandmothers coffin. FML.
 

I'm not racist, but…

Today, after many years without a boyfriend, I desperately placed a Craigslist ad. The only replies were from black men. I’m not racist, but the thought of having a black baby is gross. FML
 

Norman Bates, is that you?

The woman I perceive as a psuedo-mother has a noticably growing crush on me. FML.
 

It's not you, it's me

The other day, I was walking around the hallway at school telling people they need Jesus. I told my one of teachers that he neede Jesus he said I dont need Jesus, Jesus needs me. He had shut down my testimony. FML
 

It's always the hamster

Today, I had sex with my boyfriend. I could not focus because my hamster, Harry, just died. When I finally came I screamed out my hamster’s name. Unfortunately Harry is also the name of my boyfriend’s best friend. Now he thinks that I’m cheating on him. FML

 

That's it for this month. We'll be back in a month or so with some more of the same. If you enjoyed reading these, you can see  more by using the "Moderate the FMLs" feature on our website/app. Oh, and as usual, these are all compiled from the website/app since the very beginning, so to all of you who've tried sending in odd FMLs to try and get published here: don't even begin to try, we're not idiots. Until next time, be excellent to each other and call your moms.

 

Bonus not-really-hidden, tracks. Yes, two for the price of one. We're guessing these were sent in by the same individual, because the style shows so many similarities throughout its moving and gritty mood swings. Check dem feels.

 

A day in the life, part 1

FUCK LIFE JUST FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK WORD AND EVERY FUCKING TECHNOLOGY BULLSHIT

A day in the life, part 2

FML FKING GOT CHEATED I HATE GIRLS I HATE LIFE WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE IT ALL. FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

#1498 - About FMyLife - On 01/28/2015 at 9:18am by Alan - 78 comments


FML's blog

  • Angie's illustrated FML
  • Here we go again. This week I'm talking to you live from the Paris Japan Expo. I'm dressed up as Bernard from the Sailor Moon series, and I almost got kicked out because my katana wasn't the…

Friday 3 July 2015

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