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S-Kro's illustrated FML #3

Hi everyone! What a weird time to be alive. Even weirder time to be dead. Lemmy, Bowie… A lot of talented people are popping their clogs one after the other. It's quite sad, but let's not dwell on these sad events, let's look to the future. It's going to be hard while considering the Black Eyed Peas are about to release new songs. Bygones. Anyway, we're welcoming back a regular contributor to this column, with a scientific take on FMLs. Sit back, enjoy the interview and illustrations, and all should be fine. Here we go.

S-KRO'S ILLUSTRATED FML #3

"Sometimes, it feels like the hero of the movie The Martian is really really lucky."

Self-portrait S-Kro by S-Kro
 


This week is the third installment of our love story, or friendship. We still not sure which. This is the series we’re trying out with S-Kro, who explains all things scientific in an easy to understand way.

His info:
Age: "35 according to my arteries, 17 according to my maturity."
Location: Internet
Website : His blog and his Facebook page
His illustrated FML: The one with natural science


We do not know S-Kro’s real name. I think it's a pun, but I'm not sure. I ran into him during a conversation on Facebook, and I offered him to come and do something for us on FML and he agreed. He not only accepted, but he has also done several excellent illustrations, which we will progressively post these coming months! All have a common thread: the scientific explanation of the world around us, and in our case, an application to the stories contained on VDM. The idea is launched with an explanation of speed cameras and the way they work, which is so annoying for distracted or reckless motorists drivers. Yes, you know who you are. We've all been there. They speed is limited to 50 but without paying attention, we’ve ended up doing 110, the windows wide open, playing hardcore techno... Or is that just me?


Who is behind the nickname then, and what does he do? "Analyse things to solve stuff and give advice that in the end no one will pay any attention to.” I don’t know why, I immediately had in mind the image of a hamster on its wheel, constantly turning, going nowhere… And what does he need in life? “Drawing classes, but people will have quickly noticed that.” Erm, no, not particularly. Too modest, mate!

What do you enjoy in all of this? "In drawing, the feeling of creating stories and worlds is quite exhilarating, the sensation of leaving a trace at the bottom of humanity’s underpants. The creative process, which some psychoanalysts think allows us to fight against the anxiety of human beings confronting death and... well... it’s getting boring now, isn’t it?" Oh no no, not at all!
 

Where did you go to school and learn all this stuff? "I did my schooling quietly, maybe a bit too quietly. I worked just enough to get to the next level. If I’d had teachers (maths and science in particular) that had given me a taste for science, I would’ve been working in different areas. Let’s just say that my comics and my research have helped me catch up for lost time."
We really do need people who are able to explain things as clearly as S-Kro does, these comics really are a sort of public service!

What are your plans? “Getting my comics “Clever things explained by an idiot” published. I’m also taking part in the fanzines belonging to my buddies Pinworms, Reuketeupeuh, El Guapo or Egoscopic, it’s a good laugh.” This is a great idea, getting the comics published, they’re really good. I especially liked the one about the guy growing a beard and getting asked if he was a hipster or a terrorist or dirty or any of that bullshit that I had to put up with last year when I started growing a beard out of sheer boredom. I went through exactly the same thing. So thanks!

What are your inspirations, is there someone, an event or something that made you want to get into illustration? "From my great grandfather to my father, I have always seen people draw or paint, I don’t think it helps to have a normal life and it explains a lot." And do you have heroes in life? "In the sense of exemplary characters, I would say guys like Nikola Tesla, Richard Feynman or as Stephen Hawking, but he’s crap at basketball." Claaaaaassy!

Tell us what you love in life, your passions, your hobbies, your vices, your little pleasures of everyday life. "My hobby is drawing, reading boring stuff and less boring stuff, my friends, my sweetheart ... and farting in my bath." Ah, taking a bath. I miss that. I only have a shower at home. How lucky. Uh, well, yes, and how about your taste in music, books and comics, what you do you love right now? "If I had to keep a book, only one, it would be “A short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson. For comics, I read so much that it's hard to make a choice, especially since there's some of my friends in the comics, if I forget any of them, they’ll sulk." Yes, you’d better not then. But even so, let’s try to see if there are some artists whose blogs you check out regularly, just in case. So? "I don’t have time to visit blogs, there’s too many.
But the artists who influenced me the most would be Maester and the late Coyote. I love Mo CDM, Eric Powell, Scott McFarlane too, to name but a few, the list would be very long otherwise." Everyone says that. Then again, if you asked me who my favourite musicians were, or which sort of sandwich I like…

A personal FML perhaps? "Once I was with a buddy and there was this girl I wanted to hook up with. I don’t know why but on TV there was a report about the lack of space in apartments when you’re in a wheelchair. I had this very drunken guy observation  and I said something like: "I don’t see what the problem is, if you fold them up with the chair, that won’t take up much space." She stood up and left the room and then I learned that her father was in a wheelchair..." My theory is that the way to test future-ex partners to see if it’ll work out is their potential to warm to our shitty sense of humour. She, sadly, didn’t make the cut. You didn’t miss out on anything.

And finally, do you have any advice for new artists? "Don’t do it, you poor unfortunate soul!”

Right, that will do for this week! Thanks S-Kro thanks for taking part again. We’ll see him again one day with another scientific illustration. I can’t tell you when it will be, it’ll be another surprise. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a dog with half a lemon and how not to exit a motorcycle. See you next week for a different artist, so until then, be excellent to each other!

How about you? Think you have talent and want to participate in an upcoming illustrated VDM? Send us an email on contact@fmylife.com, not forgetting to give us the address of your blog, or just some of your works.

#1569 - Illustrated FML - On 01/14/2016 at 11:35am by Alan - 3 comments

Monsieur K & Myster B's illustrated FML

There's a saying that goes something like those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it. Something like that. This is why television channels seem obsessed with M*A*S*H* re-runs. You can't change the past, but you can imagine what it would be like if you could go back in time and mess about with it. Many people annoy others with their theories on what they would do and where they would go if they could go back in time, usually at parties. No one wants to know how you would kill baby Hitler. And if time travel was ever invented, we would know because people would've shown up by now. Anyway, this week's illustrators know a thing or two about fiddling about with the course of time. Let's check 'em out.

MONSIEUR K & MYSTER B'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"Who are our heroes? Well, erm... Ourselves! We are the Magni-fi-cent! (private joke, sorry)."

Self portrait MK and MB by MK and MB
 


This week, it's the welcome return of Monsieur K. and Myster B. who have already graced our shores a while back. Their previous illustrated FML can be viewed by clicking here

Their info:
Ages: 81 years old between them
LocationBéziers, France
WebsitesMonsieur K. and Myster B.
Their illustrated FML: The one with the recycling


So, how are these two crazy comic book dudes? As we've already had them on FML, I'll suggest you check out their previous interview by clicking here. I'm still going to ask the usual questions for those of you who are too lazy to click on the link, because I need a minimum amount of words to fill up the article to go with the illustrations contained within. And these guys are also here to tell us all about their news. Because they have some. Yes they do. Honest. 

So, what do these dudes actually do? "We like making people think we are autistic parasites, until they discover the fruits of our work (and thus our genius)." Hey, that reminds me of someone. Magic mirror, when will my genius be recognised by MENSA? Boohoo. 

What is it that you enjoy about what you do? "We like ending up together in a different space-time, imagining stories together and actually creating them. We're on the same wavelength, but we also have our differences which go together well." And what is missing from your lives, workwise or other? "Nothing, thanks :)" Ah, that's rare. Usually I get told that a graphics tablet is required, or a social life. Well done. 

Were your school days particularly brilliant? "Our respective school and professional careers are very up and down. Let's just say that we didn't make a career out of anything. The world of comic books was waiting for us, to put it in simple terms…" 

Is working in tandem a pain in the butt or a heap of fun? "The way we work is a game of ping pong. One of us (usually B) sends the first idea, on which the other rebounds, and so on, until K draws and B inks. We complete each other in an ideal way." 

Where does this ideal work take place? "For K it takes place on his desk, for B if possible outside in the sun. But when we meet up to work, it's by the fire, at B's place (even if it's not lit during the summer)." 

OK? let's talk news. That's why we're here. Tell us what's coming out, or what's just come out, I'm not sure. “Our big news is the second tome of Anachronic Chronicles comme "Jerusalem". It's the sequel of the time travel story of 3 characters who are passionate about the big mysteries of our history, who create myths by trying to solve them. After the beast of Gévaudan, Phil, Frantz et Bernard are now following the footsteps of Jesus Christ. You can order it by clicking here." Now, of course, it's in French as you can see from the cover to the left. But if you want to learn to speak French, what better way than with a great comic book? So order it now, if not just for the great artwork!

Following this monument, what are your plans? "Monsieur K and Myster B have several projects on the go, but the biggest is of course the third tome of the Anachronic Chronicles. An exclusive for FML: the myth explored in the upcoming opus will be the Arthurian legends! In our outboxes is also a certain Jack the Psychopath, who will soon be making an appearance in the comic book world." That's quite a lot of projects. My only project is to think about what I'm going to have for lunch. Pasta or fries. Decisions, decisions. 

What are your everyday pleasures, together? "Monsieur K loves to pick his nose and MysterB likes to say to him: "D'you want mine?" when he's not already stuck it in there without warning." I know certain people in the FML office who have the same sort of intimacy. It's very touching. No, I'll give no names. 

Do you have a personal FML to share, together? "Our last common FML was when we received 50 printed copies of the first tome of the Anachronistic Chronicles and the colours were saturated. The box is gathering dust, but we get scared every time we receive new editions." Ouch. 

Finally, any advice for budding artists?
Monsieur K: "Draw, lazybones!"
Monsieur B: "Yes master! Right away master!"

That'll be it for this week! Thanks to our two friends for their second appearance on these pages, come back and see us whenever you feel like it. When tome 3 comes out for example. Next week, we'll be talking to a Meninist who draws powerful drawings that explain how hard it is to be a straight white man these days and... Sorry, I can't keep a straight face when typing that sort of horsehockey. Next week, I'm not sure what's going down. We'll cross that bridge, etc. I'll leave you with a merciless attack and a cat's tongue. 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

#1568 - Illustrated FML - On 01/08/2016 at 6:42am by Alan - 6 comments

Julia Hutchinson's illustrated FML

Happy New Year! Right, now that's out of the way, let's get down to business. We're all hung over from last night's party, right? Wrong. Some people have no friends, families or any form of social life. It happens. This is FML. It's our bread and butter. We had to post something on New Year's Day to celebrate the people who stayed at home last night. The loud and obnoxious twits have had their fun, let's put the spotlight on the rest of us who can't string two sentences together without falling over. Here we go.

JULIA'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I saw Star Wars last week and really enjoyed it! I guess that’s apparent from my FML. I definitely want to see it again in the coming weeks."

Self portrait Julia by Julia
 


This week, it’s Julia Hutchinson who's doing the honours. I do not know whether she's hungover today, or even if she went out last night, but I'm guessing she is and she did.

Her info:
Age: 30
Location : "Rochester, NY this summer. It’s in upstate New York, maybe 2 hours from Niagara Falls. Originally I am from Illinois."
Site : Her blog and her website
Her illustrated FML: The one with the underwear


Who is Julia, and what does she do? "I’m a freelance illustrator. I mostly do spots for newspapers but am always looking for the next project. My day job is a receptionist at a doctor’s office. We’ve recently been busy with colds, earaches, twisted ankles- the usual winter stuff."
What do you like about what you do?  "For me, it’s really satisfying to take a concept and work it out on the page. Working for clients, you never know what you’ll be drawing next or what ideas you’ll have to put on paper and its cool to see it go from raw idea to finished product. The thing missing from my life is a flock of chickens. We always wanted some, but so far have been living in apartments where there’s just no space for them. Chickens deserve open space and grass to run around in. Recently my husband and I have been hopping from city to city. With each new place we realize our chicken dream will have to be put off for yet another year. It doesn’t stop us from learning as much as we can. I want a white crested black polish, he wants a buff brahma." There, I've learnt a new word! Buff brahma. I'll try and fit that into a conversation.

What’s your current news and stuff? "The big excitement is I did the cover art for an issue of the Willamette Week in Portland, OR. The thought of my art showing up in news racks all over the city makes me really happy. I’m no longer living in that area, so I wasn’t able to see it happen." And what about projects? "Since 2007 I’ve been adapting the story of Final Fantasy VI into a graphic novel format. I’d say I’m about 10% done. It’s been my favorite game since I was a kid and I am at my happiest when working on this project. You can follow along at www.ff6comic.com. One of the reasons I took on the above project is to get my cartooning and skills up to publishing level. I believe that comics, with its unique blend of words and pictures, makes a powerful format for storytelling. For this reason, I aspire to do long format graphic novels professionally."

Your career so far? "My schooling path was very roundabout. Self taught and hesitant to major in art at undergrad, I studied something else entirely. The attitude I picked up from that school’s art department was that only majors could or should make art (non-majors were forbidden from taking art classes). That hurt and affected my way of thinking for a long time. Years later, I took a few drawing and graphic design classes from the local community college, and it felt like permission was granted, somehow. It felt like coming home to myself. Last year I left my job in Champaign to do a year of illustration classes at an art school in Portland. The feeling of being an illegitimate artist persisted even as the year began. I worried that because I didn’t have a degree, my ideas and techniques were inferior. I found out that my classmates didn’t see me that way, and treated me like any other artist. On top of that, I learned about many self-taught contemporary artists who are running successful careers today. I still feel like an “art bastard” but am more okay with it now.

And what made you want to draw, if there was someone or something? "I think the reason anyone starts drawing is when there’s an idea in your head and it needs to come out. Of course it doesn’t look as good on paper as it did in your head. So you try again. You might also do it for the attention, in various forms, which is more of a reason than I care to admit. I’m equally parts inspired and discouraged by other artists around me. I think to myself, “I’ll never get that good!”. But that’s not really a healthy way of thinking. Currently I’m having a lot of fun doing pieces with limited palettes. I get inspiration from the website Design Seeds which has palettes taken from photos." 

Tell us what you love in life, your passions, your hobbies, your vices, your little pleasures of everyday life. “Nah, I’m a boring person. I love reading graphic novels, keeping up with the new stuff that’s being published. Together my husband and I enjoy exploring the natural areas around where we live. We do birdwatching and get our birds anywhere we can. I’ve been known to stop dead in my tracks to watch a crow waddle around the parking lot. I love the way seagulls land, because they spend a lot of time just folding their wings back in place. It needs to be just right, so they do this fold-fold-fold-fold thing until every feather is perfectly in place. But then they take off again in a second! And do the folding thing all over again. I love it. My vice is staying up too late and hating myself the next day. I’m not even doing anything productive at night, just killing time on the computer. The next morning when I gotta get up early, I’m like “whyyy”! lol."

If you had to tell your own FML, the most FML-esque thing that has happened to you, what would it be? "One night while cooking, I burned my hand on the oven, and burned it again in the steam of a dish coming out of the microwave, and then chemically burned it by handling hot peppers. Three types of burn and the meal wasn’t even that good! Shoulda just ordered pizza."

And finally, do you have any advice for new artists? "You don’t need anyone’s permission to make art. Put aside any worries about being a “real artist” or a “bastard”. You’re making art, then you’re an artist. Period. If you want to go professional, read up on the Graphic Artist’s Guild (GAG) Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. Understand that your art is worth more than you’re currently pricing it at." 

There, that's it for this week, and what a cracking start to 2016! Thank you Julia for your enthusiastic replies, I didn't even feel the need to make wise-ass comments, which is weird for me. I leave you all with a big hug, a soppy kiss and wish you all the best for 2016. Be excellent to each other, and see you soon.

How about you then? Think you have talent and want to participate in an upcoming illustrated FML? Send us an email on contact@fmylife.com, not forgetting to give us the address of your blog, or just some of your works.

#1567 - Illustrated FML - On 01/01/2016 at 7:32am by Alan - 2 comments

Hey 2016, how you doin'? Welcome to FML!

At last, it's over. 2015, you were fun... No, strike that, it's crap. 2015, you were rubbish. Of course, there was the odd moment of brilliance, now and again, but on the whole, it was quite the shitfest. What should we remember above all from 2015? That we have to turn the heating down a further 1,5°C in our houses to save the planet, is that it? Let's concentrate on 2016, the year of the... sardine. Happy New Year.

We could make a list of all the wonderful and/or shocking things that happened in 2015, then make a beautiful, heartfelt speech about how and why life is so wonderful, and why we are so lucky to be alive in 2016, that life isn't always easy but despite it all, everything is fantastic. The problem is that someone deleted the Excel file containing the list. So instead, plan B: we're going to post photos of sardines. Because it rhymes with 2016.

 This is a sardine. Look how hot this guy is:

Here are several sardines, hanging out, chillaxing:

Here's a whole bunch of sardines on vacation. Look at them. LOOK:

Here at FML, we're going to spend 2016 bringing you even more fun stuff and surprises. But not right now. As of now, here today, the whole team needs two aspirin and some alka seltzer. We've just posted a bunch of photos of sardines to ring in the New Year, that's how bad off we are from last night's party. Let's get some hydration going and we'll talk about it in a few days time, when our brains have had time to reboot a few times. 

Lots of love and Happy New Year everyone!

#1566 - About FMyLife - On 12/31/2015 at 9:54am by Alan - 30 comments

Simon's Xmas illustrated FML

It's Christmas, yay! Gifts and stuff are done, put down your knives and forks, scraps of paper and ribbons, no need for any more shouting matches with family members. We are happy to have seen them, but it feels good when it all grinds to a halt and the pressure stops. You can’t choose your family, as someone said. Hope it went well on your side, because for us it was rather comical. I’d rather not to go into detail but let’s just say that it’s a bit blurry and our brains seem to have turned to mush. Our livers are going to feel like they are under attack for a few more days. And then we must do it all over again next Thursday! Speaking of livers, the Christmas special puts the emphasis on boozing. Check it out.

SIMON MITTEAULT'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I like it when it’s a friend's birthday, because I give them a drawing. It's cheap as gifts go"

Self-portrait Simon par Simon
 


This week, Simon is here for Christmas. This lovely young man already did an illustration for VDM, the French FML, but it's his first time on FML, so be gentle. 


His info:
Age: 32
Location: Bordeaux, France
Website: His blog or his Facebook page
His illustrated FML: The one with Santa


Simon sent us an e-mail to remind us of his excellent work for us and to say he was ready and willing to do it again. Our cat-like reflexes made us jump at the chance so we gave him a big green light, because his talent is undeniable. He covers his comics with loads of text, and we love his style!

What we like about Simon’s work is the wordplay, the little details left, right and center on his comics. There are all funny, well thought out, and we always have a good time reading them. The examples in this article is as usual without any text in them, but go see on his blog what he does with words. Again, this proves that it is not enough to know how to draw nice comics, you must also have something to say. The stories, dialogue, all that is the core of comics. It's not all about being good looking, it must also say something interesting! Let's ask him some questions, but beware, he’s not very talkative. He’s much more talkative in his illustrations.

What do you do for a living then? "Drawings: comics, stories for kids, press cartoons, travel diaries..." We really do appreciate his blog here at FML, there's a little bit of a Reiser element in the way he draws, and he’s not afraid to call a spade a shovel. What? Isn’t that the expression?

And what do you like about what you do? What would you like for Christmas to help? "I like it when it’s a friend's birthday, because I can give them a drawing, it's cheap as gifts go. What I’d like? Some friends." I don’t mind being your friend, and you can give drawings anytime. My birthday is on the 10th of March. I’m just putting it out there, you never know. You people, reading this right now, get me lots of presents.

What's your educational background? "I did four years of studying at Tournai in Belgium (in St Luc and then at Art School) and then I went to Toulouse with friends to found the independent editions "Croc en Jambe", now based in Bordeaux. Speaking of which, we have a booth at the comic festival in Angoulême at end of January. Come along.” OK, yes, we will come. Angouleme, we love the place, its sandy beaches, its sunny climate all year round, its festival that every year brings together illustrators from all around the world to meet with booze from all around the world worldwide. I’m exaggerating a little, but my friend Ronald Grandpey also presents his work there, and knowing him, there must be a way to get tanked up there. 

What’s your news at the moment? "There's my book “Poil aux Zoreil" (Hairy Ears) that was recently published by the editor “Des bulles dans l’océan” (Some bubbles in the ocean) which is still a masterpiece. Other than that, I have two books I’m working on, ”Henry the Radish”, a children's story that’s really well written (by me) and crudely illustrated by another guy (Johann Guyot) and which will be available in early 2016. I also started creating "Stars of French TV” an amusing comic book about cringey TV presenters and TV shows. Apart from that, I started a little collaboration with the magazine Psikopat (which is beautiful, cheap, no adverts, sold everywhere)." We'll go out get it when we have gotten over the cheap plonk we drank during our Christmas meal. Promise. It’s not the best time to ask us to go do physical activity outside, we'll see about it later. Speaking of which, it’s truly a tragedy that McDonald's doesn’t deliver.

What made you want to draw, in the very beginning? "The magazine called Astrapi when I was 7 years old." Okay, short answer. Makes a difference from the usual answers like, "I've always loved drawing, ever since I was a foetus“ but it does lack detail. Are there many artists you admire and that you follow via their blog? "I'm in love with Tronchet but he hasn’t got a blog, the old fart." Ah yes, Tronchet, I love his stuff, especially for Jean-Pierre Tergal. A modern hero, who is a lot like all of us. Or is a lot like ME in particular.

What are your everyday pleasures in life? Your vices? "I have no vices, and even less passions, come on, have a little decency." Yeah, it's hard to believe all that. We know from his past illustration for VDM that he’s is a huge fan of the French game show host Julien Lepers, and he would really like his autograph (sorry, can’t help you there). The thing is, in France at the moment there’s a huge scandal because this Julien Lepers has been ousted from his game show host job for being… well, I don’t know, too old and not pretty enough I guess. So I’m not sure what Simon makes of this terrible situation but he must be pretty distraught.

So what about your favorite stuff in music, cinema, etc.? "I went to see Les Croquants (The Crunchers) in concert the other day and it was great. Other than that, I read "Z as in Don Diego" by Fabcaro and Wander, and it was even better."

And finally, do you have any advice for budding new artists? "Forget it, get out of here and run.” OK then, erm, we'll say that's a suggestion that isn’t without merit, but you aren’t obliged to consider it.

There, that's it for this week. Thank you to Simon for offering to do your second illustrated VDM, which is also your first illustrated FML, it was a pleasure to have you with us again. You can come back whenever you want. Next week is New Year’s Eve, and I do not know if there will be an illustration to publish. Probably, but next week will be tough for everyone! Until then, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and be excellent to each other!

How about you then? Think you have talent and want to participate in an upcoming illustrated VDM? Send us an email on contact@fmylife.com, not forgetting to give us the address of your blog, or just some of your work.

#1565 - Illustrated FML - On 12/25/2015 at 3:15pm by Alan - 2 comments