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Illustrated FML (269) - About FMyLife (36) - Videos (34) - Ramblings (14) - Books (9) - Competitions (6) - Special guests (6)

Business Casual FML

The Holidays are over, hooray! How was your vacation? Lots of sun, sand and thongs we hope. Every single pleasant memory is behind us now, because it's time to get back to work. Monday, there will be pressure on you, because time will get suddenly get much more important. You won't be able go to bed at 8 am anymore, ‘cos you'll be supposed to say good morning to your boss at that time in the morning. Goodbye close-to-being-naked girls and boys that you'd met on the beach, and good morning suited-up America. And to help you keep a straight face during the days you'll be spending behind your desk, there's a web comic which knows how to make us smile about all that business stuff, which is why today's artist is Joe Combs the creator of this webcomic, Business Casual Comic !

Joe is 32 years old. After being born and raised in a small town in Hazard, Kentucky, he's now living in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and his three kids. He’s a computer programmer after graduating 10 years ago from college with honors from Pensacola Christian College, with a degree in Computer Science with minors in Math and English. He likes his job, especially when he gets a chance to express some his creative side.
His interest in comics started thanks to his Dad, who bought a newspaper every day and so Joe always got to read the comics page when Daddy came home from work. Joe still has memories of days where his Dad brought home the paper and pointed out to the family certain strips that made him laugh that day. That's how Joe started to love comics, such as Peanuts, Garfield, and the Far Side, all classic comics that we all love.

On the internet, Joe Combs is mainly known thanks to his webcomic, Business Casual Comic which was published for the first time in May 2003 when it was a weekly comic that he created for himself and his coworkers. Around March 2005, Joe left the job that was his original inspiration for the strip, and took a break from the comic at that time.  A little over a year later, he realized that all jobs and work environments are full of material just waiting for him to put into comic form, and started up the comic once again. He has slowly grown the comic since the return, updating it twice a week in 2007 and then moving to three updates a week at the beginning of 2009. At first, the comic was created as an outlet for his job, and inevitably he gained a propensity to doodle during team meetings. During one doodle meeting session, Joe drew a couple of sketches and cartoons of his coworkers. After showing them around the office and sharing some laughs, the strip was launched with assistance from his wife on the actual title of the strip.

You'll love Business Casual, even though you may you have a job or not, or if you love your job or not. You'll find in this web comic the best and worst of the working world, whatever that may be. The heartless boss that don't even know your name, the coffee break that’s over too quickly, the irritating geek coworker that you suddenly love when your computer won’t display anything but "Windows Failed, sorry", and of course, time, passing way too slowly, making you ask yourself why in the world are you are stuck behind a desk playing online games, checking Facebook and getting paid all the while. Yes, at least you're getting paid.
In fact, today our artist is going to promote himself, as his description of his web comic says it all:
"Business Casual servers a synergy filled dose of business, office, and technology humor and has been described as painfully realistic by some of its readers.  I even once met someone at a convention who walked away from my booth slightly upset because my comic reminded him too much of how badly he hated his own job.  And now that I say it like that, my comic sounds a bit depressing.  But I swear that there have been no suicides associated with my least not that I've heard."

But Joe doesn't stop there, he also started a single panel web comic named Rusty The Wonderdog which allows him to show a bit more dark and off-the-wall humor than you'll find in Business Casual. If you like mean, heartless, machiavellic dogs, you'll love Rusty. If not, go back to Lassie.

Now here is our latest question before the coffee break is over, why did Joe choose to send an illustration to FML and why did he choose this story?

"FML is a site that I enjoy reading, and I think that readers of FML could enjoy my strip and humor as well.  Also, I've always thought it would be interesting for me to attempt to illustrate other's work horror stories and illustrating a FML is great practice for this. When I got the opportunity to submit an illustration, I immediately knew that I wanted to do a submission from the work category.  I create a business/technology based strip, so I knew I had to wanted to find a FML that fit that general theme.  Also, since I have 3 kids of my own, I'm just waiting for something like what's outlined in this FML to happen to me one day where the best of intentions lead to heartache and stress."


! click on this preview !

Ah, kids and work, as good a cocktail as Redbull and Vodka. Anyway, thank you Joe Combs for your great illustration!


Joe's "safe for work" webcomic is this way:

And now here's a little instruction manual on how to be our next published artist: send an email to Here's an example:"My name is Henry Gale, I'm from Minnesota, here's a link to my website/blog where you'll find some of my comics:, bye". If you don't have a website/blog, attach some of your drawings. It's not that complicated, even the Black Smoke and your boss can do it, so don't waste any more time and send an email now!

#187 - Illustrated FML - On 08/26/2009 at 7:34am by FML Team - 7 comments

Edmund Finney's FML

Hey there everybody! It's good to be back home after a fantastic week off. As some of you may have notice, in the manner of Jesus and Liza Minnelli, we organized a big surprise, featuring the new messaging service here on FML. Plus, our traditional Saturday illustration is back as well, so let us hear it folks: "Who is today's artist?". Well, we were kind of expecting a "welcome home FML" but never mind… Today's artist is the creator of a new web comic, hardly 6 months old, recounting the story of Edmund Finney, a young man modestly searching for the meaning of life. Helped (or not?) by strange people and creatures he meets during his way, Edmund's quest is simply delightfully offbeat, that's why the FML Team is very proud to present you today the creator of Edmund Finney's quest to find the meaning of life: Dan Long !


Dan lives in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, where he was born 27 years ago. He went to college at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing, and minored in Art with an emphasis in drawing. Dan tried to run a comic strip for the university newspaper, which he quickly learned was pretty hard to maintain. In any case, it was a start. It was his first time being published. After graduating, he moved out to Los Angeles, to see what the entertainment business had to offer, but unfortunately, Dan had no other options than working in a restaurant while trying to find his place as a cartoonist somewhere. Los Angeles was not as magical as it sounded, so he moved back to St. Louis and started his current job, where he works in a company’s Sales and Marketing department.

In the maintime, Dan created a few comic-strips that he submitted to all the major newspapers, but all three comic strip submissions were rejected for being “too different” including the last submission “Edmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life”.
" I liked the concept of Edmund Finney’s Quest way too much to shelve it, so I decided to post it online and continue the story. I have actually enjoyed creating the comic more now that I don’t have the space constraints of classic newspaper comics. I’ve taken advantage of this freedom in several strips already. "

As Dan has been doing comic strips his whole life, trying web comics seemed a normal thing to do. EQ started fairly recently, back in April of this year. In this almost-daily-updated web comic, you will find random thoughts, rejected comics (those rejected by MAD and others), random sketches, and anything else relating to art or comic humor. But above all, EQ is a web comic about Edmund's quest to find the meaning of life. Good goal don't you think? Well, it's from this global idea that Edmund travels the world and the seven seas, to discover strange creatures or amazing landscapes. EQ even began to prove fruitful, when a few years ago, an editor at the syndicate gave Dan's name to the editor of MAD Magazine, who then e-mailed him asking if he would like to send him some samples of his work. Since then, he has been published in MAD several times, including in their current issue (side note: issue #501, the cover is of Alfred E. Neuman sitting on a curb with a cardboard sign that says “Will Worry for Food”)

Dan is now proud to say that his current projects are new comics for possible publication in MAD, site improvements on EQ, and other freelance gigs he might pick up from time to time. He's also interested in story illustration, like Berke Breathed’s children’s books.

Now here are our final questions before we let
Dan go help Edmund in his quest: why did he choose this story, and why did he decide to send an illustration to FML?
"I think the concept of calling the person who stole your phone is rather creepy. Here’s this guy that now has all your personal information at his fingertips, able to use your plan, call your friends, anything he wants to do with it, and you can’t do much about it. So, why not make it even creepier? And kind of silly as well. Also, I saw other webcomic artists I really admire doing them, and I thought I’d pick one and see what I could do with it. My comic is storyline-driven (kind of), so it’s always good to work on something completely out of my usual element."

You're right, this concept is creepy. And your illustration is funny. GG Dan, thanks a lot for your contribution!

Edmund's quest is this way:


And now here's a little instruction manual on how to be our next published artist: send an email to which starts with a hello and ends with a goodbye, including your name, age, and a link to your website/blog. If you don't have one, attach some of your drawings. It's not that complicated is it? Don't waste any more time and send an email now!

#185 - Illustrated FML - On 08/22/2009 at 9:07am by FML Team - 6 comments

New: a messaging service on FML!

You can now get in touch with, or be contacted by any of FML's many members for any kind of reason (don't worry, there's also a "block the user" function to avoid any inappropriate stuff).

Is this new function free? Yes. Is this messaging service useful? You tell us. We're now part of a whole community of FML members who exchange points of view in the comments, who've become familiar with each other... which can lead some of you to want to get to know yourselves a bit better. How does it work? It's very simple, you can work it out for yourselves (all you have to do is place the mouse over the icons to find out what they mean - "respond", "block the user", "delete").
So there you go, it's free, fun and easy to use, so get cracking and use it to get to know each other personally. Enjoy!


The message service page contains 3 parts:

My contacts : this is your contact list. You can add the people you contact the most to the list, and unblock someone if you wish to forgive them for whatever they did to annoy you.


Write a new message : To send your messages of love, hate or passion to the person of your choice.


Received messages / sent messages : Read, answer and delete the messages you've sent and received.


#183 - About FMyLife - On 08/22/2009 at 5:13am by FML Team - 42 comments

The FML of Biff

Good morning everybody! Another week is over, bringing us closer to the end of holidays. But we don't care. Here at FML, we fully enjoy our time off, trying all the stuff that we can't do while we're working. Sometimes it's because we don't have enough time, we’re too worn out after a day at work or sometimes we just don't have any ideas of fun things to do. In this case, we have a remedy. Every day, we check a special website where some of the best ideas are published, and every day we enjoy watching them being carried out by the man owning the biggest set of eyebrows you'll ever see. In fact, this website is so well put together that we don't feel the need to look for crazy stuff to occupy our time, we can comfortably stay in our armchairs all day long. We love the internet. Anyway, ladies, gentleman, reckless people, please welcome the creator of "The Book of Biff" created by the amazing Chris Hallbeck !

Once upon a time, there was a young man named Chris who was in art school for a year in Georgia, and then for 3 years in Michigan, but sadly, neither of them had any sort of comics classes. Then, Chris got to the senior level classes, where you get to define your own projects, and so he decided to base his on comics. The downside was that none of the instructors had any background for critiquing the writing or humor aspects of what he was doing, they were mostly judging on the line work and composition.

But that didn't stop Chris who was making little mini comics that he would give to friends, and he started trying to self-syndicate the strip into alternative newspapers. Then this amazing thing called "The Internet" happened and Chris started posting the comics onto the web instead. In 2006, he put a new web comic up, and was surprised to discover that drawing comics and posting them on to the internet was now a much more common thing. However, The Book of Biff is not a common thing. Biff is the 11% yellow-toned character invented by Chris three years ago. Biff, besides his supersize eyebrows, is known thanks to all the things he tries out. Play golf with a guitar? Check. Hang  paintings onto the wall thanks to adhesive tape? Check. Each comic shows in one single panel that Biff's ideas are just way cool, but most of the time they're just way too weird to be done. That's how a new definition was born: "very weird (dangerous? Yes, but damn funny) ideas: Biffastic".
Biff had so many amazing adventures that Chris has already published his 4th book, and he’s spent all weekend signing and shipping it out. This same week-end, something happened to Chris. While he was watching one of the greatest movies that mankind ever made (not Twilight, which was made by some creature of the night or other) called Back to the future, a surreal moment happened. He simultaneously remembered what it was like to be a kid thinking about the future, and realized that he was living that same kid's fantasy. And that's one of the coolest feelings in the world.

"- Chris, before we release you, we would like to know why did you choose this FML and why did you decided to send an illustration for FML?
-Since I've spent so long writing single panel comics my brain has been wired to see humor in a certain way. This FML really fit that mold for me. It could almost have been a caption I wrote for one of my regular comics. Besides, I like the challenge of stepping outside the comfort zone of my usual comics. I always learn something new.


click on this preview!


Thank you for your illustration Chris!


And if you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, and had no internet, here's the link to his website:  


You have bigger eyebrows than Biff and you would like to be our next published artist? Don't waste any more time, and send an email including your name, your age and the link to your blog/website at do it now, because I ain’t no Hallbeck girl, I ain’t no Hallbeck girl.

#177 - Illustrated FML - On 08/04/2009 at 3:57pm by FML Team - 14 comments

FML is not a Calamity of Nature

Good morning NASDAQ, Kabutocho, la Bourse and Footsie, how’s your inflation today? Hard times? Well, put your Dickens novel away and get comfortable in your armchair because today we're providing you with a brand new kind of stock-exchange graph that we'll call: illustration. We tried to call Bernard Madoff, but we keep getting an answering machine, so instead, we've contacted a real artist, and not some random one, we’ve got the actual creator of Calamities of Nature! Ladies, gentlemen, traders, please welcome Tony Piro!

Before we start, we would like to break open a bottle of champagne for Tony is officially our first adult artist. Tony is 30 years old; he lives near Berkeley, CA, with his wife and his daughter, who's expecting a little brother in the next few days. He works as a postdoctoral researcher, specialized in theoretical astrophysics. He's currently developing mathematical models to understand things like how stars explode. And as Tony says "what's better than things exploding?" Well, we have to admit that we kinda have a crush on things that implode. Anyway, his job seems pretty funny, we could almost forget that he's also the proud creator of the web comic Calamities of Nature.

Calamities of Nature
started in July 2007, which means it's a baby-web comic which, despite its young age, is already on the top 10 of our favorite websites. In 2007, Tony got Photoshop and was curious about creating some full-color artwork. He didn't know anything about blogs and web comics, but he tried to post his work online as it might give him some feedback that would be helpful for boosting his craft. In the meantime, he learned about online communities, which made him think that it would be fun to share what he was working on, and check out other people's projects. "There are so many talented people (both in terms of writing and artwork) online. It's both intimidating and inspiring."
Fortunately, Tony's shyness faded, and so he created his own website, where he displays a group of characters that he created when he was 10 years old. When he was in high school, he used to draw mini comics and was struggling just to get a handful of them sold so that people could read his work. Yes, times change, there may be a big financial crisis going on, but at least it's a great time to do art. Nowadays, thanks to the internets, anyone can post their artwork online and have their singular artistic vision seen by thousands of people, for better or for worse. Especially for worse. But not in Tony’s case. The comic gives him a great outlet for all the things that are rattling around in his head. It becomes a challenge to present the idea that he’s thinking about, but also to both make it funny and interesting to look at, the most important combination that some people seem to forget.

Time to let you go back to your morning financial TV show, but before here’s another question. Why did our trainee economist choose this FML?

"FML can be really hit or miss for me. Some of the quirky ones can be really funny or surprising. This specific FML was chosen because I thought it was a nice observation. The current economy is really affecting everyone, either directly or someone we know and I thought it would be fun to take it to the extreme. "

And for the very first time, here's a new traditional question that we'll be asking our Saturday artists:
"- Why did you decide to send an illustration to FML?
- I saw the other comics that had been posted and it looked like fun. Because I produce my comic online regularly, it doesn't give me much of a chance to experiment with format. FML gave me the perfect excuse to try something a little longer
. "


click on this preview !

You did a great job Mr.Piro! Thank you!


And now here's a little instruction manual on how to be our next published artist: send an email to which starts with a hello and ends with a goodbye, including your name, age, and a link to your website/blog. If you don't have one, attach some of your drawings. It's not that complicated is it? Don't waste any more time and send an email now!

#166 - Illustrated FML - On 08/01/2009 at 8:23am by FML Team - 23 comments

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  • Krumla's Illustrated FML
  • It's Friday, so a bold font is required. I was sitting in my caravan by the side of busy road cooking cocktail sausages over a gas stove when I realised it was time to start writing something about this…

Friday 24 October 2014

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