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

Grib's Illustrated FML

It's the end of the week, which of course means it's time for another illustrated FML (and just about time for some beer of course). This week we're travelling to Switzerland to talk to Thomas, AKA Grib.

GRIB'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"The best thing is when you've got a huge pack of nice candy while you're watching a great cartoon."

Grib's selfportrait by Thomas

Why Grib? It comes from the French slang for doodling ("gribouillage"). I don't know a lot about art (but I'm going to talk about it anyway) and some of it looks like doodles to me (and some of it doesn't even make it past the doodle stage, yes Jackson Pollock, I'm looking at your stuff), but then again, as I said, I'm not really an art collector. I'm just trying to understand how an idea becomes a piece of art. And I doubt an FML could really become a piece of abstract expressionist art. Or could it? Maybe someone will prove me wrong one day.

Thomas/Grib has created a fine illustrated FML for us, and it's also once again a crossover with our sister website in France. He's also answered a few questions, so we can get to know the person behind the art.

As I said, he's from Switzerland, and most of the time he's an independant illustrator. He also gives drawing classes for adults and children, but as in Matteo's case last week, Thomas seems to also struggle to earn a living from his passion for drawing. He's also taken a second job on as a messenger to be able to get by, "because despite the hours I put in drawing, it earns a lot less money than a steady job!"

You can check out his blog to see what his work is like, and to see where he's going to, work-wise. Speaking of which, where does he come from? The most surprising thing is that he was once almost a car mechanic, something his parents pushed him into so that he would have something to fall back onto if the whole drawing thing didn't pan out. Parents, eh, always the pragmatists. Mine still wonder when I'm going to get a real job... After studying in a Swiss art school, he reckons he's now "trying to survive in the domain". And what about cars? "I never touched a car again!" That's a shame, I know a lot of old wreck owners that would've been interested.

He says that he would quite like a "nice Cintiq". I went on to Google and found out that this is some sort of electronic drawing pad that a lot of illustrators use. His blog and the examples I've used in this article make me think that he doesn't really need it. But then again, maybe if we organized some sort of charity event... I can't chip in, I have no money and I have cats to feed and I want to spend the summer in a caravan by the beach. Sorry Thomas. Speaking of cats, he also has time for them: "You can play with them, cuddle them or mess with them when you want. If you don't have time to take care of them, they can take care of themselves." A bit like babies in that respect. What? Yes, I know, I should never have children.

And what about the blogs, music, movies, books and other stuff he likes? "I like Boulet and Cyril Pedrosa. I prefer to see the Art Books of movies and cartoons, to see the research behind them, etc. The last film that stood out and that I'd go see again is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". Great music, great images..." As for books, he's into Science Fiction, so not much in common with myself. He doesn't read many comic books either. What sort of cartoonist are you, Thomas?! "I'm very whimsical in my choices, and quite old-school." Oh, that's OK then, so am I!

So, what does a Swiss illustrator do to entertain himself? "Most of my spare time is spent going to the movies, drawing some more, playing video games, some sport (a little bit) and having drinks with friends. Nothing much different than everybody else! The best thing is when you've got a huge pack of nice candy while you're watching a great cartoon." I can understand that, if you replace "candy" with "bourbon" and "cartoon" by "depressing indie movie". And loads of cream and onion Pringles (yes, I'm hoping that by mentioning them, a truck-load will be sent to FML).

Anyway, don't forget to check out the FML Thomas has illustrated for us! As for now we'll leave you on that note, with the image of a weekend whiled away on candy and cartoons (and bourbon), and maybe next week we'll finally get round to the cats that paint. But probably not. We'd like to thank Thomas/Grib for his patience and for taking the time to create the illustration and answer all my questions. If you want to find out more about his work, please check out his blog, it's pretty neat (and he's a very nice person too).

Until next week, do be excellent to each other, remember to brush your teeth, floss if you can and may the strengh of a thousand Lemmys be with you. I'll be back with some more illustrated FMLs as soon as I can find my trousers.

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. 

#1438 - Illustrated FML - On 03/07/2014 at 8:21am by Alan - 4 comments

Matteor's Illustrated FML

MATTEOR'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"It was like I was eating butter, but on a beach, and that I'd let the lump of butter drop into the sea and..."
 

Matteor by Matteo

 

 

Hello everyone. I know, the illustrations section looks different. We though it might be time for a change. The illustrators will still be new people from France, the USA, from anywhere we can get our hands on, but we've decided to change things around a bit. The sentence at the top is just an out of context sentence, taken from the artist's interview. So don't worry, no, we haven't had a breakdown and started writing random sentences chosen from a book on a shelf. The picture on the right is this week's artist. It's obviously a self-portrait. Well, if that's how he imagines himself, well, does he have issues. No, he doesn't actually, he's rather nice!

So, who is this guy, and what does he want? His name is Matteo, and goes by the special AKA of Matteor. Which means he took his first name and added an R at the end. Clever. He lives in France, near Paris. Oh, I didn't mention this, but this is a crossover with VDM, our French website. This will be happening a lot. He told me all about his life, and he created an illustrated FML for us. He also has a pretty nice blog, full of all sorts of cool stuff, like the picture to the right there (so go and check it out in context, but be warned, it's all in French!). 

He's known since he was 5 years old that he wanted to work in drawing and illustration. Blimey. When I was 5, I just wanted to be Batman or stick pencils up my nose. He currently has an IT diploma, "so I could pursue my studies in something I really like, drawing." He currently has a job which allows him to feed his real passion which is drawing, cartooning and illustration. Of course, his job is illustration. He creates flyers, book covers, logos... but he has his own pursuits

So, where did you come from, where did you go, where did you come from cotton-eye Joe? Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yes. He went to art school called Arc-en-Ciel, which means rainbow in French, for 3 years. It specializes in comics and illustration. "I came out of it with better skills and with greater creativity." Since then he's gone from job to job, illustrating along the way.

So, what does he like? "What I like is the creative process, whether in comics or graphic design. Starting with sketches, looking for ideas, to the finished product. Knowing that I'm satisfied with what I've done after weeks, or months of hard work."

In the same way it works for FML, the internet is his perfect source of direct feedback for his work : "I like to share what I create, on social networking sites as well as with people in the flesh, and see their reactions, and hear their criticisms. Well, we certainly wouldn't want to meet the public, we'd be split into pieces by a baying mob. Slung up! But we applaud his courage. 

And what about his work and personal projets? Matteo tells us that he's an illustrator by trade, so he creates logos and book covers as we said before, but he's also working on a comic book project that he's likely to get published. In that case, if there are any publishers out there who are reading this (hey, if I can lend a hand...). "Its content is based on small strips. The shorter the better." And what about his influences, his passions, his life. He says he really liked the last Daft Punk album, but we won't hold that against him. He enjoys a wide variety of French artists such as Gotlib, Maester, Coyote and Edika. He likes "Macadam Valley" by Ben Dessy. OK, fair enough, but what about his life, what is his thing? "Working on my comic book pages for hours while watching my favorite TV shows in a row, drinking a cold Coca Cola, while a lady gives me a thai massage." Sounds like our usual Saturday afternoon. He also likes to play video games, "even if I rarely play new ones, I prefer retro games. Because things were better before." That doesn't stop him from buying all the latest games consoles, "because I have to have them all." 

That's FML's approach to illustrators. We have to have them all. Even cats that paint we want them all. Having to interview them might be tricky, though. Anyway, we would like to thank Matteor and his wonderful illustrated FML, we really liked it. We hope that you did too. We'll see you all next week for another illustration which probably won't be created by a painting cat, but it'll still be cool anyway. We hope. Until then, be excellent to each other.

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

#1437 - Illustrated FML - On 03/01/2014 at 12:17am by Alan - 14 comments

The Best of the Worst #3

Here we go again, time to delve back into the darkest recesses of the FML mailbag. Well, obviously it's not a real mailbag, don't be so literal, you out there. So, to recap: we receive thousands of FMLs every day, and a lot of them are quite odd. This is the third installment in our best of the worst submissions. We call it...

As we’ve already said at the time, looking for FMLs to put on the website is damn hard work. Harder than digging some roadworks. OK, maybe not. We're sat in comfy chairs, eating sandwiches and listening to terrible music. But sometimes our brains are blown right open (again, not literally, that would be awful) due to having set eyes on an FML that seems to have been written by someone having a huge mental breakdown. I could try saying "no offense to anyone having a huge mental breakdown right now", but people who start sentences with "no offense" usually are being offensive. Anyway, here's another selection of weird FMLs. Without further ado, here we go!

 

What she said

Today, my sister kept trying to convince me that the sun is a star. She is 18. FML

 

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

today my friend michael e went into my bathroom to take a shit. after about 4 hours in there he came out and told me he ripped his anus while taking his shit. he also said when he flushed my toilet exploded. my precious toilet!!!.FML

 

These things take time

Today, I realised that I don’t actually understand Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m 18. FML

 

Accept yourself

Yesterday me and my friend went to go see some EMO KIDS! With the dark hair and makeup like scary!!!! But anyway as we went there the two emo boys snuk up behind us and sprayed us with a water gun!!! But there wasnt water in there! We asked what is in it!! They said JIZZZ AKA LOOOOVVVEEE juice!FML

 

Unhappy birthday

Today, I was planning on getting new golf clubs and my dad really doesn’t care and thinks that people can decide for me what I NEED> Well hello, people really can determine what MY swing and MY feel is for the golf ball… Thanks alot dad for making me cry on my Birthday and making jokes about it

 

What difference does it make?

I barely had left my driveway on my bike when my stupid bike’s chain fell off and I fell of my bike! I was feeling real cool before cause I was wearing my 80s style shades and beanie; so I had to play it cool.

 

Handsome devil

Today tons of posters with fidel castro on them were distributed around the school. I was then told by 7 different people I look like him. I’m a girl!:( fml

 

Is it really so strange?

i am muslim, i can’t eat pork, and my parents are super-strict. they found a pepperoni pizza receipt in my jeans, cut off my penis, made it into little slices, put it on a slice of pizza, and asked me if i still liked pepperoni. i never ate pepperoni, the receipt was my friend’s. fml

 

Nowhere fast

Today, I was standing with two of my friends outside waiting for the bus. It was windy. FML

 

How soon is now?

My fucking parents { that don’t let me cuss } said that i have to wait another hour to eat! and i NEVER get to eat breakfast in the morning! and my class we don’t eat with people y age, no we have to eat with older students and i have not eaten anything in like 6 hours and 30minuites! FML!

 

That's your lot. We hope you enjoyed that. We did. Next month we'll be back with some more wonderful FMLs from the darkest corners of our submissions page. And don't bother sending in your own made-up ones, these date back from the website's creation! We've got tons of these things stocked away. So, until next time, be excellent to each other.

 

 

Bonus not-really-hidden track:

 

Girl afraid

Today, my friend gave me the mental image of Hugh Jackman yanking a 14-pound baby out of his ass. FML

#1436 - About FMyLife - On 02/24/2014 at 11:17am by Alan - 107 comments

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!

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ILLUSTRATED FML

 

Happy Jar is here ! http://www.happyjar.com/

 

 

If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com 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


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Friday 24 October 2014

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