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The FML mailbox

You can't always explain what's going on in this crazy world, but at least you can have a good laugh about it. That's basically why FMyLife was created. We have no idea why half of the published FMLs happen, but we sure do know one thing: the artists who take part in the traditional Saturday illustrations use their amazingly crazy imaginations to conjure up amazingly funny comics. And it magically works. I sure use a lot of adverbs today. Anyway, here comes Katie Tiedrich!


-Katie, how old are you?
-I'll be twenty-one in a little less than two months!

-Where do you live?
-Westchester, New York.

-Are you still a student?
-Yes, I'm studying Mechanical Engineering.

-Seems faaar away from drawing comics!
-Haha, it kind of is.

-Can you tell us more about your studies?
-Well I'm planning to concentrate on robotics. Right now that mostly boils down to a ton of math, and I draw comics whenever I'm not doing that. The people who know me from my comics are confused when I say I'm studying engineering, and the people who know me from school are confused when I say I also do artsy things. I guess it's a weird Venn diagram?

-I think people are just jealous. Robotics and comics? Come on, that's just nuts. Now you told us about your studies, what about your webcomics?
-Well, I do a comic called Awkward Zombie, which, in one sentence, is about video games. I've been doing it for a little over five years and it's kind of grown way out of where I expected it to go. I also provide the art for a comic called Aikonia, which is a fantasy comic and sort of darker than AZ is.

-How do you draw, which techniques do you use?
-My whole process is digital: I use a Wacom Intuos4 tablet and I do the whole comic from start to finish in Flash. It's, uh, not the best program for comics, but I like it because of reasons. I also tend to draw several comics at once, because working on one thing from start to finish without interruption tends to let weird little errors slip through. I like to come back to something after working on something else for a while, because that's when you notice things like "oh, his shoulder is coming out of his chin."

-Are you more into "one drawing" or into webcomics with a story and stuff?
-I like to draw comics! I like being able to tell a story or a joke. I don't think I really have the technical skill to pull off an interesting illustration, but a comic has so many other inputs that you can still impress people with the way you frame a sequence of events. I think timing is a huge portion of comedy, and there isn't much way to convey that in one panel or drawing. At least not that I've figured out!

-What are your inspirations?
-I think my very first inspiration to start creating stuff was my dad, who drew things for me when I was a kid, and it made art seem like a really fun thing to do (and as it turns out, it is). I grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side, and I think they both really leached into the way I draw comics. At the moment, I follow a ton of amazing artists on the Internet, whose secrets I am constantly trying to steal.

-Who, for example?
-I could list names all day, but I admire Yuko Ota ( for her line work, Gigi DG ( for her coloring, Dave Shabet ( for his panel layouts, and KC Green ( for his sense of humor. Among MANY OTHERS.

-Webcomics are like potatoes chips, one is never enough.


-How would you like to see your webcomic evolve?
-I'd like to say I want to find the best way to tell a joke, but it's hard to stop and think of a comic that does "the best" sort of humor, because it differs by joke-teller and humor is kind of a weird thing to try to quantify. I guess what I should say is that I want to get better at it in general, because sometimes I'll feel like I've nailed a comic and it's perfect, but other times I'll go in with a joke I liked at conception but find I really don't know how to put it together it and it comes out kind of defective. So I'd like it to be less of a hit-and-miss sort of operation, at least for me.

-Did you experience a FML moment yourself?
-I spent last fall at an internship in Connecticut, and at one point I had to leave my car at a mechanic's for repairs. It was in a town I'd never been to before so I didn't know anybody there, so I took a taxi to work in the morning (about five miles), and tried to call for one after work to get back home. I worked across the street from an airport, and I guess the taxi service preferred customers who had to be taken to other cities, rather than my five miles, so the guy on the phone said he wasn't going to send me a cab. Five miles might not be that far for a car but it sucked having to walk it in work clothes and dress shoes.

-I bet it does! Last question! Why did you choose this particular FML story?
-I wanted to do an "other side of the story" sort of an illustration, and I thought that particular FML was actually pretty weird from both sides. You never see the other party, whoever is taking this dude's mailboxes, so it could have been anyone. Even a giant eagle.

-I think you have something to do with this. But I'll keep it to myself. Thank you Katie for taking part!
-Thank you for having me!






Katie's webcomic :

If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] including a link to your website/blog/DA. 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! 


#1281 - Illustrated FML - On 05/25/2012 at 4:25pm by Alice - 1 comments

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