Showing posts with label master of survival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label master of survival. Show all posts

December 1, 2015

Master of Survival Epilogue II - "A Berlin Story"

[ Soundtrack: U2 - The First Time ]

Version française à venir.

And that is the end of the Master of Survival story. Thank you for sticking around, telling me you liked it, buying the zines at conventions and generally being the support that makes art happen. This was my first try at telling a longer story, and it took awhile to finish, but the learning process was worth it. Now it is time to tell other stories.

November 17, 2015

MOS Bonus Comic #1

Read Master of Survival here.

I'm back from Leeds, where I spent the weekend alternating between convention activities at Thought Bubble and watching BBC News in my hotel room. I don't have many words right now, so I'm saving them for something else. Thanks for understanding.

November 10, 2015

MOS Epilogue

At long last, the Master of Survival bonus comics are upon us! 

I started writing Master of Survival in 2010 as a means to get my first long-form comic project out in the world. Five years later, the story is officially wrapping up with a handful of comics that I left out of the original two volumes. I will be posting them here for the next month, and I hope that you will enjoy them! 

We open today with what was intended to be the ending of Vol. 2 and ended up not being ready by the time Vol. 2 went to print. It constitutes a much softer landing, in my opinion, than this page!

On a day-to-day note: Zinefest Berlin 2015 was amazing! Easily the best edition I've tabled at so far. Thanks to everyone who came out, bought stuff and nerded out with me about comics! Only three more sleeps now until I arrive in Leeds and reunite with bacon rolls.

December 9, 2014

MOS #16 - The End

The End.

Funnily enough, as I was putting the final touches on this I happened to be in the exact same place at the exact same time of year as during the scenes depicted in the two bottom panels - namely Lyon, France, explaining to friends where I was and what I was doing, not unlike the visit that came after my thesis defense in October 2010. I even slept in the bedroom where I can be seen hiding out and being completely wiped out from life. Life is a cycle, and autobio just brings that out, it would seem.

This is the final instalment of Master of Survival #2 and therefore of Master of Survival itself. So what happens next? I realize this brings the story to a fairly harsh stop - which on the other hand is how it felt graduating after two years of moving and a grueling thesis - but fear not, there is still more to come!

I originally wrote a short epilogue for the story, which didn't make it into Vol. 2 due to time constraints. There are also a few bonus comics, episodes that didn't make it into the main story for timing/storytelling/flow reasons, plus a couple that were drawn in 2010 and that I just didn't want to put online at the time. And I've got notes down for a longer epilogue as well that brings us a bit more up to speed on what moving to Germany has been like since my grad student days.

All of this should tie up the main story quite nicely and fill in any holes remaining in my comic archival of my transitional period in Berlin, 2010-2014. They are currently planned for a bonus, final MOS mini to be debuted in the spring.

In the meantime, if you want a hard copy of these comics, they are as always available in my store.

Bis bald...

December 2, 2014

#MOS 15

[ Soundtrack: Die Toten Hosen - Nur zu Besuch (live) ]

Version française.

There's one update left... Aaah!

Until then, perhaps you want to check out this Christmas sale I have going on in my store? Or maybe you want to grab all of my minicomics for free by pledging on Patreon, or snag a postcard or personalized art (even an avatar!) by throwing some money into the Traveling Tip Jar for my trip to NorCal in three weeks. Up to you!

November 4, 2014

MOS #14

* Vacation in Sweden.

[ Soundtrack:  U2 - City of Blinding Lights (Live) ]

Version française.

Berliners! I will be at Zinefest Berlin this Saturday until 6PM - with Volume 2 of Master of Survival, hot off the presses and containing THE NOT YET PUBLISHED FINAL EPISODES! I'm also selling small sketches! Come say hi!!

September 2, 2014

MOS #13

English version here.

(Bon, entre nous, le CM que je saccage dans ce post était l'un de mes cours préférés de Master 2. Merci à Nad d'avoir fourni le support!)*

Redoing an exam "for the first time in my life" was clearly a blow to my academic pride, as 2010 comic-writing me will tell you. Thank goodness I lived to tell the tale and be embarrassed at drawing my own script. 

Also, I just remembered that I drew my very first travel comic during this trip! You can see it in its bilingual French/English glory here.

I am closing in on the end of this story!! There are just three episodes to go. I want to have Master of Survival #2 finished and ready to print in time for Zinefest Berlin and Thought Bubble, where I will be Nov. 8 and Nov. 15-16 respectively. To that end, keep your eyes peeled for a special announcement later this week!

* The class mentioned here was actually one of my favorites in my thesis year. Thanks Nad for sending me the material which I then proceeded to make light of! 

Support this comic on Patreon!

May 20, 2014

MOS #12

[ Soundtrack: Laura Imbruglia - Wouldn't Be Surprised (Live) ]

Version française.

Spoiler alert: I didn't move out. To this day, I still feel a low-level wave of panic whenever someone in the building starts drilling. I visualize most sounds when I hear them (kind of like imagining a landscape), so the kind of noise depicted here pretty much beats the will to live out of me. 

In current news: I'm going to Stockholm in less than a month to see my sister's graduation ceremony and bid a temporary farewell as my family will be moving base to California for a year. It costs a lot to visit Sweden and as a result I'm offering art to help cover the costs. Check it out here!

If you want to help but don't want to clutter your office with personalized art (why??), you can click the Flattr button on this page or pledge a monthly donation via Patreon.

April 22, 2014

M.O.S. #11

Things that have changed since I wrote and drew this episode:
  • The amount of people in this comic that still live in Berlin (par for the course, really)
  • I can barely remember liking the guy in question
  • I'm not deathly afraid of shading nor spotting blacks
  • My lettering looks less like it was tracked onto the page by a bunch of crickets on acid
Things that have not changed since I wrote and drew this episode:
  • I still go to this church
  • I still don't know how to read German men
  • I still ride that S-Bahn
  • I still feel both rootless and at home in Berlin
On a side note: the title of this episode is another nod to Ariel Schrag's High School Comic Chronicles, the third volume of which is called Potential and was a big influence in coming up with Master of Survival. (The other volumes are referenced here and here).

April 1, 2014

MOS #10

Here's my dad at the Tacheles in April 2010:

So, DUDES -- after a long-a** hiatus, Master of Survival is back!!

There are about six episodes left to go, plus some bonus comics. How fast the comic updates depends greatly on you. It goes like this: via my Patreon page, you can pledge to donate one dollar or more per episode of Master of Survival (or filler comic between updates). The higher the pledges are, the more I can afford to focus on updating.
Patrons get charged every month depending on how many new comics I've posted (expect no more than 4 and no less than 3), and have access to weekly-ish, exclusive blog posts about whatever I'm working on.

A note on the habitual translation of the episodes: nearly all forthcoming episodes are written in English, and will be translated into French when time permits. Any episode written in French will be posted in English and French simultaneously.

That's enough on my end, I hope you enjoy the second instalment of this comic and I look forward to giving you more new pages!

March 29, 2013

MOS #9

[ Soundtrack: Tegan and Sara - Knife Going In (live) ]

Version française

Thus concludes the first half of Master of Survival. The events in the next update date back to late April 2010, and guys, I'm going to take that as my cue to halt Master of Survival updates until May 5th.  Gasp! [*EDIT: SEE BELOW*]
The reasons for this are twofold; mainly, I have a lot on my real-life plate at the moment that requires my attention. BUT ALSO, following this page, all Master of Survival pages are not yet drawn and will therefore be BRAND NEW*! You're excited, aren't you? That's the idea.
I will still be posting stuff to the blog on occasion, and if all goes according to plan, there will be other good stuff that will start to trickle down around mid- to late May on the blog as well. Until then... Happy Easter, and see you next week!
* Except for one, but shh.

Ainsi se termine la première moitié de Master of Survival. La prochaine note traitera de la fin avril 2010, et je prends donc cette occasion pour marquer une pause dans les mises à jour de MOS jusqu'au 5 mai. [*UPDATE: VOIR CI-DESSOUS] Il y a deux raisons pour cela, la principale étant que dans la vraie vie j'ai quelque peu du pain sur la proverbiale planche. MAIS AUSSI, et à partir du post suivant, toutes les pages de Master of Survival doivent encore être dessinées, et seront donc FLAMBANT NEUVES*! Palpitant, non? Effectivement.
Je continuerai de poster sur le blog jusque là, et si tout se passe comme je veux, il y aura d'autres bonnes choses qui commenceront à apparaître autour de la deuxième quinzaine de mai. En attendant, joyeuses Pâques, et à la semaine prochaine!
* Sauf une, mais chut.

[February 27: Obviously this didn't happen, due mainly to my need to find a job, followed by picking up freelance comics and illustration work while holding down a new part-time job and freelancing in other areas. I am now working on new pages and the comic will update again beginning April 1, 2014 (no joke).
February 27, 2014: Clairement, ma pause a duré beaucoup plus longtemps, d'abord parce que j'ai dû retrouver du travail et ensuite en raison de divers boulots en BD et en illustration qui sont arrivés au moment où j'ai retrouvé du travail. Je me suis remise à dessiner de nouvelles pages et celles-ci paraîtront à partir du 1er avril 2014 (si si!)]

March 12, 2013

MOS #8

Traduction à venir.

When I was a young'un in high school, I once had to compose an extensive sort-of essay project-thing on a theme I got to pick out along with a project buddy. (It was called "Travaux Personnels Encadrés" and it was to my French baccaulaureate what the Extended Essay is to the IB program.) As I had spent most of my previous years infatuated with the late Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, I chose to write my part of the essay on the figure of the suffering artist as embodied by Cobain (also on the roster were Baudelaire and Renaud).
Much of the project involved sitting long hours at my desk making notes on Cobain through my readings of his journals, lyrics and of Charles R. Cross' Heavier Than Heaven (amazing book), which was insanely fun (even if the subject matter was very dark). At this moment a lightbulb went on in my head that I wanted to write about artists. And so, during my internship in 2010, it so happened that I ended up being able to do that very thing, several times, in fact. This is the "what I dreamed of in high school" refers to in this comic - I was actually unaware of Mrs. King's work until well after I'd finished my Bachelor's, which is when I was more open to adopting my dad's love of instrumental guitar. She wrote some great answers to my questions - although currently I can't link you to the interview (conducted in French) because the site is partly down. And she was very gracious to sign my album cover and shake my hand.

Also, if you're into good melodies, great guitar and sweet drumming, you should definitely check out JuniorKaki's new stuff is equally pleasing.

The next Master of Survival page involves Easter weekend and will therefore go up on Good Friday (March 29) as a contribution to the all-round "hey guys, it's Easter" chitter-chatter. Until then I will be posting a couple other things and trying to not break my coffee fast.

Lorsque je fus une jeunette au lycée, j'ai dû m'atteler à la divine tâche des Travaux Personnels Encadrés (en première ET en Terminale, mes petits). Comme j'avais passé une bonne partie des années précédentes à faire une fixation sur feu Kurt Cobain et Nirvana, j'ai choisi de faire ma partie sur la figure de l'artiste maudit telle que Cobain l'incarnait (ma binôme était chargée de Renaud, et Baudelaire fut des nôtres aussi.) Un bon morceau du projet consistait à passer de longues heures à mon bureau à prendre des notes sur Cobain à l'aide de ses Journaux, de ses textes de chanson et de la (génialissime) biographie "Heavier Than Heaven" de Charles R. Cross, et c'était vraiment sympa, même si le sujet était bien sombre. C'est à ce moment que s'alluma la proverbiale ampoule dans ma tête - ce que j'avais envie de faire, c'était d'écrire sur des artistes. Et donc, pendant mon stage en 2010, il s'est avéré que j'ai eu l'occasion de le faire, plusieurs fois même. C'est à cela que fait allusion "ce dont je rêvais depuis le lycée", puisque j'ai découvert la musique de Mme King bien après la fin de ma Licence, à une période où j'étais plus ouverte à la guitare instrumentale tant prisée par mon paternel. Elle a écrit de super réponses à mes questions (quoique je ne peux actuellement pas vous linker à l'article en question), et elle était très gracieuse après le concert.
Par ailleurs, si vous aimez de bonnes mélodies, de la bonne gratte et de la bonne batterie, vous feriez mieux d'écouter l'album Junior. Ses nouveaux morceaux sont également plaisants.

La prochaine page de Master of Survival traitant du weekend de Pâques, elle sera mise en ligne le vendredi 29 mars (alias le vendredi saint) pour contribuer à l'ambiance générale ce jour-là. En attendant, je posterai un ou deux trucs et tenterai de ne pas briser mon carême sans café.

March 4, 2013

MOS #7

It took forever to ink that table pattern, oh my gosh.
Cell groups (or small groups) are a practice found in many evangelical churches. They're intended to allow church members to experience community in smaller, more personable units. My church happens to be huge (by German standards), so this is primordial for getting to know people that you see on a regular basis. I'll be honest and say that I'm more comfortable discussing spiritual matters in French (which I attended church and student group in until I moved here) or English (as my mother tongue), not in German, but you can't have that kind of mentality when you're living in a country for more than short term, so it's not a very good reason to not be a part of a group.

La vache, j'ai mis une éternité à encrer le motif de la table, sans déconner.
Les petits groupes (ou groupes de maison) sont une pratique commune chez les églises évangéliques. Le principe est de permettre aux membres d'une église de faire l'expérience de la communauté dans des unités plus petites et donc plus personnelles. Mon église étant en l'occurrence énorme (pour une église allemande), les petits groupes sont primordiaux pour apprendre à connaître les personnes que l'on y croise régulièrement. Pour être franche je suis plus à l'aise pour discuter d'affaires spirituelles en français (langue dans laquelle je fréquentais l'église et une asso étudiante avant de venir ici), ou bien en anglais (qui est ma langue maternelle réelle), mais pas en allemand. Par contre, si on envisage d'habiter un endroit à plus que court terme, la langue n'est pas vraiment une bonne raison pour se priver d'un petit groupe.

February 26, 2013

MOS #6

[ Le Peuple De L'Herbe - Look Up! (live) ]

Traduction en français.

At this stage of my life, I was able to communicate verbally without actually being in possession of a mouth. This is a skill I lost when I completed my internship.

February 19, 2013

MOS #5

English translation here. Traduction en français ici.
Danke an Tonia.
(Français ci-dessous) 

May I present to you ... The prehistory of Clairikine.

This is one of the very first pages I drew for Master of Survival (because I originally drew it out of order) - in fact, it's one of the very first comic pages I've ever drawn, period, unless you count those 150+ pages of comic strips that I drew between age seven and nine and that made no sense. You can tell in many ways, of course, but one of them is that I was just starting out doing autobio comics and I had almost zero filter for what I wanted to talk about.

Recently a protagonist in an autobio comic that I admire very much stated that autobio comics were the best, but they could also be the worst, and you had to be careful making them. I think that the reasons for this are very similar to the reasons why you die inside when you read your old journals from high school. I happen to have journalled compulsively for over half my life, and there's a lot of material that I don't even want to read, because I'm not 14, or 16, or 21 anymore. Putting something in a comic that's openly personal sets it in stone, in a way, in the same way that journaling does. And while I'm usually very happy to tell my stories, it's always a little annoying to see a picture of yourself when you were a few years younger/inexperienced, even if everyone else thinks it's cute.

Applied to this particular page, I took a very long time to figure out whether I wanted to post it. Relationships, or lack thereof, are a highly personal thing, and the comics I write about them now always go through an extra round of questioning before I post them. Ultimately it's a question of what is relatable vs. what is comfortable to say about yourself. This comic ended up getting the green light because relationships were one of the many questions I had about my future at the time, and it made sense to have a page that directly touched upon that. Also, though my skills have improved significantly since I drew this, I chose the keep the original artwork as an example of how they've evolved from the time of my first endeavours to make Master of Survival.

Laissez-moi vous présenter... La préhistoire de Clairikine.

Il s'agit ici d'une des toutes premières planches que j'ai dessinées pour Master of Survival (les ayant d'abord dessinées dans le désordre) - en fait, c'est même l'une des premières planches de BD que j'aie jamais dessinées de ma vie, si l'on ne compte pas les 150 et quelques strips dessinés entre mes sept et neuf ans et qui sont plutôt vides de sens. On peut noter que cette planche est plus ancienne sous plusieurs angles, bien sûr; mais l'un d'entre eux, pour moi, c'est surtout le fait que je commençais à peine à dessiner des BD autobiographiques, et j'avais quasiment zéro censure sur ce que je choisissais d'aborder.

Récemment, un des protagonistes d'une BD autobio que j'admire beaucoup a dit que la BD autobiographique, ça peut être complètement génial comme ça peut être complètement horrible, et qu'en les créant, il fallait faire gaffe. Je pense que les raisons pour cela sont très semblables aux raisons pour lesquelles on meurt intérieurement lorsqu'on relit ses journaux intimes du lycée. Pour ma part, j'écris compulsivement dans des carnets depuis plus de la moitié de ma courte vie, et il y a foison de choses dedans que je ne veux plus jamais lire, parce que je n'ai plus ni 14, ni 16, ni 21 ans. Mettre quelque chose d'ouvertement personnel dans une BD, c'est le graver dans la pierre d'une certaine façon, de la même manière que lorsqu'on l'écrit dans un journal intime. Et même si de façon générale je raconte volontiers mes histoires, c'est toujours un peu énervant de voir une photo de soi lorsque l'on avait trois ans d'âge et d'expérience en moins (même si tout le monde trouve qu'on est craquante dessus.)

Quant à cette planche, j'ai mis très longtemps à décider si je voulais la poster ou non. Les relations (ou bien le manque de relation) sont pour moi une chose hautement personnelle, et les BD que j'écris à leur sujet aujourd'hui passent par une ronde supplémentaire d'interrogations avant d'être mises en ligne. Au final, il s'agit d'un conflit entre faire du bien au lecteur et me mettre moi-même mal à l'aise. J'ai fini par donner le feu vert à cette planche pour la simple raison qu'à cette époque, les relations amoureuses figuraient parmi mes nombreuses interrogations sur l'avenir, et c'était plutôt logique du coup qu'il y ait une planche qui traite directement de la question. En ce qui concerne le style de dessin, qui s'est nettement amélioré depuis, j'ai choisi de conserver la planche originelle en guise d'indicateur de mon évolution depuis le commencement de ce premier projet.

February 12, 2013

MOS #4

It's not a fluke, guys - I originally wrote this comic in French. The translation is here!

I still attend this church three years later. The fact they were playing The Whitest Boy Alive before the service did play into my decision.
Trois ans plus tard, je fréquente toujours cette église. Le fait qu'ils passent du Whitest Boy Alive a contribué à ma décision.

I'm back from France! It was loads of fun and way too short.
I'd like to thank everyone again who donated to the fundraiser; the postcards should arrive within the week. The PDF of the travel comic will be sent out by the beginning of March. Merci encore!!
Je suis de retour de France! C'était super sympa et beaucoup trop court.
J'aimerais encore remercier tous ceux qui ont contribué financièrement au voyage; les cartes postales devraient arriver dans le courant de la semaine. Le PDF du carnet de voyage sera envoyé d'ici début mars. Thanks again!!

February 5, 2013

MOS #3

I'm goin' to Paris tonight!! If the powers of 3G are with me, you can follow me on TwitterFlickr and/or Instagram (expect pictures of signs). Be back Tuesday for a new page!
Je pars pour Paris ce soir!! Si la 3G daigne me faire preuve de bonté, vous pourrez me suivre sur TwitterFlickr et/ou Instagram (a priori pour voir de la signalétique). Revenez mardi pour une nouvelle page!

January 27, 2013

MOS #1

Traduction en français ici.

Master of Survival begins, you guys! I hope you will enjoy it.
FYI, each page has a song that goes with it. This page's song is Indochine's "Pink Water", which has been added to the Master of Survival playlist.
Comics will update on a weekly basis, beginning... this Tuesday! See y'all soon.

Et c'est ainsi que commence Master of Survival! J'espère que vous allez aimer.
Pour info, à chaque page correspond une chanson. Pour celle-ci, c'est "Pink Water" d'Indochine, qui ouvre la playlist de Master of Survival.
Il y aura une nouvelle page chaque semaine, à partir de ... ce mardi! A très bientôt.

P.S. I still have that Fievel. J'ai toujours ce Fievel.