April 2011


Somebunny in New York is wishing you a Hoppy Easter!

(2 puns in one sentence! woo!)



So I think I'm ready to share at least one of my good news with you all: I'm going to be speaking at the International Comics Art Forum's 15th annual conference in White River Junction, Vermont sometime between September 29- October 1st of this year. White River Junction is the home of the Center for Cartoon Studies and I'm very happy that I will get to visit it.

I'm going to be focusing on the topic of my dissertation- ancient Egyptian figured ostraca (palm sized limestone flakes with drawings on them)- and how they could have been used in a way that is analogous to our modern concept of comics. While Scott McCloud talks about how Ancient Egyptian tomb painting is a form of comics in his book, Understanding Comics, I feel that this analogy is inaccurate, particularly given the fact that our modern notion of comics is associated with popular culture, which tomb painting is most definitely not.

The type of figured ostraca that I am studying may actually be vignettes from animal fables, myths, and oral folklore, which shows that they have a strong narrative potential that may have also been "popular" in nature. Some Egyptologists have argued that the ostraca could have been used as storytelling aids. I also believe that the ostraca may have been arranged and rearranged to create mutliple narratives, being used in a similar way to Scott McCloud's 5 card Nancy game.

At this point I do not think I'm comfortable enough to say that the ostraca were comics, but rather that they are at least close analogies to modern day comics- definitely moreso than Egyptian tomb paintings and temple reliefs. Basically, if one is going to argue that something is comics or like comics, one must look beyond an art work's formal qualities and look at its context as well.

I'm very excited to be presenting this topic at ICAF. I hope it goes over well! Please send me an e-mail if you have any questions or comments or if you're also planning on being at the conference.

Please also remember to follow me on Twitter! This week I've been posting CLV and non-CLV artwork as well as keeping you all updated on comic news and what movies I'm watching while inking!

Speaking of which...

Bebe's Kids- I don't know what possessed me to watch Bebe's Kids. Maybe it's because I remember seeing parts of it when it was on TV 10 years ago and I just really wanted to finish it and see what happens. That was unnecessary.

Dolores Claiborne- I'm pretty sure this movie is going to get me to start reading Stephen King now. Kathy Bates was also great as the protagonist (I wasn't sure how that was going to work when I recently saw Misery), and the mood and direction were well done. What a story too... jeez!

Spiral- an indie psychological thriller which stars your basic awkward- possibly autistic- man who is more than a little creepy (even more so than Michael Jansen!). Despite the set up, which I thought was pretty formulaic, I was pretty happy with the build up, though I found that the female lead's infautation with him to be completely unrealistic. Near the end, there could have been some better editing and the twist was really predictable and disappointing. I know a lot of people on IMDb liked it, but there's a reason why it only got meh reviews on rottentomatoes.

The Graduate- I've been meaning to see this for a really long time, because it's a classic that everyone's supposed to see. Thankfully, it lived up to its hype for me- maybe because I very clearly remember what it's like to be in one's early to mid 20s and feel lost and confused about the future. Furthemore, even though I've seen numerous parodies and discussions about the ending, the impact of it was not taken away for me. I will note one thing though: hardly anyone notes that the final shot in the bus is actually quite ambiguous and open ended. I really liked that.



I have good news regarding my career as a cartoonist slash Egyptologist, but I am not yet ready to share until I have dotted the "i''s and crossed the "t'"s. For now let's just say that last week was the week of making positive professional advancements. I will share as soon as everything is confirmed.

Last night I went paintballing for my sister in law's birthday, which was the first time I ever went. People have told me that it hurts but I didn't realize that it would hurt quite this badly... at one point I was seriously considering to pretend to be shot so that I wouldn't have to endure another series of paintballs pounding my petite frame. If only I could show you the massive bruises and welts that I have now (a good number of them are right on my butt a la Forrest Gump)... flesh wounds though they may be- they are brutal ones.

Thanks to everyone who has friended me on facebook or joined the facebook CLV group and especially to those who have followed me on Twitter, which I'm finally starting to "get." I promise that all tweets are intersting! REALLY INTERESTING! Follllow meeeee...

Movies watched while inking:

Futurama: all of the movies and all of the seasons. Overall... and I don't know if this would be considered blasphemous... I think Futurama is a superior series to The Simpsons. We all know The Simpsons has gone downhill the last decade or so, but I think that even if we comparied Futurama to The Simpsons at its height, Futurama would still probably have funnier and more heartfelt writing. This is not to say that The Simpsons wasn't important, ground breaking, or fantastic before the late 90s, however.

Thomas Crown Affair (1999): My friend, Josh, who was visiting me from LA last weekend, insisted I watch this film b/c the Metropolitan Museum of Art is featured so prominently in it. I have to say, it was a fun movie- though I can tell you now that the security camera rooms are not nearly as fancy as they are depicted!

White Orleander: I didn't know that orleanders were poisonous... I can't believe they were planted around my school yard growing up. Anyway, this movie was ok- melodramatic for sure, but entertaining in the "I'm glad I don't live in a broken home" sort of way.

Marion Bride: A slow paced indie movie about a really dysfunctional Canadian family. Very subtle, which is good, because that's the only way I can handle movies about incestual rape. A side of Canada that you've never known about!

Gone with the Wind: I'm so glad that I can finally say that I've watched this movie. Unlike Casablanca, I can understand the hype here, even if the characters are arguably not as likeable. What can I say? I guess I have a soft spot for epic period dramas. Plus, I wish I could be a Southern Belle sippin' mint julips on my porch in my huge hoop skirt. (The dramatic violin music was a bit much at times though).

Oh yes, and Happy Palm Sunday, Christian readers!



Sorry for the lack of blog entry last weekend. I was in Chicago at an Egyptology conference listening to lectures, mingling with other Egyptologists, and being an interviewee at a job interview.

CLV is now active on twitter- @clvcomic -so add me if you want to hear the latest CLV and comics news. If you're friends with me on facebook, or if you've recently added me onto twitter, you'll note that I'm pretty active on both. I've made the twitter account reflect my life as a cartoonist, while the facebook account I have is going to focus more on my personal life as well as my life as an Egyptologist. That said, facebook still has a group dedicated to C'est la Vie so please feel free to join that if you're interested in getting CLV news but do not have a twitter account. I'm also open to having readers friend me personally on facebook. As of now, I am friends with a good number of readers who comment on my updates or the personal/bizarre statuses I make.

The Dilbert blog, by the way, reposted the original offending entry that I discussed a couple of weeks ago here. Adams claims that he originally removed it because people were taking it "out of context" and that he decided to put it back in because people were continuing to manipulate its "satirical" (which I personally think is his attempt at backpeddling) intention. I don't think Adams knows what it means to decontextualize something, because he seems to think that taking something out of context means critiquing someone's writing and calling it out on its B.S.

Mr. Adams: your original blog was never taken out of context. In at least several other blogs I've seen, your website's URL was provided along with the unabriged text of your offending entry. All readers were able to see not only the entire post you published but also the site from which it came. I'm glad that you reposted the original blog, since at least now you can own up to what you wrote, but your "apology" was lame. You can't apologize and then try to justify your actions or imply that everyone just "misunderstood" your intentions because people were taking things "out of context" (which they weren't).

I'm still unconvinced that the original post was intended to be satirical, but if it was, it clearly failed at its purpose.