July 2011


ARGH, guys- I'm sorry, I don't know why I effed up the order of the comics two weeks in a row. I checked the next 7 weeks of strips and it looks like this won't happen again but I'm going to double check again tonight. Anyway, the same thing is going to happen as the last time: tomorrow, the comic appearing today will go into the archives in its proper order (w/o the annotation in red in the first panel).

So sorry again, guys. I suppose it's been one of those weeks.

Anyway, you'll notice below the comic that I have links to our facebook page, my twitter account, and an RSS feed. Thanks to David, webmaster, for setting that all up for me. Also, it was his birthday yesterday so wish him good birthday wishes, please.



A reader recently created a page for CLV on the Television Tropes and Idioms- a site I like to frequent every once in a while. All of the pages are interesting, but of course I love the one made for CLV. I urge you all to check it out. See who is the "French Jerk" and the "Unkempt Beauty!"

I actually talked about the Tropes and Idioms page about a week ago on the CLV facebook page and on my Twitter. Come join the fb group or follow me on Twitter @clvcomic to get news like this before I talk about it here. My twitter is full of thoughtful golden nuggets (and droppings) of the day, as well as CLV and comics gossip/news! I've recently also joined Google+ and you're welcome to add me to one of your circles.

Pretty soon I'm also going to be making a link to a CLV RSS feed to this site, as requested by some readers. I'll be sure to announce it when it happens. I'm just going over with web master David as to how to rearrange the links on my site.

Sometime this week or next weekend I'm going to do a list of tips for aspiring webcomic creators. I'm going to wait for another day to do that though, since my list of suggestions is long (it's what happens when you've been in the "biz" for 6+ years) and this entry is already getting to be too long.

For now though, I'm going to post a FAQ about life, since a number of people e-mail me to ask me about my other job: being a professional student.

1) Are you in terrible debt?

Amazingly, I have no student debt (or any other kind of debt for that matter). This is part good fortune and part good scholarship. For my entire PhD career I have been funded by the university or have received outside grants and felllowships to support my research (which is far from " making bank" by the way). Most PhD students are funded to some capacity, though it's becoming harder and harder for us to get money during the recession.

2) When are you graduating?


In seriousness, it just seems like it will never happen... but I'll make sure it does... someday.

In the humanities, it can take up to 10 years (or more) to write a dissertation, but I've known many people to complete their thesis in 2 or 3 years. It really depends on your topic, your funding situation, and if your research requires a lot of traveling.

3) Do you read PhD Comics?

Yes. Jorge Cham is a really nice dude with a really amazing comic. You should check it out if you aren't already familiar.

4) Do you still take classes?

A PhD student takes classes for part of their academic career. I stopped taking classes a few years ago and became "ABD" (all but dissertation). In the meantime, I've been working and writing my dissertation.

5) How long is a dissertation?

This varies from program to program. My program decided to cap the length of a dissertation at 250 pages (5 chapters), though I think they still accept theses that exceed this length (to a reasonable degree).

6) Should I get a PhD?

Are you ok with crying in the toilet of tears every once in a while? Do you think you can stomach scholarly criticism and having to move wherever the next job is? Are you passionate (or stubborn)? If the answer to all of these questions is "yes," then my answer is, sure why not?



By the way, the archive has been fixed to reflect the intended order of the comic!



I'm so very sorry. I completely messed up on the ordering of the comics this week. The comic showing today should have been published on 7/20, which means that everything got shifted down a day.

I'm showing the comic that should have published on 7/20 today. Tomorrow, however, I'm going to move it back to where it should have been in the archives.

Sorry about that!

I gotta make sure to write about life and my deepest inner thoughts tomorrow. Today I can't do it though b/c it's an action packed day of Boston adventures- it's so I can distract myself from the thought of me not being in San Diego for Comic Con.



Happy Bastille Day to my French and Francophile readers!



Happy 4th of July to my American readers!

Being in Boston for the 4th is a lot of fun. The holiday seems to be a much bigger deal here than in anywhere else I've celebrated. I suspect the only other place that may make more of a hooplah is Washington D.C., but there's something to be said about spending the 4th in a city where so many of our forefathers lived and where so many events from the Revolution took place.

On July 2nd I walked most of the Freedom Trail, which was really cool to do this particular weekend. It was really neat to see Old North Church ("one if by land, two if by sea") and monuments dedicated to the signing of the Declaration of Independence (which was actually signed on July 2nd by the way) while the people walking around us were dressed up as colonials and Revolutionary soldiers.

Yesterday I went to Marblehead, MA, which is a big yachting community just north of Boston. It was founded in 1636, I believe, and the first sailors there are sometimes thought to be the original members of the American navy. Very very pretty town- it sums up all images I have ever conjured of New England.

Today Edouard and I have made ourselves a picnic and we're going to see Boston Pops play along with the fireworks at the Boston Esplanade. It should make for a memorable 4th!

(And thankfully, I don't think it's that humid out, which means that this 4th of July is already 10x better and more pleasant than last year's)

Have a great 4th of July, everyone! Have fun and stay safe!



I think Mona is confused by Donna's nationalistic outburst.


It's true, without France, I may not be living in what is now called the United States of America. And of course, we all know that France did many other great things for us, much like how we have done great things for France.

By the way, I was in Normandy for a wedding a few years ago, which also happened fall on D-Day's anniversary. I believe I saw some American flags here and there, which goes to show you that the French have definitely not forgotten.

So let's all hug each other!