May 2009

5.25.09

The quintet of comics from the last week (Wednsday all the way to Sunday) were done by Tom Martinez

---- David

David
5.19.09

Tuesdays comic (5-19-09) was drawn by David Alvarez who draws Yenny

---- David

David
5.18.09

Monday's pin-up/guest art (5-18-09) was done by Paul Taylor of Wapsi Square fame.

Seriously, you oughtta read it. NOW.

---- David

David
5.17.09

Sunday's comic (5-17-09) was done by Dan who draws Living with Toys.

---- David

David
5.16.09

David here....

I'll be manning the posts while Jen is in Egypt.

Anyhow, todays comic (5-16-09) was done by Justin Maudslien who draws "Sub-Human" a lovely webcomic about (from what I can tell) a rather misanthropic substitute teacher. Read it HERE!

---- David

P.S. Predictions for this years Giro D' Italia. The heart says Sastre in the Pink jersey, Cavendish in the Purple, and Soler in the Green. BUT the brain tells me Leipheimer in Pink, Petacchi in Purple, and some random Italian in Green.

David
5.15.09

I'm updating my site early again b/c I'm GOING TO EGYPT TODAY. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I've got my things packed and my Egypt books ready to go.

Starting May 16th you'll be seeing some guest strips on here. On May 26th, CLV resumes its regular schedule. I won't be back from Egypt until the 27th/28th, however. David will be updating this site in my absence.

Before I go I just want to tell you all that I was looking for a scarf to wear as a hijab (head covering) the other day. I wasn't sure where to go and was having a hard time figuring out how you're supposed to tie them around your hair. Anyway, I ended up going to American Apparel and found the perfect hijab for Egypt- how ironic is that? Have you seen the AA website? It's like amateur porn!

Jen
5.14.09

I'm updating this site early because I have a fellowship interview tomorrow morning/early afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It was all very sudden- basically my adviser and someone else of importance came to me and told me I should apply last week. I had about 4 days to get my application materials sent to the museum.

I have some reservations about this fellowship- it's a lot of work and I'm studying for orals in the Fall. At the same time, it's a lot of money (for a grad student) and I need money... and money is tight in my department, which means less funding for everyone. So far, this has been the only negative impact of the current economy in my life. Anyway, I'm going to see if there's anyway I can get this fellowship to start after I take my orals examination. That would be a lot more convenient.

I was talking to my shrink last week about how I feel a constant pressure to do everything perfectly and how I feel completely awful about myself when I fail to meet these impossible standards. Here's my problem. I have two full time jobs: being a cartoonist and being an Egyptologist. Let me repeat that neither of these are hobbies- they are my jobs.

I know what some of you may be thinking- I'm a grad student. "That's technically not a job." Well, you would be mistaken. I get paid to study and do research for the entire Academic Year and I'm expected to do top notch work. If I don't do top notch work, I won't get fellowship money for the next year. There is a constant pressure to be lucid at all times. Being a cartoonist is fun- it's a job I enjoy- but it's also a lot of pressure. I have to put out flawless work on a daily basis or else I'll get chewed out by hecklers and/or the grammar police on gocomics.com.

I was telling my shrink that I feel as if I'm under a spotlight at all times. There are times when I feel that this is all too much and I just want to throw it all away and quit.

There have also been times when I've thought about quitting C'est la Vie to do another comic project that I have in the back of my mind. But I really do feel that CLV hasn't seen it's end yet (I still have lots of ideas for it)... or maybe I'm just scared of change. I hope that CLV hasn't reached its apex... I feel like it could reach more people and be a better comic in general. Like, when I look at my comics from even 2 years ago, I see improvement. I have to assume that I'm getting better... hopefully...

Either way, when I get encouraging letters from my readers, it really turns my thoughts around to the brighter side of things. You guys let me know that I'm doing a good job despite how stressful things can get sometimes.

Today I got a package at my department- someone bought the artist cards that I had requested on my amazon wish list- I would like to say "thank you" to that person.

Jen
5.13.09

In two days I'm flying to Egypt. It's going to be surreal to actually be there.

Seeing as how I teared up a little seeing the Rosetta Stone last year, I don't know how it's going to be for me when I see things like the pyramids or Luxor Temple. I hope I don't start crying- that would be totally embarrassing. My tour group is going to think I'm a big weirdo.

Anyway, starting Saturday you're going to have a week and a half's worth of GUEST comic strips! I have a good line-up so I'm excited for you to see. The last "strip" is actually a 5 day installment- so that'll be fun.

I'm going to ask David to update this website while I'm away (since this site does not update automatically).

As you probably know, sometimes David forgets to upload- and if that's the case, you are more than welcome to see the comic on my syndicate's site. I get paid (peanuts) for every visit anyway.

Jen
5.12.09

Well it's been a crazy few weeks as the semester came to an end. This past week, I had lecture quizzes to grade, final exams to grade, draw this cartoon on a daily basis, write my bi-monthly blog, write a 25-30 page paper about the international artistic koine of the Late Bronze Age, apply for a fellowship, and prepare for my trip to Egypt.

So lots of things that made me almost cry last Friday but I managed to get everything done except for finish shopping for my trip. I also have to turn in a rough draft of my dissertation proposal to my adviser. I think I'll work on that today before seeing STAR TREK!

Anyway, this semester's end is pretty climactic for me b/c it's actually the last semester of my PhD coursework. I can't believe it- after over 20 years of sitting in classrooms, I am done. Any class I ever sit in from now on will be for my own personal edification and not because I'm being forced to fulfill some requirement. All I have left now are my orals examination and my dissertation- I'm already panicking about orals.

I can't imagine what it's like when you're completely done with your PhD degree (and I'm talking about the ones that take 7+ years)- I'm guessing I would (hopefully) have a job lined up, but I would feel weird about "leaving the nest" for good.

Jen
5.1.09

Last night I had a very vivid dream about the zombie apocalypse. Somewhere in the United States I was lightly bitten by a zombie (I had narrowly escaped)- the skin didn't break but I was sent into quarantine in an abandoned hospital anyway. The quarantine area was filled with people who were way worse off than I was- they put me in a small room with a man who was bitten deeply in his forearm and a young woman whose hand was essentially chewed off. I'm not sure why we were separated from everyone else but I knew I had to escape before the entire hospital turned into zombies.

The room I shared had an amazing view of what looked like the Hudson River Valley- it was sunset. The valley was definitely painted as some sort of shangri-la in my dream and the contrast between "out there" and "in here" was striking. Attached to the room was a smaller bathroom. I went in and opened the window and stuck my head out assessing whether or not it was possible if I could make a run for it.

I remember looking back into the room where the other two were and feeling trapped- the man who was bitten in the forearm was staring at me very supiciously and somewhat menacingly. I decided to get down from the toilet on which I was standing and go back to the other room to rethink my options.

I was slumped on the floor, leaning against the wall with the girl. She started to tell me about her life- she was a student living in NYC and had just gotten her life together. Every once in a while she would grab her arm in reaction to some sort of pain she was feeling (even though it was her hand that was chewed off)- she was also starting to get cold sweats. She told me that she had a fiance and that they had gotten separated during the zombie attack in Manhattan. She didn't know where he was or if he was ok and that all she wanted to do was see him one more time before she turned.

Even though nurses were scuttling around trying to reverse the "zombification" process, the girl was clearly not relying on them to do anything. She had already accepted her fate.

The man in the room was looking like he was on the verge of turning and I knew I had to get out of that room. I wanted to take the girl with me to help her find her fiance but I knew I couldn't.

Then I woke up.

Pretty trippy!

Jen