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Google Translate Tells Me That The Appropriate Phrasing Is Tu Me Baise Plaisantez?

But I haven’t studied French since high school and we never got to the rude words so I’m trusting them on this one. But I digress.

  • The FIBD in Angoulême apparently decided that all of the idiocy it went through in the runup to this year’s festival wasn’t enough, and decided that as long as there are pooches to screw then par Dieu, they were gonna screw ’em. It seems ridiculous to say, but the big awards ceremony at Angoulême kicked off by presenting fake awards to unsuspecting creators and then pulling the metaphorical rug out from under them because … comics?

    The invaluable Brigid Alverson¹ has the best summary of the events, including a reasonably heartfelt apology from the host who perpetrated the cruelty, and the quote from FIBD president Franck “there are no notable women in the history of comics” Bondoux declaring that the conteremps is all our fault because they got caught being enormous dicks instead of being able to pretend it didn’t happen². Oh, wait, I was paraphrasing … the actual wording was The problem is the dictatorship of the tweet.

    No kidding, I’m wondering who in the world of comics will be willing to show up next year. The only thing I can see that will prevent name creators from abandoning Angoulême in droves is for Bondoux and his entire staff to be replaced (bitterly complaining, of course, that nobody can take a goddamned joke). I’ve always wanted to see the FIBD in person, but now you couldn’t pay me to go.

  • While we’re in Europe: Rene Engström has been largely absent from webcomics for a number of years; Sofa Rap Art got taken down a while back due to the intervention of evil scammers, and last we heard from her and partner Rasmus Gran, they were expecting a child. Engström’s telling us what having a toddler around is like in her Hourly Comics today (starting here), and we have news that her most famous comics work is on its way back:

    Starting on the 4th of February, 6 years to the day the series first ended, I will be republishing Anders Loves Maria with both old and new content.

    The schedule will be roughly 1-2 pages per week initially.

    New ALM, y’all. Read it again for the first time, hooray!

  • Speaking of February anniversaries:

    .@dinosaurcomics is 13 years old today! I HAVE A TEEN.


    Congratulations on your strip anniversary Ryan and also for not making the passage of time seem creepy at all!

  • And to finish things up, the inimitable Dante Shepherd (so don’t even try imit him!) has taught me about a concept that kept me from ever taking a second class in thermodynamics back in my college days³, one that befuddles the bejabbers out of more than a few baby engineers: fugacity.

    His latest science comic is the one that gave him the idea for a series of scientific-concept comics in the first place, the reason that he went out and got a grant to produce ’em, so it’s kind of a big deal. Hey, Dante, let me know if you want to get around to talking about Nyquist’s ratio or Shannon’s Figure 1 for the next set of science comics. They can’t all be about smelly stuff in tanks and columns.

Spam of the day:

Our processing center is waiting for your response

A response on a VA loan that I don’t have because I wasn’t ever in the military? Yeah, you’re gonna be waiting a while longer.

¹ Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin has yet to check in, and we’ve been asking him to deal with a lot of complete and utter stupidity and I completely understand if he wants to give this one a miss in the interests of mental health.

² As I said, my high school French is rusty, but I can make out the meaning of Bondoux insisting on le droit à l’impertinence.

³ Aside from the fact that electrical engineers were only required to take one thermo class, and one fluid dynamics class, and there’s no rational reason to take any more of either. I bet he hasn’t taken even one class in communications systems, so he shouldn’t be getting too full of himself.

Whoa whoa whoa there Gary, sorry but you can’t hog all the communications theory glory. I’ll have you know I was trained as an electrical engineer, with a somewhat communications and somewhat computer science bent, and I bet that I can use wireless spectrum more efficiently than you do!

…Ah, yes, all of you are expecting me to make a comment on the whole Angoulême situation¹, but given you already mentioned the direct perpetrator provided a grown-up apology, I don’t have anything to add to that utter stupidity, honestly.


Well, OK. Authors (and antendees) will still come to Angoulême, at least in the short term, in part because it has a life of its own that is bigger than what the organisers are technically responsible for, and in part for the reasons Boulet exposed (second row). But if the stakeholders of the FIBD remotely care about the convention, they ought to drive Bondoux and the current direction to leave, if not fire them directly (#bondouxdemission!). If only so that we can meet there one day, Gary.

But it’s time for today’s installment of: the French Curse Word Lesson of the Day!

Lesson 1: « Putain »

« Putain », like “fuck” (or “fucking”, etc.) in English, is the low-overhead, put-it-anywhere curse word. Taken alone, it is vulgar slang for “lady trading her charms for money”, but in an expression it adds no meaning other than vulgar emphasis, though you must remember it must stay a substantive as far as grammar is concerned, at the very least be an address. So your sentence could be « Vous vous foutez de ma putain de gueule? » (you can pretty much always replace X, where X is a substantive, by « putain de X ») or « Vous vous foutez de ma gueule, putain? » (used as an address, grammatically), though it could just as well be « Vous vous foutez de ma gueule? » since « foutez » and « gueule » are already vulgar (while “kidding” isn’t).

And that’s it for today’s lesson. See you next time!

¹I thought about sending a dispatch so that you could have the elements at press time, but I did not notice any webcomicker or any of their natural allies in the faux fauves, as opposed to the nominations for the Grand Prix where they were involved, by omission. So I thought I couldn’t blame you if you had had enough of Bondoux yourself, and I did not send a dispatch.

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