I received the following e-mail this morning, regarding the above strip....
Your Nov. 21 strip where the character edits her friend's comments initiated quite a conversation in our house. I originally cut out the strip to send to my mother, an editor, because I thought she would think it was cute. Several family members saw it on the counter and the following discussion took place:
College Age Son He thought it was rude. In his view the first character is just trying to bring people into her idea by inserting the qualifiers in an effort to appear less bossy.
Husband Didn't think it was a good example of speaking in a more direct manner because, in his view, no one would ever speak out loud the way the edited phrase is written.
Me I have two thoughts. Either it is a commentary on how women feel the need to qualify what they say in order to sound less bitchy (whereas a man would just say it and sound :"assertive").
Or, it's just a cute editorial on editorial writing.
High School Age Son This particular child is an artist (musician) and thinks it doesn't really matter which interpretation is correct because you created the strip and we are all free to see it from our own
We thought we would contact you and find out what you intended!
Thanks so much for providing the subject of a lively family debate,
I'll wait for a minute or two while you decide.... reading beyond this point will reveal what I meant to say.
The message I intended was the same as the e-mail author:
...it is a commentary on how women feel the need to qualify what they say in order to sound less bitchy (whereas a man would just say it and sound :"assertive").
I'm not going to go into a long analysis about this...like whether the the point of the gag depends on the gender of the reader or the age of the reader or...if it makes a difference if the reader knows the gender of the cartoonist. But it would make for interesting discussion, wouldn't it?
(Oh...and btw...I thought it was great letter and I really enjoyed reading the family's different reactions!)
I loved the look on the face of the little blond haired boy wearing the Gap hoodie who stood on the chair to listen...it was so sweet to see him and his mom start holding hands while they were listening to the choir.
Various times on this blog, I've shown you cartoons and tried to explain the impetus for the idea. My cartoons are not written verbatim from real life...they're just influenced by it...ever so slightly.
Don't tell anyone but...the above series about Kim going back to university actually is about something that's going on in my life. I've decided to finish my degree. It's one of the things I'm doing to make some changes in my life. Like renovating my studio...and yeah...I'm still working on that.
In my other life, (pre-husband and kids) I was working towards a degree in French. For a multitude of reasons (some of them pretty dumb now that I think about it), I drifted away from that. I'd completed two years of a B.A. and had always planned to finish the degree...some day.
Last summer I decided some day had come.
There are many reasons that completing my degree is on my bucket list. ( OMG...am I old enough to even have a bucket list? ) One is that I'm 2/3 of the way done and it really seems like a waste (financially and effort-wise) not to finish.
Another reason is that I feel like I need to move forward. I think my brain needs some new stimulation and I think some new challenges and a different focus will broaden my outlook. In other words, I think it will help my writing.
There's no way I could ever go back and complete my degree in French. There's just been too much water passed under that bridge. So...last August I got in touch with the Director of Women's Studies to see if it was possible to complete my degree in another area.
Why Women's Studies? Well...that's probably pretty obvious considering that my career is wrapped up in writing a comic strip that pertains to women's issues. Women's Studies are where my interests lie now. Au revoir Francais.
I'm going to get my academic feet wet by taking a course called "Body, Beauty and Culture" in January. Sounds like that's up my alley, wouldn't you say? After that, I'll be formally proposing a couple of courses that tie in with women in comics. The Director of Women's Studies thinks I should be able to do a tutorial on several ideas I suggested. (This means I would work individually with a professor and complete some kind of academic paper based on my proposal)
I'm really looking forward to this.
Of course, I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing. I write for a living but I write comics. I'm not so sure I'll be able to transfer my written thoughts into an academic format. What if I get a C? Or a D? I'll be mortified. What will all those young university students think about having me in their class? Are my incessant professional deadlines going to hinder my academic ones? Am I going to be able to keep up? Am I completely insane for adding this to my very full plate?
I'm going to do it anyway. And yes, I will be writing about it in my comic strip. And yes, Kim will be my voice for all my nervousness, awkwardness, failures and incapabilities. (-is that a word? Omg...do you see what I'm up against?) I'm hoping there will be some new insights...some interesting new ideas and even some successes too.
So...art will imitate my life in the coming months.
Chocolate gives me a headache. It didn't used to but it does now. Have I told you this before? Maybe I have. At the moment, I can't remember BECAUSE I HAVE A HEADACHE because I ate one of my son's Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
Why do I eat chocolate when I KNOW it gives me a headache? I don't know. It makes no sense. It defies logic. My body is obviously telling me to KNOCK OFF THE CHOCOLATE so why don't I listen?
Perhaps I forget it gives me a headache until I actually get the headache. Yes...yes...I think this is the case...in the throes of my chocolate headache, I am going to say that this is the the reasoning for my stupidity.
But enough is enough. These chocolate headaches hurt and make my eyes squint. (So why am I staring at a computer screen? I don't know...don't ask me so many questions when my head hurts.)
I'm giving up chocolate. I don't need the sugar, I don't need the calories and I don't need the HEADACHE.
And...do you wanna know the worst thing about my chocolate headache? I've already written a cartoon about it so I can't use my pain as cartoon fodder.
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take two Tylenol and go back and finish writing about jeans that no longer fit. And yes...I know I've written about that before but you can never write too many cartoons about jeans that no longer fit.
No, YOU CAN'T.
BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT'S WHY.
Sheesh...cut me some slack, will you? I have chocolate headache.
You can spot a cartoonist near you...yes, YOU...anywhere in the world! (Provided the cartoonist has let Anne Hambrock know about the appearance) Check often for cartoonist appearances, book signings, panels, presentations...and all other cartoonisty-type manifestations.
I've been looking at the Ikea online catalogue for ideas for redecorating my studio...and every time anything "Ikea" comes to mind, I think of this commercial.
And every time I watch it, my endorphins explode. I laugh out loud...every. single. time.
That halfway glance the woman gives the cashier after she looks at her shopping receipt...that's the second I start to chuckle. Then, when she's tottering as fast as she can on her heels yelling, "START THE CAR!....START THE CAR!"...I just lose it.
Tim and I finally decided to bite the bullet and replace the carpeting in our family room. Our house was built in 1987 and we moved in in 1995. We're not sure but we're guessing the carpeting is as old as the house. That's pretty old.
So what does carpeting the family room have to do with my studio? Well, I've wanted to expand my work space for quite some time. I have one closet that is a hodge podge of UNORGANIZED STUFF and I have one two-drawer filing cabinet and I have one small book shelf. Everything else that I have that needs to be stored, filed and book-shelved is piled in stacks in various places...like on my limited desk space, under that desk or on the floor.
Feng shui, my studio is not.
Anyway, there's not much point in laying new carpet before renovations. So I am in the midst of drawing up a plan to knock down one wall and build another one. And then we'll put new carpet in the family room, the joining hallway and my studio.
Here's a floor plan of my studio now:
The purple line is the wall I want to knock down. This way I can take over the hallway space. We don't use the side door entrance so there really isn't any point in having the hallway as an entrance into the downstairs level.
The purple dotted line is where a wall would be built. The closet opening in the hallway would be closed off as well.
I plan to move my drawing board under the window where the joining desk is now. I don't know if I'll keep that desk or not. The bottom right section of the room will be closet space/shelving/cupboards/desk space/drawer space. I just haven't figured out exactly how yet.
I'd put up a photo but I just can't bare to reveal how chaotic the place looks. I really can't wait to redo the place. Psychologically, it's kind of ...I wouldn't say depressing...but it's sure not conducive to a comfortable state of mind. Okay, maybe it is depressing.
But-I'm excited about the renovation...and the new carpet in the family room. It's really going to freshen things up.
I'm not quite sure how to design the closet/shelving/cupboard space. As soon as I get the drawing design posted, I'll show you. Any ideas? I'm open to them.