Em oi! #361: The Yolk’s on Me


When I showed B this comic, he said, “I think you have to do some kind of penance for the title.”

Luckily my friend Rowan was the one who suggested it. 🙂

So the thing about eggs is that there are two kinds of eggs you can buy: Cage-free cruelty-free various-other-things-free free range happy chicken eggs, or cruelty-containing eggs. In the first case, you run the risk of having fertilized eggs (at least if you’re getting them from legitimately free-range chickens), because if the chickens are running around…well, sometimes they meet a rooster. This typically shows up as tiny blood spots on the yolk, and is only really a problem if you are trying to keep a Kosher kitchen, which my friends and I were doing during my undergraduate years. On the other hand, cruelty-containing eggs come from chickens that are confined to tiny cages and given no opportunities to meet with any other chickens of another gender, so all the eggs are unfertilized. BUT the addition of cruelty to the eggs makes them problematic for most vegetarian, especially those who are sympathetic to animal rights.

It’s a conundrum, I tell you. Anyway, this comic is why I don’t buy extra-large eggs (and why there was a long period of time wherein I didn’t eat eggs ever).

I’m filing this comic under TX745 .L86 2012 for Home economics—Cooking—Food of animal origin—Eggs. Incidentally this is the second comic this month that I have filed under TX7nn, the other being TX767.C5 L86 2012.

Also, happy anniversary to my cousin Jesse and her husband Keith, who got married one year ago today. Many happy returns, guys! 🙂

Illuminations: A Picture for Jesse and Keith

My cousin Jesse got married in June to a really great guy named Keith.

I just looked through all of our wedding photos and was unable to find any with both of them in it!  So here’s an amusing picture of Jesse alone with a large drink:

Big drink or small hands?

And here’s a photo of the two of them from Daniel and Claire’s wedding:

Click any of the photos to embiggen them, by the way.

Last year when Daniel and Clarie got married, I made a very fancy comic for them (this.) I knew I couldn’t let Jesse and Keith get married without doing something equally cool.

BUT there was a problem. I was around for all of Daniel and Claire’s courtship, so I could recount it in comic form. Jesse…was in Evanston, IL doing her doctoral work when she met Keith, and although I met him (through the magic of the internets) fairly early on, I wasn’t privy to the details of their life…and to call up and ask for some details would give the game away. So I had to come up with something else.

What I eventually did was an illumination. Jesse, see, is a medievalist, and Keith is…well, not a medievalist but he likes her. It made sense at the time. Go with it.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to post some of the in-progress photos, since this project consumed most of May and June and overall I’m pretty happy with how it came out. I’ll offer a little commentary on how I came up with the design, just in case anyone is curious.
First SketchKeith design the first

On the left here we have my first sketch of the design.  As you can see, I initially wanted to do Jesse’s name in a pseudo-Hebrew font and Keith’s name in a way that reflected his heritage somehow.  On the right is a closeup of some early attempts at that.  Above his name is the phrase, “A Musical Representation of Staggering is my Amy Winehouse Coverband.”  So we can date this to the night we went to the Jonathan Coulton/Paul and Storm show at the Majestic, which I think was late April (around the 24th).

You might also note that this version of the picture had small portraits of both Jesse and Keith in it.

The Initials


On the left, an early sketch of the J and the K initials. The design for the J was fairly easy; Jesse had listed an illuminated Haggadah on the registry (this one, in fact) so I just tried to make the J similar. But what to do about the K?

First I thought, well, Keith is African-American, I could do something using African patterns. But A) what part of Africa? It’s a huge country full of lots of different cultures. B) Anyway, he’s not African, he’s African-American. C) Also, isn’t that kind of weird, like othering or racializing or…I don’t know. Something. I started thinking at this point about traditional African-American art…which is mostly musical. First I thought, “Oh, the blues were invented by Picasso because he couldn’t afford other colors of paint.“*  So that should be an easy solution, just make it blue.

All kidding aside, I wasn’t entirely sure how to go from music to visual representation. And the main difference between me and a real artist is that I decided, instead of solving this problem, to change tracks. I made the Ks in the center and right. I put little finials on them in the style of the national wat in Vientiane (Laos) because Keith calls himself a “secular Buddhist” on his Facebook page.

I’m deep.

Layout 1.0
The first version of the Layout.

lettering version 1.0flowers and dog 1.0

On the left: some various small letters. I was trying to learn Caroline or Carolingian Minuscule. Since I’m not a monk, it took a lot of practice. On the right, an early layout for the dog/flowers. Of course, when I put everything together, the layout had to change.

Putting it all together:

Final Thumbnail

This one also shows some experimentation with the swirly orange things and the lettering.**

After I’d settled on a design, all that was left was sketching it, inking and coloring it, and then framing it.
Sketch 1Sketch 2



That’s not a terrific photo, but it’s the only one I have.  And it did end up blue, but more because of the Scrovegni Cappella by Giotto (in Padua, Italy) that I toured with Jesse in 2002 or 2003.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you found it interesting, at least. Now no one else get married for a couple of months, I need to finish my novel.

* I’m super good at art history. I even own a blue guitar. True story.
** Swirly orange things taken from a Tibetan tapestry I found, I think. Because of the Buddhist thing.

Daniel and Claire Get Married

This is (a somewhat crappy scan of) a painting I did for Daniel and Claire in honor of their wedding (which was last weekend, the 12th of June 2010 – I am a bit late getting this up) – for those who are new to the comic, Daniel is my younger brother.  Both he and Claire used to be comic regulars before they moved to Baltimore, so I thought it would be nice to do something in comic form for them.  In reality the comic is four panels wide by two down, but I thought this way I could make it a bit bigger so you could see the details.  It took me a long time to scan.

I’m taking an intensive Vietnamese course which is eating up not only my brain but all my ability to think.  I’m in third year (fifth semester) which will look great on my resume if it doesn’t kill me.

Here’s some of my vocab from the past week (hopefully the text will come out correctly):

  1. thủ thư – librarian
  2. ngoài ra – besides
  3. kinh tế – economy
  4. kế hoạch – to plan
  5. nổi tiếng – famous
  6. di cư to emigrate
  7. ấm – warm
  8. kết hôn – to get married
  9. ly dị – to get divorced
  10. chỉch – to inject (e.g. drugs)
  11. thám tử – detective
  12. hiếp – rape
  13. đao phủ – execution
  14. địn ngục – hell
  15. buồn cươi – funny
  16. tra tấn – torture
  17. bảo hiẻm y tế – health insurance
  18. mìn – mine (e.g. a landmine – mìn nước is a sea mine.)
  19. dân ca – folksongs
  20. khủng hoảng – crisis

The actual topics that I have been studying are left as an exercise for the reader.

So in other news I’m doing my first triathlon tomorrow.  It’s only a sprint, and I know I can do the individual parts (a 1/3 mi swim, 11 mi bike, 5k run) with no particular training…it’s just the transitions that I’m worrying about.  We’ll see how it goes – wish me luck!

This comic is filed under:

ND1460.W44 L86 2010


Painting — Special subjects of painting — Other subjects — Miscellaneous, A-Z — Weddings.

Very appropriate.

#304: The Meaning of Wife (book review)

Once I was reading an interview with Daniel Defert about Foucault’s last days, and he said this:

Deux jours après l’enterrement, j’entre dans un café, je croise un journaliste que je connaissais un peu. Il me regarde, absolument sidéré. Comme un objet d’effroi. Je comprends son regard. Je découvre, là, brutalement, que j’étais, à Paris, la seule personne dont on pouvait penser qu’elle avait le sida. Foucault mort du sida, j’avais donc le sida. Je découvre le sida, dans le face-à-face avec quelqu’un. Et c’est là que je comprends que je vais être obligé de faire un test, car autrement je n’arriverai pas à soutenir cette confrontation en permanence.

Two days after the burial [i.e. of Foucault], I went into a cafe, I met a journalist who I knew a bit.  He looked at me, absolutely flabbergasted.  Like an object of terror.  I understood his look.  I discovered, there, brutally, that I was, to Paris, the only person of whom it was possible to think she had AIDS. Foucault died of AIDS, I therefore also had AIDS.  I discovered AIDS, in the face to face encounter with someone.  And this made me understand that I was obligated to take a test, because otherwise I would never reach a place where I could withstand this confrontation permanently.

(My poor, idiomatic translation and bolding. The source is hereLibé, 2004.)

So that was what stuck with me, reading about Defert and Foucault lo these many years later: the terrifying isolation he must have felt and the silent oppressive stares he was met with, walking into a cafe one morning in Paris.  Defert has remained an object of passing interest ever since (as opposed to a footnote to a philosopher whose work I enjoy).

About The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-first Century by Anne Kingston: fantastic book, wish it had gone farther into the 21st C (she wrote it before the onset of desperate housewives and the massive multiparenting Duggars/Jon and Kate Plus Eight (or is it Jon minus nine?)/the Octomom phenomena began, which saddens).  Also, not really much about LGBT marriage, sadly, except to say lesbians were cool at the end of the 20th century.  Bleh.  At any rate, perhaps not the book to read three weeks before you get married, since it rather makes one think that success may lie in staying single.  (It’s like a terrible article I read somewhere that pointed out that famous women writers typically had 0-1 child instead of 2+, as if having 2+ kids would prevent success or something?  Even with a room of one’s own?)  At any rate, am still getting married, so I’ll let you know re the success thing.

Em oi! #302: Fun with the Future In-Laws


This actually happened because B has the wonderful tendency to say exactly the most awkward thing in a given situation.  It’s awesome, usually leads to hilarity.  We have been snickering up our sleeves about this one all week.

This comic took a long time to draw, and then a long time to scan.  I need to draw them smaller, I guess – my scanner is too small for big big comics.

I will just say that this one was miscalculated.  It may seem disingenuous to wish I had more feedback and then delete a comic which receives feedback.  But since I don’t really think anyone reads this, I’m just going to try to make myself happy.

#296: Touché, Sir

This weekend we went shopping for wedding rings.

This is actually the most sexist/awkward Wedding Industrial Complex thing we’ve done since we started planning the wedding.  First I had to explain to two separate people at the (large chain) jewelry store that I didn’t want a ring with diamonds and I didn’t want platinum, I just wanted a plain band that matched B’s.  Then there was this lovely comment.

For the record, most of the people we’ve worked with have been extremely professional when hearing of our rather non-traditional plans.  I mean, we wouldn’t be working with them if they had been rude or derogatory.  Maybe that’s why I was a little surprised when the salesman came out with this.