Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

Strips about France, part 1: Sego vs Sarko

with 3 comments

These strips represent the first exploring my time in France.

Leela and I recently spent almost three weeks just exploring France, and yes, that means mostly eating. We spent time in Bordeaux where we exchanged apartments with the unbelievably kind and cool Corbeyran family, then Tours where Christopher Longe and Nadia Sahmi were far too gracious for our and lastly Paris where one of Leela’s friends lined us up an apartment.

Look: France is awesome. The middle class life there is unbelievably gracious (did I use that word before?) They have a solid, direct and painless relationship with food and time, something that stresses out most Americans. The political/societal systems (again for the middle class) are incredibly humane. I would be bawling my eyes out from pure love if I lived there and were offered their way of living, their lack of stress, whether about health care or job, or time or whatever.

I’m concerned these first strips come across as a bit condescending, and perhaps they are. I mostly wanted to explore the themes that the French are facing in the their recent, very urgent, very hotly debated election. Obviously, to do this, I need to compare and contrast to the models that me and my audience are familiar with, and when that happens, yes there comes across a sort of “you don’t know how good you’ve got it” attitude, (an attitude I deplore but can’t escape.)

Anyway,this week’s strips are about the election, which is over and you should be able to read about in any newspaper. Thursday’s strip is almost stolen directly from a real incident. Nobody ever uttered the words in Tuesday’s. Friday’s is a pipe dream, but I bet with the right alignment of stars, somehow in this very cultured forgiving society, somhow possible.


Written by hutchowen

May 21, 2007 at 7:41 am

3 Responses

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  1. Hi, Tom! I’d love to know about every single minute of your trip to France. Please be as specific as you can in your Hutch strip–like using stuff from your real travels, which will help you get away from French stereotyping. (I looked for the Thursday strip, based on reality, on your Webcomics Nation page, but got confused.) I’m back in Brooklyn now, too, having spent two weeks in Mexico and Belize. And I am now blogging about it. Travel is great for creative rejuvenation, isn’t it! Cheerio, Joyce

    Joyce Hanson

    May 21, 2007 at 9:34 am

  2. Although every artist is different, my own inspiration comes from being out of NYC and exploring new territory. Glad you had so much fun in France – a wonderful place indeed. And home exchange is the way to go!

    Michelle Vaughan

    May 21, 2007 at 11:04 am

  3. Hi there !
    A friend of mine just sent me a link to your comics page and I must say I quite liked your view on my country (ah yes, am French. Not to worry: it isn’t contagious).
    Keep them coming, please !


    May 22, 2007 at 8:29 am

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