Friends With Boys - Page 196


Man, I love humour. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but I just have no interest in anything without a sense of humour. It’s like … the funny parts of something, be it a movie or a book or a comic really help to bring out the impact of the dramatic scenes. Something that’s constantly one thing (drama drama drama drama) is so boring. It’s a flatline. It’s more than humour lightening the mood of a dark book, it’s more than relief of tension, it’s like … I dunno, the peaks and valleys of life. One minute everything is funny, but the next minute you’re hurting, and you feel both so much more deeply because they’re beside each other.

I think humour’s really important in a book. Especially in a book where you really want people to feel the emotional parts. I gotta put one more plug in for Fullmetal Alchemist here, but I think the author of the series, Hiromu Arakawa is just a master at humour. She’s written a series that is quite dark, but as she mentions in her author’s notes, she really believes in comics being “entertaining.” So she has these great humorous moments that really humanize the characters and their relationships, and it makes a very dark story so much more vibrant. I want to be like her when I grow up.


27 Responses

  1. Emily says:


    Those expressions look just like my cats’ after some major mischief-causing. =)

  2. SeraphL says:


  3. Korikian says:

    Darn, for a second I thought they could have gotten away with that :P

    Love the expressions

  4. Alyssa says:

    So. Innocent.

    Bahaha! Their faces in that last panel are just perfect.

  5. Andrew says:

    Love the expressions on their faces. Lots of fun.
    Have to say I agree with you about Full Metal Alchemist.
    The charachters are really engaging , great series!

  6. FlyingFish says:

    If we hold absolutely still, maybe he won’t see us!

  7. mfisherart says:

    YES. YES.

    Egad, you are an amazing comics lady.
    I want to be like YOU when I grow up.

    Also, this “CAPTCHA Code” deal really, really reminds me of Homestuck. Just sayin’.

  8. Morgan says:

    In the last panel they look very surprised or frightened to me, not like they’re trying to appear innocent. I don’t see that expression in their faces at all… the eyes are too big and the pupils too small… even after having been told they’re supposed to look like they’re trying to appear innocent.

  9. Nicole says:

    How odd…I tried watching “Full Metal Alchemist” for the first time last week and just couldn’t get into it. I can’t stand the wierd chibi-character reactions–pulls me right out of the story. Every time I got into it (I think I watched three episodes) they’d turn into these weird screaming muppets and it totally lost me.

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      No, I wasn’t talking about the anime, I was talking about the manga. The anime is … what it is, kind of a decent cartoon, but nothing special. The manga is AMAZING. It is pure comics storytelling, and something which has largely impacted my own work. I’m a big fan of it. It’s popular, so you might be able to pick up the volumes at your local library.

  10. That’s not the innocent look guys, that’s the “I just saw a ghost” look. XD

  11. Nicole says:

    Oh, I should’ve realized that’s what you were talking ab out after all the blogs you’ve posted on the art. I will definitely check out my library for the manga. Thanks, Faith!

  12. Mercy says:

    well IIII think they look innocent.. and faith did a great job. well,, not innocent.. they look scared and guilty but as if they are trying very very hard to look innocent as can be but struggling with the fear that any one of them could fail at the look.. which is exactly how they would be looking and feeling I guess.. so not innocent.. but trying to look it.
    *sits down*

  13. Leo the Yardie Chick says:

    Uh-oh, it’s the Daddy Look of Doom! Play it off!

  14. Laur says:

    Humor is such an important part of stories and storytelling for me because it’s such a great way to sympathize with characters. I think because of the nature of sharing a joke (both the joker and the jokee feel good about it), there’s an outpouring of good vibes? I may have just over-analyzed that! :D

    And yeah, you do need up and down moments to create a good rhythm in stories. Trust me, you are totally on your way to Arakawa levels of awesome, Faith!

  15. Nienke says:

    Agree on the humor! My life is often very funny (to me but also to others, I suppose *grin*) and that’s what makes it good.

  16. TaterChip says:

    I fully agree on the humor. In fact, I recently watched the anime Toradora! And that displays what you’re referring almost perfectly, in my opinion. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched it but it’s definitely worth checking out.

  17. Angela says:

    I gotta say – I started reading Full Metal Alchemist, just vol 1 so far, and I loved it. Wow. I was so impressed. Manga seems real hit and miss with me based on style of art and story telling tropes, but boy did she get it right for me. I am really looking forward to reading more. Vol 2 is at the house waiting for Saturday morning comic reading time to come around. I am so glad you have recommended it so many times. My boyfriend also really enjoyed it. So Thanks!!

  18. pseudonym says:


  19. Laura says:

    Could you do a post on humor and how you approach it? It’s something I’ve realized recently: I’m really good at making people laugh and contrasting the hard parts of life with humor in person, but when I sit down to write a story, apparently only the dark parts come out. How do you approach writing/drawing/storytelling humor? You do it so well! How do you do it?

  20. HelenaRe says:

    Humor has an important place. Without it, life would be very dim. I don’t think humor quite gets the respect it deserves sometimes, considering that executing a joke well is often harder than drawing out the drama. Think about it. How many good comedians can do drama, but drama actors can’t do comedy? A good acting coach will tell you that.

  21. reynard61 says:

    Yeah, the humor thing is what I like about “InuYasha” too. The story can get very dark and rather violent at times, but every once in a while Rumiko Takahashi slips in a bit of humor that lets you laugh and take a breath and collect your wits. (And the anime producers were smart enough to incorporate this into the series as well.)

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Hello readers, new ones just discovering the comic and those who’ve been with it since the beginning. Friends With Boys is now complete online. You may read it in its entirety, all 200+ pages, for free, for the next eight days. Then the image files of the comic (except for a short preview) will be taken down. While the comic was being serialized online, I blogged a lot about my comic making process. I did write ups about how I make comics, what my opinions on what makes a good comic are, and pointed out various Easter eggs throughout Friends With Boys. That stuff will all remain up, so if you buy a hard copy of Friends With Boys, you can still read along with my thought process.

And now (today!), Friends With Boys is a published book! Yay! I hope that if you’ve read the web version and liked it, and want to support me as a creator, you’ll consider buying the book.

I’ve really enjoyed serializing Friends With Boys online. If you’re new to my work, I started out making comics online before moving into print. I posted the very first page of my very first online comic on my very first website back in August, 1999, and wow, was that page ugly. Here it is! Notice a weird similarity to the first page of Friends With Boys? Yeah, that was not deliberate, I promise. But look how much your drawing skills can improve if you draw thousands of pages of comics over a ten year period! Anyway, I’m really thrilled my wonderful publisher First Second Books has allowed me to return to my roots and put Friends With Boys online as a lead up to its publication. As a reader and purchaser of comics, I have bought quite a few hard copy versions of online comics, because I enjoy the reading experience of having the whole thing collected, and I want to support the author. I hope you will too. :)

Otherwise, there are a few upcoming events I hope to see some readers at:
Book signing! At my local comics shop Strange Adventures, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 3rd (Saturday), 2-4pm (EDITING TO ADD: The book launch has been moved to the following Saturday due to the books not shipping to Strange Adventures on time. The launch will now be March 10th from 2-4pm. Go here for info).
Comic convention! I’ll have a table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 6th-7th. There are a few other conventions I am trying to attend, but everything else is up in the air at the moment. For updates, please follow my twitter or join my Facebook fan page.  I’m pretty good about updating those two spots.

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