World of Webcomics: ‘C’est la Vie’

World of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.

Beginning as a student publication as part of UCLA’s Daily Bruin, C’est la Vie has since become a syndicated comic strip on the Internet.  Since 2003, the comic has shown us the inner thoughts and feelings—such as they are—of a French expatriate woman in the Los Angeles area, working hard as an art columnist at a local newspaper and trying her best to ignore American culture while cultivating her own unique world.  Full of sarcastic wit and cynical outlooks, CLV is good for a quick laugh, but there’s also plenty of involved storytelling and semi-drama to keep a person interested.  While not one of the more well-known webcomics out there, CLV nonetheless has an excellent following and is shown to be of great quality.  C’est la Vie updates every day at


Art Style

CLV certainly has progressed over the years, showing that the artist/creator has developed her talents as time has progressed.  Certainly more along the lines of a cartoonish style of art, the imagery doesn’t offer much in the way of background details, instead focusing more extensively on the close-up expressions and dialogue of the characters involved.  While it isn’t the most detailed of artistic styles, it is very well done, with a nice degree of shading and sharp lines to define individuals and their physical attributes.

Writing and Dialogue

While not full of extensive, overarching plot devices that draw some of the characters and settings together like other comics, there is certainly a sense that the comic has been well-planned and executed in terms of foreshadowing and character interaction.  Mona has her own style, one that marks her as a very unique person, not just in the comic but within the LA scene as well, choosing not to conform to society despite remaining within the USA instead of returning back to France like most of her family.  There is some indication that at one point the comic was faltering, when the introduction of another character—Mona’s brother—became a permanent addition to the cast as a sort of comic relief to off-put Mona’s serious, cynical outlook on life. Sure, he might be a bit of a womanizer, but he has shown some character growth and development over the years that show there’s more to him than just what is shown on the surface.


As mentioned earlier, the comic is really good for a quick laugh and has a semi-dramatic quality to it, but I think it does a really good job of keeping people interested.  There’s not a lot of background that a person has to achieve, and aside from the information concerning a couple of the characters in relation to one another, there isn’t much a reader has to do in order to pick up the story right away.  If you’re looking for some good wit and sarcasm, along with the cynical belief that people are rather annoying in certain circumstances, then CLV is the comic for you.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:27

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