Out of town newspapers

news

I’ve been reading out of town newspapers. Digitally. I’ve subscribed to a few.

The New York Daily News is not what it was, but I guess no newspapers are. I used to read three or four dailies a day when I was in New York – The Daily News, the NY Post, Newsday and the NY Times. Then it got down to just The Daily News and then nothing. I literally do not pick up a newspaper when I am in New York. I think it might be because the Daily News gave me the run around for years regarding my comics and I’m holding a grudge, but maybe not, there really is not much to read and I don’t like their comics selection.

They are also very small and not worth the money it seems. By the time you read the printed copy, the news was already printed all over social media. As for size – what’s old is new again, the shrinkage of the paper is really how they started. The original newspapers were about 8 or 12 pages long. The whole paper was that size. I have an original New York Herald from 1861 – it’s 8 pages. But that was the size of all the newspapers back then. There weren’t many photos or graphics and ads were small lines of text, not display ads, which of course would eventually come.

In the late 1980s, there was a newspaper war between The NY Daily News and the NY Post. Both had about 1 million circulation a day and they printed about eight issues a day. Eight new front pages each day, printed and out on the street! As I walked through the city, each time I passed a newsstand, it seemed that there was a new front page.

One of my favorite stories is the newspaper strike of 1945 in NYC. I have a video of it here. Millions of papers were sold when the distributors were on strike, but not the actual newspaper. People would line up, blocks long, to plunk down their nickel for the daily paper – there were about a dozen newspapers in the city at that time and millions of issues were sold daily! I would be old now, but sometimes I wish I lived in that era, just to experience the newspapers – the large sizes, the large comics, the multiple selections to choose from . . .

Until recently, in Hoboken, as soon as I got off the PATH train, I would pick up three newspapers – The Jersey Journal, The Newark Star-Ledger and The Bergen Record, all three were easily available, but again, I do not purchase the papers anymore. They cost too much. $5 to $8 a day (total for all) in newspapers is a bit much.

Anyway, I am digitally subscribing to The NY Daily News (grudge and all), the Asheville Citizen-Times, the Charlotte Observer and a few others. I get the Miami Herald digitally along with my printed subscription and I notice that a few of the newspaper also offer USA Today as a bonus, which I never go into and my cousin is always telling me how great it is.

I remember when USA first started, I was a kid then, but always loved newspapers. I used to think it was so cool – all the color and the whole national newspaper aspect of it. But I guess I like my newspapers to be local. I read different newspapers to get their take on their local market.

When I was a kid I used to love seeing the out of town newspapers for two things – the comics and the tv listings. I used to be fascinated by the different tv channels around the country and of course I loved seeing the comics selections and seeing comics that my local papers didn’t carry. And of course you can travel the world or the country, by reading out of state newspapers.

He’s a bubble wrap artist

This is so great. I saw this segment on CBS Sunday Morning about an artist, Bradley Hart, who makes art with bubble wrap. He recreates famous paintings and also creates new art by injecting paint into the bubbles. It’s beautiful and he has a great sense of humor, I enjoyed hearing him talk about it.

Benilda is quite popular

benlidaThis particular cartoon which was posted Friday, got the most shares on Facebook of any of my recent work. I did have one of my comics shared on Facebook by George Takei once that got almost 100,000 shares. Can you imagine, 100,000 shares! The power of popularity and numbers.

This Benilda comic got about 2400 shares to date. Amazing. 2400 times an average of 400 friends for each person is 960,000 – almost 1 million potential readers! And that’s just Facebook, there are thousands of other readers on my TomFalco.com website and on Instagram, along with people sharing that I don’t know about.

It’s interesting what is popular and what isn’t. I’m not sure why this one struck popularity nerve with people but maybe it’s about driving or not knowing how to drive a stick shift, that is a popular subject I suppose.

A couple of people liked the name Benilda. So do I. I got it from a real person. A real person who I don’t actually know. It’s a customer. She purchases items from me online and has for years, but we’ve only dealt electronically, I’ve never seen or spoken to her, not even on the phone, but I love the name Benilda. I had another comic strip I was working on where the wife was named Benilda, but I never did publish that strip. While I did about 30 of them, I didn’t enjoy drawing the same characters and situations day after day, I much prefer the single panel where I can have different characters and scenes each day.

I have been posting short videos of me working on Instagram stories, I noticed that many of the popular and well read cartoonists do that, and they do even more – they constantly have videos of anything having to do with their life. One popular guy has videos today of him flying a kite with his son. It used to be “go fly a kite,” was a negative thing, but he made it fun positive thing to watch. I guess there are so many comics that it’s about the personality behind the comics, so I’ll post more of that and me, I suppose mostly on Instagram. I layout out my life here on the blog, too, of course.

Shark Week starts today. I’ll be posting a few shark related comics this week.

They are hitting the road

rv

So I went downstairs yesterday morning and there was a big RV sitting right outside and one of my neighbors got out. He told me that he and his parents are driving up to New York and will make stops along the way. How exciting! They are living one of my dreams!

I got this picture of him backing into the street and heading out to pick up his parents. He has his bulldog sitting next to him in the passenger seat and they’re off! They are driving to avoid the quarantine but I see that now NYC is setting up check-points at bridges and tunnels to check people entering the city, so I’m wondering how that will work out. New York state has had 0 deaths from covid19 in the past few days. They are terrified of outsiders coming in at this point.

They are sort of driving along the Hurricane route, but I guess they’ll be behind it so as long as it doesn’t do any damage, they are ok driving up I-95 I suppose.

I went inside and it’s just like you see on tv and in the movies. I said it was his little bit of Breaking Bad, although this RV was shiny and new. It wasn’t huge  but had plenty of room. There were two sleeping areas and a kitchen and table and places to sit. So great.

I still have it in my mind to drive up to the Carolinas at the end of the summer. I won’t do it in an RV, I’ll do it in a car, but RV travel across the country has always been a dream of mine. I think everyone thinks about that one time or other.

I wanted to take a picture of me inside, but felt silly with my neighbor standing there, but it looks like the one above. I wished them luck on their travels. They may be gone a month or so. So cool. I’m envious.

He’s deliberate

biden-comic-color-print

Today’s comic is a rerun. I ran it when Joe Biden was deciding whether to run for president or not. He took so long that this worked.

Now all over the news they are saying he is late picking is VP choice. It was supposed to be announced on August 1 and it may take another week. I’m not sure what the rush is, but this cartoon seems to work for this.

I don’t do many political cartoons, but this seemed like a fun one.

Hurricane Isaias

hurricane

So we dodged a bullet. Hurricane Isaias brushed by, we barely got any wind or rain.

I was traumatized by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which did a number on Miami. Things were never the same after that – it was life changing for everyone who lived through it.

For years after that I would freak out with any sort of wind and rain but over time I got used to other hurricanes that came by and eventually in the last year or two, I’ve become a bit better about them and I don’t freak out so much. But it is a scary thing.

We get prepared and panic and worry and whether it comes through or not we are so relieved when it is over. And I look at that as sort of a good thing. The hurricane makes up stop and take notice, sort of like the caronavirus, and then when it’s over, we are happy with the status quo before it arrived, even if the status quo wasn’t great.

It’s weird. Now that we are over the danger of the hurricane, let’s get back to normal – dealing with caronavirus which isn’t so bad if you do the right things – wear a mask, social distance, etc. So it’s Monday and we’re back to work or staying home or whatever it is we did last Monday and in this case we are happy to do it.

Unfortunately, it is going to affect the Carolinas and possibly the Northeast. Hope not.

But for me, I opened my shutters and let the sun in.

Paul McCartney on the tube

paul-mccartney-print

I like today’s cartoon because on Instagram you scroll through it. I like the scroll ones.

I did this a few years back. I’m thinking if Paul was in London, he would probably say he was on the “telly” rather than the tube, when on tv, but for the sake of this gag, he says “tube.”

I looked up Paul McCartney on the subway and came up with many images of him on the tube/subway, so the cartoon is not too far off!

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My new addiction; 90 Day Fiance

90-day

Love in India – she is 62, he is 32.

I found another tv show that I am now addicted to. It’s called, 90 Day Fiance, the other way. I’ve never seen the original show, 90 Day Fiance, which is about people meeting on the internet and then coming to the US to meet in person and get married. “The Other Way,” is the reverse – Americans go to foreign countries to get married and it’s all a disaster.

I had seen the show before while flipping channels, but the title, 90 Day Fiance, seemed silly to me so I never stopped to watch. The name doesn’t fit the show. I don’t know what it should be called, but the name doesn’t fit. Maybe it should be called, Love is Blind or something like that. But for some reason, the other day, I started watching and I couldn’t stop.

It’s hilarious and hard to believe that grown people will do this – move away from America, give up family and friends and try to start a new life with someone they met on the internet.

There are a bunch of couples that the show follows and each are featured throughout episodes. The stories continue from episode to episode. So one episode follows five or six couples and jumps back and forth throughout an episode, you follow the couples through the whole season.

One girl moves to the Middle East and the guy is very disrespectful to her. He and his parents insist they get married in a day, but she is secretly still married to someone else. The guy gets jealous of American customs like if she hugs someone hello and things like that. The worst part is that they want her to give up her American ways the second she arrives and be dominated by the man – his mother tells the girl that she is being disrespectful, and the girl doesn’t understand how, because she is just being herself. And the guy’s mother is yelling at her telling her that the rules are that she needs to forsake her own family and they will become her family now! That’s how it is in those countries.

Another girl moves to South Korea, where the guy lies to her and has her living in the slums. Another girl moves to Africa and the Korea slums make the African slums look like paradise. But the guy is so sweet, you sort of root for him, he doesn’t understand how is has the girl living in such poor conditions. You’ll want to throw up when you see the kitchen and bathroom.

I can’t believe this is real, but I assume it is.

One guy moves from his family – he leaves his kids – and moves to Mexico. Another guy moves to Colombia. One of the best is a lady who is 62, who moves to India to be with a 32 year old guy who is still married and trying to get divorced so they can get married. She has been back and forth three times already, because he keeps lying to her. Why she keeps going back, I don’t know. She has children and grandchildren and she leaves them all behind for this guy. They go through rituals like a cow walking through the living room and things like that. She keeps insisting on seeing his divorce papers, which may or may not exist.

It is so funny and unbelievable at the same time.

All of the Americans, which of course appear as ugly Americans in foreign countries because they are used to a better lifestyle make you almost root for the foreigners, but it appears as if most of the foreigners lied to get the Americans to relocate to their foreign lands.

If you get a chance to watch, be prepared to binge watch. It’s something like a train wreck, you can’t stop watching.

The World

newspaper1

I came across these pictures on social media. You know how I love old newspapers and newspaper buildings and these are the best. Above is Park Row and you can see the New York World/Pulitzer Building at right. I’ve never seen it so close up before.

newspaper2

And here, from atop the old post office building you can see some of the newspapers to the right – The World, The Sun (that tiny building next to the World with the billboards on top), the Tribune and the NY Times. Only the Times building remains today.

Such a great period in time.

Boredom is setting in

I’m having tea these days, rather than coffee. Green tea.

One issue I’m having is that I forget to put the teabag in the cup! I get the water boiling and add honey and lemon to the cup, but I then pour the water in and there is no tea! Not sure why that is, but I think I am starting to get stir crazy.

At the beginning of the pandemic I thought it wasn’t a problem being self quarantined. I felt that it was my usual schedule. But I guess it’s not. I miss my family and friends, I miss travel, I miss going places and doing things. I tend to go to the same restaurant if I want take out because I feel I can trust them for safety. I don’t get delivery. I have started going to the supermarket after a couple of months of getting Instacart deliveries.

But it’s time to get out and about again, only the covid numbers keep going up. I’m not sure why people can’t be safe. I see so many people without masks. I read that if everyone wore a mask when they are in public, the virus would be gone in a couple of months because it would have nowhere to go.

Let’s hope for change soon. Who would have thought 2020 would have been like this? One whole year – a strange year – 2020. Not 2019 or 2018 – unlucky 2020!