Good grief, Snoopy is fired

metlife-blimpAfter 31 years, Snoopy has been dropped as the face/mascot of MetLife Insurance. I sort of like this since I never liked the idea of him being exploited to sell insurance, but I guess Peanuts is probably the most exploited comic strip out there so MetLife was just one of the group of entities tied to Peanuts.

MetLife is re-branding in some way, but some how, I don’t think Snoopy will be affected. But maybe he will, it’s said that MetLife paid between $10 million and $15 million per year to use the Peanuts characters! Nice work if you can get it.

But I will miss seeing his smiling face on the blimp. Here’s the whole story in Wall Street Journal.

But I wouldn’t mind seeing the Peanuts music and references disappear from that All detergent ad. It creeps me out when I see that kid walking as if he was Pigpen, with all the dust coming off of him and the other kid in the Charlie Brown shirt. It’s sacrilege in some way. If you haven’t seen the commercial, you can see it here.

Sometimes I think Bill Watterson, of Calvin & Hobbes fame had it right, he was against exploiting the characters for commercial reasons. But then again, if someone offered me millions of dollars anything for the use of my own comic characters, I would be all over that.

Dusting off ‘Paws’


Drawing Jacomo.

I am focusing on my Paws comic now. People seem to like Tombo the Rabbit and Jacomo the Mole and they are constantly asking for them. So I will put a bunch of comics together and submit them to the syndicates.

I am using the Surface Pro 3 now, rather than the Wacom Cintiq, which I used in the past. While I like the Cintiq better, I like the all-in-one aspect of the Surface Pro, being able to use it as a computer and a drawing tablet and also, it’s portable and easier to manage.

I transported all my files and I use Manga Studio 4 EX and Photoshop to create on the Surface Pro, just like I did with the Cintiq. I have Manga Studio 5 EX, but I don’t like it for some reason, I think there is just too much on the screen and the brushes confuse me. I’m more comfortable with the 4 EX.

So that’s where I stand on the comics front now. Getting Paws ready for some sort of revival. I had done something or not done something regarding the trademark, so I had to resubmit some files this week. They were accepted and Paws is fully trademarked as a comic strip.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have you seen the Trumpkins popping up this year? They are jack-o-lanterns made out to be Donald Trump.

The Huffington Post has a great how-to here. But it seems easy, it’s all in the hair. Just put something on top of the pumpkin and call it Trump!

Treasures I found at NY Comic Con

There’s so much to see and do at Comic Con, but as you walk around, you’ll see quite a few booths that sell original cartoon art. Most is comic book characters and pages, but in between if you take the time, you’ll see this. Here is an original Peanuts strip from 1964. Look at the size of it. (Click on the image for large view).

It’s amazing to see this original work. I’ve seen Peanuts strips in museums, too, but this was special, I don’t know why. Maybe because if I had $10,000, I could have had it. But that might be the starting price at auction, and it will probably jump up many thousands more.

I love looking at the line work. I think these are such great pieces of art, up there with Van Goghs and Picassos.

Hiding behind the counter at one booth was this original Krazy Kat Sunday strip. Incredible. I think this one is from the 1930s – an original George Herriman¬†Krazy Kat! It’s marked at $21,000, but at auction will go up much higher.

There were original Hanna-Barbera comic cells and original drawings, too, and so many cool things if you looked around. You had to look past all the noise and activities at Comic Con to find these treasures.

My first visit to the Guggenheim

I visited the Guggenheim Museum for the first time in my life yesterday. I think because it was raining and I wanted to get out of the rain. I loved the structure, the architecture, I didn’t care so much for the art. It was mostly blank canvases with a few lines drawn, very abstract. I did enjoy the few Degas, Picassos and Rembrants and of course Van Gogh, but it’s no MOMA.

I loved that Mr. Softee was right outside when I arrived, the perfect thing to start my visit, ice cream from my favorite ice cream truck.


Here are a few more pics of my trip inside.


Two favs at NY Comic Con


I saw two favorites at New York Comic Con yesterday – Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek and Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine cartoonist. Stephan was signing books at the GoComics booth and Ms. Nichols downstairs at the autograph section.

I admire Stephan a lot. I interviewed him for my 10 With Tom column once. You can see that here.