Art Festival weekend

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Me (in the tan hat) with some of my family.

Been spending the weekend at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen’s Art Show, which is right next door. It’s a yearly event each February. The whole town comes out, then some. There’s so much art, people watching, food and drinking.

It starts out with breakfast at a gallery and then we all start toward the festivals, it’s two festivals right next to each other. Friends and family sort of separate, then at the festival we may meet up, some people may drop out, others may add themselves to the group. It’s  a fun weekend. It runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which is President’s Day.

 

Supporting Eaten Fish

In 2013 a 21 year old Iranian cartoonist named Ali arrived in Australia The Australian government put him in a detention camp. He’s been in a detention camp ever since.

Ali cartoons under the name Eaten Fish. Cartoonists, starting in Australia, and now all over the world have been drawing fish cartoons and posting them on social media in the hopes of drawing attention to the detention.

Australia detains people who seek asylum if they arrive by boat. Talk about wet foot, dry foot. Ali is detained on Manus Island. Ali’s health is failing and people all over the world are asking for his freedom.

I have collected some of the EatenFish comics that have been making the rounds.

Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) writes: “It is with profound alarm and sadness that [we] learn that our friend and colleague, cartoonist Mr. Eaten Fish, currently held in an Australian refugee rendition camp in Papua New Guinea has decided to undertake a hunger strike. He is a man who has given up hope, cannot struggle any longer, cannot face the future that is being forced on him, and he would rather die than submit to the indignities of further inhuman treatment.”

The Australian government has been petitioned many times both from within Australia and internationally asking that Eaten Fish be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Cartoonists feel that they can bring awareness to the issue with a media campaign by posting images of fish with the hashtags “AddAFish #EatenFish

More in this issue here.

Killing history

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Erasmus Hall photo by Ramsay de Give for the NY Times.

There is a building in Brooklyn called Erasmus Hall, erected in 1787 with contributions from Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, John Jay and Robert Livingston, it was the first secondary school in New York State and is considered a grand example of Georgian-Federal architecture and an ambitious vision of education.

It’s in danger of being destroyed. Story in NY Times here.

Recently, Admiral’s Row, also in Brooklyn, was torn down, this was a bunch of Civil War period houses built between 1864 and 1901 which stood on Flushing Avenue for all these years. See what’s left here.

Now with the the new gentrification of Brooklyn, they are killing history.

On the whole, I’d like to be cartooning in Hoboken!

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Lower Manhattan seen from the Hoboken, NJ waterfront.

I completed a bunch of 10 With Tom interviews with new cartoonists who I admire. They were all gracious and humble. Very nice people. The interviews will be published in the Huffington Post soon and then I’ll link to them here in the Tomversation blog.

I also am ready to start publishing my comic panel, Tomversation, daily. I’m just waiting for the platform to be completed where I’ll publish on that platform along with Facebook.

I’m excited to start doing this daily – drawing comics and writing about them and other art-related things. It’s a nice way to spend the day.

I want to travel more in 2017, I renewed my passport last week. I’m home in Miami now, I do miss New York but not in this snow and cold, I prefer Spring, Summer and Fall up north. I think a lot about Hoboken. I’m imagining being high in a condo, overlooking the Hudson River and New York City, venturing out to a small coffee shop or cafe for lunch, cartooning in between. There is something that draws me to Hoboken. I don’t know what it is.

Rare films of the Old Masters

I forgot a lot of the times that so many of our great masters were alive 100 years ago or less. A French actor and director named Sacha Guitry took home movies in 1915 of some our greatest artists like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

I have to laugh when seeing Monet, the coloring and the way his beard looks makes him look like he’s sticking his tongue out. The short film shows him painting in his garden in Giverny. Amazing.

Degas is shown in 1915 walking down a Paris street in a very short film, really just seconds, sort of snapping a quick pic of someone famous today as they walk by.

Rodin is shown on the street and also sculpting in his studio in 1915, two years before his death.

Renoir is filmed in 1919 at his home, smoking, a lot, and painting.

John Hall posted these on his YouTube page.

Interviewing cartoonists

I’m getting ready for daily publication of my Tomversation panel. I am sorry for the delay, I know I was going to start January 1, but along with my daily updates on Facebook, I will start publishing at my old page on GoComics.

Speaking of GoComics, I reached out to a few of the newer cartoonists, whose work I really enjoy and I asked them to do 10 With Tom and they all agreed. And they were all so humble and nice. They have such great talent and such humility to go with it. A nice combo.

I’ll publish the columns in the Huffington Post first and then link to them here all at once so that one post here has them all and you can just link to the original columns in the Huff Post if you care to read them.

When I think about it, the cartoonists are really a very nice crowd. When I interviewed Dilbert’s Scott Adams and Pearls With Swine’s Stephan Pastis, they being the top of the top in the field were still just as nice.

I guess when you’re surrounded by comics and comedy all day, how can you not be in a good mood and be friendly?