Out Our Way

out-our-way.jpgOne of my favorite comics, Out Our Way by J.R. Williams is on GoComics, but they never update the page. Not sure why, but if you go into the archives, which are listed below the comic, you can see about a month’s worth from December 1930 and a handful from November of that year.

Not sure why they stopped publishing the reruns.

I’ve always liked this comic panel, I’m not sure where I read it because it’s way before my time, but I guess over the years it popped up in places. I like all the action in one single panel and all the dialog that fits.

I like Our Boarding House with Major Hoople, too and Hazel and so many single panel comics. Of course I love The Far Side. I guess that’s why I prefer doing single panel comics to comic strips.

Years ago, I got a rejection from one of the big syndicates, I had sent in a batch of samples for syndication. There was a note with the rejection slip and I don’t know if I was supposed to see it or not, but it said, “Too much like The Far Side!” Which was a negative thing to them cine I guess it was around the time that The Far Side ended publication. To me it was the highest compliment, even though I didn’t get a cartooning contract.

A different way to publish the comics

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A recent Bob Rich comic for Hedgeye.

I was enthralled by this article in the Stamford Advocate called, “Cartoonist sketches new life as Stamford financial firm’s artist.” And that’s because I had the same idea for years. I tried to implement it, but it went nowhere.

Bob Rich, the Stamford cartoonist who worked as a newspaper cartoonist for years and lost his last job at the Connecticut Post, Bridgeport’s daily newspaper. Hedgeye, the CEO of the financial firm, created the position of staff cartoonist and that job became a reality for Bob. Here is where is published on their website daily.

My idea works like this – a cartoonist has his/her work published on business websites, rather than newspapers and that is the new paradigm for cartooning in the 21st century. By business, I don’t just mean only financial, I mean money-making websites and companies; companies that can afford to pay the cartoonist.

For instance take Macy’s, the department store. What if they ran a comic daily or two or three daily? Wouldn’t people go to the site to see the comic and then hopefully stick around to shop? What if a bank had a banking related comic and ESPN for instance, had a sports comic and so on.

I had approached Bravo, the tv network a few years back only after a producer from one of their shows contacted me. He loved my work because I had done a few reality tv comics and one happened to be one of the shows he produced,  he got in touch with me and had all these plans. I sent them samples and went crazy trying to make this work and in the interim between Thanksgiving and New Years, his show was cancelled and I never heard from him again. I suppose when the show was over, so was our connection. He has other shows on tv on other networks, so I don’t know why he just ghosted me, but he did.

I never did hear personally from Bravo or any of the people I contacted a directly, not even, “no thank you.” So I’ve been sour on them ever since and really haven’t watched their network much because of it.

Wouldn’t it be great if websites and companies all over the world ran comics, even one? They could support a cartoonist, have their work on their website daily and that will bring readers and hopefully customers and clients.

Brilliant!

It’s a Down Under thing

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I’m always fascinated with Australia and New Zealand, I don’t know why but I enjoy a lot of tv based there. I am currently watching the new series, The Real Housewives of Aukland. No, don’t laugh, it’s a real show. And I enjoy The Real Housewives of Melbourne, too. I love how they talk.

I also like Doctor Blake Mysteries, which was recently canceled, not sure why, it’s an excellent show, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and A Place to Call Home. These shows are period pieces that take place in Australia, Dr. Blake and A Place to Call Home take place around 1954 and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries takes place in the 1920s, she’s a rich flapper who solves murders with the police. Sort of a younger Murder She Wrote in a different era.

And I came upon a funny comic strip called Bushscrubs by cartoonist Vince Steele, who lives in Tasmania of all places. Tasmania!

The strip is hilarious. Vince describes the strip as “An Australian comic strip. Meet the Bushscrubs as Gazza and his dog, Benny, live the dream by running a camping ground out in the middle of nowhere.”

Vince posts the strips on Facebook here, where I usually see them.

The top sample here is really funny, it’s been a continuation of Trevor, this bird, who somehow managed to get into ladies clothing and ended up on a tour bus. The tour guide keeps calling him Doris. The credit card went through because they needed voice recognition and for some reason, Trevor’s squawk into the phone did the trick and he has full access to everything on the tour.

 

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When Connecticut was the world

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This is sort of like the picture I had seen in a book when I was a kid – a glass house in the woods.

There is this cool article in Vanity Fair about so many cartoonists who lived in Fairfield County, CT, for a period of time, from the 1950s through the ’90s.

When I was a kid and read books on cartooning, it would always mention places in Connecticut where the cartoonists lived. We once went to the Museum of Cartoon art in Greenwich, CT when I was a kid and that was really the closest I ever got to all those cartoonists.

Ironically, over the years, I always pictured myself living in a glass house in the woods in CT.  I saw an image in a book once, maybe it was about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this was when I was about 14 years old and that always stuck with me and I thought it would be perfect to live that way in CT – all glass, surrounded by trees.

Ironically, I live up high in an all glass condo now, on Biscyane Bay in Miami, and if it was on the ground, it sort of would be the glass house of my imagination, only its not in CT and not surrounded by forest.

Anyway, the Vanity Fair article brought back so many memories of Mort Walker and Bug Sagendorf and Jack Tippet and so many more during the hey day of comic strips. I wanted to be like them, still do.

Now all they need is tinfoil

tvI read a funny story in the SF Gate, which originated in the WSJ. It isn’t supposed to be funny, but it is.  The headline says it all: Millennials Unearth an Amazing Hack to Get Free TV: the Antenna.

I thought tv antennas would go on the list of Things From the Past, but maybe not. Remember using tinfoil to help with the signal? Next thing you know, these Millennials will be into black and white tv and maybe getting up to turn the channels.

Am I dating myself?

It’s about the parking; not the food

When I meet my friends for lunch, we’ll usually text or email and say, “Wanna go to lunch tomorrow? Where?”

I usually choose places where it’s easy to park, The others of course, choose based on the food, which seems like the normal thing to do.

I guess I really don’t care what we eat, I just don’t want to drive around the block five times looking for parking, so for me, it’s all about the parking. We don’t have restaurant ratings in Miami, but if we did, it would be all about the A-rating, too.

There’s a place in New York City that always looks good, a Chinese restaurant in Midtown East, I think around 50th and 2nd, I think. They are the only place I have ever seen with a C-rating. Then from that they went to an “Under Review” rating and now they are a B. What’s so hard about getting to an A?