The internet has changed cartooning


Cartoonist Dan Rosandich wrote an article called “Cartoonist cost cutting.” I thought it had to do with the supplies. He was writing about the disappearance of paid staff political cartoonists by newspapers and he blames the internet, which of course decimated the whole newspaper business, not just cartoonists.

But in many cases, the internet has allowed many more cartoonsits to flurish and work for themselves and be seen by many more people who might not have seen their work.

Also, regarding art supplies, I don’t remember the last time I was at an art supply store since I do everything digital now. I don’t even remember the last time I bought a pencil!

Dan has a couple of more articles regarding the way the world wide web has affected cartoonist. He is not a happy camper.  But the internet has changed so many professions. I think along with newspapers, retail has to be the biggest, Amazon is taking over the world. Even supermarkets are closing because people shop for food online now!


10 things you didn’t know about Trading Spaces’ Paige Davis

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

paige-davisTrading Spaces is coming back! Yup, the granddaddy of DIY shows! Paige Davis is back along with most of the designers you might remember from the popular show that ran from 2000 to 2008. Along with Paige, returning are Doug Wilson, Genevieve Gorder, Hildi Santo-Tomas, Vern Yip, Frank Bielic, and Laurie Smith. Carpenters Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse are back too!

As you may remember, two sets of neighbors redo a room at each others houses over a weekend with the help of two designers for that week.

The new version premiers Saturday, April 7 at 8 pm on TLC.

I had the chance to ask Paige the 10 With Tom Questions. Here we go . . .

TOM: How did the idea for the reboot come about?
PAIGE: I’m not 100% certain, but I believe TLC felt it was good timing on the heels of the nostalgia wave that is sweeping television right now. There are currently so many reboots of old shows. It’s comforting and fun. Waiting for Trading Spaces to air is like saving the best for last.

TOM: Had you kept in touch with any of the cast/designers over these past 10 years that the show was off the air?
PAIGE: Definitely. And Facebook and social media has made it even easier than before to keep up with each other’s lives.

TOM: Where will the shows be taped? One city? Different areas of the country as in the past?
PAIGE: Our show has always been taped around the country. This reboot is no different. This season there are episodes in southern California, Atlanta, and Baltimore.

TOM: Are you stopped by fans when you travel? What is their number one question?
PAIGE: I am stopped by fans sometimes, yes. The number one thing I’m asked is, “Will you come to my house?” I always say, “Careful what you wish for.”

TOM: Are you a designer, have you designed or did you just fall into the hosting aspect of the show?
PAIGE: I am not a designer. Though I do have a love of decor and design. I am a dancer/singer/actress by trade. Trading Spaces was simply a job I auditioned for. A bit of fluke that I booked it.

TOM: If you had one super power, what would it be?
PAIGE: To never be hungry or to be able to curb cravings with the wiggle of my nose.

TOM: What was the last tv show you watched?
PAIGE: Speechless.

TOM: What’s the last thing you took a picture of?
PAIGE: The Playbill cover of Carousel on Broadway. My dear friend is in the ensemble. We went to see her last night.

TOM: When you guys trade spaces, what is your favorite room in the house for a do-over?
PAIGE: I can’t speak for the designers, but I love when we do family rooms because they have the most jeopardy if the homeowners are disappointed. Lots at stake when it’s a room you spend a great deal of time in.

TOM: Starry Night, Mona Lisa or Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso?
PAIGE: Picasso, all the way.

TOM: Thanks Paige! We’ll be looking for you on April 7!

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Some more of my favorite comics

I’m always finding comics that I really like, they just pop up. I think most of them I find on Facebook, where they are posted in comic sites I follow. See? Social media – again, leading the way when it comes to comics.


Man Martin’s Inkwell Forest

Right now I’m loving Man Martin’s Inkwell Forest. Martin Man did the Billy and the Giant Frog comic that I wrote about in the past. I didn’t realize at the time that the Billy comic was a part of the Inkwell Forest comics. Man Martin is doing what I thought would be a good idea – having different comics with different themes under one masthead.


Man Martin’s Inkwell Forest


Man Martin’s Inkwell Forest

You’ve probably seen the Simons’s Cat comics on social media, they are all over the place. They are short cartoons by Simon Tofield. I don’t know if I can post the short films here on the blog, so here is a link to them.


Simon’s Cat

Dunce by Jens K Styve is really good. The drawing and the writing are perfect. I mostly see these on Twitter, but it seems that daily strips are posted at Instagram here. Just seeing the drawings is really enough, it’s beautiful.


Dunce by Jens K. Styve


Dunce comic.

Petri Dish by John Sutton is funny, but I love the drawings very much. Petri Dish centers around the life of Doctor Thaddeus Euphemism, a scientist along Bob, a bobot.I love how the characters don’t have many facial features, yet they are still so expressive.


Picking fights on social media

socialmediaI usually ignore people on social media, what I mean is I ignore it if someone says something about me that I don’t like and I also ignore things that bother me, like plagiarism, unless it’s my own work they are stealing.

I got into an altercation with two people yesterday on Facebook and Twitter. One guy attacked me on Twitter about my Ten With Tom interviews on Huff Post and here in this blog, saying,  “You can speed answer the questions. I don’t mind. I give my interviewee’s time to think up good answers.”  And “They [meaning me] only do 10 questions. We do 20. They only do half the job on the Huffington Post.”

He sounds like a jerk and quite amateurish, I don’t know of many people who attack people on their non-confrontational interviews. Guess his handful of readers prefer his 20 questions over my millions of readers at the Huff Post who prefer my 10 questions. Who knows. I like the sound of “Ten With Tom” rather than “Twenty With Tom,” plus I know the readers and the person interviewed are really not into 20 questions – too long and boring.

The other guy I had the altercation with posts comics on Facebook and they are Peanuts characters, you know, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He does this all the time. I mean, every time he posts a comic, that’s what it is, Peanuts, only his version.

I told him I thought that was copyright infringement, he says it’s a parody, but I don’t know if a parody or fan art could be considered that if it is every single one of your comics that you post. I know I wouldn’t like it if it was my work being “parodied” every single time. I thought it was daily, but he says he doesn’t post daily. I’m not a fan of his so I didn’t know. But every time he posts, it’s Peanuts characters which I think are being stolen and breaking trademark and copyrights.

So anyway, we got into an altercation over that.  What do you think about this?

Our yearly block party

We have this great block party in our neighborhood once  year in March. Everyone comes out and shows and sells their art, there is live music and food and everyone knows everyone. It’s a lot of fun. It’s on Gifford Lane, hence, it’s called the Gifford Lane Art Stroll.


Why I love social media for comics


A comic I’m working on.

As I get my Tomversation comic panel ready for publication I am back working on getting my social media sites up to par. I really feel that the future of comics, of so many things, is social media. I get so much of my news on social media (real news, not fake news) and I get a lot of my comics on social media too.

My two favorite sites are Facebook and Instagram. Now that Instagram allows you to swipe through photos, it’s the perfect place for comic strips as you can read them so much more easily now by just swiping through the panels. I like that on both sites fans can easily share your work with their friends, there’s nothing better than recommendations from friends.

Some cartoonists have hundreds of thousands of fans/followers and some even have 1 million or more! That’s my goal.

I have a few accounts on Instagram, I used to post comics on my Tomversation account and I had thousands of fans, which dropped when I stopped posting comics, I basically just put personal things there now, you know, sunsets, travel pictures, art shows and festivals, things like that. I have started a new account for my Tomversation comic panel called Tomversation.toons. That is where I will post my comic daily when I start publishing. Right now I am showing some of the progress and working on building up my fan base.

On my Facebook Tomversation page I have different things now. Mostly links to stories here and other places I’ve published like at Medium and the Huff Post, but I will start publishing comics there daily when ready.

I love the social media aspect because the comics just appear in people’s timelines and are unobtrusive. People don’t have to go looking for the comic online, it just appears along with whatever else they follow on their social media sites.