I’m back home; it’s been a long year

An October day in NYC. My favorite intersection at Madison Square.

I’m home. I spent a lot of time in New York this past year, more than I usually do.

I’m glad to be home. In the past I spent a lot of time in NY and when I left, I missed it as the plane was taking off heading back to real life. I would see the “Welcome to New York” sign at La Guardia Airport, but we were headed in the opposite direct. South. Home.

I would think of all the things I did during that visit, and back then I might spend a month or two in the city. I would quit my job and just go and then crawl back to get my job when I returned.

Now I look forward to getting home. So many times I change my plane tickets and head back early. I almost did that this time, but I stuck it out and stayed until it was time to leave.

I guess you need to get away to appreciate coming home.

One strange thing these days is that the day after I return home, I hardly remember being away. It’s like just another day or week or so and it’s past and that’s that. Onward. I can think back and think of things I do and if I look at all the photos I took on my phone, I can feel like I’m back there, but in everyday life, it’s just life as usual and I don’t really feel as if I missed a beat by leaving for a bit.

That being said, I already made my reservations and plans for the coming year – NY Comic Com, pumpkin picking, July 4th,Thanksgiving, etc. etc. All on repeat for 2023.



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I bid and won this Linus cartoon cell

I bid on and won this Linus original cartoon cell created by the Bill Melendez Studio for A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1969. I was the first Peanuts movie.

I bid on another one featuring Charlie Brown and another character, but didn’t get it.

My cousin works for the auction house that sells orignial cartoon art. They are based in Hoboken, so every time I come up from the PATH train (subway), one of the first things I see is the buidling he works in. I’ve only been inside once.

He told me a month or so ago about some of the Peanuts art they had getting ready for auction. He wasn’t allowed to show it to me, but he informed me about it.

A few weeks ago he texted me about two hours before the auction ended and I bid. I now have this great thing to add to my original cartoon art collection.

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The wonderful Southampton Christmas Parade


On Saturday, five of us drove out from the city to one of my favorite things – the Southampton (NY) Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. It’s a yearly thing. I think it’s 60th.

Thousands of people show up for this event.

We usually do some shopping, which is what the Chamber would love us all to do and then we eat at the Southampton Publik House. Then we step outside on Main Street and the parade starts around 5 pm.

It’s mostly lit up fire trucks and ambulances from various Hampton communities on the east end of Long Island. All small, quaint, old towns. So charming.

At the end of the parade, everyone walks to the end of the block where the tree is lit. It’s a real tree, permanently in the park, it’s there 365 days a year, just not lit up until this Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. There are fireworks behind the tree and it’s a perfect evening.

Before the tree is lit, the high school choir sings Christmas songs and then there are a few speeches, People are thanked for their support and hard work in making this event happen each year. Two ladies have been in charge since the 1970s and that always brings thoughts of the small town I live in in Miami. I can picture them going to work during the year – calling the hardware store owner, asking for something to be built, calling the bank manager for a donation, and so on, throughout the year, making things happen.

It’s all so Mayberry and Stars Hollow. I love it all. I’ve been to Southampton at different times of the year – different seasons. They are all lovable and charming. So are all the Hamptons in eastern Long Island.

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Honoring Charles Schulz

I usually don’t publish a cartoon on Saturday, but today I did because it’s a special day. Today would have been Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday. And to celebrate, cartoonists are adding something Peanuts-related to their strips and panels to honor Mr. Schulz, Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang.

Mine are published at the usual places:
TomFalco.com
Facebook.com/Tomversation.toons
Instagram.com/tomversation.toons

But you don’t have to go to these places because here it is.

To find all the others, check your daily newspapers or look online for the comics using the hashtag #Schulz100

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Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

I went to Moma the other day, to what else – to visit Starry Night. But on my way as I walk through the museum, I always come across Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the Pablo Picasso painting, which he created in 1907. I took this photo the other day.

It’s always striking to me because I created a duplicate in college. The original is 8 feet by about 7.5 feet and my recreation was about 3 inches by about three inches. We had to recreate a famous piece of art by cutting out the colors from magazine images.

I haven’t seen the one I created in years, but it has always stuck in my head. and the first time I came upon the original in MoMA a few years back, I was really taken aback by the size, since in my head I’ve always seen it as a 3″ x 3″ image.

We have to clean out my parents’ house soon and I’ll find that piece I created in my old room and when I do, I’ll share it with you so you can see how my recreation compares. In my head it’s perfect, but of course I’m sure it’s far from it.

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I’m back in NYC

I’ve been in NYC a lot this year, been back and forth from Miami.

I came back for a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving. When I left Miami it was 76 degrees, it was 32 degrees in NYC! But when we landed, it was 39 in NYC and that’s not bad when the sun is out. It’s actually refreshing.

I stopped by to see a friend and then checked out the Union Square Green Market and Holiday Bazaar, which opened this weekend for the season. I’ve purchased so many gifts here over the years.

I checked out Washington Square Park and Greenwich Village, my usual haunts.

Glad to be back, even though I was here last month, and the month before . . .

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Van Gogh in America

There is a new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit in Detroit, called “Van Gogh in America.” CBS Sunday Morning featured the museum and their plans for showing Van Gogh’s work on the 100th anniversary of their aquiring their first Van Gogh piece 100 years ago.

One hundred years ago the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to buy a piece by Vincent Van Gogh. Now, the museum is honoring the century by featuring 74 of his works from around the world, which explores America’s introduction to the artist, who by the way, is believe to be American’s favorite artist, living or dead.

I fit in a Van Gogh cartoon whenever I can, I love him and his work so much.

I came up with this cartoon idea from the segment on CBS Sunday Morning. In the tv piece, curator Jill Shaw said, “The texture of his paint strokes is like cake icing.” And it is!

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Getting eyes on my work

I’m having problems with my Facebook page for Tomversation which is at Facebook.com/tomversation.toons .

I’m not getting the views I usually have. It’s been about a week since I’ve seen this. Were the algorithms changed?

I used to get thousands of eyes on the cartoon daily and lots of comments, likes, etc. Now it’s a handful.

My Instagram site seems to be the same regarding views and algorithms and so does my dedicated website, TomFalco.com. Those get thousands of eyes on them, but I’m concerned about Facebook. You can see below one of the cartoons that reached over 2 million views on Instagram; it has over 83,000 likes. So when it’s being seen, it is really being seen and interacted with.

It makes no sense that people subscribe or “follow” a page and yet they don’t see it in their feed. If I follow a page for old movies, or baseball or whatever, don’t I wish to see the latest posts that come up daily?

I know many cartoonists have moved away from social media and focus only on their websites and subscriptions. Their blog and cartoon/comic are one. And they publish once or twice or three times a week – not daily.

I’m trying to think what to do. In the meantime I’m trying to figure out this Facebook algorithm. I like Facebook because people share the work and many more eyes see it this way.

I saw cartoonist Harry Bliss along with Steve Martin on The View the other day. They were promoting a new book they collaborated on, called Number One Is Walking, their second book together. Harry was great, but he started the interview by saying he was so nervous being on live tv. I found that very humbling and endearing and like him even more for that.

I think I reached out to him before to interview him for 10 With Tom, but never received a response. I’ll maybe try again since he’s out and about promoting his book now.

I’m also trying to get noticed by Andrews McMeel and GoComics.com.

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Be her guest

Ina Garten (left) and Julianna Margulies

I barely boil water and don’t like to cook, but I love watching cooking shows. I watch them all. I find them relaxing.

I know what a chocolate ganache is, how to make a roux, I know the best way to crack eggs and I know the best extra virgin olive oil to buy, but I don’t cook. I just eat.

I was on a plane recently and I started watching an Ina Garten show called Be My Guest With Ina Garten. It’s an hour show where she has people come to her Hamptons house and the first talk for about half an hour over a drink and then they cook together. The best part is the first half hour because you learn so many life lessons from people from different walks of life. One guest is better than the other.

I’ve been DVRing the show and I watch it when I can.

The episode I watched on the plane was with Julianna Margulies where she talks about living life on her own terms. I’ve never seen ER, but she talks about leaving that show. She was offered $27 million to stay for two more seasons after she decided to leave, but she left. People talked bad about her, saying she was thinking she was too big for her britches, when in reality, she left the show to move from Hollywood to NYC where she directed a play for $270.00 a week. $270.00 vs $27 million.

Years later, she was offered the show, The Good Wife, she loved the concept, but she did not want to move back to California, so they ended up moving the whole production to New York, just for her! I have a cousin who worked on that show, as part of production and also the spin-off show – The Good Fight.

I saw Nathan Lane and Emily Blunt and Marcus Samuelsson, who has an incredible life and story.

They talk during the cooking segment, but the best part is when they are sitting across from Ina, telling their story. I learn a lot from their journeys. I’ve rolled back the episodes and watched segments again.

And of course, they go out into the Hamptons at times to shop and that’s a place I love. I was there recently this fall. And if the village of Southhampton didn’t change the schedule, I’ll be at this year’s Tree Lighting and Christmas parade again in a couple of weeks.

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Doctor Who rides again

This Doctor Who cartoon was published recently. It’s re-do of one from 2014. The original is Matt Smith as the doctor, but if you swipe the image, you can see the new doctor, David Tennant is the doctor.

David Tennant played the doctor from 2005 to 2010 and Matt Smith played the doc from 2010 to 2013, right after David. But for I think, it’s three episodes, David Tennant is back for the 60th anniversary specials. So I thought it would be cool to make the cartoon reflect that.

I know they don’t look exactly like either guy, but it’s just a suggestion in both cases because Doctor Who changes so often, that I wanted to cartoon to be timeless. When I first did the cartoon, I didn’t realize that a lady would play Doctor Who, and that happened from 2017 to 2022 with Jodi Whittaker as the doctor.

I’m not a great Doctor Who fan, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but the gag is obvious and it’s been done by other cartoonists over the years. I’m surprised the old Abbot and Costello bit stands up to this day, but people do get the gag and like it.

A guy left a comment on one of the published pieces of David Tennant’s Doctor Who here and said he looked like Colombo. Maybe he does by the way he is touching his chin thinking. I have done a Colombo gag or two over the years. Here is one. Similar, but no way David Tennant, not that the Doctor Who cartoon is either, but you know what I mean.

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