I love when people get it

So many times I hold back cartoons because I’m not sure most people will get it. The whole idea is to have people get the gag and laugh. So when that happens, I love that.

Today’s comic really is not going to be funny to people who don’t watch much tv.

Today’s cartoon.

But for tv watchers, it’s obviously a parody of the Domino’s Pizza commercial, which seems to be shown on tv every few minutes. It’s one of those “part of the culture” things, simply by being repeated over and over, sort of like the Bernie Sanders meme, which is still making the rounds. It’s all American pop culture I guess.

I have a friend who doesn’t watch much tv. When he saw my skunk- “We all see it” cartoon, he thought it was a political statement because of the blue streak, but of course thousands of you got it as a parody of the Progressive tv commercial, which is also a “part of the culture” thing.

I saw a talk or read it somewhere that a cartoonist said to just do what you like and the audience will follow. It’s true – it’s being true to myself when I do what I like and not pander to the audience. The audience will get where you are coming from. And they do, it seems.

Here’s the Domino’s commercial for those of you who don’t watch tv. It’s on tv every few minutes. Believe me.

The Brooklyn t-shirt

This Travels With Farley comic strip appeared on January 31, 1978. I follow the old strips on Facebook.

I laughed when I saw it because, well, because I always laugh at Farley, but also, it reminded me of an old t-shirt I had that said in big bold letters, “BROOKLYN.” I bought it at a local Gap store here in Miami and every time I wore it, strangers would come up to me and want to talk about Brooklyn! Sort of like Beethoven here.

Once I wore it to the mall. I was at the food court at International Mall in Miami, with my friend Jorge, and people kept coming up to me separately asking me about Brooklyn – where was I from, where was I born in Brooklyn, how is it today, they hadn’t been back in a long time, etc. Crazy!

I don’t remember what I told them, I think I said, “I’m not from Brooklyn, I got the shirt at The Gap.” Funny thing is I wear a lot of shirts that say, “New York” but no one comments – but this one Brooklyn shirt – fugetaboutit!

Truth is, I WAS born in Brooklyn, but we left when I was three! Yes, I’ve been back 100 times since then, but I didn’t really feel like talking about it with strangers who saw the word on a t-shirt.

The Beethoven reference here always reminds me of comic ideas I have but they have already been used by so many people. Like “Beethoven’s Fifth” and having a bottle of liquor and Beethoven lying drunk over it, or something like that.

I’m making travel plans

I started making travel plans for the year. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a plane. Heck, it’s been so long since I left my city, I hardly left the zip code, this past year!

I made plans for NY for this upcoming summer. I usually spend part of June and July there, I miss my cousins and aunt and uncle. We do a lot together in the summer, actually we do a lot all during the year. We’ve been on the phone and face time a lot this year, compensating for lost time.

We spend time in the city, The Hamptons and Montauk.

Some of us were planning on spending time in Italy during the upcoming summer, but I think it might be best to wait before heading out of the country. Baby steps.

I also am in the process of making my Thanksgiving plans. Yes, already. I’d like to visit Boston and then take the train down to New York after a few days. Love that train trip, I wrote about it here one time.

Molly and me on our way to The Hamptons.

I am still up in the air about October and ComicCon. I’m not sure if it’s on this year, although I assume by October it will be ok to attend and I do love going apple and pumpkin picking in the Hudson Valley in October, so maybe I’ll plan that trip next.

Crossing my fingers that nothing has to be cancelled. But my premonitions are telling me that things will go well this year.

A Bernie comic without Bernie

I threw today’s cartoon together last night.

I follow a bunch of art sites on Instagram – classical artists and museums. Yesterday I was looking at a Monet that came up on the screen and the first thing I did was look for Bernie! That’s when I knew I had to do a cartoon regarding the Bernie memes.

The beauty of it is that Bernie isn’t even in it!

I changed the text about 10 times until I was happy with what it said.

A case of not using pencils

The title of this post is a play on the great website called, “A Case for Pencils,” where Jane Mattimoe interviews New Yorker cartoonists.

I’ve tried to be a New Yorker cartoonist, but they don’t even look at the submitted work. I have many things in the queue; many since April, just sitting there, awaiting attention. They get too many submissions, I guess.

I love reading how cartoonists create their work and it seems that most, if not all of the New Yorker cartoonists still use pen and ink, – or pencils, as the title says. Me, I am all digital.


If I was interviewed for this, I would have to say, “I get an idea, jot it down on a pad. Go back to it and try to decipher what I wrote down. Then draw up the comic on my Surface Pro, and ta da – it’s done. The sad part is that there is no original art.

Years ago, I would eat all that stuff up. I would get the pen nibs suggested by cartoonists I liked and I would buy the proper weight bristol board they suggested. I spent so much time at the art supply stores. I even had a discount card that gave me discounts for shopping there often. Now I can’t remember the last time I stopped into one of these stores.

I remember when I was in college, since I majored in art, I was constantly buying new and exciting things I never heard of – tools that were new to me. My store of choice was Rex Art Supply in Coral Gables, which is no longer there. They have been gone long before the digital age.

I remember before fonts and computers and stuff I would get fonts on sheets that I would rub off on paper. It was for a word or two or three, not for paragraphs or anything like that. I mostly used it make or clean up logos and things like that. There was a time I could look at any font and tell you the name, now I barely notice if I’m using Times Roman or Arial.

I have a box somewhere at my parents house, I think in my old closet, where I have so much of this stuff left over – font sheets, rulers, erasers, pencils, etc. I need to find that box. Open it. And take in the smell – the smell of yesteryear.

Eating in the time of pandemic

I put on 15 pounds this year. I attribute it to not going the gym.

When I was at the doctor’s last week, he said to me sort of shyly, “I don’t want to insult you or say anything out of line, but you need to take off some weight. You need to push yourself away from the table.”

I noticed that the doctor likes to throw shade, he does it ever so subtly quite often.

I said to the doc, “I am usually 186 lbs. Never 187 or 185, always 186 for some strange reason.”

That day I am 201 lbs. Which of course freaks me out, as I never thought I would reach 200 lbs in my life!

I explained to the doc, that I am not over-eating, I am just not going to the gym. Since muscle burns fat, I attribute it to that. I’m not big eater and I mostly eat vegetarian. I have a friend that gets annoyed that I always leave food on the plate and don’t basically lick it clean like he does. I attribute that to not over-eating. When I’m full, I stop.

The doc was surprised and said, “Most people don’t know that muscle burns fat.” And I thought that strange since I thought everyone, especially gym people knew that. He said, “People think muscle burns sugar.” Which seemed a strange thing to say.

I’ve been craving getting back to the gym, but I still don’t feel safe.

But alas, I think I lost the 15 pounds in a few days. I threw it all up! That and the fact that I have not eaten much for the past three days.

On Sunday, I was sick all day. I woke up light headed and for the next 8 hours I vomited on and off and had dry heaves because my body was so cleaned out!

At first I thought it was covid, but I didn’t have any of the symptoms – fever, loss of taste, smell, headaches, etc. None of that, just light headedness and nausea.

Anyway, by the next day, I was 90% well, just a bit stuffy in the ears, which made me still a bit light headed but today I am 99% well.

I don’t know what it is, but I think it was something I ate. I think it was mushrooms I bought on Saturday. I got them at the hot bar at Whole Foods with a bunch of other stuff – roasted peppers, broccoli, etc. So it was one of those things and I suspect the mushrooms.

It was a dumb idea to get anything from an open food bar in this time of pandemic but luckily it was just food poisoning and not something worse. I ended up throwing all the rest of the prepared food out from the food bar – a big salad, pizza, etc.

The good news – I took the 15 lbs. off. The doc will be happy.

It’s all about the cavemen (and women)

It’s interesting that two of the most popular cartoons this year are caveman-related.

These two cartoons got more likes, shares and comments than most of the others.

I try to be more cerebral when I do cartoons and I prefer those, but apparently the readers like these goofy caveman ones.

What’s interesting is that as a child, I was very influenced by The Flintstones. I think the first character I ever drew was Fred Flintstone and I drew Fred over and over again as a child. So I guess there is something there.

This Flintstones comic below is liked by realtors. They have purchased the rights many times to use the image on their flyers and business cards and such.

We all see it . . .

Yesterday’s comic was a hit – a play on the Progressive Insurance commercial. Most people got it, many from out of the country didn’t. It got so many comments, people really enjoyed it and apparently love the commercial.

Progressive Insurance saw it and they re-posted it on their Instagram account.

I almost didn’t use it. I didn’t like the way the skunks came out. I kept playing with it and didn’t want them to look like Disney or Hanna-Barbera characters. But I liked the gag enough to just go with what I came up with.

Here is the commercial for those who have never seen it. Here in the U.S. It’s on tv every other minute it seems, but we never get tired of it!

My doctor died!

I went to my GP yesterday, for regular tests – cholesterol, etc. and he asks me if I have a new cardiologist. I said, “Why would I need a new cardiologist, I have, Dr. Barquet?” and he says, “He died.”

I thought I didn’t hear right. Apparently this youngish doctor died of covid in May. I was in shock. I couldn’t move for a minute. This guy was the sweetest guy ever. My GP told me he was so loved by the medical community that they are all still in mourning so many months later. My GP was in tears.

The crazy part is that he wasn’t part of the medical arts community, you know, in the medical office or hospital with hundreds if not thousands of doctors and patients every day. He bought his own building off from the madding crowd and only had his own patients. He didn’t use elevators or deal with masses of people every day as you would in hospital or medical arts building. He had a one floor office which only consisted of his staff and his own patients.

I had a cardiologist because one of my bothers passed away some years back. My youngest brother had heart or artery problems and as a precaution, doctors had my other brothers and me go to cardiologists for check ups. I would go every couple of years, I guess.

The first doctor I went to was not a nice or friendly guy. The few times I went to his office they would throw me on a gurney and start tests before I could open my mouth – hours later you were released. “I only came to ask you a question!” was my reply after hours of tests. The first time I was there 10 hours – six hours one day and then back another four hours the next! All tests.

This new guy was an angel. So low key, so humble. The first time I met him, we talked. Like humans. He didn’t throw me on a gurney and charge me for exhortation tests. Such a decent and nice human being. And to hear he passed away – I still can’t believe it.

After my GP mentioned that the doctor passed away. He said in a low voice, with his eyes down, “You know from what . . . ” And I said, “Heart disease?” Thinking that the heart doctor ironically had heart disease. But he said, “No.” And he continued to look down in sadness. And I said, “Covid?” And he shook his head “yes.”

I’m still in shock. I am sorry I didn’t know at the time. When I googled it, I see it was in all the papers and on all the tv news, but I never seem to follow local news these days, my tv is always on national news it seems.

One headline at the time said, “Beloved Miami cardiologist dies from coronavirus complications.” He was beloved.

This was the second doctor of mine that died! Many years ago, my family GP died in an accident. He and his family were in a car accident in New England, I think. I believe he was with his whole family and if I remember right only he and one of the children died in the accident, the wife and the other kids survived. That was a hug shock at the time. I mentioned this to my GP yesterday and he remembered that, too.