What if it happened today?

This I Love Lucy comic was published today. It’s one of my favorites. I changed it a lot throughout yesterday, adding something, removing something, changing an arm, etc. It’s a classic episode that I think everyone knows.

I like taking something from the past, like a tv show, and putting it in the present to see how things would change. I did it with the Columbo comic in May and people liked it.

I have other ideas in mind for future comics and if you have any, feel free to email me with an idea of your own.

It’s all about the coffee

The last two comics published yesterday and today are coffee related. I guess I have coffee on my mind. Maybe it’s because I gave up drinking coffee a couple of months ago. I’ve been drinking green tea instead of my usual two or more cups of coffee a day!

The rough. Yes, this is a comic idea from a few years back.
That’s Jacomo diving into the coffee and Tombo asking, “How does he do that?”

The above comic was originally planned for Jacomo and Tombo, remember them? The mole and the rabbit comic I used to have called “Paws?” Jacomo was swimming in the coffee and Tombo was reacting. In theory anyway, I had this old scribble on my desk and I drew it as the comic above rather than having Jacomo doing the swimming.

This other one which is running today was also a scribble I had on my desk. I actually have hundreds of scribbles on scraps of paper. People ask me where I get my ideas from, I don’t really know, but I do scribble them down when they cross my mind. Sometimes they marinate for years until I use them.

Today’s comic

Cultures

I was watching something on tv last night. A South African guy is married to an American woman. She wants to live in America and he wants to live in South Africa. Right now they are living in America. But he misses his friends and family and way of life in South Africa. They went back for a visit and he is homesick.

His wife brought up a very interesting point which I don’t think I ever thought of. She said that her South African husband’s sister had never met an American before, her sister-in-law (his wife) is the first one ever.

The American wife feels that in America, we have all cultures, we meet all types of people And I found that very interesting. Imagine never having met a South African person before or an Australian or French or Italian person ever in your life. I guess we take that for granted in the United States.

So many times I think it would be nice to live in Italy, but perhaps unless you are in the tourist areas, you may never see other cultures. It’s something to think about.

Menacing in the shadows

I don’t like to judge people when I first see them, but it’s human nature.

I go to this place in town for lunch often, maybe two or three times a week. You can’t eat inside, but you can eat out in the closed off street or you can take-out at the window. I’ve mostly go alone for take-out, but I’ve eaten there with friends sitting at tables, too.

From the first day I started going during the pandemic, months ago, I’ve seen these two guys there – every single time. No matter when I go, at lunchtime, there they are. Sort of near the take-out window, in the shadows, drinking beer. They usually have dark masks on or they are holding them and for some reason, they look at me and I look at them and no one says anything. I find them menacing.

I live in a small village, and everyone knows everyone else, but these two guys are strangers to me. But there they are, every single day at lunchtime, menacing in the corner, drinking beer.

Well, the other day as I parked my car nearby and got out, one of the guys was walking toward me on the sidewalk. I didn’t realize who it was until he said, “Hello.” When I looked up I realized he was one of the menacing ones.

But there he was, he was a harmless, skinny, gray haired guy in his 60s and didn’t look very menacing. I stopped him and said, “Tell me, what are you guys about? I see you every time I’m at the restaurant.”

He tells me he is a college professor and his friend is a computer IT guy or something like that. They are working from home these days (zooming as he called it) and they take a daily break to meet up for lunch/beer. He told me his name, so next time I go by, I’ll call out, “Hi so-and-so,” and I’m sure his friend will get a kick out it.

But it’s interesting how we judge people and how they are different in different locations and situations. They never said anything to me before, but I never said anything to them. We were just there. Seen but not heard.

My comics goals

comicsFor most of my life, I daresay for all of my life, my goal was to have a daily comic strip on the newspapers. A syndicated comic strip was my life’s dream.

For a few years – maybe 10 or so, I dropped that dream, I started a business and concentrated on that. I’m not a businessman or into that, but that was my life. I think I didn’t see a future in comics for anyone and I felt that the dream was dead.

But then it resurrected and my goal was to be published and be in print. I only had that goal in mind. I felt that comics were created for newspapers and that is the only place to be if you created a comic strip or panel. It was like producing a movie – you want it on the big screen. But things change.

Now I am not interested in being in print, which was a shock and horror moment for me to even conceive of this. It was so out of my normal thinking. But in reality, the readers are online. I myself have stopped reading comics in newspapers years ago. For one thing, I never care for the selection the newspapers have and I can pick and choose what I like.

Even with movies, there is a brand new world out there. You get more viewers for most movies on Netflix and Amazon than you do in the theaters. And that is how comics are.

My goal is to have millions of followers on social media – especially on Instagram. Yes, I said millions! And this is not a strange concept. Many cartoonists have millions of followers and many have hundreds of thousands! That’s where people are reading comics.

I have quite a nice following on Facebook and it’s growing on Instagram. I also publish on my own website. Eventually I would like to be part of GoComics and I’ve been working on getting press lately. I think if I get local or national press, it will give me a big bump in readership.

A life in comics

This is a little snippet about the Hy Eisman “A Life in Comics” documentary. There is a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the completion of the film. I donated the other day.

Cartoonist Hy Eisman, is a cartoonist of over 70 years. You’ve seen his work. He produced The Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye, doing both Sunday strips at the same time – the writing and drawing. And each had their own feel.

Mr. Eisman continues to cartoon today.

Too close for comfort

Above is one of my comics I published on July 22. Below is a Six Chix comic by Bianca Xunise, that was published yesterday, August 18, a month later. I guess I’ll take it as a coincidence. Coincidental layout, set-up and coloring. But coincidence, right?

Over the years I have seen my work redone by others and always chalked it up to coincidence. I have been accused of borrowing others’ ideas, But I never have. Great minds think alike I guess, and there are only so many ideas to go around. I guess.

I’m paperless!

miami-heraldI cancelled my Miami Herald subscription. First time in my life! I don’t think I have ever not had a newspaper delivery even as kids my parents always got a newspaper or two delivered. But I am tired of the lack of service by the delivery person and the constant increase in price.

It bothers me because I want to support the newspaper and I will probably subscribe digitally, as I have done with other newspapers, which I mentioned last week. But I haven’t been reading it. I don’t even pick it up and bring it inside most days and I’ve only used it for the tv listings, which of course, I can easily get online.

When I was a kid, there were so many options, I could easily get seven or so newspapers a day if I wanted. I usually got those to read the comics.  Now I read the comics online.

I do hope newspapers all survive. They are part of our lives, part of daily life. So many of us still do read the newspapers, but we don’t realize it. But when you are reading stories and clicking on things all over the internet and on social media, most likely you are clicking on daily newspapers and reading stories that interest you. I think I must follow 100 newspapers and tv stations from all around the country on Facebook. And I pick and choose what to read as they post the stories.

I will continue my new practice of subscribing to local newspapers from around the country online. It’s not expensive, you get the actual newspapers to flip through as an e-paper and I’m supporting them and seeing what’s up around the country. I believe that the circulation of newspapers this way is up, but they are having a hard time monetizing it. I’m not sure why it’s such a problem to transfer advertisers from the printed page to digital. The audience is online.

Missing ‘Breaking Bad’

breaking-bad

Walter White & Jesse from Breaking Bad

I’ve been watching a lot of tv while in self quarantine among other things – cleaning out the closets, working out (love the new bands I got), cartooning of course, and even cooking, which I don’t normally do, but I have been watching more tv than usual.

I love Breaking Bad and never get tired of it, I’ve mentioned that before in another post. I have those DVR’d but oddly enough, I can only make myself watch it on Sundays – night or day, doesn’t matter, but it must be Sunday. I watched a couple of episodes yesterday. But alas, the freaking DVR didn’t tape all the episodes, right in the middle I see that 20 episodes are missing!

baking-bad-comicWhen I first started watching all the episodes for the first time, I did that On Demand. And even on demand some episodes were missing – one important one and one of my favorite episodes, was missing. I didn’t know it was one of my favorites at the time because I had never seen it before, but as I watched the episodes in order, I noticed something was missing, it seemed to jump from one episode to another, skipping a big part of the story line.

So I went online and lo and behold, there was one of the most important and best episodes on the AMC website, so I watched it there. The episode is “Face Off” (spoiler alert if you click that link) and my other favorite episode is “Dead Freight,” the train one. These are my two favorite episodes and I think “Face Off” is a very important episode which moves the story along.

I’m not sure what I love about the show – the acting? the characters? the location? I guess the whole story is amazing and riveting. I love Albuquerque and the locations and scenery and I love the family scenes in and at the houses.

I see Breaking Bad is on Netflix, so I guess I’ll just catch up an continue watching there.

I like what Jason says

“Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like.”

jason-chatfieldThat’s a quote from cartoonist Jason Chatfield from a recent interview in Medium. Jason is the Ginger Meggs comic strip cartoonist and also a New Yorker caroonist. Ginger Meggs is a 100 year old comic strip from Australia, that Jason took over in 2007.

I like what he says about the art and cartooning being what the creator likes rather than the audience. I do seem to concern myself with the audience. But I do get a bit giddy when a cartoon is completed, so I guess I do like what is being put out there.

About The New Yorker magazine, he says – “be prepared for rejection,” which is what I am up against whenever I send them submissions. But they get so many submissions and they probably just whiz by them.

Another thing that Jason says is that he ignores social media. While he posts on social media, he ignores the comments. It would be nice to do that too in many cases, but I think the whole point of social media is to be social, so reading the comments and interacting with readers is just part of the process. If I don’t like a comment I just ignore it.

I met a syndicated cartoonist a few years back who has the comments blocked on his GoComics site. So he publishes daily, but gets no feedback, which works for him but again, everything has comments these days – Facebook, blogs, news articles – comments are sort of what’s expected.

So anyway, enough about Jason, Jason, Jason. I just thought some of the things he said were quite interesting.