A friendly reminder

hal-and-high-waterIt’s amazing how my whole life has been enveloped by comics, yet a few years back I was sort of out of it and didn’t think I would draw again. Not for any special reason other than I was underwhelmed with so many comics in the newspapers and felt the heyday was over and I ran a very successful marketing business, so I felt that was my future.

About 12 years ago or so, my friend Victor bought me a bunch of stuff as a gift. I was reminded of it as I was cleaning out the closets recently. He bought me pads and pens or markers, something like that – for a birthday or Christmas gift and he said he hoped it would get me back into drawing and cartooning. It was the sweetest thought.

The funny thing is that it was all items I wouldn’t use and never have. And I’m sure anyone would feel that way because you use your own materials when creating art. If I was a painter, but then again no, isn’t that a song? Anyway, if I was a painter, I would have my own canvases that I preferred and my own paints and brushes.

But Victor’s thought meant so much more than the items themselves. And I am back on the road to cartooning history after all this time with a friendly reminder from those pads and pens.

As you know I post my comic daily online at TomFalco.com
And on FacebookandInstagram

Locked out of Facebook

facebook-facepalm

I was locked out of Facebook early Saturday morning up until Sunday morning. That was the scariest 27 hours!

I don’t know why, but when I went to look at it first thing in the morning, it had me locked out and asked me for a personal ID to get back into the account!

I sent them my drivers license.

It seems this has been going on for many years, but I had never heard of this before. If there is some suspicious activity related to your account, they want to protect you so they lock the account and ask for ID, which in the end works out because people cannot use your photos and clone you then.

Anyway, it’s a scary thing because you don’t realize all of your life that is associated with Facebook. I use the messenger service just as much as texting. I use Facebook for business daily. I run ads on it for my marketing company and I use it to converse with customers sometimes. I also use it to converse with friends and relatives and keep up with them like we all do. Also, when I was writing the news I would use it to verify the spelling of people’s names and sometimes I would get their photo from their to use in a news story, with their permission. It’s become such a part of our lives, it’s amazing the power it has over us.

I use Facebook for everything, not just communicating, but for news. I follow so many news sites – the usual, The NY Times, The Wash Post, etc. but also Channel 3 in Phoenix or The Boston Globe and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Why? Who knows. I follow all sorts of news sites. I follow a lot of cartoonists, too. Basically my whole life is on there.

And of course I publish Tomversation comics Monday through Friday on Facebook as well as other places like Instagram and at TomFalco.com. It was quite upsetting because I just started publishing my comics there and have worked up to quite a large number of followers/fans, but I noticed that if I make a temporary personal Facebook page, I can somehow get in there and continue to post and sort of make it work.

What riled me is that I have ads running on my business page. The account was down, I couldn’t get in but was being charged for ads and I couldn’t get into the account to stop them. This is a multi-billion dollar company, maybe trillion dollar company, with all of our info and there is no way to call them or email them. And you can’t use the forms to reach them unless you are signed into your account, which you cannot do if you are locked out.

One more thing – don’t ever sign up for other accounts through Facebook, I use my email account. You know when you go to join something else and it asks, “Would you like to sign up using your Facebook account or email?” Choose the email. Otherwise, you would be locked out of all those accounts, as well.

The ‘new normal’

new-normalThis cartoon has so many different connotations from people. I changed the text at the last minute, originally it said, “Don’t you miss when only computers got viruses?” But that’s not true since people have always gotten viruses, so I changed it to this instead.

So many of the comments left by readers seem to have struck each one differently.  I saw it as both people stuck in a rut and the wife is constantly saying, “Be patient, it’s the new normal,” or something like that.

Others saw it differently. One lady commented, “Same normal for her: still picking up his crap.” I didn’t see it like that, I saw it as her being loving and handing him a mask so he could be safe. This reader saw it as if he dropped his mask on the floor and she picked it up and was handing it for him! Interesting.

Another person said they hated the phrase the first time they saw it. Someone else said, “They are trying to brain wash us with that phrase.” Another mentioned the Karen meme, which I don’t think I knew about before I named her. Many people repeated that they hated the phrase. Others said, “I like Karen,” or “Listen to Karen and wear your mask.” It could be the Karen meme thing that adds to the comedy, who knows, but people seem to relate to it. Also, I am wondering when they say they “hate that phrase,” do they mean anything to do with Karen or the “new normal?” Things that make you go hmmm.

Is Rob there to rob?

bank-color-print

This comic ran a couple of weeks ago and people loved it. It got a lot of shares on social media. But I thought of another funny version. See this one below?

It’s tricky when you have to read something because if it was on tv or in a movie, it could be taken as, “too,” as in “Are you here too, Rob?” and you would hear it in a way that would make it funnier – “to” and “too.”

bank-color-print2

Evolving drawing styles

I have so many comics that I did years ago that I would like to publish now but they are dated; not the content, but the drawing style. So I guess I need to redraw them.

I always love the original drawing styles of things – for instance when I see Family Guy or American Dad on tv, I love the originals from the first seasons – even The Simpsons and oldies like Popeye. There is something about them.

doonesbury

I love the original Doonesbury, which is sort of simple, but I like it more than the more refined look. Look at this old one, I think it’s the original one from October 1970. So simple, but I love it.

Every comic is like that, they all evolve over time. Well almost, if you look at Bringing Up Father, George McManus’ lines were impeccable from day one it seems; same with Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo, which is perfection.

I have a more refined look than I did years go, so after publishing those, I can’t really go back to the original look, there’s too much of a difference there and it throws things off. But this all of course happens with everything. Fine artists have evolved over time, it’s just natural.

Maybe I’ll show you before and after images some time, you know, of comics I did years ago and how I redraw them.

The anatomy of a cartoon

So I published two weeks of Tomversation comics. Love the feeling, it brings back memories of years ago when I published daily. I am good with deadlines, I published the daily news in our neighborhood for 15 years, published daily comics and also printed and published things for so many years, including school newspapers that I guess every day is a deadline for me.

Anyway, the first comic, the “May the 5th be with you,” started out differently and I changed and redrew it many times. The day before it was to be published I started playing with it. You can see some of the incarnations here. There were more with changes related to these.

These are the finished ones, after I thought I was done and ready for publication, then I went back and moved things around and in some cases just redrew from scratch. You know, when I had Obi-Wan Kenobi handing Luke the bottle in the one drawing, I was wondering why is he just handing him a bottle in the middle of nowhere. Then I thought of the bar and added a couple of musicians, but still it wasn’t right.

I didn’t want to end up drawing that chaotic scene in the small panel I had to work with, so I ended up with the two of them at the table with Chewbacca and I did leave out Han Solo, who I believe is at the table, too. It was just too busy for everyone and everything.

This is what I love about single panel cartoons, too. You have that space and you have to make best use of it. Some guy mentioned on a social media site that the cartoon is a copy of some meme. I don’t remember seeing the meme, but that is the one thing I don’t like about single panel cartoons, it seems that everything has been done before. I’m guessing the “5th be with you” part is what he is referring to in the meme, not the whole bar set up, etc. But this is my concept, from my brain and that’s how it came to be.

Anyway, as you can see, first it was just a bartender and a guy in the bar, then the bartender ended up with a Darth Vader mask on then it ended up being the wookie bar or whatever that is on Star Wars and on and on and it finally because what it is.

I usually take 45 minutes to an hour to complete one panel cartoon, this one took six to seven hours with all the re-draws and changes!

Ignorance is bliss; I got my mojo back

calvin-and-hobbes

I’ve been seeing so many good things happen this past month or so. I don’t know if it’s the whole stop and regroup thing with this sheltering-in-place or something else.

In the past, most of my life, I was always in the right place at the right time, I would will things, seriously, I would manifest whatever I wanted. I did this before The Secret was a thing, I didn’t know I was doing it, I would just do it.

I had premonitions all the time, too.

But for some reason, it all stopped. I was off kilter, I was almost in the right place at the right time, but not exactly, I was off a few degrees. I had problems willing things and the whole system shut down.

Now that it is back – and in a big way – I realize that my doing the daily news here in my town for 15 years maybe have been a big part of the problem. It was all that negativity. I myself turned negative, I got swept up into politics and things I normally would not care about. And I am sure there was a lot of hate coming toward me from people who disagreed with me. I am sure I spewed a lot of hate right back at them. It was sort of part of the job – journalism can be ugly.

I don’t want to say the whole thing was ugly, because it wasn’t. I met so many people and made so many new friends to this day. I was part of so many events too, on the inside, where I would not have normally been a part of. I got preferential treatment all over and honestly in so many instances, I was treated like a celebrity. But I like that the run is over.

Now that I ended that 15 year run, I see a difference. I feel peace, I live positively and I shut out negativity. It could be the sheltering-in-place and the settling of the universe, too. But I noticed that I am able to turn the negativity off whereas in the past I was in the middle of it all whether I wanted to be or not.

Now, again I have been willing and manifesting things, I have been having lots of “good luck” and graces or whatever you want to call it and I feel like I have my mojo back and I believe it all has to do with changes I made, especially the change of not reporting the news around here and not being in the middle of all the quarrels and such. I don’t have  a clue what’s going on around town and I love it! Ignorance is truly bliss!