Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the gang on sneakers

Peanuts characters are featured on a new line of sneakers from Converse.

The collection will include the Chuck 70 ($100), One Star ($90), and Chuck Taylor All Star ($70) styles.

There are also matching t-shirts, shorts and other items.

I’m tempted to buy this read pair, but I don’t wear high-tops and I’m not sure I would actually wear them. Although I might.

The collection is available Tuesday, May 24. You can see them here.

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Wordle showoffs

I love this cartoon because I love the characters. I drew this months ago and it had different text and context. I don’t even remember what it started out as, but I changed it so many times over the past few months.

I didn’t change the drawing, I changed the wording. It reminded me of something someone said on social media about the New Yorker cartoon I wrote about the other day – that “they draw the images and then figure out what they are saying later,” which of course I don’t think that’s the case, but maybe it is, because this Wordle gag ended up that way.

One part of love about the cartoon is that the thought Steve is thinking “Ouch!” as a Wordle answer is not really an answer because it’s only four letters. But it almost makes it seem like his whole life is Wordle, including all his thoughts.

I find it silly that people post their Wordle scores on social media every day. The silly part is that you don’t see their answers or the way they got to the final word of the day, it shows blank boxes. It doesn’t show what the previous word tries are or even what the word is.

Maybe people just hit a “share” button on Wordle somewhere and it posts your final score without you even realizing what it looks like on Facebook or wherever.

It’s like saying, “I’m great!” everyday.

One friend of mine posted his score every morning and I actually appreciated it because it reminded me to play the game. But posting your score without any concept or content is like saying, “I won an award for something,” and not saying what the something is.

It’s annoying when people post this online, but then again, it gave me the idea for this cartoon, so it all worked out.

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My cartooning styles and ideas

A friend came up with the concept of today’s cartoon.

He kept telling me to do something with “intense” and “in tents.”

“Get it?” He asked. Yes, I got it, but I didn’t know how to put it together. It took a couple of weeks and a couple of different drawings, text and concepts until I came up with this. Lots of changes to come up with this.

This one is self explanatory. Not to put down New Yorker comics lovers, but I wonder if they just pretend to get most of the gags just to be part of the “in crowd” or whatever you call them.

Not being sour grapes here, it’s just a gag and I do admire the cartoonists a lot who do work for the New Yorker. I have interviewed many, I have gone to some of their talks and showings, went to a Roz Chast exhibit a few years back at the Museum of the City of New York.

I’ve submitted stuff to the New Yorker and I know it’s a numbers game to get your first cartoon published and then become “one of them.” But the thing is they take too long to respond to your submission – sometimes eight months! And they have first rights of refusal. So imagine me sending them my fresh work, unpublished, and then waiting months for a reply. The work I publish daily would be eight months old after getting the rejection from the New Yorker, and then is it work publishing “rejected” work?

I have two cartoon styles – one was designed to be a “New Yorker style” and the other is the one I have used all my life, I call a Hanna-Barbera style, or “Flintstones style.” So I have accommodated my work to fit in with the New Yorker, and I like it. I go back and forth, depending on the gag, to see which drawing fits.

Like this one here I call the New Yorker style.

And this caveman one is my “Flintstones/Hanna-Barbera style.”

By the way, this caveman one, speaking of Flintstones, has been one of the most shared, viewed and liked cartoon of all of mine, so who knows what style is best. I just go with my mood that day. Same with the borders. Sometimes there is a very think board, sometimes a wild fat freestyle border, other times no border.

I think the fat, freestyle border works with this chicken cartoon.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say today!

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New Peanuts stamps coming soon

The U.S. Postal Service has announced some new 2022 stamps and you can see here that these new Peanuts stamps will be added to celebrate Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday.

There are 10 designs surrounding Charles Schulz’s image.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps from original Peanuts artwork.

I’m going to buy them, and of course never use them. The release date has not been announced, but I’ll be checking the stamps on my snail mail to see who uses them first, it would be interesting to see who does! Schulz was born Nov. 26, 1922, so possibly November would be the date they are released.

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Do people like snakes?

This snake/worm cartoon from last week has gone viral on Instagram. I’m not sure why, do people like snakes? Or is it worms?

You can see by the numbers below that over 2 million Instagram accounts have seen it, and by the time this story runs, the numbers will be even higher. Over 83,000 people so far have “liked” the image and over almost 8000 people have “saved” the image on Instagram and over 2800 have shared it. They don’t link back to me or tag me, which is the proper thing to do, so those many people shared the image without giving me, the artist, any credit, but that’s ok, my signature and copyright is on the cartoon.

But it’s interesting to see what goes viral on the internet and what doesn’t and this snake/worm cartoon has really taken a life of its own.

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Art curated by museum guards

I saw this piece on CBS Sunday morning. It’s about the security guards at the Baltimore Museum of Art curating the art.

It’s fascinating because they are usually shadows. I totally ignore them when I’m at a museum. For one thing, I always feel they are watching me. They have asked me to stop filming more than once – snapshots are ok, filming not so much, I’m still not sure why, but usually because of that reason, I avoid them.

As one lady says in the piece above, the guards are around the art more than anyone else – day and night. And they know about the art. If you have a question, they probably know the answer. The question I most ask them is, “Where is the exit,” because I’m always getting lost.

But I see them in a whole new light and next time at a museum, I won’t ignore them, I’ll say, “Hello!”

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The influence of cartooning

I saw this meme or whatever it is, on Facebook the other day, and I was transported back to being high school age again. It was sort of like when you smell something and that smell instantly transports you back in time? Well this did it for me.

I was working at a department store after school many years ago and I was in the cafeteria with co-workers, there weren’t many of us there, a handful perhaps. I can picture it now – dark lighting, red leather seating, black tables. Right there in the cafeteria, I drew up a little cartoon on a napkin that said something like this meme above – something about the managers getting paid to stand around and do nothing. And I guess it was a picture of a manger with his or her arms folded.

Karen (her real name), one of the supervisors/managers, saw it and asked me to tear it up. I refused. She was really upset over it. I don’t know what happened next, but I don’t think I got in trouble, and I don’t think I tore it up either.

I was maybe 17 or 18 and Nancy, the boss, was maybe 25. It’s so funny to think about it now, we were kids. On that day, at that moment, it gave me the knowledge of how important and influential cartooning was. I’m sometimes a packrat but I don’t think I saved that cartoon. Wish I had. To think, this napkin drawing, which was never published and probably ended up crumpled up somewhere, had such a huge effect.

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Wallace the Brave

Click on the images for larger version.

Almost five years ago, I interviewed Will Henry, the cartoonist who does the comic strip Wallace the Brave. The comic strip was new at the time, but I saw something I loved about it and reached out to Will for the interview. Today Wallace the Brave is syndicated in newspapers around the country and it’s just as charming as ever.

Wallace the Brave is reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes, yet it’s unique.

PBS did a short interview here. with Will recently, right out in his muse – the Rhode Island waterfront (and his liquor store, where it all started)

I often ask people I interview, which comic strip they would like to crawl into and visit for the day. Wallace’s world in Rhode Island is where I think I would like to visit.

You can read Wallace the Brave online daily at GoComics.com here.

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The changing, and shrinking, comics

I saw in The Daily Cartoonist today, that cartoonist Jim Keefe, cartoonist for Sally Forth, who previous was the writer and artist of Flash Gordon, wrote in his blog a few years ago, about the size, or rather, lack of size of the printed comic strips today.

A few years back I showed this example here, the comics in the Miami Herald – smaller than postage stamps!

I think this is the time I realized that my dream of being a published newspaper cartoonist was not my dream anymore.

I know people read the newspaper comics, but not many. I haven’t read the actual newspaper comics for years, and by years, I mean a decade or more. I think I gave up with The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County left the comics pages. Today I read them online, where you can pick and choose your favorites and sort of make up your own comics page at GoComics.com and Comics Kingdom and other sites like Webtoons.

I think one of the best places these days to publish and to read comics is Instagram. You can follow the comics you like, flip through them one panel at a time and they easily come up in your daily feed, you don’t have to look for them. I publish there Monday thru Friday.

I’m enjoying reading old “Our Boarding House” comic panels featuring Major Hoople, from the 1920s and ’30s, on Facebook. A couple of groups post one Major Hoople panel a day, it has a lot of devoted fans.

In the past I always felt that I had to be published in the newspapers – it was why comic strips were created – to be in the newspapers. Just like movies – created to be seen on the big silver screen. But today big features show up on streaming services and most comics show up online or on social media.

And with both of these situations, you can control what you see, when you see it and how you see it. You can watch a movie on your 3 inch phone or 65 inch tv – same with the comics and those tiny, postage sized comics can be easily blown on on any screen for easing viewing.

By not being confined to daily newspaper publication, you can vary your schedule, you can change the size of the panels – make them longer, shorter, etc. Not be edited, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it, and probably the best part – publish instantly without a four to eight week lag time. I can’t imagine these days completing a comic strip or panel and then waiting eight weeks to see it in print.

Of course, publishing online rather than with a syndicate in newspapers has one major drawback – no money – you don’t get a salary. But times are changing. NFT’s seem to be something interesting to look at these days along with other money-making ideas for artists and cartoonists.

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Winter Arts Festival time

We did our local arts festival yesterday and will go back again today. When I say did, I don’t mean we showed our art, I mean we walked around, ate, drank, kibitzed and enjoyed the show. For one thing, the town is mobbed with people and it’s impossible to get in and out so it’s best to just stay put and enjoy the event.

It is getting a bit out of hand with the $25 entry fee and $15 gyros and $18 taco dishes, but it is what it is.

This weekend every year is the busiest weekend of the year in Miami. There are a few arts festivals, the boat show and some other things. They say it’s impossible to find a hotel room or rent a car – they’re all booked for the weekend.

Oddly enough, it was cold all winter, where I love, but yesterday and I guess today, when a bunch of us go back, it will be very hot.

I ran into my nephew’s friend, he told me that he and his wife got in for free. He said to the people at the gate that they forgot to stamp him when he left and then he rubbed the wet stamp on his wife’s hand after they stamped him – sort of like we used to do at the clubs. So he saved 50 bucks.

I used to be part of this as a sponsor when I did the daily news around here so I would get lots of tickets to give out free. But not anymore, I’m now a peon like everyone else (which I love being by the way), but people didn’t know and I got so many texts and calls from friends and family asking me for tickets. Even the UPS guy was hounding me for tickets. How he got my phone number I’ll never know.

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