Going to Town with Roz Chast

I thought I had written about it but guess not  . . . I am talking about the “Going Into Town” book by cartoonist Roz Chast. I finally got around to reading it. My cousin had handed it to me one day, she said she thought of me when she saw it so she bought it. She knows I love New York and cartooning and this book is perfect for both.

She asked me if I had ever heard of Roz Chast and I had to laugh because I found one of my favorite museums in New York because of Roz Chast. A few years ago, The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit featuring Roz Chast’s work. There was a lot of original cartoon art from her New Yorker magazine work and so much more.

I had never been to that museum so I took the subway up to 103 Street and fell in love with the area. It’s sort of a Latin neighborhood with bodegas and lots of people and activity and then you walk over to the 5th Avenue end, where the museum is, right across the street from Central Park and it’s a different world. Thanks to Roz Chast, I have visited that neighborhood and that museum numerous times over the last few years.

Anyway, I finally got around to reading the book and it’s hilarious. It’s written in Roz’s hand, literally. It’s not typeset, it’s spelled out in her handwriting. It’s all about New York City in a truthful and funny way with the cartoonist accompanying the narrative. I think it’s for tourists but it’s funnier if you know the city yourself. Like where she explains that the sidewalks of NYC are a think shell covering a vast honeycomb of pipes and tunnels which is something you really don’t want to think about.

Roz explains the city’s street system – the grid system and uptown and downtown and she seems to like the random buildings in New York that have different businesses on different floors, you know, like very busy buildings with a dentist on one floor, a shoe store on another, a hat store on another and they are all displayed in the front windows as you look at the building from top to bottom.

She prefers cities to nature and she really gets into the city. It’s a funny book, and great for a person who loves New York City. You can see more about it her at Amazon.


Venice in the Gables

Coral Gables has a new art installation called Venice in the Gables where 30 local artists are designing Venetian columns to celebrate the completion of the redesign of Miracle Mile. Miami has had many installations like this from the Peacock Tour in Coconut Grove in 2010 to roosters in Little Havana, Manatees in South Miami, dogs in Pinecrest and Coral Gables had flamingos at one time, too.

It is to celebrate the completion of the Miracle Mile renovation.

Eight foot tall replicas of Venetian mooring posts will be placed around the streets in Coral Gables. My friend Eileen Seitz is part of the painting group, I stopped by the storefront on Miracle Mile where they are creating the columns. 100 artists submitted images and 30 were chosen for this project.

On May 18, there is a sort of unveiling party at the Museum of Coral Gables, then the plaster painted poles will be placed on the streets. Say that 10 times fast.

Here are a bunch of photos and stories on our Coconut Grove Peacock Tour in 2010 which I was a part of. I didn’t paint, but I helped promote it, plan it and distribute the peacocks. I was supposed to emcee the auction at the end of the peacock tour but luckily it ended up being an online auction so I didn’t have to do that.

The Batman/Starry Night t-shirt

tom-4-28-18-a I got that Batman/Starry Night t-shirt I liked that I saw in that story about the Starry Night house, remember?

They had it at Amazon and I had it delivered in two days via Prime.

Now what? Guess I’ll wear it around town and of course at this year’s New York Comic Con. tom-4-28-18-b

The Van Gogh house in Mt. Dora

I saw this story in the news about a house in Mt. Dora, Florida, that is painted to look like Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting.  Here is a video with artist Richard Barrenechea explaining the art/house.

People either hate it or love it, I’m not sure how I feel about this, but Starry Night is my favorite piece of art. I have it all over my house as knock-off paintings, posters, even a coffee mug.



But you know what I like better than that house? Richard’s shirt. Look at this screen capture I took from another video at the Orlando Sentinel site. Batman/Van Gogh! Love it!

I found a similar shirt on Amazon, is it the same thing? I want it.

Peanuts Global Artist Collective Murals


Snoopy by Avaf.

A new project began this week called the Peanuts Global Artist Collective. Seven artists were chosen to interpret the Peanuts characters on 15′ x 10′ murals at Hudson Square in NYC. Similar projects are happening in Paris; Seoul, South Korea; Berlin; San Francisco; Tokyo and Mexico City.

Hudson Square is in lower Manhattan in SoHo, on the west side.

The artists are Mr. A, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF, FriendsWithYou, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf. You can see them here.

And here is a map of the locations of the murals. It’s in an area I love. I have mentioned before the old Keller Hotel at Barrow and West Side Highway in Greenwich Village; well this is just a little further downtown from that. I take this route sometimes when I meet up with my cousin at her office down in SoHo.

The murals will be up for three months, so I’ll get to see them when I’m in NY June and July. I look forward to it.

A perfect collaboration


I don’t know if it was meant to be an April Fools joke, but I took it that way seeing today’s Bloom County. I’m not sure where else it is published, but I follow it on Facebook and it comes up in my feed.

Today, Bloom County is called, “Calvin County” and it features Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes.

At first I wondered by Berkeley Breathed did this. Why would he copy Calvin and make him the star of today’s strip. And the drawings of Calvin were so perfect, that I thought he probably traced him.

But if you look at the byline, it gives it away – it’s signed by both Bill Watterson and Berkeley Breathed!

Perfect April Fools day comic.

You can see the full comic here.

The internet has changed cartooning


Cartoonist Dan Rosandich wrote an article called “Cartoonist cost cutting.” I thought it had to do with the supplies. He was writing about the disappearance of paid staff political cartoonists by newspapers and he blames the internet, which of course decimated the whole newspaper business, not just cartoonists.

But in many cases, the internet has allowed many more cartoonsits to flurish and work for themselves and be seen by many more people who might not have seen their work.

Also, regarding art supplies, I don’t remember the last time I was at an art supply store since I do everything digital now. I don’t even remember the last time I bought a pencil!

Dan has a couple of more articles regarding the way the world wide web has affected cartoonist. He is not a happy camper.  But the internet has changed so many professions. I think along with newspapers, retail has to be the biggest, Amazon is taking over the world. Even supermarkets are closing because people shop for food online now!