Selling my services; taking commissions

fiverr13I’ve never been one to take commission work, but in these hard times where I don’t have money coming in, I am taking commissions. In the past I did a lot of work for newspapers and magazines – and books – single panel and editorial cartoons – and drawings for advertisements. I remember when I was in high school I used to do spot drawings for a local magazine. I still have all that published work somewhere, probably at my parents house in storage.

I’m also selling comics that I’ve sold before. What I mean is, take this Flintstones comic. Over the years I have sold this to numerous realtors.

I didn’t set out to sell it, I didn’t realize it was online anywhere. I may have posted it online a few years back and perhaps people shared it and it got around that way. My copyright info is at the bottom of the comic and thankfully the people who shared the comic left it there, as that is the proper thing to do when sharing other peoples’ work. But anyway, people reached out to me, they literally searched for my email address and asked to purchase the rights the comic. This has happened many times for this exact comic panel. Out of the blue I got emails, I blogged about it here.

I made a deal to sell them the rights, they purchased the comic and used it for their marketing – usually on postcards or business cards according to the buyer. And all of the buyers were realtors so far I think, except for a magazine publisher.

Anyway, I’m selling the rights for this and I’m doing commission work, starting off with low prices, until I get volume orders. I know my work is worth more, but I need to start somewhere and test the waters. It seems that every time you start a project, there are so many other people out there doing the same thing, especially on the internet. But the good part about cartooning, illustrating and art is that everyone has their own style and that’s what sells, rather than everyone competing to sell the same thing like a regular product or service.

colorize

Before and after colorization.

I am also recoloring old black and white photos. I learned how to do that with Photoshop so I thought I might as well make use of my “talent” and make a few bucks.

It’s amazing how this downtime is changing lives, people are doing things differently and thinking differently. Friends have told me they have taken up cooking and they are working out more and so many of us are doing Spring cleaning and so on. I have a friend who is doing workout classes online and it’s really such a renaissance for so many people.

Anyway, please reach out to me if you need art for anything – personal or commercial: tom@tomversation.com. Thanks!

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Andy Warhol hoarding soup cans

andy-warhol

Saw this picture online titled, “Andy Warhol hoarding Campbell’s Soup Cans and Brillo Boxes.” I thought it was funny. I saw some of the Brillo boxes along with the paintings recently at the Whitney  in NY.

I see he is in Gristede’s a NYC supermarket. I saw Carol Channing once in Gristede’s in NYC, it was years ago, on 59th Street near 5th Avenue, she was at the check out in front of me. The second she spoke she gave herself away – that voice!

Once Mary Wickes was in front of me in line in the supermarket here in Miami – I think it was at Grand Union. She commented on the Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies I was buying. Her hair was snow white not like the jet black you know her as having.

Which brings me to Hello Dolly!, probably Carol Channing’s most famous roles, since I’m doing 6 degrees of everything – I saw Hello Dolly! a couple of summer’s ago, back in NY, with Bernadette Peters as Dolly.

I have been social distancing by staying home, but I did run out to get corned beef and cabbage at a local hang out. I got take-out, but I was quite surprised to see the place so full at lunch time. I thought the governor shut down restaurants and bars and only allowed take-out, but I guess that didn’t take place yet. The place was full of people, more than the allowable 50% and people were closer than 6 feet. I’m concerned as I want this freaking virus gone already – if we don’t stop infections it will never go away.

People need to stay at home to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Social distancing

tweet

While I’m anxious about everything these days, this Tom Tomorrow tweet says it all – I’m feeling the same.

People keep asking me if I miss publishing the daily Grapevine. I don’t. Not even a little. For such a long time I was telling people I didn’t want to leave my house – they were more than welcome to send me photos of events and news so I didn’t have to attend events! I was joking about not wanting to leave my house – I’m not that bad and I don’t know if I could deal with a self-imposed quarantine, but I do prefer being alone and cartooning.

I told my friend Harry that this “social distance” thing is how I have always tried to live my life! He would put me down for it, he doesn’t understand that different people have different personalities. But it looks like my way of life – social distancing – is a thing now, although I hope it ends really soon and be a choice (mine) and not forced on everyone.

I’ve been ‘pumping out’ comics

tomversation-comic-friday2

I’ve been pumping out comics on a daily basis – two, three, four comics a day! And I’m still getting giddy after completing each one. I really love the single panel format. I enjoy having different characters all the time in different situations. So by “pumping out” I don’t mean it to sound like an assembly line – I am enjoying every moment of it!

tomversation-comic-friday1All systems are go for May the 4th for daily publication to start. I chose May the 4th, because it’s sort of a pop culture sort of day – “May the 4th Be With You!”

Pretty soon, this page at Tomversation.com will turn into a gateway page for this blog and also for the Tomversation comic. You’ll see what I mean when it switches over, so you can read the comic daily here online or at social media sites:

Instagram: instagram.com/tomversation.toons/
Facebook: facebook.com/Tomversation.toons/

Go ahead, follow now so you won’t miss out on premier day!!

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Single panel vs comic strip

IMG_4076I’ve been asked why I like single panel cartoons rather than comic strips.

I like to read both, I appreciate both, but for my own projects, I prefer the single panel. They both have their pros and cons to me.

A single panel comic might seem harder in theory, as each day is a single gag that has to be funny, where a comic strip can move the story along without being a belly laugh daily because once you know the characters, you don’t have to be funny every day.

With a comic strip or even a panel with the same characters daily, I’ve found that they write themselves after awhile. Their own personalities come out and you can have a character stare out into the audience and get a laugh without even saying anything. But I get bored drawing the same characters and basic situations day after day.

While a single panel may be a bit difficult where you have to come up with different situations and gags daily, I really enjoy that. I like having different characters and different situations; different time periods -future, past, whatever. As for coming up with the gags, I don’t seem to have a problem with that, I guess it’s just how my mind works. I’ll hear something or read something and I then sort of twist it in my mind and get a comic out of it. I don’t do that to get a comic, I just think like that on a daily basis!

The comic strips take me from three to four hours to complete each strip, where a single panel can take from 45 minutes to an hour. I was told one time by a comics editor that I work too fast, he could tell that by looking at my work, not watching me work, but just by looking at the completed comics.

I like the fact that with a single panel comic, it is easily shared on social media. You don’t have to know the characters, you don’t have to know the storyline, it is just a single gag that you might enjoy and share. I’ve had single panel comics shared on social media by thousands of people and liked by thousands, where I don’t know if that would be the case with a strip unless it’s Peanuts or Pearls Before Swine or something like that.

So I hope you’ll be following Tomversation daily when I start publishing my comic starting May 4th. You can follow here online (that’s a different address than this blog, or at Instagram: instagram.com/tomversation.toons/  and Facebook: facebook.com/Tomversation.toons/

Go ahead, follow now so you won’t miss out on premier day!!

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Art, food, music, friends and of course cucumber punch at Gifford Lane

Once a year, in our little village, we have what’s called the Gifford Lane Art Stroll – it’s about art, but it’s also about food, music and friends – it’s an old fashioned block party and it’s a place where everybody knows everybody else.

I took a Freebee over, it’s a little golf cart that drives people around town, and the driver told me, “The whole town is there!” And that’s the way it’s been for 21 years. It’s one of our favorite events of the year.

Money raised through the art, food and cucumber punch – the best part of the event, goes to two local charities.

My friend Dave and his wife Trina, who started the event so long ago, open their house to visitors. The green cucumber punch is ladled out in the kitchen and people stroll out back to their tropical back yard. It’s old Florida.

A funny thing is that Dave calls out to people as they obliviously walk by, “Thank you for coming! Take all the punch you want!” If I said it, that would be sarcastic, but he means it. And that’s part of the charm of the whole thing.

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Another rejection letter and I’m grateful!

hal-and-high-water-benilda

So it’s time to get off the pot. I need to make a move.

After 15 years, I ended my daily news blog, which chronicled our local town and I am now fully committed to posting daily comics. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the syndicates do not like Hal and High Water.

Just like Benilda threw Hal out, the syndicates seemed to have thrown the Hal comic strip out. I received rejection letters from most of them and yesterday, Andrews McMeel Syndicate sent me a letter explaining their decision, and I’ll take “no” for an answer, as for the rejections, I believe Charles Schulz received 80 of them!

Here is their response:

Thank you for your submission. I have had a chance to review your comic and, unfortunately, we are not in a position to syndicate your feature idea. Although there are some qualities to your work that I do really enjoy, I feel like there isn’t enough to your concept for us to consider running it. There are a number of other syndicates that do an excellent job and you might consider sending your work to them, too.

Best regards,
Andrews McMeel Syndication Editorial

I am happy about this as I find it tedious to draw the same characters and situations day after day. It’s like painting the same painting over and over day after day, my true love is the single panel cartoon. I’ve always been “drawn” to that.

I did explain that to the editors at Andrews McMeel and they must be wondering why I submitted a comic strip. I’m not quite sure myself. I did 30 of the strips and submitted those 30. Maybe one day I’ll post them here so you can see what they were all about.

I’m not sure what they meant by not having enough of a concept as I explained what I would do with the comic for years in the future. But again, I am happy they declined the feature as I would like to do my Tomversation comic panel, rather than a strip, on my own terms.

So here is the news: Starting May the 4th (“May the 4th be with you” day) Tomversation will start publishing daily. So far I have three venues where I will publish online:
At this website: TomFalco.com
Facebook: facebook.com/tomversation.toons
Instagram: instagram.com/tomversation.toons/

If I decide to add another venue, I’ll let you know here.

There are comics on Instagram and Facebook with millions of fans/followers. That is my goal.

Stay tooned.

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here.