Some of my favorite comics strips

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Some of my favorite comics these days are Ipso Facto by Mike Wallster. It’s about one of the last remaining video stores in the country called Eddie’s Video Paradise. I love the drawing style and it’s funny.

Mike has started posting again after a long absence and in color now. I hope he keeps up the schedule, I enjoy seeing it.

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I also like War and Peas by Elizabeth Pich and Jonathan Kunz. I also love the drawing style, it draws you in. It seems simple at first, but it’s actually quite intricate.

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Also, a bit new is Macanudo by Liniers. It’s a bit weird and sometimes hard to understand, but that’s what makes it great. Even greater is the drawing. I’ve never seen it printed in newspapers, I’ve just seen it online. I’m not sure seeing it printed in newspapers would do it justice. Is the quality diminished, you know, I mean does the line work show up well? Does the color pop out like it does online?

The one comic shown here is word for word taken from the first Peanuts strip ever. Word for word. And it works!

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The first Peanuts strip, October 2, 1950.

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Lots of rules at the MET Museum

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I got yelled at at The Metropolitan Museum of Art the other today for taking video. I was taking a few 10 second videos of statues for my Instagram account. When I asked the security guy out of curiosity, what the difference is between still pics and video, thinking it hurt the art in some way like flash photography, he said it was because people visiting the museum don’t like being in other people’s videos. It starts fights. I guess the still images like these below are ok with shy patrons, which makes no sense at all.

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This isn’t the guard who yelled at me. I just took the picture because I loved his look.

Another guard yelled at a lady who had an empty water bottle in her hand. He warned her about filling it at a water fountain. She explained that she could not find a trash can to dump it so she was carrying it around. Oh, and backpacks. The guy who yelled at me told me that backpacks are not appreciated either, although almost every tourist in there had one. He said when people are bumped into with a backpack it causes fights. He should try riding the subway some day. Half the space taken up in the trains is by backpacks on people’s backs.

I think the museums are fed up with tourists and crowds. I am too, but that’s what pays the bills.

By the way, I loved the Play it Loud exhibit, there until October 1. It’s musical instruments from famous rock history.

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I think the ancient Egyptian items are the best.

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Prince’s guitar, part of the Play it Loud exhibit. 

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The Beatles instruments part of the Play it Loud exhibit.

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A comic on the subway wall

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I took this photo on the NY subway on Saturday. Do you see what I see? No. Not the girl, not the filthy walls outside the window, either. I’m talking about the comic strip on the wall. It’s an ad, but still, it’s a comic.

For years I’ve had this idea of a comic panel, or possibly strip, on this square box ad space on the subways. I always imagined my own comic, Tomversation, in that space. It would be changed out a couple of times a week, maybe weekly, I don’t know how convenient or inconvenient it would be to change the image regularly.

I also had an idea about Amazon. What if there was a daily comic strip panel on their homepage? It would give people a reason to visit the site daily.  I love Amazon and I shop there all the time, but I haven’t been on the site in weeks (yes, even with their Amazon Prime Days). I can picture it now, a daily Tomversation comic panel, right at the top of the Amazon home page. I wonder how I could pitch this to Jeff Bezos. Hmmm.

Revisiting the NY Times

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See this Starbucks coffee and NY Times? What’s interesting is that this Starbucks is in the lobby of a building on Park Row, right next to the original NY Times which was in the building starting in 1889.

Park Row, across from City Hall, is where many NY newspapers were in the 1800s – The Times, The Sun, The Tribune, The Herald. Most buildings are gone now.

The newspapers eventually moved uptown. The Times to Times Square, The Herald to Herald Square and The Sun just a block away, into the old A.T. Stewart Dry Goods Store which moved there in 1846. The Sun took the building over in 1917.

The clocks are still on the corners of the building. It’s hard to read it all but they say, “The Sun. It shines for all.”

 

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The Times building is the light color building on the left.

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The entrance to The Sun building, still there at 280 Broadway (the building, not the newspaper).

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The Sun building today.

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Newsboys. 100 years ago.

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“The Sun. It shines for all.” These clocks are still on each corner of the building today.

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Joseph Pulitzer’s World building, The Sun (the small building), The Tribune and the Times.

Enjoyed the play, ‘Ink’

inkWe went to see “Ink” over the weekend at the Samuel J. Friedman theater in NYC.

It was closing, night, but hopefully it will come back. Ink is about The Sun, the British newspaper and the play stars Bertie Carvel and Johnny Lee Miller. Bertie plays Rupert Murdoch, who purchased The Sun in 1969 and changed the whole format of news and newspapers with Johnny playing Larry Lamb, the editor.

I really enjoyed it. There is a bit of musical in it and I enjoyed the part where the whole newspaper-making process is described and shown on stage.

She’s putting down The Flintstones; how do you put down The Flintstones?

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There’s an article in AV Club by Emily Todd VanDerWerff, who rips apart my favorite all-time cartoon.

The article, “In The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera found a shameless rip-off that worked,” she tells of how it’s a take-off of the Honeymooners.

I guess I always knew that, but I always thought it was an homage to the Honeymooners, I mean there’s a thought in life and art that nothing is original. Everything is “stolen.”

I wrote about a book once called, “Steal Like An Artist,” where the author Austin Kleon says that there are no original ideas.

I guess I’m touchy about The Flintstones because I think that’s my favorite all time cartoon. Fred Flintstone was the first character I would draw as a child. When people are asked who their influences are, I always say Hanna-Barbera first, followed by Charles Schulz.

But my early years, I mean, like being two and three and four, was The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw.

My earliest childhood memory is me running around the apartment in Brooklyn naked (I was about two or three years old), my mother was running after me trying to get me into the bathtub and Huckleberry Hound was coming on the tv – the actual theme song for the show was playing! I can see this scene in my head and remember it!

The writer, VanDerWerff is probably a millennial who doesn’t get it, she probably grew up with the Cartoon network and all those other channels like Boomerang and Nickelodeon. They show cartoons all day. But we watched cartoons when they were on, not at any whim of time or day and we didn’t have 20 channels just for cartoons. So we appreciated the cartoons we had. It sounds like I trudged through snow to get to school, but you know what I’m saying.

The only thing I like is her name – VanDerWerff, because it sounds like Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone – Jean Vander Pyl.

By the way, I have a comic that I did which is a spoof of The Flintstones. I took it out of circulation, because I would like to publish it again, but people find it somewhere on the internet and ask to buy it for various things – business cards, invitations, things like that. I’m always surprised that every once in awhile I’ll get a random email from a stranger. It wasn’t for sale anywhere, people just out of the blue contact me and ask to purchase the rights. It started last summer. And I often wonder how many people have just taken it and used it without knowing how to reach me or that they should ask for permission. But it’s interesting that it’s usually the same comic all the time, a Flintstones comic.

The Flintstones is my favorite cartoon and always will be.

Straphangers in the Parks

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This cartoon is 114 years old, and it’s still very striking and funny and informative, as it was on the day it was published on page 23 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on May 4, 1905.

Apparently life was a bit simpler back then and the main issue was park benches. First world problems.

The cartoon was drawn by Daily Eagle cartoonist Claudius Maybell. I couldn’t find much about him online, but I did find this in an article from a 1902 Strand Magazine article. It’s part of a longer article called, “The American Cartoonist and His Work.” You can scroll to the top of the article at this link and read about the cartoonists of 1902.

Below is another cartoon from Maybell in 1905. The subway doors were like guillotines back then and he came up with a clever invention to prevent accidents by closing doors.

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