It’s the end of the world as we know it

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I tried something different  with today’s comic – with the size of the comic. It’s a long, comic strip length panel, rather than the usual 5″ x 5″ square.

A while back I started drawing the comics in this format and liked the look and it gave me more room to work with, but in the end, I do like the even 5″ x 5″ square size.

Today’s comic, about the Mayan calendar came up because there is a lot of talk lately about the 2012 date when the world was supposed to end as being wrong. You may remember that the big round Mayan calendar ended on Dec. 22, 2012 and that was doomsday, when the world would end. Of course it didn’t. But there has been talk about this or next week being the end of the world, apparently the calendar was read wrong.

I did this comic back then. It was simply the one scientist saying to the other, “Hold up, there’s a second side!” But I embellished it for 2020 since it almost seems as if this is the end of the world with everything that is going on these days – there is something else crazy and newsworthy every other day it seems. So I just changed the text and there we go.

I remember drawing this at the time. The center artwork in the round calendar was very time consuming. I was running late for lunch, I was meeting two friends I remember, and I was trying to get it done before I left. I never like to leave an unfinished piece of work. So I am assuming I got it done before rushing off. I can almost see myself adding all the little tedious details at the time, sitting right here where I am writing this now – at the same desk.

What I also did today that is interesting, is that if you see the comic on Instagram – I tried something new. The comic scrolls. It is the one long panel, but it is not broken up, you literally scroll through the full panel. It was fun learning that and I’ll use it on future long length panels.

An unassuming influence

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Cartoonist Ralph Dunagin passed away last week. I always loved his work on the Dunagin’s People comic growing up and I see he worked on so many other things I liked like Grin and Bear It and The Middletons.

As I look at his work these days, I see so much of him rubbed off on me and I didn’t realize it. Apparently he was a big influence on my drawing style. I always tell people that Hanna-Barbera and Charles Schulz were my influences, but as I look at Dunagin’s work, I see my own drawing style – I got so much from him.

My faces look similar as well as the broken lines, which I like and also even simple things like shirt sleeves. I see it all in my work now. It seems as if he was my biggest influence without me even knowing it! Very unassuming!

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Superhero face masks

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I like these superhero face masks, but I don’t know if I would wear them. The logo is too big.

I’ve seen some fun ones with Charlie Brown and Snoopy, I Love Lucy and others.

Right now I wear a solid black one, which I like, it’s a bit heavy though and I’m thinking of changing it. But I’ve ordered so many and unless you buy them and then try them, there is no way of knowing if they fit right or if you can breathe through them and things like that. I must have 12 of them about now, and only like one or two.

I do like this Batman one with the logo small to the side. What do you think? Too geeky?

People are going crazy with the masks now. I notice on tv, the news reporters are matching their ties now. If they have on a red tie, they wear a red mask, and so on.

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Too many logos on this one.

The demise of editorial cartoons?

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You can’t please anyone. Travels With Farley from June 23, 1977.

The Washington Post has an article about the slow demise of editorial cartoons and cartoonists, because they are offending some readers and I guess in this day and age, newspapers need to hold on to all the subscribers they can.

join-or-dieIronically, the first cartoons in newspapers were editorial cartoons from way back – in fact the first one ran in, 1754! Yup, in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. You may have seen it over the years, it’s right here, the “join or die” image, regarding the colonies.

I’m often concerned about losing followers or readers, not by what I post, but sometimes what they say – in the comments sections, mostly on Facebook and Instagram. I keep my mouth shut, but at times I want to argue. I have been known to delete some comments that are racist or stupid.

But it is interesting that a couple of complaints over a cartoon and newspapers would rather dump the whole editorial cartoon department rather than a subscriber or two. Which often makes me wonder since there isn’t the competition there was years ago. Most cities only have one newspaper, so there is nowhere else for a reader to go if they are in the daily newspaper reading habit.

I feel they are spiting themselves by unsubscribing to a daily habit that they have probably had most of their lives. It’s just so easy to just turn the page – sort of like turning the tv channel if you don’t like something, rather than complaining to the network.

Baking bad

baking-bad-comicToday’s comic really makes me laugh. I don’t know if it’s the drawing or what.

I was watching Breaking Bad as I usually do on Sunday and the thought came to me. So simple, yet so funny.

I know the characters so well that I didn’t need to look at a photo for context, I just know Walter White so well. I guess this is a mixture of two of my favorite things – Breaking Bad and the cooking shows I like to watch on Saturday mornings.

Sharing is caring

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Not bad – check this out. Today’s comic is doing well after only one hour on Facebook – there are 106 shares already – going viral fast.

I love when people share the posts/comics – it’s really helped with circulation on Facebook, there are about 13,000 fans/followers in just a few weeks!

On Instagram there are about 2500, but it’s going slow because they don’t have a share button. I think there are two things Instagram needs – a share button and a way to add a link in the write up area. I’m wondering why they don’t have that since they are a part of Facebook and it would really help out with more engagement.

As you know, you can follow my Tomversation comics here:

Online at TomFalco.com and at Facebook and Instagram here:
Facebook.com/Tomversation.toons
Instagram.com/tomversation.toons

A couple of drawing styles

I have a couple of drawing styles. Why? Who knows, maybe the Gemini in me – duel personality; duel drawing styles.

clubbing-printI noticed that I got a lot of likes and shares when I posted this silly caveman and woman comic the other day. I have been getting lots of shares with most of the comics, but this one seemed to be one of the the most liked, along with the SpaceX one, which was number one so far.

I will go back and forth because I draw differently depending on the subject matter. I guess the New Yorker-style drawings are more esoteric subjects where you have to think about the gag for a minute like this one with the oranges and apple pay and the “Empty When Full” one.

But the silly ones where they are right in your face, along with the drawing style, I call, “Flintstones-style,” are a fast, easy gag.

Drawing with a game cube controller

As I try making my way to 1 million followers on Instagram and Facebook I find it interesting that cartoonists that draw stick figures have a million followers or more. One guy does his comic using a game cube controller, I believe he has 2 million followers!

I don’t like to put down other cartoonists or artists, because I believe anything creative and created is art. But it makes you think. Drawing with a game cube controller.

But I remember years ago seeing a famous cartoonist who used toothpicks. He would dip them in the inkwell and use that as a pen nib. I guess it’s all about the finished product.

Back to work after zooming

This cartoon was published today. I kept going back and forth between the two images. At first I liked the boxers, then the jockeys (wide fronts in England), then back to the boxers. What do you think? I was going to run both at the same time, but then I thought people would dwell on the boxers or briefs subject rather than the comic itself.

At the last minute I added the mask. You may not be wearing pants, but in public, please don’t forget your mask.

I think the smaller underwear almost makes the guy look naked, less clothing seems funny in this instance but the hearts boxers are funny, as well.

One last thing, in the finished comic, I removed the garbage can, it made it a bit cleaner.

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Kids making and selling comics

comicsNext time I am in Brooklyn, I’d like to check out this comic book store called “Loot.” I saw a segment about it on the Today Show recently.

It’s not just a comic book store, but it’s a place where kids can sit around and create their own comics and the store will sell them! The kids keep 90% of the proceeds from the sale which is “loot” for them in the shop. It looks as if the place opened last summer.

There are over 3000 comics, mostly personal comics of owner Joe Einhorn, that can be bought or borrowed, like a library.

There are tables where kids can sit around and create. There are workshops, too where kids can learn the craft and where they are teamed up to create comic books.

The store has white walls and looks a lot like a gallery.

I would love to go and buy some of the kids’ work, I think it’s such a great way to encourage them to continue with their art. I’ll take you along when I get there.