Tapas for comics, do you know it?

bidenI was listening to a podcast called, “Tapas Media and Building Your Brand” at Webcomic Alliance.

They have over 35,000 comics at Tapas, and  it seems that if you find your niche audience you have loyal fans. They also have some sort of payment system, which is great. I used to post there but found the whole system confusing but if that is where the audience is, I guess that’s where comics should be posted. That’s my version of Joe Biden.

I like the idea that Tapas seems to be geared toward mobile devices rather than computers and it’s the go-to place for Millennial comic readers. The podcast folks were not fans of social media as a means to share comics, but I find that to be quite the opposite. It might not work for long form comics and serials, but I think for gag-a-day, it’s great, especially since you can divide the panels into single panels and swipe through them on Instagram now.

My one concern is single panel comics. I’m going back and forth between my single panel Tomversation comic panels and a strip I have in mind. I don’t see too many single panels on Tapas but I guess with millions of readers I’m sure to find my audience. I think they have more younger readers than GoComics, which seems to have an older audience, including myself.

I was waiting for Sherpa to come back at GoComics so that I could start publishing there, but to be honest, I’m tired of waiting for them to complete the platform.

My plan is to start publishing at Tapas, Facebook, Instagram and possibly Tumblr (I like the sharing aspect of that) in the fall, probably on Labor Day, September 3.

Stay tooned.

Advertisements

My brush with the NY Daily News

sunday news

The first thing I would see on Sundays when I was a kid.

I’ve always wanted to have my comic strip printed in the New York Daily News and just a few years go Iwasthisclose. But due to the current climate and the constant staff changes, it didn’t happen.

At one time, for many years, the New York Daily News was the highest circulation newspaper in the country. It had 1 million readers a day, and way back in the day, say in the 1940s, they had 2 million readers daily and 4 million on Sunday! That was the place to be. They used to say that three people would read every one newspaper – so that is a hell of a lot of people reading one issue.

The editors loved my work, they practically had me in the paper, they wanted to know how many comics I had, how long I could sustain the feature, when I could start, etc. etc. I met with them at the building downtown, not the Daily News building on 42nd Street, they are now in an office building next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

I remember how excited I was that day, I had swag with me, Tomversation cube pads and pens and stuff and I had a wonderful meeting. But it never was to be, by the time I got home to Miami, the guys I met with were gone. One was fired for sexual harassment!

I started the process all over and again, the new editors were very interested. The problem at the Daily News at the time and probably even more so today is that there is not one specific editor for features or comics or things like that. At one point I dealt with the Sunday editor of the whole newspaper, another time a news editor. And again, it was not to be, mostly because of total confusion at the newspaper.

I have come to terms knowing that my comics will have a home on the internet and that is really a better place for so many reasons. But that was my brush with the New York Daily News.

I wanna be like Kylie Jenner

forbesKylie Jenner is my inspiration. I want to be just like her. I want to sell lip gloss. Well, not exactly, what I want to do is have 110 million Instagram followers or at least a bunch of them.

Forbes magazine just named 20-year-old Kylie the youngest self-made billionaire. She is worth $900 million and in a year she should reach the $1 billion mark, making herself the youngest billionaire ever.

She created Kylie Cosmetics and does most if not all of her marketing and advertising on Instagram to her millions of followers, costing her nothing. She leverages her social media following.

In the past I published my comics on Instagram and I had quite a nice following, I plan on doing that again. My audience is there. I would like to start publishing daily on Instagram, Facebook and on a website. Instagram especially is where the audience is.

I’ve always said that social media is so great for so many things. The comics come up in people’s feeds, they don’t have to seek them out and they are unobtrusive. There are a few cartoonists that post to too many groups on Facebook I’ve noticed. One guy posts to almost 40 comic related sites, the only trouble with that is if you post all at the same time, they seem to all come up at the same time, which annoys the readers more than enticing them. I’ve taken to hating the cartoonist and his work due to the fact that it overpowers my feeds! Not a good idea.

Do it the Kylie way. Post on your own pages and create a following through shares and likes, the best part of social media are the shares and tagging and things like there were fans are doing the advertising for you by word of mouth. All you have to do is post quality content. Constantly.

I would love if you followed me on one or more of my social media sites where I will start publishing Tomversation comic panels daily in the fall.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tomversation.toons/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomversation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tomversation

 

 

Selling my comics out of the blue

comics

So I sold some cartoons this week and I didn’t even try. In fact, it all came out of the blue – twice! Being a Gemini, things happen to me in twos and that happened this week.

I’m in New York for a couple of weeks. I received a couple of emails from a couple of different people. Both had seen my cartoon panel, “Tomversation” online, one lady said she was doing a Google search and the other,  I’m not sure, I think she was just going through my work on Huff Post and Medium.

Ironically, they both reached out to me asking to purchase some comics! One lady was a realtor and she was interested in a real estate “House Hunters” comic I did, she wanted to purchase the rights for a newsletter or something. She also asked for more real estate related comics, which I’ll send her once I return home to Miami from New York.

The other lady purchased a bunch of comics for a magazine, I believe. I billed them both through Paypal and I sent them high resolution comics to reprint. They paid right away and that’s that.

Not bad. Here I am on vacation, minding my own business and my comics are selling!

I’m thinking of starting daily publication of “Tomversation” starting in the fall. I think I’ve gotten enough of the run-around from syndicates, newspapers and the rest. I was just told by the head of one syndicate that he didn’t like my work or my drawing style. Yet, this is the guy who runs stick figure and crayon-type drawn comics with no imagination of  any kind. The Universe has better plans for me.

Great comics I just discovered

I came upon Off the Leash Dog Cartoons by Rupert Fawcett on Facebook.  I love social media for finding new comics. Rupert posts all over the internet, on Facebook alone he has almost 1 million fans! you can see his work at his website here: http://offtheleashdogcartoons.com/

I love how true and close to home the comic is and I love that it’s in black and white. Not enough comics are in black and white these days. Rupert has Off the Leash animations on YouTube, too.

offtheleash1offtheleash2offtheleash3

Another comic that I came upon on Instagram is Meeting Comics by Andrew Neal.  This first comic is so close to home that its sad, but excellent. As of yesterday these poor kids were being taken away from their parents and locked up in cages. As of yesterday that effed-up policy has changed.

I like that Andrew posts the comics as a photo image of the drawn page, also in black and white, and I love where he adds post-it notes to make changes or cover up mistakes. It’s such a common practice with cartoonists, but Andrew just puts it out there in glorious ultra yellow.

You can see his website here: http://www.meetingcomics.com

meetingcomics1meetingcomics2

Ivortoons by Ivor Healy are mostly puns, but so funny. His work has appeared all over from the Wall Street Journal to Woman’s Weekly. He’s quite clever, I found him on Instagram.

You can see his work here: http://www.ivortoons.com

ivortoons1ivortoons2

He says my style is rushed

I had sent my work to one of the heads of one of the major newspaper syndicates. He gave me a lot of good advice, which I appreciate.  He did say something quite puzzling, he said my work looked rushed – that I drew too fast. These three drawings are samples of my style.

First off, he is right, I do draw fast, I’m not sure how he knew but I guess its his job to know. But is it a bad thing that I draw fast? That’s just my personality, I do things fast. I don’t think it diminishes the drawings. I see so many comic strips that look as if they were drawn fast, I mean people can’t even draw hands for gods sake, but that is the cartoonists’ styles, in fact many of them draw other things that I’ve seen that are totally different than their comic strip style.

Just this morning I was looking at a blog of a cartoonist who draws his comic strip very simply but he had other drawings on his blog, greeting cards, or something like that, which I really enjoyed, they were quite detailed and sort of a fine-line drawing style which is nothing like his comic strip style. And there is a woman cartoonist who does the same thing, when she draws things other than her comic strip, the drawings are quite different, more refined and detailed.

I don’t like to pick on other artist’s styles because art is art. Who am I to judge, which did make me wonder about this comic head who judged my art. I mean, I can understand him judging the comic as a whole, but since when is a cartoonist’s drawing style judged by an editor? There are so many comic strip and comic panel artists in the newspapers and magazines like The New Yorker, who have a very simple, fast style, but the finished work is perfect.