Say, ‘Cheese!’, or don’t

This cartoon is all about those Victorian images we see where people are very serious in the photographs. It seems like every single image at that time was a serious thing.

I came across some images online the other day, where people were actually laughing and smiling in the old photos, and this cartoon came to mind – what if they were able to smile and the photographer just told them not to, like in the cartoon here?

Supposedly it took up to 15 minutes at the time for the shutter speed to work correctly and it was easier not to smile. Also, many people had only one, two or three photos taken during their whole lifetime and I guess it was a serious matter.

People also had their photos taken after they were dead – they were propped up with the living and that was a remembrance of a person who may not have had their photos ever taken when they were alive. I’m serious. Look here. It’s called, “Death Photography.”

The cartoon above was done two ways, a part black and white image of the subjects, to mimic the photo being taken and a full color cartoon. If you slide the thingy back and forth you can see what I mean.

Below are a few Victorian photos, some smiling, some not. And I’m wondering the smiling ones look like spur of the moment, and not posed, especially these girls jumping and smiling and laughing in a photo from 1880, so I think that blows the 15 minute time constraint theory. But who knows.

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Ruining paradise

This New Yorker cartoon by Ellis Rosen made me laugh, and cringe.

I live on the water; well, at the water’s edge. I could almost jump out of my window and be in Biscayne Bay and for all the years I’ve lived here (20 years), I’ve thought of the issue of over-development. I’ve looked out over the bay and thought, “What if someone wants to build some sort of condo or something a few feet out from my seawall, literally in the water on stilts or landfill. Is that possible?”

It would be the same if you lived on a lake or river or any open space. Of course it happens on open land all the time. You have a forest in front of you for years and the next thing you know, it turns into a housing development.

And here in this cartoon is something so similar. This looks like an oil rig.

On Florida’s Gulf coast there are permitted sites where oil rigs and gas wells can be drilled, but currently while permitted, they have not been drilled. In 2010 there was an oil rig explosion in the Gulf, which killed 11 people and polluted the water. Sludge is still popping up onshore.

On the Atlantic Coast, I remember some years back, every time you walked the beach, you managed to step in black gooey oil slicks which smelled and of course polluted the area, not to mention your feet. I believe those were caused by cruise ships. I haven’t seen that problem for years, so apparently something was done.

Anyway, back to the cartoon – it reminded me of my thoughts over the years of looking out my window and seeing some structure being built out in front of me – in the water – in the Bay. As it is, our small village is turning into a city. As you look out over the village you see construction cranes dotting the sky. Greed. It’s all about greed. Nothing else. “Let’s destroy a small arts and sailing village to add high, sun blocking, traffic enhancing buildings,” is how the developers and city leaders think. Screw the quality of life, it’s all about money.

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Throwing the tree out

Got rid of the Christmas tree the other day. It’s artificial, so I didn’t throw it out of the window. But I used to! Well, sort of.

That’s how I got the idea for this cartoon. When I had a real tree, I would throw it off the balcony of my condo and then drag it to the street for recycling or pick-up. I didn’t leave the decorations on, I “undressed it” first. But throwing it off the balcony was the easiest thing to do because it avoided all those pine needles getting all over the elevator.

I would have someone wait downstairs to be sure no one was under it when I threw it down. And you’d be surprised how light the tree is after it’s all dried out! So it was easy to lift up and throw over.

After it hit the ground, I would run downstairs and drag it out to the street.

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Mariah is exhausted

This cartoon ran on Christmas Day. It’s been going around social media and people are asking what does it mean.

Really?

I admit that I don’t usually get Six Chix cartoons. But this one is very clever and funny.

Mariah Carey is the “Queen of Christmas” due to her ubiquitous “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which plays non-stop during the season.

Mariah broke another record by having this be the number one Christmas song for another year! It plays on the radio, on tv, in stores, in elevators, in doctor’s offices, in dentist’s offices, in auto repair shops, blaring out of cars next to you at stop lights, in Grand Central. I’m not sure how some people have never heard the song. It’s almost impossible not to hear it.

So she is exhausted from working non-stop all month, actually all season (through the song playing non-stop) and she’s passing the baton to the ground hog and Easter Bunny, the next two holidays or days of note.

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Snowballed

Wednesday’s snowman/people cartoon really took off. It was liked and shared by thousands of people, it really went viral. You might remember a month or so ago I was having problems with social media algorithms, but it seems to have passed. Many people are back to seeing my work.

I got the idea about the snowballed kids really fast. I had a morning show on, I think the Today Show, and a guy was talking about how his social media post took off. He said it started slow and then snowballed.

And the word “snowballed’ just hit me. I heard the expression all my life, but in that moment, it struck me as something I could use for a comic. I thought of the snow people right away and I drew up the cartoon right then and there.

One of my neighbors and his wife go walking around the neighborhood daily, and I ran into them one day, we started walking together. I asked them if I was intruding and he replied with a funny quote that I think he made up himself. At that moment, I thought it would be good for a cartoon, but I just kept walking and talking and I forgot what the quote was.

A bit later, he asked where I get my cartoon ideas from. I said they just seem to pop into my head. I then mentioned the quote he had said a bit earlier and I said I thought that would make a good cartoon in some way, only I couldn’t remember it. So he repeated it and we laughed.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember it again and can’t use it. But that’s where I get my ideas – hearing things and twisting them around in my mind.

Speaking of the Today Show, Martha Stewart was on the other day, she was making her famous eggnog recipe and last week I ran that cartoon with the witches discussing Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s eggnog recipes. It all comes full circle, I guess.



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Cinnamon or Nutmeg; Ina or Martha?

This recent cartoon started out by the witch on the left telling the witch on the right how to do the laundry. I was originally laundry, not a witches brew inside the cauldron. But I couldn’t get the wording right.

As it sat for a few days, I saw Ina Garten on the Today Show and thought I would like to do a cartoon Ina-related. And this one came to mind. I changed the laundry to eggnog. As for Martha being part of the scene, I don’t know how I came up with that, but it became a debate on what to put in eggnog – cinnamon or nutmeg.

And I added the text before I actually looked up Ina and Martha’s recipes. And lo and behold, I was correct in my first assumption. Ina prefers cinnamon and Martha prefers nutmeg.

Me? I love eggnog but I’m not going to take sides. I’m not telling if I prefer cinnamon or nutmeg. 🙂

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It’s an original Hazel!

I bought an original “Hazel” cartoon by Ted Key, done for the Saturday Evening Post.

It’s hand drawn and colored.

Hazel has always been one of my favorite single panel cartoons, along with Our Boarding House, Out Our Way, of course The Far Side and a bunch of others.

I watch Hazel on tv too, one of the nostalgia channels shows two episodes every morning and sometimes I watch, and listen, as I’m drawing.

I may or may not sell this and the same with the recent Peanuts cartoon cel I purchased.

My goal has always been to sell ephemeral items. I’ve done that in the past with Flintstone cartoon cels and old magazines and magazine advertisements, too.

This Hazel cartoon is from an estate collection of original art.

This early Ted Key ink and watercolor cartoon is done on paper that has been mounted to a board. This would have been done to give to an executive for their wall or even a retirement or going away gift. The cartoon has a hand written caption that reads “You’ll Have To Speak Up” with OK RUN written in blue pencil.

Overall paper that art is on measures 11″ x 8 1/2 inches. It’s not easy to find any hand colored Ted Key originals, so this is extra special.

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I bid and won this Linus cartoon cell

I bid on and won this Linus original cartoon cell created by the Bill Melendez Studio for A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1969. I was the first Peanuts movie.

I bid on another one featuring Charlie Brown and another character, but didn’t get it.

My cousin works for the auction house that sells orignial cartoon art. They are based in Hoboken, so every time I come up from the PATH train (subway), one of the first things I see is the buidling he works in. I’ve only been inside once.

He told me a month or so ago about some of the Peanuts art they had getting ready for auction. He wasn’t allowed to show it to me, but he informed me about it.

A few weeks ago he texted me about two hours before the auction ended and I bid. I now have this great thing to add to my original cartoon art collection.

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Honoring Charles Schulz

I usually don’t publish a cartoon on Saturday, but today I did because it’s a special day. Today would have been Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday. And to celebrate, cartoonists are adding something Peanuts-related to their strips and panels to honor Mr. Schulz, Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang.

Mine are published at the usual places:
TomFalco.com
Facebook.com/Tomversation.toons
Instagram.com/tomversation.toons

But you don’t have to go to these places because here it is.

To find all the others, check your daily newspapers or look online for the comics using the hashtag #Schulz100

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Van Gogh in America

There is a new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit in Detroit, called “Van Gogh in America.” CBS Sunday Morning featured the museum and their plans for showing Van Gogh’s work on the 100th anniversary of their aquiring their first Van Gogh piece 100 years ago.

One hundred years ago the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to buy a piece by Vincent Van Gogh. Now, the museum is honoring the century by featuring 74 of his works from around the world, which explores America’s introduction to the artist, who by the way, is believe to be American’s favorite artist, living or dead.

I fit in a Van Gogh cartoon whenever I can, I love him and his work so much.

I came up with this cartoon idea from the segment on CBS Sunday Morning. In the tv piece, curator Jill Shaw said, “The texture of his paint strokes is like cake icing.” And it is!

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