Snoopy and The Dakota

I took this picture in 2012 at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. I’m usually downtown more for the parade, but that year, I was at 72nd and Central Park West, right in front of The Dakota apartment building, which you can see here in the background.

This is one of my favorite photos. I love everything about it and there’s an interesting story about it that happened a day or two later.

After Thanksgiving, I was shopping around the Christmas Market down at Union Square and I stopped in my tracks. One guy was selling drawings of New York scenes and he had this exact scene you see above. He had the Snoopy balloon floating by the Dakota. Exactly! But it wasn’t the photo – it was a black and white drawing!

I don’t know why I didn’t buy it, but that was one of those instances where you are in the right place at the right time or something like that. I showed the photo on my phone to the guy at the booth selling the art and he was flabbergasted, too.

What I loved about that particular day when I was at the parade was that I was in the park. I had crossed over from the east side to the west side, but it was too crowded to get out onto the street, so I watched from inside the park. As I walked down to get to the train station to take the train to queens for my cousin to pick me up, I did it inside the park, and it was a strange experience. I was experiencing the parade almost from backstage. All the action was outside the park, but the leave-less trees allowed me to watch it through the branches from a distance, from inside the park; almost as if backstage, as if I was not actually at the event, but watching from afar. Hard to explain but very memorable.

Charlie Brown back on broadcast tv

After screwing up Charlie Brown for Halloween, I never did get to see it this year, Apple tv has made a deal with PBS to show A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and a Charlie Brown Christmas on broadcast tv.

PBS will show the episodes commercial free on Sundays, November 22 and December 13 at 7:30 pm eastern time both nights.

Details here on the PBS website.

Shots

Here’s today’s published comic and you know, what? I’m disappointed in myself. I forgot one big thing when it comes to shots – the vaccine shot! A reader pointed that out to me.

I should have had the ladies lined up getting vaccine shots in one of the panels.

I did this cartoon awhile back, so the vaccine and pandemic were not a thing at the time, but it would have been right on point if I had added the shots. Maybe I’ll redo it and post it with the vaccine shots once the vaccines are out.

Update: It was bothering me so much so I added a fifth panel!

Happy 200th Bob’s Burgers!

One of my favorite cartoons, Bob’s Burgers, is celebrating its 200th episode this Sunday!

Love that show. I mostly watch it in reruns in early evening now, and I’ve seen every episode more than once. I never get tired of it.

On more than one occasion I’ve been walking through a Comic Con and I hear their voices – especially Linda, the mother, I look up and there are the voices – the actual people – sitting at a table signing autographs! Iconic!

Even though it’s a cartoon, it seem so real. I want to visit Ocean Avenue where Bob and family live and work – with the small town seaside feel and the amusement park on the pier at the end of the street. It all feels so real!

One of my favorite episodes is Brunchsquatch – where every scene is drawn by fans. It jumps from character to character design, all different, but it works.

We have a little dive diner in town called Burger Bob’s and of course I always call it Bob’s Burgers by mistake, like, “Hey, wanna go to Bob’s Burgers for lunch?” It’s been around for many years, so it came before the tv version, but still Burger Bob’s is always Bob’s Burgers to me.

Joe Cool

Today’s comic was a friend’s idea. He said, “Why don’t you do something with Joe Cool and Joe Biden?” I wasn’t keen on the idea at first and then started thinking about it and came up with this. It really doesn’t say much, just two figures of American culture; maybe welcoming Joe Biden as our top figure now in media, I guess. Now that he is our new prez, he is surely the main guy in political cartoons now. I know many of you don’t like when I post political cartoons, and I won’t post many, I’ll stick with my usual gag-a-day, but who knows, Cool Joe Biden may pop up once in awhile. Who knows.

I drew Biden before in another cartoon, I’m not sure if I’ve ever used Snoopy, but I’ve drawn him since I was a child, so he’s easy to do.

This other Biden cartoon was used when he was deciding to run or not, it seemed so long for him to make his decision, but I think it was longer in 2016, which is when I originally used this cartoon, I think it ran in the Huffington Post at the time.

Joe Biden and the comic strip

See this picture? It’s Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, our new Prez and VP, but look closely at Joe’s desk. See what’s behind the computer? It’s a comic strip.

A Hagar the Horrible strip that spoke to him.

With all that Biden has gone through in his life; many deaths in the family, this strip spoke to him. I love that.

Many times I wonder if people are reading comics these days. I know they are, but are comics relevant today as they were years ago? I guess they are according to President President-elect Joe Biden.

Gives me hope, not just for the future of comics, but for the future of our country. You gotta have a president who reads and saves comics!

This comics info on Biden came from a long Piers Morgan article in Mail Online, it talks about his phone call from Biden when his son Beau passed away, Piers had never spoken to Joe Biden before, but he knew Beau, and at that time, Biden told him about saving this comic strip. You can read it here.

This morning there was a great segment on CBS Sunday Morning about a book compliation between Steve Martin and Harry Bliss, the cartoonist. Here it is:

He’s getting away!

We keep hearing “Stop the count!” and I thought of this cartoon for today – Count Dracula getting away!

There have been memes of The Count from Sesame Street, too. Lots of funny puns and stuff.

#stopthecount – the hashtag of the week? Or maybe #trackingkornacki for the tireless Steve Kornacki. His hashtag even comes with a little icon of himself!

Kornacki at work (never sleeps).

Political cartoons

I ran a sort of political comic yesterday (the native American one below) and this voting booth one today. Some people don’t like when I post political stuff. They have told me. But it’s all in fun. I’m not choosing sides and how could I not run a political cartoon or two when we have been enveloped in politics this whole political season.

Just this morning it seems that every commercial on tv is a last minute local political ad pushing for those last minute undecided voters – mayors, city council, senators, etc. The best part about tomorrow is that these non-stop commercials, many full of lies and exaggerations, will be gone.

But I’m glad that people read my comics to not read political stuff. That’s what I’m aiming for – good clean fun for the whole family, even those who call my stuff “boomer humor.” I guess they are trying to insult me, but they are reading me, so God speed. In the past I used to draw for the masses and then I kept hearing, “draw what you like and your audience will come.” And so I started doing that and it worked.

Glad to have you here and here. Thank you.

Comics I don’t understand

Yea! We made it at Comics I Don’t Understand, right here (at the bottom of their post). I checked the site like I do every day and there I was along with some other funny stuff!

If you’re not familiar with the site, it was started by Bill Bickel, who recently passed away. It’s one of my favorite sites.

It’s quite clever, not my cartoon, Bill’s site, who has been taken over by fans of the site, thanks to the generosity of Bill’s family. What I like about it is that I like comics that are hard to understand. I don’t like when it’s a daily thing for a comic panel or strip, but once in awhile I enjoy trying to figure out what a certain comic means, almost as if it’s a puzzle.

I know some people didn’t understand my contactless ordering comic at the time, luckily most did, as you don’t want everyone to question your work. But I feel when most do and some don’t it’s almost an insider’s club for thos who get it.

But I had to laugh when I saw it at Comics I Don’t Understand today. It’s almost like a wall of shame, where people are posted when they do something embarrassing in public, like fall or trip or something. It’s something you can enjoy and laugh about. You have to laugh at yourself, that’s what it’s all about!

Being creative

I may have a collaborator on a few future comics. Maybe more than a few!

My nephew sent me a bunch of comic ideas yesterday and most are excellent! He called me to tell me he was thinking or dreaming or something like that and he thought of so funny cartoon ideas, he told me a few on the phone and they seemed funny, but when he sent me the long list in writing later, they were really funny.

He’s an engineer, he owns a very successful factory and doesn’t seem like the type to even bother with comics, but it’s so nice knowing that he does think about comics.

So many friends and relatives read my work and it comes out in conversation or they may comment on a comic or blog post online or in person and it’s nice to know that I am entertaining friends and family, along with thousands of other people out there.

I saw a video or read something not to long ago where a cartoonist said, “Don’t write for the fans, write for yourself.” And that did make sense. All those years when I was publishing the daily news, I don’t think I ever thought of a person or people when I was writing, especially columns, where are personal. I just wrote and people read what they wanted when it was published.

I think if I had certain people in mind every time I wrote something that would have driven me mad. That’s not to say that at times I wondered if I was making certain people proud or whatever, but I never wrote or phrased things in order to please any one person. It just came out, sort of like this, which I’m writing now.

Same with the comics, once I started writing for myself, I felt less pressure. I know there have been a few lately that maybe everyone doesn’t get. But that’s alright. For those that get the gag, it’s an inside joke.