Paul McCartney on the tube

paul-mccartney-print

I like today’s cartoon because on Instagram you scroll through it. I like the scroll ones.

I did this a few years back. I’m thinking if Paul was in London, he would probably say he was on the “telly” rather than the tube, when on tv, but for the sake of this gag, he says “tube.”

I looked up Paul McCartney on the subway and came up with many images of him on the tube/subway, so the cartoon is not too far off!

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My new addiction; 90 Day Fiance

90-day

Love in India – she is 62, he is 32.

I found another tv show that I am now addicted to. It’s called, 90 Day Fiance, the other way. I’ve never seen the original show, 90 Day Fiance, which is about people meeting on the internet and then coming to the US to meet in person and get married. “The Other Way,” is the reverse – Americans go to foreign countries to get married and it’s all a disaster.

I had seen the show before while flipping channels, but the title, 90 Day Fiance, seemed silly to me so I never stopped to watch. The name doesn’t fit the show. I don’t know what it should be called, but the name doesn’t fit. Maybe it should be called, Love is Blind or something like that. But for some reason, the other day, I started watching and I couldn’t stop.

It’s hilarious and hard to believe that grown people will do this – move away from America, give up family and friends and try to start a new life with someone they met on the internet.

There are a bunch of couples that the show follows and each are featured throughout episodes. The stories continue from episode to episode. So one episode follows five or six couples and jumps back and forth throughout an episode, you follow the couples through the whole season.

One girl moves to the Middle East and the guy is very disrespectful to her. He and his parents insist they get married in a day, but she is secretly still married to someone else. The guy gets jealous of American customs like if she hugs someone hello and things like that. The worst part is that they want her to give up her American ways the second she arrives and be dominated by the man – his mother tells the girl that she is being disrespectful, and the girl doesn’t understand how, because she is just being herself. And the guy’s mother is yelling at her telling her that the rules are that she needs to forsake her own family and they will become her family now! That’s how it is in those countries.

Another girl moves to South Korea, where the guy lies to her and has her living in the slums. Another girl moves to Africa and the Korea slums make the African slums look like paradise. But the guy is so sweet, you sort of root for him, he doesn’t understand how is has the girl living in such poor conditions. You’ll want to throw up when you see the kitchen and bathroom.

I can’t believe this is real, but I assume it is.

One guy moves from his family – he leaves his kids – and moves to Mexico. Another guy moves to Colombia. One of the best is a lady who is 62, who moves to India to be with a 32 year old guy who is still married and trying to get divorced so they can get married. She has been back and forth three times already, because he keeps lying to her. Why she keeps going back, I don’t know. She has children and grandchildren and she leaves them all behind for this guy. They go through rituals like a cow walking through the living room and things like that. She keeps insisting on seeing his divorce papers, which may or may not exist.

It is so funny and unbelievable at the same time.

All of the Americans, which of course appear as ugly Americans in foreign countries because they are used to a better lifestyle make you almost root for the foreigners, but it appears as if most of the foreigners lied to get the Americans to relocate to their foreign lands.

If you get a chance to watch, be prepared to binge watch. It’s something like a train wreck, you can’t stop watching.

When did culture start?

Culture sign isolated on whiteEvery day it seems that another event is canceled – art shows, parades, Broadway and recently I read that Art Basel may be canceled. I’m still waiting to find out the fate of New York Comic Con, which is in early October.

The good news great news is that NYC has no new covid cases since March. None. I’m so proud of New York. Here in Florida, we are the opposite. If there is a Comic Con, how will they let people in? New York is safe now, do they want us grubby infected jerks in their state or city now?

But right now, things are boring. There is nothing to go to, nothing to attend anymore. It got me thinking, when did things start? When did culture start? I mean I’m sure the world was boring many years ago. There is the Coliseum in Rome, so we know that in 80 AD there were events going on. And I guess in ancient times before that there were things happening like chariot races, but when did opera start or plays on stage? When did someone say, “Let’s put up a stage here and perform?” When did someone say, “Let’s put up some clothes lines and hang art?”

When did art move from cave walls to something more portable? When did someone set up the first museum or have the first concert?

It’s something to think about. Before then there were dark ages, and I don’t mean the time before the Renaissance, I mean like caveman times.

Sundays are for ‘Breaking Bad’

breakingbad

Ever since we’ve been cooped up in self isolation, I’ve been finding myself watching Breaking Bad on Sundays. Usually in the afternoon I’ll watch two or three episodes. I don’t know why I’m so attracted to the show. I’ve talked about it before.

Sure the stories and acting are superb, but it’s more than that. It’s the location – the desert and Albuquerque and the darkness of their house and the dynamic between the characters – the family, I mean – the Whites and the Schraders. I love the family scenes, especially when they are all together at a backyard bbq or whatever. Of course Jesse and Walt’s relationship is special, too. And then there is all that crime and drugs thrown in.

I’ve never been to ABQ – short for Albuquerque, but it seems almost as if the place stopped in time. Like for instance if you go into a bar it may be a throwback from the 1970s, that’s what I get from watching this and Better Call Saul, also filmed on location in ABQ. I love that. Even the airport looks small and quaint and the gas stations look like 1960-70s throwbacks. The houses look to be from that period, too.

Here in Miami, everything is chrome and glass, there is no reverence for history, if it’s 20 years old, it’s knocked down for something bigger and shinier. It doesn’t look like that in ABQ. I would like to visit there real soon.

George Herriman, of Krazy Kat fame loved that area of the country. While he lived in New York and Los Angeles throughout his life, he spent a lot of time in ABQ – it’s obvious in his drawings and Krazy Kat backgrounds. I don’t know if I lived there in another life or what, but I’m always drawn to the area.

Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Ray Donovan and Shameless. All my favorite shows at the moment. And the weird part of this is that for all except for Saul, I started watching after their run or toward the end – you know, not from the beginning from when they first went on the air.

Evolving drawing styles

I have so many comics that I did years ago that I would like to publish now but they are dated; not the content, but the drawing style. So I guess I need to redraw them.

I always love the original drawing styles of things – for instance when I see Family Guy or American Dad on tv, I love the originals from the first seasons – even The Simpsons and oldies like Popeye. There is something about them.

doonesbury

I love the original Doonesbury, which is sort of simple, but I like it more than the more refined look. Look at this old one, I think it’s the original one from October 1970. So simple, but I love it.

Every comic is like that, they all evolve over time. Well almost, if you look at Bringing Up Father, George McManus’ lines were impeccable from day one it seems; same with Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo, which is perfection.

I have a more refined look than I did years go, so after publishing those, I can’t really go back to the original look, there’s too much of a difference there and it throws things off. But this all of course happens with everything. Fine artists have evolved over time, it’s just natural.

Maybe I’ll show you before and after images some time, you know, of comics I did years ago and how I redraw them.

The anatomy of a cartoon

So I published two weeks of Tomversation comics. Love the feeling, it brings back memories of years ago when I published daily. I am good with deadlines, I published the daily news in our neighborhood for 15 years, published daily comics and also printed and published things for so many years, including school newspapers that I guess every day is a deadline for me.

Anyway, the first comic, the “May the 5th be with you,” started out differently and I changed and redrew it many times. The day before it was to be published I started playing with it. You can see some of the incarnations here. There were more with changes related to these.

These are the finished ones, after I thought I was done and ready for publication, then I went back and moved things around and in some cases just redrew from scratch. You know, when I had Obi-Wan Kenobi handing Luke the bottle in the one drawing, I was wondering why is he just handing him a bottle in the middle of nowhere. Then I thought of the bar and added a couple of musicians, but still it wasn’t right.

I didn’t want to end up drawing that chaotic scene in the small panel I had to work with, so I ended up with the two of them at the table with Chewbacca and I did leave out Han Solo, who I believe is at the table, too. It was just too busy for everyone and everything.

This is what I love about single panel cartoons, too. You have that space and you have to make best use of it. Some guy mentioned on a social media site that the cartoon is a copy of some meme. I don’t remember seeing the meme, but that is the one thing I don’t like about single panel cartoons, it seems that everything has been done before. I’m guessing the “5th be with you” part is what he is referring to in the meme, not the whole bar set up, etc. But this is my concept, from my brain and that’s how it came to be.

Anyway, as you can see, first it was just a bartender and a guy in the bar, then the bartender ended up with a Darth Vader mask on then it ended up being the wookie bar or whatever that is on Star Wars and on and on and it finally because what it is.

I usually take 45 minutes to an hour to complete one panel cartoon, this one took six to seven hours with all the re-draws and changes!

Jerry Stiller – Frank Costanza to you

jerry-stillerJerry Stiller passed away last night. As I watch all these tributes to him on tv I am finding myself needing to revisit Seinfeld. I watch now and then, but not on a regular basis. I mean I’ve seen every episode 100 times, but I haven’t watched for awhile.

When I see reruns now I can almost remember where I was when the episode was on for the first time in the 1990s. Thursday night was Must See TV.

When I am in New York, it’s all about Seinfeld and it has been over the years. It seems that every single person in New York City is a Seinfeld aficionado. Everything that happens can be compared to a Seinfeld scene.

Just last week my cousin called me from New York he had something happen to him and he said, “what does this remind you of? and I answered, “such and such episode of Seinfeld.”

When I am in the city I go up to Tom’s Diner which is the exterior for Monk’s Restaurant on Seinfeld.

My parents loved Stiller & Meara. When I was a kid we saw them in the street in the city one time and my parents were excited. They didn’t go up to them, but they pointed them out and said, “Look, there is Stilla and Meara.” They were that big at the time. But of course I know Jerry Stiller from Seinfeld and King of Queens, where he stole every scene. If you ever get a chance, check out these Seinfeld outtakes here on YouTube there are many videos of outtakes. Hysterical.

Here is a short one. I heard they had to redo this scene so many times because no one could keep a straight face while filming.

 

Too enveloped in your work to know there is a quarantine going on?

quarantine-color-print2Today’s comic, which you can see in larger format at TomFalco.com relates to how I feel. I work from home, so this shelter-in-place thing has not been too difficult since I’m doing what I usually do – stay at home and work – my regular work/job is not happening due to the shut down, but I have been drawing. And I’ll bet this is the same for so many people who work in a studio or even are addicted to things like games.

I have a cousin who is a gamer and has many followers and friends on YouTube, I don’t know his site or I would post it here, I’m not sure why I don’t know his site name, but every time I am was going to ask him, he was busy gaming and a lot of the time he was live online and I didn’t want to interrupt. But anyway, he could be gaming for hours and not really notice being quarantined. He makes a living at it. Yes, he makes money from playing games online!

A cartoonist, an artist, a cook, an architect, a writer, a designer, etc. Whomever is envelopes in their work and not really noticing the outside world is the guy in this cartoon today.

As for my gamer cousin, his brother is a performer in New York.

tj-fox

My cousin TJ Fox who is a musician, has been doing bi-monthly concerts from Long Island on Facebook. This Saturday, May 9, will be the third Saturday night he’s doing “Live from the Living Room.” It’s free at his Facebook page here: facebook.com/tjfoxmusic it starts at 8 pm (eastern time) and usually goes for two hours. You can request songs, he plays the guitar and sings.

If you go to the site now, you can see past concerts.

It’s become a thing with me now. I really look forward to it. I’m a create of habit, do something twice and it’s a thing from now on. What I enjoy aside from his talent is we all chat along as we listen and it’s broadcast from their Hamptons house which I sort of get homesick for since I spend some time there each summer. I’m hoping to be there this summer.

TJ is quite big up north. So many times I’m walking around NYC and I see his name on a sandwich board or marquee – “TJ Fox here tonight!” He performs in NYC and Long Island mostly. He’s also written and performs his own music as well as so many things you already know.

Hollywood, the beginning

I’ve been watching this 13 part documentary about the film industry just called, “Hollywood,” it’s on YouTube. If you’re bored these days, this is something you might like. I’m still trying to catch up with Shameless and I love watching Breaking Bad, which I never get tired of, but this is something you don’t have to really think about and it’s enjoyable.

It’s great if this subject interests you, it starts from silent films and explains how it all begin in Ft. Lee, New Jersey and then ended up in Hollywood, CA. Each episode is 50 minutes or so and it’s mostly scenes from the actual movies they are talking about with commentary and interviews from people such as DW Griffith, Louise Brooks, Hal Roach and so many old stars and directors from the time. Since the documentary was filmed in 1980, many of these people were still around to discuss the time and the films and you see the movie footage of what they are discussing.

It’s interesting how actress Lillian Gish and writer Adela Rogers St. Johns, who thinks she was part of it all, feel that silent films were the be all and end all and when sound started, it was the beginning of the end of the art. Seriously.

Here is the first episode and from here you can go through the rest of them.

I’ve been watching it on tv where I have the YouTube app, so it’s more enjoyable on the large screen.