I did my first interview for the new 10 With Tom site. I had the chance to interview Tauhid Bondia who is the cartoonist of one of my favorite comic strips called Crabgrass. I had written about them in 2020 here.
The comic is about two young friends in the 1980s. I felt it relevant now because Crabgrass is starting newspaper syndication in March. It will be online as well as published in daily newspapers starting then.
Over the years, I had these published in the Huffington Post, my own blog, Medium and other publications. I’ve interviewed, cartoonists and featured cartoons and comics and artists, comic strip creators including Jason Chatfield, Rina Piccolo and Scott Adams, among so many others. . But I’ve also interviewed authors, designers like Betsey Johnson and even Ryan Holt from Naked and Afraid.
I was was planning on doing more interviews for the Huffington Post, but I thought these columns should have a home of their own, rather than be at other websites. They live on forever and are always being seen and read.
Some of these stories have hundreds of thousands of readers, The Stephan Pastis article has over 1 million views! So why not have people read them on my own site, rather than other places? I wouldn’t mind 1 million hits! Huffington Post, Medium, and various newspapers didn’t promote the stories, people found them by doing searches, so why not have readers find the articles on my own site, right?
I now have 10 With Tom here, where you can find some of the past interviews and where I’ll add new ones shortly.
You can subscribe to 10 With Tom, and you’ll only receive 10 With Tom interviews (not this Tomversation blog, that’s a separate subscription), but I’m not sure if all the past stories I added will come up as one big email for your first email that you receive after subscribing. So if that happens, forgive me. You’ll usually just receive one interview after it is published.
It’s not Christmas without a visit to the Union Square Green Market. Seeing people carrying Christmas trees through Manhattan really sets the season. I love the Green Market on Saturday mornings. It’s a ritual when I’m in town.
We went to The Hamptons for the Holiday parade on Saturday, but I stopped by the Green Market first.
There’s a holiday bazaar every years – booths set up at one end of the park. The same thing is set up in Bryant Park behind the library and in a space inside Grand Central Terminal.
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Bored Panda featured me a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten that they contacted me about an interview a few weeks back, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this.
The feature came out great and I love what Hidrėlėy, the author, wrote about me, he really gets me:
“This artist creates old-school, one-panel comics. They are filled with absurd humor and unexpected twists, weird characters, and situations that not many of us run into.
“The style that this artist uses is very reminiscent of newspaper comics and there’s something very nostalgic about them. The comics are very simple, but at the same time have quite a lot of detail and expression. The artist enjoys puns and wordplay. He sometimes even includes a little dark humor in his comics.”
Bored Panda has 116 million readers a month and 15 million Facebook followers. Not a bad place to be promoted!
So I made it to NY Comic Con 2021! I hopped on a plane and got myself to NYC.
It was a bit subdued this year, the massive crowds weren’t here. They Comic Con people, Reed Pop, have been very good about covid protocols and I guess regulating the amount of people permitted into the event is one of them.
It’s all the excitement of every year, just with less people.
I was supposed to be in New York today for the start of NY Comic Con, but I’ve been delayed, due to a family issue. Hopefully I can get there this weekend.
I am all set for my visit to the Jacob Javits Center. There is an app called “Clear” where you enter all your covid info – you have to scan a copy of your vaccine card, then scan your driver’s license, then take a current photo of yourself and then scan yourself live, to show that the photo you snapped is you!
They’re being quite careful, but still, thousands of people will be there shoulder to shoulder.
My cousin Michael is there already, he is showing his work at a booth, he’s a cartoon artist. And the photos are making me “homesick” for Comic Con.
A friend asked me yesterday what the big deal was – same thing year after year. I couldn’t explain it. It’s an experience. From the moment you get on the 7 train and see that most of the people on the train are dressed as a character from tv, movies or the comics, to the large crowds exiting the Hudson Yards train station, heading west to the Jacob Javits Center.
It’s electric. The whole four days are electric. Indescribable.
People always ask how I come up with the cartoon ideas. They just pop into my head. I don’t usually dwell on things, although sometimes I do, I might have a great drawing, but I hate the text, so I’ll let it sit – sometimes for months, and then the gag hits me and I change the text/wording in the cartoon.
Today’s cartoon – the Columbo – “watch one” came to me while watching (watching, see what I did there?) North Woods Law. I wasn’t even watching, I just overheard one of the officers say, “It happened on my watch, I’ll handle it.” And the rest is history. I used Columbo because he’s my favorite detective and he was popular in a past cartoon, where he used Siri for help solving a crime. And I read recently that he’s become even more popular with people during the pandemic.
This one from last year – the “Ice Hole” one, I explained once before, it came to me while watching Life Below Zero. I wasn’t really paying attention either, I think I was dozing off, and I heard Chip Hailstone, one of the people on the show, say to his kids, who were going ice fishing, “Hey, there’s an ice hole!” And it made me look up and laugh and just totally struck me as being hilarious. And voilà – there was a comic idea.
I played around with it a bit. At first there was a bear hibernating behind a bush and he heard the guys say “ice hole,” and he looked up with one eye open. It was titled, “Trouble Brewing,” but I couldn’t get the image setting right, so I made it another ice fisher.
Most times I’ll read something or see something or overhear something and just twist it in my mind for a bit. So many times I hear something and rush to write it down so I don’t forget.
After the cartoon is done, I end up changing it in some way – up until the last minute – sometimes it’s something simple like a color change, other times it’s the wording or maybe the expression on a character’s face. Never a dull moment.
Today’s cartoon over at TomFalco.com is of the Addams Family. I drew this a few years ago, but I keep seeing them in the new Progressive Insurance commercials, so I thought I would dust it off and bring it out. There’s a new Addams Family movie coming out October 1. The cartoon originally had Lurch saying, “You Tweeted?” but I thought texted sounded more personal for the Addams household.
Anyway, notice the walls in the living room? Pink. Why? Because that’s what color they were!
I’ve been seeing this photo below, around the internet for years – it’s by Richard Fish, a well-known photographer at the time. It’s not colorized, this is the original color photo.
I never did find out why the walls were pink and green, but maybe that showed up better on black and white tv at the time and perhaps they thought the tv show would eventually be done in color.
Swipe back and forth and see the difference between color and black and white.