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.

Caronavirus is our Jaws

jaws

Mayor Vaughn wants the beaches open.

I was watching Jaws the other day. I don’t know if it’s my favorite movie, but I must have seen it 100 times. Every time I come across it on tv, I stop what I’m doing and I watch.

I happened to turn it on in the exact scene that reminded me of Florida these days. Mayor Larry Vaughn of Amity Island in Jaws wants the beaches open for July 4th through the whole summer, while the police want the beaches closed to protect people from the shark, the mayor wants the beaches open; sort of like the dolts in Florida these days who feel the beaches should be open, just adding to the spread of caronavirus.

No sheltering in place for these idiots.

The reason I like Jaws is not about the shark, the part I like is the little beach town in New England and that point in time, the mid 1970s. I love that. It reminds me so much of the Hamptons where I spend part of the summer with my cousins and I am hoping to be able to be there this summer, but if these idiots in parts of Florida are still spreading the virus by opening beaches and other businesses, who knows what summer will bring.

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