Comic awareness

alfred-pete

Alfred E. Neuman and Pete Buttigieg

The Daily Cartoonist recently had an article about the younger generation not being aware of past comic references, like when Pete Buttigieg was compared to Alfred E. Neuman, many younger people had no clue what that meant, or Andy Capp was referenced on a late night show and it went flat, younger people didn’t know Andy Capp.

I find this interesting because when I’m cartooning, I try to think in my head about the audience. Who is my audience? I go back and forth. I make references to things in the past but more often than not I refer to current things that the older audience doesn’t understand. That was common when I published daily a few years back.

I would use a current term associated with today’s youth and the readers didn’t have a clue. But then I realized that perhaps it is because of where I was posting. It was basically a site read by older folks, people who actually hold the newspaper in their hands and read comics and news!

andycapp

Andy Capp and his wife Flo.

When I start publishing Tomversation on May 4th, I will publish on my own website, but also I will publish on Facebook here and Instagram here and I assume that most of the readers on those platforms will be younger more than older, although Facebook seems to be out of favor with the younger crowd, but they still like Instagram.

So it will be interesting to see which group accepts my work more, or which group understands and gets my work more – not that it’s anything too complicated, but I do make references that will be from the past or more current, the spectrum that covers my knowledge and age I guess. But I’ve always liked the fact that not everyone gets a comic. I feel when that happens it’s an inside joke.

I didn’t understand this Tiger King thing that was going around – the memes and stories and things people were saying and posting online, so I looked it up and I’m all caught up now; not with the show, but knowing what Tiger King is about and how he fits into current pop culture.

Giving life to the neighborhood

constructionThere are these construction workers across the street building one of those big boxy, white, zero-lot-line townhouse projects, which I usually hate. But I’m glad to see them and hear them every day. It brings a sense of normalcy.

For some reason, construction work is permitted to proceed in the county while most other businesses are at a standstill, I’m not sure why, but in this one case I’m glad.

Each morning I hear them banging away, yelling back and forth to each other and giving life to the neighborhood.

Strange how things have changed in this crazy time. Things we hated we now love, things we loved, we now hate.

comic-conMy new favorite person is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, I always liked him, but love when he is on tv or the internet, speaking to us in his clear, calm voice.

I see the Jacob Javits Center is being turned into a field hospital in New York City. That’s where New York Comic Con takes place ever October. I don’t want to rush the year, but I keep dreaming of that day, when all is right with the world again and we’ll be walking through the huge complex thinking of what was there some months before. I pray for that day.

Travels with Farley

travels-with-farley13

The famous Gerald Ford WIN buttons, when turned upside down meant NO IMPROVEMENT NOW! according to many.

One of my favorite older comic strips is Travels with Farley. I remember seeing it in The San San Francisco Chronicle when I would visit, but I see from an article by Bill Van Nieekerken, that it was a nationally published strip for many years, starting in 1975, and in 1985, Phil Frank, the Farley cartoonist, moved to San Francisco and the strip was then only posted locally mostly about local issues, those are the ones I remember.

The strips are popping up along with other older strips on a Facebook page called The Batavia Funny (and Not So Funny) Pages and I love seeing them. Even though they are dated, for some reason they speak to me. They always remind me of San Francisco, but they are funny.

A lot of the reruns I’m reading covered the 1976 elections and Jimmy Carter/Gerald Ford and so many of the strips reflect life in the ’70s from elections to inflation. In the ’70s, Farley travele around the country and met people from all walks of life and they discussed the issues of the day. Reading them now makes me want to go back.

Recently there was a parade in town and a guy in the parade looked like Farley! I took his picture and said, “You look like the old Farley comic strip character!” he just smiled and I don’t think he knew what I was talking about, but he was the spitting image of the comic character.

The strips here are a few random ones from 1976 and 1977.

travels-with-farley2travels-with-farley6travels-with-farley7travels-with-farley8travels-with-farley9travels-with-farley10travels-with-farley11travels-with-farley12

Skyping the news

I like seeing everyone’s houses and offices when they skype into the news.

skype1

Al Roker has been doing the weather from his kitchen at home on the Today Show.

skype2

He shows different angles of the room on different days.

skype9

Here Ari Melber is interviewing our Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Suarez has been all over tv lately because he has the corona-virus. But interestingly enough, many people are asking him why he doesn’t shut down the beaches that are crammed with spring breakers and he may be too polite to explain that the City of Miami really doesn’t have big sandy beaches. All those beaches you see are in Coral Gables or Miami Beach of course, or Key Biscayne, so Suarez has no jurisdiction over these beaches.  But I heard the county stepped in and shut down the beaches to protect those college kids from themselves.

ari

Ari Melber on MSNBC interviews a lot of people from their homes.

biden

Joe Biden has the best room, looks like a comfy den, well appointed.

skype5

This is a doctor, you can tell by the degrees on the wall.

skype6

Books are a common denominator, I’ve noticed many people are in their home offices or living rooms, which have great book shelves.

news

Another bookshelf, a small one.

skype8

Here is a bookshelf and a living room setup.

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here.

A sense of normalcy

tv

I’ve noticed one semblance of normalcy – tv an tv commercials. All of our tv shows are on and the commercials are running with them – KFC, McDonalds, Perrier, cars, computers, JC Penney, Macys – they are all still running commercials. Makes me feel like things will be all right.

And the newspaper is delivered every day. I know many of you don’t read the printed paper, but trust me – it’s there on the doorstep every morning.

But I am enjoying the sense of solitude. I know many aren’t, but I am usually home alone in the day working anyway. My only concern is lack of business – and money coming in. I applied for a deferral of mortgage payments and hopefully the state or country will just automatically do that like they did in New York state. Also I’m hearing good things about 0% small business loans, so I am applying for that.

I do agree with Trump on one thing – the only thing I’ve ever agreed with Trump on – is that the economy will come roaring back when this virus mess is over. When people start making money again and people are “let out” of their houses, they’ll want to spend, not so much spend for the sake of spending, but they’ll want to go out to restaurants; go to the movies, travel – they’ll feel like birds let out of  cage and I think the economy will roar back sooner than later.

Andy Warhol hoarding soup cans

andy-warhol

Saw this picture online titled, “Andy Warhol hoarding Campbell’s Soup Cans and Brillo Boxes.” I thought it was funny. I saw some of the Brillo boxes along with the paintings recently at the Whitney  in NY.

I see he is in Gristede’s a NYC supermarket. I saw Carol Channing once in Gristede’s in NYC, it was years ago, on 59th Street near 5th Avenue, she was at the check out in front of me. The second she spoke she gave herself away – that voice!

Once Mary Wickes was in front of me in line in the supermarket here in Miami – I think it was at Grand Union. She commented on the Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies I was buying. Her hair was snow white not like the jet black you know her as having.

Which brings me to Hello Dolly!, probably Carol Channing’s most famous roles, since I’m doing 6 degrees of everything – I saw Hello Dolly! a couple of summer’s ago, back in NY, with Bernadette Peters as Dolly.

I have been social distancing by staying home, but I did run out to get corned beef and cabbage at a local hang out. I got take-out, but I was quite surprised to see the place so full at lunch time. I thought the governor shut down restaurants and bars and only allowed take-out, but I guess that didn’t take place yet. The place was full of people, more than the allowable 50% and people were closer than 6 feet. I’m concerned as I want this freaking virus gone already – if we don’t stop infections it will never go away.

People need to stay at home to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Art, food, music, friends and of course cucumber punch at Gifford Lane

Once a year, in our little village, we have what’s called the Gifford Lane Art Stroll – it’s about art, but it’s also about food, music and friends – it’s an old fashioned block party and it’s a place where everybody knows everybody else.

I took a Freebee over, it’s a little golf cart that drives people around town, and the driver told me, “The whole town is there!” And that’s the way it’s been for 21 years. It’s one of our favorite events of the year.

Money raised through the art, food and cucumber punch – the best part of the event, goes to two local charities.

My friend Dave and his wife Trina, who started the event so long ago, open their house to visitors. The green cucumber punch is ladled out in the kitchen and people stroll out back to their tropical back yard. It’s old Florida.

A funny thing is that Dave calls out to people as they obliviously walk by, “Thank you for coming! Take all the punch you want!” If I said it, that would be sarcastic, but he means it. And that’s part of the charm of the whole thing.

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

More art shows filling the streets

This past weekend we had a couple of arts festivals in town. They were a lot of fun, I went all three days with different friends and family. There are a lot of art shows this time of year in Miami. We have a couple more coming up, I may go to the Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth next weekend, and then in March there is one final show, which is more of a block party. One of our favorite ones of the year.

tom-award

This is from 2008, a friend painted me at a local restaurant. I hadn’t seen this painting since back then, she gave it to me the other day. Love it.

art1

The rest of these photos are just some of this weekend’s art shows.

art2art4art5art6

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

The Porsche show

Went to a Porsche show in the City of South Miami today. A friend called and asked me to meet him there. As you know from my last post, I’m not really into cars, but it was a beautiful day and nice to walk around and hang out.

I didn’t stay long because when I texted my friend that I had arrived he texted back that he was at a local restaurant/bar with a couple of friends he ran into. I didn’t know them by their names (he mentioned the names in the text), so I wasn’t up to meeting new people. As I get older, the introverted side of me comes out more. It’s either that or I’m just not into making small talk. It’s not that I’m shy, I think I just don’t want to be bothered.

So I took a few pictures and came home.

It was quite an obstacle course getting out and getting home, the Miami Marathon was still going on from earlier in the morning and traffic was re-routed all different directions. You want to go north and they send you south.

Shameless

shameless

The Shameless cast today.

So this is sort of freaky. I started watching Shameless, the tv show in the 10th season. I did the same thing with Ray Donovan in the 6th season. I’m all caught up with Ray now, I ended up watching all of it from season 1 after my cousin read me the riot act. He couldn’t understand how I was happy watching the show in its 6th season without knowing what happened in the five seasons preceding that.

With Shameless, I watched all of season 10 without watching the previous nine seasons and when season 10 ended, I started watching from the start on Showtime on demand.  And that’s the freaky part. The kids are the same kids but only 10 years younger. I barely recognize them!

Liam, who is about 11 or 12 now is a baby in season 1. All the other kids are 10 years younger, it’s like a time warp. One kid who is 20 now, Carl, is 10 then, Ian who is 21 now is 11. It’s so freaky!

I got right into it from the first episode, but I also got right into it from the first episode of season 10. Anyway, I’m now watching it all and hoping to watch all 9 seasons, and maybe season 10 again, before season 11, the final season, comes on this summer.

I keep binge watching it, I can’t stop. I love it. It’s up there with Breaking Bad. By the way, I never watched Breaking Bad when it was on for its regular run, after it ended I caught a marathon and fell in love with that. I started watching from the first episode ironically, it just popped on the tv one time, season 1, episode 1 and I watched it from there.

shameless1

Three of the cast – then and now.

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here.