She doesn’t like the name Hal

halI live in a condo and last night I was at a condo meeting. At one point, my next door neighbor looked over at me, sort of angrily, and she said, “I have a bone to pick with you!” I wondered what I had done.

She asked me, “Why did you name your comic strip what you did?” She was referring to Hal and High Water. I didn’t know what she meant at first. She went on, “You know, Hal!” and she looked over to one of our neighbors by that name, a guy who she despises. He is the type of neighbor who usually throws a monkey wrench into all of our plans, just last night he threatened to sue the building if we didn’t do something he wanted. So he is a despised character around here.

I had to explain that “Hal and High Water” refers to the expressions, “Hell and high water,” or “Hell or high water.” She had never heard that before.

But I was glad to see that she knew about my new comic strip which I’m working on now, hopefully ready for a New Year’s Day publication date. The more readers the better!

Gary Larson is forcing my hand

hal-and-high-water

After posting about how much I love single panel comics, I see that The Far Side is coming back. Everyone is making a big deal about changes on the website here: thefarside.com. It’s been updated after years of being dormant.

Could it be reruns or new stuff? Speculation is that it will start up again on January 1, 2020 because it first appeared on January 1, 1980. So will it start up again fresh, will it be reruns or what on January 1, 2020? Of course I think we all hope for new stuff!

Anyway, to that end, how can I compete, how can anyone compete? After Gary Larson left the scene on January 1, 1997 (Gary likes January 1st), there were lots of new single panel comics appearing to try and fill the space left.

Now the Gemini in me has changed course regarding my comic strip/panel. I’m thinking of now starting up a strip, rather than a panel and have a usual sitcom style thing going.

I like the name I trademarked in the past, “Hal and High Water,” and originally it was about living in a world where the whole planet is submerged due to global warming, but now with the major hurricanes we are seeing these past few years and the real threat of global warming, it doesn’t seem like a funny idea to play around with in a comic strip. So I’ll keep the name “Hal and High Water,” and keep Hal and one or two of the other characters and reformat it.

The premise is explained like this on Twitter: “Comic strip. Hal’s wife threw him out. Now he ends up traveling the world in an old rickety boat with his best friend. Adventures await!”

It’s a bit more exciting than that and I see a lot of interesting and fun things happening. I’d like to incorporate my own travels into the strip and use real scenery that I encounter. I’ve been practicing drawing lots of boats lately, I guess that will be a big feature in the strip.

I’m not sure of a start date, but was thinking of January 1, 2020, too. If it’s good enough for Gary Larson . . .

Anyway, I’ll post on a website, not sure where yet, and also daily on Facebook and Instagram. You may not realize, but Instagram is really a great place to read comics, with the feature where you can swipe through the panels, it’s an excellent place to find new comics.

You can follow along now for updates and things like that along with Twitter.

Here are the social media links:

Hal and High Water Twitter: twitter.com/HalAndHighWater
Hal and High Water Instagram: instagram.com/HalAndHighWater
Hal and High Water Facebook: facebook.com/HalAndHighWater

I was ghosted by a mentor

hal-paperI was looking over Facebook friends, deciding whether to dump people and I came across this lady who works at one of the major newspaper syndicates. She and I met by accident through social media and she was going to help push me and my comic strip through the syndicate process as she has with others only I screwed it all up. She has ignored me ever since. And I think she would like Hal (shown here) from my new comic strip “Hal and High Water.”

What happened was I did a bunch of 10 With Tom interviews with cartoonists and I happened to interview one of her favorites. She helped get this particular cartoonist published and syndicated and she seems like she is in love with him, at least it appears that way from her Facebook posts, but she did fawn all over him in an online chat.

Well, she saw the interview and asked to befriend me on Facebook. I wondered, “Who the hell is this person wanting to befriend me?” And then I looked her up and saw she worked at the syndicate. I got all excited. I approved her friendship and that was that.

But as I do too often, I’ll approve a friend, someone I have not seen in years, and we don’t interact. We are just there. So I said to myself, “Let me say hello and introduce myself so as not to just have our ‘friendship’ linger.” I sent her a direct message and for the next hour, we had a conversation back and forth on Facebook Messenger.

She asked about my own cartoons and offered to help! She and I spoke about that bitch who works at the syndicate who I told you about before, the one I confronted at ComicCon, and lo and behold, she hates her and she called her every name in the book, using some filthy language! I was shocked and excited. I had an ally. She told me all sorts of gossip about the syndicate and she told me about all the famous cartoonists she has known and I thought, “This is it, I reached my tipping point.” I truly wanted to meet her.

She then told me to send her my comics, printed out in hard copy form. She said she was going on vacation the next day and she would look at them upon her return. So I agreed.

The next morning, she checks in on Facebook in Islamorada, one of the Florida Keys, which is basically in my neighborhood! What should I do? Invite her and her husband for drinks? Coffee? Lunch? I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I had only “met her” online the night before and anything I did or said would obviously look like me reaching out to use her influence. Should I bother her on her vacation or what? I wanted to, but I respected her privacy.

I decided to not say anything. And all that week she posted her adventures on Facebook, she was in my neighborhood for lunch, she went to a museum, they went fishing, they really did it all and me, I stayed silent. I didn’t even “like” her posts. I just stayed silent.

I guess that was not the thing to do because she has never said a word to me again. I did reach out and ask if she received my comics and I got silence back. I was ghosted by her, a potential mentor.  To this day, which is almost a year later, she has not said a word to me on Facebook and we do comment on common posts. We agree with things politically and we enjoy the same comic artists and we have so much in common.

I do see from her posts that she travels often and likes to get together with people. I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t mean to offend her. I truly wanted to meet with her and pick her brain, but I guess I wanted to respect her privacy, too and therein lies the rub, I ruined my chance of what could have been something so great. Now I’m on my own again, pushing my comics and trying to get noticed.

How to publish Hal & High Water

this-is-hal

Here is Hal from my new comic strip “Hal & High Water.”

I would like to start publishing in January or February of 2018. I sent in the strip to the five major syndicates and received two rejections.

To be honest, I don’t really feel I need the syndicates to get Hal up and running. I don’t want to be confined to editors or a newspaper schedule and I notice that even on the syndicates’ websites, features don’t always have a large following. So the way to go is to self publish.

And while I intend to publish on social media, mostly Facebook and Instagram,  I need a comic-based website to publish to daily. I’m debating on which one and how to go about it. I’m totally confused at this point.

========
Receive Tomversation via email each time we publish Click here.
=======

Getting inspiration at Boston Harbor

I spent a drizzly morning at Boston Harbor the other day and I got inspiration for my new comic called “Hal and High Water,” which takes place in and around the water.

That’s the comic I told you about sending in to the syndicates. Well, I sent the comic in to the five main syndicates – all on 11/11 at 11:11 am, as I said I would. But maybe that wasn’t so special because I already got one rejection back in less than a week! That’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten a rejection, usually it takes a month or more.

This is the syndicate, where I am sure the acquisitions editor hates me because of our meeting that time. I swear she just sees my name and rejects the work without even looking at it.

To be honest, I want and I don’t want syndication. The only reason I want it is because overnight I’ll receive thousands of readers. But in all reality, this is the digital age of art, music and everything else, where you do your own thing without syndicates and agents. And that is the best way. So I am torn.

I do have the other four syndicates in the wings, let’s see what they say.

This new strip, “Hal and High Water” really is some of my best work ever. I simplified the art, since that seems to be the thing these days and I enjoy the characters, I don’t get bored with them as I have with other strips in the past.

I guess we’ll just let this play out and see how it goes, but in the end, “Hal and High Water” will see the light of day and I’ll get an audience that appreciates it.