Supporting Eaten Fish

In 2013 a 21 year old Iranian cartoonist named Ali arrived in Australia The Australian government put him in a detention camp. He’s been in a detention camp ever since.

Ali cartoons under the name Eaten Fish. Cartoonists, starting in Australia, and now all over the world have been drawing fish cartoons and posting them on social media in the hopes of drawing attention to the detention.

Australia detains people who seek asylum if they arrive by boat. Talk about wet foot, dry foot. Ali is detained on Manus Island. Ali’s health is failing and people all over the world are asking for his freedom.

I have collected some of the EatenFish comics that have been making the rounds.

Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) writes: “It is with profound alarm and sadness that [we] learn that our friend and colleague, cartoonist Mr. Eaten Fish, currently held in an Australian refugee rendition camp in Papua New Guinea has decided to undertake a hunger strike. He is a man who has given up hope, cannot struggle any longer, cannot face the future that is being forced on him, and he would rather die than submit to the indignities of further inhuman treatment.”

The Australian government has been petitioned many times both from within Australia and internationally asking that Eaten Fish be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Cartoonists feel that they can bring awareness to the issue with a media campaign by posting images of fish with the hashtags “AddAFish #EatenFish

More in this issue here.

The wall of color

It’s jarring. And colorful. As you enter the subway at Union Square in NYC, you are confronted with this awe-inspiring wall created out of post it notes. It’s called a therapy wall or a sticky note confession wall, created after Trump won the election. Most post its are a protest, some are cheering Trump on.

The post its go on and on at Union Square, maybe thousands of feet. Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the wall and left his own message:

“New York State holds the torch high! – Andrew C.

‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free … I lift my lamp beside the golden door’ Emma Lazarus


Check out the video above, the subway performer’s music is perfect for the setting.

Good grief, Snoopy is fired

metlife-blimpAfter 31 years, Snoopy has been dropped as the face/mascot of MetLife Insurance. I sort of like this since I never liked the idea of him being exploited to sell insurance, but I guess Peanuts is probably the most exploited comic strip out there so MetLife was just one of the group of entities tied to Peanuts.

MetLife is re-branding in some way, but some how, I don’t think Snoopy will be affected. But maybe he will, it’s said that MetLife paid between $10 million and $15 million per year to use the Peanuts characters! Nice work if you can get it.

But I will miss seeing his smiling face on the blimp. Here’s the whole story in Wall Street Journal.

But I wouldn’t mind seeing the Peanuts music and references disappear from that All detergent ad. It creeps me out when I see that kid walking as if he was Pigpen, with all the dust coming off of him and the other kid in the Charlie Brown shirt. It’s sacrilege in some way. If you haven’t seen the commercial, you can see it here.

Sometimes I think Bill Watterson, of Calvin & Hobbes fame had it right, he was against exploiting the characters for commercial reasons. But then again, if someone offered me millions of dollars anything for the use of my own comic characters, I would be all over that.


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Have you seen the Trumpkins popping up this year? They are jack-o-lanterns made out to be Donald Trump.

The Huffington Post has a great how-to here. But it seems easy, it’s all in the hair. Just put something on top of the pumpkin and call it Trump!

Spocking Fives

There is a former prime minister named Sir Wilfrid Laurier on Canada’s five dollar bill and since Leonard Nimoy’s death, the bills have been marked up – to look like Spock from Star Trek! The resemblance is uncanny with just a few pen strokes. It’s been happening quite often. It’s perfect during this 50th anniversary of Star Trek, too.

According to Bank of Canada it’s not illegal to do this “…However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.”

I am surprised they are circulating, if I received one, I think I would save it and not spend it. But as you can see above, there’s a US $5 bill circulating with Lincoln made into Spock, guess that’s how Lincoln would look if he was Spock for Halloween.

10 things you didn’t know about newsman Ayman Mohyeldin

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

Ayman Mohyeldin, shown here, is one of my favorites at MSNBC. I love saying his name, but even more than that, he is an excellent newsman, whether he is traveling the world or anchoring behind the desk. I had a chance to ask Ayman the 10 With Tom questions, here they are:

aymanTOM: You travel a lot, how many miles do you think you’ve gone this year?
AYMAN: I think I’ve made it around the world at least twice so far.

TOM: Favorite location to visit?
AYMAN: With all the traveling I do… Home is my favorite location to visit.

TOM: You must have some airport or travel secrets?
AYMAN: I could make millions with the travel secrets I’ve learned. How much are you willing to pay? I can get you through any airport pretty easily…wait, is TSA going to read this?

TOM: Do you prefer anchoring the news or being out in the field reporting?
AYMAN: My heart will always be in the field. But anchoring is a mental challenge as well. They both have advantages and disadvantages. I am a huge foodie, so field food was not good on my waistline. I pretty much ate my way through life when I was field reporting.

TOM: Favorite season. And why?
AYMAN: Summer. More reasons to be lazy.

TOM: Do you believe in Bigfoot?

TOM: I really thought he would.

TOM: What song would you sing for your American Idol audition?
AYMAN: No Sleep Till Brooklyn

TOM: What did you have for breakfast today?
AYMAN: Iced Coffee and a cheese Man’ousha (google it and thank me later).

TOM: What’s something you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do?
AYMAN: Go to band camp.

TOM: What are two things you would do if you woke up to find yourself completely invisible?
AYMAN: I would sit in on a few high level meetings at the Oval office between world leaders specially some specific country leaders. And I would definitely crash the finals of the World Cup.

Thanks, Ayman! Good sport.

Pay as you go news stories

blendleThere’s a website called Blendle which started up two years ago. It’s a site where you can pick and choose stories from various newspapers and magazines – The New York Times, Time magazine, Barron’s, Newsweek, etc. And they have a paywall for each article you read, where you pay something like 25 cents per article and if you don’t like the article, you can ask for a refund on the spot!

They do ask you why you didn’t like the article first before giving the refund, but I’m not sure why you wouldn’t like an article other than boredom. I mean if you disagreed with what the writer was saying, would that be a reason not to like it? If it has bad grammar, is that a reason? I don’t know, but I don’t see myself asking for a refund if I didn’t like an article. Unless it was something bad about me, of course.

Blendle has 1 million members already. You sign up with your email and then pay as you go.

The New York Times calls it, “The iTunes of Journalism.”

It turns out that people don’t like paying for actual news stories, as you can get them anywhere, but they are willing to pay for more in depth stories and articles. Stories they can’t get elsewhere.

This might be a good model for comics – pay as you go for each comic you like. 25 cents for Peanuts or $1.00 for any six comics, or whatever, although you can read them free at GoComics or Comics Kingdom, so maybe not.