I’m wanting to go back in time

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New York Comic Con, October 2019

I think the depression is starting to set in. I know I wrote about being positive and I still am, but now I am starting to feel like I am in prison or house arrest, which I felt was an easy thing to do. I was concerned about money for the month, but I think I got that sorted out, so now my attention has turned to life itself and our world during the coronavirus.

I know that the real heros are the doctors, nurses and all the health workers out there who are at ground zero, dealing with this daily. And of course the sick people, the patients and their families are all suffering. I am just writing this from my own selfish perspective.

I have not seen my family or friends in person, I don’t think I have seen any of my neighbors. I just ran downstairs to pick the newspaper up, which was thrown on the front walk and a guy I didn’t know was walking his dog. He lives down the block I assume. I was glad to see him. I kept starting at him and the dog. A human and a dog! Wow. But again, I am well, all the people I know are well. I am thankful for that.

I keep reminiscing about the past and by the past I mean a few months ago – October in Upstate New York pumpkin and apple picking and Thanksgiving in November. Also, a lot of the summer photos keep popping up on my phone. I did a lot this past summer. This image above is New York Comic Con in October. Will we ever be that physically close again? Comic Con takes place at the Jacob Javits Center, which is now turned into a field hospital; just that thought is so depressing.

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Filming Summer House, July 5, 2019

I watch a tv show on Bravo, a reality show called Summer House, it was on last night – it’s on every Wednesday night. It’s about a group of friends that rent a house in the Hamptons for the summer.

It always brings back memories because I am usually in the Hamptons at the time they are there. The image here is from a restaurant where they filmed last summer on July 5. I headed back to the city on the morning of July 5 and then there they were filming at a place where my cousins were eating later that night. One of my cousins sent me this. They show the date of each episode when it airs and as it airs I think to myself, where was I that day? What was I doing when they were doing this?

But as I watch the show I see all the places we would go, they film at so many of the places. I keep wanting to go back in time, but maybe I should wish for the future when this whole mess is over since that is a reality – facing the future when the world is healed.

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Selling my services; taking commissions

fiverr13I’ve never been one to take commission work, but in these hard times where I don’t have money coming in, I am taking commissions. In the past I did a lot of work for newspapers and magazines – and books – single panel and editorial cartoons – and drawings for advertisements. I remember when I was in high school I used to do spot drawings for a local magazine. I still have all that published work somewhere, probably at my parents house in storage.

I’m also selling comics that I’ve sold before. What I mean is, take this Flintstones comic. Over the years I have sold this to numerous realtors.

I didn’t set out to sell it, I didn’t realize it was online anywhere. I may have posted it online a few years back and perhaps people shared it and it got around that way. My copyright info is at the bottom of the comic and thankfully the people who shared the comic left it there, as that is the proper thing to do when sharing other peoples’ work. But anyway, people reached out to me, they literally searched for my email address and asked to purchase the rights the comic. This has happened many times for this exact comic panel. Out of the blue I got emails, I blogged about it here.

I made a deal to sell them the rights, they purchased the comic and used it for their marketing – usually on postcards or business cards according to the buyer. And all of the buyers were realtors so far I think, except for a magazine publisher.

Anyway, I’m selling the rights for this and I’m doing commission work, starting off with low prices, until I get volume orders. I know my work is worth more, but I need to start somewhere and test the waters. It seems that every time you start a project, there are so many other people out there doing the same thing, especially on the internet. But the good part about cartooning, illustrating and art is that everyone has their own style and that’s what sells, rather than everyone competing to sell the same thing like a regular product or service.

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Before and after colorization.

I am also recoloring old black and white photos. I learned how to do that with Photoshop so I thought I might as well make use of my “talent” and make a few bucks.

It’s amazing how this downtime is changing lives, people are doing things differently and thinking differently. Friends have told me they have taken up cooking and they are working out more and so many of us are doing Spring cleaning and so on. I have a friend who is doing workout classes online and it’s really such a renaissance for so many people.

Anyway, please reach out to me if you need art for anything – personal or commercial: tom@tomversation.com. Thanks!

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Moving on down the road

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I’ve been wanting to move for the longest time, but I’m too lazy to move. This whole lock down/Caronavirus thing is sort of resetting our lives; it’s resetting the whole Universe. I have been thinking differently about my future and how I want to live.

I want a change of pace and I would also love to take the money out of my current place and re-invest it and live. I need to start enjoying it. I started cleaning closets and other things out so that there wouldn’t be so much to move when and if the time comes. With all this free time now I guess I should start the “spring cleaning” again. I think if there is less stuff here it might be more motivating in getting me to move.

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I saw this thing on Shark Tank last week, it’s a van turned into a sort of trailer. So basically you live in the van, there is a kitchen, bed, shower, everything, but it’s easy to drive and maneuver since it’s not a huge RV. Trouble with that is I hate long driving trips, but I still do love the concept. The vans are called Boho campers. But I’m sure there are similar vans available, too.

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Oddly enough, on the same episode, this girl had portable solar panels, which you hang on a window, it charges up, and you use it to charge things. That would work perfect in the small camper. That can be seen here.

Now all I need is the balls to go ahead with it and see the country, but first, I need to sell this condo I’m in, and clean it out first. I’m putting it all into the Universe along with the end to the Caronavirus so all this can start happening. Oh, and I would draw comics and post them from my Surface Pro along the way!

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But I do have a more realistic plan that will work better for me. And I can retire in the process if I want. Stay tuned, I’ll explain that in the next blog post.

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Andy Warhol hoarding soup cans

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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.

Nesting, social distancing, whatever you call it; let’s do it!

my-caronaI have been trying to stay home and not “congregate anywhere,” practicing social distancing. I’m not doing things or going places where I don’t have to be. I did run to the supermarket yesterday to get a few things and it was maddening, of course people were buying up all the toilet paper, paper towels and water. I went early in the morning to avoid the crowds, but at 8 am the store was packed.

I think I am helping the cause by staying home, in this way I am trying to keep the whole country from closing down like Italy and France.  I heard that if the virus gets worse, they can close us all down, make us stay home for weeks or a month. Not sure if that is true, but it sort of makes sense. So many local events have been shut down including Ultra, the big music festival, St. Patrick’s Day events, Spring Break!, schools are closed, churches, too, etc., so there must some validity to people congregating in large numbers.

I have friends who are out and about – biking, going to restaurants, theater, church, gym. Not sure what to make of that. I tell them they are selfish and could be carriers even if they don’t get infected. Maybe I’m getting paranoid and they aren’t. But I’m more worried about loss of business than of catching the virus myself and I feel that the more we all stay healthy, the more the economy and life in general will remain normal to some degree.

This isn’t to say I am not worried about people catching the virus, that is my main concern of course. But I do want life to return to normal and it won’t until the infections decrease. The best way to do that is to stay home and not be a potential carrier.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that if we don’t start taking this seriously, we will all be quarantined for 14 days or more. The whole country!

I’m still cartooning, getting ready for the Tomversation comics debut on May 4. So I’m keeping busy. I’ve also been binge watching Breaking Bad and Shameless.

Social distancing

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While I’m anxious about everything these days, this Tom Tomorrow tweet says it all – I’m feeling the same.

People keep asking me if I miss publishing the daily Grapevine. I don’t. Not even a little. For such a long time I was telling people I didn’t want to leave my house – they were more than welcome to send me photos of events and news so I didn’t have to attend events! I was joking about not wanting to leave my house – I’m not that bad and I don’t know if I could deal with a self-imposed quarantine, but I do prefer being alone and cartooning.

I told my friend Harry that this “social distance” thing is how I have always tried to live my life! He would put me down for it, he doesn’t understand that different people have different personalities. But it looks like my way of life – social distancing – is a thing now, although I hope it ends really soon and be a choice (mine) and not forced on everyone.

We went to the Ferrari show

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We had a little Ferrari show in our village today, one street was Ferraris up and down the road.

I’ve been to quite a few car shows these days, I guess the Universe is telling me something. But the shows were outside, it’s beautiful out – 73 and sunny and a perfect day to walk around, eat, drink and look at cars.

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