NY Comic Con 2018

Last day of NY Comic Con 2018. Here is a short video of Sunday’s activities.

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Lots of superhero cosplayers

Day two of New York Comic Con was a madhouse, there were more people than I think I have ever seen before over the years. The weekend will probably be nuts!

I noticed many super heroes this year – lots of Spider-man cosplayers and lots of Batman, there was Superman and their villains, too. Lots of color. Lots of fun.

New York Comic Con 2018

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Stephan Pastis signing autographs at NY Comic Con 2018

Saw one of my idols Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine today at New York Comic Con, he was signing autographs at the GoComics booth. I was manifesting as he interacted with his fans, I do that every year and one of these years, I’ll be part of the GoComics family.

I got there early today and it wasn’t as crowded and sweltering as it usually is. They are expecting 200,000 people this year, so it will get mobbed. And while it was crowded, it was manageable.

It’s such a great event that I look forward to every year. Usually October in New York is the icing on the cake, but it’s 80 degrees today, so no fall weather or red and yellow leaves this week!

 

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Graffiti and ground zero

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courtesy CBS

I had seen these murals in New York this past summer. CBS Sunday morning did a story on it. The murals are right outside the World Trade Center in NYC, right at the Oculus.

This CBS piece is a great story on history and art. Here is the link to the video: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/leaving-their-mark-graffiti-artists-decorate-the-wtc-site/

And here is the story with photos: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/decorating-hallowed-ground-with-street-art/ 

What’s interesting is right across the street is Trinity Church, where that land was purchased and deeded in 1696. The first church was built on that location in 1698 and the current church and graveyard are there from 1839 after being rebuilt three times since the 1600s. It’s amazing to take it all in, where you see the 1600s to today in one glance.

This graffiti story is cool because it was commissioned by the 87-year-old owner of the property Larry Silverstein, who purchased the Twin Towers six weeks before they were destroyed. Through is vision and the vision of the artists, the area is alive again.

So from the 1600s until today, the area is ever-evolving and alive.

New Yorker videos

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Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal create captions.

I’ve been submitting comics to The New Yorker, they like my work and asked me to submit. But even though they like my work, I’ve had to adapt to their style and comic sensibilities. A friend sent me a New Yorker video page which is pretty cool. There are lots of comic-related videos (or cartoons, which The New Yorker calls them).

One is about a little girl named Alice Kassnove, who they call a “caption-writing sensation.” She’s really funny. She says the goal is to not be funny but in the end it is funny and her captions are hilarious.

These two guys, shown above, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal do the same thing. It’s funny and interesting to watch and I learned a lot from all of the videos. I guess they rubbed off on me because I woke up at 3 am and came up with a couple of cartoon ideas that I’ll draw today. Here’s the page of New Yorker videos which has much more than just the caption videos.

There is a certain style and a different way of thinking when drawing for The New Yorker. It makes me think of the old days when there were so many magazines that printed cartoons. Did they all have their own style and sensitivities or did cartoonists just submit them in batches to all the magazines at once hoping for a sale?

The cartoon creating process is sort of like writing  a song, which comes first, the lyrics or the music? I’ve always had the gag in my mind first, then drew the image based on that, I have now tried the opposite. I picture a funny image and then come up with the caption and it seems to be The New Yorker way of doing things.

Some years ago I had a lot of work published in various magazines but I just drew my usual style and they liked that as it was. I remember one time the National Enquirer turned down one of my cartoons, not because it wasn’t funny, but because they thought I and used a computer to add shading to it! I used Ben Day and for some reason it looked computerized to them.  I laugh at that now since we are living in a digital world now and I’m sure the Enquirer is producing their whole newspaper digitally.

 

I won on HQ Trivia!

I won HQ Trivia last night! It was there 1 year birthday and after one full year, I won my first game.

I won 40 cents. Yup, 40 cents.

I don’t think you can even buy a gumball these days for 40 cents, aren’t they like 50 cents?

No, it wasn’t fun just because I won, sort of like being nominated is good you don’t need to win. I wanted to win money.

They have given away $400,000 in one game, shared by those who won, my game last night was $5000 shared by over 12,000 people, so that’s where the 40 cents comes in.

Don’t know HQ Trivia?  I did a story awhile back on Medium, you can read about HQ Trivia here.

Getting close to the action

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Miami Vice cast

I was talking about “old” Miami Beach, which to me was the 1980s. This was before all the glitz and glamour and before they called it “South Beach.” It was just Miami Beach.

We used to watch them film Miami Vice often. And we really got up close. Years later I would watch them film Burn Notice around town, but we couldn’t get as close, but I managed at times, I would take pictures and write about them here, and here and here). And this is a funny story called, The Accidental Extras, how we were mistaken for extras while they were filming.

I remember one time in the ’80s we were watching Miami Vice film and there was a car chase on Ocean Drive and we were standing right there on the sidewalk watching. Cars were speeding and spinning mere feet from us and there we were, watching the action.

Once I left the beach, the actual beach with the sand where I was laying out, and I got in my car and as I drove down Collins Avenue, I was stopped and asked if I wanted to be in a movie. I said, ok and was told to drive when they said, “action.” I did, but I never made in the movie. You can see the scene they were filming on the opening credits of “The Making of Mr. Right,” the 1987 film with John Malkovich and Ann Magnuson.  It’s where Ann is driving down Collins as the film titles roll at the beginning. You can see a lot of the Miami Beach I hung around in at that time, raw and not made into the pink and purple and neon place it is now.

Back to Miami Vice. Once my friend Jack and I were watching them film at the Hare Krishna hotel. Were were right up close and personal again. As we watched, my friend said, “Isn’t that Karen Black?” She was a big actress at the time. I asked, “Where?” And he says, “You’re leaning on her chair!” And so I was. She was sitting in a director’s style chair and I was leaning on the back of it, while she was sitting watching the scene. You could literally get up that close in those days.

I always remember in that episode, “Victim’s of Circumstance,” how they screwed the Hare Krishnas out of their moment on film. In the last scene, Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas are walking from the hotel, down a walkway/alley type thing and behind a wall were the Krishnas. As the two men reached that spot, the Krishnas came out from behind the wall and did their thing with drums and tambourines, you know how they do. Well, that was the final scene in the episode and on tv, as the two guys walked, the credits rolled. As they reached the wall, the scene froze, it just froze and the credits rolled over that. So the Krishnas were never seen on the show.

Years later, the Krishnas moved from that hotel to a church in my neighborhood and I got to know them on a first name basis.