Charles Addams; mysterious and spooky

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Charles Addams posing with a mural he painted that once hung in a Hamptons hotel. (Look magazine Library of Congress)

The Long Island Press has a nice feature on cartoonist Charles Addams. I didn’t realize there was a Long Island Press. When I was a kid I delivered the Long Island Press newspaper. I like seeing Long Island Press stretched across the monitor, sort of like the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which has also been reborn as a website. You can read the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle online, the digitally scanned pages are here. The Long Island Press is also printed monthly. I’m in Long Island often, I’ll have to look for it.

I love the names of newspapers. Some I don’t get, like the Hartford Courant and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

An outtake from the article on Charles Addams says, “When he was 12, a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist said he was untalented and should forget his dream of an art career.” I had a similar experience from one of the syndicate heads, I’m way more than 12 years old now, but it’s interesting how great artists (Addams, not me) are usually turned down until their time comes. How many times was Charles Schulz turned down? 80?

Being told I can’t, makes me work harder to prove that I can, which seems to be the case with Addams and Schulz.

I always liked tv shows based on comics and comic strips, it wasn’t a deliberate thing, but I realize that I love The Addams Family, Hazel and Dennis the Menace, to name a few. Whenever I see them on tv, I stop to watch.

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Why the new Instagram algorithm is a good thing

In my previous post I was talking about Instagram and comics. Many cartoonists were not fans of Instagram and they really should get into it.

They can still post on private websites and other platforms, but I do believe Instagram is the best at the moment. It is defiantly the most popular.

I mentioned the guy who didn’t like the idea of time consuming hash tags (all five seconds of that).

instagram2Another person didn’t like that they had to use their cell phone to upload to Instagram, rather than use the computer. Aren’t people on their phones all day, every day? What is the difference if you upload a comic strip via your phone? There are programs that let you set up the Instagram post ahead of time and have it post the day and time you prefer.

And there was another complained about, “LO-REZ SQUARE F*CKING JPEGS.” I guess he doesn’t realize that the whole internet works on lo-rez f*cking jpgs.

These people are their own worst enemies.

Another was concerned about the new algorithms where in the past when you posted something, it would appear at the top of the timeline and then work its way down as other people posted. But that was a negative. If you posted a comic at 8 am, it was gone and unseen by 9 am. The new algorithm, keeps it moving around, so it doesn’t disappear and that post and others always pop up somewhere.

So many popular comics use Instagram for posting their comics, along with so many other platforms, and at Instagram alone, they have hundreds of thousands of followers. This and the hashtags bring thousands of readers a day – thousands of fans.

Post your comics on Instagram!

Instagram hashtags are the key to new readers and fans

instagramThere was a discussion on Facebook about the best social media platforms for comics. But this applies to everyone who posts on social media platforms. While we were discussing this on Facebook, another platform is better for comics and most things – that’s Instagram.

I suggested Instagram because according to news reports, that is the most popular platform for teens and young adults now. I’m thinking that most people would like that demographic for an audience, along with older folks, of course.

I like the new formatting on Instagram for comics where it allows you to post one comic panel at a time and then the reader can scroll through, reading one panel at a time. It’s perfect for single panel comics, too, but of course, not great for long form comics.

But as usual, many cartoonists are their own worst enemies. They don’t agree with posting on Instagram for the silliest reasons. I guess they would rather continue to post their comics in a black hole where only they see the comics.

In our online discussion, one person claims, “The only gripe I have about it is that it takes a while to type all the individual hashtags for each post.”

Less than smart comment. The hashtags are the key to readers – readers that don’t follow you on a daily basis. People use hashtags to find things on Instagram. If you post a comic strip about bicycle riding, you can use the usual hashtags like #comics #comicstrip #art and so on, but you can also add #bicycles #cyclists #ride, etc. and in that way you are opening up the post to those people.

I live in a seaside community and on my personal Instagram page, I can’t tell you how many boating people follow me when I post pictures of the marina and boats and docks in my neighborhood. They see the hashtag #boats #bay #water and they find my posts. And they end up following me.

I think Instagram makes the best use of hashtags of all the social media platforms, Twitter is probably second, but I’m not sure if it’s good for posting daily comics. I think Twitter is better used for communicating with fans and readers, you know, keeping them up to date on what you are working on, maybe sharing some of your daily life and travels.

Another issue people had in our discussion group was the new algorithm used by Instgram where the posts are not appearing in the order they are posted. But this is a good thing. I’ll explain why in my next post.

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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.