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

Daily News Sunday comics; a blast from the past

I started following a page on Facebook that is all about The New York Daily News Sunday papers. Mostly the comics and thrown in are some old images and comic from the New York Mirror.

What I like about it is that as you scroll down, you feel as if you are reading the actual comics pages at the time. Three comics stood out that I had forgotten about but when I saw them here it brought back so many childhood memories for different reasons.

louie-comicThe reason I remember Louie so well is Silly Putty! I distinctly remember picking up this comic by pushing Silly Putty onto it and then taking up the image. Like this image shows below.

I don’t know why Louie stands out, because I’m sure I did this with all the comics, but I distinctly remember picking up Louie with Silly Putty.

sillyputty

pottsy-comic

I liked Pottsy because it was funny, but also it was New York. He was a NY cop and the scenes clearly depicted New York. This top comic is obviously Coney Island and the one below clearly shows City Hall in lower Manhattan. I was just there a couple of weeks ago.

pottsy-comic2super-duper-comic

As for Super Duper, I remember drawing it as a kid. When I learned to cartoon by redrawing the Sunday comics and putting my own characters in. I can clearly remember drawing and re-drawing Super Duper.

In my own little bubble

I posted a video to Instagram of a boat coming into shore in our little lagoon where I live in Miami, in February. Someone sent me a message telling me that it’s 17 degrees where they are and that I was being cruel and teasing them. He was kidding about the cruel part, but it made me think. When I post things I’m sort of thinking of my own little world. I told him I’m in my own little bubble and not realizing there are others our there seeing the images or even reading this blog post.

I know people from all over the world read me. Once I was stopped walking down the street and a guy asked me, “Are you Tom Falco?” When I told him I was, he introduced himself and said he was a reader and follower of mine from Liechtenstein! That’s a country near Switzerland!

When I’m in New York City, which is often, I don’t think about home. I took photos of the snow this past November and posted photos on social media, but I never though, “Hmm, what is the weather back home in Miami as I am here in the snow in New York?” Am I the only one who does or doesn’t do this? Is it selfish to just be in our own little bubbles?

On the other hand, I have the weather on my phone from different cities I like and I look at that often, I wonder what the weather is like today in Albuquerque for instance, but if I’m out in the snow in New York or on a boat in Miami, I’m not thinking of Albuquerque at the moment.

I guess we are living in an Instagram world, which is a selfish bubble world.

He failed at promoting his comic strip

Sometimes people are their own worst enemies when it comes to promoting their business, especially cartoonists. The interesting thing is that you don’t have to do much in the way of promotion sometimes.

What I mean is I saw a comic strip I liked. The cartoonist posted it as a comment on another cartoonists post on Facebook, asking if the format was a good one or should he changed the strip to another format. I loved the strip he posted, it was funny and I loved the drawing style, so I promptly went to that cartoonist’s Facebook page since the comic strip didn’t have any URL to follow the strip. At the cartoonist’s Facebook page, which was private, there was no way to follow – mistake number one – always have a “follow” button next to the “Add friend” button.

With the follow button, it allows people to follow your public posts and you can keep all of your private posts private. Whenever he posts his comic strip on his Facebook page, it should be public so that everyone can see it.

Mistake number two – there was nothing in the “About” section, the second place I would go to find a link to the comic strip. Nothing.

I’ll post a link to the strip if I ever find it online, but this guy is making it a chore when it should be so easy to follow him and his work.

I’m having an issue with some comics

I’m not sure if its the times we live in or what but the filth that people have been posting on comic sites on Facebook has been getting really disgusting.

I belong to a few sites where single panel cartoons are posted, most are older and they are not posted by the cartoonist themselves, they are posted by random people, so that could be a copyright issue right there, but anyway, the filth on these sites is getting worse and worse.  I’m assuming they are family-friendly sites, since all of Facebook is supposedly family-friendly.

It started with sexual cartoons, probably from old Playboys or something and now it’s turned to filthy bigoted stuff. One guy posted a really nasty comic and when I called him out on it, he said, “Oh, I thought we could post old Hustler comics on here.” He was so racist that he didn’t realize what the issue was.

Another moron posts a comic of a plane crashing, the day after the Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia with 189 people aboard. His comic, showing the plane crashing into the ocean says, “RIP.” When people were offended, the excuse was that it was his way of showing respect.

Maybe I’m getting old and things are offending me. But I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s the times we live in today  -anything goes, offensive or not.

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.

========
Don’t miss my next post. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish
 Click here.

=======