Sharing is caring

throwback-thursday

Not bad – check this out. Today’s comic is doing well after only one hour on Facebook – there are 106 shares already – going viral fast.

I love when people share the posts/comics – it’s really helped with circulation on Facebook, there are about 13,000 fans/followers in just a few weeks!

On Instagram there are about 2500, but it’s going slow because they don’t have a share button. I think there are two things Instagram needs – a share button and a way to add a link in the write up area. I’m wondering why they don’t have that since they are a part of Facebook and it would really help out with more engagement.

As you know, you can follow my Tomversation comics here:

Online at TomFalco.com and at Facebook and Instagram here:
Facebook.com/Tomversation.toons
Instagram.com/tomversation.toons

How did we arrange to meet before cell phones?

bethesda-fountain

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC (photo by me)

I’m gonna miss New York this summer. But I think I needed a kick in the pants to get out of my rut, or maybe not a rut, let’s call it a habit. I do things twice and that’s it – it’s my habit. I go to the same restaurants all the time. I watch the same tv shows. I told you about my cousin who does a concert on Facebook every few Saturday nights, now that’s a thing for me and I have to text him and ask him if this is the week for the show. The world isn’t right (in my head) until the show goes on.

My habit was going to NYC for a large part of the summer for most of my adult life, or maybe even starting in high school. I would go most summers, but many years I didn’t, but it was a habit. I put off doing other things and going other places for this. But now I am open to do anything. I feel very free this summer by “being released” of my NY summer obligation, which is an obligation only in my own head.

I was thinking of all the times I would arrange to meet Miami friends who were visiting the city at the same time.

What I was finding interesting that years ago, before cell phones and email and all the communication we have now, I would meet friends and I am wondering how we did it and how they even knew I was going to be there. I mean, we didn’t announce things on Facebook back then, so I must have told people separately – “I’m going to NY next week or next month or whatever.” And the amazing thing is that we met up if they were going to be there at the same time.

I remember meeting my friend Albert a few times in the summer when he was up there visiting and my friend Vincent during Thanksgiving week and so on. But how did we know to meet? Did I tell them on November 1st “Let’s meet in front of the Empire State Building on November 23 at noon,” or “Let’s meet at the Bethesda Foundation at 1 pm on July 5,” and that’s how it happened?

They were always there at the place and time. But how did we communicate? We were all out of town, did we call each other at our cousin’s houses or hotels we were at?

I would always show up at such and such time on such and such date and there was the person I was supposed to meet. Talk about reliability. Now with all the communication abilities we have it is worse. “Text me when you are near,” “text me when you are there,” “text me tomorrow.” And still they don’t show up.

My first fan art

selfie

How do you like it? Andrei Limko did fan art of me!

I don’t have regular comic characters which are usually what fan art is drawn from, so he did it of me. I love it. I really do. I’ve always been called a character. And now I am one.

Andrei has a lot of great art at his Instagram page here: instagram.com/andrei.limko

Black Out Tuesday

black-out-tuesdayToday is Black Out Tuesday. Many cartoonists and entertainers are posting a black box on social media instead of the usual posts.

You will see this on my social media pages. There won’t be a comic today out of respect for George Floyd, his family and the protesters. I stand with my black neighbors and friends.

Interestingly enough I learned that using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter on these posts on social media drowns out the story for those following current events. So that is the hashtag to follow if you want up-to-date social media posts on Instagram, Facebook and the others.

You can donate to the Black Lives Matter Fund here.
And the ACLU here.

Do you get the gag?

who

I wrote about the “boomer” comment the other day and that makes me wonder, as I often do, “who is my audience?” I mean when you publish comics you have a demographic, but what is the audience if you publish a general interest cartoon?

I’m a boomer, but I do think younger. So can I combine the two? Will everyone get the gags?

I have often felt that if one or two gags get past a few people, so be it, it then becomes an inside joke, and I like that idea.

There’s a comic site called Comics I Don’t Understand. So I guess not every comic is understood and that’s ok.

My goal is to have readers of all generations. Why not? Today entertainment is segmented from movies to music to tv. There are so many different genres and they all cater to different elements of society. It’s micro-segmented. There was a time when there were a few tv channels and we sort of all watched the same thing, then cable came into being and there were hundreds of channels. I saw an ad recently for some sort of tv service that offered 2000 tv channels, is that possible?

Years ago I used to read the tv ratings in the newspapers. Once a week they listed the top 10 or 20 shows for the week – they had two lists – one for white America and one for people of color. And it always amazed me that they were nowhere similar. Seinfeld was number 1 on the white America list but at the bottom of the list or nowhere on the list for people of color! And vice versa, the shows that they watched, white America didn’t seem to watch.

Of course it’s the same with music, movies and so on.

share

I have more followers on Facebook than Instagram. I know that Facebook is not a favorite with the younger generation and Instagram is, so if I want that younger audience, I need to step up my Instagram game. But also, Facebook has a “share” feature which is used often on my work, Instagram needs a “share” feature. That will help tremendously. Look at this comic above, only posted 10 minutes on Facebook and already 13 shares! By the end of the day I expect over 100 shares. This is the beauty of Facebook.

You can see the Facebook site at facebook.com/Tomversation.toons and Instagram at instagram.com/tomversation.toons. By own cartoon website is at TomFalco.com.

You can subscribe to my blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Locked out of Facebook

facebook-facepalm

I was locked out of Facebook early Saturday morning up until Sunday morning. That was the scariest 27 hours!

I don’t know why, but when I went to look at it first thing in the morning, it had me locked out and asked me for a personal ID to get back into the account!

I sent them my drivers license.

It seems this has been going on for many years, but I had never heard of this before. If there is some suspicious activity related to your account, they want to protect you so they lock the account and ask for ID, which in the end works out because people cannot use your photos and clone you then.

Anyway, it’s a scary thing because you don’t realize all of your life that is associated with Facebook. I use the messenger service just as much as texting. I use Facebook for business daily. I run ads on it for my marketing company and I use it to converse with customers sometimes. I also use it to converse with friends and relatives and keep up with them like we all do. Also, when I was writing the news I would use it to verify the spelling of people’s names and sometimes I would get their photo from their to use in a news story, with their permission. It’s become such a part of our lives, it’s amazing the power it has over us.

I use Facebook for everything, not just communicating, but for news. I follow so many news sites – the usual, The NY Times, The Wash Post, etc. but also Channel 3 in Phoenix or The Boston Globe and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Why? Who knows. I follow all sorts of news sites. I follow a lot of cartoonists, too. Basically my whole life is on there.

And of course I publish Tomversation comics Monday through Friday on Facebook as well as other places like Instagram and at TomFalco.com. It was quite upsetting because I just started publishing my comics there and have worked up to quite a large number of followers/fans, but I noticed that if I make a temporary personal Facebook page, I can somehow get in there and continue to post and sort of make it work.

What riled me is that I have ads running on my business page. The account was down, I couldn’t get in but was being charged for ads and I couldn’t get into the account to stop them. This is a multi-billion dollar company, maybe trillion dollar company, with all of our info and there is no way to call them or email them. And you can’t use the forms to reach them unless you are signed into your account, which you cannot do if you are locked out.

One more thing – don’t ever sign up for other accounts through Facebook, I use my email account. You know when you go to join something else and it asks, “Would you like to sign up using your Facebook account or email?” Choose the email. Otherwise, you would be locked out of all those accounts, as well.

Merch

merch-sale

I’ve been playing around and adding and enhancing things.

Circulation is going up for my Tomversation comic; I have almost 3000 followers/fans on Facebook in just a week or so – maybe more as you read this and almost 1000 at both Instagram and TomFalco.com. I’m confidant that both will be at 1000 or over by Friday. If there is no reader overlap, which I guess there is some, that is 5000 subscribers in a little over a week! If it keeps up, that is 20,000 per month – if it keeps up. I love she shares on Facebook, I think that is what puts it over the edge, friends sharing with friends. Instagram needs to add that feature, you know, an easy share button. Universe – please add a share button to Instagram posts. Thank you.

I added a page to my Etsy site that sells things – I call it “Merch” on the ads and links I have on this blog and Instagram. I’ll add and subtract things like t-shirts, mugs, etc. There are just a few things now but I’ll design more art and items and add them.

The link is here.

And Instagram has this cool thing called “Highlights.” They are little circles above the posts where you can have things like previous stories which link to ads and other things. I added them to Tomversation.toons and my personal site Tomversation.

I found out one cool thing while setting this up – did you know that if you go into “archive” on Instagram, all the “stories” you previously posted are there? Stories are the short 10 second videos that last 24 hours. I was saving the ones I liked along with my iphone photos, but you don’t have to, they are right there on Instagram! If you click the little hamburger thing in the right corner it will open and you’ll see “archive” right there as the second item down.

instagram-highlights

You can subscribe to my blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here. 

Too enveloped in your work to know there is a quarantine going on?

quarantine-color-print2Today’s comic, which you can see in larger format at TomFalco.com relates to how I feel. I work from home, so this shelter-in-place thing has not been too difficult since I’m doing what I usually do – stay at home and work – my regular work/job is not happening due to the shut down, but I have been drawing. And I’ll bet this is the same for so many people who work in a studio or even are addicted to things like games.

I have a cousin who is a gamer and has many followers and friends on YouTube, I don’t know his site or I would post it here, I’m not sure why I don’t know his site name, but every time I am was going to ask him, he was busy gaming and a lot of the time he was live online and I didn’t want to interrupt. But anyway, he could be gaming for hours and not really notice being quarantined. He makes a living at it. Yes, he makes money from playing games online!

A cartoonist, an artist, a cook, an architect, a writer, a designer, etc. Whomever is envelopes in their work and not really noticing the outside world is the guy in this cartoon today.

As for my gamer cousin, his brother is a performer in New York.

tj-fox

My cousin TJ Fox who is a musician, has been doing bi-monthly concerts from Long Island on Facebook. This Saturday, May 9, will be the third Saturday night he’s doing “Live from the Living Room.” It’s free at his Facebook page here: facebook.com/tjfoxmusic it starts at 8 pm (eastern time) and usually goes for two hours. You can request songs, he plays the guitar and sings.

If you go to the site now, you can see past concerts.

It’s become a thing with me now. I really look forward to it. I’m a create of habit, do something twice and it’s a thing from now on. What I enjoy aside from his talent is we all chat along as we listen and it’s broadcast from their Hamptons house which I sort of get homesick for since I spend some time there each summer. I’m hoping to be there this summer.

TJ is quite big up north. So many times I’m walking around NYC and I see his name on a sandwich board or marquee – “TJ Fox here tonight!” He performs in NYC and Long Island mostly. He’s also written and performs his own music as well as so many things you already know.

Word is getting out

I ran into a couple of neighbors the other day – downstairs at the front gate, we were waiting for deliveries – Instacart and UPS – our connections with the outside world. They mentioned my comics, they knew that publication date is coming up – May 4th.

Later in the day another neighbor called to say, “hi,” and check up on me and she knew about the comics, too. So word is getting out!

tomversationI’ve been promoting it a lot on social media and a couple of local publications wrote about my comics venture – when I say local, I mean local, one was a neighborhood newsletter and the other was a chamber of commerce newsletter – but still, I was well known around here for many years, so people are interested in what I’m up to these days and I’m glad to have the publicity for my Tomversation comic. And the nice part is that they contacted me and asked me about Tomversation.

It’s odd, as the editor of our daily news, I was in the middle of everything for so many years, now I am almost invisible. I choose the invisible part, I never was one for being “out there” but I had to be due to the situation. But now I liken myself to that old American Express commercial – “Do you know me?” Remember that? People were known for their names, but not their faces. I like that. I like it that way.

Anyway, again – my Tomversation comic panel will run daily starting May 4th. You can find it three places –
Online at TomFalco.com
Instagram here: instagram.com/tomversation.toons and at
Facebook here: facebook.com/Tomversation.toons 

Hope to see you at one of these places. Thanks!

Single panel vs comic strip

IMG_4076I’ve been asked why I like single panel cartoons rather than comic strips.

I like to read both, I appreciate both, but for my own projects, I prefer the single panel. They both have their pros and cons to me.

A single panel comic might seem harder in theory, as each day is a single gag that has to be funny, where a comic strip can move the story along without being a belly laugh daily because once you know the characters, you don’t have to be funny every day.

With a comic strip or even a panel with the same characters daily, I’ve found that they write themselves after awhile. Their own personalities come out and you can have a character stare out into the audience and get a laugh without even saying anything. But I get bored drawing the same characters and basic situations day after day.

While a single panel may be a bit difficult where you have to come up with different situations and gags daily, I really enjoy that. I like having different characters and different situations; different time periods -future, past, whatever. As for coming up with the gags, I don’t seem to have a problem with that, I guess it’s just how my mind works. I’ll hear something or read something and I then sort of twist it in my mind and get a comic out of it. I don’t do that to get a comic, I just think like that on a daily basis!

The comic strips take me from three to four hours to complete each strip, where a single panel can take from 45 minutes to an hour. I was told one time by a comics editor that I work too fast, he could tell that by looking at my work, not watching me work, but just by looking at the completed comics.

I like the fact that with a single panel comic, it is easily shared on social media. You don’t have to know the characters, you don’t have to know the storyline, it is just a single gag that you might enjoy and share. I’ve had single panel comics shared on social media by thousands of people and liked by thousands, where I don’t know if that would be the case with a strip unless it’s Peanuts or Pearls Before Swine or something like that.

So I hope you’ll be following Tomversation daily when I start publishing my comic starting May 4th. You can follow here online (that’s a different address than this blog, or at Instagram: instagram.com/tomversation.toons/  and Facebook: facebook.com/Tomversation.toons/

Go ahead, follow now so you won’t miss out on premier day!!

Subscribe to this blog now. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here.