Wordle showoffs

I love this cartoon because I love the characters. I drew this months ago and it had different text and context. I don’t even remember what it started out as, but I changed it so many times over the past few months.

I didn’t change the drawing, I changed the wording. It reminded me of something someone said on social media about the New Yorker cartoon I wrote about the other day – that “they draw the images and then figure out what they are saying later,” which of course I don’t think that’s the case, but maybe it is, because this Wordle gag ended up that way.

One part of love about the cartoon is that the thought Steve is thinking “Ouch!” as a Wordle answer is not really an answer because it’s only four letters. But it almost makes it seem like his whole life is Wordle, including all his thoughts.

I find it silly that people post their Wordle scores on social media every day. The silly part is that you don’t see their answers or the way they got to the final word of the day, it shows blank boxes. It doesn’t show what the previous word tries are or even what the word is.

Maybe people just hit a “share” button on Wordle somewhere and it posts your final score without you even realizing what it looks like on Facebook or wherever.

It’s like saying, “I’m great!” everyday.

One friend of mine posted his score every morning and I actually appreciated it because it reminded me to play the game. But posting your score without any concept or content is like saying, “I won an award for something,” and not saying what the something is.

It’s annoying when people post this online, but then again, it gave me the idea for this cartoon, so it all worked out.

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My cartooning styles and ideas

A friend came up with the concept of today’s cartoon.

He kept telling me to do something with “intense” and “in tents.”

“Get it?” He asked. Yes, I got it, but I didn’t know how to put it together. It took a couple of weeks and a couple of different drawings, text and concepts until I came up with this. Lots of changes to come up with this.

This one is self explanatory. Not to put down New Yorker comics lovers, but I wonder if they just pretend to get most of the gags just to be part of the “in crowd” or whatever you call them.

Not being sour grapes here, it’s just a gag and I do admire the cartoonists a lot who do work for the New Yorker. I have interviewed many, I have gone to some of their talks and showings, went to a Roz Chast exhibit a few years back at the Museum of the City of New York.

I’ve submitted stuff to the New Yorker and I know it’s a numbers game to get your first cartoon published and then become “one of them.” But the thing is they take too long to respond to your submission – sometimes eight months! And they have first rights of refusal. So imagine me sending them my fresh work, unpublished, and then waiting months for a reply. The work I publish daily would be eight months old after getting the rejection from the New Yorker, and then is it work publishing “rejected” work?

I have two cartoon styles – one was designed to be a “New Yorker style” and the other is the one I have used all my life, I call a Hanna-Barbera style, or “Flintstones style.” So I have accommodated my work to fit in with the New Yorker, and I like it. I go back and forth, depending on the gag, to see which drawing fits.

Like this one here I call the New Yorker style.

And this caveman one is my “Flintstones/Hanna-Barbera style.”

By the way, this caveman one, speaking of Flintstones, has been one of the most shared, viewed and liked cartoon of all of mine, so who knows what style is best. I just go with my mood that day. Same with the borders. Sometimes there is a very think board, sometimes a wild fat freestyle border, other times no border.

I think the fat, freestyle border works with this chicken cartoon.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say today!

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Is she a judge or a doctor?

This cartoon ran the other day and of course there was a lot of arguing over it. Most people felt that masks were not needed now or ever.

I don’t like to do political stuff because it’s not what the readers expect from me, but this really isn’t political. I’m not taking sides, I’m not saying wear a mask or don’t wear a mask. I’m just asking if a judge should be making medical decisions?

You may agree with the CDC or not, you may agree with a doctor or not, but why should we be having a judge make the decision on whether we should wear masks on airplanes and even Uber rides?

There was a report by the Associated Press that says Most people in the US want masks for travelers.

This cartoon below is from 1918, regarding masks during the 1918 pandemic.

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Do people like snakes?

This snake/worm cartoon from last week has gone viral on Instagram. I’m not sure why, do people like snakes? Or is it worms?

You can see by the numbers below that over 2 million Instagram accounts have seen it, and by the time this story runs, the numbers will be even higher. Over 83,000 people so far have “liked” the image and over almost 8000 people have “saved” the image on Instagram and over 2800 have shared it. They don’t link back to me or tag me, which is the proper thing to do, so those many people shared the image without giving me, the artist, any credit, but that’s ok, my signature and copyright is on the cartoon.

But it’s interesting to see what goes viral on the internet and what doesn’t and this snake/worm cartoon has really taken a life of its own.

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Only a nickel, or maybe a penny

I saw this photo online and came up with the cartoon below, which was published Friday. This is an image from the Jersey Shore in 1905. It was entitled, “Ice cream sandwiches at the beach.”

As I looked at the photo, I was thinking, “They probably paid a nickel for the ice cream since back then everything was a nickel.” But then I noticed on the wagon it says the ice cream sandwiches were only 1 cent.

But usually whenever you hear of something from history – not even that far back, like say the 1940s and 1950s – things were a nickel – the price of a movie admission, the price of a sandwich, the price of an ice cream cone and of course the price of a pickle.

I suppose the cartoon could have taken place today, in a dollar store, where everything is a dollar, but I like historical things and drawing historical images.

I know I went overboard with all the items and prices, but I thought it made the image funnier.

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Pillaging through the past

My fascination of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and all sorts of archaeology goes way back. I studied it in college as part of Art History. My textbooks, which I still have, are in my living room and I glance at them every once in awhile. Guided tours of ancient Egyptian sites are part of my bucket list.

I do a lot of cartoons based on ancient times, I enjoy doing those.

And now that I think of it, if asked, what I would do if I wasn’t doing what I do now, I might say, “I’d like to be an archaeologist , digging around in Egyptian deserts. But not now, I think.

A MEME THAT POPPED UP THE OTHER DAY.

I was shocked into reality the other day while watching a tv show on Egyptian and Greece archeology. They were digging up ancient Greek tombs and relating them to Egypt at that time and one of the archeologists said something like, “We’re lucky to find this one in tact. The tomb raiders did not find this tomb, but we did through sonar (or radar, he said something like that.” And I was stunned. Why is a modern archeologist, digging up ancient tombs any better than ancient, or even current tomb raiders.

The main difference is that tomb raiders are taking gold and silver and precious items. Archaeologists are taking bodies; actual bodies. Why is this any better?

One lady archeologist, I can’t remember her name, has a life quest to find Cleopatra’s tomb. And do what with it when she finds it? Display her remains to the world? Another has a quest to find Alexander the Great’s and Cleopatra’s ancient Alexandria under present day Alexandria, I guess that’s ok, as they are looking for cities, not entombed bodies.

I can understand digging up and finding ancient cities, but I’m having second thoughts about digging up entombed, embalmed bodies.

So I have to think on it now. Is desecrating an ancient body permissible in the name of science? Is it ok to dig it up, pillage, analyze it and show it off in museums? I’m wondering. I’m sure I will still do ancient Egypt related cartoons, because in my cartoons the people are alive and in their time in their settings.

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They like me, they really like me

I never pay attention to Google Alerts about myself. In fact, I took myself off of Google Alerts years ago because most things written about me where not nice.

When I was doing the daily news, I would get written about and mocked for things I wrote on almost a daily basis, so I just removed myself from the alerts – ignorance is bliss.

But I put myself on the alerts again once I started my Tomversation cartoon but I never look at them when they arrive in email (the alerts, not my cartoons), this morning I looked because there is a guy with a blog called Tomversations – with an “s” and I thought to myself, “Let me see what he’s up to.” But it was me that was in the alert – and it was all featured items of my cartoons.

There are a lot of sites that seem to be copying each other, I think the Bored Panda thing that was done a few months back and then other sites all seemed to have gone through my comics and picked out their favorites and featured them.

I don’t mind because I’m given the credit and it’s free publicity.

Here is a google list of recent ones – you can see I’ve been featured on places from Bored Panda to Newsbreak to Savage Humans and even YouTube!

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Lines, lines, everywhere there’s lines

I’ve been all over the county this past month and every once in awhile as I’m traveling around by car, I come upon lines. They are out in the traffic lanes, usually spilling out into the right lane and they are endless. That’s where I got the idea for today’s cartoon.

I am assuming they are covid testing lines, or possibly they are vaccine lines or are they food giveaway lines? If we lived in a snowy area, I might assume they are snow delay lines, like what happened last week on I-95 in Virginia.

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, our county – Miami-Dade, was devastated. There was nothing. No place to eat, no place to shop, no place to do anything. Devastation.

Every once in awhile as you drove around, you would see a line. And we would just get in the line. We didn’t know what the line was for, but we knew it was something we needed, because we had nothing left! So we would park the car and stand at the end of the line. Waiting, to see what was up front.

One time I was driving by Eckard Drugs with a friend, and we stopped. We got in line and when we reached the front, it was for batteries they were giving out. Another day, it was at another location and it was food, another time it was ice.

When I drive by these long car lines these days, it reminds me of that time so many years ago.

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CartoonStock

I’m proud to be a part of CartoonStock, which is a searchable cartoon archive on the internet where editors, and just about anyone, can find cartoons for their publications from newspapers, magazines, newsletters and online publications. At CartoonStock, people are buying the rights to publish the cartoons.

In 2018, CartoonStock was acquired by longtime New Yorker Cartoon Editor and Cartoonbank.com creator Bob Mankoff, and cartoon lover/philanthropist Lawrence Benenson.

Cartoons available were published in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, National Lampoon, Barron’s, and The American Bystander, as well as online collections from The Weekly Humorist and Narrative Magazine.

“By joining CartoonStock’s talent and technology with our longtime publication connections, we’ve created the platinum level in the cartoon universe, allowing us to showcase distinguished cartoonists alongside upcoming talent with content that is hilarious, insightful, and relevant,” says Bob Mankoff.

There are curated cartoons on various subjects, or you can check out each cartoonist individually and see their work, or you can type in keywords for whatever subject you are looking for and the various cartoons pop up.

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They get me!

Bored Panda featured me a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten that they contacted me about an interview a few weeks back, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this.

The feature came out great and I love what Hidrėlėy, the author, wrote about me, he really gets me:

“This artist creates old-school, one-panel comics. They are filled with absurd humor and unexpected twists, weird characters, and situations that not many of us run into.

“The style that this artist uses is very reminiscent of newspaper comics and there’s something very nostalgic about them. The comics are very simple, but at the same time have quite a lot of detail and expression. The artist enjoys puns and wordplay. He sometimes even includes a little dark humor in his comics.”

Bored Panda has 116 million readers a month and 15 million Facebook followers. Not a bad place to be promoted!

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