Today’s comic is an old one. I originally did it in the late 1990s, and I liked the sound, the alliteration better. The one on the right is the old one – AOL/A&P, two things from the past. I know AOL is still around, but it’s not as common as it was in the ’90s. Just thinking about it and I hear that old fashioned dial tone sound it used to make when booting up. Remember that?
Another thing – many parts of the country say they are standing on line, rather than in line, which I guess is important for the gag, but I know you get it either way, right?
I made a bunch of travel plans and reservations for later in the year – from the summer on. Hopefully things will be great then and we can travel without concern.
Things seem to be going back to normal little by little. I can sort of tell by the bay activity. What I mean is, I live on the bay, and I remember seeing so much activity in the water during the early days of the pandemic – people kayaking, paddle boarding and so much more, on a daily basis. Now I don’t see that much anymore. I guess now that people are out and about, they aren’t feeling trapped and bored, although all that fun and healthy activity seemed to do them good when they were feeling trapped and bored.
I did create a lot of cartoons which were covid-based – regarding masks, social distancing, working from home, and so on.
I keep seeing on the news that covid infections are dropping dramatically while vaccines are moving along. Many people I know were vaccinated, almost all getting both shots already, including my parents. I am anxious to get vaccinated. I have friends who are against it. But if the numbers of infections are dropping, something good is happening.
I’ve been asked many times if I got my shots. I am not quite sure how old people think I am. But I am nowhere near the age group that is being vaccinated currently.
I did sign up for a few waiting lists – like at Walgreens and CVS, so that when it opens up for the general public, I can get on the appointment list. My own doctor says he won’t have the vaccine for some reason, even though he always has the yearly flu shot.
Anyway, I am anxious to get on a plane again and get away. While last year seemed to fly by, it still was a long, anxious year. We are coming up on a year from when things started getting bad/serious. I remember watching Gov. Cuomo on tv every day, feeling calmed by his demeanor. I remember being afraid to leave the house for a month or so – getting food deliveries all the time.
I’m glad I blogged and cartooned a lot about it. I have it all recorded here in the archives and hopefully it will only live there and never in real life again.
You can see my comics at TomFalco.com, there are links to social media there, too, if you care to follow on a daily basis.
So many times I hold back cartoons because I’m not sure most people will get it. The whole idea is to have people get the gag and laugh. So when that happens, I love that.
Today’s comic really is not going to be funny to people who don’t watch much tv.
But for tv watchers, it’s obviously a parody of the Domino’s Pizza commercial, which seems to be shown on tv every few minutes. It’s one of those “part of the culture” things, simply by being repeated over and over, sort of like the Bernie Sanders meme, which is still making the rounds. It’s all American pop culture I guess.
I have a friend who doesn’t watch much tv. When he saw my skunk- “We all see it” cartoon, he thought it was a political statement because of the blue streak, but of course thousands of you got it as a parody of the Progressive tv commercial, which is also a “part of the culture” thing.
I saw a talk or read it somewhere that a cartoonist said to just do what you like and the audience will follow. It’s true – it’s being true to myself when I do what I like and not pander to the audience. The audience will get where you are coming from. And they do, it seems.
Here’s the Domino’s commercial for those of you who don’t watch tv. It’s on tv every few minutes. Believe me.
I follow a bunch of art sites on Instagram – classical artists and museums. Yesterday I was looking at a Monet that came up on the screen and the first thing I did was look for Bernie! That’s when I knew I had to do a cartoon regarding the Bernie memes.
The beauty of it is that Bernie isn’t even in it!
I changed the text about 10 times until I was happy with what it said.
It’s interesting that two of the most popular cartoons this year are caveman-related.
These two cartoons got more likes, shares and comments than most of the others.
I try to be more cerebral when I do cartoons and I prefer those, but apparently the readers like these goofy caveman ones.
What’s interesting is that as a child, I was very influenced by The Flintstones. I think the first character I ever drew was Fred Flintstone and I drew Fred over and over again as a child. So I guess there is something there.
This Flintstones comic below is liked by realtors. They have purchased the rights many times to use the image on their flyers and business cards and such.
I noticed this weekend that American’s Test Kitchen started the new season and it’s from everyone’s own kitchen. In other words, they are working from home. It works, but I miss the interaction between the people.
There’s an interesting article in the Washington Post about comics and comic strips. Comic artists reflect on the year 1995, when there was a major shift in comics. That year, quite a few popular comics left the comics pages and people believe things were never the same after that, including the size reduction in the printed newspapers.
Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side and Outland, the Bloom County spin-off ended.
I remember at that time, I submitted my comic panel to syndicates and quite a few rejected me saying I was too much like The Far Side, which I took as a compliment! I guess I, like many others at the time, were trying to fill that gap. Now the comics are over-loaded with Far Side clones. I almost didn’t publish Tomversation when I heard that Gary Larson was bringing back The Far Side, I didn’t see the point. But in the end it all worked out, as The Far Side is not what it was in the 1990s and there is room for everyone.
Back then, it sort of was the end of an era. Now the comics are more intimate. Back then and before then, cartoonists were treated like movie stars, especially at the beginning of the 20th century. Their daily comics were seen by millions of people, literally millions – many strips were read daily by 50 to 80 million people daily. Imagine that.
A high-end talk show on tv these days is happy to have 4 million viewers a day! Now comics are on that level and more intimate. Because they are mostly digital now, each comic strip has its own intimate audience and the cartoonists have an open dialogue with the readers. I like that.
I mean, it would be amazing to have 50 million readers a day, but the intimacy makes up for that.
Hilary Price, who does the “Rhymes With Orange” comic strip says journalism’s digital transition has affected comics’ visibility “for the worse.”
She says, “For readers who get their news on a screen, online newspapers bury their comics deep in their websites, if they carry them at all,” Price says. “Sunday funnies don’t ‘wrap’ the Sunday e-editions. So as more people migrate to the screen, the comics are further divorced from the news-reading experience.”
This is where I disagree with Hilary on quite a few things. I believe that the printed comics are lost on most people because they are buried in the newspaper and are so small, you can barely read them. Also, online, I find it quite easy to find the comics on newspaper websites, it’s usually a link right at the top, many times under “entertainment,” where you find the comics, tv listings and things of that nature. One unfortunate thing about that is the link goes to one specific site or group of comics – like ComicKingdom.com or GoComics.com, so you don’t get a choice of all the syndicated stuff, but again, you only get a few printed in the newspapers anyway.
Also, most news readers these days get their news on social media, and the digital comics appear in people’s daily social media feeds along with the news. I don’t think many people go to the local newspaper sites to look for the comics page. I may be wrong, but I don’t see that as being the case. I read the Miami Herald, the New York Daily News, the Arizona Republic, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and so many other newspapers through social media, like many people. And I read the comics on social media, too, as they come up when posted on my feed.
And try reading the comics in the newspapers and you need a magnifying glass – they are stamp size! So for those who still read the comics, or try to, in the printed daily newspapers – that is where the issue is. They are treated like second class citizens by the way they are printed and handled.
I showed this image in the past. These postage stamps are larger than some of the comics in the Miami Herald!
Berkeley Breathed, gets it. He has adjusted to the technological evolution, according to the Washington Post article. He revived “Bloom County” in 2015 and posts it digitally.
Today, he enjoys the “immediate relationship” with his online readers, which he feels are more intimate than in the past. “I knew nothing of, or from, my readers for decades. Now, we’re family,” Breathed says. “Not a family of 70 million anymore, but closer. We hug digitally — far more rewarding.”
I like both – the old way of getting 50 million readers a day, and today, being more intimate with the readers.
Today’s comic is sort of true. I did this for many years – only without the ornaments on the tree!
I would throw the Christmas tree off our balcony so that the needles would not get all over the elevator when we got rid of the tree. I would have someone stand below and then throw the tree off, and they would be sure that no one was standing under it. We would then drag it to the street.
For the past few years – it could be as many as eight or 10, we’ve had an artificial tree. I bought it once, not sure why, maybe to conserve real trees. But I didn’t like it. It looked so much larger and nicer in the store. So I thought, ok, let’s use it one year and then get a real one next year. Only the next year I felt, why not use it again, it’s so easy to just drag it out of the spare room and not have to run out tree shopping, plus we’ll get our money’s worth if we use it one more time.
And then another year passed, and then another and it’s just part of the family now.
My car is a convertible and the only time I ever put the top down was to throw the Christmas tree in the back seat each December! Now the top wont’ open, due to lack of use. I think it may just need fluid.
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