There’s always one . . .

This is one of those cartoons that just took off. It really went viral with thousands of likes and shares. It seems that everyone can relate to it. Many people see their own city and many people see themselves or someone they know as that person.

I see this all the time in New York. It’s freezing out and and out comes some guy in shorts and sometimes shirtless, running down the street or in the park. Quite a few people say they have seen this with the person wearing flip flops. I don’t think I’ve seen that.

I actually envy them when I see them. I’m bundled up and they are half naked running through the streets. Most of the people I see are running or jogging like this. But the opposite may be true of them – they may not be able to handle hot weather since it seems their bodies prefer the cold.

In Miami we have the opposite thing – the temp goes down to 70 and people are bundled up as if they are in the Tundra. I saw a lady just yesterday dressed as if the city froze over. It was 69 degrees at the time. I was driving by and I was tempted to stop the car to take a picture for this story.

I’ve been going by Jason Chatfield’s credo – “Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like.” I’ve been doing that and people are responding and getting the gags.

Some of the comments the cartoon received:

I am one of those people… I am from Erie PA

I see “these people” all the time in North Myrtle Beach, SC! I’ll be all bundled up with my thin, Southern blood and there are “those” that are in shorts. I’m always thinking that they must be from Canada or Buffalo.

In Chicago. We have a light snowfall in tree limbs and on the ground today, but still some guys in shorts.

Just saw one in Kroger’s and it’s 34 degrees

Maryland but here we’re wearing flip flops!

It seriously seems to be a pandemic in the Boston area!

My daughter and nephew !!

Obviously not from Oregon, would be wearing flip flops!

Wisconsin, I see it all the time.

Me. I don’t feel the cold!

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Say, ‘Cheese!’, or don’t

This cartoon is all about those Victorian images we see where people are very serious in the photographs. It seems like every single image at that time was a serious thing.

I came across some images online the other day, where people were actually laughing and smiling in the old photos, and this cartoon came to mind – what if they were able to smile and the photographer just told them not to, like in the cartoon here?

Supposedly it took up to 15 minutes at the time for the shutter speed to work correctly and it was easier not to smile. Also, many people had only one, two or three photos taken during their whole lifetime and I guess it was a serious matter.

People also had their photos taken after they were dead – they were propped up with the living and that was a remembrance of a person who may not have had their photos ever taken when they were alive. I’m serious. Look here. It’s called, “Death Photography.”

The cartoon above was done two ways, a part black and white image of the subjects, to mimic the photo being taken and a full color cartoon. If you slide the thingy back and forth you can see what I mean.

Below are a few Victorian photos, some smiling, some not. And I’m wondering the smiling ones look like spur of the moment, and not posed, especially these girls jumping and smiling and laughing in a photo from 1880, so I think that blows the 15 minute time constraint theory. But who knows.

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Snowballed

Wednesday’s snowman/people cartoon really took off. It was liked and shared by thousands of people, it really went viral. You might remember a month or so ago I was having problems with social media algorithms, but it seems to have passed. Many people are back to seeing my work.

I got the idea about the snowballed kids really fast. I had a morning show on, I think the Today Show, and a guy was talking about how his social media post took off. He said it started slow and then snowballed.

And the word “snowballed’ just hit me. I heard the expression all my life, but in that moment, it struck me as something I could use for a comic. I thought of the snow people right away and I drew up the cartoon right then and there.

One of my neighbors and his wife go walking around the neighborhood daily, and I ran into them one day, we started walking together. I asked them if I was intruding and he replied with a funny quote that I think he made up himself. At that moment, I thought it would be good for a cartoon, but I just kept walking and talking and I forgot what the quote was.

A bit later, he asked where I get my cartoon ideas from. I said they just seem to pop into my head. I then mentioned the quote he had said a bit earlier and I said I thought that would make a good cartoon in some way, only I couldn’t remember it. So he repeated it and we laughed.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember it again and can’t use it. But that’s where I get my ideas – hearing things and twisting them around in my mind.

Speaking of the Today Show, Martha Stewart was on the other day, she was making her famous eggnog recipe and last week I ran that cartoon with the witches discussing Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s eggnog recipes. It all comes full circle, I guess.



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Cinnamon or Nutmeg; Ina or Martha?

This recent cartoon started out by the witch on the left telling the witch on the right how to do the laundry. I was originally laundry, not a witches brew inside the cauldron. But I couldn’t get the wording right.

As it sat for a few days, I saw Ina Garten on the Today Show and thought I would like to do a cartoon Ina-related. And this one came to mind. I changed the laundry to eggnog. As for Martha being part of the scene, I don’t know how I came up with that, but it became a debate on what to put in eggnog – cinnamon or nutmeg.

And I added the text before I actually looked up Ina and Martha’s recipes. And lo and behold, I was correct in my first assumption. Ina prefers cinnamon and Martha prefers nutmeg.

Me? I love eggnog but I’m not going to take sides. I’m not telling if I prefer cinnamon or nutmeg. 🙂

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Honoring Charles Schulz

I usually don’t publish a cartoon on Saturday, but today I did because it’s a special day. Today would have been Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday. And to celebrate, cartoonists are adding something Peanuts-related to their strips and panels to honor Mr. Schulz, Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang.

Mine are published at the usual places:
TomFalco.com
Facebook.com/Tomversation.toons
Instagram.com/tomversation.toons

But you don’t have to go to these places because here it is.

To find all the others, check your daily newspapers or look online for the comics using the hashtag #Schulz100

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Van Gogh in America

There is a new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit in Detroit, called “Van Gogh in America.” CBS Sunday Morning featured the museum and their plans for showing Van Gogh’s work on the 100th anniversary of their aquiring their first Van Gogh piece 100 years ago.

One hundred years ago the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to buy a piece by Vincent Van Gogh. Now, the museum is honoring the century by featuring 74 of his works from around the world, which explores America’s introduction to the artist, who by the way, is believe to be American’s favorite artist, living or dead.

I fit in a Van Gogh cartoon whenever I can, I love him and his work so much.

I came up with this cartoon idea from the segment on CBS Sunday Morning. In the tv piece, curator Jill Shaw said, “The texture of his paint strokes is like cake icing.” And it is!

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Getting eyes on my work

I’m having problems with my Facebook page for Tomversation which is at Facebook.com/tomversation.toons .

I’m not getting the views I usually have. It’s been about a week since I’ve seen this. Were the algorithms changed?

I used to get thousands of eyes on the cartoon daily and lots of comments, likes, etc. Now it’s a handful.

My Instagram site seems to be the same regarding views and algorithms and so does my dedicated website, TomFalco.com. Those get thousands of eyes on them, but I’m concerned about Facebook. You can see below one of the cartoons that reached over 2 million views on Instagram; it has over 83,000 likes. So when it’s being seen, it is really being seen and interacted with.

It makes no sense that people subscribe or “follow” a page and yet they don’t see it in their feed. If I follow a page for old movies, or baseball or whatever, don’t I wish to see the latest posts that come up daily?

I know many cartoonists have moved away from social media and focus only on their websites and subscriptions. Their blog and cartoon/comic are one. And they publish once or twice or three times a week – not daily.

I’m trying to think what to do. In the meantime I’m trying to figure out this Facebook algorithm. I like Facebook because people share the work and many more eyes see it this way.

I saw cartoonist Harry Bliss along with Steve Martin on The View the other day. They were promoting a new book they collaborated on, called Number One Is Walking, their second book together. Harry was great, but he started the interview by saying he was so nervous being on live tv. I found that very humbling and endearing and like him even more for that.

I think I reached out to him before to interview him for 10 With Tom, but never received a response. I’ll maybe try again since he’s out and about promoting his book now.

I’m also trying to get noticed by Andrews McMeel and GoComics.com.

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Doctor Who rides again

This Doctor Who cartoon was published recently. It’s re-do of one from 2014. The original is Matt Smith as the doctor, but if you swipe the image, you can see the new doctor, David Tennant is the doctor.

David Tennant played the doctor from 2005 to 2010 and Matt Smith played the doc from 2010 to 2013, right after David. But for I think, it’s three episodes, David Tennant is back for the 60th anniversary specials. So I thought it would be cool to make the cartoon reflect that.

I know they don’t look exactly like either guy, but it’s just a suggestion in both cases because Doctor Who changes so often, that I wanted to cartoon to be timeless. When I first did the cartoon, I didn’t realize that a lady would play Doctor Who, and that happened from 2017 to 2022 with Jodi Whittaker as the doctor.

I’m not a great Doctor Who fan, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but the gag is obvious and it’s been done by other cartoonists over the years. I’m surprised the old Abbot and Costello bit stands up to this day, but people do get the gag and like it.

A guy left a comment on one of the published pieces of David Tennant’s Doctor Who here and said he looked like Colombo. Maybe he does by the way he is touching his chin thinking. I have done a Colombo gag or two over the years. Here is one. Similar, but no way David Tennant, not that the Doctor Who cartoon is either, but you know what I mean.

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I hate when this happens

This pumpkin cartoon was published today. I drew it last week and was holding it to run the day after Halloween, but I had so many other cartoons running related to Halloween, that I ended up running it today. I was going to hold it back until next year, but that didn’t make sense.

You can see my Halloween related cartoons here at TomFalco.com.

But know what? John Deering, the Strange Brew cartoonist, ran the same thing yesterday in GoComics.com


Mine originally did say, “rough night?” like John’s, but I changed it to “rough week” when I knew I would be running it a couple of days after Halloween.

I did almost pull mine after seeing John’s work, but why? This has happened so many times over the years – I guess there are only so many cartoon ideas, but these look so similar. It doesn’t bother me now, but for years it did.

For many years I was insisting people were stealing my work, until I saw things like this, where I published the same thing after another cartoonist did.

I’ll chalk it up to great minds thinking alike. I did question it, and wonder if it was funny or not, but I guess we both can’t be wrong. Looks like John’s guy had a rougher night than mine, though.

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How I came up with them

People ask me how I come up with ideas, so I grabbed a few recently published cartoons and will show you my twisted mind works.

This one was easy. I got a new iphone and they did away with the thumb imprint for signing on, so now it’s either punch in the pin number or use face recognition. After you set up the face recognition, they ask if you would like to do it again this time wearing a mask!

At first I thought of doing a cartoon with someone wearing a Halloween mask, but then thought of other things, like what if someone was in an accident or had a facelift or some sort of procedure where the phone would not recognize them anymore. And I remembered a previous cartoon that was published, this cartoon, where Dracula takes a selfie, only his image doesn’t come up, and from there I got to this cartoon above.

This one started with pumpkin picking. Every year my cousins and I go to the Hudson Valley in New York State to pumpkin pick. And I think it’s more about the Hudson Valley, than the pumpkins. It’s a gorgeous area with spectacular mountain and river views along with the changing leaves in the fall. Only this year, we went to the north fork of Long Island instead, because we needed to be closer to the south fork, where we were going to an event after the pumpkin picking.

I got to thinking – will my pictures be as nice in the north fork as they are up in the mountains and the valley? How will it all look on Instagram? And from there, I got to the cartoon above, and changed the Hudson Valley, to Tuscany, to make it more of an extreme travel plan.

As for this one – I live in Miami – I hear the words “Gulf Stream” almost daily, and this is what I thought of when I heard it one last time.

I’m in museums a lot and I always notice that the guards are ignored by everyone. And even when I say hello they sort of keep to themselves. One time I was in a museum in NYC that was being renovated, and there were only two big rooms open. I was in there with one other person, who happened to be John Lithgow, the actor.

I didn’t speak with Mr. Lithgow, but he spoke to the security guard who was on hand in one room. I didn’t hear what they were saying, but I found it interesting that he reached out and engaged with the guard. Other than that, I often think the guards could be on the phone, eating and even sleeping as no one seems to notice them, or maybe if they did lie down on a bench, like the cartoon suggests, then people would notice them.

Recently I posted something about the Baltimore Museum of Art having an exhibit totally curated by it’s museum guards, which sounds like an excellent idea. So in that case, they were noticed by people.

This trunk one came simply from the fact that luggage was being lost all summer by the airlines.

And of course this museum window one, which I have written about a few times before – I thought it was funny to think of the guard being so blasé about the art after seeing it day after day, that it was more interesting for him to look out the window to see what was going on.

And yes – there are windows next to the art in many museums. Here’s proof taken last month at MOMA in NYC.

And there you have some of the workings of my mind – how I juggle ideas in my head to come up with Tomversation cartoons.

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