Life below zero

Yesterday’s “Ice Hole” cartoon got a big reaction and lots of shares on social media. I try to be cerebral but I guess the simpler and crazy ones are what the masses like.

This comic came to me while watching one of my favorite shows, Life Below Zero. I wasn’t really paying attention, I think I was dozing off, and I heard Chip Hailstone, one of the people on the show, say to his kids, who were going ice fishing, “Hey, there’s an ice hole!” And it made me look up and laugh and just totally struck me as being hilarious. And voilà – there was a comic idea.

I played around with it a bit. At first there was a bear hibernating behind a bush and he heard the guys say “ice hole,” and he looked up with one eye open. It was titled, “Trouble Brewing,” but I couldn’t get the image setting right, so I made it another ice fisher.

Oh yea, one more thing. People think those are women. They are men. But as I see them as women, I think it’s even funnier – sort of like Lucy and Ethel go ice fishing.

I hate when that happens

This cartoon ran yesterday. People really liked it. It was shared hundreds of times on social media. Only there is a mistake – Patagonia is spelled wrong! An amateur mistake to be sure. A reader pointed that out to me so I panicked and changed it to the one you see here below.

It’s not the same, the shading in the background had to be changed to accommodate the change. But it’s bothering me because it’s such a popular cartoon and all those people who shared it, shared a misspelled cartoon. I don’t think they know, but I know and it bothers me, a lot.

I had every country in the world to choose from and I chose a country I didn’t know how to spell. Murphy’s Law.

What if it happened today?

This I Love Lucy comic was published today. It’s one of my favorites. I changed it a lot throughout yesterday, adding something, removing something, changing an arm, etc. It’s a classic episode that I think everyone knows.

I like taking something from the past, like a tv show, and putting it in the present to see how things would change. I did it with the Columbo comic in May and people liked it.

I have other ideas in mind for future comics and if you have any, feel free to email me with an idea of your own.

It’s all about the coffee

The last two comics published yesterday and today are coffee related. I guess I have coffee on my mind. Maybe it’s because I gave up drinking coffee a couple of months ago. I’ve been drinking green tea instead of my usual two or more cups of coffee a day!

The rough. Yes, this is a comic idea from a few years back.
That’s Jacomo diving into the coffee and Tombo asking, “How does he do that?”

The above comic was originally planned for Jacomo and Tombo, remember them? The mole and the rabbit comic I used to have called “Paws?” Jacomo was swimming in the coffee and Tombo was reacting. In theory anyway, I had this old scribble on my desk and I drew it as the comic above rather than having Jacomo doing the swimming.

This other one which is running today was also a scribble I had on my desk. I actually have hundreds of scribbles on scraps of paper. People ask me where I get my ideas from, I don’t really know, but I do scribble them down when they cross my mind. Sometimes they marinate for years until I use them.

Today’s comic

Too close for comfort

Above is one of my comics I published on July 22. Below is a Six Chix comic by Bianca Xunise, that was published yesterday, August 18, a month later. I guess I’ll take it as a coincidence. Coincidental layout, set-up and coloring. But coincidence, right?

Over the years I have seen my work redone by others and always chalked it up to coincidence. I have been accused of borrowing others’ ideas, But I never have. Great minds think alike I guess, and there are only so many ideas to go around. I guess.

Benilda is quite popular

benlidaThis particular cartoon which was posted Friday, got the most shares on Facebook of any of my recent work. I did have one of my comics shared on Facebook by George Takei once that got almost 100,000 shares. Can you imagine, 100,000 shares! The power of popularity and numbers.

This Benilda comic got about 2400 shares to date. Amazing. 2400 times an average of 400 friends for each person is 960,000 – almost 1 million potential readers! And that’s just Facebook, there are thousands of other readers on my TomFalco.com website and on Instagram, along with people sharing that I don’t know about.

It’s interesting what is popular and what isn’t. I’m not sure why this one struck popularity nerve with people but maybe it’s about driving or not knowing how to drive a stick shift, that is a popular subject I suppose.

A couple of people liked the name Benilda. So do I. I got it from a real person. A real person who I don’t actually know. It’s a customer. She purchases items from me online and has for years, but we’ve only dealt electronically, I’ve never seen or spoken to her, not even on the phone, but I love the name Benilda. I had another comic strip I was working on where the wife was named Benilda, but I never did publish that strip. While I did about 30 of them, I didn’t enjoy drawing the same characters and situations day after day, I much prefer the single panel where I can have different characters and scenes each day.

I have been posting short videos of me working on Instagram stories, I noticed that many of the popular and well read cartoonists do that, and they do even more – they constantly have videos of anything having to do with their life. One popular guy has videos today of him flying a kite with his son. It used to be “go fly a kite,” was a negative thing, but he made it fun positive thing to watch. I guess there are so many comics that it’s about the personality behind the comics, so I’ll post more of that and me, I suppose mostly on Instagram. I layout out my life here on the blog, too, of course.

Shark Week starts today. I’ll be posting a few shark related comics this week.

He’s deliberate

biden-comic-color-print

Today’s comic is a rerun. I ran it when Joe Biden was deciding whether to run for president or not. He took so long that this worked.

Now all over the news they are saying he is late picking is VP choice. It was supposed to be announced on August 1 and it may take another week. I’m not sure what the rush is, but this cartoon seems to work for this.

I don’t do many political cartoons, but this seemed like a fun one.

Paul McCartney on the tube

paul-mccartney-print

I like today’s cartoon because on Instagram you scroll through it. I like the scroll ones.

I did this a few years back. I’m thinking if Paul was in London, he would probably say he was on the “telly” rather than the tube, when on tv, but for the sake of this gag, he says “tube.”

I looked up Paul McCartney on the subway and came up with many images of him on the tube/subway, so the cartoon is not too far off!

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It brings back weird memories

aspI have a friend who can’t read or write. He doesn’t know that I know, but I found out one day after showing him this, today’s comic. Lots of my comics are old comics that were never published before. This asp/snake one is one of those.

About 10 years ago or so I showed him this comic and he didn’t laugh. I said, “Don’t you get it?” And he said, “No,” with a straight face. I asked, “How can you not get it?” I was a bit upset, feeling that my comic was worthless. And we had a minor argument. It didn’t last but when I found out he couldn’t read months later, I felt awful.

Every time I see this comic I think of that. I haven’t seen him for awhile, but other than the literacy or lack of it, he is one of the most intelligent people I know. He can fix almost anything, he knows something about everything, but he has that one flaw which is a shame.

He owned a small business in town. For so long I tried to get him to take credit cards so he would get more sales. He lost so many when he told people he didn’t take credit cards. I told him about Square and how easy it is to use for vendors. But now I know it is because his lack of reading was probably a hindrance in him understanding how to operate the credit card processing system once it was set up. I guess there is some reading involved when people hand your their card. I’m assuming his wife handled the other business things – like the books and paying bills. She didn’t work with him, but I guess whenever she could she handled that stuff.

Anyway, I love this cartoon, but it always has that weird memory for me when I see it, even though it’s been redrawn and redone, it still has that affect on me.

A little zoo confusion

There was a little confusion regarding yesterday’s cartoon. While I love people having different interpretations of a specific comic. The idea here was never to throw the boy to the lions. But let me assure you that no children were harmed in the creation of yesterday’s cartoon.

To alleviate the concern, I changed it up a little and posted both versions yesterday. Now it’s about the ice cream, I guess.

They aren’t hungry. It’s just a gag on the usual, “Please don’t feed the animals.”

The animals are regularly fed at this zoo. Those two lions looking over the wall are just being curious, they aren’t hungry, especially for the boy. His dad and he are just visiting the zoo and they come upon the sign and the zookeeper is explaining the sign.

I noticed that in the comments on Facebook and Instagram, people are getting the wrong impression!

I got the idea from watching all those Zoo shows I like on Animal Planet.

A few people felt that the animals should be set free, but I don’t think we want wild animals roaming the streets and I learned from these zoo shows that most zoos these days are there to protect and breed endangered animals. And most of the animals live in natural sort of habitats that are recreated at the zoos.