How do you feel about self-check out?

This recent cartoon, really hit a nerve. I didn’t think it would affect people so much. It got thousands of shares an untold number of comments on social media.

Mostly people who work at Walmart were upset, thinking I was picking on them, but I just chose Walmart because I usually hear people complain about the check-outs at Walmart. Truth be told, I don’t remember the last time I was in a Walmart, I think it could be 10 years or more and it’s only because there are no near where I live, I think the closest is 10 to 12 miles away, which isn’t much, but why not go to closer stores, rather than drive 10 miles to get something?

If you didn’t realize, the lady in the cartoon has a Walmart logo on her vest.

And people seem to hate the self-check out, but is it mandatory in Walmart? Every place I have been that has them has them as a choice; they have the usual cashiers, as well.

I prefer the self-check out, I seek it out. I use it at Publix, Whole Foods, CVS, Home Depot and I’m sure whatever place I see it. I find it convenient, fast and I don’t have to speak to anyone.

I’m glad the cartoon made the rounds, it must have been seen by over a million people so far.

One site where it was shared, got so hot and heavy in the comments section, it almost came to blows, that they removed the cartoon! And it had hundreds of shares and almost as many comments!

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On (and off) stage

Today’s cartoon reminds of a scene I used to see almost daily, some years ago.

I used to run on the boardwalk on Miami Beach, almost daily. And there was a hotel pool area that sort of looked like a cruise deck. I don’t know if it was deliberate, but the pool was set up where there were cabanas behind it, built into the wall. When I looked at it, it almost looked like a stage. Like a fake cruise ship set up on a stage.

I used to run by, sometimes walk, and stop there, and look at the layout and picture the Carol Burnett Show for some reason. I would imagine it was a set on the stage, set up as a cruise deck.

And for some reason, I guess when I drew this, it reminded me of that in a way, where you don’t see the whole ship, just this small section.

Back then, too, I used to stop back behind the Roney Hotel as I was on the boardwalk, and the way it was shaped, reminded me of a stadium. It is a sort of horseshoe shape face out to the ocean, so if you stood below, on the boardwalk, it was like looking up at stadium seating, and I was on first base or on stage or whatever. You can see it here, the boardwalk which can’t be seen would be at the bottom of the picture and looking up from below at the “U” shape, looked like stadium seating.

Vivid imagination I have. But almost daily I would look at these two scenes and imagine the one where I was looking u at the audience and the other, where I was the audience, looking at the Carol Burnett Show. Weird.

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Frank and his wife

This cartoon which was published a couple of days ago ended up being quite popular. When I thought of it and drew it, I wasn’t sure. But that quote from Jason Chatfield, “Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like,” and that always seems to pan out. If I like it, the readers like it, most of the time, anyway.

The Frankenstein Monster, who I call Frank, and his wife and recurring characters in Tomversation cartoons, I don’t know why, but ideas for them seem to pop up in my mind often. Yesterday’s cartoon about taking things home from the office was going to feature them in some way. I pictured body parts hanging on hooks in the kitchen or something like that, but I thought I’ve been using them too often, so I thought of another idea, which surprisingly went quite well, too.

I use Batman and Superman often, Batman more so, in fact, I have three or four new Batman related cartoons drawn and in the hopper for publication, one is published today.


I like using snakes, witches, cavemen and ancient Egypt and a few other concepts on a regular basis. Again, I don’t know why they are in my mind, but ideas pop up often.

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Overpriced concert tickets

I wasn’t sure if people would get this cartoon, but they sure have. It’s hit a nerve with so many people. On social media people are letting loose with their comments. With this new “dynamic ticket” pricing, it’s saving all the good seats for those who can afford it, raising the price to thousands of dollars. Ticketmaster allegedly is scalping the scalpers.

I am surprised though at so many people who don’t like Bruce Springsteen, according to their comments anyway.

The last time I saw Springsteen in person was 1985! At the Orange Bowl in Miami. For years I’ve been thinking it was 1984, but this news article says it was 1985.

My mother even went! No, we didn’t need her to chaperone, she just loved Springsteen, too, so she was a fan!

My mom had eclectic tastes, she loved Springsteen, AC/DC, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac and it’s no secret that her favorite song was Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns ‘N Roses, but she also loved Frank Sinatra and Elvis, Tom Jones and basically everything!

There was a period where I went to a lot of concerts and I would get the best seats possible. I remember about 10 or 15 years ago sitting mere feet from Stevie Nicks at a Fleetwood Mac concert, she was just a few rows up and my friends and I were dead center. And I’m sure we didn’t overpay for the tickets.

Now the ticket prices are out of sight. Like gas, groceries and everything these days. I’m surprised no one has blamed President Biden for the cost of concert tickets yet.

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Van Go Moving and Storage

Today’s comic made me think of the real thing. What if there was a moving company called “Van Go” and and all of the movers looked like Vincent Van Gogh? We’ve all seen people in real life who look like Van Gogh, right?

But I guess it would be hard to gather a bunch together and have them work as movers, right? But it’s an interesting idea.

Or another idea I had was a arts and antiques moving company that used people dressed as or look-alike artists or art subjects. Like for instance you had the Mona Lisa delivering a painting you won at auction or Monet delivering a vase you got at a tag sale.

I remember years ago there was a restaurant in town that gave you famous names as you walked in along with your table buzzer. When your table was ready they would call out, “Marilyn Monroe, table for two!” “Clark Gable, table for four,” etc.

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National Cartoonists Society

I’m now a member of the National Cartoonists Society.

I had applied before but was denied in the past and recently was accepted.

What I love most about it is that I am part of this group of people who I’ve admired all my life. Every cartoonist you can name – they are/were part of this society. And even greater was that I was unanimously approved, which means fellow cartoonists looked at my work and said, “YES! Let him in!” Now that’s an honor. It has put me on the map.

I should have done this years ago, but you know how it is, life takes ahold and sends you in other directions. But I’m here now.

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Some cocoa butter . . .

Amazon Prime Day is over and I’m gonna miss it. Not for the bargains, for the Jon Baptiste commercial!

It’s the song of summer! I can’t get it out of my head – the line that says, “I need some cocoa butter and camping supplies,” makes me laugh every time. I actually would wait for the commercial, which was not hard to do since it seemed to be on every few minutes. It’s short and sweet and catchy.

I had written it down to use in a cartoon and I couldn’t come up with anything. Them I remembered a cartoon I used for a past Prime Day and I added the text.

Now to be honest, the 1000 times I’ve seen the commercial, I thought he was singing “Cold, Cold Butter,” but a reader corrected me so I changed the cartoon early this morning before most people saw it.

Butter made sense to me because I thought they were trying to show that Amazon/Wholefoods, delivers food, too.

I did take advantage of Prime Day and I bought a new Surface Pro 8 computer so you’ll be seeing my new cartoons created on that.

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Is it real or is it Maxell?

Yesterday’s cartoon is an homage to an old Maxell ad. I came up with the idea of the guy sitting in his chair at home being bored due to economic issues of the day and the ad came to mind as I started drawing the cartoon.

One thing though – to get a photo as a reference, I googled “Memorex” and the photo came up – but the crazy part is that it’s an ad for Maxell! And I noticed people who commented on the cartoon mentioned Memorex, which is interesting because this iconic “Blown Away” ad is not serving its purpose – directing people to the correct product, it’s literally sending people to its competitor. But of course it’s one of the best photographs ever. It’s by photographer Steve Steigman.

Even the google search sends the Memorex reference to the Maxell ad. It’s sort of like those ads that we love but we don’t remember what the product is for.

This is the original advertisement, photo by Steve Steigman

Speaking of Memorex, I remember something from high school. We had a class called Rock Poetry and it was all based on current rock music. We studied the lyrics as poetry, which is what they were. We all had to bring in a record or cassette tape (yes, it was back then) and the teacher would pull out a random record or cassette and we would listen to a song and discuss it.

One time she reached into the box and pulled out a cassette and said, “Ok, the next one is Memorex.” And of course we all cracked up. We had to explain to her that Memorex was the cassette tape company, not the name of the recording or band.

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Wellness check

Today’s comic almost reminds me of something that happened some years back, maybe about 10 years ago.

I had taken a friend to the doctor’s office, which is at the hospital next door. I live next to a hospital. My friend had a cancer scare. Luckily everything worked out and he was totally fine, but this was a check up for something and we went to a cancer doctor, an oncologist.

I sat waiting in the waiting room and in walks the UPS guy and after him the FedEx guy with deliveries. Both of them knew me since they were my delivery guys, too.

Both of them separately had such a worried look on their faces. They asked me if I was ok, and I don’t think they believed me that I was there “for a friend.” But it was so nice to see their genuine concerns.

It’s weird that I would have the same delivery guys as the hospital which is a huge complex. Even though I am next door, I am in a neighborhood full of houses, you can’t see the hospital from the street, it’s on a lot of property and is sort of a campus, so you would think they had their own delivery thing going on.

But then again, I would see the delivery guys in the center of the village, about a mile away in the other direction, so I guess they covered the whole zip code or something. Many times I would be walking by in the downtown area and they would give me my packages as I walked by, saving them a trip to my house later in the day. It was more of a convenience – they would do this early in the day and their schedule would have them coming to me later in the day, sometimes 6 or 7 pm. So it was nice of them to give me the packages at 10 am as I walked by, rather than have me wait till the end of the day.

Anyway, this cartoon reminded me of that. I didn’t get the idea for the cartoon from those situations, but after I drew it, it reminded me of those situations.

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Things are getting back to normal; unfortunately

I’ve been seeing a lot of trash in the ocean and bay lately. Not too long ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, I had written about how the planet was healing itself and nature was reclaiming itself. The water and air were so clean. Now it seems to be getting back to normal, although I don’t remember seeing so much trash in the water as I do now.

What I mean is, I live on the bay, so daily I look out at the water and for all these years I really didn’t see anything floating around in the water. Now I do on a daily basis. It’s trash – paper and plastic. I’m not sure why there is more these days than in days past, but it’s out there.

The cartoon above is not really funny, it’s sad, it’s a commentary on how our wildlife is being treated.

Ironically, I’m not seeing as many people out in the water as during the pandemic. Back then, there were people in boats, paddle boarding, kayaking and I used to see one couple floating around on a large inner tube for hours – on a daily basis. They would lazily go from one end of our little inlet to the other. And with all of these “quiet,” “gentle” forms of water activities, there was no pollution or trash. Now that we’re back to motors and boat tours, ships and tourists and the lot, it’s showing.

I got the cartoon idea below, which ran at the beginning of the pandemic, by what I would see daily – lots of water sports activities.

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