They slashed the newsroom staff at the New York Daily News today

Ford_to_CityThe New York Daily News cut its newsroom staff by half on Monday. Tronc, Inc, the owner in Chicago decided that The News was bleeding too much red ink. They want to focus on digital news now.

Tronc, it sounds like the sound an elephant would make when he tries to stifle a sneeze.

To me The Daily News is New York, but I have to admit, I spent almost three weeks in NYC this summer and for the first time since I’ve been adult, I didn’t buy a newspaper once. There is nothing there. You spend $2 for a newspaper that is eight pages long now and all the news that’s printed I already read online on Facebook and Twitter. I read it in the newspapers, but on their websites through their links that they put on social media. But I feel very guilty about not purchasing the newspapers. I used to purchase all four every day when in the city – The Daily News, the Post, the NY Times and Newsday. I would also buy the newspapers in New Jersey when I went to Hoboken – The Record, The Star-Ledger and the Jersey Journal. I would literally sit in the old train station and read the newspapers.

The comics are few and far between and I read them online too, I can read the ones I like and not be subjected to one editor’s favorites. I stopped buying the New York Post when they dropped the few comics they did have a few years ago.

I was being wooed by The Daily News a few years ago. They were interested in running my Tomversation comic panel and they put me off for years, litearally, because they kept changing staff! I would deal with a top guy, for instance one of the main editors and after our meetings and back and forth dialogue, he would be gone and someone new would start the conversation. Then that person would be gone and so on.

I can’t imagine NYC without The Daily News. I remember back in the 1980s when there was a newspaper war between the News and the Post, they both had about 1 million readers a day and they each put out about eight editions a day. You would walk around the city and it seemed that each time you passed a newsstand, the front page of both tabloids was different from block to block – they were printing issues all day long!

I stop by the old Daily News building on 42nd Street when I’m in New York. It’s special. I did a video of that not long ago. You can see it here.

And if you haven’t seen the video about the New York City newspaper strike of 1945 it’s something to see (I have it here). Millions of newspapers were being sold per day by people standing in line at the newspaper plants buying one copy at a time. That was a special time.


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A blast from the past


Somebody posted this photo on a page I follow on Facebook. It’s an old shoe store in Coconut Grove, FL. The photo is from 1988.

I love it because I made the logo.

I did the logo a few years before and every time I walked by the store I would point out and say, “I did that!” It’s simple, but they liked it and used it.

It was actually done for their shopping bags. I had a client that made shopping bags for stores and I did the artwork on a freelance basis. They would give me the info and say they want this logo or name on the bag with this info (address, phone, whatever). In this case, they didn’t have a logo so I made one. They liked it so much they put it on the store and everything else.

I enjoyed this blast from the past when it popped up in my Facebook feed. The place is a restaurant now.

I should out, “I did that!” a lot, I think. Once there was a town meeting and someone held up an old newspaper from the 1980s and I yelled out, “I did that!” I had done the typesetting and paste up for that particular newspaper and when I saw that, it was another, “I did that!” blast from the past!

Look! Up in the sky! Umbrellas!


Umbrella Sky is now part of Giralda Plaza in Coral Gables. I attended the ribbon cutting on Friday night where there was food, live music and lots of neighbors.

I’ve seen this project online over the years and it’s so cool to have it right in my neighborhood.

The umbrellas will swaying over Geralda Plaza until the end of summer.

Coral Gables is the first city in South Florida and the third city in the U.S. to host the Umbrella Sky art project, an internationally recognized public art display that has taken part in Paris and Lisbon.

“This captivating art project is a great example of our commitment to increase art and cultural experiences in the City Beautiful,” said Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli. “Umbrella Sky will undoubtedly drive more people into our downtown, but we hope they stay to dine and shop while here.”

Umbrella Sky is the creation of Portuguese Company, Sextafeira, which means Friday in Portuguese.


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I wanna be like Kylie Jenner

forbesKylie Jenner is my inspiration. I want to be just like her. I want to sell lip gloss. Well, not exactly, what I want to do is have 110 million Instagram followers or at least a bunch of them.

Forbes magazine just named 20-year-old Kylie the youngest self-made billionaire. She is worth $900 million and in a year she should reach the $1 billion mark, making herself the youngest billionaire ever.

She created Kylie Cosmetics and does most if not all of her marketing and advertising on Instagram to her millions of followers, costing her nothing. She leverages her social media following.

In the past I published my comics on Instagram and I had quite a nice following, I plan on doing that again. My audience is there. I would like to start publishing daily on Instagram, Facebook and on a website. Instagram especially is where the audience is.

I’ve always said that social media is so great for so many things. The comics come up in people’s feeds, they don’t have to seek them out and they are unobtrusive. There are a few cartoonists that post to too many groups on Facebook I’ve noticed. One guy posts to almost 40 comic related sites, the only trouble with that is if you post all at the same time, they seem to all come up at the same time, which annoys the readers more than enticing them. I’ve taken to hating the cartoonist and his work due to the fact that it overpowers my feeds! Not a good idea.

Do it the Kylie way. Post on your own pages and create a following through shares and likes, the best part of social media are the shares and tagging and things like there were fans are doing the advertising for you by word of mouth. All you have to do is post quality content. Constantly.

I would love if you followed me on one or more of my social media sites where I will start publishing Tomversation comic panels daily in the fall.




I’m back home

So I’m home, back in Miami after two and a half weeks up north. I didn’t want to leave New York this time, 100 degree temps and all. Usually I’m ready to come home by the end of a trip but this time I did not want to leave.  But now that I’m home, I’m glad to be home. I’ll be back in NYC in October for ComicCon week and November for Thanksgiving week.

I’m thinking the reason I didn’t want to leave NY is that I barely watched any news when I was traveling. At home I seem to have the news on in the background all day. Maybe I should stop watching the news at home and it will improve my quality of life.

We had a condo board election last night, I tied for the fifth place on the five member board and I let the person who I tied with have the spot, I really didn’t want it. While I put myself on the ballot, I didn’t vote for myself, if I had, I would be in the position now. But to be honest, I had second thoughts after signing up and I really didn’t want it, but still I was hurt that I didn’t get more votes. I guess we build ourselves up in our heads and think we’re so great, but when others don’t it hurts. But if I didn’t vote for myself, how could I expect others to?

I was president of the condo board for six years, that was about 10 years ago, I hated every moment of it, I tried to get out of it for so many years, but it’s a small condo, so it wasn’t easy to find a replacement, so I’m not sure why I wanted back on the board this time, but I dodged a bullet, simply by not voting for myself. But still, who are those people who did not vote for me and why didn’t they vote for me?

Sort of like being nominated for an award and not winning.

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Hello Dolly!


Saw “Hello Dolly” the other day, starring Bernadette Peters. She’s been taking over for Bette Midler, who will return later this month.

The show was incredible. So fun, so beautiful, the music is fantastic. When Dolly/Bernadette came out all in red at the top of the red staircase and started singing the “Hello Dolly” song with the waiters in the scene, I got goosebumps.

During the show I kept picturing Bette and Barbara Streisand, the original Dolly, in the role, going back and forth in my head from Bernadette to them and back again.

The play is so much fun. And so colorful, every scene is more colorful than the next. I don’t want to ruin anything, but some surprises happen during certain scenes and they just blow you away.

At a couple of points in the show, Bernadette had Victor Garber, who plays Horace Vandergelder, cracking up, out of character, like they used to do on the Carol Burnett Show. So great.


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Seeing double; a good sign

IMG_1252I’m feeling very good about things these days. This Manhattanhenge proves it. Isn’t it good luck? I captured this shot the other day.

I also see the two people who bought my comics out of the blue as good luck, the fact that they were back to back unrelated buyers. For years this was the case with me.

I always had good luck. I willed things. I was always in the right place at the right time and I think maybe 10 years ago or less, things started changing. I was always a minute or two late for something, not in the right place at the right place anymore.

I sell promotional items. Almost once a week, I would get signs – I would get double orders withing minutes, if not seconds of each other. If Pepsi ordered frisbees, Coke ordered frisbees, within a minute of each other. If a high school ordered flags, within a minute another high school ordered flags. If a guy name Oscar ordered something another guy named Oscar ordered something. This became the norm.

It has been a long time since that happened, but the two ladies buying comics within minutes of each other was a good sign.

The next day I got another double order – for post it notes. But they were not regular square post it notes. They were thought bubble shaped – you know, like from comic strips. Comic strips! There is the tie-in. But get this – a guy buys them and then within a minute another guy buys them.

They aren’t a regular item, in fact, the last time I sold that shape post it note was to the first guy who was reordering the pads from a previous order from the year before. He was in New York state, the other guy is in Springfield, IL. Another weird happy coincidence and they are comic strip related.

I’m seeing good things ahead. I could go on and on about the signs I have received over the years but all this doubling stuff means a lot, especially to a Gemini like myself.