Pieces, Bits and Pieces

A roundup of recent news items.

Tomversation, Humor for a Sheltered World

© Tom Falco

The Miami Herald highlights Tom Falco‘s contribution to making the pandemic a bit more bearable.

When the pandemic started, Tom Falco got back to drawing comics. On May 4, he began publishing them online through “Tomversation,” which he subtitled “The real world. Just a bit askew.”

“The face masks, self isolation and quarantining all added a new layer of ideas that we didn’t have before March. It opened a whole new world, good or bad, that was unique and untapped, something that everyone could relate to all over the planet and it worked out for the comics I started creating,” Falco said.


L.A. Jules Makes N.Y. News

PIX11 talks to Jules Rivera about the new and improved Mark Trail.

“I just thought back in the context of things we need to update ‘Mark Trail’ by making it really cutting edge,” explained Rivera.

Those cutting-edge updates for the 21st century include topics such as environmental racism and climate change. Rivera said “Mark Trail” will continue talking to the wildlife like in previous years, but her version will be very different.

“I want ‘Mark Trail’ to have really hard epiphanies by way of conversations with animals,” she said.

While Jules is confident she is the right cartoonist for Mark Trail, letters to newspapers are not so sure. Here’s a comment from a Trailhead who confuses Mark’s dog with Little Orphan Annie’s dog::

For years I have followed Mark Trail in the comics section. He has always been a widely respected conservationist who lives in Lost Forest with his wife, Cherry, (ambiguous), son Rusty (perpetual teenager), father-in-law (I believe) Doc, and their faithful dog, Sandy. Mark has always had interesting and sometimes dangerous adventures. Recently the cartoon byline has changed. The feature has become absurdity in motion. The plot direction is sophomoric, and the characters are goofy caricatures of the former strip.


A Wealth of Bliss


Also on television is Harry Bliss talking to the old hometown station WROC about his career.

I didn’t get into counterculture comics until, you know, in my thirties. I collected the worst comics, like the comics that aren’t worth anything today. They’re still great. I collected like Marvel, you know, ‘Werewolf by Night” and “The Tomb of Dracula,” and MAD Magazine. I loved MAD and that had a very big influence on me as well.


A History of the Cleveland Indians’ Indian

In more unenlightened times racist images prevailed. The Cleveland Baseball Team has decided to Join the Washington Football Team and rid themselves of their insensitive and stereotypical name and logo. From six years ago is a Belt Magazine history of Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo logo.

The creator of the Little Indian was native Clevelander Fred George Reinert, who came up with the image soon after being hired in the early thirties. He became so popular that “Whenever school children toured thePlain Dealer office, they almost always asked to see the man who drew ‘the little Indian.’”


Animation Cartoonist Collects His Print Cartoons

© Bob Scott

Animation Xpress interviews animator Bob Scott about his Bear With Me comic strip.

Animation is his full-time job, and he creates his strip in the evenings and weekends. “Drawing Bear with Me gives me the artistic freedom I crave. I like being my own boss! I draw Bear with Me the old-fashioned way, pencilled on Bristol board and inked with a Windsor Newton brush. Over the years my job has become more and more computer based, so I really love putting pencil to paper for my strip. I miss the activity of drawing with pencils and paper in animation.”


Beethoven’s Sestercentennial

Schulz isn’t around to celebrate the anniversary, so here’s Schroeder on Beethoven’s Bicentennial:

© Peanuts Worldwide

Don Stuart, for the Greensburg Daily News, gives us some trivia.

Item: When Schulz created the classical-music-loving Schroeder, he debated which famous composer should be the boy’s muse.

Item: Schulz often illustrated his strips with actual drawings of Beethoven’s scores.

Item: Schroeder loved Beethoven – would Beethoven have loved Schroeder?

Item: In the daily black-and-white “Peanuts” comic strips, the effect of shading was achieved by using something called Zipatone.

And all this makes me think Schroeder was absolutely right! – when Lucy asks him “What’s life all about anyway?,” he shouts “The meaning of life is BEETHOVEN!”


Happy Holidays from King Features

King Features has released their interactive 2020 Holiday Card as created by Rina Piccolo.

© King Features Syndicate