Winner of the 2013 Herblock award; 2015 Society of Illustrators Silver Medal recipient; 2015 first place AAN award for cartooning; 2015 Pulitzer finalist.

Hey! Don't forget to visit the online store for t-shirts, plush Sparkys and all-new dry-erase boards! NEW: if you missed the Kickstarter for 25 YEARS OF TOMORROW, not to worry! IDW Publishing has just released a second, expanded edition! And of course the most recent trade compilation, CRAZY IS THE NEW NORMAL, is still available as well!

READ THE LATEST CARTOON Mondays at Daily Kos and Tuesdays at The Nib!

Name checked in the Times

In a review of Victor Navasky’s new book on political cartooning:

… the omissions sometimes overshadow the inclusions. Where, for starters, are Garry Trudeau, Tom Toles, Tom Tomorrow and Jen Sorensen, who rank among our most gifted lifters of political veils and pre­tenses?

The reviewer goes on to note:

At the moment, the future of political cartoons may seem as uncertain as that of newspapers themselves, whose publishers are scrambling to devise the formula that will grant them eternal online life. In the meantime, Navasky contends, cartoons stand to benefit from the new technology. “Rather than dating them,” he writes, “the World Wide Web and digital media appear to extend their reach.” This might seem to be good news. Yet an increase in distribution channels is not the same thing as a creative renaissance, and so far major online news sites have resisted the chance to hire their own political cartoonists. An exception is Politico, where the resident artist Matt Wuerker casts a comic beam of light on the drama of Obama’s Washington.

I hit some very similar notes in my Herblock speech. I don’t know if the reviewer saw or was influenced by that, but in any case I’m glad to see the point being made in a wider venue. Maybe Josh Marshall and Arianna Huffington will take note.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 8:05 AM | link
Holy Land for sale

A crumbling religious theme park in Connecticut that has been closed for nearly 30 years had $150,000 slashed off its asking price last week. Holy Land USA, in Waterbury, was shut for renovations by founder John Baptist Greco in 1984. When Greco died two years later, it was left in the hands of a group of nuns and has fallen into disrepair.

Story here. I first ran across this place in the late eighties, and have been back a number of times over the years. It’s every bit as creepy as you might imagine, but fascinating as well. “Theme park” overstates the case — though it was apparently quite popular in its heyday, it’s really a folk-art-gone-wild kind of place, along the lines of Howard Finster’s old compound in Georgia. The model of Jerusalem, for instance, is built from all kinds of construction cast-offs — old water tanks, things like that.

I took these photos sometime in 2002; I imagine the place has deteriorated significantly since then.

Small Elvis was my own addition. Also, the people you see were with me — it’s not the sort of place where you’re likely to run into someone. At least, you hope you don’t. More below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 8:22 PM | link
Catching up (4): Herblock speech

Can’t believe I forgot to post this. Transcript here.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 5:05 PM | link
Catching up (3): books by friends

A unique travelogue from longtime friend of TMW and onetime Voice of Sparky, Bob Harris:

Hired by to review some of the most luxurious accommodations on Earth, and then inspired by a chance encounter in Dubai with the impoverished workers whose backbreaking jobs create such opulence, Bob Harris had an epiphany: He would turn his own good fortune into an effort to make lives like theirs better. Bob found his way to, the leading portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world: for as little as $25-50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonishingly, the repayment rate was nearly 99%, so he re-loaned the money to others over and over again.

After making hundreds of microloans online, Bob wanted to see the results first-hand, and in The International Bank of Bob he travels from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia, introducing us to some of the most inspiring and enterprising people we’ve ever met, while illuminating day-to-day life-political and emotional-in much of the world that Americans never see. Told with humor and compassion, The International Bank of Bob brings the world to our doorstep, and makes clear that each of us can, actually, make it better.

Buy it here!

* * *

A children’s book from my friend and fellow traveller Matt Davies, a Pulitzer-, Herblock-, and RFK-winning editorial cartoonist:

Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger.

“Full of warmth, humor and a welcome lesson about bullies, Davies’s debut cries out for a follow-up.” — The New York Times

“Illustration comes naturally to Davies—his editorial cartoons won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2004—and this satisfying tale of a boy, his beloved bicycle, and the bully who steals it is a fine debut.”–Publishers Weekly

“Great amusement for the bold and timid alike.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Buy it here!

* * *

And last but not least, Matt Bors’ awesome new Kickstarter book:

Are corporations people? Is birth control a sin? Can the president kill you with a drone strike? In this essential collection, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Matt Bors mixes the best political cartoons from his prolific body of work with 15 essays to answer the most perplexing questions of our time.

From wandering the halls of a church-run haunted house in Ohio to meeting in Afghanistan with victims of America’s War on Terror to speculating on the secret lives of homophobes, Bors ridicules the people and problems plaguing this fair nation.

Never has reading about economics and mass shootings been this enjoyable!

Buy it here!

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 4:38 PM | link
Catching up (2): Sparky in Kuwait

A Sparky photo contest entry from reader Paul W.:

I just heard about your ‘Sparky Photo Competition’ through the list, and I hope I have a valid entry for you, as this is not actually a photo of a legit plush Sparky doll.

Here’s the story: I live in Kuwait, and when I found out about the Sparkys you have on offer, I mentioned to my wife that I thought they were really cool and that I was going to get one when we got back home this summer. I can’t really order one from here, as the national postal system is very unreliable, and chances are better than average that he’d never make it. As my birthday was approaching, my amazing wife took it upon herself to construct one of her own.

One favourite tee-shirt destroyed, an old pair of sunglasses, and several tens of feet of thread later, hey presto, I was presented with this cool facsimile of a plush Sparky on the date of my birth! Heather undersells herself, as she thinks this looks more like Sparky’s banjo-playing cousin from deep in the sticks, but I think he’s awesome!

Anyway, here’s my entry for your contest, if you’ll accept it. This is Sparky hanging around in the deserts of Kuwait with some new friends.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 4:17 PM | link
Catching up (1): your rock and roll lifestyle

Hanging out backstage with my friend Benmont Tench last weekend.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 4:13 PM | link
Thomas Friedman, Private Eye

I thought I’d share a little of what I wrote on Sparky’s List about this week’s toon:

Well, it’s always fun doing a Thomas Friedman cartoon.  This one was inspired by the full page ad in the New York Times last weekend for the Times-sponsored GLOBAL FORUM: THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN’S THE NEXT NEW WORLD!  And I quote:
* The World We Live in Now
* Threats or Possibilities
* What Happened to Power?
* How the Digital Revolution
Is Accelerating Everything
* What You Don’t Know Is Coming
* Doing Business in the Next New World
* What an Education Is Going to Mean
* What Energy Is Going to Be
Tickets to this daylong festival of Deep Insight are $495 and available only after one requests an invitation.  The video posted on the forum website contains these nuggests of wisdom:
While we were sleeping, something really big happened over the last decade. While we were focused on post 9/11 and the subprime crisis, something really big happened in the plumbing of the world and by the plumbing I mean, basically, the technological platform on which innovation and education and companies all rest. So back in 2004 I wrote a book called The World Is Flat, and the argument of the book is that the world was getting connected. Well, I would argue that in the last 10 years, while you were sleeping the world went from connected to hyperconnected.
Get it? We used to be sorta connected, but now we’re really, really connected!  These kids today, with their gadgets and their Facebook!  And it all happened while you were asleep and focused on world events, in your sleep.

As Wonkette notes, he’s been pushing this latest buzzword — “hyperconnectivity” — hard.  And you have to give him this: he’s nothing if not relentless.  When he writes a book about the world being flat, or short, or dusty or some damn thing, you can count on seeing that metaphor worked into successive columns for years.

BONUS Friedman follies: here and here.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:05 AM | link

Winters Web Works
extreme trackingSite Meter

Log in