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!

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New toon

Republican ju-jitsu.

A note about the first panel: this of course refers to the famous moment in the Reagan/Mondale debates, when Reagan sought to dispel doubts about his age and alertness (after a poor showing in the first debate) with, well, a clever one-liner some speechwriter had come up with. And it worked! Everyone agreed the clever one-liner certainly put those doubts to rest. It’s particularly terrifying, given what we now know — the man was a few short years away from being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and more to the point, his own son has speculated that he might have been in the early stages of the disease at that moment, and into his second term as President of the United States. I thought a long time about that panel, and thanks to Sparky’s List had the opportunity to discuss it with a reader whose parent has Alzheimer’s. At any rate, it’s a comment on a specific and disturbing moment in American politics; it’s not meant as a joke at the expense of anyone suffering from that disease, and should not be taken as such.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:15 AM | link
Entropy requires no maintenance

Well, as it turns out I’m down another paper — sorry to say that due to (what else) budgetary constraints, long-time client paper NUVO in Indianapolis is dropping the strip.

Sucks to lose the readers, but there’s not much to be done about that.* However, adding a mere couple dozen more members to SPARKY’S LIST would make up for the income hit, at least for a few months.

And that’s what I’m hoping to do with the list and its model of direct audience support — to shield myself from the vagaries of the market, which are mostly trending downward these days, as you may have noticed.

So consider this a small NPR-style pledge drive. Without tote bags.

The basic rundown about the list is here. I would add that as I’ve been doing it for a couple months now, it’s begun to develop into its own creature. You get to see the cartoon a couple days early, but you also get a moderate-to-lengthy post deconstructing the week’s work, discussing what I was thinking about certain panels, or other directions I might have gone. One week, subscribers got a peek at a first draft which normally no one would ever have seen.

And more to the point, if I get enough people signed on to this crazy scheme, then it’s going to be a lot easier to shrug off these losses and stay focused on the work.

*Though of course if you live in the Indianapolis area and This Modern World is one of the reasons you pick up NUVO, it certainly can’t hurt to let them know.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 3:17 PM | link
End of the line?

An article in the Austin Chronicle about Jen Sorensen (who recently moved to Austin), and the future of alt-weekly cartooning, with some commentary from me. My only quibble is, I wish they’d included my comments about papers (such as the Austin Chronicle) which DO still support our little art form, for which we cartoonists are all immensely grateful.

Related: a huge shoutout to OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano, for bringing Red Meat back to the paper. Maybe the cartoon freeze at most New Times papers (with the happy exception of the Village Voice) is starting to thaw. (There’s a comments box at the bottom of that post–send the man some cartoon-fan love for doing the right thing.)

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:31 AM | link
New toon

Your corporate democracy.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:28 AM | link
I need a book title

I’m putting together a new anthology, to be published by my friends at Topataco (purveyors of fine DRONEY shirts, among other things). And I need a title, and after however-many books I’ve published over the past two decades, I just can’t seem to come up with one I like.

So I’m soliciting suggestions. If you come up with a title I use, you’ll receive public acknowledgement, as well as a Tom Tomorrow fun pack, featuring a signed copy of the book for which you have supplied a title, a DRONEY shirt, and a subscription to SPARKY’S LIST.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

— you are unlikely to come up with a new variation or pun on “TOMORROW …..” that has not already been suggested many times over. (This includes all references to “Annie.”)

–it needs to be pithy and clever.

–it should not be a rehash of an older title.

–in the case of multiple submissions, the earliest entry will be considered the winner.

Please email entries to tomtomorrow at gmail dot com, with your proposed title in the subject line.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 12:35 PM | link
New toon

Health care glossary updated.

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 10:24 AM | link
Cost cutting

This came up in the course of a conversation on Twitter, and I think it bears repeating in the slightly more lasting context of the blog: when altweeklies cut cartoons as a “cost-cutting measure”, it is not actually a cost-cutting measure at all — it is Accounting Theatre, something editors are forced to do to appease the corporate bean-counters. The actual savings are probably about what you’d get from eliminating breakroom coffee, though arguably more self-defeating — breakroom coffee is unlikely to be popular enough with readers to have 27,000 followers on Twitter.

Unfortunately appeasing the bean counters is destroying an art form. There’s a reason there are so few people under 35 producing this kind of work today — given the market, why would any sane person bother? If current trends continue, the altweekly cartoon will ultimately be a (fondly-remembered) blip in the history of cartooning, not unlike the underground comix of the 1960s and 70s.

(…adding: please forgive the constant flogging, but I suppose this is an obvious place to encourage you to join Sparky’s List.)

posted by Tom Tomorrow at 7:17 PM | link

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