Monday, April 28, 2008

Tom Tomorrow

4/26/08, Johnny D's, Boston MA - Tom Tomorrow (AKA Dan Perkins), Mark Parisi, Mike Lynch

On Saturday, April 26th, Tom Tomorrow spoke at a National Cartoonists Society New England Chapter get together. This is the NE chapter's "Post-Post-Post Holiday Party."

Tom Tomorrow is not his real name. He's actually a regular Midwestern guy named Dan Perkins. But Tom Tomorrow was the pen name he used in his 20s and it stuck. The name of his editorial cartoon is This Modern World. It can be seen at Salon, and some other sites. But Salon gets it first. Dan encouraged us attendees to go to Salon and register, so they can comment on the cartoon.

A couple of highlights:

He showed us some really early cartoons, including his first ever published illustration from a 1983 Des Moines Register. His pay: nothing, but at the time he was so happy to be published, he didn't care. He also showed some early strips, drawn in what he called his Kliban-influenced style, before he moved toward his "found art" style.

Known for his wordy cartoons, he showed a jam strip he did with Bill Griffiths, who also draws the very wordy Zippy. He also showed a large number of his This Modern World cartoons. We got to see Keith Olbermann read "Bill O'Reilly's very useful advice for young people, as channeled by vile left-wing smear merchant Tom Tomorrow," from the November 30, 2007 editionof the TV show Countdown.

As I mentioned, Dan's cartoons can be seen in a lot of places (The Funny Times, The Village Voice, etc.), but what I didn't know is that The Huffington Post, which will post a This Modern World cartoon from time to time, does not pay for content. In HuffPo's case, to paraphrase Dan, that makes it 25 years of working "for the exposure." Ugh!


Trade Loeffler said...

I'm impressed, Mike. I've been a big fan of This Modern World for quite a long time. I don't remember where I saw it first, but I think it may have been back in the '80s. I've always suspected his name wasn't really Tom Tomorrow.

Marek Bennett said...

Okay, Mike... for some reason, Dan and Mark look like cardboard cut-outs in that photo. Are you SURE you had lunch with them...?

Mike Lynch said...

Trade, you're right: Tom Tomorrow has been drawing THIS MODERN WORLD for a long time!

Marek! I'm surprised at your accusation!