A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, around the time of the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C., there was a post from last year with an article stating the fears of then Vice-Presidential candidate Mike Pence, who was and is pro-life. Pence feared that legalized abortion in cases of rape would cause women to lie about being raped just to get abortions, and that some women would deliberately go out and get raped and have abortions just to get out of work to recover. And I, and other women, fell for it.
It turned out that this "article" came from a website called Newslo, which features stories that are only partly true. I learned about this in another Facebook post from Scopes.com that ran later that week. And Facebook is supposed to be cracking down on false news!
Look, as a person whose job it is to be funny, I enjoy a good satire now and then, but how could I have believed this Mike Pence story was all true? Because U.S. politicians have said stupid stuff in the press before in real life. During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Sen. Todd Akin, another pro-lifer, claimed that the female reproductive system "shuts down" during a "legitimate rape" in order to prevent pregnancy. Now the human body is a wondrous creation, but it's not that wondrous. Stupid remarks in U.S. politics are not restricted to white males, either. Do you remember when then-Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin said we should "stand with our North Korean allies"? I thought only Dennis Rodman had North Korean allies. And African American 2016 Presidential hopeful Herman Cain didn't quite know the meanings of the words "settlement" and "agreement". A quote from Napoleon goes, "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap." He was so right!
I think the lesson here is to be more discerning about the stories in the news, especially stories online--or at least wait until another source debunks that story. Let's face it--we average Americans are not going to do our own research on a story, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.
I leave you now with cartoon portraits of the Second Couple of the United States.
I was feeling really creative today. Tonight was the night of Paul Henry's Art Gallery's Acoustic Music Jam and Potluck, as is every Thursday night at the Hammond, Indiana gallery. So I made three sweet treats for the potluck: peanut butter cookies, brownies and pumpkin muffins. I hadn't been to Paul Henry's in months, so I was really looking forward to it.
Then, right before 7PM, I arrived--AND THE PLACE WAS CLOSED! I called the gallery owner, Dave Mueller, and he was resting after having procedures done. He posted this on Paul Henry's Facebook page, but I hadn't been on there, so I missed it. There's always next month!
well, I now have a bunch of baked goods to freeze for the next potluck. Who am I kidding? We'll be eating sweets for weeks!
Time to get real cute! Introducing (if you haven't seen them yet) the Fun Hundred! My 100 cute, colorful cartoon characters! Recently I decided to change my cartooning style along with other things for this new year of 2017. And here are the 'toons!
Oh, I loved making these characters, and I'm looking forward to making more funny cartoons starring all of them. Watch for them!
Right now I feel like letting more color and music in my life. So I go to YouTube and watch colorful music videos. One of my favorites: Avril Lavigne's "Hello Kitty", a video criticized for being offensive to Japanese people, especially since it was actually filmed in Japan with native people in the background. To me, it's no more offensive than a "kawaii" (cute) cartoon from the country. And all that color!
Hey, food videos can be full of color. Here's one for "Mug Meals" by Gemma Stafford. Just look at all those delicious-looking little dishes in those white coffee mugs! I gotta look up her recipes.
Colorful animation always helps lift my spirits. Here, from Fliiby, is a preview/review of a new magical girl/rock group/girl trio cartoon called "LoliRock". It hasn't come to this country yet, but who knows? I hope it does!
OK, I am full of color on the inside. Now to go to my colorful marker collection and PLAY!
You know I'm making changes. This blog and my Fliiby channel are two of them. Yesterday, I made plans to create a bunch of five-second animations starting Monday to post on Fliiby. I felt wonderful. Today, not so much.
So far, 2017 is a struggle, art-wise. I'm learning to use the creative apps in my 7" tablet (with the keyboard case), and while it can be fun, it can be a little frustrating, too.
For instance, I am now using the 2D animation app RoughAnimator to do hand-drawn animation using a stylus. I want to draw digitally as easily as I do on paper, but that's proving to be a challenge. I have this nifty 4-in-1 stylus with a rubber tip, a plastic disc tip, a paintbrush tip and a ballpoint pen tip, and I love it! I feel so powerfully creative when I hold it. Then I actually start digitally drawing, and the end result looks nothing like I pictured it would be. But then, none of my cartoons look anything like I picture them to be.
So now I had to insert the musical soundtrack. I used a couple of sound editing apps that I had to buy because the free demo versions don't do anything. After a few tries I got the soundtrack on the cartoon and it ran great--but I forgot to edit it down to five seconds! I thought that it would automatically cut off when the animation ended. So now I've got five seconds of animation and over a minute of music. Heck, I uploaded the short on Fliiby before I discovered my mistake and decided to keep it there.
That was yesterday; today, I'm not bothered by my mess-up. At least I did something, and crappy artwork is better than no artwork at all (even though some animation fans would argue otherwise). I recall the words of another professional artist, Melissa Dinwiddie, who said, "The crap is what fertilizes the good stuff." So let me get back to work making more fertilizer!
And now, that crappy cartoon!
I know every year has its good stuff and bad stuff, but 2016 tended to lean toward the bad, as far as I see it. The Cubs won, but then so did Trump. And don't get me started on the tons of celebrity deaths, seemingly more than any other year.
Well, it's 2017 now, a fresh start for all of us. I don't know why human beings need certain times to want to begin again, but we do. I'm starting over with this here blog, and all my cartoon work will be on the website known as Fliiby (pronounced "FLEE-bee"). There I can put animation, live action videos, photos, print cartoons, original audio, caricatures (OK, cartoon portraits) and more stuff I can't think of right now. And I can MONETIZE!!
Another change I'm making is narrowcasting: I'm focusing my work on my hometown of East Chicago, Indiana, where my biggest fans are and whom I've underserved over the years trying to get noticed outside of E.C. They remember me from doing caricatures at local events like Taste of East Chicago (I wonder if I should do that again this year). I'm letting E.C. know that my work will be on Fliiby and they can watch everything from their smartphones. In East Chicago, everyone and his uncle has a smartphone. The Boost Mobile and Z Wireless stores must be making a fortune!
But the biggest change I'm making is being "location-independent". I'll be doing a lot of work from my own smartphone and tablet (which I attach to a keyboard case so I can work it like a laptop) using a bunch of creative apps for animation, music making, cartooning--I'm gonna make stuff!! "Location-independent" means I can work anywhere in East Chicago with wi-fi; so far, that means going from my mother's computer room to my basement bedroom at home. But I'm working on other places.
This year of 2017 is starting out great, with this blog and a new "Our Follies" cartoon celebrating the best part of 2016 while welcoming this new year. And here it is!