Halloween Through The Years (And A Rejected New Yorker Cartoon)

Here’s a Halloween themed cartoon rejected from the New Yorker for those who don’t want to read my long winded essay below.

gate to hell

A Night of Mischief And Vandalism

My father told me that when he was a kid, Halloween was very much a night of mischief and vandalism. Youngsters would shoot out streetlights and put outhouses on people’s porches. He said his older brother would often come home on Halloween night with many tales of narrowly escaping the police.

When I was a kid, Halloween was still a night of mischief, but just the basics. Car windows got waxed or soaped, houses got egged and pumpkins were smashed. When I was only five or six my older brother and his friend, both of whom were teens, were given the sad task of taking me and his friend’s younger brother out trick or treating. In hind site it was probably an effort to prevent them from soaping windows or egging houses. I remember getting a Batman costume. The old school kind with a plastic mask that smelled of chemicals, constricted your breath and made it near impossible to see.

I didn’t know the younger brother my brother’s friend, I think he was one year older, and would continuously yank my mask off and laugh the manic laugh of a six year old.  I was happy to be able to breath, but annoyed at him just the same. Eventually I gave up trying to keep the mask on and this allowed me to see the only clear memory I have of actual mischief and or vandalism. While walking down a particularly quiet street, a car came to a halt in the road near us as a few people jumped out. I saw two white blurs fly by my face before their shells cracked open on the sidewalk and porch. Not waiting to see if they hit their target, they laughed the manic laugh of teenagers who just got their drivers license and sped away.

The year after that I was in a new school and there was a little red (ish) haired girl in my class. I was enamored with her or wanted to be her best friend or whatever you feel for a girl at age six or seven. On Halloween she told me to come by her house so we could go Trick or Treating together. I was thrilled. I have no memory of what I was dressed as that year. The only thing that mattered was getting one of my brothers to take me out trick or treating. First stop, the house of the little red headed girl so we could beg for candy together! But when I got there, she and her mom told me that they had already done all their Trick or Treating. She didn’t say it in a cruel way, just the way a seven year-old girl who didn’t know she was crushing my heart says things.

I don’t think I dressed up for Halloween again until college. I was at a party at a big house rented by a good number of art students. The only memory I have of any costumes was that of my roommate at the time. He was dressed as a woman, but I remember that mostly because he dressed up as a woman pretty much every weekend and went to bars that the rest of us didn’t go to. At one point, the woman who lived there loudly told us all that her friend from Jamestown was coming to the party and she was bringing her band. They were a newish band called 10,000 Maniacs. Hours past before they apparently called the house again. Seems they were lost or drunk or really drunk. They were out there driving around lost and possibly intoxicated. I could be remembering this all wrong, but it sounded right at the time. They were a rock band, it seems like they should spend Halloween narrowly escaping the police.

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Friday Bern! (And other celebrities) (And Inktober)

 

bern 5

Walking home Monday I noticed a few people taking selfies with a white haired older man who looked a lot like Bernie Sanders. Most people walked right past him in a hurry to get wherever they were going without a second glance. It turned out he was Bernie Sanders and he was making an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, which was filming at the nearby BAM theater. He had stopped to get a bagel at La Bagel Delight (73 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217) and was eating it at a sidewalk table. It seemed to have cream cheese. Possibly a poppy seed bagel.

When I first came to NYC, I didn’t think much of spotting celebrities. It was never my thing, but, even if I wasn’t looking they seemed to pop up now and then. One night heading down into the Times Square subway, I passed Henry Winkler who was coming up the steps. The man behind me gave him a “Ayyyyyyy!” doing his best Fonzie. I thought he was being a jerk doing something so stupid, but Henry Wrinkler responded with the same “Ayyyyyy!” and gave him a friendly hello. Next time I see Mr. Winkler, I’m definitely doing my best Fonzie imitation.

Once while walking with a friend who was an aspiring actor and or stand up comedian, she pulled me aside and said, “Oh God! It’s F. Murray Abraham!” We pretended to look in a store window as he walked by. “I took one of his classes.” She said sounding somewhat fearful. “I was an awful student. He hated me.”

Once while running in Manhattan I stopped at a light. Next to me I saw Colin Mochrie hanging out. If I hadn’t been a fan of Who’s Line Is It Anyway, I would have never noticed him. I stared at him a little too long as it took me a minute to figure out who he was. He stared at me, probably wondering if I was going to ask him if he was drew Cary.

My wife and I used to keep a silly little contest going where we kept track of who spotted the most celebrities. I’ve lost that list, But she used to spot Keri Russell at our local farmers Market all the time. I only saw her once. We both ate at a restaurant and sat at a table next to Vera Wang. I watched Eric Bana film scenes for Munich in my neighborhood. We were somewhat even as far as our little contest went.

But then my wife delivered the death blow to our friendly little contest. She used to work on 5th Avenue in the same building CBS has their morning show. One morning a few years ago she was walking through a crowd trying to get to the front door of her building, pushing her way past people like most mornings and ignoring anyone who got in her way like most mornings. Eventually, she noticed that people in the crowd around her seemed to be clapping and cheering. She looked in front of her and noticed that she had ended up accidentally walking behind the cast of Everyone Loves Raymond. They were headed to the Morning show to celebrate the finale of the series.

The building she works in now is also the building that
Hillary Clinton’s office is in, but her encounter with the
secret service and Ms. Clinton is a story for another time.

 

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Funny Friday the 16th (Assuming you find something funny to read.)

My blog has a selective audience demographic that consists of
bored males between the ages of 21 and…21 who accidentally stumble onto my website because they think I’m the American
fashion designer known as Tim Hamilton.

I’m not the Fashion designer. I’m the Tim Hamilton who writes
fairly boring blog posts about the fact that I did some work in
the current issue of Sponge Bob comics for my favorite editor
(and second favorite spirit animal) Chris Duffy. I can’t post my Sponge Bob piece here (yes you’ll have to steal the issue from
your local 7 -11 to read all the great stories, please don’t steal
the hot dogs at 7-11, those could hurt you) but I can show you
what I DIDN’T do for Sponge Bob.

This is one of my rejected Ideas that didn’t make the cut. The
issue is the Halloween issue and thus, Chris wanted Candy
Corns and pirates. Ignoring him, I created this “Pirate Witch”
idea. You can read my VERY detailed and finalized drawing
I did below.

SB_Page Template

Bob Sponge Comics are ® ™ AND ©Tim Hamilton 2015 just to
be clear. Look for the first issue in the coming year.

AND…

Despite the fact that she’s from a country that is volcanically active,
I love Bjork! Thus, I submitted this cartoon (below) about her to the New Yorker. It was rejected. I admit it is pretty silly. Mostly because we all know Matthew Barney would never marry a car mechanic.

bjork

 

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People Say The Out-Loudest Things While I Walk the Dog (and a rejected New Yorker cartoon)

Things I hear when walking my dog in the morning:

Father and little girl walking passed me while my dog is pooping.
Girl: “Daddy I don’t like poop. I HATE poop!”
Father: “Well, I don’t know if ‘hate’ it the right word.”

Man on cell phone:
It’s a nightmare! It’s like the worse nightmare of every young New York couple! (I really want to know what that nightmare is)

Young guy talking to friend:
“Yeah I was living on the streets in Japan. I was sleeping in the park and people were afraid of me because I was covered in filth, and then this American guy told me I was being an idiot! He told me I could be making easy money teaching English here in Japan. And that’s what I did!”

On another note. It’s October and I haven’t seen any
Christmas decorations yet, but I did submit this Christmas
themed October cartoon to the New Yorker. It was rejected.
Too dark?

October elf

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Nobody Wants them (Friday Warm Ups)

As a warm up this morning, I redrew and redesigned some characters I created for a children’s book that has (thus far) been given the thumbs down. In hindsight, the book doesn’t have the best story, but someday it may get revived and or reworked. No, the book was NOT going to be called “Let’s Get Scary.” I know that’s the territory of the movie Monsters Inc. This book Idea was going to be about a monster called Wall-E.

monsters

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Friday September 11th, 2015

38th flflat

 

Fourteen years ago I worked at a pharmaceutical advertising agency in Manhattan. When I got on the G-train in Brooklyn that morning, I saw a woman I knew from Pratt. She was the first woman I remember seeing riding everywhere on a scooter. She was from Sweden, I think. After she sold her scooter, I noticed that a LOT of people were riding scooters. Businessmen were riding to work on them, and of course proto-hipsters were riding them to their favorite coffee shops.

We talked, and then we switched to different trains. I got out of the subway at 33d Street in Manhattan and noticed that the streets were mostly empty and quiet. Usually teenagers were hanging out waiting to go into the nearby school. As I walked to my work place I noticed workers hanging out in their trucks listening to the radio. I did think I heard something about an airplane hitting the World Trade Center.

By the time I got to work everyone was trying to get a TV to work. Way back in 2001 not everyone and every work place had WiFi. Rumors circulated that part of a tower fell, and maybe another plane hit the other tower. We eventually found out the reality of the situation when the one television in the office finally got a fuzzy signal.

One of the executives, an executive who usually spent his time yelled at people and who I had no respect for, told everyone to sit tight and let him know if we “needed anything.” It was easy to see he was putting on a fairly false veneer of the caring “fearless leader.” I got my bag and left the building.

I headed uptown in what was a parade of people who, like me, decided to start walking home. Buses and subways were not running. I headed across the Queensboro Bridge with a large mass of like minded people. The woman next to me was in a dress but wore no shoes. We  were all fairly quiet and continually glanced back towards downtown and the large plume of smoke.

In Brooklyn the G-train was not running, but an empty bus showed up at it’s designated stop. The mass of people in the street swarmed around the bus door. The driver opened the door, stood there preventing anyone from entering and said, “I have to go use the bathroom first!” I thought moaning and complaining would ensue, but everyone just stood there quietly as she walked away.
A military jet screamed across the sky.

I didn’t know where this particular bus went, just that it was headed for my part of Brooklyn. When the driver came back from the bathroom I managed to get on. Just like the walk on the bridge, everyone remained mostly silent. When I saw familiar streets I got off, and walked another few miles in what I remember being a cool crisp day.

Now, I visit the new One World Trade Center just about every week in order to have 98 percent of my cartoon submission rejected by the New Yorker. I show my I.D. and security scans my little bag full of cartoon gags. They take a grainy picture of me that makes me look like a criminal. On the 38th floor,  we get a great view from the cartoonist waiting room. We usually have a lot of laughs.

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