It’s High Time To Laugh by Rick London (My New Line Of Watches) How? Why?

Before much recorded history, there was “fun fiction” called Greek mythology. 

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      One of the most read and famous stories was the one of Narcissus. 

      He was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Leiriope, was an extremely good-looking Greek youth. His beauty ultimately led to his death…if I remember my Greek mythology studies in college I believe he was staring at his reflection in a pond fell in and drowned. 

      I only mention that because, to me, today’s new narcissism is the blog.  Not as intense, but let’s face it.  We humans have a little bit if not a lot of vanity.  We buy products that make us appear younger, unless we are under eighteen and trying to buy beer.  But those fake mustaches look rather silly, and really not worth the trouble. 

     We also now blog.  When I started on the Internet, we all shared our thought’s and opinions on forums and in chat rooms owned and managed by others.  But it gave us our “vanity fix”.  We got the word out, at least our humble opinions right into mainstream media. Ok maybe right into Yahoo! Chat but it sure seemed big time.

      Now I’m like Narcissus staring into an empty page that tells me its a humor blog called “RickLondonSyndication”.  Now tell me that’s not impressive 🙂

     I used to blog a lot and then got busy designing products and writing cartoons and could never seem to find the time.  The other truth is I could never seem to find anything interesting enough to share publicly.  Though it may seem to others that what my very talented nature photography wife Lee Hiller-London and I do is quite glamorous, we are much more often running errands and spraying Deep Woods Off Spray on us before hiking because we tend to get bit a lot.

     But she told me I should blog about some of my cartoons and/or products (cartoon watches in this case)  and I like that idea, even though I don’t know that I will always be accurate as the impetus/motivation of a lot of them come from a series of events, and some from just sitting there, or even meditating in the bathtub.

     Last week she told me one of our main manufacturer/dropshippers “Zazzle” had added a number of new products and one of them was beautiful humorous unisex watches.   Lee and I had just experimented with stopping wearing our watches last month, and I was beginning to miss mine.

     Several events led to the end of my wearing a watch.  I like to buy cheapies because I tend to break or lose watches whether they are Timex or Piaget.  So WalMart watches it was. For awhile anyway, until I went “wrist-naked”.

      Then I saw what I could do with the vintage mens/womens watches provided by Zazzle.  I can add my cartoons on some, my love quote graphics and quotes on some, and even add some to my famous wisdom quote shop.  This could be hot.   So I was off to the races last week, creating at least 10-15 watches per day (I digitally design them on my pc and Zazzle provides the software).

      So here I am hyping myself, my watches and my talent as if it is something I just take for granted.  Please note that I believe God has been very very good to me. I live in a town that is paradise.  I have a wonderful wife.  My businesses make a living.  I’m fifty nine, but I’m not in bed all day.  I work, I hike in the mountains, I admire the beauty of nature and commune and actually talk to the animals in the forest.  But yesterday we were in the forest on a mountain far, far away, and I realized, “Hey Rick, no watch”.  Then I thought, “Rick, you could buy one of your own”.

     “Whoaaa, I thought to myself.  My watches admittedly look good (sticks toe in reflecting pond)….but would WalMart ever let me forget that I bought one of mine and not theirs?

      Does it really matter?  Am I the only person on the planet who feels guilt that long ago I told Walmart I loved their watches and would always buy them there.   Do I think they will now go under because Rick didn’t buy his next watch there?

     I hope you like my new Rick London watch I will be buying next week.  I will post a photo of it, but shhhhh….please don’t tell WalMart. 

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Rick London is an author, musician, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Cartoons in 1997 in an abandoned Ms. tin shed/warehouse.  LTCartoons.com has since become Google and Bing’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts

 

 

 

  

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Offbeat Cartoons by Rick London at Londons Times Cartoons “Picasso’s Peanuts”

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

 

     I often wonder what would have become of me if I’d not become what I became (whatever that is).   I know if I’d surrendered to the momentum of family coercion that existed in my formidable years of early adulthood, I would be drunk in an alley, dead, or all of the above.   Selling residential real estate at my dad’s office in Hattiesburg, Ms. was my other option, and I tried it for 3-4 years.  I must say, I learned a valuable lesson during my real estate tenure in the small town.   Real estate was not for me.  

     But there was an even tougher piece of information I had to whittle down into a shape and form that would make sense.  At age 30, what would I do with my  life.  I narrowed it down to one thing.  Anything but real estate in Hattiesburg, Ms.  After that I tried a lot of things. I drove a cab and became a bartender in New York City while honing my skills at stand-up comedy at night.  I also did a pr internship in between.  Though I learned something from all those experiences, I also learned that neither NYC nor those “valuable experiences” were for me. 

More years went by and about 5 or so jobs later, I found myself in an abandoned tin warehouse back in my hometown of Hattiesburg, Ms.  with only a few friends who cared.  I started a plan to escape but didn’t tell a soul.  

After a brief sabbatical in Ontario Canada (that’s the typical place most go who don’t fit into one’s southern U.S. hometown, isn’t it?…,, I ended up in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas which I love dearly. It was here that my beloved wife Lee and I got married and hike our beautiful mountains where she does her art, photography and hiking, and I do my hiking, writing, and cartooning.  No, it’s not the 9-5 coat and tie behind the desk with all kinds of pretty engraved plaques on the wall, but it is wide open spaces, prints of our own work showcased all over our walls, and us. 

We are happy people.  Nobody told us this is what it might take to be happy; that is, not “in search of happiness, but letting happiness be in search of us. 

Which brings me to the cartoon in this blog, “Picasso’s Peanuts”.  I can only imagine, as great a cubist as Picasso was, that he might have gone through some “misadventures” similar to many of us, that didn’t quite work out for him.  One doesn’t simply exit the womb with the dream, “I want to be a great cubist artist”.  In fact I can almost assure anyone, he went through some traumatic experiences, same as I did, same as many others did too. 

Hence the above cartoon came to mind around 2001.  I had already left the pitiful jobs in which I was as pitiful as the job, if not more so.  I know now life is not about being pitiful, or working at pitiful jobs in towns in which trying to fit in causes my being more pitiful. 

I don’t have regrets of all the jobs and towns that led me to this, what I consider “a pinnacle”.  It took what it took for me to listen to a “Higher Voice” that said to me (lucidly), “Rick, you deserve to be happy; no matter what ‘they’ say”.   

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Rick London is a writer, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for Londons Times Cartoons which he launched in 1997.  It has been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts since January 2005.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons: Squids N’ Such (The Story Behind The Cartoon) by Rick London

Since the days of Gary Larson, and before him Robert Crumb, Gahan Wilson and others, I’ve been interested in “cartoons as entertainment”.  I tried to spread the word but usually it was a small group of friends who got as enthusiastic as I did.  Years passed and I got a little jaded regarding life and cartooning, and even surprised when on facebook, Twitter or Pinterest others would repost cartoons (whether from LTCartoons.com or others).  I do tend to post cartoons of others that have appealed to me.  I don’t look at them as competition, but as others working in a similar field, and the better their (and our) cartoons, the more people will look toward cartoons as an important part of entertainment.   Several years ago my beloved wife Lee suggested I blog about my cartoons and I kind of scrunched my mouth and came up with some smartass answer, “Why so I can go back, read it and stroke my ego every once in awhile”.  She assured me there were others interested in them and would stop by and read what I had to say (so if you don’t it’s her your letting down; I already expect it.  🙂  

I promoted my cartoons via this blog and where I could remember, I even posted a cartoon or two and what inspired that particular thought (if i could remember).   I keep a notepad and pen with me most of the time, especially on hikes.  This was suggested by one of my first writing teachers at USM who called it our “genius pad”.  I called it “Our excuse for never again functioning well in a 9-5 job again….but I digress.  

When I think of all my “original ideas”, I would be a total fraud if I didn’t credit Gary Larson’s Far Side for at least some of the credits.  That and horrendous reading skills (of mine) left over from years of UN or Misdiagnosed reading issues.  

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons was called “Squid B Gone” or something like that.  He (Or Universal Press Syndicate) chose it years later the Far Side 2002 wall calendar cover. The calendar was called “Last Impressions”. 

Fortunately (for my reading disorders), I read it to say something completely different.  I wrote it down to be sure to share it with a friend.  “No Squid Zone”, have you seen it?”, I asked to any friend who would listen.  “Yup…old Gary Larson cartoon…but you got it wrong Rick, It’s “Squid B Gone”.   

Bingo!   Within a year or two “No Squid Zone”, a completely different theme cartoon was born.  Though it dealt with a similar issue, “Squid Segregation”, it was far from a copycat.  I could rely on my bad reading, bad hearing, and horrible eye to hand motor skills to send me in the right direction every single time. 

I couldn’t plagiarize if I even wanted to.  Hell, I couldn’t even get right what I’d just read, nor remember or rewrite it if I could.   And finally Londons Times Cartoons was born (a year before The Far Side shut down in 1997).  

People sometimes ask if cartoonists have “favorite cartoons” of their own.  Many will tell you “No” but that’s not true.  Though surely as we look at our own inventory of likes vs dislikes, there are usually a lot more dislikes than favorites.  But we do privately have our favorites, even from our own minds.   More often than not they are not our most popular ones, and not on merchandise that sells the most, but our own faves of which we were “proud” we could “turn the mind muscle” to create something that absurd.  And “No Squid Zone” falls into that category, though it is not a huge seller in the marketplace.  Oh well.  There’s plenty that I “almost didn’t bring into fruition for thinking them ‘too silly'” that have turned out to be most popular.  No Squid Zone will probably remain one of my favorites.

Before you say, “Oh, you cheap little copycat”, please note that I had a shoe box full of ideas all the way back from 1973 when I was a student at a Dallas community college of about 2000 cartoon concepts that I’d written, more than 10 years before The Far Side was launched.  The sad part is I didn’t have the courage to launch my own, for fear people would fear “they were too strange” hence so was I.   Times have so changed. Now the goal is, “Oh man, I hope they think I’m strange enough”.  And sometimes they do, and that’s really enough. 

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He is best known for launching the number one offbeat cartoons and funny gifts “Londons Times Cartoons in 1997.  They have been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoon since 2005 and Bing’s #1 since 2008. 

Frankenfood Lab-Raised Meat Will Increase Global Warming And Factory Farming

     I don’t have a problem with the new laboratory-raised meat that grows in a petri dish. I have a huge problem with it.  I have an issue with it. I have issues with the people producing and hyping it.

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     If they were honest, I wouldn’t have such a problem with it. They are not being honest?  How could that be? Think about it.

       They call themselves “Vegan Outreach” on Twitter.  That’s bad enough. It’s about as vegan as veal.  It derives from a stem cell from the animal’s muscle whose taste it is trying to mimic.  A spokesman for that industry said “We add a tendon to it”, but he didn’t elaborate what that meant.

      But my big beef (no pun intended with this industry) , they are hyping it as “a way to feed  the world, or safe the planet, because of its very nature, it would mean less farm animals, or even no farm animals, hence less methane gasses, less cruelty etc.

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      Why is it that none of the so-called brilliant talking heads on TV news have not asked, “So when farming ends, will all the farmers just go home and live with their moms?”   Or will they hang in their patiently while people find thousands of new ways to invent new clothing, new products, new fuel, new everything (much less regulated than meat)?   Doesn’t this mean animal factory farming is going to increase about 1000-fold if this “meat product” takes off?  And with more factory farming (which is inevitable, this means more methane gas which means “If you think global warming is bad now, wait till then”.    Just wait till people find all the new neat uses for livestock.  And you know and I know, savvy entrepreneurs worldwide are just waiting for the right opportunity, and Frankenmeat story, gives them not just a foot into the door, but an but something “more special than fracking” as far as “caring for the planet”. 

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      I am sure the people inventing it know this, but they certainly are mum.  Why?  Duh.  Could it be that they are only in it for the money?  Isn’t that special.

      I happen to be a vegan, but a weird non-meat meat product is not the source of my anger.  The source of my anger is all the new industries that will form once animal farming is outlawed, because there will be so many new uses for farm animals.  And most of these products go from slightly regulated to not regulated at all.  If you think factory farming is bad now, wait until cows, sheep, pigs, chickens etc. are used for rocket fuel, caps, hub caps, back-to-school notebooks, and a zillion other items.  Items that are made out of cheaper plastic products will compete with a more upscale “animal-based” product; hence a huge need for farm animals, hence much more factory farming; all so a few people can make a fortune on Frankenmeat.

      Shame on the meatless meat industry, and shame on us for being so short-sighted. 

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Rick London is an author, designer, songwriter and cartoonist. He is best known for his Google 7 Bing #1 ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts “Londons Times Cartoons” which he launched in 1997.  He is married to hiker/nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who has the popular wildlife photography blog Hike Our Planet and shops such as Lee Hiller Designs