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Meet Tom Falco of Tomversation in Coconut Grove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Falco.

Tom, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After 15 years as publisher and editor of the Coconut Grove Grapevine, Coconut Grove’s daily news, I have turned my attention to my comics career. Having been a cartoonist for most of my life, appearing in newspapers, magazines and books, I took a break for many years, but now I am back. I publish my daily comic panel on social media and on my own website at TomFalco.com.

I’ve dabbled with the idea of being published in print (newspapers, magazines and such), but today it seems that online is the place to be for comics and comic strips. Cartoonists on Instagram (and Facebook) literally have millions of loyal followers. That is where the fans and readers are today. I like the idea of short deadlines, where I can complete a comic minute before it is posted (rather than up to a month ahead of time for newspapers) and I like the interaction with readers, which is a basic part of social media. On Facebook, the comic is easily shared, where I have received thousands of shares for any one comic, which translates to millions of eyes on that one single comic panel!

In the past, along with running the Grapevine, I wrote for the Huffington Post and other publications. I own a marketing company, but my focus has been on Tomversation, my comic, especially during this time of sheltering in place.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve been cartooning since I could hold a pencil as a child, so the actual work has been a breeze. I had issues over the years with editors and newspapers who promised me the moon and didn’t deliver. But I look as that as a positive now, as I cannot see myself working for anyone else and those tight non-stop deadlines are a killer.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
For many years as publisher of the Coconut Grove Grapevine, I was in the middle of everything that happened in the area – fun events, politics, not so fun events – everything. I was basically at every event and in everybody’s business, which is not me. I am am an introvert but had to be an extrovert for so many years. As a cartoonist, I am in my happy place. I answer to no one, I work alone, I spend time alone, and I am not in everyone’s business, nor do I want to be. Ignorance is bliss. It’s quite a contrast, but as a cartoonist, I am back to being me. I am myself again.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve lived in Miami most of my life, so I guess what I like is feeling at home in the city and having the same friends for so many years. What I don’t like is over-development. There is too much of it, too much greed. As for Coconut Grove, a microcosm in the city – I love the little village life, where everyone knows everyone else. You can’t help but walk down the street and know most of the people who pass by. It’s our little Mayberry, but again greed and over-development are turning our little village into something it is not.

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