“Tom Tomorrow,” September 2010
In a change-of-pace from print-journalist speakers, Dan Perkins offered a visual presentation tracing his career and evolution as an alt cartoonist.
In a change-of-pace from print-journalist speakers, Dan Perkins offered a visual presentation tracing his career and evolution as an alt cartoonist. Under the pen name Tom Tomorrow, he expanded his weekly “This Modern World” strip into alternative weeklies and online (CredoAction, Salon.com). The presentation – which included cartoons, animations, a Pearl Jam album cover and wacked-out ads from the past – produced continuous laughs. As Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening has said: “Tom Tomorrow will both fuel your rage and make you laugh at the sneaky bastards in power – my highest compliment.”
In an earlier Q&A session with students, Dan discussed the difficulties faced by indy content producers in the current economic and media climate. While the Internet has been a boost to his research and outreach (ThisModernWorld.com) and creative efforts in animation, it has undermined the ability or willingness of alternative weeklies to pay for cartoons – his bread and butter. He’s also been hurt by conglomeration of once independent weeklies into chains; in one fell swoop last year, Village Voice Media famously dropped his cartoon from a dozen weeklies. Silver lining: it led to the “Backspacer” album cover.