Wednesday, June 08, 2016

What is a Tomothy?

Hello reader.

You may have come across this little post because you were browsing the 'Tomothy Books Website'. Or maybe I sent it to you as SPAM. Or maybe you clicked the link Katy Perry posted on her Twitter page after I hacked it.

Oh, whoops, I forgot to link it... oh blimey.

Anyway... why am I here? Basically just to give you a little bit of information about how long Tomothy has been around.

I created Tomothy and many of his family/friends when I was about 9 years old. Every day at school, during every break, I'd draw comics in my sketch book. Over the years the characters aged and developed more interesting personalities. Though my jokes were always terrible.

Below are some examples of Tomothy comics from back in the day. I think all of these are actually set before Tom grew up a bit. I'll get some of the early 2000s drawings uploaded soon. 

But two things that you can clearly see from these early strips are the appearance of Tomothy's little sister, Ellie and the excited personality of Yo breaking out.





Then, around 2002 I discovered Macromedia Flash, which allowed me to make cartoons MOVE! (Not before I made some stick people bleed.)

I was really excited to bring some of my Tomothy comics and characters to moving pictures. The comics began becoming adapted in Tomothy Live Episode 3

You can watch all 3 episodes below.

I think I got a bit distracted after that, but soon enough I was back on track.
Next up I made Tomothy and Pals Episode 1. This is the only animation I have ever made fully with the LINE tool. This is why it looks the way it does. I have never used it since because it looks ugly to me.

You can watch Tomothy and Pals Episode 1 here (But not on your tablets I'm afraid because it is playable only in Flash Player).

What happened next you ask? why Tomothy and Pals Episode 2 of course! It looks and sounds completely different to the previous episode but why not?
Tomothy and his dad look for jobs? Finding a job has always been an interested concept for my with the Tomothy comics (and life) and that's why I dedicated a bunch of time on it during the 'Summer' theme strips. Again, sorry but it is on Flash Player. A lot of these are....

Then AT SOME POINT along the line I found someone crazy enough to help me make a Tomothy game called FIGHT TO THE SAUSAGE. True story.
Check it out.

Then I got very desperate to win a Christmas Animation Contest on the '' Brackenwood Forums. The prize was some Bitey artwork by Adam Phillips! It's a bad animation with even worse sound (Believe me, this has the worst sound EVER). But it won the contest and I got the drawings! They are now my precious.

This was my entry, and also my first inclusion of Tom's brother, 'Tadhg'. Though, his design has yet to take shape.

What happened next for Tomothy after his big win? Well I made another christmas short (That's right, Tomothy had 4 Christmas related animations plus Christmas comics). Tomothy really likes Christmas.
In this one I wanted to experiment with simple animated acting and awkward 'Ricky Gervais Style' acting. Watch HERE

I'm not sure when it was, but around this time I guess, I wanted to make comics again! I got that rush to stick Tomothy in some tiny boxes. It was around the time I was constantly working on my webcomic, STARGAZED.
Anyway, 23 Tomothy comics were made but nothing much came of it.

Tomothy, Ellie and Jerome made a short 'sketch like' cameo appearance in a cartoon I made called 'Munch's War'. They are at 2:05.

Then, for some reason Tomothy's dog sent a message to the British Prime Minister of the time, Gordon Brownies.

Next, it was time to get ambitious!!!!! But instead, I made a 7 minute Tomothy and Pals animation all about Jerome. It was titled, 'You can't handle the knowledge' and as weak as it is story-wise, and visually, I do like it. It has one or two moments I am proud of and I still sing that song today.

Then everything took a DARK TURN

I was in college and felt Tomothy was holding me back. I just wanted to make another stories and characters (That went really badly by the way) and Tomothy had to be gone! I'd keep wanting to do more Tomothy, I felt like I'd never achieved what I wanted to achieve with him. I still have this feeling today.

Anyway, I shot him dead. Well, I got a cuddly bear to do it.

There are actually jokes I really like in this cartoon but overall it was a pretty grim thing to do. Especially to my fictional son. Though one thing I will say for it, it does actually feel like a sequel to 'Knowledge' so at least that is something!.

Tomothy died in 2008. In 2012 he was REBORN. I started up the comics again with some new characters (and old), hoping to have them printed in a newspaper or book. The concept behind the comics felt a lot stronger now. I was to create comics that kids would hopefully enjoy reading, inspired by my school days, I wanted to make the stories and jokes based on relatable childhood moments.
Unfortunately my comics were not good enough for newspapers but interest did spark with a local publisher/magician. After agreeing that he'd publish my book he remembered he was actually a magician and disappeared his own company!

By then, I had done a lot of comics and it had really helped me become comfortable at drawing again. The last strips in the book (The Time Travel and Love Story) feel quite developed. BUT I am developing even further.

So the book went no where and I had loads of comics that had never been read. What happened? Well, they stayed hidden. Most stayed hidden until today actually. 08/06/2016.

But let's backtrack a little. Previous to this website update I did also pitch Tomothy and Pals as a BBC Television Show. It actually had a really positive response! The reply compared the idea to Arthur and they really enjoyed the characters of Yo and Vinnie. Unfortunately, they found Tomothy himself to be a bit of a bore, saying he worked well in comics but not in script.

Yo and Vinnie had been developed quite a lot for this pitch, Yo, actually turned into a GIRL. Yes, you heard, YO is now a girl. One day I will hopefully explain this in some comics, it will be very jokey, But even if I don't, Tomothy died and was reborn so.... There really is no canon here dudes...

I made this animation test I am quite proud of for the pitch. (Though since then I have developed the designs even further). But this WAS the first time the characters had necks.... shh. You were not meant to notice that before.

So I guess that brings us to where we are now. Many of the comics are available to read online. I hope chuckles will be had and tears will be..... slurped back up into your eyes.

A few days ago I put Tomothy in a new jumper. This is a massive change, he's worn the same jumper
since about 2000-2001. So I guess it was getting pretty stinky. His new one looks warmer anyway. Hopefully we'll see some new stories with the new designs and characters soon.

26/06/2018 UPDATE.

A book is being released titled 'Tomothy and the Time Travel Shoes'. The book compiles the final story from the originally unfinished book. (Plus some new art)

I will be selling it at a local market event and then setting up the online store for all to buy!


- The Daily Crumb