Thursday, December 11, 2008

Down time

Due to a problem with my computer I will be unable to add to my blog until after the 1st. I hope you will all come back and check it out. Take care and have a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!
Tom Holloway

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

..and now, back to the fair

This little ditty actually took place in '71 at Summer Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What was most embarrassing was that I was in full uniform and my head was buried in the shoulder of my then wife, Janice. She was sooo brave!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Quick Public Announcement

Every so often we at "The Grand Life" are moved by the plight of the less fortunate (as hard as it is to believe, there are those less fortunate than we are). When we saw this authentic, unretouched, real, no kidding, photograph we were moved. In fact, we're still moving. When we quit moving I will be soliciting money for the Swimming Salmon Society. Dedicated to the teaching of salmon to swim.
Please, donate as much as you can!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A day at the fair

During her pre-goth days Breanna joined the family for a day at the fair...hence the title. Also, Breanna appears only in this one cartoon, as does the grand kids and Violet but, it was a way to explain the change in her appearance.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who's on first?

I've always wanted to do a takeoff on Abbott and Costello's classic routine, "Who's on First".
This character was begging to be played with.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Going to the fair!!!!

I guess even if you don't know what something is, getting Poppy to take you there is a major accomplishment!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A future U.N. Diplomate

Nothing like a little self-editing and diplomacy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another "Out of the mouth of babes"

Poor George continues his voyage towards Paradise, Fool's
Paradise, that is.
Yeah, I'm still smiling..weakly, but smiling non-the-less.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A walk in the park

One is never too old to learn of the important link between
protective head gear and good oral hygiene!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!!!!!!

Hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving! Gizmo doesn't appear too happy. Maybe it's the costume.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

George enjoys lunch...until!

No one will enjoy the Thanksgiving Day dinner as much as George.

The idea for this cartoon came from a story my mother told me. It seems that one day one of my uncles came home from work to have a bite of lunch. Discovering an opened can of hash in the fridge, he helped himself. When my mom told him it was actually dog food he told her that it was too damned good for the dog, and finished it. I don't know what it says about the meals that were served in that house but, I'm glad I never ate there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving prep

Aaaaah yes, as the day of thanksgiving approaches it is time to prepare for our feast, and what better way to do that than to prepare our special guest for his place of honor!! What a truly lucky fellow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

The truth hurts

As the old saying goes, "Out of the mouth of babes".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sheri, and her unidentical twin brother

It is truly amazing how many people are surprised when they learn that Sheri and her twin brother are not identical. Honestly, this happens more often than you would believe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Final day of the trip

As noted on yesterday's post, this actually happened, although by a different pet in a different state. I did notice a mistake though that got past me and my proof reader. If you are a follower of "The Grand Life" then you will probably spot it. Although, I didn't and I drew the darned thing! Let me know if you do.
Email me at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Trip Continues

Believe it or not, today's cartoon and tomorrow's are based on a true incident, although not involving Gizmo. Another much loved family pet, a laso opso named Lobilia Sackville Baggins was the culprit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Trip to Remember Pt6

Always seeking the truth, George has no problem with asking the question we'd all like to.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Still a trip to remember

Every so often I feel the need to wax philosophical. Alright, I'm done waxing, but not done smiling!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Trip tp Remember pt 4

While it is true that the majority of my cartoons are based on actual events that have happened to me directly, or to someone else and told to me, on occassion I see or hear something just too good to pass up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Trip to Remember pt 3

Everyone who has gone on a trip with a child has dealt with this little ditty. Although, at the time I didn't think it was cute or funny, now it makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

A salute to my brothers, George L. Holloway jr USAF, USA, USN, William H. Holloway USA, My brothers-in-law, Richard D. Stancliff USA, Michael Barnes USMC and last, but never least, my father, George Leroy Holloway sr. USA. Heroes all!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bill and Charles, Together Again

Bill Melendez, ‘Peanuts’ animator - and voice of Snoopy - dies at 91
The Emmy-winning animator’s career extended for nearly seven decades. He’s best known for bringing Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the rest of the comic strip to TV and the big screen.
By Charles SolomonSeptember 04, 2008
Animator, director and producer Jose Cuautemoc “Bill” Melendez, whose television programs and theatrical films featuring Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” characters earned four Emmy Awards, an Oscar nomination and two Peabody Awards, died Tuesday at St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica, according to publicist Amy Goldsmith. He was 91.
Melendez’s career extended over nearly seven decades, including stints at the Walt Disney Studio, Leon Schlesinger Cartoons, UPA and Playhouse Pictures. In 1964, he established Bill Melendez Productions, where he created his best-known works, including the holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965). Over the years, his films were honored with two additional prime-time Emmys, three National Cartoonist Society Awards, a Clio and 150 awards for commercials.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which Melendez and his partner Lee Mendelson produced for CBS, established the format of the half-hour animated special–and began one of the most popular franchises in animation history.
Animating Schulz’s simple drawings posed problems. “Charlie Brown has a big head, a little body, and little feet,” Melendez said in an interview in 2000. “Normally, a human takes a step every 16 frames–about two-thirds of a second. But Sparky’s [Schulz’s] characters would look like they were floating at that pace. After several experiments, I had them take a step every six frames–1/4 of a second: click-click-click. It was the only way that worked.”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award; CBS has rebroadcast it every holiday season since. Breaking with tradition, the filmmakers used an upbeat jazz score by Grammy-winning composer Vince Guaraldi and real children for the characters’ voices, rather than adult actors imitating children.
Melendez supplied Snoopy’s laughs, sobs and howls. Schulz insisted that as a dog, Snoopy couldn’t talk. Melendez experimented with making sounds that suggested a voice and speeding them up on tape – assuming a professional actor would do a final recording. But time ran short, and Melendez served as Snoopy’s voice in 63 half-hour specials, five one-hour specials, the Saturday morning TV show and four feature films. In his later years, Melendez chuckled over the fact that he received residuals for his vocal performances.
Working with Mendelson and Schulz, Melendez brought the “Peanuts” characters to the big screen in 1969 with “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.” Time Magazine said, “…when ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’ sticks to a boy named Charlie Brown, it becomes a good deed in a naughty world, bright, nonviolent and equipped with an animated moral, the way Snoopy is equipped with a tail.” Three sequels followed: “Snoopy, Come Home” (1972), “Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown” (1977) and “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back)” (1980).
“Bill Melendez brought his special warmth, charm and directness to the Charles Schulz characters and brought them to life,” animation historian and Oscar-winning filmmaker John Canemaker said today. .
Melendez also oversaw the first specials based on the comic strips “Garfield” (1982) and “Cathy” (1987), two adaptations of the “Babar” books, and an animated version of C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (1979). Through the London branch of his studio, he directed “Dick Deadeye, or Duty Done” (1975), rewritten fragments of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with designs by illustrator Ronald Searle.
Born in Sonora, Mexico, in 1916, Melendez moved with his family to Arizona in 1928, then to Los Angeles, where he attended the Chouinard Art Institute. He was one of the few Latinos working in animation when he began his career at the Walt Disney Studio in 1939, contributing to the features “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” “Bambi” and “Dumbo,” as well as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck shorts.
Melendez was an active participant in the bitterly fought strike that led to the unionization of the Disney artists in 1941, after which he moved to Schlesinger Cartoons, animating Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and other classic characters for Warner Bros.
In 1948, Melendez joined UPA, whose innovative approach to animation delighted him. “The animation we were doing was not limited, but stylized,” he recalled in an interview in 1986. “When you analyze Chaplin’s shorts, you realize people don’t move that way–he stylized his movements. We were going to do the same thing for animation. We were going to animate the work of Cobean, Steinberg–all the great cartoonists of the moment–and move them as the designs dictated.”
After animating numerous UPA shorts, including the Oscar-winning “Gerald McBoing-Boing” (1951), Melendez served as a director and producer on more than 1,000 commercials for UPA, Playhouse Pictures and John Sutherland Productions. In 1959, he directed the first animation of the “Peanuts” characters for a series of commercials advertising the Ford Falcon.
“What made working in commercials fun then was the quick turnover of ideas,” Melendez said. “After working on shorts and animated features, that speed was refreshing.”
Melendez is survived by his wife of 68 years, Helen; two sons, Steven Melendez and (Ret.) Navy Rear Admiral Rodrigo Melendez; six grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. The memorial service will be private. Donations can be made in Melendez’s name to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

A trip to remember..The continuing saga

It seems as though no matter where we go or how long we'll be gone we take, let me rephrase that, a lot of unnecessary items are taken. I guess one never knows when a clothing famine will strike, or a make up shortage will occur.
See George. See George's suitcase. See George carrying his suitcase. See George carrying his suitcase in one hand.
Also, I am wearing a Confederate uniform because reduced to the size necessary for publication there is little, in any, detail left in the reduced Union uniform.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A trip to remember

One of my fondest dreams..besides the one about midget wrestlers eating asparagus and juggling cattle prods.. is to go to a Civil War battlefield. I was lucky enough to go to Antietam a few years back but, to make several of the strip's punch lines work I had to change the battlefield to Gettysburg. So, I lied and I should be punished, hopefully by a midget eating asparagus and juggling a cattle prod.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Allie to the rescue!

Another true life adventure thanks to my grand daughter, Alexandra.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our New President..initially

Remember FDR? JFK?? LBJ???
Let me be the first to introduce our new president...
Yeah, I know his initials would actually be BHO but BO'B sounds a lot funnier and has a certain relaxed ring to it.

Allie's special blend...yuummmm!

The neatest thing about a cartoon strip is that you are not limited by, or to, your own experiences. Often it is possible to benefit from the experiences of others without it leaving a bad aftertaste. If you keep your ears and eyes open there is a vast amount of humor available totally at someone else's expense. I listen and laugh alot. Sometimes, I just smile, but that's okay, cause it feels good too.

Please feel free to send ideas that you might want to see drawn up and posted. But, make sure it isn't something you, or someone else will be sorry for, or angry over.. trust me, you'd be surprised. or

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Expanding Universe

During her pre-emo/goth period, Breanna often sought George's vast knowledge of all things weird and unusual, until she realized that he, himself, was weird and unusual.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Wanted to post an appropriate seasonal cartoon but couldn't decide which one so, since they are mine, I decided to post the three I have.

Each one makes me smile.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birth of a kitchen band

This is based on a thing my son, oldest daughter and I use to do when they were little. We would put on The Beatles, get out the pots and pans, Tracy would get the wooden spoons, I would play one guitar and my son would play my other guitar, and we would have fun. Sadly, The Beatles had nothing to worry about. But I still smile when I remember.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dillusions of godhood

I think the title says it all.
And it sure does feel good to know I am the master somewhere.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mighty Guard Dog

Although he has been an existing character from the beginning, Gizmo's popularity soared when he took on the Mighty Guard Dog persona. He has actually become, in my opinion, the most popular of the characters. He, George and Violet are the most fun to work with, but of the 3 he is tops in my book. He always makes me smile. He practicaly writes himself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An incontinent case

I recently heard, or read (can't remember which) the punch line below and thought it would be a good cartoon for my grand daughter, Alexandra. Somehow it fits.

Friday, October 24, 2008

C'mon Georgie, Light My Fire

This idea was originally for another strip I was developing called "Blind Allie". It was the story of three 14 year old boys; Frog, Tiny and Al. Al was blind but didn't let it dictate his life and his friends, Frog and Tiny wouldn't let it either. A little too "before its time" I was told by several editors. The idea tickled me so I let George take the heat for this one. Hope it makes you smile..that would make me feel good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Wisdom of the Aged

There are times when George is smarter than anyone realizes and no one is more surprised than George.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Authenticity is often a point of view

This actually happened, although the Mexican restaurant was owned and operated by a very nice family from the near east, so I chose to have the restaurant in the strip ran by a German since we kicked their ass in WWII. It's okay to say that because I'm half German. Excuse me while I smile, because it feels soooooo good!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sorry about that!

Been feeling icky (sorry fot using medical terms but I am sure you will understand.) Post again tomorrow.
Bye for now,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

She is 14 going on 24

The title is plagerized from one of the songs in The Sound of Music, "I am 16 going on 17". For all of you with a teen, you have my sympathy. Nuff Said! I'll save my smile for the next post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"My name is Boraxo Bama and I endorse this toon"

I enjoyed this one so much that I pulled it out of its proper order and am going with it today. It made me smile.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Turning Point

With this particular episode George's life will never be the same again. Actually, neither will Violet's or anyone else's...mine included.
As a footnote, I finished my 90th episode of "The Grand Life" and the 60th panel of "Outside the Box" today, and guess what I was doing most of the time...that's right! and it felt good.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday's toon

This cartoon's origin was based on an old family joke that if my brother Roy (actual first name, George) was to ever enter a church it would be a good idea for those who were with him to wear hardhats because the roof would, more than likely, collapse. I enjoy taking memories and, although based on true events, changing them to fit the particular moment. It's like changing history to make lesser happy memories seem a bit easier to recollect.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday in the Park

Sometimes George is so dense that he doesn't realize when he's been put in his place, especially when Sheri's doing the putting. Poor guy!

But it does make me smile, and it still feels good!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Wishfull Intro

Always a gracious host, George wishes Violet to meet his parents. Isn't that sweet?? There's just one catch!
PS Wow! Did you notice I didn't end this post with my usual "Smile, it feels good!" comment...Oh yeah, I guess I did didn't I? Never mind.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let the battles begin

Back seat drivers are always a joy. Violet, being a composite of every person that has both been constructive in my life as well as a pain in my ample posterior, is the perfect foil for George and he for her. I smile everytime I work with these two. Yeah, I feels good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Today's toon

One great thing about having your own strip, syndicated or not, is the opportunity to say and do things to people that one doesn't get a chance to do in real life. Who hasn't, at least once in their life thought, "Man, if only I'd said this or that when I had the chance!". Well, I get the chance, everyday! It makes me smile and yes, it feels good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mother-in -Law's intro or Enter the Beast

Enter the Mother- in -Law. I believe that every comedian needs a straight man, whether it be himself, the audience, or another person. In the case of this strip, George is the comedian, although he doesn't realize it. Enter Violet Brudel, Sheri's mom. As you will see, for every barb George hands to her, she gives back 10 fold to George. They are fun. They make me smile, and you know what? It feels good!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday's toon

As all parents know a child's neck does not function until a certain age. What that age is has yet to be determined. Most women would say that, in males, the lack of conscious function continues until death, as many a wet toilet seat and surrounding floors will attest.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Spiritual Moment

Being that it is Sunday I thought it would be good to have a spiritual moment.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Today's toon

This cartoon was inspired when my grandson Connor asked why the movies that were made when I was a kid were in black and white.


Welcome to "The Grand Life" This site was created to Display my cartoon strip “The Grand Life”; as well as my single panel cartoon “Outside the Box”. Another goal is to get feedback from viewers and maybe share a laugh or three.

My name is Thomas Holloway (Tom). Except for a stint in the U.S. Army as a Communication Technician, (1969-1972) SP-5, art has been my main career until 1985 when I was declared legally blind. By using equipment to aide in enlarging and converting color to black and white, I am still able to draw.

My comic strip, “The Grand Life”, is based loosely on my own life and appears in the Thursday edition of the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Maryland. My single panel cartoon “Outside the Box” touches on, and reflects, the bizarre and some say sick side of my personality.

I have always believed that humor can be found in all things, even the tragic…when it happens to someone else. I also believe that it is amazing what the human spirit can deal with and withstand when filtered through a humorous outlook. Smile, it feels good!