All posts by TP

PROFILE: Hampshire Life

Tom Pappalardo was pouring himself a wake-up cup of coffee one day back in 2009 when some Simon & Garfunkel lyrics popped into his head. And that was all the inspiration he needed to come up with the idea for a silk-screened poster that’s become a big seller for him: “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend” is a 10-by-20-inch vertical print that depicts coffee being poured into a mug. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Rock Poster Artists series (

Tom Pappalardo (Standard Design) (US)
Graphic designer and illustrator since 1995 or so, Tom Pappalardo is running Standard Design which had received the honor of featuring in the new Gigposters book. Is this the only reason why Standart design is today featuring on the blog ? Certainly not as working for bands like Built To Spill, Clutch, Ween, Neko Case, Mission Of Burma, High On Fire, Mike Doughty, Bob Mould, My Morning Jacket is already THE good reason. Continue reading

Cartooning vs. Technology

Cartooning is, to me, an art form of simplification. The artist uses a minimal amount of lines to communicate characters and place to a reader. Mouths are often oddly-shaped black holes. Cartoon evolution often does away with lips, body hair, elbows. Eyebrows are reduced to lines. Eyes become dots. A background might be a line indicating where the floor and wall meet. Maybe a squiggle of distant trees, or a cloud. Maybe just a flat field of color. Continue reading

Not Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun

It was a quiet exchange, and the customers didn’t even realize anything had happened until the guy with the gun had run out the door, crossed the parking lot, jumped a guardrail, and disappeared into the woods. Then the cashier started bawling her eyes out, and we all caught on. I’d been sitting in a Dunkin Donuts booth with my friend Mark in Haverhill, Massachusetts, my hometown. It was the mid-1990s, sometime around midnight, and the place had just been robbed. Continue reading


I recently sat down in the studio bunker of The Bill Dwight Show podcast to take part in a free-wheeling conversation with Bill Dwight and Jaz Tupelo about my comicking. Comimickry. Cartoonering? Errr, about a wide ranging variety of topics. By my reckoning, I only say three or four outright stupid things. Not too shabby, really. On par with my regular average of dumbness. Listen below, download the MP3, or listen on The Bill Dwight Show site.


I have a bad memory. My longtime friends will tell me stories about myself from our high school days, and I enjoy them as if they are about someone else. When I go to a restaurant I’ve been to many times before, I will forget what I like or dislike on the menu. Sometimes when I’m watching TV, I’ll start flipping around the channels during a commercial break, and I’ll forget what show I was watching (Admittedly, this might not be my memory’s fault—I watch some pretty forgettable crap). Ever get in the shower and wash your hair twice? Ever forget what street you parked your car on? Ever forget when your father died? I had to Google it. It was 2002. Continue reading

REVIEWS: Broken Lines (2007-2011)

A full and occasionally unflattering archive of reviews for the earlier graphic novel incarnation of Broken Lines (2007-2011ish). Read reviews of the 2018 book.

Even if the comic in question weren’t worth reading (and it is), Tom Pappalardo’s Broken Lines is worth your examination because man! Look at the design of that page and those books. I couldn’t possibly tell you why, but the design visuals just hooked themselves into my brain and are making me say Preeeetty. Continue reading


In the dark and foreboding days before quality personal computers, there was the TI-99/4A. By the time my mother bought me one in 1984, it was already an obsolete piece of equipment that Texas Instruments had stopped producing. But I had seen WarGames, and I suspected old computers could still be cool. And I had no friends to tell me that my TI wasn’t cool, so I was free to become a bigger dork than I already was. Continue reading

ARTICLE: Easthampton Mural (Springfield Republican)

EASTHAMPTON – Thomas J. Pappalardo had a string of luck with design contests when a friend sent him an item about Easthampton City Arts looking for someone to create a mural on a downtown building.
Pappalardo, a Northampton resident who runs a design business, had some successes creating a commercial for an area station and in a Home Depot house decorating contest.
“Someone forwarded me the press release and said, ‘Hey, you should give that a try,'” Pappalardo said. Continue reading