Tom and I both attended Penn State in the mid-to-late 1990s. After graduation we became friends, then gradually lost touch in the circus that is life. I recently decided to catch up with him again by interviewing him. Read on to learn about his collaborations with Sufjan Stevens, Danielson, Shara Worden, and Rosie Thomas, as well as his work for Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, and the Cartoon Network; and above all else to see many examples of his mighty cartooning art. —Adam
A D JAMESON: If I remember correctly, we met in 1998 or 1999. I had just graduated from Penn State, where I’d found some of your minicomics at Comic Swap. I enjoyed them tremendously!
TOM EATON: I’m so glad you enjoyed them. You must have been the target audience. I put them out at Comic Swap, and some of the record stores.
ADJ: I remember specifically finding the Valentine’s Day one, right around Valentine’s Day.
TE: Good! I was proud of that one…
I am drinking gin & wrote about 7 songs as they came up on random in my itunes while they played until they ended
“Slow Down” Snoop Dogg, Da Game is to Be Sold Not to be Told
I remember when this album came out like while I was in high school or right after I got out, a bunch of my friends liked Snoop and felt curious to find out what Snoop sounded like on No Limit having moved from Death Row after all that weird shit was going on. We went into a Media Play that since has closed and not been replaced as a business near where I hung out when I was in high school and shit, we took it out and immediately listened to it in my Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot without driving anywhere, we just sat there and like listened to the beginning of the tracks and I remember feeling more and more pissed off by each, how he had changed, there was all this UNHHHHH from Master P on it, and like on this song there was this weird production singing, it felt synthetic, I think we took it out after only really previewing each track and I never listened to it again, I might have returned the CD to Media Play like was so easy to do back then, even with severely used shit, I had a good scam system going where I could buy used and return for full store credit, I’m kind of digging this track right now though does that mean I got older or that I was stupid then or that I appreciate cheesiness in a different way or
“Trapped Under Ice” Metallica, Ride the Lightning
Damn I used to listen to this album on repeat after I finally was able to get a copy of it from one of my friends, I think I tried to buy it at Turtles once with a Turtles coin I got for my birthday but my mom saw the weird death penalty cover and looked at the song titles and probably asked the guy at the counter what was up with the CD and ended up deciding I wasn’t old enough to buy it yet, though she never really censored anything else I did she was careful about music at least until i was in high school or some shit though she didn’t stop me from getting it elsewhere, I think I bought C&C Music Factory instead that day which in retrospect seems more vulgar. Ride the Lightning is still a solid metal record, you can’t really fault a dude wearing a Ride the Lightning T or putting these songs on, I think I remember this album less than Master of Puppets or And Justice For All, I even liked the Black Album but pretty much after that I didn’t listen as much, this song is making me feel further away from the computer screen or maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting still for 7 minutes so far typing without taking a break. Seems like James Hetfield would be chill to hang out with but probably the other guys would be less chill and kind of interested in doing their own things
“Horse” Brian Eno, Small Craft on a Milk Sea
I downloaded this album the other day off of google blog search and I think previewed two of the tracks and it seemed okay but I didn’t really explore it much after that, I kind of prefer Eno’s pop albums though Music for Airports kind of got me through the first half of 2008. This sounds too much like it was influenced by Venetian Snares or something. It makes me want to go eat tacos but that might be unrelated to the music because I always want to do that. I don’t like the way the main background melody is reminding me of Egypt while the bassline reminds me of standing in a small room looking at vegetables. I wonder what Brian Eno does during the day, if he likes to go outside or if he’s mainly an inside kind of guy. I wonder if he ever still calls David Bowie or if they’re not cool. I like the name of this album better than this song. I need to check my email cuz my gmail tab says two new emails since I started writing this.
In 1987 Nike introduced the Nike Air brand, making billions of dollars selling air. A small pocket of air in one’s sole promises levity; this perhaps is even more genius than Coke selling carbonated sugar water. A year later in 1988, Metallica released …And Justice For All, and while air-guitar and air-drums had long since been funneled through the flailing limbs of certain hopeless yet hopeful youth, never before had one had to do it with such precision, a mark of that outstanding album. It has been argued that heavy metal shares many musical properties with classical music, in terms of difficult time signatures and syncopated patterns, so it is not a huge stretch to suggest that when a conductor waves his arms in the air in an exaggerated manner, he is doing the air-symphony. “Airing” is the self-promise of all the notes matching up, a fantasy of mastery we afford ourselves. Guitar Hero and Rock Band‘s commericalization of such intuition provides the nth death of punk.