Posts tagged: tom van deusen

A Matter of Life and Death

Golly, where have I been for the last few months?  The answer is working on this:

Click to Read!

A comic!  I hope you like it!  It’s super long… In fact, a book-form will be coming soon.  Till then, enjoy it for free on the internet, just be sure to pick up a copy of the book when it’s available.  If you liked it, SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!! with your friends, family, and anyone else who may appreciate it.  It would mean the whole world to me.

This story is definitely NOT WORK SAFE.  And bear in mind that it’s satire – very, very caustic satire.

I’m hard at work on the sequel.  Stay tuned and check back often for details.

Rearing Your Tween is in hiatus, but I have big plans for that in the near-future as well.

Around the Instance


Last week was straight-up ‘nanners for me.  I produced a book for Buffalo Sugar City Arts Collective (, designed that, too) and did a small poem-thing for it.  So here’s that:

Around The Instance


The Extremities of the Snack Aisle


I was broke, and job opportunities were scarce in Buffalo.  With the downturn of the global economy, I had to make certain sacrifices, starting with my diet.  No longer would I be able to eat out at fancy restaurants every night of the week; I had to shop at a grocery store like some sort of homeless person or single mother.


One afternoon, while perusing the aisles of a store, I came across a product that responded to my age and demographic:


Wow, what a novel idea!  All the flavor of a chicken wing without the guilt and revulsion of eating a disembodied chicken limb.  I flipped the can over  to check the ingredients; Disodium Inosinate!  Wow, these truly were a space aged snack!  I tossed the can into my cart, and they landed softly on the bag of adult diapers I planned on playing with later.


Back at my house, I sat alone on my couch with the open can of Pringles resting on my lap.  The smell of chicken wings spread and reached my nostrils, and I knew that a life-changing experience was upon me

“Well, here it goes, Balloon.”  I said to my dog Balloon.  I lifted one of the sensually-shaped chips to my mouth, and CRUNCH!  Every color imaginable flashed in my eyes, and the world around me seemed to melt away.  Then, there I was, in a completely white room sitting on a white chair.  In front of me was the Pringle Man himself, his flat head floating a few feet off the ground.  He opened his mouth to say something, but before he uttered a sound I found myself back in my apartment, my dog looking at me worriedly.

couchI looked around the room, and everything was in its place.  The lamp, the television,  the giant painting of Tyrese Gibson, as if they had forgotten they had melted before my eyes moments earlier.  I looked down at myself, and said “Uh oh.  Looks like I’ll have to change my pants, Balloon.”  When Balloon looked at me quizzically, I returned with a wink and a nod.


The ensuing weeks the Pringles helped me forget that I was in serious financial trouble.  The credit card bills, the eviction notices all melted away with the crunch of a chip.  I had come so close to getting the Pringle man to speak to me, and was sure that he would have the answers.

After eating a chip and returning to earth one day, however, I looked down and saw that I had accumulated a great deal of body fat from the chips.  This might not be sustainable I thought to myself.  Trying to think of an idea, I looked to the can, which I had taken to doing the last few weeks.  The word “EXTREME” caught my eye, then an amazing idea popped into my brain.

I grabbed my skateboard and ran out the door.


Squinting to keep the sunlight out of my eyes, I walked up and down my busy commercial street. It didn’t take too long for me to find five 14 year old boys drinking Slurpies outside of a 7-11.  They had long, curly hair and clothes that looked extremely expensive.  I walked up to them excitedly.

“Hey guys, whadap?”  I asked, trying to do the gang-symbol for the Bloods but failing.

“Hi.”  One of them said, nudging his friend and smirking.  “What’s up fatso?”

“Nothin….”  I said, trying to tug my shirt over my belly.  “Just wanted to see if you dudes wanted to skate.”

“Um…”  They replied.

“I’ll buy you cigarettes…”  I said.

“Well, alright.”  Another returned.  I had my witnesses.


I went into the 7-11 and came out with three tubes of Pringles and a carton of cigarettes.  They tore into them with glee, sticking them into their mouths and lighting them with the lighters I had supplied for them.  They coughed and wheezed explosively. I said “Yeah, cigarettes are da bomb.”

“Thanks, dude.”  One said between coughs.

“No problemo,”  I said, setting the skateboard onto the ground.  “Now are y’all ready for this?”

They nodded apathetically.  I put one foot onto my skateboard and opened a can of Pringles.  I took seven or eight chips, propelled myself on the skateboard, and put the chips in my mouth.


I awoke to blinding sunlight, my back flat on the concrete.  I sat up, holding my pounding head with my hand.  The fourteen year olds were nowhere to be found, and neither were the Pringles and cigarettes.  I looked down at myself, and saw what I was looking for all along.  A trickle of blood ran from my knee, and I took out my cellphone and snapped a photo of it.


Sitting at my typewriter, I drafted a letter:

Dear Pringles:

hoboThis letter is to inform you that you are being sued.  Your EXTREME BUFFALO WING PRINGLES caused me immense physical and emotional distress.  Your marketing seems to be aimed at people who live the Extreme Sports Lifestyle, so being an Extreme Sports Enthusiast, I tried eating them while skateboarding.  Instead of enhancing my Extreme Sports abilities, however, I fell off my skateboard, and my body became horribly mutilated beyond recognition.  I had some fellow Extreme Athletes witness the event, however, the gore and violence made them run off to pursue treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

I, Tom Van Deusen, am suing you, Pringles, for 1.5 BILLION dollars.  I have attached two photos, one of my wound that I took with my camera phone before fainting in despair, and another of a hobo, because you assholes will be so poor after I’m done suing you that you’ll be homeless.


Thomas C. Van Deusen

Attached: Photo of Disfigured Knee, Drawing of Hobo.



Weeks passed, and I didn’t receive a check from Pringles.  Sad and dejected, I decided to comfort myself with food.  Perusing the shelf at the supermarket for my favorite canned chip, I was flabbergasted to see:


I squealed in delight and knocked their entire stock into my shopping cart.  While I wasn’t sure of the profitability of this new business venture, I knew that good things were coming my way.

Dealing with Criticism


My name is Tom Van Deusen.

I’m an artist and adored personality on the internet.  I created this website to fill the world in on my goings-on in my frantic life.  Through the words I present on this website, the viewer can touch, smell and taste what it’s like to be me through the power of imagination and delusional, jealous fantasy.   However, having a website isn’t just fame and Google Ad payola.  My previous website came to a screeching halt when someone wrote me the following email:

whyDear Tom:

Youre website sukcs.  Youre drawings don’t look real at all and youre writing isn’t funny.  Its gay and ur a fagot.  Cease and decist!


Tears welling up in my eyes, I called my internet hosting service to tell them to shut the whole internet down.  When they told me they didn’t have the capability to do so regardless of my insisting, I hung up the phone and stormed about my apartment.  I went over to the wall to punch it in a fit of rage, but stalled in fear mid-swing and the punch connected in an unsatisfying tap.  Still fumig, I walked over to my computer and disconnected the internet line, which I’m pretty sure at least took my website down.  If the internet wasn’t going to appreciate my genius, I wasn’t going to have anything to do with it.

The ensuing weeks I didn’t bother changing my attitude or clothes.  I did stir up the courage, however, to leave my house daily to go to the liquor store.


“Fuck you couch, you’re an artist’s couch” I said to my couch as I sat on the floor drinking scotch.

fire1“Fuck you, bed, only good writers get to sleep in you.” I said to my bed as I tried to sleep on a pile of old newspapers.

“Nuts to you, kitchen, only funny writers get to cook in you.” I shouted as I roasted an old boot over a fire I had set in the middle of my living room.  When the boot looked fully cooked, I let it cool then took a big bite out of it.

“Yuck, this tastes disgusting!” I shouted before tossing the boot across the room and crying my eyes out.

Finally, this painful period in my life ended with a phone call from my

“Tommy sitting around moping in your apartment because someone on the internet made fun of you isn’t going to solve anything.  You’re 23 years old, it’s time to act like it.”

Looking down at the soiled rags I had donned that morning, I thought she may be right.  So I said “Hey, can I have some money?”  When she said no, I then admitted “I suppose I should start acting like an adult.”


“I need your biggest gun.”  I said to the gun store owner, my arms akimbo as I looked up at the selection behind him.

“Um, for hunting or personal protection?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Revenge.” I answered curtly.

“You got it.”  he said, “I just need you to fill out this form for the background check.”

He handed me a pack of Xeroxed papers littered with bald eagles and Roman numeraled lines.  Sweat began to run down my face when I saw the first question:

Social Security #: _____________

How was I supposed to know that off the top of my head?  I panicked and put: 123-45-6789


“Okay, Tom, I can’t sell you a gun today.  Your social security number didn’t clear, it’s going to take a week to get the paperwork back.”  The gun store owner said after returning from the computer.

“WHAT?” I shouted, slamming my hands down on the counter.  “I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I’LL BE MAD BY THEN!”

“Sorry, kid, it’s out of my hands.”  he said, putting his bare hands up to demonstrate.

“I thought this was AMERICA.  What about my third amendment rights?”

“No soldier shall be quartered in private homes without the owner’s consent?”

“NO!  The awesome gun one.”  I whined, stomping my feet.  I then turned around and stormed out.  If I couldn’t murder the anonymous internet bully, I would have to contract the job out.


I cracked my knuckles and sat down at my Underwood typewriter:

Dear Mr. Vin Diesel:typewriter

My name is Tom Van Deusen. You may know me as the creator of the second-most popular Facebook group in your honor.  The time has come to call in a favor from you.  A few weeks ago, someone dishonored me and my artwork through a slanderous critique posted on my website.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the hurt and anger I am filled with after the critical reception from “Man on Fire.”  Basically, what I need you to do is use your sizable munitions collection to “take care” of this slanderer.  I don’t have his/her name or address, but their IP  is  I’m sure you will do the right thing.


Thomas Calvin Van Deusen.

Later that day I dropped the envelope in the mailbox, anxious already for a reply that the deed had been done.


Three months went by without a reply when suddenly I found a large package from Mr. Diesel himself in my mailbox.  Had he sent me a personal item from the victim?  A photo from the scene of the crime?

Inside my apartment, I ripped open the package.  Inside was wadded up pages from the October 1998 issue of Maxim magazine.  Amongst this was a letter written on wide-ruled paper with crayon.

deer terry:

sorry about your problems.  it filled my hart with sad.  but keep reeching for tomorow and youl get it!

i love you,

vin diesel.

By this point, however, I was mostly calmed down from the incident.  Vin Diesel had obvoiusly tried his hardest and was going on with his life.  I thought I’d take a similar route.  So, instead of seeking revenge, I made this website.  I am promising you, dear reader, that I will update at least weekly.  Illustrations aren’t a guarantee, but I will do the best I can.  Eventually I’m going to make a podcast so you don’t have to sit and read text all day like some Ivy-Leauge snob.

I’m back and the world won’t keep me down.

miley cyrus

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Copyright Tom Van Deusen 2014.