Digital Dutch Boy


Plugging Digital Leaks

Here’s some sort of new work for National Underwriter. This image appears with a story about cyber security and the difficult task of keeping up with and stopping data breaches.

I say sort of new work because this sketch for this was originally submitted for a different story in mid-2014 and rejected. However, art director Tim Schafer held onto it and gave it new life in early 2017. Two and a half years from sketch to completion makes this the longest-lasting editorial assignment I’ve had the pleasure of working on.

10. January 2017 by John W. Tomac
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Blurred Lines

Selling Insurance Across State Lines

The new year is going to give us a new Congress and a new President determined to make radical changes to health care policy. Once of the changes they are likely to pursue is allowing insurers to sell across state lines. In theory, this should increase the competition among insurers and drive down prices. In practice, economists are fairly certain that the health insurance industry would consolidate in states with few regulations and the competition would be for only the healthiest consumers, meaning those who are sick would get crushed. Read all about it in The Boston Globe.

14. December 2016 by John W. Tomac
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Pimps and Publishers


Where does the first amendment’s protection of a free press end and sex trafficking begin? That’s the question asked by Kate Knibbs over at The Ringer. Her story follows rise and fall of the founders of the Phoenix News Times as they build an alt-weekly empire; sell it to focus on a classified advertising site,; then find themselves in legal trouble as the site became the internet’s go-to brothel. At issue is whether or not the site is acting just like any other publisher, however objectionable its content, or whether it’s founders designed it specifically to facilitate the online sex trade.

06. December 2016 by John W. Tomac
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Parking Footprint

Parking lots at zoos leave a large footprint.

Here’s a quick assignment for the American Planning Association’s Planning Magazine. In the late 1800s, many cities opened zoological parks, or zoos for short. Most of these were added to the grand public parks that began appearing around the same time. Fast forward to the 20th Century and the rise of the automobile, many cities paved over public space to accommodate zoo visitors. Now those parking lots are increasingly viewed as an unwelcome blight. The current issue looks at ways parks and zoos can tame the beast of parking in our parks.

29. November 2016 by John W. Tomac
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Liberal New Yorkers originally from the midwest and southeast are choosing to vote by absentee ballot in their hometowns in the hopes of swing the election
Here’s a quick assignment for The Village Voice.

New York’s electoral votes, as well as it’s Senate seat and all but one of the House seats in the city are safely in the Democratic column. Rather than help run up the score here, some liberal-minded transplants to the city are voting by absentee ballot in their home states with the hopes of turning them blue.

02. November 2016 by John W. Tomac
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A modest proposal


I like Citi Bikes. My complaint with them is that they’re not in enough places, like near where I live and work. Others are less enthusiastic about the blue bikes for everyone. There seem to be a lot of complaints about them ruining historic neighborhoods, begriming parks and ruining the splendor of their 19th Century panther statues. I think that’s nonsense. But, these guys won’t stop complaining, I designed something that should assuage their concerns–a bike share appropriate for the history they are trying to preserve. If anyone from Motivate is out there reading this, feel free to send me a hefty consulting fee.


20. October 2016 by John W. Tomac
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Indecision 2016


Now that Labor Day has passed, we’re in the home stretch to Election Day. (Hooray!) While most are focused on the race for president, there are a thousands of other people running for state and municipal offices that are essential to keeping the government functioning. Unfortunately, most voters have no idea who those people are or what the offices they seek require. That’s a problem. The University of Chicago Magazine profiles a three alumni who may have a solution. The three have launched a start-up to educate voters about who’s running in the down ballot races and what is at stake. Their goal is to take the guesswork out of voting and end “the uniformed picking the unknown.”

Below a few ideas that failed to receive a plurality of votes:

Sketch_Faceless A sea of faceless, indistinguishable candidates.

Sketch_UCH_FlyingBlindVote The blind leading the blind.

Sketch_UCH_QuestionVote Who are these guys I’m voting for?

Sketch_UCH_TorchVote Trying to keep the flames of liberty lit, but struggling with the ballot.

07. September 2016 by John W. Tomac
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