Either I’ve been in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time… at least 85% of the time.
2019 has been a historic year for me and my family in many ways… but mostly it’s for losses.
- In January, I had to say goodbye to my dog Lucy. It’s true what the clichès say about the bond between a boy and his dog… and it’s true even if that boy was in his 30s.
- In February my Aunt Pauline passed away
- My Grandmother passed away in April
- My Aunt Josephine in May
- And my friend of almost 27 years passed away at the beginning of November.
I’m not going to lie…it’s been difficult for me to keep it together. And even if I did lie, I think the struggle is super clear in the work I’ve produced… produced at a feverish pace I might add.
See, that’s what I do to cope. I get all manic about certain things. When I was living in Utica and unhappy, I chose to get manic about buying dvds. Every Tuesday when the new releases came out I was at Best Buy buying two, three sometimes five or six discs. I was unhappy with my life, so I coped with movies. By the time I left Utica and essentially my first marriage, I had amassed at least a thousand dvds. Many of those disc had only been viewed one time… while others were still in the shrink wrap. I left most of them behind…because I was starting over.
ROCK BOBS kicked off my coping… I didn’t realize what it was, but that’s what it was. One-hundred images after that, HISTORY BOBS took over. And WHILE I was doing HISTORY BOBS the FAMILY STYLE series happened… so, lots of coping and avoiding.
And this is where the bad timing comes into play.
The first HISTORY BOB was posted on June 24, 2019. Unlike ROCK BOBS, I planned out the entire one-hundred image history series, making sure equal and diverse representation was present. I did that. It wasn’t easy cranking out this on top of
everything else… I know the strip suffered because of it. I will be the first to claim that the stories this year are not that good…some weeks the art was marginal at best. There were moments, ask my wife, when I just wanted to say, “F–k it. I’m done. It’s not working and we need something else to bring in more income.” And either she knew I was full of it and would talk myself out of it, or I was just tired and I’d change my mind. The one thing she didn’t say was, “Okay honey, just quit.” I’m to far in at this point to give up. Against all logical judgement, I still believe the comic strip is good… and could be great. It’s like breathing now.
So, the plan was that the last HISTORY BOB would post on Friday, November 8, 2019. I wanted to do a big thing for it.
My wife had to go in for surgery. By having this surgery, she could come off one of her post-breast cancer medications (which has its own not-too-nice potential side effects). The surgery was scheduled for… you guessed it: Friday, November 8, 2019.
So, no big send off for the series. My wife’s health comes first. It’s not that I NEEDED to do something big. The series ended.
Lez is recovering nicely. She’s a tough chick. This should be it for a while. I’ve roughly calculated that in the last few years, I’ve spent the equivalent of 11 straight days in medical waiting rooms… my earlier estimate of 8 days was off a little.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a 2020 Bob the Squirrel Calendar. I mean, I COULD throw something together with previously used art, but I don’t want to re-hash anything… New year, new art – that’s the way that it should be.
I was thinking that the FAMILY SERIES would end at 50 images… but that has gained new life with my dipping into my old art history textbooks. Besides, I still need a series to cope, right.
Finally, the 2019 Bob the Squirrel collections will be announced in the next few weeks…. a little late this year, but they will be available.
Thanks for your patience… art is funny. Squirrels are funnier.