The Birthday address…
One score, minus two years and a few days ago… I drew something that would change my life for the rest of my life. On February 10, 2002, he made his first appearance.
And through 18 years, address changes, life changes, physical changes, second draft changes and several oil changes… he’s been there for me. I’m not the same person that created him… but at the same time he’s not the same squirrel that I first drew.
As I’ve grown older, my relationship with the strip, and Bob, have become complicated. On at least three occasions, I’ve thought of ending the strip… to move onto something else that might have bigger rewards (financially mostly). But, part of that complication I mentioned has to do with me too scared to take any chances – which could very well be the theme of my entire life. “Don’t take chances. You may lose what you already have.” I’ve let the strip tie me down. When it all comes down to it, I still draw Bob because I flat out love the little bastard. I hate him too.
I’ve been with him so long… the longest non-relative relationship I’ve ever had.
When the strip turned 11 in 2013 I wrote: “Could I have done things differently? No doubt. Could I be making much more money with this thing? Probably. I could change this strip to make it more popular…ride the wave of the moment and benefit in the short term…It would be easy. Too easy. I won’t do that. If that means I lose out, so be it. In a world that more often than not turns its back on that which is genuine, I will not change. The strip is as perfect as it’s going to be… and I should know, I’ve invested nearly a quarter of my life into it…and I’ll probably invest even more.”
It’s like breathing now.
On March 4, 2020, I will post the 6,000th Bob the Squirrel strip. 6,000. I remember when it was 100. That was a big number to me… because it 2003, that signified a commitment I made. It also signified my desire to fulfill the dream of a big syndication deal… back when that dream still had some hope of coming true. Today is not yesterday… and tomorrow won’t be today.
I was hoping this would be a bit more sappy than it is. Happy Birthday dude…