A tail of a milestone comic strip squirrel

6,000 squirrels

I suppose today is a milestone comic strip.

Today, March 4, 2020 marks the appearance of the 6,000th Bob the Squirrel comic strip. No bells or whistles… in fact I only started really keeping track of the number after I hit 5,000 a few years back.

But, using modern technology (and my obsessive compulsive nature of keeping good dated backup files) I’ve dug up every previous milestone comic strip.


Strip #5,000 – June 8, 2017

Not much to say about this one… I did put together a giant GREATEST Hits show for this one. Took a lot of tape and Funtac to put that show together.


Strip #4,000 – September 12, 2014

Our wedding was in October of that year and I was keeping our plans and anxiety alive and well in the strip… and pretty much in real time. It all worked out to be an amazing day…


Strip #3,000 – December 11, 2011

I was closing in on ten years of Bob the Squirrel at this point… and I questioned if I should continue doing the strip.  I had a small, loyal fan base, but the likelihood of the strip being my only job was looking like a longer and longer long-shot. Should I quit and try something else that maybe would benefit me financially? Or did the squirrel talk me out of it?


Strip #2,000 – March 22, 2009

We were in our new house just under a year when I drew this. This was also when I was really into the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pints. Lucy’s favorite was Pistachio Pistachio … I would get a spoon and feed it to her right out of the container. I tell Lez that she should have known what type of guy I was by witnessing that act. She had every opportunity to grab Lauren and run… 🙂


Strip #1,000 – June 20, 2006

I wasn’t sure if I should include this one… despite it being the 1,000th strip. This may sound horrible… well, it DOES sound horrible.  I sometimes forget that I was married once before… and that I had a whole other life in a whole other city. But, I did… and I have the strips to prove it.  And really, aside from a few bits of clothes and my drawing board, the strips are the ONLY things I kept from that life.

So, that’s the strip… thousand by thousand. Hope we’re all around for the 7,000th – which, barring any life complications, should be appearing November 29, 2022.

2018 can kiss my furry tail… and some other stuff…

What does 2019 got that I don’t already have?

Around this time of year I do a recap of the state of Bob.  What I did, what worked, what I totally messed up… but, you know, mostly the mistakes.

In 2018 I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. And yet, I really think this year (with a few exceptions) saw my weakest work ever. Some days I was scribbling just to stay alive. The content flow gave me purpose. Totally irrational. But, when you see a life preserver you don’t complain what it looks like, you just grab onto it and hold tight.

Yeah, it was like that.

The routine of the work, the process, was the only thing that kept me sane.  Seriously.  What’s worse is that all that grad school talk about process (the stuff that I listed under “total Bullsh-t”) is really true! Dammit, they WERE right. Guess that justifies the student loan I’ll be paying off until i’m 62.

All in all, this year can kiss Bob’s tail… along with assorted parts of myself.  Some parts it can kiss twice.

2018 sucked. It aged me far more than the conventional 365 days would.

This year has been rough…what with the uncertainty of everything.  Hold up… I take that back.

The only thing certain was/is uncertainty.  85 days this year there was nothing BUT uncertainty… along with a lifetime of wondering if it’s coming back. The “ALL CLEAR” in big bold type is followed by fine print that says, “… yeah, but watch your back… for, like…forever, sucker!”

There’s no more rest.  It’s part of us now.

I started out near the edge of losing it all… with each day since January 1 doing what it could to push me closer and closer to it.  There were a few times when I came close enough to look over.  One time I did look over… and thought: “It might not be that bad…”

We were reminded of the brevity of it all.  Of mortality. Of weakness in times of strength and strength in times of weakness. Of wondering when it’d all be over… and the emptiness of that moment when it was. I was encouraged, discouraged, enraged, emboldened and just so damn proud. Of wanting to change, knowing that change was needed, and yet still resisting the change because I was/am so damn scared.

I was up, I was down, I was like a yo-yo.

I was in my head more than I should have been. Anxiety was at an all time high.  Panic attacks dive bombed me when I least expected it.

I was selfish, selfless, real and completely fake. I was alone more than I wanted to be. Ignored what I had, bitched and moaned about what I didn’t have.

Grateful.

Relieved.

Exhausted.

Making plans that will never touch the face of reality. And reality… what a pain in the ass that is.

Reminded again and again of the risks I never took. The thanks I never gave. The total prick that I was. Seeing where I could be a better man, and wondering why I wasn’t good enough already.

Through ALL of this, there was that squirrel.  The longest relationship I’ve ever had.

I love my wife, my daughter, my family, my dogs… but that squirrel… that made-up, talking cartoon squirrel, man… life preserver yet again.

I’m not hoping for a better 2019… hope like that is futile and just a set-up for disappointment. There are more challenges ahead as always. I’m just going to keep on being… protecting my life. Appreciating the little things and the big things like health and humor. I have to. Because I don’t know if I could do 2018 again.

Thank you all for sticking around. Your appreciation for my work is everything… but make no mistake, I need that squirrel just as much as you do… if not more.