it’s not like air…it smells different…

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i know, i know…the human animal can live perfectly fine without certain things.  and, if a human animal once had something that he/she eventually lost or gave away, he/she would live on just fine too.

i hate bowing to stereotypical things but i guess i have to in this case.  cartoonists are cartoonists because.  that’s the reason… just because.  i like to specify myself as a cartoonist.  cartoonists can be artists, but not all artists can/want to be cartoonists.  we are of a certain ilk, a mindset, a point of view…willing to work stupid long amounts of time based on an idea jotted down on the back of a dunkin’ donuts receipt that was on the floor of their car.  i can’t be the only one that has found inspiration at the absolute least convenient time.  i’ve written ideas on the back of my hand, the front of my hand, my arm, my leg, my clothes, my socks… on grocery bags, on the wall… you go through all that… all those hours on a hunch, get to the point of completion and just stop… because you don’t like it.  you put it away.  and move on to another idea.

that’s what artists and cartoonists do.  this mental ballet may seem ridiculous to civilians, but it’s how we live.

i could have lived without bob.  but, if he wasn’t there what would be on the backs of those dunkin donut receipts?  i don’t want to know.

before anything, read this…


i guess you can surmise by reading today’s strip that the end is on my mind.  it’s been on my mind since last year…knowing that the 10th anniversary of bob was approaching in 2012.  i don’t think many people know what really goes into making this strip…both physically, mentally and any other words that end with the suffix -ly.

when i started this strip back in 2002, i did it for two reasons.  i wanted to draw a comic strip that i could dedicate myself to… not a comic that i did 24 samples of and mailed off to a syndicate, a strip that was me.  up to that point in my life/career, i didn’t have that.  i said i wanted to do that, but i didn’t have that.  maybe the dedication wasn’t there, maybe i just wasn’t ready–either way, i was determined to create something that i could continue to draw no matter what… a strip that would grow with me and shape itself into whatever i wanted to do.

the second reason was…i wanted a friend.  now, i don’t mean i was lonely, i just mean that i was alone an awful lot…some of my own doing, some out of my control.  i wanted someone to talk to, someone i could bounce ideas off of… in other words, i wanted to create a solid character… one that would be set in motion and go his/her own way.  in 2002, bob was a just a bunch of sketchbook scratchings…that changed once i gave him a voice.  once he had a voice, he came alive…the first time anything like that ever happened to me.  i knew that i would draw this guy for a long time.

only problem is, i didn’t know how long “a long time” would be.  fast forward 10 years.  life was rolling me like a pair of dice.  engagement, marriage, separation, divorce…abandoning my life in search of who knows what…moving, studying for my master’s degree, buying a house, falling in love, learning how to fix things…both real and emotional, becoming a father figure and example…and just plain living… all that…through all that, bob was there with me.  there in my highest highs and lowest lows. during the process of getting my MFA,  through constant explanation and defense of every line i’ve ever drawn, i realized that being a cartoonist is who i am.  i’m not anything else but that.

that’s when it hit me.

is there something i missed in the last 10 years?  no doubt.  can i go back to see what that may have been?  not without doc brown and a flux capacitor.  is the strip everything it could be?  who knows?  financially it could be better, but the revenue was always a secondary thing to me.  i have a day job.  would i like bob to be my day job?  sure.  can i afford to spend more time trying to see if that is possible?  i don’t know.

do i love drawing this strip?  words have yet to be devised that can accurately measure how much i love this strip.  it’s in my dna.  it’s everything and then some.  it has even literally saved my life once.

if you have love, if you have passion, the rest will follow.  it’s that rest that i want to try and figure out.  do i need to end a long time love affair in order to find that?  i don’t know.  that’s where i am at this point.  over the course of the next month, you will be an observer in my thought process, my thinking, my meditations over this huge decision.