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.

To my wife — on our 12th Valentine’s Day…

To Lez – on our 12th Valentine’s Day:

We’ve gotten this far… and it’s barely begun…

Every day is the same, and yet there’s something new.

I’ve come to depend on you more than I thought I ever would or could.

I take the opinions of others with the smallest grain of salt… but your opinion to me is an entire salt mine. If I can’t wow you, there’s no wow to be wow’d. You have a power that you don’t even know you have. If that pause is too long, I know I need to work harder, better or both.

The world around us is already convinced. But… one day… I will definitively convince YOU of how beautiful you are… despite your barge load of denials, eye-rolls, and subject changing.

In the meantime, I’ll let the dogs out, take out the trash and forever keep you laughing… either if it’s AT me or WITH me… as long as I keep you laughing. Good thing I’m a funny guy.

Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart… we’re getting there.

Categories: life

SCI-FI BOB page is up and running…

100 images, spanning the entire galaxy and sci-fi genre…

One Squirrel

The SCI-FI Bob Series page is up and running… All images will appear in the gallery there. Also, images will be available for purchase… just email me an inquiry and I’ll give you a price.
I’ve set some parameters for the series… you can read them for yourself.
Also also… since I may need a suggestion or tow to get to 100, there is a suggestion form for any ideas you may have.

Categories: fun life love

I had a moment…

It’s like meeting someone you’ve known for nearly 30 years for the first time all over again…

As you may or may not know, I’ve been doing a thing where I draw my family in the styles of different genres/cartoonists.

My process is pretty straight forward. I have a list of styles/genres I want to tackle and then I just pick one. Usually, the illustration is completed the morning of the day I post it.  So, the art is so fresh the dirt from where I pulled it out of the ground is still on it. (Or, other remnants of the places I’ve pulled it out of… I’ll just leave that one there).

This morning, I wasn’t in the mood.  These style drawings take a lot of time away from all the other stuff, Bob related or otherwise, that I would try and knock out on a daily basis. I’m actually getting up at 1:30 A.M. now. Seriously. Crazy? Sure. But when you’re an addict, you’re always chasing that first high you got.  In my case, it was my version of us as the Simpsons from earlier this year. That came out so good to me that I wanted more.

It took me a few months to get back into it, but when I did, I couldn’t stop. Since August 22… some have been great, some have been passable.

But this morning… I had a moment.

I decide to do Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame. He wasn’t on the list.  Not even on the radar. I just happen to look up and see my copy of The Revenge of the Baby-Sat and thought, “What the hell… I might be able to quickly knock it out.” Like I said, I wasn’t in the mood. Out came the bristol, and I set to work.

When I do a style homage, I start the illustration with me. It’s not an ego thing, it’s a style thing.  My rationale is that if I get ME right, the other parts will fall into place.  If they don’t, at least I can pass the style off and genuine if SOMETHING in the image resembles the style I’m trying to convey. With today’s image, I didn’t think that. Honestly, I didn’t think anything. This might sound like Friday morning bulls–t: but I truly believe I was reading and seeing Watterson’s work for the first time today.

Watterson’s brush line should be made the 8th wonder of the world.

The line art came together quickly:

And I had to stop. Did I just draw this? Holy hell… the art is really solid. Okay, Frank… this might be a good day…should not be in the mood more often.

Then I go to the color… using the standard colors I’ve used in all the family style drawings:

I added a half-tone filter in Photoshop to make it look more newspapery.  I’m still on a high… the color looks good. Piece is done. Pat my own back and schedule it to post later in the morning.

But I couldn’t stop looking at the line art. What if I added a Watterson-esque background? I already have the blank one saved. Why not.  And maybe add some other details.

I finished it. All the breath in my body got sucked out.  Wow.

This is the best thing I’ve ever drawn. If I draw nothing else, I have done something. Granted… in someone else’s style… but a style that was (and still is) so instrumental in what I do every single day. I hung out with my idol… all by myself.

Then I added color:

and… well, it’s as perfect as it’s going to get.  I’m still waiting for my breath to come back.

Moments like this are what we as creators live for. We go through reams of paper and tons of eraser shavings just to get to these few precious moments when everything… EVERYTHING clicks.

Yeah. I feel so good right now.  I know it’ll fade reasonably quick.  But the moment feels good.

Categories: art life process