State of the Squirrel: 2015 edition


Frank Page super cartoonistI do this every year.

I think about what I’ve done and what I may want to do in the next year.

Sometimes, I even entertain the notion of ending the strip… as I did in 2012, the tenth year of Bob.  Come to think about it, I think about ending the strip (albeit in a non-serious way) damn near every year.

Except this one.  Not once in 2014 did I consider the ending.  I came close on a couple of bad, rejection laden days, but as soon as I sensed them coming up the driveway I shut the windows and locked the door to any of those thoughts.

The state of the squirrel is strong… stronger than I think it has ever been.  I try not to question why, but I fail.
Maybe my age?
Maybe familiarity?
Maybe my own stubbornness?
Maybe an overwhelming belief that what I do is good?
Maybe the continued support of readers all over the world?

Maybe it’s all of the above.

2014 was a roller-coaster year.  We lost some very dear friends and loved ones.  We narrowly missed becoming a disaster statistic. I experienced one of the happiest days of my life.

I can honestly say that I have everything.  Everything.  I knew it before, but now I REALLY know it.

I may not be there in a professional sense yet, but I’ll get there.

That being said, why should I change what I do in 2015?  Simple.  Because I can.

I want to explore new creative endeavors with Bob.  I can see that the world is changing, and if I don’t want to become a trivia question, I have to adapt to the change.  I could resist, I could protest… but who would listen?  There has to be a balance between the old and the new.  You don’t burn down the house because the color of the walls stinks… you adapt.

What I see for 2015:

1. I will most likely be ending Squirrelosophy, in its current incarnation, sometime this year.  I started it way back (ha!) in 2012 thinking that it would gain a sizeable popularity over time.  That popularity never really materialized… in terms of the website traffic.  The panels have been very well received… via social media: Facebook especially.  Frankly, I enjoy doing the single panels.  Sometimes, they’re just tiny drawings out of my sketchbook.  Those will not be going away.  Just adapting.

2. I will be amping up my video presence.  I’ve merely dabbled in video.  I’ve always been so damn busy drawing and doing other things that I never gave it much attention.  It’s funny how a squirrel puppet from Barnes and Noble and an iPhone  can make you see things in a different light.   I don’t want to spill all of my ideas just yet… in case something happens to prevent me from bringing them all to life.  Just know, if I can get it to breathe, you’ll love it.

3. More great stories, more squirrel goodness and the same reliability and quality you’ve come to expect of the strip and what I’ve come to demand of myself.

4. Instagram Bob 365.  In March 2015, the Instagram Bob 365 project will be complete.  The entire year will be made available as a downloadable eComic.  It my also be available as a full color print book.

5. Other stuff.  Tweaks and twists that will pop up over the course of the year.  I’m going to try a lot.  If even half of it works, whoa… watch out.

So, thank you one and all that have been reading the strip for days, weeks, months and years… some of you a decade or more.  I appreciate and revere every single one of you.  You’ve always showed me and my family the greatest of respect, support and kindness.  Believe me when I say you all give me much more that I could EVER give to you.  Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you.Now, let’s get back to work.

best day ever

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I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day.  The weather was horrible, but that didn’t seem to matter.  All the important people in our lives were there to share this wonderful day.  I am a very, very, very happy man.

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Fried Wonton, Fans and being Frank…

File this under: Only in my hometown and freakin’ kinda cool to be Frank.

Pick myself up some Chinese food. In my car, pulling out into the Boulevard. I reach for a piping hot fried wonton. I know they’re not good for me, even if I wasn’t driving…but I’m at a stop light. The wonton are very, VERY fresh… like right out of the fryer fresh. It’s a beautiful day and my driver side car window is down for the first time this year.

Just as I bite down on the wonton, I hear, “Bob the Squirrel?”
I ignore it at first because in addition to being at mid bite, I tend to hear the words “Bob the Squirrel” in my head all the time.

I bite down and immediately a lava hot gob of oil singes every corpuscle on my tongue. Yeah, the wonton are fresh.

“Hey, Bob the Squirrel?” I hear it again. This time I can tell that voice is not in my head… because that voice is usually laughing as well as talking.

I look to my left, boiling hot oil covered wonton smouldering in my mouth, to see a man in a green mini-van. We make eye contact. He smiles because he’s finally got my attention.

“Bob the SQUIRREL?!”

Now, because I have good reason to believe the wonton in my mouth is melting my teeth, I cannot open my mouth to talk. I’m chewing as fast as I can to get the burning out of my mouth and down into my stomach, where, it’ll be easier. All I can do give this wonderful fan a hearty thumbs up. Seriously, a thumbs up.

He acknowledges my friendly acknowledgement and says, across the traffic, “Yeah! I read it!” This phrase is followed by a wonderful laugh.

My mouth is blistered by now, but the wonton is safely down in my stomach. The light changes green and we both are on our way.

So, to the fan who spotted me in my car, across a lane of traffic, while I was nursing a wonton that was seemingly fried on the sun… I thank you for reading my strip.

Today was a good day.