as i re-read today’s strip, i have to question my use of the term “geeky cartoonist.” sure, it’s funny in a cliche sort of way, but now it seems more hurtful to me…more so than the frank in the strip feels. plus, it makes lezley seem mean… which she totally isn’t. i make a point to not go back and re-write…any editing i do is done right before i ink my lettering… after that it’s all hands off. this is one of those rare occasions where if i could, i would change the wording.
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it was eight years ago that bob was born. i call april 14th his ‘official’ birthday because that’s the day i launched bobthesquirrel.com. in reality, the idea came to me in late february 2002. it took me a few weeks to sorta kinda hash out what he’d be…and to see if i’d even want to use this character.
before bob, i had ideas for at least a dozen comic strips—all of which were horrible, some bordering on insulting. i really didn’t know what it meant to create and live with a character. i knew, but i didn’t know. i’d take one of my ideas, do enough strips to fill a syndicate submission packet (usually 24 strips…a month’s worth of dailies) and send it all off. because the ideas were so short-sighted, all i could really get out of the premise was a month’s worth… then they’d fall flat on their crosshatched faces. i was telling jokes essentially. when the jokes dried up, so did those characters. gimmicks. fads. stuff like that.
but then bob came into my life. at the time, i was in flux…i had isolated myself from the outside world so much that… hell, i was alone and lonely. you can be alone and not be lonely… but that wasn’t me. bob was the friend that if i could, i’d go out and get. but i didn’t have to. he was someone to talk to, someone that liked a lot of what i liked and he was a wiseass. so, once he was in place, i built a world around him… which essentially was my world at the time. i did that so he’d seem even more real. mostly to me. and it was all in my little head.
since 2002 i’ve done over 2500 bob comics. he’s been reprinted in 6 book collections, 2 one off comic books and even a short animation. he’s been on my shoulder or sitting on my head through engagement, marriage, divorce, depression, insomnia, addiction, revision, repentance, acceptance…along with the good stuff as well. everything that i’ve gone through he’s gone through.
bob even saved my life once.
i begrudgingly and half-heartedly accept that my strip may never reach the fame and fortune of other comic strips—it’s not a perfect strip (if there is such a thing)… some people dig it, some people think it’s a waste of resources…but i’ll still be here, bob will still be here. i never imagined when i began that i’d still be churning out his nutty wiseassness for 8 years. now, i can’t imagine stopping. he’s a member of my family, a part of my life.