SQUIRRELOSOPHY… what it is, why you should read it…

I’ve cross posted this entry with what is on the SQUIRRELOSOPHY website…

squirrelosophy by bob the squirrelThere comes a point in a creator/creation relationship where the line  blurs.  It could be a really bad thing…but maybe not.

In the Bob the Squirrel comic strip, I have literally mined my daily existence for material.  Long time readers are well aware of my willingness to put everything, good, bad or embarrassing right in the strip.  10 years of ups and downs…almost 4000 comic strips…

But I wanted to do something more.  Bob wanted to do something more.  He has a unique perspective on being in the world.  How could you not have a unique perspective being only 13 inches tall (on tippy-toes)?  HOw many opportunities does one get to hear the musings of a squirrel?

In April 2012, I started drawing an extra panel of bob and posting on bobthesquirrel.com.  I had all these other ideas for things Bob could say that just wouldn’t fit in the daily strip context.  I didn’t think anything of it, really…they were just fun to do.  But then something happened… the ideas started flooding into my brain.  Sometimes, faster than I could even write them down or draw them.  It’s one of those situations dudes like me pray to be in.  Inspiration overload.

There were days where I would post three or even four panels.  No sooner were they drawn, they were posted.  The production level was addicting…and it showed no signs of slowing down.  Readers seems to dig the little extra Bob in their day.

So, what else could I do?  I was in danger of having the one-off panels taking over the strip.  I was concentrating more on the panels than on the strip that got me there.  There had to be a division.  A clear cut difference between the strip and Squirrelosophy… a name that seemed appropriate.  Once the name was determined, I decided to put my one college semester as a philosophy major to good use.  In addition to shareable images of your favorite sarcastic squirrel, you’ll get a little running commentary about the image… and maybe a few life lessons and assignments.

Bob of course, is way smarter than me.  You’ll see.

Is it more work?  Yes.  Is it more of an investment?  Yes.  Is it a labor of love?  Yes.  Will you like it?  I don’t know…but Bob and I are having fun finding out.

the squirrel and i…

do you have to love the characters you write?
does it help when you love them?
for that matter, does it help when you can’t stand them?

i think it’s all of that and a few other things.  if i thought bob could do no wrong, then the fun of certain situations would be lost.  this may sound kind of out there, but i honestly don’t know what will happen when i have an idea for bob.  i don’t think about him as a squirrel… because if i did, i have immediately put constraints on my brainstorming.  once i have the core idea… which could be anything from a single word to a covered page in my notebook, that when the fun begins.  i either start riffing on that idea… take it in this direction or that… or i just stare at it.  staring can either open something up or cross something out.  some may think that creation starts when that pencil hits the bristol…in some instances that is true.  the riffing, to me, is the best part of this job.

without that riff, there can be no melody… without the melody, rhythm can’t be established… without all of these parts working together… there can be no song… just a loud unorganized jam where no one knows where anyone is.

riffing rules.  you have to riff.