2018 can kiss my furry tail… and some other stuff…

What does 2019 got that I don’t already have?

Around this time of year I do a recap of the state of Bob.  What I did, what worked, what I totally messed up… but, you know, mostly the mistakes.

In 2018 I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. And yet, I really think this year (with a few exceptions) saw my weakest work ever. Some days I was scribbling just to stay alive. The content flow gave me purpose. Totally irrational. But, when you see a life preserver you don’t complain what it looks like, you just grab onto it and hold tight.

Yeah, it was like that.

The routine of the work, the process, was the only thing that kept me sane.  Seriously.  What’s worse is that all that grad school talk about process (the stuff that I listed under “total Bullsh-t”) is really true! Dammit, they WERE right. Guess that justifies the student loan I’ll be paying off until i’m 62.

All in all, this year can kiss Bob’s tail… along with assorted parts of myself.  Some parts it can kiss twice.

2018 sucked. It aged me far more than the conventional 365 days would.

This year has been rough…what with the uncertainty of everything.  Hold up… I take that back.

The only thing certain was/is uncertainty.  85 days this year there was nothing BUT uncertainty… along with a lifetime of wondering if it’s coming back. The “ALL CLEAR” in big bold type is followed by fine print that says, “… yeah, but watch your back… for, like…forever, sucker!”

There’s no more rest.  It’s part of us now.

I started out near the edge of losing it all… with each day since January 1 doing what it could to push me closer and closer to it.  There were a few times when I came close enough to look over.  One time I did look over… and thought: “It might not be that bad…”

We were reminded of the brevity of it all.  Of mortality. Of weakness in times of strength and strength in times of weakness. Of wondering when it’d all be over… and the emptiness of that moment when it was. I was encouraged, discouraged, enraged, emboldened and just so damn proud. Of wanting to change, knowing that change was needed, and yet still resisting the change because I was/am so damn scared.

I was up, I was down, I was like a yo-yo.

I was in my head more than I should have been. Anxiety was at an all time high.  Panic attacks dive bombed me when I least expected it.

I was selfish, selfless, real and completely fake. I was alone more than I wanted to be. Ignored what I had, bitched and moaned about what I didn’t have.

Grateful.

Relieved.

Exhausted.

Making plans that will never touch the face of reality. And reality… what a pain in the ass that is.

Reminded again and again of the risks I never took. The thanks I never gave. The total prick that I was. Seeing where I could be a better man, and wondering why I wasn’t good enough already.

Through ALL of this, there was that squirrel.  The longest relationship I’ve ever had.

I love my wife, my daughter, my family, my dogs… but that squirrel… that made-up, talking cartoon squirrel, man… life preserver yet again.

I’m not hoping for a better 2019… hope like that is futile and just a set-up for disappointment. There are more challenges ahead as always. I’m just going to keep on being… protecting my life. Appreciating the little things and the big things like health and humor. I have to. Because I don’t know if I could do 2018 again.

Thank you all for sticking around. Your appreciation for my work is everything… but make no mistake, I need that squirrel just as much as you do… if not more.

 

 

2019 Bob the Squirrel Calendar – UPDATE

Something has happened.  Something that will delay the printing of the 2019 Bob calendar.

My wife gave me an idea.

As you know, I had the cover to the 2019 calendar all set.  The only things left to do were the months.  Did I want to rush it and just put old art in the spaces?  Or, did I want to do all new, never before seen art on each month.  I opted for the latter.  New art.

But life is crazy… and thinking of 12 new pieces of Bob art on top of everything else, while not impossible, is not something that lends itself to the concept of “Quickly”.

I whine a little. I don’t whine much, but when I do, it’s a good whine.  I tell Lez about it… and I ask her: “Bob calendar – what’s the first thing that comes to your mind:  GO!”

She says: Bob sunflowers.

I say thanks.  I walk away. I think about it.  It’s a good idea.  It is at that moment I realize why I married her… for an idea on what to do for the 2019 Bob calendar.

So, the good news is that I have a concept.  The bad news is that I don’t have to think of 12 ideas for art… I have to think of 13. (New Cover).

Over the course of a week I managed to pencil each month.  I finished the inking yesterday.  On to color.

Bob’s 2019 Year in Sunflowers will hopefully be available in late November.

There will be some changes

On August 1, 2018, Facebook will be changing its API.  Long story short, I will be unable to automatically post Bob content on my personal Facebook page.  Of course, I can still post content to the page manually.  Automatic updates to the Bob the Squirrel Facebook page and the Bobnuts Facebook group will not be affected. There just may be less content on my personal page.

There are a few things you can do:

  1. Make a point to come to bobthesquirrel.com every day for new content.
  2. If you are already a friend on my personal Facebook page, consider liking and getting updates from the Bob the Squirrel Facebook page or join the Bobnuts Facebook group.  The latter two will continue to be automatically updated.
  3. If you want the latest Bob the Squirrel strip delivered to your email every day, sign up with GoComics and add Bob. He’ll be waiting for you every morning.

I don’t like it, but it is what it is.  In the grand scheme of things this wouldn’t even register as a minor inconvenience. Hope you all stick around to enjoy the show!

A new tradition continues…

Last year, I decided to start a yearly tradition… to re-create Norman Rockwell’s “Triple Self-Portrait” using what has happened to me in the year to populate the panel. Here is the black and white version of this year’s installment. Lots of detail. A color version will appear as a Sunday panel in the beginning of August. #tripleselfportrait #normanrockwell #tradition

Here is the 2017 B&W version next to this year’s installment:

Categories: art strip studio thoughts

Bob and Rachael Ray – a one-sided love story, part three

via Rachael Ray Show

Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo,  has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.  What blossomed in 2006 , was still blooming in 2007 and 2008, continued on.

2009

February 9, 2009

February 10, 2009

Bob continued his obsession at the end of the decade.  Things in my life were settling down.  We were all moved in to the new house, Lez, Lauren and I were becoming a real family.  And yet, I still felt the need to be a little passive-aggressive when it came to Bob and Rachael Ray.  And

It was around this time I actually had a shot of getting on the Rachael Ray show.  It got pretty far too… I was talking to one of her producers about being on their marriage proposal shows.  The premise would be that I was on the show talking about the comic strip… Lez would be in the audience.  She’d think she was there just to see that.  That’s when I would propose. (I managed to get a good proposal in later on)  On the show. In front of millions. I was nervous.  I was looking at rings.  This all came about and would come about in a matter of 10-12 days. I was in the running to be picked.

The producers then asked if I’d be willing to shave off my ‘stache and beard… essentially giving me a make-over. I (like an idiot) refused… and the phone never rang again. I take a few moments every February since to kick myself for being so foolish. I never told Bob.

Something is wrong…

December 29, 2009

Toward the end of 2009 I did a series of strips where Lez get Bob a Rachael Ray spatula for Christmas.  I thought it was a funny premise… watching Bob go nuts (sorry) over that particular item.  The strips were very funny.  Very funny.  I scanned & sent them off… and proceeded to work on the next story.  Another two weeks of strips finished. Boom… I’m on a roll.  It was only when the Rachael Ray strips were to begin running that I noticed a teeny tiny error.

I had managed to spell Rachael Ray’s name wrong.  In every. Single. Strip.

Going back and fixing it was possible, but not practical. I’d not only have to fix the spelling on the bad strips, I’d have to re-date the two weeks of panels I did AFTER these.  Three weeks of strips changed.  So, I let them run.  Enduring the emails about my error.  Know why?

Because I was going to a week of strips ABOUT the error.  Take that frown and turn it upside down.  Make fun of myself… because, why not?

Only problem was I had to crank them out in record time. Like two days.  This leads right into…

2010

January 4, 2010

January 5, 2010

The benefit was I was now further ahead than I’d ever been.  In the grand scheme of errors ever committed by humanity this doesn’t even rank.  I used it.  I really poured the Rachael on in early 2010.  This made the Valentine story somewhat bleh.

February 12, 2010

Next up… new decade, same heartbreak.