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

Squirrel… you’ll be an older squirrel, soon…

The Birthday address…

One score, minus two years and a few days ago… I drew something that would change my life for the rest of my life. On February 10, 2002, he made his first appearance.

I drew a squirrel. I named him Bob.

And through 18 years, address changes, life changes, physical changes, second draft changes and several oil changes… he’s been there for me. I’m not the same person that created him… but at the same time he’s not the same squirrel that I first drew.

As I’ve grown older, my relationship with the strip, and Bob, have become complicated. On at least three occasions, I’ve thought of ending the strip… to move onto something else that might have bigger rewards (financially mostly). But, part of that complication I mentioned has to do with me too scared to take any chances – which could very well be the theme of my entire life. “Don’t take chances. You may lose what you already have.” I’ve let the strip tie me down. When it all comes down to it, I still draw Bob because I flat out love the little bastard. I hate him too.

I’ve been with him so long… the longest non-relative relationship I’ve ever had.

When the strip turned 11 in 2013 I wrote: “Could I have done things differently? No doubt. Could I be making much more money with this thing? Probably. I could change this strip to make it more popular…ride the wave of the moment and benefit in the short term…It would be easy. Too easy. I won’t do that. If that means I lose out, so be it. In a world that more often than not turns its back on that which is genuine, I will not change. The strip is as perfect as it’s going to be… and I should know, I’ve invested nearly a quarter of my life into it…and I’ll probably invest even more.”

It’s like breathing now.

On March 4, 2020, I will post the 6,000th Bob the Squirrel strip. 6,000. I remember when it was 100.  That was a big number to me… because it 2003, that signified a commitment I made. It also signified my desire to fulfill the dream of a big syndication deal… back when that dream still had some hope of coming true. Today is not yesterday… and tomorrow won’t be today.

I was hoping this would be a bit more sappy than it is. Happy Birthday dude…

Categories: bob

What I have to do…

Blue is my favorite color…

My Wife - Picasso's Blue PeriodI appreciate a lot of art.

I respect a lot of art.

I love a lot of art.

But there are precious few styles that suck me in entirely. One is the work of Amedeo Modigliani.

I created a family portrait in his style last December… and ever since then I can’t stop thinking about his work.  It gets me and I get it. Very rare to experience that.

Which brings me to Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period… a time where he used very cool colors and a time of his depression – stemming from the death of a close friend.

His work was becoming looser, shying away from the classical, three-dimensional rendering of objects and figures… he was FEELING more. He wasn’t into abstract and cubist style just yet… but this time was part of that transformation.

So for the next few family portraits, (everyone gets a solo portrait— today’s image of Lezley is the first one I’ve done in this series where she’s not holding Maggie the pug) I’m using that Blue Period style. It gets me and I get it.

I need to do this.

You can come along for the ride if you like.

Categories: art