i made an attempt and clutter busting this weekend… currently, i have SIX reasonably large, reasonably complex projects in addition to my daily life that wrestle for my complete attention. anyone out there that knows me will know that nothing ever really gets my FULL attention… i apologize in advance for that. but anyway…

in the midst of dancing from one project to the other… getting a little done on each…i decided to take a break (which my doctor said i NEED to do) and organize my garage…which has become a de facto depot of things i shuffle from closet, to room, to shelf, to floor etc. among the artifacts are bins of old cartoons… some of the cartoons are over a decade old… some are good, some are not so good. but, in moving those bins, those thousands of pieces of bristol board, blue pencil, white-out and india ink, i had a moment. another moment. at some point in my career, now moving into its 15th professional year, each piece of bristol in those bins was the most important thing in my life. nothing else mattered so long as the drawing in front of me got done. once it was done, it didn’t matter as much… or at all. it then became a question of where to put it… now that i had my way and was moving on. thousands of moments. thousands of moments in rubbermaid containers.


you don’t realize it when you’re working on it that you’re spending a part of your life with it. then that’s it. some of the cartoons i can’t even remember doing… and if they weren’t dated, i couldn’t remember WHEN i did it… although i could reasonably judge the date by the style.

does anyone else think about this when they clean out their garage?

they say it’s your birthday…


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.

happy birthday brother…

Categories: bob life strip

eyes blinking…


i’m listening to hootie and the blowfish right now…

i’ll pause for those of you that feel the need to expel a groan or complete an obligatory eye roll…

all set?


hootie music has traveled with me through my various incarnations since my sophomore year of undergrad… 1994…it’s been there with me as i finished my BFA, spent the summer of ’97 doing nothing but playing guitar, working two jobs and dreaming with my best friend of one day being in a band like hootie and the blowfish… hootie was there when i got a real job, ended relationships, got married, got divorced and started grad school. hootie was there when i finally realized the love of my life was sitting two desks away from me…hootie was there when i accepted that someone out there thought i was the same to her… hootie cds were among the first things i packed when i left my life… they were among the first things i put on the newly installed shelves in my new studio… the first cds i converted to mp3s when i got a new laptop…

because, no matter where i end up, i know i’ll have this music with me… to remind me of where i’ve been…and plant the seeds of wonder of where i’ll be in the future.

it’s good stuff. music and art have the amazing power of time travel. the music never changes, the perception and associations surrounding those 4 minutes does. awesome.

just thought you should know that.

Categories: hootie life music sketchbook