10 MORE things you didn’t know about Bob the Squirrel

Been a while since Bob bared (or is it beared?) his soul to the world.  Maybe the world wasn’t listening… considering all the other things there are one can’t help (or is forced) to listen to.  Here is a list of 10 MORE things you may not have known, written by the fur ball himself, about Bob the Squirrel.  (The first ten can be found here).

1. I brush my teeth three times a year whether they need it or not.

2. Sometimes I just want to be left alone… just so long as someone KNOWS I want to be alone. Because if no one knows, what’s the point of being alone?

3. The day after Frank got his Master’s degree in art he began to draw me better. It was only for that day, but man, what a great day that was.

4. I don’t really long for being back in the wild. I have nothing to prove by dodging cars in the street.

5. I will love Rachael Ray until my tail is old and grey. You may have known that before this list but it bears repeating.

6. People in public will often call Frank ‘Bob”. They never call me ‘Frank’. Frank says he appreciates that but I can tell it’s killing him inside.

7. When Frank was on the verge of ending the comic strip in 2012, I was scared. I mean YOU try getting a job with only one thing on your resume.

8. I’m extremely selfish, but only when it comes to me.

9. I don’t mind the monotony of our daily life… just so long as it’s not the same every day.

10. I’d be nice to be the most famous squirrel ever… or at least a half inch taller.

The Show and that which has been neglected…

On June 8, 2017, the Bob the Squirrel Greatest Hits show will open.

I’m currently in the process of hanging it… and it’s more work than I thought it would be… especially since I started it on a holiday weekend.  Things have happened this weekend that have forced me to re-think my social media presence and activity.  Nothing bad, just a thrown wrench into the mechanism I’ve constructed.

I have been posting 3-4 sketches throughout the day to my Facebook pages.  I’ve used Hootsuite to pre-schedule everything: from the daily strip, Squirrelosophy and various commercials for books and art.  Well, Hootsuite has now gone to a pay model.  That’s fine, I get it.  But, I don’t think the value I get from them is worth the price they’re asking.  To that end, I’ve found another social media management tool… one that I STILL have to pay a monthly fee for, but one that will shake me out of the routine I was in.  So, it’s not a bad thing… it’s just not a thing I expected to tackle the week EVERYTHING is happening.

To pay for this, I’m going to be stepping up my Patreon marketing, my Squirrelosophy original art sales and various other new promotions.  I’m also going to get serious about a bobthesquirrel.com site re-design.  I’m basically going to be paying way more attention to the things I’ve either stopped paying attention to or have lapsed into a hard routine over.  Evolution.  In the process I hope to make the comic a better experience for the reader.

Before that all begins, I have to get through the next few weeks.  After which, let the Summer of Bob begin!  Thanks to everyone who have stuck by me and the strip.

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On approaching work…everything

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Frank Page and Bob the Squirrel at workIt’s all about the work.

Middle age is odd.  On the one hand, you’ve amassed an archive of life experience from which to draw upon for your work.  Any problem that you face can be kinda sorta dealt with based on prior experience.  On the other hand, you also realize that you know absolutely nothing.  The new is too new and too exhausting to keep up with.  You make a valiant effort to try and keep up but the pace seems to get quicker and quicker… even if it’s not changing.

The pace hasn’t changed, you’ve changed.  And sooner than you think, there’s more behind you than there’s ahead of you.

I say there are things that I’m not going to do.  I say there are things that I’m definitely going to do.  If I manage to get 50% of any of it done that’s a win, right?

I’ve been struggling with the strip lately. This also accounts for my lack of posts.  That struggle is nothing new.  Do something for 15 years and you’re bound to have a few off days.  Maybe the thought of the 5,000th strip approaching intimidated me. I don’t know. Lately, the off days have stretched into off weeks.  It genuinely scares me.  I can’t do the thing that I do as easily as I once was able to.  But, I’m still in the game…. and I’m still drawing.  Below average work is still better than avoiding work altogether.

I think about the baseball player Ichiro Suzuki.  He’s played professional baseball in Japan and the U.S. since 1992.  I only became aware of him when he was traded to the NY Yankees in 2012.  He wasn’t a home run hitting guy, he wasn’t flashy, he was just Ichiro.  He got on base with singles.  Sure, he’d knock one out here and there, but he was clutch when the team needed clutch.  He would do the exact same stretch routine every time he got in the batter’s box.  He had a weird swing that worked for him.  AND, he could field like a teenager. Even if he struck out, I really looked forward to his at-bats. He was professional, reserved and just awesome.

He was traded to the Miami Marlins, at the age of 41, at the beginning of 2015.  He’s still playing today.  He may not get as many at-bats anymore, but he’s still important.  he’s still relevant.  From the Miami Herald:

As the iconic outfielder for the Marlins prepares to embark on his 25th season in professional baseball — the past 16 of them in the U.S. majors — Ichiro is an enigma.

At 43, he is the oldest position player in the majors. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon — 51 days his senior — is older among active players. And yet there is no sign of quit in him.

He said he wants to continue playing until he’s 50.

“I’m not joking when I say it,” Ichiro said.

“Physically, unless you have some kind of injury, you don’t really need a break,” Ichiro said of his relentless work ethic. “I think mentally you sometimes need a break. But for me, my body is built so that if I don’t work out, that’s when I put more stress on my body and get more tired.

He still puts in the work.  Even if his role on the teams has been diminished, that’s no excuse to stop working.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned to LOVE the work.  If my daily routine (and I mean DAILY…no off days, weekends or holidays) is disrupted in some way I make it up.  If the struggle is too much, maybe I need to change the work out.  So that’s where I am now… looking for a way to change the workout and in turn helping the work.  Fine tuning it and making it just as good or BETTER than anything I’ve done.

It’s still exciting to me. Not many people can say that about something they’ve done religiously for a decade and a half.

Bob the Squirrel