Bob the Squirrel, by Frank Page
Frank is a great guy with great talent. Bob the Squirrel is the story of a cartoonist named Frank and a smart-alecky squirrel named Bob, and their adventures through life together. It often seems like a power struggle between the two, but like most pets Bob usually gets the upper hand. Well, actually, Bob isn't exactly a pet; he's Frank's version of man's best friend. Go and check out the Bob the Squirrel uComics website, where Bob is syndicated online, and experience the fun for yourself. Vote for the strip!
Curious about the history of Bob the Squirrel? You can read about it on Frank's site here.
Here's Frank's creative process, in his own words:
"I have a really strict work ethic. Sundays and Mondays I spend writing. Also on Sunday I do an editorial for the following Monday-- two if the spirit hits me. If I get some good ideas down on Sunday I may start roughing them out in blue pencil. By Tuesday night I usually have the week's strips all penciled and ready for ink. Wednesday is ink day. I first do the panel outlines, then the word balloon and then the lettering itself. The lettering is my favorite part of the drawing--- I don't really know why--- and I've asked a few doctors too...
"Once the lettering is done I do the crosshatching around the word balloons. Once that's done I'm in the home stretch. I then do the preliminary inks on the characters. Once the outlines are done, I'll go in and add the detail inking (clothes, hair, etc.).
"At this point, the strip is pretty much done. I'll look it over and white out any ink blobs--- but most of the cleaning is done in Photoshop after they've been scanned in.
"I've found that doing doing each step on each strip is more time saving than doing the entire inks on one strip at a time. Henry Ford was right--- assembly lines do work. So I'll do six letterings, six panel inks, etc.
"Thursdays I usually idea and pencil the Sunday panels. They usually have nothing to do with the Monday-Saturday strips so I have a bit of freedom. Friday I ink and color it. Saturdays I rest, and Sundays I start it all over again. Glamor. Glamor. Glamor."
Check out some great examples of Frank's art below!
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, January 31, 2004. Copyright Frank Page. Some history behind the strip, as described by Frank: "I remember January 2004 was a pretty bad month for me--- I was stressing out because the idea machine wasn't functioning the way that I wanted it to. Ideas were easy to come by, GOOD ideas weren't so easy to come by. This actually happened to me at the tail end of a bad week. I had done some really bad (in my opinion) editorials and I really wasn't feeling it. Diet Coke in my face didn't make it much better."
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, March 22, 2004. Copyright Frank Page. Some history behind the strip, as described by Frank: "I'd say that 98% of what I put in the strip really happens to me. One day, I was watching CNN in my living room --- from my window I see this spark on the wire across the street... next thing I know CNN is gone. I'm left with snow... and... when the TV goes out, so does the internet...I immediately call the cable company who have conveniently left for the day. I call the 800 number--- they take down my complaint and say they'll send someone out tomorrow. TOMORROW?! I was without cable and the internet for almost 24 hours. We are so weak--- at least I am."
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, March 22, 2004. Copyright Frank Page. Some history behind the strip, as described by Frank: "This was a one off gag. I specifically remember this strip because of where I drew it. I was sitting at a table at a high school career day. They put me between a town justice ( a type of local judge) and the school psychologist. Across from me was a hospital that had a big x-ray of a human stomach--- it took me most of the morning to figure out what the hell it was. This was a really hip career day too--- they had a tattoo parlor there...right next to a lawyer."
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, July 3, 2004. Copyright Frank Page. Some history behind the strip, as described by Frank: "I'm not really a coffee drinker...when I do drink it I tend to keep it real. No sugar, no milk and no other additives--- just beans and water. A friend of mine will order a cup of coffee, add two little creams and about 10 packets of sugar--- which essentially removes any coffee taste from the equation--- and yet he still contends he loves coffee."
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, November 20, 2004. Copyright Frank Page.
Example of Bob the Squirrel daily by Frank Page, January 31, 2005. Copyright Frank Page.
A great sketch by Frank of Bob on the beach in Hawaii. I asked him if he could do a Hawaii-themed sketch for me, and this is what Frank came up with. Yikes! Heh heh...just kidding, Frank. There's a lot of detail in this piece with a fun gag as well; thanks, Frank!
Sketch of Bob the Squirrel on package received from Frank Page (I blacked out both addresses in Photoshop). I couldn't bring myself to throwing the package away because of the sketch.
Another sketch of Bob the Squirrel on another package received from Frank Page.
Example of editorial cartoon by Frank Page. Copyright Frank Page. According to Frank, this cartoon was not published because it was deemed "too negative" by the publisher. Another reason why web comic strip artists have an advantage over newspaper strips.
See the finalized strips for yourself and go nuts with Bob the Squirrel by clicking on the link below!
Also, go and check out the Bob the Squirrel uComics website, where Bob is syndicated online.
Oh, and click here to see a muffin that's been named after Bob! Cool beans!
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