4, 2003 -- Early EXPO update
Y'know, I got the impression that SPX
(Small Press Expo) is now called EXPO,
but people keep referring to it as SPX,
so now I feel I don't know if anything is true any more. At any rate, I'm
heading off to it, whatever it's called, this weekend, so the update is
a bit early. First, this week's cartoon:
PREVIEWS! PREVIEWS! PREVIEWS!
Okay, kids, I went out and bought a copy of the Previews with the listing
for the UBOPE. Here's a wee picture of what it looks like:
(Image removed to speed page load times)
You can click here for a bigger picture, if
you want. But that's not important right now. The important thing is to
go to your local comic store, grab a copy of Previews, and say to the owner,
"Hey, check out this crazy book. You should order four or five or ten of
them, cuz they'll totally sell," or some such. This listing is on page
in the Books section, which is a little weird.
I kinda thought it would more naturally fit into the Comics
and Graphic Novels section, and I'm a little worried that people
looking for comics will miss it. But the books manager at Diamond assures
me that people look at the book section too, and I'm rather desperately
hoping he's right, because I sure would like to get a few of these into
comic stores. And if any of you people wished the books were a little more
convenient to buy, now's your chance to help make that happen, even though
I'm still counting on lots and lots of direct orders.
Yep, even though we were assured that 2002 would be the last year we'd
be having SPX in Bethesda, that this
year it would be in Baltimore, this year we find ourselves returning to
the ol' Holiday Inn at Bethesda. One cool thing this year, however, is
that the show goes for a full three days, Friday-Sunday. I'm all packed
and ready to go, and I've got 150 fresh-minted Lovebot Ashcans I can't
wait to get into eager hands. Plus I'll have books, and posters, and love,
and, and, and... well, you know. Everything. Convention stuff. I fully
expect this experience to be awesome, and I'd better be able to find somebody
to blame it on if for some reason I have anything less than a fabulous,
lucrative time. My table this year is V78, in the Versailles Room (hence
the "V'"designation); click here for a wacky
little map of the floor.
Buy some posters!
As the header for this section suggests, all right-thinking people
should buy posters. And, even though I know
you're bating your breaths for the UBOPE, it
never hurts to order some books either. I'm still
signing them, I'm still throwing in stickers, I'm still trying to get rid
of these many, many books, so chock full of Bobby goodness.
And wouldn't you know it -- my birthday's coming up! Man, I am too old
August 29, 2003 -- Computers are death
Okay, whoa, what's going on? I spent the whole day in front of the
computer mercilessly coloring cartoons, getting about a quarter as much
accomplished as I'd hoped. On top of that, I blew 3 1/2 hours on this new
computer game, Tron 2.0, which while containing coolness also takes about
45 seconds to autoload afetr you die, and you die a lot, meaning that out
of that 3 1/2 hours I spent a good 45-50 minutes just sitting there waiting
for the game to restart. As a result, computers and frustration have been
fused in my mind just when I need all my powers to give you, my faithful
readers, the very best update I can.
I have a cartoon for you. It is
EXPO swiftly approacheth
That's right, it's coming up fast, and I'll be there with all kinds
of crazy stuff. But then, you guys already know what I'm bringing, cuz
I've mentioned it like four times already in previous updates. But rest
most assuredly, those of you who make it to EXPO will not be disappointed.
Instead, you shall be exalted.
Hah. As if I have time to review movies these days. I've got a line
on Once Upon a Time in Mexico in a couple of weeks, though, so I'll bring
you the hot action just as soon as I've got it. But that's not now. That's
then, in the future.
Nina Paley, a fabulous New York
cartoonist who quit the weekly strip business cuz it was just too annoying
to try to sell to editors, sent an odd link, "Diary
of an Unborn Child," a haunting little MP3 file on some
strange web site that collects vintage Christian music. Then another
fan sent in this link to an article
about the famous "Wilhelm" scream that sound editors use again and
again in movies. And then, holy smokes, some god-king of a reader sent
in a link to Androidworld.com,
an exhaustive hub of information on just about every current robot project
in development. Sensational, robot fans! Check out the world's
greatest android projects while yer at it! And then I got a fella who
told me he read the whole archive in one 9-hour sitting, and segued from
that to asking me to plug his web comic, Tommy
the Post-Nuclear Cat. So I figured, what the hell, why not? HTML space
and links are essentially free, right? Why not throw this fella's link
Hey, not bad, not bad. I was just looking over the most recent orders,
a nice mix of books and posters,
good to see, keep it up, gotta get that internet-book-buying ability all
tensed like a bowstring, ready to let fly the instant I start taking pre-orders
for the UBOPE. It's all about practice. The more
books you buy, the better at buying books you'll get. Simple, no?
Gettin' Ready for the Previews
If all goes as it should, the UBOPE should be appearing in Previews
magazine in a couple of weeks, accompanied by a $750 ad, so it's almost
time for me to start begging you all to go to your local comic store and
tell the owner to order some. Not yet time, but close. You'll know when
Wait a minute. According to that Previews link, the September issue
went on sale two days ago. Which means it's now! The time is now! Go forth
to the comic stores! Don't forget!
** mini-update Sunday August 24 **
A few readers have written to complain that
isn't entirely accurate, in that "it's" can also stand for "it has",
as in "It's been 755 days since I last said 'I love you.'" My first response
is to say that this is why it's called Bob's Quick Guide rather than Bob's
Comprehensive Guide, but it seems this one's a bit too quick, so I've made
a small amendment to the cartoon. How's that for interactive?
August 22, 2003 -- The Fringe!
Huh? The Fringe? Que? Those who don't live in Edmonton may not know
what I'm talking about, which is the big theatre festival that happens
every year around this time out my door. I was gonna complain about the
spike in drunken yelling outside my window that accompanies this celebration,
but at the moment the streets are quiet like tombs, though I'm sure that'll
change once Last Call hits. Whatever. To me, the Fringe is all about curry,
though these days it's shifted to being all about cajun chicken caesar
Anyway, none of that has anything to do with this week's strip, which
I now present.
Yep, it's a cartoon. But wait, there's more! I've finished up all the
special punctuation strips for the book, and since you folks were mostly
so good about the repeat two weeks ago I'm gonna lay one on ya thusly...
Buy the UBOPE for this strip along with others
such as "You're-Your", "There, Their and They're", and "Quotation Marks".
And for all those people who e-mail me wanting me to do more variations
on the Guide to the Apostrophe, I hope you're
happy. It is for your happiness that I did these cartoons. Astute readers
may pick up why I don't do lots of these, what with the whole diminishing-returns-on-doing-variations-on-the-same-gag
thing, but I managed to get a few jokes in there nonetheless.
None this week, I must confess, as I semi-slave away on the UBOPE.
I did manage to catch Freddy vs. Jason, which, while perhaps not as elegantly
written as I would have hoped, actually delivers pretty much most of what
I was looking for in a movie about Freddy and Jason beating the undead/dreamworld
crap outta each other.. Lotsa killin'!
Links for dumping
Got a link from a pretty good strip, Big
Fat Whale, which reminds me a bit of Tom
the Dancing Bug, though it's not as good. But then what is? Someone
from Finland sent me a link
to a weird little animated .gif, I think a kid did it, but I never
knew you could pack so many slides onto a single .gif.
... And I'm just gonna interrupt myself here to take a moment to give
a shout out to all the Scandinavian Bob fans. For some weird reason, the
bulk of my international book orders seem to go to Norway or Finland. I
like to think there's something of a kinship between Canada and Scandinavia,
in that we're both often-forgotten northerly countries above the bigger
powerhouses, yet we quietly and unobtrusively seem to be able to run our
affairs with great success. Plus, as I understand it, Finland is one of
the most wireless, Internety places on the planet. Thus, north=future.
... What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, links. I got two more, a game
where you defend
a castle by flinging stick figures into the air, and some thing
about Bigfoot and Optimus Prime. And then people from a site called
sent a link to themselves and a flash animation about Schwarzenegger running
for governor. When I checked the link, I got a lot of those little broken
.image flags, but I think the flash works. I think.
Buy stuff, you Idiots!
Just kidding. You're not idiots; you're geniuses! Of course, I must
you all to buy any one, two or three of my already existing books,
even though I know you guys are all just holding it in for the UBOPE, right?
Still, gotta push those older books, and they're
still so crispy and delicious, you must buy them and put them in your bathroom
to read on the crapper! Also, it's a good idea to buy
Bob's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe, You Idiots as well. On that, I
forgot to mention last week, but Edmonton fans who want to buy the poster
and don't wanna pay those US dollars at CCNow (understandable), I just
wanted to let people know that Apostrophe posters are for sale at Mike
Perrino's Mars and Venus, right on Whyte Ave. more or less opposite the
Princess theatre, or actually the Commercial Hotel. Anyway, you can get
I'm getting progressively more pumped for the EXPO
(formerly SPX) in Bethesda this year. These little LoveBot ashcans I'm
puttin' together, man, they is sweet. And I even managed to get it in under
the wire for an Ignatz nomination, not a big fancy one, but for work debuting
at the show. Cool!
August 15, 2003 -- Blackout City!
Wow... all that blackin' out on the East Coast really makes you think,
huh? About how frail and precious our so-called "civilization" is, how
boned we'd be if the power went off and stayed off, how much we rely on
all those happy little electrons kickin' it old school...
Well, whatever. Last week had no cartoon and a pile of supplementary
material; this week is mostly the reverse, with a cartoon and hardly any
supplemental material. Let's do the cartoon.
Links and else...
I don't have a ton of links, but I'll put up what I got. First, remember
last week how I linked to that story
about the comic store employee who got busted selling adult material to
adults? Well, an enterprising reader read the article, asked himself
some basic questions like "What was the charge? What were the circumstances?",
poked around on the net and came up with this link
to the applelate court document on the case. An awful handy link, for
anybody who's interested. And, uh, that's pretty much it for links this
I'm a little distracted...
I'm still getting over having actually completed LoveBot Conquers All,
which I feel pretty confident will delight, enrage and startle pretty much
all who read it. I'm putting together a quick little LoveBot ashcan I'll
be selling at EXPO, formerly SPX,
as a preview kinda treat for all, or at least the first 100, who attend.
That's coming up quick, September 5-7, at the lovely and talented Bethesda
Holiday Inn Select in sunny, non-blacked out Bethesda. Should be a rock
n' roll party!
And, uh... that's pretty much it this week. I didn't review any more
movies, I didn't interact with any interesting political ideas. I just
bore down and created, and soon, all of you (or at least the ones who buy
the UBOPE) will lick up the tasty juice of my efforts. Ahhhh...
Buy some books
C'mon, guys, it's the right thing to do!
And how about buying posters? My god, that's
even righter to do! How can things be so right in such a wrong, mixed-up
August 8, 2003 -- The Worst Week Ever
Why the worst week ever? Well, all should become clear when you take
a look at this week's strip:
What the--? That's the same as last week's cartoon? What is this?
Sorry folks. A couple of weeks ago See and Terminal City
didn't run the strip, so the newspapers and the web site got outta whack.
I wanna get it back into whack, and that means a repeat of last week's
strip. Hence the worst week ever. Still, I will strive to provide you with
some worthy content in the absence of the strip.
** mini-update Friday morning **
Further to there being no new Bob, a fan named Scotty K at CommanderKitty.com
has put up a substitute Bob
strip. I take no responsibility for it, but it's actually kinda creepy
how much it looks like a strip I would have done. Weird.
I've been out of the review game for the
last couple of months, since I've been so busy running around to all these
conventions, as well as cranking out Lovebot pages. But I've got two reviews
for y'all this week: American Splendor, which
is excellent, and S.W.A.T., which isn't offensively
bad. Getcher pipin' hot movie opinion here, folks!
Paul Notley's Top 500 Songs
My brother Paul is something of a fanatical list-maker, and in celebration
of his birthday next week, I'd like to take this opportunity to make available
to the world his meticulously compiled list of his
500 favorite songs. Marvel at his tastes! Compare them to your own!
Start conversations! Relive earlier musical glory! It's all just a mouse-click
Small Press Expo
Though I guess it's just the EXPO
now, in Bethesda, Maryland, coming soon, September 4-7 at the fabulous
Bethesda Holiday Inn. I was seriously considering not going this year--
the plane ticket is brutal, and that's just when I'll be busiest trying
to get the UBOPE done, but I figured I might as well go ahead with it anyway,
so I shall.
Some non link dump links
I got back from San Diego, and I forgot to mention and point out so
much of the stuff I saw. I want to direct everybody to Cigarro
and Cerveja by fellow Edmontonian Tony Esteves, who got his very slick-looking
book out and sold it at the con. And even though he wasn't at the Con,
I wanna mention Jason Yungbluth at Deep
Fried, one of the only "web-comics" I actually read avidly. And if
any of you folks took to the Channel101
link I put up a few weeks ago, I'd like to point out that there's a new
episode bursting with life and energy over there. And hey, here's a link
to a TV spot a local PBS station did of Keith
Knight during the Comic-Con.
Link to appalling court decision about comics
And in the horrible news department, over at the Comic
Book Legal Defense Fund we have this story
of how a comic store employee who sold an adult comic to an adult has had
his appeal denied, thus setting the precedent in American law that comics
are juvenile material and therefore not protected by the First Amendment.
Holy smokes, when did Americans lose their taste for freedom?
Links dump stuff
Huh. Here's an interview
with the Gateway I don't remember doing. We have a Hitler-themed amusement
at this link here. And
another flower delivery site, www.flower-delivery-flowers.com,
wants a link, so there it is.
And that's it! New strip next week, and who knows what other glories?
And don't forget to buy books! And posters!
August 1, 2003 -- Something something
Folks, it is hot in my apartment. There's no use in denying it; everybody
who walks in feels the burst of sweat-oven heat. And my tiny troll-space,
my computer area, is the hottest hot sink in the whole place. I'm just
telling you this to explain why I may seem a little slow and dull-witted
today; it's because I'm swaying back and forth in the penultimate stages
of heat collapse.
Right. The cartoon. A pretty simple one this week, a transparent regurgitation
of a half-dozen of my more conflicted San Diego feelings. Or, no, wait,
that's next week's cartoon. This week's strip is
Yeah, I've bene a total review-shirking
jerk lately, and I'm afraid this week I only bring a grumbly complaint
against Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
Update Books Page
Yeah, I fiddled around with the books page,
y'know, just to put some new information about books
in there, and get everybody really groovy and thinking about books
and how it's so easy to buy them, and apostrophe
Links whut got sent me
Lessee... some web comic, The
Japanese Beetle, is apparently back. Such was I informed by an e-mail.
And then we have a couple of BtAF
GBA skins an enterprising Bob fan took it upon himself to create. Meanwhile,
the Japanese Seizure Robots
live up to their name, and Turn Off the Internet worried me briefly, though
more over my own computer's health rather than the Internet's. And then
I was sent a link to the sweetly earnest Probush.com,
which finally has the courage to ask, "How can we get one the greatest
Presidents the United States has ever had on Mount Rushmore with his peers?"
And here's kind of a neat one: a
picture of a laptop that a fellow by the name of Dan was carrying around
getting signed at San Diego. There's a Bob on the same computer that John
DiMaggio, Bender from TV's Futurama, touched with his hands and a pen!
I might swoon! Then there's a link to a web cartoon, The
Pinky Suthers Show, where the characters kill
some flowers. I dunno. Plus, an alert fan watned to point out that
there's a Bob-like
enemy in Nintendo's Yoshi's Island (scroll down to "Dizzy Dandy").
No rant this week
Too hot. Too sweaty....