Nov 28 -- Thanksgiving weekend for you crazy Americans...
Dammit, dammit, I really didn't wanna have to rush this update, but here it is, Friday morning, and I'm rushing it, trying to get this done before dashing off to the Students' Union Building at the University of Alberta to sell books for sweet, sweet bank.

Oh well. Here's the strip.

So I hear today is Buy Nothing Day. Well, that doesn't suit my purposes at all; I'm gonna be at SUB all day trying to get people to Buy Something or ideally Buy Several Somethings, and the last thing I need is some goofy Day messing things up. Grumble complain.

Further to that subject, dear Internet reader, please allow me to recommend that you buy my book.  It is good. When I have more time I'll throw up some more delicious testimonials but for now you'll simply have to take my word for it.

Apostrophe posters back in stock
I ran out of Apostrophe posters a couple of weeks ago and suspended the poster ordering  until I had replacements. I'm happy to anounce that the suspension is suspended, you can buy Apostrophe posters again, and we can now look forward to an Age of splendour and happiness so spectacular we'll have to come up with a new metal above "Golden" to describe how cool it is. Yup.

Movie stuff
Got two more reviews, rather late, but that's how we like things around here at! First there's Halle Berry's new ghost-y thriller Gothika, and then there's Mike Myer's perversion of Dr. Suess The Cat in the Hat.

And, uh, that's it.

Nov 21 -- Whew!
I'm a little slow with the update today; there's been a lot of late-night partying around these parts. So, to work. First the cartoon:

Movie Reviews
Got a couple of new reviews this week, two smaller films: Bus 174 and My Life Without Me.

As always...


Seriously, folks. It rules.

Media attention
This was my official book launch week, and I was able to co-ordinate a few mentions in some local publication. We've got Todd Babiak with a nice article in the Edmonton Journal, and we had Mike Ross of the Edmonton Sun last weekend with a nice piece that doesn't appear to be available on the Internet, and finally Chris Boutet of the ever-lovin' Gateway had all these nice things to say about the UBOPE. Awesome!

Links n' such
I got a nice mention this week on Scott McCloud's web site; apparently he liked "uh..." Let's see, what else... got sent a link to an article about laser propulsion that's not too bad. And then another fellow sent me a link to his Cafepress shop of anti-Bush T-shirts. And here's a link to some rather cool Star Wars origami. And here's a site that's been running Bob and some of my reviews lately, And for the moment I think that's it!

Nov 14 -- Back From Toronto!
*mini-updated below*
Ah, yes, the Toronto Comicon. But first, a couple of preliminary matters. First, this week's strip:

If you want, here's a color version of the same strip, colored for See Magazine's big fancy feature on Bob; I was even on the cover! Click here for a link to See Magazine's front page and an article. Nifty! They did a pretty good job, and only got the name of the book wrong once!

Books books books
Come on, folks, Christmas is rapidly approaching, and you gotta give these books time to travel. Order some today! It's awesome! And don't forget, you can get all 4 books in a super-incredible 4-pack for only $45! Insane!

And this week marks the big local Edmonton launch of the UBOPE. This is old news to all you fine internet orderers out there, but the actual official launch of this book is next week, Tuesday, Nov 18, 7pm, at Greenwood's Bookshoppe. Then, like magic, the next day is the Super-Majestic UBOPE Launch Party, Wednesday, Nov 19, 9ish, at the Black Dog (Underdog). I urge all interested parties to attend the party; there will be free books, cheap books, fried chicken and rice roll long donut.

Toronto Comicon
Well, let me start by saying the Toronto Comicon was easily, easily the worst convention I've ever attended. It was spread over three days, Friday to Sunday. As I sat at my table on Friday night, 4-9, I thought, "Who the hell would come to a comic convention on a Friday night in Toronto?" The answer turned out to be "nobody", or very close to nobody, and the pattern repeated itself Saturday and Sunday. As well (if I may continue to bitch), the con was held in a rather out-of-the-way spot with no walk-in traffic which there wouldn't have been anyway since the admission was $18 per day. Top that with a cold, too-big-and-empty-seeming room, a rather ragged-looking Artist's Alley and a list of headliners you'd have to be a hardcore-ish comics fan to get into (guys like Howard Chaykin and Jim Starlin, while cool, don't exactly bring your average yob in off the street), and you've got a situation where you don't sell nearly as many books as you brought. That's if we take "you" to be "me" in this instance.

Still, as always, it was cool to get the chance to meet the half-dozen or so fans who showed up, folks with names like Dennis and Denise and Sadi, and I'm terribly, terribly grateful that you guys were able to make it.

Toronto the city is a blast, which is why I wasn't in a foul, foul mood over the weekend. Got to hang out with some Toronto friends and even got to attend the wicked housewarming party of Toronto slice-o-life three-panel cartoonist M@B. I also managed to drop some more books at two great Toronto comic stores, The Beguiling (yay the Beguiling! Woo!) and Silver Snail, so if yer in Toronto and you want some hot tasty UBOPEs, those are the places to go.

Format Shmormat
Opinions continue to rain in about the new vertical format for Bob, with most tilting over to "I don't like it." This places me in something of a conundrum. Like George Bush, I've found that may of my original justifications for war (er, changing the format) are invalid. That is to say, I've no real evidence that newspaper editors will care one way or the other about the format, and while the book argument still holds (that a vertical book is more shelf-friendly to bookstores than horizontal), it's a bit weak and in-the-distant-future-seeming. In addition, this change I made supposedly for the sake of Bob's fate as a print cartoon has somewhat glitched Bob's fate as a web cartoon, since vertical doesn't work nearly so well on a computer screen. Regular readers know I prefer not to think of myself as a web cartoonist, but if truth must be faced (and it must), I would have to admit that probably 95% of my readers see the strip on the web.

So where's the conundrum? Well, I still have a couple of shards of justification for the vertical thing. One is that I did it to test myself, shake things up a bit, learn to write for a new format. That still holds, though I'm still at the stage where I'm flailing around to use the format rather than knowing instinctively how to structure and pace a vertical cartoon. But, you know, you gotta push yourself. The bigger problem is that if I were to switch back to the old format I'd end up in a position where book 5 has both vertical and horizontal strips so one set or the other would have to be rotated or squashed or fiddled-with to make it work. 

How will I deal with this? How will Bob continue to evolve and change in the vacuum of meaning that must of needs follow the publication of a book with a title like The Ultimate Book of Perfect Energy!!!? Stay tuned to find out! But a word of quick advice: if you find you're scrolling to read the strips, you might do well to thin up your browser taskbar at the top. Do you really need huge icons for the back, stop and refresh buttons? Fool around with it a bit, not just for Bob, but because you'll end up with a nicer, fuller browser window.

None this week; I didn't get to see Master and Commander, dammit, though I'll probably make an effort to catch it regular-style in the theatre cuz I like naval battles. But on the subject of movies, ohmigod, can you believe the LoTR:TTT EE DVD is almost here? (Man, what a long acronym). What I'm trying to say is that the Two Towers Extended Edition DVD is almost out and I'm salivating already. And, as detailed in The Madness, I'm sure the DVDs will only fuel the hunger for Return of the King next month. Even the news that pacing requirements have led Peter Jackson to remove Christopher Lee as Saruman from the theatrical release of Return of the King can't damper my hope that this will be a movie thing to remember for generations. Boo-yah!

Linky business
Well, lessee... here's a link from somebody who says I "don't hate the Bush Administration enough" telling me about how they're trying to push for new research on friendly battlefield nuclear weapons. Yep, that'll help. And here's a link to some web comics-plus at a site called Annnnnd that's about it, I think.

*mini-update later on Friday*
I haven't really gone on any political-style rants lately, mostly because I've been so single-mindedly focused on the UBOPE. But I happened to notice a sentence in a 9/14/03 column from the Angry Liberal that I wanted to toss up here, just so it'd be handy for me if nothing else:

"Pick your favorite measure of presidential success: Peace, prosperity, economic health, honesty, world wide respect, job security, environment, human rights, Wall Street, size and intrusiveness of government, deficit spending, education, health care, whatever. There is literally not a single aspect of our lives that hasn't worsened under the leadership of George W. Bush."

I like that remark not only because it's true, but because it provides a nice little summary, a list of all the areas damaged, and you can go to any word on that list and start building a separate argument against the Bush government. "Peace"? Well, a pre-emptive war of agression kinda kills that one. "Honesty"? Well, then you just start going into the webs of deceit and addiction to secrecy that characterize the Bushies. "Human rights"? Summary deportments, illegal detainment at Guantanamo. See? It's like the battle plans for the Death Star, a list of all the weaknesses of Dreadnought Bush. And wouldn't you know it, Dreadnought Bush is crawling with weaknesses! It's covered with them! Pick a place and start blasting!

Nov 5 -- Off to Toronto!
Or "T.O.", as we call it in some places. Yep, it's another early Wednesday update, courtesy of the fact that I'm heading to the Toronto Comicon this weekend. 

I switched formats not long ago, and while some folks like the new vertical format, others have expressed displeasure at the change. I can only respond by saying

Buy my brand new book!!!

Gratifying orders continue to come in, and I continue to fill them, pumping package after package out into the world. So hot. Let me toss in another couple of testimonials I've received.

"THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You're [sic] book is so cool! You had it shipped here to Sweden in record time! With a sketch and everything too! Don't ask me why, but I laugh extra hard at your comics when they are in book format! It's like your genius can only be fully appreciated in it's [sic] entirety! I laugh when I read them online of course, but your way of thinking becomes so much clearer (and funnier!) when you can read a whole bunch of them at once."
    -- Rene Engstrom, in Sweden

Aw, thanks Rene. And then there's this one...

    -- Mike in St. Louis, MO

Simple and maybe squishier than some might prefer, but he effectively conveys his enthusiasm, I think. And then here's a long one:

"It was hastily scrawled, true; probably one of five or six hundred done in rapid succession... nevertheless, the signature and ballpoint pen drawing of Bob inside the cover of my new book made my week.  This new book is, despite all of the ham-fisted America bashing (which, I'm sure, is a selling point to most), my favorite so far.  All the color you jammed into this book came as a surprise to me, and you managed to turn nearly every one of my favorite strips over the last year or two into a veritable rainbow.  And I wasn't sure about Lovebot at first... the tone is so strange, I expected more humor, and if this is cynicism it's the darkest, driest cynicism I've seen in a while... but I stuck with it and was rewarded with some terrific art and a great ending that gave me a warm fuzzy.  All in all, very well done and thank you very very much!"
    -- Ben Covi, in Eu Claire, WI

Good, good. Keep ordering, folks! I have to announce a small tweak to the 4-pack deal, which is that I can't throw in any more apostrophe posters cuz I'm pretty close to running out. But it's still a hell of a deal!

Movie stuff
Got a couple of reviews for y'all this week, one for the slightly pooey Matrix Revolutions and one for Will Ferrel's new Christ's Mass flick, Elf. Eh. 

Toronto Comic-Con
Should be a good time, and I'd like the thank The Beguiling in Toronto for letting me ship my books there; they rule. Show's on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place, folks, so come on down and get your UBOPEs and sketches and beautiful gleaming memories! Please, I'm begging you!

Nov 1 -- Howdy folks... give me a second
I'm drunk, and I'm just trying to get a friend of mine, Edmonton Sun "auteur" Fish Griwkowsky, to set up a web site, so I'm showing him how easy it is by letting his add some stuff and uploading it. Perhaps this may lead to great things. At any rate, here is is. Pardon me for the indulgence. And, uh, buy some books...

How I met Garnet, 
a poem.

Short but sweet, the ringmaster said. Is how I would describe your date tonight.

I looked around the room, and sa

October 31 -- OMIGOD IT'S HALLOWE'EN!!

Well, here's my "Hallowe'en" cartoon, a scary little number called

Continue the buying!

Now that the big pre-order hump is over, UBOPE sales continue to dribble in at a rate that is pleasing but not pleasing enough. Christmas is coming, folks! Order order order! Already people are receiving their UBOPEs; let's hear from a couple!

"It is a surprising beautiful book, and I read it cover-to-cover last night with relish (and with the requisite sense of unease which Bob induces -- all part of the package). Ordering and receiving the UBOPE was painless (it's my first book-of-web-comic purchase)."
         -- Christopher from Waterloo, ON

Pretty good, huh? I particularly like the "ordering and receiving was painless" part. Here's another:

"Thanks kindly for the sticker and the poster and of course the fantastic new book.  Rushed straight to Lovebot to learn his story.  Mighty fine work there.  Really, the whole damn book kicks a large quantity of ass."
         -- James from Edmonton, AB

Send in those testimonials, folks! And keep ordering! Such a smashing book! And the special 4-pack deal is still in effect!

Toronto Comic-Con next week!
Yep, I didn't think I was gonna do any more shows this year, but the opportunity to do something in Canada, with such sweet simplicity in shipping books and getting there, not to mention the SARS-reduced airplane flights, made it impossible to pass up. The show goes three days, Friday-Sunday, Nov 7-9 at the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place. I'll be in the Artists' Alley area; come check it out! Here's the web site for the show, incidentally.

Other stuff
Well, let's see. There's a rather half-hearted review of Scary Movie 3 up in the reviews section, a little late, but I got paid for it, so whatever. Though next week should be pretty good; I'll be seeing Will Ferrell in Elf on Saturday, and then on Monday it's Matrix Revolutions, god help us.

October 24 -- BtAF: The UBOPE

Please to buy my book

** mini update Oct 2 afternoon**
Edmontonians who want early copies this weekend can find them at either Blackbyrd Music or Mars and Venus, both on Whyte Ave.

Ahhhhhhhh.... finally, finally, FINALLY!. I got 3 copies of the book last Friday and then on Wednesday I took main delivery. I've already shipped half the pre-orders, with the other half to go out pretty much as soon as I'm done this update. So much into-envelope-putting! So much stickering! So very much form-out-filling! And yet the satisfaction of knowing so may fine people out there want this book, people from places as varied as Japan, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Awesome!  Keep buying those books, kids! Don't forget Christmas is coming! And these go out by regular post, so y'gotta allow 4-6 weeks for delivery, though it usually takes between 2-3.

The book looks rather awesome if I do say so myself, pretty much exactly as I'd envisioned it. I'm itching for you folks to get your copies so you can write me e-mails telling me how cool it is. But in order to get your copy it is necessary that you buy my book if you haven't already. And don't forget, I'm still offering my hot 4-pack deal, in which you get all 4 Bob books signed, as well as an Apostrophe poster, all for a mere $45! So good! 

A cartoon...
I'm still blonking around with this new vertical format, trying to get it under control, so I beg your indulgence. At any rate, here's the newest strip:

Not too much this week. I've got a review of dwarf movie The Station Agent over on the reviews page; meanwhile, I don't have a review of Scary Movie 3 up on the reviews page, mostly because I haven't written it yet. But when I do I'll put it up there.

Various links n' stuff
Some quick links: Here's a slab of footage of cats doing amusing things. Here's a great link a friend sent me, a pair of web animators named Junior and Senior who provide happiness (actually, I've been corrected on that. Junior and Senior are not the animators, they're the musicians, a "neo-disco party music duo", apparently). And here's a wacky link to a UN report on robots that seems to show that robot sales are going through the robot roof. Awesome!

And that's it for now!
Gotta get the rest of those books out! Much mailing! And then... FREEDOM!

October 17, 2003 -- So very close...
Okay, first, here's the new cartoon:


Well well well... the book is just about, almost, not quite done, though I've been told by the printer that I may be able to pop over today and grab one, with full delivery on Monday. And once those books are in that means mailout, 250 sweet orders from you fine people as of this morning. Let's pump that up a bit, cats! Don't forget the mega-fantastic 4-pack deal, wherein you buy all four books for a mere $44 and you get them signed, sketched in and personalized, as well as stickers and an Apostrophe poster. And maybe you're thinking, "Well, I already ordered a book"; to that I can only say, have you no friends or loved ones? Don't you know somebody who needs these fine products? Of course you do. And isn't Christmas on the way with its gift-buying obligations? 

Nothing too fancy to review this week, just a quickie number on Runaway Jury, the new John Grisham potboiler.

Goofy links and such
Not a whole ton of stuff to report from my Inbox this week, but here's a link to a Movie Physics page that helps us all brush up on our basic physics and Hollywood's basic dumbness. And here's a link to some Japanese robots that are agile enough to perform martial arts stunts... kinda cool. And while we're at it, let's throw in a link to an article from the UK's Independent that talks about the absolutely freaky situation in the U.S. with these new touch-screen voting machines. Read it and tremble for your democracy, Americans. And then write or call your local Congressman and demand they follow Wisconsin's example by refusing to allow any voting machines that don't print out a paper ballot. If you're already in Wisconsin, good for you. I always figured you people were on the ball.

Oh, poo, I almost forgot. There's a fairly big and well-established online subscription-based cartoon site called Modern Tales, and recently they just branched out in a couple of directions, one being a new site called Graphic Smash. Graphic Smash is based more around action-oriented cartoonery, and I'm delighted to announce that I'm a member and that LoveBot Conquers All will be slowly dripping out on the site over the next 7 months. That's not to say you shouldn't order my book; quite the opposite. But if you're into comics on the web and you're willing to fork out a small and reasonable amount of dough, you can catch my stuff plus the work of plenty of other cartoonists there. Something to think about.

October 11 mini-update
Just wanted to let you folks know I've posted a review of Intolerable Cruelty in the reviews section. Oh, and uh, buy the UBOPE!!!

October 10, 2003 -- UBOPE Mega-Madness
Well, I'm most gratified to all you loyal readers who dashed to your computers and whipped out your credit cards to buy my fine product, which I hope will be shipping within two weeks. But first, a quick cartoon:

Okay, the UBOPE!!!

Order now!

After some wee confusion as to whether I was gonna start taking orders last Wednesday or next Wednesday, I started taking orders last Wednesday. As of this writing, I've got 125 orders, which give me feelings of happiness.

Some folks have written to ask whether they were in the first 50 or not, and thus eligible for all the extra stuff.. The way I'm gonna do it is I'll count the "first 50" as all the orders I received earlier than or on October 8. So, if you ordered either a UBOPE or a 4-pack in that time frame, then you get the whole fat package: books signed and personalized, stickers, reduced price and an Apostrophe poster. 

How does it work from now on? Basically, I'm gonna shift the package over to the 4-pack. So if you order the 4-pack, you'll get them signed and personalized, you'll get the sketch, you'll get the reduced price, and you'll get the Apostrophe poster. If you're just pre-ordering the UBOPE by itself, it'll still be signed, it'll still have a sketch, and it'll still have the reduced price; it just won't have the poster or the personalization. Sound fair? Then order away, my pretties!

I didn't get paid for a Kill Bill review, so it's not quite as tight as others I've written, but here it is, in the review section. I should have a review of Intolerable Cruelty, the Coen Brothers' latest, up by early next week.

Crazy links
Not too much this weekend, though one reader wanted me to plug a Vancouver fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders called Events Without Borders. Apparently it's based on the "Incredible Race" reality show. Wacky!

Now I'm going to bed.
Keep ordering!