September 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:

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 360 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 for this...

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.

Links Dump
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, 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 in there?

Buy books?
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 it happens.

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 pitas.

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 urge 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 posters there.

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 week. 

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 world?

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 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 away!

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 Computerman 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,, 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 posters too.

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, 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....