The Bigger, Super-Deluxe Bob Archive, Part Four
Here's part four, because again, my HTML editor just can't handle anything
Back to Annotated Archive, Part Three
Eh. Another one where I didn't quite know what I was doing when I started,
so it ended up kinda weak. Basically, I was done with the writing part
of the cartoon once I'd come up with "on the road with fifteen tons of
hot porridge," only to realize I had another seven panels to fill. I liked
some of the inking on the forest dwarf, but this is a pretty forgettable
one, all told.
I like this one, except for the lettering in the third panel. This was
one of the strips that Cerebus creator Dave Sim ran in an issue
of his comic, a great honor as far as I'm concerned, since he's one of
the biggest reasons I'm wasting my life doing a cartoon.
Comparisons to the classic Japanime Akira are obvious, and that's
pretty much where I got the idea. The laser impact worked better than I'd
hoped, especially considering I really only use a little black and a few
lines to convey that explosion. You can also see the ongoing process of
figuring out how to shade Freddie, a process that continues to this day.
Funny story here. I had to go to talk to a group of 14-year-old girls from
an all-girl school on some kind of a career day or something, and I didn't
bring any cartoons or anything to help me do it. But you know what? The
session was held in some high-school math classroom, and this very cartoon
was posted on the door! Don't you think that's hilarious? I should do a
cartoon about it!
Anyway, there's not much to this one, but as I told the girls
that day, the best thing about this particular cartoon is the use of simliar
panels in a row to convey a sense of stasis. Also, as if it wasn't obvious,
the correct answer to Bob's query is yelled out by one of the hopeless
supplicants in panel four, but Bob is too far gone by that point to heed
him. Unfortunate, because when I took calculus in university, I
used to hate having to keep track of the damn constant (the "c" in "3X+C").
There you go. Proof that I'm not the same person as Bob.
One of my favorites, and the beginning of what I considered at the time
to be a pretty good run. Others may disagree. There's not a lot of Bob
here, but come on -- surely you're willing to put him aside to hear such
a touching story about a great, great man like Constable Rocket? Come on
-- the guy's got rockets on his feet!
Pretty happy with the art here, particularly the dust of dots in the
seventh panel, which was one reason it was one of my favorites. Plus I
think I really nailed him in that panel, all hunched over with terrible
loss, but still recognizable as an RCMP officer with big rockets on his
legs. And no, as far as I know, the Japanese in the sixth panel doesn't
mean anything -- I just ripped some characters out of a book.
And finally, of course, the second "R" in "R.C.R.P." stands for "rocket."
Another good one. Inking is getting steadily better. This one came out
of that time-honored problem of not having any idea what to do for a strip.
So I decided to take a nap and let my subconscoius tackle the problem.
And another brilliant cartoon idea is born! I'm laughing already! I like
to think I did a damn good job on that second panel where Bob is looking
up at his captors. Also, the text for Bob's skipping chant is written in
such a way as to encourage the reader to quietly say it, such that you
get the rhythm of the chant. Try it -- it really works! My only regret
is that I didn't draw a well in that last panel.
I like this one, but mostly because of the fourth panel, where I was once
again pleased with my own art. I just liked the way that I was able to
draw Colour Master quite small and iconic and still make him look good.
The subtraction of detail as the object gets smaller is an art I'm still
learning, and this one shows me that I sometimes get it right -- to my
satisfaction, at least.
Of course, the essence of the gag is that it's a black and white cartoon.
And that is a chicken running around with its head cut off in the
seventh panel. Thus the cartoonist uses visual cues to indicate a mental
state. Yep, we've got a million tricks like that one.
A lot of people count this as one of their favorites. It doesn't really
blow me away, because I was pretty lazy in the art, again. This is like
a survey of cheap gimmicks I use to make it look like I'm actually drawing
something. Panel #2, cross-hatchey stuff in the corner of the panel. Panel
#3, the black "dust" that I'd started using. Cross-hatchy stuff for Panel
#4. And a silhouette panel just for variety. Saves having to actually think
about the art.
Also note my clumsy attempt to add texture on the guy's jacket, which
actually didn't turn out too bad.
Guess where the inspiration for this one comes from. Yet another cartoon
about doing cartoons. Bob's sentiments in the first panel are pretty much
my own, and so are his art tools. The cleft-lipped retard in question was
the editor of Slur, Dave Johnson. He has no cleft lip, nor is he
a retard. He was actually pretty good about the whole thing, considering.
The Reagan caricature in the fourth panel is pretty lame,I'll admit, but
the subtler joke is the "old-style" Bob, looking like he did in the very
first couple of strips. And, of course, the punch line sucks. Oh well...
This, on the other hand, is another favorite of mine, again mostly because
I was pleased with the art. This plays on the well-known evilness of toy
clapping monkeys, most memorably brought to life in Stephen King's Skeleton
Crew (I think). I tried to make the monkey close-up in the third panel
kinda gross and disturbing, particularly with his eyes. Bob's solution
to the whole evil toy monkey problem seems pretty obvious to me, but evil
toy monkeys still claim thousands of lives every year. Wake up, people!
Well, here it is. My worst cartoon ever, pretty much, barring Aqua
Relax, maybe. I'd been on a good run, so it was inevitable that I'd
crash. I remember sitting at the Journal trying to come up with
this, and I just got that sinking feeling I always get about halfway through
when I realize I'm doing something really crappy. These days I try not
to even start lame cartoons like this, but I was younger then.
Anyway, it's fairly obvious where this all comes from, the whole experiencing-death-in-a
white-room thing. Yick. Let's move on.
Hey-hey! One week later I bounce back! This isn't a classic, but 'tis enough,
'twill serve. I quite like how the telemarketer turned out in the third
panel, the poor sap. I don't know why he drives a Saturn -- must have been
a lot of Saturn commercials on about that time. And I think the telling
detail is how it's blood and hair on the hood. Oh yeah -- he hit
that little girl good. She wasn't getting up again.
I'm on a roll again. A couple of days previously I'd been in the company
of a pair of lovely Shumka dancing twins, so of course my subconsicous
burped this up when I went looking for a joke. I think I dug a picture
of a Shumk dancer out of the Journal. I photocopied Ukraine, and
cut Bob out and pasted him down on top. And it looked great! Man, it's
satisfying when these little ideas you have while making the cartoon pay
The Dance Captain, of course, turned out to be the real spoiler on the
The Whole World Watches contest. Admittedly, it was a tough call, but
the hair clinches it.
Guess what I dressed up as the Halloween this cartoon was drawn. The guy's
costume is pretty much my Bob outfit, and of course I couldn't spend hours
making and wearing the thing without putting it into a cartoon. I like
the rooty-leafy things sticking out of his pants -- they've got some nice
3D-ness to them.
As it turned out, this cartoon ended up expressing a larger idea that
hadn't even occurred to me when I did it. This is, of course, my comment
on would-be off-rippers. Anybody can dress up in a flower costume and pretend
to be angry, but not everybody has the subtlety to know when not
to be angry. The trick is to confound expectations, not meet them.
It's odd the way you can get a cartoon idea from anything. In this case,
I was waiting in line to make some purchase at Canadian Tire, and there
were some packs of "Laurentian" pencil crayons by the till, boldly advertising
their special lead. The absurdity of the whole thing struck me, and voila.
Plus, here we see Bob's close interest in science, and in seeing how things
work, and trying to find ways to exploit that.
On to Annotations, Page 5!