A few years ago, I bought a house.
I looked at 13 different houses before finding this one. Every house I looked at had trees somewhere, some in the front, some on the side, but only one had a tree in the back. Not just any tree, a TREE tree. This tree would be perfect for Bob. He could have his own place, and I could have mine.
Fast forward a few years…Bob doesn’t live in that tree, he chills out in it occasionally but his address is the same as my address. I don’t know why I thought it would be any different.
Last month’s interview merely scratched the surface of who Bob really is. This month’s second part still only scratches the surface, but it’s a different surface. Hopefully, we’ll be scratching a surface that has an itch… multi-tasking is a good thing.
Bob and I chilling out on a unseasonably warm Spring day. You’d think we’d be outside. You’d think wrong.
Frank – What are we doing with ourselves? We’re probably missing something by being inside.Bob – There is no greater pleasure in my life than sitting on a window sill on a warm breezy day.
So you’d rather be on the inside looking out than outside looking in?
Does it matter?
I guess that could be another interview. What about that tree in the backyard?
What about it?
How come you never ended up living out there? I know you mentioned it. In fact, if I go back, I could probably find the strips you stated that.
You can’t use the strips as evidence. I can just say that you put the words in mouth. Which would be completely true. Are you saying you want me out?
I just don’t want your development to be married to my lack of development. I say a lot of things. Most of it you write down and some of it you actually get right. Personally, I don’t want to be the one that holds you back. I don’t want to be the one that puts words in your mouth over and over and over again… And as for that tree? I hope you didn’t buy this house just because you thought I’d live in that tree. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great tree. I did spend some time up there, but I didn’t care for the view. Seriously, some of our neighbors should be more diligent about pulling the shades. Ewww…
Dude, you need help.
Yeah, I kinda do. Or, do I?
Is anything we do going to make a difference?
Difference in what? We’re a dime a dozen… and that’s retail pricing. What difference were you even contemplating? Seeing cartoonists in a new light? Seeing squirrels in a new light? Seeing a new light in a new light? Whenever someone mentions a new light, I have to wonder what was wrong with the old light… or deeper still… what did the old dark obscure? And, if you have a new light, does that mean you have a new dark to go along with it? This is what I think about when you’re drawing. If I didn’t think about it, you would never draw it.
Why do you think we talk this way to each other? Every other line we throw at each other has to have some sort of sticky sarcasm or snarky sting to it. Even when we’re not “performing” it seems like we still are. Don’t you find it disturbing that we always seem to be in character? Do we even know who we really are?
Why do you have to be so deep all the time? Oh, I suppose that was me asking the same question you were asking me. In a way, we have lost ourselves in this comic strip. I’ve seen instances where you are being as serious as serious could be and yet, people still laugh or chuckle a bit. You (we) spend so much time being funny that when we turn it off, people think it’s still on. If I were you I’d be slightly frustrated by that. We get so lost in the performing that we’re always performing…even though we say we’re not, we are. The show never stops.
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances…” (II.viii.139-141) 1.
Yeah, what you said. We perform all the time, dude. Trying to find who you really are is a potential disaster. One, you don’t know what you’re looking for. Two, you don’t know if you’ve found it because you don’t know what it looks or feels like. Three, the “real” you might be more of a jerk than the performance of you. Just leave it alone and stop thinking.
That’s easy for you to say.
It was pretty easy for me to say… you try. I know you can. (Bob grabs my face and tries to make me mouth the words.)
This isn’t what I hoped would come out of this interview. It’s just another instance of me playing the straight man to the heart of the team. I’m the Abbott and you are the Costello. I’m the Hardy, you’re the Laurel.
So what? Get over it! We have a good time, we give people a bit of a break from the day they’re having. We do something special. It’s like what happens when chocolate and peanut butter come together. Those two things are great separately, but when they come together their powers multiply and become like a Voltron of flavor. That’s us. We’re Voltron!
1. Shakespeare, William. As You Like it.
Frank Page Frank Page is a cartoonist. Throughout his life, that is one thing that has never been disputed. In 2002, he created the comic strip Bob the Squirrel. The strip has been syndicated online through Universal Uclick/GoComics.com since 2004. Page has been staff cartoonist/graphic designer at the Rome Daily Sentinel, Rome,NY. He holds a BFA in illustration from Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY and a MFA in Visual Art with emphasis on Sequential Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT.
His work is enjoyed all over the world. can be seen daily at bobthesquirrel.com and squirrelosophy.com. He currently resides in Rome, NY where he can regularly be seen chasing his Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy, through the streets.