Category Archives: Bears on the Road

I’m back! I’m back!!!

I really hate technical difficulties. Was it Mercury in retrograde? Sun spots? Six and Sebben messing with my internet provider? Mittens stealing the entire internet? But for some reason I couldn’t get this website to even open, let alone log in. Fortunately my web guru was able to wave a magical wand or maybe it fixed itself. Who knows?

Anyway, here we are, a day late and a dollar short!

In other NooZ…

Several of you might have noticed that on Twidder I had posted some enigmatic comments about waiting for something. What I was waiting for was to hear whether I had been selected for a short residency retreat for women who write/draw humorous comics.

I know RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!

Well, I finally heard, and to cut to the chase, I was not accepted, but I had a lovely bit of communication with the person in charge, a cartoonist I have long admired and have a lot of respect for. (Am I sucking up if she is reading this? Um…mebbee?) A long time ago, I took an artist’s business practices class, and while I may forget what I went upstairs for five minutes ago, I still remember what the instructor said about applying for things: Apply for everything you are remotely qualified for. While you might not get the thing, you never know who is going to see your work, what connections you will make for the future.

While it would have been really great to go someplace that isn’t home, have the opportunity to work and talk with others who are on the same path, it was great to be validated as being “the real deal.”

and in OTHER Nooz…

The Panda Cub Swap has been released into the world! Written by Beth Bacon and illustrated by moi, it’s the story of Lun Lun and the first surviving set of twins born at Zoo Atlanta.

You can order it from your local book store, your library, or Amazon using this link:

https://amzn.to/3L8t0Rb

If you enjoy it and are so inclined, writing a short review on Amazon helps other people discover the book. I am so proud of the illustrations I did for the book. BTW, at some point this fall I will be offering the original illustrations for sale, so if you have a favorite one in the book, let me know if you are interested in having it.

Celebrating with some friends!

Don’t tell Six and Sebben this book is not about them!!!

Be the Bear
Bob T hoping the Democrats can hold on to Congress Panda

The Exciting Conclusion of Our Story

Or is it?

Stories have a way of regenerating as new s**t comes to light! But for now, we are going to call this story done, with this episode.

So Let’s get to it!

It looks like Bikkie made a new friend! Call the building contractor, Tian! We might need to make an addition on to Bikkie’s room. And who does this cub belong to? I guess we’ll find out eventually.

A Little Bit About My Process:

Some stories start with an idea that is floating around on the internet. These nooz stories enter my brain, slosh around a bit, colliding with existing characters, melding with preconceived ideas, and finally plooping out onto the page.

For instance: Where did Frank and Mikey come from?

In the fall of 2018, when it became apparent the the current SCOTUS nominee was even more awful than we thought he was, the thought crossed my mind, wouldn’t it be funny if he was eaten by bears on the steps of the Supreme Court?

Naturally, Mehitabel (being the savvy journalist that she is,) invited the bears for an interview on ZooNooZ. To be completely candid, their personalities emerged with little intervention from me. Honestly, sometimes I think I am merely a conduit through which the various cats, pandas, and other animals that appear in these pages, and speak their own thoughts.

Once here, I could not get the bears to leave, despite very pointed glares coming from Mei Xiang as she dealt with her ever expanding household.

And so it is with all the other characters. Sometimes, they don’t have much to say to me, so I let them just wander around in the background, until they have pressing business with me.

Process:

For those who might be interested, here is how my ‘toons come into being:

Idea > scribbled post it note > write script, seeing if I can fit the action/dialog/cast into a 4 panel strip > rough pencil sketch in my sketchbook to figure out layout > light editing of placement, text > redraw the toon on smooth Bristol paper > ink in panel lines > ink in text> ink in all characters > erase pencil lines when dry > Scan > clean up scan in photo editing program > post on The Panda Chronicles

Whew!

Be the Bear
Bob T I have no classified documents Panda

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough go POOF!!!

Several people had expressed their concern about Bikkie arriving home in time for his birthday. I can only say, time is a very elastic thing in ‘toon world, so it is STILL Bikkie’s birthday as we arrive in today’s ‘toon!

Also, a little POOF can account for many elaborately drawn scenes!

Who could that be?!?!?!?!?!

‘Toon in Thursday for the next exciting episode!

Be the Bear!
Bob T Panda

While we Ignore the Latest Nooz From WaPo…

Very Important Things Are Happening…

Not the least of which are happening on a certain ferry boat which is taking an exceedingly long time to dock in Alaska…

Thanks to ALW for coming up with the name, Kabikkie, which is what PPJ calls her Unka Bikkie!

And…um…you might want to read the breaking nooz on Wa Po about just what Mittens had squirreled away at Merde-A-Lago…

Be the bear!
Bob T Panda

You Would Think There Might Be More Important Things Going On, But You Would Be Wrong

I’m sure Zoonooz will be covering current events soon, but just right now there are more important issues to cope with…

#WhereIsBikkie?

No one is above the law. More on this shocking idea later.

Be the Bear
Bob T Panda

Of Course Pinky Would be a Tech Wizard!

Did you ever have any doubts about her capabilities and talents?

I didn’t think so! #ClapLouder

Rumor has it that Le Le, the first cub born in Singapore turns one shortly, and they have declared that he gets a whole birthday MONTH!!!! I suspect some other little pandas are going to want more than just one DAY!!!

So here are some more birthday ‘toons celebrating this weeks batch of birthdays!

Minion security: you can’t be too careful.
birthday week
It’s so hard to be cool when you still live with your mom.

Well, that’s all for now! See you on Sunday for more ‘toons from the archives!

Be the Bear!
Bob T Panda

Post script:

I thought I had more time. But I am now the last Anne standing. I just learned that my dear friend Anne Davenport passed away yesterday.

Let me explain about being the last Anne. When I moved to Whidbey Island over 30 years ago, I met the friend of a friend from Seattle. She in turn, welcomed me into a small group of her friends, which, coincidentally were all named Anne, except for the aforementioned friend of a friend, whose name was Fran. We referred to ourselves as three Annes and a Fran, but we renamed Fran Frances Anne.

We met every Wednesday for breakfast and conversation, and sometimes laundry, as I did not have my own washing machine. Annie C. tried to teach me how to fold laundry, but I was pretty hopeless. One of the best gifts I ever received was after my house fire, and Annie C. took home all my clothes and washed, ironed, and folded them for me.

Not long after that, she was diagnosed with cancer and after an awful and hard year and a half, she died. I remember that we continued to meet, two Annes and a Fran, after that for a few years, but Annie C was the glue that best held us together. We still got together from time to time, but not as regularly. Life has a habit of getting in the way.

Fran had several brushes with cancer, but being Fran, she browbeat it into submission several times. Formidable does not begin to cover it. As big as her force of will was, her heart was bigger. I spent many raucous holiday dinners at her house. I always had a place of refuge when I needed it. She could be considered the godmother of The Panda Chronicles since, in her run for Island County commissioner, she made me the official campaign cartoonist.

a ‘toon I did for her campaign

A political being to the end, she died late in 2019, before the pandemic and before she could see TFG’s ass soundly whipped by Joe Biden.

Annie D had health issues almost since I’ve known her, but she rarely let them get in the way of doing what she wanted to do. She was a weaver and a knitter and a quilter with a strong aesthetic. I have several of her quilts and many scarves. The pandemic robbed us of far more than just going to movies, restaurant dining, and traveling. It robbed us of the ease of visiting, of dropping in on our friends, of face to face time.

One of the activities we shared for more than 10 years was the Anne x 2 art show, which we held in my studio. Some years we had lots of sales, but mostly it was a chance to hang out together. We quit doing it a few years back, when uncertain weather and more of a proliferation of art shows made traffic slow to a trickle. We also had an art/life strategy meeting every January. We would put our goals for our creative work life down in writing and even when I didn’t look at my list during the year, having set my intention helped me stay focused.

And now she is gone. I hadn’t been over to see her since May. I thought there was more time. and so our coven of Annes is now just me.

day
In memoriam: Anne Niles Davenport July 27, 2022