Category Archives: It’s a WUnderful Life

An Art Historical Interlude

Inspector Panda’s mysterious client, Babette de Panda, is weaving a tale about an alleged inheritance from her great-great-great-great-great-great grandmama. The Art Historical Division at The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire has recently uncovered documents that support her claim that pandas emigrated to France in the late 1880’s, and posed for many of the artists of that period.

Portait of the mysterious "Madame 'P' "

Portait of the mysterious “Madame ‘P’ “

Portrait of Madame ‘P’

By John Singer Sargent

In the late 19th century, Japanese prints were not the only novelty from the Far East to create a stir in the London and Paris Art scenes. The recent discovery of pandas by westerners had artists scrambling to find pandas to model for paintings.

James McNeill Whistler employed one very popular model for his painting, Arrangement in Black, White, and Gray, as did several other artists, including John Singer Sargent.

Sargent did a number of preliminary studies for his famous portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau, also known as Madame X. One of these less well-known minor studies portrayed one of Sargent’s favorite models, known only as Madame ‘P’. 

November 8th, 1883:
Madame Gautreau has taken leave of Paris for a month, so I am not able to continue working on her portrait. I have completed several studies, but I need her presence in order to work on the final commission. I am most vexed.

 November 10th, 1883:
Great fortune! One of my favorite models has just finished sitting for that horse’s ass, Jimmy W. I am exceedingly fond of Madame ‘P’, as she likes to be known. She has only recently come to Paris and I have done my best to make her “most welcome.”

 November 12th, 1883:
My study of Madame ‘P’ is going well. I hope to be able to complete a life size portrait of her for the next Salon Exhibition. There is a slight problem, in that she requires many naps throughout the day and has a prodigious appetite. She is the most amazing woman, able to crack large stalks of bamboo with only her teeth!

 November 26th, 1883:
That rascal Jimmy W. has unveiled his portrait of Madame ‘P’, calling it Arrangement in Black, White, and Gray, and has done so before I have been able to finish my portrait. I am most vexed. Madame ‘P’ came round the studio and was extremely apologetic, so what could I do but forgive her? 


"Arrangement in Black, White, and Gray" by James A. McNeil Whistler

“Arrangement in Black, White, and Gray” by James A. McNeil Whistler

December 18th, 1883:
Madame Gautreau has returned at last, but we had a terrible row over the state of her dress, which I had allowed Madame ‘P’ to wear during her sittings. I thought she looked quite the Parisian sophisticate in it. I had no idea Madame ‘P’s “personal habits” left so much to be desired.

The fragment of the diary ends here, but I believe that this does lend some credence to Babette’s claim that her great-great…um, whatever, grandmama did model for a number of the impressionists.

Hope you have a Fabulous Furry Friday, and the rest of the weekend as well.

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda

It’s a WUnderful life: the epilogue

Happy New Year from The Panda Chronicles!

A short epilogue to It’s a WUnderful Life popped into my head as I was finishing up the previous episode, and so here it is, from my brain (on pandas) to your brain (on pandas.)

it's a wonderful life parody

A bear and his mom…together forever? What lengths will Bai Yun go to to get the hammock all to herself?

I just wanted to let you know about a few minor scheduling changes for the upcoming year.  I still plan on doing two new cartoons a week, plus a Friday encore presentation of an older cartoon or two.  Sometimes they will have themes that echo something that is happening in the real world or panda world, but mostly, they are just cartoons that I really like, and want to give you the chance to see them and tell me how funny I am. Mr wu will continue to control Wednesdays, at least for a while. Princess Pinky, the twins, and all the rest will have to share the sunday time-slot. Sorry.

The other change is that instead of posting on Monday, I will post on Sunday, later in the afternoon.  In fact, all posts will happen later in the afternoon, about 4 PM PST/PDST.  As much as I have tried to take myself in…paw, I am powerless to resist the siren song of Facebook and other social media.  I love “meeting” and talking with you all there.  I plan to continue this, just not in my “prime work time.”  I have paintings to paint, and (more importantly) pandas to draw, and not enough of y work is getting done before I sign into have a lovely visit with you all.

I know you will all understand, and of course want these pandas to keep on coming your way, for which I am extremely grateful.  Your kind words, enthusiasm, (and yes, even your agitated responses to all the harrowing situations I have put Mr Wu in this last year) have touched me, delighted me, and spurred me on to greater heights of panda satire and drawing than I ever dreamed was possible. I hope you will want to continue reading The Panda Chronicles.  I love your comments, even when you yell at me.

If you would like to support my efforts here, there are three meaningful ways to do so:
1: share this blog with your humor loving friends.  They don’t even have to be panda fans.  The Panda Chronicles have converted more than one person to the cause of pandas!
2: Write a review of any or all of my books on Amazon and/or Goodreads. This really does help my visibility, which helps to sell more books.
3: (you knew this was coming) Buy my books! Buy them for yourself, buy them for presents.  You can go directly to Amazon from the Panda Chronicles: the Books page.

Here’s to the upcoming year in pandas! (and if you want to be the first to know, sign up for my free, every once in a while news letter to be in the know (if you know what I mean!) Just look for the sign-up form titled  Get Even More Pandas near the top of the right hand column!

Keep Being the Bears!
Bob T. Panda

Day 31: It’s a WUnderful Life – Episode Nine

Oh my! It is not only the last episode of Mr Wu’s most recent adventure, but it is the last day of the year, and even more importantly, the last day of 2013’s 31 Days of Pandas!!!!! Huzzah.  Well, not Huzzah! that daily pandas are coming to an end, but Huzzah! that I managed not to miss a single day of NEW cartoons, every stinkin’ day!

Huzzah! Here are some 31 Days of Pandas statistics that I find interesting in my own pandy little way: There are 245 (plus or minus a panda here and there) drawings of pandas within these 31+ drawings. That is more than an 800% increase over the original year of 30 days of pandas.  (someone might want to check my math on that one.)  There was an average of over 1500 page views per week during the month. Huzzah!  I know that’s not quite the big leagues, but it sure beats the heck out of the early days when 10 views was a really big day for the pandas.

There is much panda-ing in store for 2014. Pandas kept me going through 2013, which quite frankly, felt like a year long Friday the 13th, if you want to know the truth. But enough about that! Let’s have the final episode of It’s a WUnderful Life!

It's a Wonderful Life, parody

Yay! The heartwarming schmoopy ending!

And here’s a little bonus, especially for those of you who have joined the panda fun here at The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire recently: The Panda Kindergarten’s New Year’s Eve!

new years eve party, panda kindergarten

The panda kindergarten at their best…or is that worst?

Be the Bear, and thanks for stopping by!
Bob T. Panda.

See ya next year!

Day 30: It’s a WUnderful Life, Episode Eight…

And here is the episode you’ve been waiting for, enlightenment and redemption (and cuppycakes) are sure to follow.

And now, episode eight of It’s a WUnderful Life:

It's a Wonderful Life, parody

Everytime a bell rings, a panda gets a cuppycake.

Tune in tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion! Huzzah!

Be the Bear
Bob T. Panda

And a big pandy thank you to Vicky Vladic for her line: Every time a bell rings, a panda gets a cuppycake.

Day 29: It’s a WUnderful Life -Episode 7

Here at The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire, we are getting ready for the onslaught of shock and dismay (not to mention some amount of yelling, at your story-telling editor, in the comment section.

You are REALLY  going to hate today’s cartoon.

Just trust me, ‘kay?

It's a Wonderful Life parody

Repeat after me, “It’s a story” ‘kay?

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda

#Day 28 It’s a WUnderful Life: Episode 6

It just gets worser and worser. But have faith, it will get better…um..eventually!

The year is winding down as well, and I am starting to look forward to all that is ahead for the pandas in 2014.  I plan to make some announcements in my January Newsletter, so if you haven’t yet signed up for that, and want to be the first to know all the panda satire plans for the year, now is a good time to sign up.  Just fill out the handy form “Get even MORE pandas” near the top of the righthand column.

And now, we bring you episode six of It’s a WUnderful Life! Huzzah!

It's a Wonderful Life Parody

Those darn cats!

Be the Bear!
Bob T. Panda

Day 26: It’s a WUnderful Life part the fourth!

Thanks to everyone who took a break from ripping open presents, eating way too much, or doing good works for your fellow bears, to check in with the pandas yesterday!

Is it time for me to pat myself on the back for not missing a single day of 31 days of pandas (at least not yet!) The pace has been grueling…I’ve had to watch many, many, many panda videos of Princess Pinky and Mr Wu (and let’s not forget the Twinkies!) so I could get their little panda selves. just. right.

Oh well, best not to get all puffed up about it…just keep on pandaing, that’s my motto!

And so without further delay, here is the next episode of It’s a WUnderful Life!It's a Wonderful Life parody 


Be the Bear

Bob T. Panda

Day 25: It’s a WUnderful Life, part 3

I know in the original movie, all the action takes place on Christmas Eve, but frankly, I just can’t draw that fast. So BEAR with me, ‘kay? (I should probably make some kind of new year’s resolution about giving up making terrible puns, but you know, it’s just not gonna happen. Let’s all just move on.)

So, while all the pandas in real life are now partying at mama Bai Yun’s place, in pandyland, it’s time for episode 3 of It’s a WUnderful Life! Huzzah!

It's a wonderful Life parody

Bee the bear tells it like it is: every panda matters.

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…oh wait…sorry, that was the last adventure!

There’s more coming your way tomorrow! Merry Christmas to all!

Have yourself a pandy little Christmas....

Have yourself a pandy little Christmas….

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda

Day 24: Episode 2 of It’s a WUnderful Life!

Oh dear.  Mr wu is diving right in to say the least.

Hope you enjoy this episode of It’s a WUnderful Life, starring Mr Wu, Bee the bear and more besides!

If I can get all my other work done today, there may be a special edition of the Panda Chronicles tonight.

But only if you’ve been very, VERY good.

It's a wonderful life

Wu is a good bear at heart….

Stay tuned!

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda


Day 23: It’s a WUnderful Life, isn’t it?

Today marks the start of a soon to be holiday classic! One that you will want to watch every year, just like some of those other holiday classics that turn up every year around now.  I am, of course, speaking of our new feature adventure, starring the one and only, Mr Wu!

Hold on to your cuppycakes because you won’t want to miss a single minute of It’s a Wunderful Life!

(editor’s note: This series contains extreme melodrama, existential dilemmas and not a little bit of out and out pathos. Please don’t yell at me.)

it's a wonderful life

Thank goodness Bee the Bear still has her magical wand from the last adventure.

Oh dear, we know where this is going, kinda sorta, don’t we?

Be the Bear,
Bob T Panda