Category Archives: Literature of the panda

Literature of the Panda and then some…

Fasten your seat belts, get a bootini and a cupcake because this is going to be one of those long posts.

Do you like my new book?

I want to take a little side trip from all things panda today, (mostly…except for The Literature of the Panda!) and talk about a book I’m reading. Today’s post is not completely devoid of pandas, since pandas and storytelling go together like, um…cuppycakes and frosting. I’ve been reading: This is What a Librarian Looks Like by Kyle Cassidy.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, this book is written by another client of my agent Gordon, over at Fuse Literary, and he has been yammering on about it on social media since it’s recent publication. “What’s the big deal?” I thought. “It’s pictures of librarians? Why would I want to read that?”

Everything I know

Oh, but now that I am reading it, I see that it is that and so, so much more. To understand why I think this book is so significant, I need to share a little bit of personal history. I was a library kid. While my family owned some books, most of my reading material came from the public libraries in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. We mostly went to a smallish branch library not too far from home, but sometimes we’d go to the big Carnegie Library over in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. This was one of the grand libraries, that only a robber baron in good standing could provide to the little people of Pittsburgh.

Panda Satire Made Easy

Panda satire explained for you!

I didn’t have the happiest childhood, and one of the best ways to escape my families dysfunctional dynamics, was to stick my nose in a book and transport myself somewhere else. Anywhere else, by whatever means possible. I can tune out so completely while reading, you can stand in front of me and yell, and I won’t pay any attention. (Trust me, this has been done.) While I also loved to draw, there is no escape from reality like a really good book.

I don’t remember interacting with the librarians, beyond taking my piles of books to the counter and getting them stamped with the due date. I was a very shy child (why are you laughing? I really was) and I can’t imagine I would have started a conversation with an adult on my own initiative. But whoever you were, you librarians in Pittsburgh in the 60’s, you saved my life.

What a Librarian Looks Like does indeed have pictures of librarians from all over the world, but it also has statements about what they do, what they provide in this age of vast amounts of information flying through cyberspace, but also why what they do is so important. The passion they feel for their calling (because it is a calling) comes through in every sentence. The book tells some library history, as well as wonderfully thought provoking essays by writers who also have deep emotional histories with libraries. One of my favorites is by that rock star of the library world, Nancy Pearl, of Seattle Public Library and NPR fame. She is such a rock star that she even has her own action figure. Her essay about wanting to live in her childhood library rang so true. What better fortress to resist the world’s evils than the fortress that is full of the knowledge of all time?

What do you mean by “was?”

One of the stories that Kyle tells of a librarian’s personal history, moved me so much that I burst out in tears. Really! I think it was the idea that there was something she wanted desperately as a child, that she knew her family could not afford to provide, and she never forgot it. It stayed with her until she became a librarian herself and she found a way to provide this, and fought for the money to make it come true for other children.  I want you to read this book for yourself, and find the stories that reach in to your heart. I want you to find the stories that whisper in your ear and say, do you remember this?

I always wanted to be a painter, and I am immensely grateful for all the forces in the universe that allowed me to become one. I didn’t realize at the time, that I also really wanted to tell stories both with my paintings, and now with pandas. Through telling made up stories I hope to share the universal truths that bring our mutual humanity into being and focus.

You say sumi-e, I say Tsunami

Libraries are more important than ever. They are at the heart of community, in towns and cities, small and large. Librarians help people make sense of all the vast information that is out there, yammering for our attention. I hope every library in the country brings this book to live in their collection. Thank you Kyle, for thinking about this subject, and for bringing this book into the world.

What cats are reading at the beach this summer!

Panda on (right to your local library!)
Bob T Panda

Finale: KittySue and the Three Pandas

Oh my! What a dramatic ending after a wild ride! Do not mess with pandas! You will be sorry. Pandas are not joking around (or so I’ve heard.)

Nothing like drying laundry in the sun to get rid of …um…unpleasant stains and odors. Pandas take note.

pandas

What a lovely day for the 3 pandas to relax at home!

If you want to read all of the KittySue and the Three Pandas story from the beginning, start here!

Panda Satire update!

I want to give you, my long suffering  most loyal fans a heads up. In barely a months time I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise some of the money for a trip to China, that has been in the… what if…should we,… hey, do you want to… stages of planning for going on about 2 years. Yes, Bob T Panda is going to go to China and frolic with toddler pandas.

This will be both a fine art and panda satire expotition, and besides frolicking with baby pandas, I will be busy sketching and photographing not only pandas, but also the landscape, architecture and people of China. I generally come back from a trip like this with renewed creativity, and a barrel full of source material.

Stay tuned for project launch news! I’m expecting to be ready to launch the project by June 7th.

One of my traveling companions having lunch with a friend. Picture me, Bob T, doing this very thing! Thanks Cami!

Panda On!
Bob T Panda

Episode 12: You Have Got to be Kidding Me

Oh man! I thought pandas were sweet, cute, and cuddly, and don’t have a vicious bone in their bodies. Could this have a parallel in the real world, and give us any information why a certain spokesperson for #NMP has seeming disappeared with out a trace? Are you kidding me? You can’t mean that PANDAS had anything to do with the real life disappearance…

The three pandas aren’t kidding around here, KittySue…

kidding

Pandas are very misunderstood, in so many ways….

Tune in Sunday the the dramatic conclusion of KittySue and the Three Pandas!

Meanwhile, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to my If you give a panda a cuppycake campaign. I really appreciate your generosity. You guys are the bears!

Panda ON!
Bob T Panda

The Stars Have Dimmed

Before we get to the next episode of the KittySue and the Three Pandas saga, I want to take a moment to say farewell and remember a stalwart supporter of panda satire who has crossed over the bridge to the great beyond this week. I speak of RumpyDog, who has made the life of his typer (that’s what we call those who type on the computer, for those whose paws cannot navigate a keyboard) Jen T. and several kitties, richer a thousand times over.

Those of you with pets, know of what I speak. We know that they are here for such a short time, compared to our own lifespans, but they bring so much to our lives. Rumpy had his own blog where he wrote about animal welfare issues, and life with a household full of cats. He even made a guest appearance here once or twice. Rumpy lived a good life once he found his forever home and he will be missed by all who knew him. Even the cats.

Run free, Rumpy. We won’t forget you.

Huzzah for Rumpy Dog!

Meanwhile, back at the pandas’ cottage…

Can she really DO that????

Oh my! I am on the edge of my seat, and only 2 more episodes to go!!!

How will it all end????

Meanwhile, I’ve made a change or two here. You can read the account of my pandapiphany, which is now public. Just hover the mouse over the Cast and Crew heading at the top of the page and another hidden page listing will appear, called From Pandapiphany to Princess Pinky
click on that and you can read an illustrated account of my journey into panda satire. It includes VERY early drawings that have not ever been published here. Enjoy!

From time to time, people have suggested that I put a link on the blog so that they could contribute to panda satire. I’ve thought about opening a Patreon account, but ultimately decided that it would be like running a full time Kickstarter campaign, and really, I felt it would result in far more whining than I really wanted to do. I recently set up a PayPal.me account as a way to do remote sales. As an experiment, I decided to set up a link so that if people wanted to, they could make small donations to this blog.

Using the public radio model, where  content is provided for free, and if people enjoy it, they can chose to support it, if they are able to do so. I feel strongly that anyone should be able to read my cartoons for free, and not have paid subscriptions or annoying ads on my site. (Well, other than me whinging to you about Buy My Books! every now and again. But you know…a bear has to buy the occasional cuppycake and pay the mortgage on her cave.)

Look for the surrealistic panda with a cuppycake in the sidebar to the right, click on it, and it will take you to my PayPal.me thingie.

Follow the panda. or the cuppycake, to support panda satire!

See you on Wednesday for the next exciting episode of the KittySue and the Three Pandas saga!

Panda On!
Bob T Panda

Episode 10: The Discovery of KittySue

Quick! Go upstairs! Rescue Banky Pig and General Bun! The discovery of KittySue is sure to be shocking to the panda family! What with the devastation in the kitchen of the pandas’ cottage, who knows what horrors will be waiting for them upstairs!

What discovery is waiting for them upstairs? Isn’t the devouring of Babee bear’s cuppycake bad enough????

discovery

The discovery of the terrible crime in the pandas’ house…

Panda On
Bob T Panda

Episode 9: KittySue Discovered?

Oh my ears and whiskers! I can hardly stand the suspense! Could KittySue really be after Banky Pig? Are they going to check for finger prints? What kind of insurance do pandas have? What does this episode have in store for the three pandas?

Watch episode 9 and find out for yourself!

episode

Is this episode exciting? you bet it is!

I hope everyone had a good Earth Day! Pandas would like to remind you that being endangered is no laughing matter. If you are interested in helping actual pandas, we can recommend two wonderful organizations that would appreciate your support in supporting pandas. Pandas International is a long time friend to bears, and another organization that we are particularly impressed by is PDX Wildlife, who does scientific research about…are you ready for this?…PANDAS!!!! Check them out and maybe slip them a few bucks to assist with their research.

Remember, science is real, and without pandas, there could be no panda satire. Thank you to scientists and all who marched yesterday in support of science. Huzzah for you all!!!

Panda On!
Bob T Panda

Episode 8: You are getting sleepy

There are many similarities between cats and pandas, not the least of which is that they both spend a lot of time sleeping. In fact, I feel a bit sleepy myself, and think maybe it is time for a nap, don’t you think?

If you are just joining our story now, here are some quick links back to the earlier episodes. If you’re anything like me (and why wouldn’t you be???) you prefer binge watching a series rather than having to wait a week for the the next episode to air. Not to mention, I’m way too cheap to pay for cable, or even Netflix, so I get most of my TV series and movies from the library.
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7

But now, on to Episode 8 of KittySue and the Three Pandas! Don’t get sleepy on me now!

sleepy

UNHAND MR. BUN THIS INSTANT!

Don’t go away now! There are five more episodes yet to come, not to mention several Fabulous Furry Friday round ups! And then I have to figure out more things for pandas to make fun of! Huzzah!

Panda On!
Bob T panda

 

Episode 7: KittySue has boundary issues

Oh my! KittySue does appear to have some boundary issues doesn’t she? Well, you know how cats are! Although she does have a point about the sleeping arrangements. In defense of the pandas, even though panda rental is very expensive, the pandas generally do not have discretionary access to these funds. What’s up with that?

But let’s get going on our story! What is KittySue up to NOW???

boundary issues

unauthorized search and seizure is SOOOO tiring!

Meanwhile, if you are interested in the fine art doings of the panda clan, the spring awakening of the Froggwell Blog is here! You can head here to find out all the fine art news that is happening in this corner of the bamboo forest!

Panda On!
Bob T Panda

Episode 6: What fresh horror awaits?

Oh…you thought I was talking about the current news when I said what fresh horror awaits?

Ha ha! I have no idea how you made that mistake. I was talking about what’s going on in the cozy cottage of the three pandas and what the diabolical KittySue is up to in the aforementioned cozy cottage.

We’re on the edge of our seats! No more accounts of any stupid dreams you are having about cake! On with the show!

Episode 6: KittySue and the Three Pandas, coming right up!

what fresh horror

…and she ate the just right cuppycake all up!

Panda On
Bob T Panda

Episode 5: KittySue and the 3 Pandas

Oh my! What is going to happen next in the home of the pandas ? Stay tuned and find out…

But first, I had the weirdest dream last night. I’m not really sure what brought it on, but if anyone wants to try their hand at dream interpretation, have at it! So here’s what I can remember: I was at some big event, involving some sort of community, holiday dinner, but there weren’t many people there. I went to the dessert and coffee line to get some cake (!) but the guy behind the counter kept ignoring me. They started putting away all the cakes, but I still hadn’t gotten mine.

I said, “What about MY cake?” and he finally grudgingly cut a very large piece of cake, and tried to charge me, but I was pretty sure I had already paid. He did give me the cake, and then I turned to leave, trying to remember where my car was. Someone offered to show me a short cut but after we went through a tunnel, we were in a totally different town and my car was nowhere to be seen. I went back through the tunnel, but the cafe was gone and I was even more lost.

I then had to go through tiny doorways, crazy, precarious looking stairways, and then some sort of attic-y looking area with cats and who knows what else. I think this is where I woke up. I never found my car, and I think I lost the cake.

Go figure!

And now, for today’s episode of KittySue and the 3 Pandas!!!!

pandas

unhand…um…unpaw that cuppycake!

Panda On!
Bob T. Panda

BTW, the Whidbey Island gallery that represents my work is moving to Langley from their location of 9 years at The Greenbank Farm. They are conducting a fund raising campaign to help them with the move. You can learn all about it here. Thanks for checking it out and helping if you can.