Recently I’ve begun to invite friends of the Panda Chronicles to request specific encore presentations for my regular Sunday offering. This week, by request, I’m highlighting Bee the Bear!
I had to think for a minute about how Bee (the Bear) came into bee-ing! It all came rushing back, when I remembered that when I did my 2nd Kickstarter campaign to publish my first collection of ‘toons in printed form, a friendly bee-keeper here on Whidbey offered some local honey as an extra incentive to contribute to my campaign.
Of course I had to design a label!
Later I revised her a little bit:
When Mr. Wu came along, Bee (the Bear) appeared in many of Mr. Wu’s adventures, including the story when he ran off with the panda kindergarten and joined the circus, The Wizard of Wu, and It’s a Wunderful Life!
And while we’re on the subject, (what subject was that?) It’s almost birthday month for Mr. Wu, and the Meihem twins, so the Sundays of July will be filled with encore presentations with Mr. Wu and the Meihems! (Pinky Junior shares [NOT DAT WORDS!!!!] her birthday [July 29th] with The Wu Self!) The wizard of Wu always has an encore presentation in October and it’s a Wonderful Life, during the Christmas holiday season. I’ll reprise Mr. Wu’s entire circus adventure during his birthday month!
August, of course, will be full of the House of the Xiang-Tian clan! Definitely something to look forward to!
I hope you enjoyed this visit with Bee (the Bear)!
It’s been a year, hasn’t it? And that doesn’t even include the previous 4 years as we descended into madness of the former guy’s reign of terror.
Fezbook likes to sideswipe you with memories from years past, and so my post about the passing of the real life Mehitabel popped up, from January of 2017. She put in her time and then some, living almost to her 21st birthday. She managed to avoid coyotes, owls, and raccoons that call my woodland their home.
I will miss you forever, my beautiful kitty girl.
During that month, as we anticipated the incoming former guy, with a lot of trepidation, we also experienced a day of solidarity and joy as all over the world we marched to say, we are watching you. Even my little town of Langley had a massive turnout, despite many people (4 bus loads if I remember correctly) headed into Seattle for an even bigger march.
In the final year of the former guy’s assault on democracy (is it the final year? Seems like he is still assaulting us;) we lost over 600,000 to a worldwide pandemic, which, among TFG’s many crimes, the crime of letting the pandemic run almost unopposed was one of his worst. So many families were torn apart as their loved ones died in hospitals, unable to be together or mourn their losses with family members.
The panda community lost one of our own, not to Covid, but to a bad heart, which is kind of ironic, since Jayelle had one of the biggest hearts I’ve come into contact with on these interwebs.
I made this series of ‘toons in her memory:
2020 did have one bright spot…well, at least two that I can think of. The first was our own little miracle cubby born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC, who just made his public debut about a month ago, and is already wowing the crowds.
And the real life Bao Bao (Princess Pinky to her Panda Chronicle fans)had a cubby in her new home in China. alas, as an inexperienced mom, they decided her cubby would do better with an adopted family with an experienced mom and a brother. Fortunately for us, they have their own panda cam, so we can watch her antics.
It left me with a dilemma, since I have chosen to keep Pinky a perpetual teenager, living at home with her family. Hey. It’s fiction. I can do anything I want. I mean Charlie Brown was six for like 75 years, okay?
But there is more than one way to..um… well, you know.
It’s been a very hard year for so many, and a hard lifetime for so many more. I’m not sure where we go from here when so many people are so insistent on denying the reality of the former guy’s loss. The events of January 6, 2021 weigh heavily on my brain. The centuries of racism and the continuing assaults on Black, Latin, and Asian people in this country hurt my very core. The GOP led states who are even now passing voter suppression bills to amplify the harms done, make me wonder if there is any hope for humanity.
Could we learn to be better people? It sure doesn’t seem like that’s the direction we’re headed in. I’m waiting for those who have the power to make laws, to practice justice, to do their jobs and use their power to help people and not just find ways to hold onto that power.
Sorry to be kind of down tonight.
Call your Congress folks, Get your vaccine, Work for social justice.
I thought I would be having a lot more fun by now: Biden in the White House, Covid Relief checks out to the people, majorities in the House and Senate…but no. Fascism still is rearing it’s ugly head and making me tired. And as we all know, it’s all about me!
Wait…was that Pinky talking in my ear?
This week we’ll have a report from Frank and Mikey as they travel to Alaska to spend some time with their family, and Mei Xiang checks in with her sister! I bet you know what (or who!) is coming next!
But now, let’s dive into the archives for a little of that debonair French panda cubby!
Did I hear the Bebe Maurice was going to be making a visit to the Panda House in DC? perhaps he will paint a family portrait!
Be the bear! Bob T Panda
Try to hold off the end of democracy for at least another week!
Who would have guessed my creative journey would have taken me into the realm of needle felted pandas, or even Panda Satire? Certainly not me! When I was in art school, back in the days when you could get a college education for less than the price of a house, if you were a painting student, you PAINTED! Nothing else was acceptable! You did not “waste” your talents on such frivolous pursuits as Panda Satire, for crying out loud!
For some number of years, I held to those principles. Eventually the realities of a more regular cash flow lead me down the path of printmaking (etching to start). Eventually I embraced other forms of printmaking, such as lithography, monoprint, and monotype. One of the universal truths I discovered was that all forms of making art have something to offer, and each technique you add to your tool box, circles back around and makes the other forms you practice stronger.
Working on black and white etchings made my paintings much stronger, with greater attention to composition and light an dark values.
This all has a point
The recession of 2008 hit me hard, and I needed something to cheer me up. Pandas were the answer. I don’t know what the question is. What I do know, is that one thing leads to another: panda satire lead to starting to write children’s book (another pursuit which has a long way to reach its conclusion) and it also led to making needle felted pandas.
Every bear has a story
Some of the stories are mine, but the felty panda troop inspires stories in the people who welcome them into their homes. I am honored to be entrusted with some of these stories, and rather than my usual dive into the archives today, I am going to share some of the photos sent to me by a lover of the felty bears. They have added their own touch to the settings, and as one who has always loved dollhouse miniatures, the exquisite details they have added to the scenes thrill me no end!
Enjoy these Felty Dioramas!
I hope you enjoyed these felty dioramas! It’s never too late to have a panda party at your house!
While all of Bikkie’s fans prepare to converge upon the Smifsonian Panda Zoo, (and the chaos of a reservation system being overloaded with all of his fans) those of us with non-panda zoos took a day to visit the “other” pandas.
Yes, I do mean red pandas. Of course I asked them where the real pandas were. They were not amused. No matter, it was a fun day at the zoo, meeting up with some of #PandaTwitter for a morning’s wandering in the May Seattle sunshine!
Here are some Sunday Fun Day ‘toons to hold you, until the next exciting episode of Pinky’s Dream drops on Tuesday!
Bikkie’s debut is just around the corner!!!
For those of you who were wondering how Frank got those fuzzy dice stuck on his ear…
Who doesn’t love a couple of adorable grizzly bears?
The recent Doctor Panda felty was suggested to me by one of my long time followers/supporters, but those who have been following panda satire from its earliest beginnings, know that there were some early appearances by a certain panda (“I’m not a Doctor, but I play one in a cartoon”) and also, Nurse Babette, founder of the “Home for Indigent Panda Stuffies” which was just one of her many…um…enterprising enterprises!
Let’s ‘toon in to the way back machine…
And who could forget everyone favorite game show?
I hope everyone has a good day, but remember, Doctor Panda is in the house!
Be the bear! Bob T Panda
Note: some people are still having trouble getting in to the contact form on the Buy Stuff with Pandas Page. Feel free to email me via the contact form or paper airplanes across the transom if you have a need for felty pandas!
This week we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the first Earth Day! Pandas, of course are well versed in the environmental realm (“We R Endangered!!!!) so it is no surprise that pandas have embraced science!