Category Archives: the essential pandaness of being

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

Do I need to supply trigger warnings? I don’t know…it does have a happy ending, if I’m not revealing too much!

The AQI (Air Quality Index) is at 163 as I write this. Portland OR’s AQI has been bouncing between 300+ to well over 500. 😳 This is not good. Haven’t they (we) suffered enough? And now our smokey air has spread all the way yo the east coast!

Good thing Mei is staying in with little Sweet Pea XT4.

Mommee Mei always knows the right thing to do and say!

Be the Bear!
Bob T Panda

Technical difficulties

It seems like I had some technical difficulties in scheduling Sunday’s post. I have rescheduled it for tomorrow morning.

A Tribute in Pandas

You may recall that a few weeks ago, we lost one of our dear members of the panda community. Jayelle was a fierce defender of her family, her friends, all animals (especially pandas) and her beloved NASCAR races. One of the panda fam suggested I do something incorporating her avatar (a panda with a checkered racing flag) into a ‘toon.

Never one to resist taking a simple idea and loading it up with a bunch of other stuff, I share with you now, this 3 part series that celebrates at least some of the things she loved.

Pandas go to the races!!!

Who will win? Six and Sebben battle it out on the track!

be the bear, everyone!

Panda On !
Bob T Panda

Panda Satire is Absolutely an Essential Industry

The internet is such a strange place…

We know so much, and yet so little about the people we encounter here. In the early days of online chat rooms, making connections with people had a somewhat sketchy, if not downright sleazy, implication. But as the world of social media developed and grew, it became a place to form relationships with people with similar interests.

I first dipped my feet into the social media stream when I started putting my panda ‘toons online. I wanted to see if there were panda fans out there (ha ha ha, right?) who might find my ‘toons about badly behaved panda kindergarteners and their beleaguered feline associate, humorous. It turns out that there was an appreciation for panda satire amongst the lovers of pandas that congregate on line. I mean the panda lovers congregate, not the actual pandas. But then again…

At some point I connected with the folks that organized an IRL Panda Convention in San Diego, home to the magnificent Bai Yun and her fuzzy stud muffin hubby, Gao Gao. It was not without a bit of trepidation that I made my foray for an extended meeting of real life panda fans. I had already met some of the DC panda clan. But that was just a meet up at the zoo and then lunch. This was a whole weekend of pandemonium. This would have been in early 2013, when the cute Wu Self made his public debut. If I remember correctly, he slept through most of it.

Later that fall, I returned to DC, after Princess Pinky was born, and once again met up with the DC pandaratti. The DC folks are a unique bunch, mostly because the zoo is in the middle of the city, and there is no admission fee, (although many of them are zoo supporters through FONZ: Friends of the National Zoo.) When a zoo is that accessible, it’s only natural that people go frequently and form close friendships with people they meet repeatedly.

Later in 2013, when the SOB GOP shut the government down, I turned to Twitter to join with other people expressing their outrage in general at such short sighted malfeasance. But I also found, there there was a whole community of panda fans there, that I like to call #PandaTwidder. Needless to say, bonds were formed over the injustice of The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Panda Cam Shut Down of 2013.

When I find myself in times of trouble, fluffy pandas comfort me…

Those who are familiar with my story of how I got into panda satire (and those that haven’t, should read this page of the Panda Chronicles that tells the story of my Pandapiphany…) know that pandas first invaded my brain in early 2008, and then by late 2008, when the economy had gone to hell in a hand basket, they proceeded to save my sanity. (That claim is somewhat open to question.)

And while I love those little fluffy black and white bears more than I can say, it is the people who love them and share my fascination obsession with them that have really saved me. We now find ourselves in even worse times than the financial meltdown of 2008. (2020: hold my beer) We have an incompetent, quite possibly criminal “president” careening toward 100’s of 1,000’s of deaths from an out of control pandemic (which he takes no responsibility for), we have unidentified military-like personnel beating and kidnapping people off the streets in Portland, OR, we have millions of people out of work who have lost their health insurance and if the GOP controlled Senate doesn’t take some action on disaster income relief, millions will be out on the street.

On top of this, we have just lost one of our own…

On Sunday, one of the guiding lights of Panda Twitter passed away from a heart attack. Who knows how you cross paths with anyone on Twitter. Some one you follow, follows someone else, before you know it, you are in a 12 way conversation about whether this panda or that panda is the best panda ever, and don’t you think mebbee Bubba needs to lay off the Binky Bars. However I met Jayelle, she was a fan and friend of Panda Satire from the time we met. She was a fierce defender of social justice and voting equality. She loved her wife and she loved her brother and his family more than life itself.

It’s impossible to know everything about those you think of as your friends on Twitter. But if I know nothing else, I know these things: First, that one of her last thoughts must have been, “Damn! I don’t get to vote for Joe Biden and see Trump leave the WH in disgrace.” Not necessarily in this order, I think she told her wife she loved her, that she apologized to her most beloved niece and nephew that while she wouldn’t be there in person to see them grow up, she would always live on in them; to her brother who has serious health problems, that she was so sorry that she wouldn’t be there to support him, like she had been doing for so long; that she was furious that she wouldn’t get to see Bubba Wallace win his next race.

Jayelle had a huge heart and shared it freely with people on Twitter she would never meet. Who knew it would let all of us down so very badly. Rest in Power, Jayelle. Your absence leave a hole that can’t be filled.

But because she loved panda satire so much, this one is for you, Jayelle…

When you can’t make fun of politics via panda satire, the terrorists have won

Panda on
Rest in Power, Jayelle
Bob T Panda

Panda Satire is an Essential Industry

As I ponder the political paradigm shift that is at our door, sometimes I am drawn to the dark visage that is on the other side of the door.

Hang on to your hats, kids, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

I think that maybe I am not doing anything to help the current debacle we are facing. Then I remember:

Panda Satire IS an essential industry!

So many people have told me, that these ‘toons help them face the day. Laughter in times of tyrannyis a political act. So let’s do all we can to laugh in the face of fascism.

Ha ha HA! Take that!
BRING ON THE PANDAS!

We are entering the American Panda Birthday Season! Who can forget the excitement of the first Cublanta twins birth?

Mr Wu speaks out!

While Mr.Wu was the first panda I watched from birth, his birthday is not the first of the year! Let’s put our paws together for the Meihem Twins, Bert and Ernie!

The first appearance of the Meihems!

Atlanta twin panda cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan and older prother Po

Huzzah! a guest appearance by little Po!

Atlanta Twins have a fight

Sweet dreams, little bears!

Atlanta panda cub twins

Huzzah! It’s Bert and his brother Ernie!

Zoo Atlanta Twin panda Cubs

…and their jammies! Huzzah!

Uh oh! Pinky did a bad thing!

Bao bao changes panda cub gender

Pinky is VERY powerful. Be afraid, be very afraid, Mr Wu.

downloadable paper panda upgrade

school uniforms for pandas

Ready for panda kindergarten!

You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find ‘toons with Bert and Ernie without Pinky in them! We’ll feature some of the ‘toons that Pinky has horned in on…I mean, when Pinky joins the Meihems,  but now, let’s remind everyone how animals feel about fireworks on the 4th of July!

uh. oh.

Huzzah for Rumpy Dog!

A Happy (belated) Panada Day to our neighbors from the north!

Oh Panada, Oh Panada, how tasty are your maple leaves….

Panda on,
Bob T Panda

Black Lives Matter

As a country, we have done a fairly terrible job protecting the rights, the health, and well-being of all our citizens. The government’s response to the peaceful protests against police brutality against African American and Latino citizens of our country is only proving the point: There has to be a better way to keep people safe.

We live in a country that has chipped away at the services that serve people of all but the top tier of the economic classes. Health care, school nurses, mental health services, art and music classes in schools: programs that give students  a chance to express themselves. Instead, police departments are given more money for more weapons and more armored vehicles. Do you feel safer? I don’t think I do. When did they start putting armed guards in schools? Doesn’t it make more sense to have fewer guns?

It lifted my spirits to see that the mayor of Washington DC had arranged to paint “Black Lives Matter” in 50 foot high letters on the street fronting Lafayette Square.

Of course Bubba, Ping Ping and Pinky wanted to help…

Well, it WAS a good messaging opportunity…

Panda On
Register to Vote
VOTE
Bob T Panda

Pinky’s Coronavirus Chronicles

What with the zoo being closed and no one able to come and hear Pinky’s cubpaign speeches, Pinky is going to have to come up with some other ways to get her message out. I can’t lie: (unlike some others who MUST NOT BE NAMED) This whole virus thing is damn scary.

I keep reading about well known people getting the virus and being very sick from it. I read about the doctors and nurses and first responders of all kinds facing this thing down, with less than adequate supplies and equipment. I can’t give up hope that we will come out the other side of this, but at the same time, it is very frightening.

It’s a good thing we have Pinky on our side!

It’s nothing that a little cocoa can’t fix!

Wands up, everyone!

Bob T Panda

BTW: I have ordered the Washi tape, and hope to have it in about 3-4 weeks. I’m going to get organdized and then will start taking orders for it. Stay tuned everyone!

100 Years of Solitude

Gee. I hope it’s not going to last that long, no matter how much this first week feels like it has already been 100 years long. I hope it gets easier. But although I am still healthy, covid19 cases are growing in Island county. In theory, I’m pretty safe. I work at home, I don’t go out to crowded places much, but when every door handle is a ticking time bomb, and knowing how extremely contagious this virus is, it does not give one much peace of mind.

In times of trouble, we need art and laughter more than ever.

Doesn’t impeachment seem like a million years ago?

A bear can dream, am I right?

I have a lot of thoughts, having a bit of extra time to think, so I thought I would share it here.

Also, if I put these nuggets of wisdom between the ‘toons, it will be harder to just scroll past it and get to the good stuff. 🙂

The transition from staying home most of the time to staying home all the time (except for one post office run and maybe a weekly trip to the grocery store) is not a big one, but somehow it feels significant. It feels different. I’m trying to remember to talk to people on the phone, not just text or tweet at them. I’m trying to keep in mind that even though I am not on the front lines in health care or restocking grocery store shelves, creating humorous panda satire, and beautiful paintings (and felty pandas!!!) is still important.

Don’t get mad. Get even.

Rising up from behind the stories of inept and malignant “leadership”, are teachers and writers and artists who are making broad and generous offers to share what they have created online, so that families who are suddenly homeschooling or coordinating online learning from their closed schools, have interesting, joyful content for children.

Theater companies are offering their seamstress services to hospitals to make mask to protect the doctors and nurses on the front lines.

Governors and mayors are stepping forward and doing what needs to be done to keep their people safe, when the federal government drags it feet.

And of course everyone is starting their own podcast!

Because of course she does!

So much FLANNEL!!!!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been creating panda satire for more than 12 years, starting in early 2008.

In all that time, as the readership has swelled, some people have been here almost from the beginning and some are more recent friends and readers.  For those who are new here, most of the ‘toons are here in the archives for you to read, to get to know all the characters that reside here in Pandyland.

This is not a land with millions of followers. But those of you who have decided to get on board the panda bus, well, I think you are pretty special. (You obviously have excellent taste in humor) Our numbers may be modest, but our love of pandas and warmth of spirit are mighty. It makes my day when I get a card (in the actual mail!!!) from one of you. It makes me feel like what I do matters.

When I see references to cuppycakes, comments and conversations in the voice of the characters of The Panda Chronicles (Otherwise known as panda improv) It makes me smile and makes my heart lighter. It makes me feel like I have created something significant. I have created characters that have come to life in minds other than my own.

Who would ever imagine Pinky would do something to offend someone? #ClapLouder

Make no mistake. These are dark times.

If we are to get through them, we need each and every one of us to keep that panda light in our hearts. We need to believe that there will be a rising up against the malignant force that has taken hold in the center of our government. We need to believe that good hearts and good spirits will prevail. ( We need to VOTE in November)

Pinky: when are people gonna learn dat pinky knows da best!

Being endangered means never having to say you are sorry.

bears will be bears!

Let Pinky be Pinky!

George Washington Bridge lane closure satire.

Princess Pinky Bao Bao…what have you done now?

Panda on, Panda on!
Bob T Panda

The Notorious RPG does not take any guff from ANYONE!!!

Need I say more?

They don’t call her “notorious” for nothing!

She’s small
She’s cute.
Don’t mess with her.

Be da bear!
Bob T Panda

Introducing…Ruth Panda Ginsbear

I’ve been having so much fun making Felty pandas, which has the added benefit of keeping me off the streets and out of the bars. Not that I usually go to bars, but you know what I mean. Anyway, one of the Friends of the Felty Pandas (or FFPs for short) said, you really should make a Ruth Bader Ginsberg panda. I thought about it for a while, till I figured out how I could make her glasses and robe, with as little sewing as possible, and finally came of with:

The Notorious RPG :Soon to be available as a felty panda!

Of course, then she wanted to be in a cartoon, so…

Meet Ruth Panda Ginsbear

We will persist!

Panda on Friends
Bob T Panda FFP