20 Questions with Comic Artists: Frank Page from Bob the Squirrel

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Well True Believers, today we deliver once again on our popular segment of interviews with comic artists.  Today we have one of the biggest and best known web comic artists on the web Frank Page (Sound of cheers fill the theater)  Frank produces a comic every day as well as doing his popular “Squirrel-osophy strips as well, that’s 2 strips everyday, something even most syndicated comic artists couldn’t manage.  He has been working at this unbelievable pace since 2001.

You can check out Bob the Squirrel here: http://www.bobthesquirrel.com/

This is the kind of drive and dedication unheard of in the web comic business where people managing outside lives as well as other careers often publish once or twice a week at most.  How does he accomplish this?  We find out in the interview below.  So now I give you the maestro of the Sciuridae set:  Frank Page

> Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?

I’ve always wanted to be a cartoonist. Doing a series is just an extension of that.

> Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?

There are so many influences… In the past, I’ve pegged a few individuals as greatest influences but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I take a little bit from almost everything I see… to say that one creator is the greatest influence of all would be doing the others a disservice. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole bunch of cartoonists to make another cartoonist.

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> Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?

Saranac Diet Root Beer. Saranac is a brand that is brewed in Utica, NY… about 15 miles away from where I live. It’s the best diet root beer I’ve ever tasted… just like regular root beer without the caloric guilt.

> Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?

There are several things. I want to tell a good story. I want to populate the world with believable and likable characters. I want to be able to support my family with my comic and I want to make it so when people see a squirrel, they think “bob”.

> Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?

In 2010, I finished up work on my MFA in visual art. In the two years that it took me to graduate, I was exposed to a plethora of different forms of art. I’m pretty much open to anything: painting, sculpting, music, writing.

> Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?

I definitely consider myself a professional cartoonist… I wouldn’t want to work this hard and NOT be considered a professional.

> Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?

I’m not in this to offend or hurt anyone. I stay away from violent, sexist, racist stuff. In the seven seconds a day I get someone’s attention, I want (hope) to make them happy… not intentionally (or unintentionally) piss them off.

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> Question 8: What kind of equiptment or style of drawing do you use?

I like to keep my setup as old-school as I can. Brush pens, non-photo blue pencil on bristol board. I do use photoshop for coloring and indesign for putting my books together.

> Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?

I have a BFA in illustration from Cazenovia College and an MFA in Visual Art with emphasis on Sequential Art from the Vermont College of Fine Art.

> Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?

Walking into a store and having a complete stranger come up to me and ask, “Where’s Bob?” That is the best feeling ever.

> Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?

Back in 2011-12, I was strongly considering ending my comic strip. I did a lot of thinking and thinking… for a moment there it looked pretty bad. I was ready to lose my best friend. Thankfully, good sense prevailed and I didn’t end it.

> Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?

I have over 20 books available on my website http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bobthesquirrel. Yeah, that’s a LOT of nuts. (

> Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?

I admire anyone who is willing to put in the work and discipline involved in producing a daily or semi-daily strip. It’s not easy… and it’s even harder to maintain.

> Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?

I often joke that if I could do it all over again, I’d be a plumber… I usually say that when I have to call a plumber. Honestly, I can’t see myself doing anything else.

> Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)

Try thinking of 365 funny ideas in a year. If you can do that then you have the right to be a jerk… if not, shut up.

> Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?

Thankfully, the psyching of myself up is not a thing I need to do. I set myself up into routine and I stick to it. No motivation is needed when you already know what you need to do.

> Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?

Coke Zero. It’s the best.

> Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?

To quote the late, great comedian Groucho Marx: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

> Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?

Thinking of new ideas. That will never be easy.

> Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?

I’m just going to keep doing what I do and hope that people dig what I do. That’s all you really can do.

bob the squirrel for president 2012

(Frank also has a Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/bobthesquirrel?ty=h)

Once again True Believers, the Root Beer Party has brought you all the information you need to know.  Bob the Squirrel is one of the best and most consistently funny comics on the web, even his recent spat with Wikipedia over the deletion of his entry is the kind of stuff legendary comics are built on.

You really can’t say enough about Frank Page or Bob the Squirrel, it is really what all web comic creators aspire to be.  Frank has carved a part of the web out for himself and presides over the kingdom of comics with a sharp wit and a relentless drive to improve.  His Squirrel-osophy pages recently have contained a detailed rendering of squirrels, just to change the feel and look of the strip and flex his artistic muscles.  He   is not kidding when he says: Bob the Squirrel is the best comic you are not reading.  So True Believers, Check out Bob and all his crazy adventures and enjoy one of the best strips on the web and until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

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