Friday, December 18, 2020

Bear with Me (it's been a rough day) –

   A Short Conversation with Bob Scott     

by John Adcock

Bob Scott’s second hardcover book Bear with Me (it’s been another hard day) is taking pre-orders for a publication date of Winter 2021 at Hermes Press HERE. I had a short and amiable conversation with Bob about his career. Bob Scott, says Hermes promotional page, “was born in Detroit, Bob began drawing at a young age, copying what he saw in the funny pages. Acceptance and graduation from California Institute of the Arts opened the world of character animation for Bob. He has worked over 35 years in the industry as an animator, character designer, storyboard artist and voice talent.”

Q. You began by copying from the funny pages. Did you have any particular favorites or influences?

I read Doonesbury and Bloom County avidly in high school and college. I was hooked on Garfield as well. I loved the Hanna-Barbera newspaper strips (Yogi Bear/The Flintstones) drawn by Gene Hazelton. Pogo by Walt Kelly, Quincy by Ted Shearer and Eek and Meek by Howie Schneider have all influenced my work.  

Q. Was your first related work experience in comics or in animation? Before or in California?

In my second year at Cal Arts my friend got me a week of work at DIC doing layouts for the Get Along Gang, a show best forgotten. As a junior in college, I landed a freelance job for Disney on a Sport Goofy TV special as a full-fledged animator. Working on Sport Goofy was such a great experience, I still work with Darrell Van Citters, the director, as often as possible.  In fact, I recently worked for him on season 4 of The Tom and Jerry Show. My senior year at college I spent working full time instead of attending classes.  I did all of my student work at night.

I worked at Marvel Animation drawing characters on the animated Muppet Babies show.  Stan Lee had an office in the building and a huge sculpture of Spider-Man hung over the studio entrance.  I did assistant animation work on Don Bluth’s An American Tail. Ah, those Bluth mouth shapes still haunt me.  

While in college I convinced the local paper, The Newhall Signal, to run my own weekly comic strip, Myron.  This arrangement lasted until I graduated. 

Upon graduation, I went to work for Jim Davis in Muncie, Indiana. Brett Koth and I were hired to co-pencil Jim’s comic strip US Acres.  I loved working with Jim and his crew, and Brett is still a great friend and inspiration to me. (He’s gone on to create the hilarious syndicated comic strip Diamond Lil.) My brand-new wife, Vicki, was hired on to draw Garfield licensing art which was great; our desks were next to each other!  What newlyweds get to work so closely together?  

I guess you could say that I’ve always had my foot in both the worlds of animation and comic strips. 

Q. Did the work on US Acres inspire your own Molly and the Bear? Was that your first idea? Oh, and why did you change the title to Bear with Me?

I attempted many other strips before Bear with Me. After college I submitted a strip to the syndicates about a suicidal dog! Gee, I wonder why that didn’t sell. Ha! Ha! What was I thinking? 

As a matter of fact, my new book has a section with samples of my past submissions. There are some doozies.

US Acres has definitely inspired my work on Bear with Me. I learned a lot from working with Jim and Brett. How to stage a comic strip, pace a gag and funny word choices. Both Jim and Brett’s writing inspires me to this day!

As the strip evolved the cast has grown. Molly has school friends and Bear spends time annoying Dad. It felt like a title that better described the strip. Also, it puts the strip higher up on the list in alphabetical order on GoComics. I gained more subscribers after the name change. I might add an Aardvark next! 

Q. Your last book was published in March 2016, the new collection in Winter 2021. Should we look for a third volume five years from now?

Yes! It’s been 5 years since the last book and honestly it is hard for me to believe. I need to draw faster so that I have enough strips for a third book sooner. Ha! Ha! If only I could work on my strip full-time. The day job pays the bills, though.


See also Molly and the Bear from Jan 19, 2009 HERE

Read Bear with Me at GoComics HERE 

Pre-order Bear with Me HERE




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