Every good website should have an FAQ to keep its users from driving the webmaster crazy with the same old questions that probably don’t deserve an answer anyway. So after 16 months of keeping my readers in the dark with regards to their natural inquisitiveness, I have finally decided to add my own FAQ here to The Nest. There’s just one problem…. nobody ever asks me any questions.
But there’s no reason to let that stop me from creating an informative page that should answer all of the common questions people would have if they
actually gave a shit really wanted to know more about the many mentally disturbed aspects that go into bringing The Nest’s content to you. As with everything else I post about over here, I’ll just make some stuff up and pray for a few cheap laughs. And who knows, you might even learn something in the process….
What in the world inspired this squirrely cartoon madness?
A collision back in early 2008 of a newfound desire to draw anthropomorphic artwork, and in particular apply this to an art project I was making for my longtime message board community, and an alter-ego I created of “Evil Squirrel” to taunt the dog of another board member who always had bad things to say about “evil squirrels” in her yard. As I kept drawing and continued to be inspired by other people and events over there, it slowly evolved into the series you see here today. When I started this blog, one of my intentions was to introduce this quirky bunch of characters to a new audience to see if people who did not know me previously would also appreciate the artwork and humor. My legions of literally dozens of adoring ES fans make that a huge “mission accomplished!”
So why are you so fascinated with squirrels?
I wasn’t fascinated with them in the least before ES came along. But given the huge role ES has carved out in my life in the last 5 years, how could I not become more interested in the species I was representing? I am quite glad I did get interested in squirrels too, because I’ve come to appreciate just what amazing and awesome creatures they truly are… and if I’ve spread that appreciation and awareness of their many good traits to even a few people, that alone justifies my bringing these characters into existence.
What about possums and skunks? You can’t possibly really like them too, can you?
And why not? Like squirrels, they are the misunderstood, disliked underdogs of the suburban wildlife kingdom. While Hooly may be flippant and self centered, and Buster preverted and annoying… they still do the good deed of drawing awareness to their respective species and giving it some humanlike qualities, and like all of nature’s creatures, they deserve our respect and even admiration. I find I have a connection with the little rascals of life, because I’ve always kind of been one myself…
So is Evil Squirrel really evil? And if not, why does he have that silly name?
Like most of my characters, ES has a playful mean streak… but he’s certainly not evil. Since the whole series finds its origins in that “Evil Squirrel” alter ego I created, and that was the name attached to the little grey furball from the beginning, I really had no choice but to keep it even though it’s really not particularly fitting (especially now that he’s handed a lot of the mischievousness off to Buster).
So, is Rainbow Donkey really a donkey?
Rainbow Donkey is just a plain old unicorn, although a poorly drawn one at that. The name came from the hideous first appearance of the unicorn character I drew in May 2009, as my message board friends couldn’t help but mock the terribly rendered mythical beast. At least I latched onto Rainbow Donkey and not the first suggestion of Rainbow Cow….
What in the hell is this “Mecca” you keep referring to?
Mecca is a nickname someone on my longtime message board community came up with for my employer, who happens to be a major US retail store that almost everyone seems to passionately love and/or hate. I borrowed that term for my blog and not only use the term Mecca exclusively to refer to the company I work for, but have also incorporated a purple and yellow clad fictional version of the retail giant into my comic.
OK, you keep referring to this “longtime message board community” you belong to…. what is it?
The other community I’ve been a part of for the last 13 years started off on the official ABC message board for the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire back in its glory days with Regis Philbin. I stumbled onto the community in May of 2000, instantly became hooked, and given my lack of other real life friends, was extremely happy to have been taken in by the people there… who have somehow put up with me all this time. I’ve created a number of interesting projects via my time on that message board, but none has or probably ever will give me the pleasure that ES and the gang have.
How do you create these drawings you post here, and could I make them too?
Most of my drawings here are created solely in MS Paint. Yes, you read that right, MS Paint. And the old program from the last decade, not the fancy schmancy new version I’ve seen lately. Oh, and I just use a mouse to move the “brush” around. Yes, that took a lot of practice and coordination to get used to. All of the “avatars” like the one you see above are 100% Paint created. When I opened my shop in late 2011, I did finally splurge on Photoshop… which has created some of the nifty effects you see in my more advanced drawings I post here, however almost everything I draw at the very least passes through MS Paint first. If you have that program, and it’s generally standard with Windows, then you are well on your way to creating
crummy wonderful computer generated artwork just like I do!
Where is your link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts? Surely you use these popular social media sites to reach an even larger audience beyond WordPress?
There are no links to Facebook or Twitter because I do not use either of those sites. I generally despise social media as a whole. Of course, you are quick to point out that message boards and blogs are social media sites themselves, and you aren’t boycotting them. Well sure, a message board is a social media site just like a prairie schooner is an automobile, with the blog rating as a Model T Ford. Facebook is a timesuck wasteland for creepers, capitalistic ventures, and zombies who can’t stay off their smartphones… and Twitter has managed to reduce the overall intelligence level of the world by about 10 IQ points, not to mention destroyed the collective attention span. I’ll pass, thank you.
Are you trying to guilt me into buying something from your CafePress shop with the multiple links to the store?
No I’m not, but since this blog’s original primary purpose was to promote the store I opened on CafePress in 2011, I obviously featured links to it front and center. Now that I have a fan base who actually loves what I feature on my blog, and the initial sales I got from my other friends have died off, the store is just something in the background to me now. Of course, you never know when someone might have some money burning a hole in their pocket, so why not keep the links on the front page?
I really love your content here, and feel ashamed that you aren’t getting paid for it! Why don’t you have a Donate button?
That would require me getting myself a PayPal account. Considering the fact that I didn’t even have a credit card until I was 35 years old, the day I decide to transfer money electronically may be far off in the future. I’m too humble to think what I do here justifies passing the hat, but if there were enough interest, I wouldn’t rule out trying it…
Is it really necessary to continually maim and kill Buster in your comic?
Buster’s misfortunes in my comics kinda came about by accident since he was pegged to be the patsy of my gang from the beginning. I do have a gruesome streak, and Buster’s loveable, squishable character is just ripe to pick on to unleash this morbid streak. Besides, he’s only a cartoon, so he always comes back for more the next week. Anyone who has serious issues with cartoon violence is not only gonna hate my blog, but is probably not someone who I want to be talking to anyway.
How often can I find new posts on this blog?
I seem to average about 4 or 5 posts a week… with three of those being regular features. I put up my new comic strip on Thursdays, I fondly recall something from my past on Flashback Fridays, and I honor the magnificent squirrel with photos on Saturday. While I’d like to get into a daily writing routine, I doubt that’s ever going to happen… so don’t be alarmed if I go 2 or 3 days without a post, especially early in the week.
How do I become one of your “Squirrel Approved Blogs”?
This is going to sound random and perhaps even a bit juvenile, but the Squirrel Approved Blogs section on my sidebar is basically just an extra way to thank those other bloggers who read and participate at The Nest regularly with a link to their blogs. As people come and go, the icons on the sidebar change… but the only way to get there is to show me that you care, and the only way to stay there is to continue to hang around! I always try to reciprocate the love as best I can by keeping up with my followers’ blogs…
I love one of your images you created! Is it OK if I share it on my blog?
Sure! As long as you don’t plan on using it for commercial purposes, and kindly mention my blog and link back to me, you are more than welcome to showcase one of my creations (Which should be easily distinguishable from the other images that I just steal off of Google). I can not accept responsibility for what your readers might think of your taste, however….