Monday, July 20, 2009

A Spongy Reflection

I spent the better part of the weekend spongebob-ing. That's right, I did it enough that it deserves to be a verb. When I wasn't inking a SpongeBob comic for Nick Mag (quite possibly my last), I was watching bits of the 50-hour SpongeBob marathon (otherwise known as the "Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash Weekend!"), marking the show's 10th anniversary. I also happened upon the latest issue of Nick Mag on a trip to the drug store—the "Ultimate SpongeBob Issue", which includes a SpongeBob poster featuring every single character from the series (there are A LOT of characters). I even caught the VH1 special "Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob Squarepants" last Tuesday. So, I easily spent the better part of a week soaking it all

Here's a teaser frame from my latest comic. Funny, because this was basically me—drawing and inking away feverishly. I find it hard not to identify with the yellow sponge, and I guess I'm not alone. In an interview with Nick Mag, Vincent Waller (creative director on the show) has a great quote when asked why SpongeBob is so popular:

"Because SpongeBob is a kid at heart—he has all the joy and happiness that you have when you're young. And he also has the freedom of an adult. He has his own house, he goes to work—but he loves his job—and he has a pet. I think kids like that. They think, That's me, but with freedom."

How could you not identify with that? I know...I know...his annoying laugh can be grating. But for me, it's always been about the whole package: great design, great voice, GREAT laugh, and an honest personality. Plus, he's funny!

Here's a drawing I dug up from the papers on my desk that I doodled with a brush pen. It's looser than I normally draw, and not quite on model, but I like to think it captures his simple charm.

I've reflected elsewhere about he who is porous (here), when I was getting ready to pitch my first comics to Nick Mag. And here's a quick link to all my SpongeBob related posts.

Happy 10-year anniversary to everyone who has worked on the show! And keep'em coming!

I'll end on a favorite quote:

"The inner mechanisms of my mind are an enigma." —Patrick Star

UPDATE: For those interested, I just did a related/follow-up post of sorts over at the Creative Juices blog: SpongeBob is Everywhere. It highlights the artwork of Sherm Cohen and Robertryan Cory.


Chris Houghton said...

Well I say that's a weekend well spent! I totally missed out on the VH1 documentary AND the 50 hours of SB. Ah, the perils of not having cable! All well, I'm sure it was awesome.

Congrats on doing your last SB comic Bob. Can't wait to see it! Too bad it has to be the last. :( But since the show's still going, maybe you'll get a chance to do something else with the little yellow sponge!

Hannah O'Neal said...

Ya know I remember I used to love flicking through Nickelodeon magazine when I went to the local convenience store as a child. I haven't seen one in years. And knowing that there's a free poster of Sponge Bob in this (maybe)last issue, well now I need to find one and buy it!

I'm sorry that the magazine is ending. I know you really liked contributing your Sponge Bob comics. Maybe you can find a different home for you mad Sponge Bob skills. :)

Unknown said...

You rocked the spongebob comics. Hopefully, with it's success, there'll still be an avenue for spongbob to be enjoyed in comic form.

Tear. Good bye Nick Mag. I was lucky enough to do a couple of things for it too.

I caught peices of the Sponge Bob marathon too. Priceless. I even caught my Father In Law pausing to watch and chuckling a bit.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks everyone! I definitely recommend snatching up the latest Nick Mag if you can find it. I'm not in it—but its another GREAT issue. And sadly, there are only a few months to go.

David DeGrand said...

Why they haven't hired you at Nick as a character designer is beyond me, that loose Spongebob doodle is really great! I gotta agree, Spongebob is truly a great character and his lasting appeal is a testament to the creative forces that keep him going, yourself included!

Jason Curtis said...

I picked up my copy of Nick magazine earlier's great.

The quote by Vincent Waller echo's my feelings on SpongeBob exactly.

I feel that we can all learn a lot from SpongeBob actually. If more of us lived as he does (enjoying all that life has to offer) the world would be a better place for sure.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks, David!

I'll really curious to see what will be of SpongeBob another 10 years from now. Nickelodeon found their Mickey Mouse—it'll be interesting to see what they do with him down the road.

He still stands as my favorite cartoon character.