Halloween 2019

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Summary:

This Halloween Farfel’s got a rollicking tale for the crew, featuring his great demon-slaying ancestor, Van Farfel.

On a dark and stormy night, Van Farfel finds himself in a fight of his life. His nemesis, a possessed vacuum cleaner who feeds on cat fur!

He must rescue a family, free the trapped dust bunnies, and prevent Count Vacula from bringing his evil vacuum mate to life. Plus, he must do it all in time for dinner. It is Tuna Tuesday, after all.

This illustrated story features costume-covered kittens, dog houses for cats, magical fanny packs, and monsters who have been known to eat parents.

Continue reading Halloween 2019

Reflecting on Farfel and Bob

Farfel and Bob’s universe now consists of 5 ebooks, a handful of short stories on the website, and a number of comics. Their art style has changed (and improved!) a lot since the beginning. And of course, there are many things I would have done differently. (Such as, don’t name the kitten Rooster! Ahem, besides that…)

For the last year I’ve been researching comics and graphic novels while developing a new series: How Cats Find Their Hoomans. Researching this has made me realize I should have targeted Farfel & Bob as an all ages series from the beginning.

The dominant themes are friendship and accepting others for who they are. These themes are not often the focus in adult-targeted projects, but they’re not especially middle grade or YA themes either. Farfel and Bob have most in common with the slice-of-life genre that is more common in anime, manga, and webcomics.

The last three Farfel and Bob books, plus the email list freebie, are all-ages friendly. However, the first two stories were really written with adult cat owners in mind. And while I have been told they are fine for kids, I would have done them differently if that were my intent at the time.

Hmm… on second thought, even the Christmas one, with the catnip intoxication, that warrants at least a PG-13 rating, doesn’t it?

So, what WAS I thinking? Mostly, I was thinking about being a neurotic cat lady (like Bob’s Marcia) myself. 😉

What Cat Ladies (and Men!) Can Learn

I sought Bob’s counsel on the value of the Farfel and Bob series to adult cat owners. This is what he had to say:

Me: Hey Bob, what do the Farfel & Bob stories teach cat ladies and men?

Bob: Our books teach cat ladies how to relate to the plight of the domesticated cat.

Me: Plight? You’re over-stating it a little, aren’t you?

Bob: Not at all. Managing humans is hard work! People think they’re the only ones who struggle to adapt to life with us cats. Not so!

Me: I see. Your fictional life is actually a bit complicated…

Bob: Indeed! See here, I’ve made a list of what cat ladies can learn from each book.

Farfel and Bob’s Summer Bromance
BOB:
This story teaches cat ladies that cats have important social lives of their own. And also, we are very busy.

Farfel and Bob’s Super Stressful Weekend
BOB:
This story was supposed to be called Too Many Mouses, as you may recall, and it teaches that cats sometimes accidentally (or accidentally on purpose) kill mice and, say, parakeets. And yet, you have to love us anyway.

Me: Hm. I don’t remember that being what that book is about.

Bob: Well…maybe you should read it again.

Farfel and Bob’s Cats vs. The Internet
BOB:
This story shows humans what cats really think of cat circles, Internet fame, and sleeping cucumber memes. People could be a little more considerate, really.

Farfel and Bob’s Christmas Catastrophe
BOB:
This one taches how stressful it is when our humans leave us with strangers! Also, you learn how the ‘nip can be a double-edged sword.

Farfel and Bob’s My Favorite Kitty
BOB:
This book is my favorite. It teaches humans how to prioritize relationships. Namely, the cat you live with must come first!

Me: Wow, okay. I didn’t realize there was so much. Next time, we’ll talk about what the books teach our feline readership.

Bob: For that, I have a whole other list.

Me: I’m sure you do. ❤

What’s next for Farfel and Bob?

An anthology might be nice. I would like to update the first two stories, making the art in color and more reflective of how I draw the cats now. Possibly I might lengthen the stories to match the others as well.

Then there is unfinished material on the workbench:

  • The story of how Farfel and Bob first met (hint: Bob didn’t think much of Farfel at first!)
  • A story where Bob dreams he’s a corgi–I’d have to learn to draw dogs!
  • Farfel’s Kitten Training Bootcamp (a project long on hold for content formatting reasons)
  • The comic where Farfel dreams everyone’s turned into zombies!
  • And an instagram-sized series where Bob waxes poetic about tuna, time travel, and transporters.

Several of these I would like to get to some day…

Got a comment about Farfel and Bob?

I’d love to hear readers’ thoughts about them. Give me a shout here or via the handy contact form. 🙂

New Release – My Favorite Kitty

4A670CB8-1D96-4897-8B5A-0F415F808102Just in time for Valentine’s Day, comes the latest installment in Farfel and Bob’s epic love affair with their respective cat ladies!

My Favorite Kitty is a short “graphic novel” type story interspersed with 27 color comics.

While Bob waxes neurotic about something Marcia has said, Farfel goes all out on another self-imposed mission. Together they’ll battle their inner cat demons and triumph on the side of awesome! Click here for more…

The Vengeful Toilet

Farfel and Bob and the Vengeful Toilet

Bob noticed something off as soon as he scaled the fence. Farfel’s usual thick orange coat was damp and disheveled. Soggy white bits clung to his fur, and he smelled faintly of cleaning products.

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Of course this latest problem would involve Farfel’s nephew and pkitty-in-crime, Rooster. The kitten followed him everywhere. Bob had to ask, “Why are you banned from the bathroom?”

Farfel plucked a wet scrap off his belly and flicked it onto the grass below. “Well, earlier today, the kid made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

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“I mean, if a kitten asks me for help, how can I say no?”

“By first considering the consequences of your actions?”

Farfel cocked his head against the moonlight and gave the option due consideration. “Nah, I couldn’t have done that.”

Bob was secretly grateful. Farfel’s antics made for great stories. With a friend like him, and a cat lady like Marcia, Bob was never bored.

“Anyway, afterward, amidst the sea of shredded TP, I realized what we’d done.”

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“Let’s just say I was certain the Mrs. wouldn’t approve, so we tried to hide the evidence.”

“Under the bed?” Bob guessed. He’d hidden many things under the bed. An orange felt mouse, a receipt Marcia had once dropped and looked everywhere for, and even a cotton ball he’d rescued from the bathroom trash.

“That would have been smart, but no.”

“Hm.” Bob racked his kitty brain. “Under the sofa?” That spot was arguably better than under the bed. Less room for anything to be seen.

Farfel slapped a paw to his face. “They say hindsight is 20/20. Sadly, no, we didn’t hide it under the sofa.”

Bob was stumped. Where would a cat put a whole roll of unfurled toilet paper? “In the basement—“

Farfel cut him off, whiskers twitching, “In the toilet! Humans put it in the toilet, so that’s where I decided to put it!”

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“At first, I thought was just lucky someone had left the seat up. But then the  problem was, even after we’d stuffed all the paper into the bowl, you could still see it.”

Bob nodded. He’d encountered that problem many times himself—usually when trying to hide his tail, which was important when playing hide and seek with Marcia. Sometimes he really fooled her!

4BA049DC-AC1E-4438-AE8E-9AF444E5B3B2Farfel gave up on grooming and hunkered down. He fluffed his fur out to dry in the evening breeze. “So we did what the humans do after they use the toilet. We pressed the magic lever. Or in our case, we pulled on it. It was hard to get leverage on that sucker from above.”

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“And that’s when things went from bad to worse.”

“The Mrs. came home and found you out?”

“Well, yeah, but there was a bigger problem: the toilet fought back.”

“Huh?” Despite Bob’s extensive study of fantasy and science fiction with Marcia, he’d never heard of such a thing.

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“So it tried to eat you?”

“No, it slimed us. Then it slimed the whole bathroom floor! Water and mushy gunk flooded out, making it all the way to the living room carpet. And then the front door opened.”

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“You know the rest. She kicked me out and here I am.”

“She didn’t even consider you might be an innocent victim?”

“Heh heh. She knows me too well for that. She did offer to dry the kid off with a towel, though.”

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“I mean, you can’t teach that level of cute.”

Bob suspected Farfel had never even aspired to that level of cute. He was too busy causing trouble. “So, what’s your next move?”

“I figure we keep out of trouble for at least a week.”

“And then?”

“Then the kid’s been wanting to practice scaling the refrigerator all in one bound.”

“And you just have to help him with that?”

“Of course! Besides, it’s only the refrigerator. What could possibly go wrong?”

What indeed.

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© 2018 Kendra Carmichael


 

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If you liked this story, check out the free Tale of the Litter Box Monster mini-ebook!

The Doorbell Monster – Farfel and Bob Halloween 2018

Farfel and Bob’s latest update took the form of a comic series on Instagram leading up to the big night—October 31st! (For last year’s Halloween Story, click here.)

I am hoping to include The Doorbell Monster here using Instagram’s embed feature, however readers might have an easier time reading it on my Instagram page.

Use the next arrow to see all the pictures in each part.

Part 1

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpXETFThIoK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Part 2

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpZi7BRBYk2/ 

Part 3

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpcG6JjhiC_/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Part 4

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpet0fqhPSH/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Part 5

https://www.instagram.com/p/BphSEtyBIP9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Part 6

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpj1JoQFh9a/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Part 7

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpmdCttF8dw/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The End!

If you enjoyed this, and haven’t yet checked out Farfel’s Tale of the Litter Box Monster, be sure to check that out next!

Unlike The Doorbell Monster, the Litter Box Monster is real!

Writerly Meows

Another Halloween come and gone. This was my first year in a new house. We had only 3 groups of trick-or-treaters. It was wonderful! Where I lived before we would clock anywhere between 80-120 trick-or-treaters per holiday. I tallied it a couple of years, just to make sure I was prepared with enough candy. 

Writing update. I thought I might start posting updates on projects in production. Things have been moving along well lately. I finished the first draft of Farfel and Bob’s holiday story yesterday, tentatively titled Christmas Catnip Catastrophe. Just waiting to hear back from some beta readers before commencing the artwork. This story will have a lot of graphics. Farfel’s side of the story will feature a pet sitter who likes to text pictures of him in compromising situations, so I’ll be drawing all of those.

My cat lady research poll was posted on a traffic heavy cat community on Facebook this past week. I now have a lot of responses to add to my Instagram results. I hope to compile the results soon. Mostly, it makes my inner geek wish I could run a dozen other more specific polls to control for various variables, but I will restrain myself.

The only project not going well is Farfel and Bob’s Thanksgiving story. Bob is excited about turkey dinner day, but excitement in itself is not leading up to much of a plot. Oops. This here pic is a sample of what you get when you google cats and thanksgiving, for research purposes. 😉

Here’s to all the kitties who manage to eat the bird before they get caught. Good work.