It's crushing, but the world no longer has Bo Lumpkin. Or do we?
What seems like yesterday on Twitter (even though it was a few years ago) a budding cartoonist named Bo Lumpkin said that he was giving up cartooning until he was older, say 60 years old. I encouraged him not to be so hard on himself and that he shouldn't give up. He was an unusually nice person and his entertaining posts reminded me of one of my Mississippi uncles (my mother was from Mississippi and, as things happen, the rest of the family stayed there when she moved up North).
Anyway, the next day Bo said he could resume his comics because he was now 60. Hey, I had no idea of his age.
That was Bo. He was a funny Southern Gentleman who described himself as "an old redneck having fun". He represented, I think, the best of the Internet. And he had fun. Because he had fun, I had fun. Bo was fun-spread.
Today, if you want to draw, make jewelry, or write funny observations, you don't have to seek permission to potentially be read by anyone in the world. You can be a retiree, a busy parent or a teenager with varying degrees of skill and creative background. You can make mistakes, improve at whatever you want to do and interact with others. You can essentially share yourself virtually and make a positive impression on people you've never physically met.
Like almost everyone, Bo was concerned that he wasn't getting enough readers. I still say that 24 visits to a new website may seem very small, but if I told you that you had to speak in front of a room of 24 strangers, some from thousands of miles away, you might get a tad nervous. Don't knock 24 readers.
Bo cheered me up, he made me smile, and he made me realize on difficult days that we're all just lucky to be here. The things that divide so many people, like religion and politics, didn't matter. I'm not religious and I'm pretty sure Bo and I voted for different people. But I respected him as much as I can respect anybody, because he was a sincere and honest person who wasn't pushy about his beliefs and only showed how he lived.
Kindness and positive energy like Bo's doesn't just go away. It stays with you. Unlike whatever headline is making me angry today, Bo is locked into my head.
Recently, Bo started writing little poems on my website. Since I migrated Cheesebo to this site, his comments are now only available on my hard drive. I will try and dig them all up.
Below is a recent comic of mine followed by a poem from Bo. That's right. I didn't receive mere comments from Bo, I got friggin' poetry!
And here's what Bo wrote on his website:
Sometimes instead of leaving comments or in addition to leaving comments I will write a poem in the comment section. Here is one I wrote today for Stephen Beals creator of the awesome comic Cheesebo.
By Bo Lumpkin
Sometimes as I travel through life each day,
I take a wrong turn along the way,
I guess I could just moan and whine,
But I thought it was better to seek a sign,
I looked high and I looked low,
Trying to find the way to go,
I stumbled along my crooked trail,
Determined that I shouldn’t fail,
Then there it was, plain as day,
A clear sign to point the way,
Now I lay here nearly dead,
Because the sign fell on my head.
Claremont seems to inspire me.