That’s not the sound of a cheese-hunting rodent, it’s a pencil racing across a page. It’s that time again! For the fifth year, MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) returns to Lesley University for two days (Oct. 4-5) of workshops, panels, and exhibitions

This year, FableVision Studios is sponsoring a workshop led by Bob Flynn, our director of art and animation. His session – Flipbook Animation – will run on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 11:15 to 12:15 p.m. He will also have a booth at the expo on both days.

We adore and admire Bob at FableVision and often wonder how he juggles everything (we’d put our money on no sleep). He’s a cartoonist, illustrator, and animator specializing in character design and game design. He has a strong passion for comics, having co-created Heeby Jeeby Comix for an all-ages audience. His comics, illustrations, and stories have appeared in publications such as Nickelodeon Magazine and SpongeBob Comics. And, Bob is currently the lead character designer for the cartoon series Bravest Warriors. Did someone say Catbug?

We recently asked Bob to share a bit about his work with MICE and the upcoming workshop. 

How did you first become involved with MICE?
The first MICE was in 2010, and I was very excited to table with my friend Dan Moynihan. It was my first year venturing out into this community where you self-publish comics and show up at festivals and shows to sell them. I've been hooked ever since.


I stay mostly local, but I've also been to similar festivals in Portland (Maine), Chicago, and Toronto — due to fly out to Los Angeles for one in December, too. They're a bit different than the larger 'comic cons' that have sprung up all over because they tend to focus on small press independent publishers and creators. It's a great place to discover new creators just getting into the field of cartooning and comics. Pros who've been doing this for decades now have tables, too!

What is the trick to making a really great flipbook?
For me the trick is to turn off your brain. I often mess around just before bed when I'm half awake. Make it up—improvise. They're disposable and quick, like a doodle. Don't worry about being too careful with every drawing because they go by so fast. Whatever you do will end up looking cool regardless. If a flipbook starts feeling like a chore, you're probably doing something wrong.

Bob's 2013 MICE poster art.

Bob's 2013 MICE poster art.

What is your one piece of advice to an upcoming comic artist?
I think it’s easy to get caught up with tools, making something perfect, and comparing yourself to others. The beauty of comics is that it truly is a medium for everyone. Rad drawing abilities are definitely not a prerequisite. Embrace comics in a way that is unique to you. They're a lot of work to write, draw, and put together, so make sure the stories and characters mean something to you. That way at least you'll have fun making them.

Will you be attending MICE? Say hi to Bob for us!