When Skip Smalls begged his parents for a dog, he should have been more specific. For his 10th birthday, they finally acquiesce and give him Bleeker ― a rechargeable dog equipped with Spock-like sensibilities and his own programmable training manual.
Skip is an average kid with an above-average dog. He struggles to enjoy dog ownership as he adapts to Bleeker’s buggy operating system. While some dogs may chew shoes, Bleeker opens the garage door and turns off the TV when he scratches himself! As a result, Skip has technical support on speed dial. However, there are benefits to having a dog that is computer-literate and runs on batteries. Bleeker helps to keep accident-prone Skip out of harm’s way and even assists him with his homework. Despite some glitches, Skip is learning a lot about his electronic dog ― and himself ― during the training process.
Created by Jonathan Mahood, Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog has its own built-in online audience and can easily be trained to run in newspapers. The strip ranks high as a favorite amongst online comics fans, who love the hi-tech hijinks of Skip and Bleeker. In the tradition of classic comics about a boy and his pet, Bleeker delivers, but with a 21st-century twist!
Jonathan Mahood grew up in a household surrounded by comic strips. The daily newspaper, his parents’ Pogo, Andy Capp and Herman collections, and his brother’s Doonesbury books were all early influences. As a teenager, he collected Peanuts, Bloom County and The Far Side anthologies and began drawing his own comic strips. While in high school, he had his first work published — under an assumed name!—in his brother’s university newspaper. The comics took a bit of a backseat for four years, while he studied sculpture at York University in Toronto.
The summer after graduating he discovered a collection of George Herriman’s classic cartoon Krazy Kat, and it reignited his love of comic strips. Between carving blocks of stone and wood he doodled in his sketchbooks and began creating comic strips for local publications.
Then, after years of sending cartoon submissions to newspaper syndicates (and receiving the corresponding rejection letters), Jonathan decided to launch his first comic online in July 2006. Called Hoover: The Rechargeable Dog, it combined his two favorite companions, his dog and his iPod. In 2007, the comic was picked up by GoComics and he renamed it Bleeker, after his grandfather's middle name. Since then the comic has built a strong daily audience, attracted interest for an animated television series and has been translated weekly for Die Zeit, Germany's largest national weekly newspaper. In 2010, Bleeker The Rechargeable Dog was signed by King Features Syndicate for worldwide syndication.
Jonathan, his dog and his iPod live in a small town north of Toronto..
Visit Jonathan's blog at: http://bleekercomics.com/
Skip is your average 10-year-old boy with an above average dog. Enthusiastically clumsy, Skip is easily excited and somewhat prone to accidental mishaps. He longs for the day when he finally proves to his parents that he can handle the responsibility of taking care of a pet. Until then, Skip treats Bleeker like a real dog, in spite of his low battery life and quirky operating system.
Given as a birthday gift to Skip from his parents, Bleeker is a different breed of dog altogether. He is a rechargeable dog, who can play fetch and do tricks like any other dog … but only after an eight-hour charge. Bleeker is a walking cell phone, iPod, camera, printer, smoke detector, global positioning system and scanner all rolled into one nifty device/gadget.
Lila is Skip’s other best friend and neighbor. While Bleeker operates on batteries, Lila runs on pure adrenaline. She is a tomboy who excels at sports and loves to skateboard. Smarter and more coordinated than Skip, she stands by stoically as he learns to understand and program his remote-controlled yet loyal companion.
Karl is a domestic cleaning robot that resides in the Smalls residence. He is very focused on his vacuuming responsibilities and gets very cranky when circumstances and/or people (i.e. the often clueless and very messy Skip) interfere with his ability to do his primary function. Karl rarely leaves the house, so he enjoys robot shop-talk with Bleeker.