Today's adorable Bizarro features the world's most maddeningly-recognizable character getting a small measure of comeuppance.This gag has undergone a few changes since I first sketched it. My initial version showed the mugger accosting a clown.
That wasn't bad, but it didn't really deliver a satisfying laugh, either. I then thought of substituting the line "don't try anything cute" and showing a ridiculously cloying character being robbed. This turned out a little better, but still wasn't quite there.
For the "cute" sketch, I flopped the composition, placing the victim on the right, so the reader would encounter it after reading the line of text. This idea of placing the payoff at stage right is a rule of thumb I picked up from Dan Piraro, which has been discussed here before.
After we both stewed on the idea, Dan finally thought of using Hello Kitty, the absolute epitome of excessive cuteness. That breakthrough was just what the gag needed. It was an obvious choice, but it took a year before it occurred to either of us.
At some point in the distant past, I drew a comic showing Albert Einstein being kidnapped by two gangsters, with one of them saying "Dis guy knows too much." I've been unable to locate that old sketch, so you'll have to use your imagination.
Our next collaborative cartoon will appear on Saturday, December 10. After that, my name won't appear in Bizarro until the start of my weeklong stint as guest cartoonist, which begins on Monday, December 26.