Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Upholstery Treatment

Today's Bizarro is yet another example of that cartoon standby, the psychiatrist's office.
Bizarro's creator, Dan Piraro, made significant changes to the sketch. The staging is much improved. My aerial view looks cramped and unnatural, with the patient's chair almost on top of the doctor's feet.
Dan also made both characters around the same size. After seeing the finished art, the cats in the sketch look like an adult doctor and a young patient, which was not my intent. Oh, and the expressive body language in the final art shows that the scratching cat is definitely very happy.

This gag was developed over the course of nearly a year before I submitted it for consideration. Below is the first (self-rejected) sketch, along with ideas for improving the gag.
I held this one back because I usually don't show an animal speaking to a human, unless that's the point of the gag. The best Bizarro cartoons combine an absurd element with a familiar situation, and this sketch has very little grounding in reality, since animals don't literally speak to people. I felt that the reader might wonder why there's a talking cat, and what he's doing at a psychiatrist, which directs attention away from the idea of scratching furniture as a conscious practice for stress relief. It's a funny gag, but I thought it wasn't quite good enough.

The revised sketch works better, dropping the reader into a cat-populated world. I also prefer that the revised sketch shows (rather than talks about) the act of scratching. Still, the original has its New Yorker-ish charms.

One very interesting aspect of Dan's finished version is that the patient is naked! I didn't notice at first, but the doctor is clothed and the patient isn't wearing a thing, unless there's a collar that we can't see.

Coming up next week: another feline cartoon--one that nearly violates the  animal-human conversational rule.

Please spend some time reviewing my previous collaborations with Dan Piraro.

1 comment:

James Robert Smith said...

I like your version better, in this case. Not because it fits Piraro's universe best (it doesn't), but because your toon is funnier than one set within the confines of the Piraro rules.

Also, it's okay to break the rules.