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.
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 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.