Saturday, January 13, 2018

Six Cartoons and a New Vocabulary Word

Week 2 of Bizarro 2018 has wrapped up, which means we've gone 14 days without a lost-time accident.

Here's a recap of this week's offerings.

The Grim Reaper is a favorite of cartoonists everywhere, and we figured this panel should be nine times as funny as a cartoon with just one reaper. The additional ink needed to draw and print the extras comes to you at no extra cost.

Here's what can happen when you wait until the last minute to order props for your theater. There were no human skulls available, so this production of "Hamlet" had to settle for an alien cranium. They hoped no one would notice, but there was an eagle-eyed crackpot in the front row. 
Office supplies analyze and critique each other just like we do.

This caption originally read, "Lunchtime at the National Bureau of Standards," but that left no room for the picture, so we went with "the lab" instead. This marks my first use of The Lost Loafer.

Here at Bizarro Studios, we admire educators. Teachers work very hardat least our teachers did—and they rarely get enough thanks. This gag is a token of our appreciation for all they do. It's not much, but, hey, we just make cartoons, it's the best we have to offer.

An example of reverse-engineering to set up a weird pun. While working on this one, we learned the word planchette. It's not the surname of an award-winning Australian actress, but, rather, that heart-shaped contraption used to produce messages from the spirits. A lot of research goes into your daily laffs!

That's it from Bizarro Studios North for this week. Be sure to read Señor Piraro's blog for a beautiful Sunday cartoon, plus Dan's commentary on this week's shenanigans.

Big thanks from the new guy (below, right) for all the nice comments, crazy suggestions, and words of encouragement.

Men in Hats: Dan Piraro & known associate Wayno
See you next weekend.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Bizarro Studios North is Open for Business

Greetings from Bizarro Studios North, in scenic Hollywood Gardens, PA.

We've wrapped up my first week at the helm of the Good Ship Bizarro, which I'm now piloting Monday through Saturday under the watchful eyeball of Cap'n Dan Piraro.

If you're new to this blog, welcome aboard! I've known Dan for almost ten years, and we've worked together many times before launching our new partnership on Monday. If you'd like to see our earlier collaborations, please feel free to click through this blog's Bizarchive.

Dan has a tradition of writing a weekly post reviewing the latest Bizarro panels, and encouraged me to continue that practice. I'm more than happy to oblige, as I enjoy talking about the process of creating cartoons.

So, without further introduction, here's a recap of my inaugural week of Bizarro.

This punchline came before the drawing. All I had to do was decide which mythical creature to include. After scrapping sketches featuring a unicorn and Nessie, I settled on Bigfoot. He appears frequently in Bizarro, including one of my old gags.

I also included him a couple of times in my recently-retired feature, WaynoVision.
Here's one, and here's another. I'm confident he'll stomp into Bizarro again in the future.

If you're a fan of Sasquatch (and who isn't?), I heartily recommend Untold Tales of Bigfoot, by my good buddy Vince Dorse. It's a beautiful, all-ages story that deservedly won a National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for online comics.

Tuesday's cartoon is rather dark and depressing. We thought that would be appropriate for a winter's day when a lot of people are returning to work after the holidays, if only to remind you that you aren't alone.

I once did another gag featuring a matryoshka* doll, and it was so popular, people copied it, deleted my signature, and shared it tens of thousands of times all over the web. Anything that gets stolen that widely deserves to be explored further.

Is the driver actually psychic, or is he just messing with the cop? I'm a cynic, so I think he's pulling a fast one, but I admire his effort.

Since it's my first week here at Bizarro, I felt obligated to include a gag involving pirates. Also, since I come from Pittsburgh, my hometown friends expect it. We have some sort of sports club here called the Pirates. We had fun composing image and the ridiculous dialogue to set up this silly pun. Plus, we got to include an umlaut.

This is my favorite cartoon of the week. Although I live with two cats, I have a lot of doggie friends, and I'm probably more dog-like in my own personality. This one began its life as a sketch I drew for a friend. I thought it could work well as a cartoon, so here we are. Dan offered some artistic suggestions that helped make the little guy look extra sad and adorable.

Saturday's comic features an overconfident papier-mâché character. Our editors felt our first sketch was a little too "S&M" for the funny pages, but we're happy to share the rejected version with you, dear Jazz Pickles.

Before I close, here's another piñata gag that was too naughty for the newspaper.

For the ultra-curious, the sketch that turned into Friday's cartoon:

And finally, because pugs are so lovable, a portrait of a local canine pal:

That does it for this week's funnies. Thanks to everyone who sent words of congratulations, commented, shared, or taped a cartoon to the fridge. We love to hear from readers, so please feel free to comment.

Don't forget to read Dan's weekly blog post, for his perspective on the week's offerings, capped by his spectacular Sunday comic.

For a lot more nonsense, you're invited to follow my blatherings on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

See you in a week! I'll try to be less verbose next time, but make no promises.

*I have to look up that word every time I mention it.