Greetings once again from Bizarro Studios North. It's Saturday morning, which means it's time for a review of the past week's cartoons.
Around my house, we watch a fair amount of British TV. That includes everything from crime series to comedies. We also seem to find plenty of vampiric material, so it's no surprise that some of those elements became commingled in a certain cartoonist's brain.
I spent more time than usual tinkering with the art on this one, specifically the teeth. My intent was to make the characters' fangs recognizable, but not immediately obvious. Ideally, they'd be missed at first, and recognized after reading the caption. A detail like this can be tricky, when considering that the the comic will be read both online and in print, and in two distinct layouts.
The fangs are indeed a little harder to spot in the printed strip layout, so I'm hopeful we got the balance right this time.
Realizing that it's been eight weeks since our last clown gag, we threw one in for Tuesday. I had fun deciding how to depict a clown in civilian duds.
As someone who works with ink every day, and has had an occasional spill, I completely relate to these dedicated craftsmen. I wondered whether people still know what White-Out is, let alone understand the term "illumination" as applied to manuscripts? Since I know that Bizarro readers are literate and informed, I was confident that our audience would get the gag.
After scribbling the phrase "Tunnel of Lunch" in my sketchbook, a few weeks passed before I came up with a usable cartoon. We hope that the commentary on relationships gives it a little more depth than a simple bit of wordplay.
Before completing the art for Friday, we passed along a sketch to our editors at King Features, to make sure they'd be okay with the word "pee." We got the green light, since the gag is funny and it involves dogs. Apparently if the characters were human, the wording might have been an issue, but a cartoon about a person peeing on a hydrant wouldn't have made sense anyway.
Bizarro CEO (Chief Eyeball Officer) Dan Piraro suggested this gag, which made us both chuckle. Cartoonists have a long tradition of poking fun at nonrepresentational art, as exemplified by this lovely Ernie Bushmiller panel.
I'm pretty sure that cartoonists ridiculing fine artists qualifies as "punching up."
Speaking of the refined arts, since I've jumped in to handle the daily comics, Dan has been devoting more time to painting, and is producing gorgeous canvases and ballpoint pen drawings. He's been posting as @diegopiraro on Instagram.
Also, be sure to check Dan's blog for his review of the latest Bizarro comics, and his always-spectacular Sunday page.
If you enjoyed the Bushmiller art above, or are interested in the nuts & bolts of comic strips, I highly recommend Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden's scholarly book How to Read Nancy.