This week's batch of cartoons completes my first six months of doing the daily Bizarro daily. I've found the readers to be loyal, attentive, opinionated, and funny, and we're grateful for every one of you.
Although Dan Piraro is prone to blushing, I must also say that I'm truly lucky to have my favorite cartoonist as my editor. Doing a daily cartoon is a continuous learning process, and the best job I've ever had.
So far, I've only miscounted the secret symbols once (and we've since corrected that panel in the online archive), and have received surprisingly little hate mail. A few readers have even left tips via this blog, which brightened my spirits and helped to feed my caffeine habit.
Now, on to the latest shenanigans.
Speaking of jobs, I used to have a normal gig where I had to go to an office every day. One day when I was off sick, I spent the day under a blanket on the living room sofa. Around 2:00 PM, our two cats trotted over to the front door of the apartment, and sat looking up at the mail slot. In a few minutes, the postal carrier arrived, and the cats watched as the day's delivery was pushed through the slot and fell to the floor. They then looked at each other, and went back to whatever they were doing. I was at home the next day and saw the same sequence of events. Apparently, the mail delivery provided them with a moment of entertainment every day. I probably should have sent them a catnip toy once in a while.
We were proud of the fact that we didn't do a typical gag about people hating the sound of bagpipes. Our would-be Romeo simply chose the instrument for its volume.
Insider cartooning tip: Bagpipes are weird looking, but they're still easier to draw than a bicycle.
Backyard cookery has come a long way since the days of the simple charcoal grill. Increasingly elaborate (and expensive) setups are available to indulge suburban food nerds. The gent in today's cartoon has taken things to a new level, going as far as indulging in pizzaiolo cosplay, to the annoyance of his offspring.
Many (most?) people would rather eat a chunk of drywall than a conversation heart candy. I'm one of those weirdos who actually enjoys them, and I look forward to the half-price sales every February 15th. If you get a box with one that says FAX ME or OH, YOU KID, the candy is past its expiration date, but is probably indistinguishable from a "fresh" box.
My first sketch showed an even larger heart that had crushed an unsuspecting farmer. The idea of aliens assuming that people actually use the candies to communicate was kind of funny, but the gag still felt a little off.
For the inked art, I added a couple of extraterrestrials trying to figure out what went wrong with their offering as the Earthlings fled in terror.
Although we liked the look of the floating aliens, the perspective and size relationships in the sketch were a little confusing, so we removed them, and went back to a saucer in the sky for the final version.
The rulings of the board are final, but even if you aren't granted parole, at least you go back to your cell with a plush toy.
Here's another gag that we changed after I finished inking it.
The original version was much more dramatic, but we decided to play down the tentacles, allowing the reader an extra beat to discover what's happening.
This goes to show how much we care about giving Bizarro readers the best quality cartoons we can, making changes even after the artwork is fully completed.
While you're wasting time online, why not visit Dan's blog for his take on this week's gags, and to see his latest Sunday page. You might also order some cool swag from the Bizarro Shop.
This Week's Bonus Track
Wednesday's gag got this song stuck in my head.
As earworms go, one could do a lot worse.