Saturday, September 08, 2018

Bird is the Word

It's September already? My first year as the daily Bizarro cartoonist is flying by. Every day is a learning experience, and I feel I'm settling into a groove. Almost.

Always check your pockets and hidden compartments.

A few readers commenting on the King Features site have assumed that any character with a goatee and mustache is meant to represent Dan Piraro. In fact, I have only drawn him into one Bizarro panel:
Dan is, of course, the tall dog.


Tuesday's cartoon is dedicated to all librarians, educators, and independent booksellers. The work you do is more important than ever. Thank you.

Even guinea pigs fret about details when entertaining guests.

Thursday's gag went through a few changes along the way to publication.
The first rough depicted a depressing gallery of barflies contrasted against a large "happy hour" sign. Not bad, but we wanted to dig a little deeper for a gag.
The second sketch was more satisfying, with a bar full of patrons giving the stink-eye to one customer who seemed a little too happy. This was a subtler approach to the idea of happy hour not actually being about happiness, but the panel was crowded with ten characters. If we'd gone with this image, the giddy customer would have been so small as to be easily missed. I went back to the original staging, with four customers seated at the bar, and placed the punchline character on the right-hand side of the panel.

The Friday spot is usually reserved for my favorite gag of the week. I like the economy of this one, with just four words of dialog. I've said in the past that a good single panel gag cartoon is like a punk rock 45. It's direct, it has no unnecessary frills, it makes its statement, and it ends. This one comes closest to that goal this week.

As summer winds down, we finish the week with a look at two approaches to a day at the beach.

For additional insight into the week's cartoonery, check out Dan Piraro's blog. While you're there, you can marvel at his latest Sunday Bizarro page, and order some official swag from his shop.

I also invite you to follow my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, for your daily Bizarro fix, along with whatever other random item momentarily captures my attention.

Bonus Track of the Week
 
The title of this week's post was inspired by the pigeons that appeared on Monday and Friday, and quotes a lyric from the garage-rock classic "Surfin' Bird." The song, as performed by the Trashmen, was originally released in 1963, and it's been covered by many artists, including The Cramps, Pee-Wee Herman, and the Ramones.

Here's a version you may not have heard, by some friends of mine known as the Psychotic Petunias. The Petunias were a mysterious studio-only band who released their lone single in 1978 on Mayhem Records. Vocals on this side were performed by J.R. Bird. 

Yes, that's his real name.



The Petunias made at least one additional recording, in 1979. A certain aspiring cartoonist and wannabe musician participated in that session, on vocals and keyboard. The single was never officially released, although three copies of a test pressing were made.
The record pressing plant pasted a typewritten label on the plain white sleeve, which mistakenly referred to the band as The Phycolic Petunias. 

In recent years, unconfirmed rumors have circulated regarding a reissue of all of the Petunias' recordings, but as of this writing, that hasn't happened.

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