Friday, April 23, 2010

Yarp Fro Em!

Here's my latest collaboration with Dan Piraro.

It took a while to arrive at this gag, but I like it a lot—it's brainy and smart-alecky at the same time. It does require a bit of work on the reader's part, and I have a feeling most people will just be baffled and move on to "Classic Peanuts."

Here's what I submitted to Mister P. This barely qualifies as a sketch, but once again Dan worked his artistic magic to bring it to life.

Late last year, I submitted an earlier version of the joke:

Dan decided not to use this one, although he did tell me it made him laugh. Apparently, cartoons that mention dyslexia in any way get certain people riled up, and they start sending angry letters and emails.

After being rejected, I didn't want to give up on this one. The idea of an organized group based on non-belief is inherently funny, even if it is a simplification. I kept playing around with it and eventually came up with the anagram angle, so it all worked out (by which I mean I got another joke published).

I think the original idea is still pretty funny, but in comparison it seems rather lazy and obvious
not much more than a pun or a t-shirt line. The final version is richer and more surprising, with a layer of humor that wasn't there in the dyslexia gag.

If you missed our earlier collaborations, you can find them all on Dan's blog.

Stay tuned for more in the near future, including a good old non-intellectual poop joke!

As always, your comments are welcomed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keeping it Cool

Just in time for picnic season, my pal Scott Smith at East End Brewing Company will offer insulated "Growler Suits" at the warehouse. They should be available around late May.

Designing this item was an unusual and challenging project for me, and it was fun to venture beyond my usual cartoon/illustration cocoon.

Scott gave me digital versions of existing art from labels and tap handles (including the excellent Fat Gary design, by Mario Zucca), and we jointly came up with the idea of using them as travel stickers on a piece of luggage. Fortunately, he had a wonderfully beat-up old tweed suitcase on hand, which I scanned in pieces and digitally reassembled to use as the background.

These shots of a prototype came courtesy of They're busy right now at their facility in Hawaii, preparing a shipment for thirsty Pittsburgh beer lovers.