Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Art History in the Funnies

Today's surreal Bizarro comic is yet another joint effort by Dan Piraro and yours truly.
Magritte has been the subject of quite a few New Yorker cartoons, but I believe he's a rarity in the daily comics. Had this run in the New Yorker, the explanatory label "surrealist" would probably have been unnecessary. The tattoo is a reference to Magritte's painting The Treachery of Images, and the apple is from his famous 1964 work The Son of Man, a favorite of the New Yorker cartoonists.  

Here's my original sketch:
A few days later, Dan sent me this brilliantly revised version:
Perfect! Mister P found a way to incorporate the apple in front of the guy's face, and retain the "Muscle Beach" feel of the gag. This added layer enriches the joke (which, sadly, is probably lost on most readers of the funny pages).

Check out our previous collaborations here.


  1. Sadly, I must admit that it's lost on me. I should have either gone to art school or paid more attention to all of those art books my mom would bring home.


  2. Love Magritte! Caught the show at LACMA a couple of years ago. Love this. Also smiled when I read your note about the "explanatory label." Does adding "Surrealist" help anyone who doesn't already know who Magritte is?

  3. The missing right side of the barbell unfortunately left me wondering why he had the apple on a stick.

    The apple in front of the face was familiar enough to land the basic implication for me, but the rest made me think I wasn't quite getting it/should have paid more attention in school.

    Still a good gag.

  4. Some newspapers run Bizarro in a wide, landscape "strip" format, so Dan has to do two versions every day to accommodate that requirement!

    In the strip layout, the entire barbell is visible.

    You were paying attention, they probably didn't cover Magritte!