Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Do Not Touch Dave's Ladder

Today's Bizarro comic is dedicated to all of the wine lovers who follow this blog.
Here's the sketch I submitted to Dan Piraro. As usual, he worked his magic on the idea to bring it to the printed page. The mosquitoes' wardrobe, body language and accessories added delightful accents to the gag. It was just silly of me to show them drinking in the nude.
I don't know nearly enough to be snobbish about wine, but I do enjoy a glass now and then, and firmly believe in its health benefits, both physiological and psychological.

The last time my wife and I visited California's wine country, I was delighted to see several of Dan's comics tacked to the wall of David Coffaro's tasting room.
The Coffaro Winery is one of our favorites; a welcoming place without a hint of snobbery. If you find yourself touring Sonoma County, it's well worth a stop. They're very nice folks and they make terrific wines. Maybe you'll even see today's cartoon added to their gallery.

Enjoy notes of tobacco, peat, bubblegum, black pepper, coffee, chocolate, cat fur, marshmallow, crayon wax, provolone, pencil shavings, ketchup, cement, maple syrup, gunpowder, blood orange, paint thinner, hot sauce, and newsprint, accompanied by an underlying air of mordant jocularity, by viewing the previous Piraro/Wayno collaborations here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sketch Fest 4

Here are some recent sketchbook drawings for your amusement. These are usually done from photos in the New York Times over morning coffee, as a warm-up exercise.
This guy is clapping in nearly every photo I've seen of him
From a review of Gil Scott-Heron's recently published autobiography
It was hard to resist the temptation to add drool to this image
The Patron Saint of Ridiculous Coiffures blesses Willard the Obscure

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Today's Bizarro comic is set in ancient Rome, probably around the time that Don Kirshner was getting started in the music business.
Bizarro CEO Dan Piraro revised the staging from that of my submission sketch (below), giving the singer a more classical pose, as if he's sitting for a portrait to be painted onto the side of a decorative urn.
My favorite aspect of this one is the fact that the gag requires "assembly" inside the reader's head, and can't actually be read aloud. I think it works well because the caption both reveals and reinforces the joke.

It was satisfying to discover a humorous twist on the old practice of substituting the letter V for U in an attempt to appear classically Roman. This was popular throughout the twentieth century among building designers, comic book artists, and engravers of coins.
My gag was partly inspired by a scene in the Mel Brooks film History of the World: Part 1.
Although I didn't recall the U-V substitution on the movie poster (the text at the top of the column reads IN MEL WE TRVST). However, I did remember a character played by comic actor Ron Carey who says "You are nuts. N-V-T-S, nuts!"

Maintain your sanity by reading all of our previous Bizarro collaborations here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I Love a Man in Uniform

In today's Bizarro panel, I imagine an alternate career in law enforcement.
My submission sketch is composed very differently from Dan Piraro's published art.
Once again, Dan's changes improved on the sketch and really delivered the gag. The two viewers are completely unnecessary. They'd be required if they were commenting on the image on the TV, but in this case, they serve no purpose. It wasn't even necessary to show a television. The gag idea was a good one, but this sketch has too much clutter and detracts from the joke's impact.

Dan's version is direct, funny and much, much better. The reader becomes the TV viewer. We've all seen so many newsreaders in front of a graphic, that we immediately recognize the scene. The published version emphasizes the differences between the three-dimensional, realistically-rendered newsman and the exaggerated, cartoonish burglar figure. The rejiggered composition also allowed Dan to show the burglar at a much larger size. Nicely done, Mister Piraro!

Please steal a peek at our previous collaborations.  

By the way, the title of this blog post was itself stolen.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Occupational Hazard

Today's Bizarro features a little pun carried to its logical extreme:
Below is my submission sketch, which is simpler than the final art, but gets the idea across:
Stay tuned for more cartoonery over the next week or so, and please enjoy my previous joint efforts with the mighty Dan Piraro here.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

End Zone Antics

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, for those who worship at that particular altar, and today's Bizarro comic acknowledges this oddball American institution.
My submission doesn't really qualify as a sketch, as I simply wrote new dialog for an existing cartoon, with minor visual alterations.
Since I have little knowledge of (and no interest in) such spectacles, friends and family may well question how I came up with a sports-related gag that doesn't consist of outright mockery. Please direct your blame at NPR's dandified commentator Frank DeFord. One December morning, he was in a lather over the practice of football players following a touchdown with a signature dance move or other mini-performance. That segment made me wonder whether these guys coordinate their celebratory acts in advance, to avoid the embarrassment of one player stealing another's thunder.

Bizarro's creator, Dan Piraro, edited the dialog (today's readers are probably more familiar with the Robot than the Charleston), and added the Super Bowl reference, which worked out rather nicely.

The players on this fictional team were named after gag writers who contribute to Bizarro, and whose jokes make me laugh, serving as a tip of the helmet to Andy Cowan, Cliff Harris, and the mysterious Ricardo Cabeza. Not mentioned in the dialog, Michael Capozzola also appears in the finished art. It was fun to sneakily acknowledge these talented and funny writers, whose work I always admire and often envy.

By the way, in the strip layout of today's comic, Dan tucked me into the crowd of athletes.
He achieved a decent comic likeness!
Please feel free to review our previous comical collaborations here.