Monday, July 02, 2012

Time to Pull the Cork

Today's Bizarro comic plays with the use of the word "breathing" to describe the process of allowing wines to aerate before drinking. In this case, the wine needed a little help from medical science. Wine merchants offer plenty of products to quickly aerate wines to improve flavor, though they haven't quite taken such heroic measures yet.
Here's the sketch I submitted to Bizarro's creator, Dan Piraro.
Dan made a few changes to the composition of the panel, which, as always, proved to be educational. The most obvious revision was to draw the bottle at a realistic scale relative to the characters. This further emphasizes the absurdity of the respirator, since the bottle is not cartoonishly out of proportion. Bizarro's humor works best when there's an odd element in an otherwise normal situation. The super large bottle as shown in my sketch introduced an unnecessary element of absurdity. (At least I didn't draw arms, legs and a face on my bottle.)

Another change Dan made was to show the secondary character from behind. This is a subtle but very effective compositional choice, and one that I hadn't thought of when drawing my panel. It gives the reader a sense of eavesdropping on something that's happening, rather than being presented with a staged situation. Again, this adds to the overall realism of the scene, emphasizing the strangeness of a lifesaving medical device attached to an inanimate object.

I'm not certain if it was Dan's intent to include me as a character, but I the observer in the published comic bears some resemblance.

Upcoming Piraro/Wayno collaborations will drop on Sunday, July 8, Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, July 26. Beyond that, we've got at least six more in the chute, ready to be scheduled. In the meantime, you're invited to spend some time reading our previous joint efforts here.


In other, more commercial news, I've added two new fine art prints to my online store.

First up is a drawing of The Residents, the venerable mystery band from San Francisco. This piece originally appeared on the cover of Cool & Strange Music Magazine around 2001.
The second is a label design I did recently for my good friends at Pittsburgh's East End Brewing Company.
The beer was named after a song by the late great Captain Beefheart. I described the genesis of this label in an earlier blog post. We received several requests for label prints after the image appeared on Radar Station, a Beefheart fan site that seeks to document every twist and turn of the Captain's long, varied and unusual career.

The beer is only available locally, but the label prints can be shipped worldwide.

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