Thursday, August 09, 2012

Weapons of Self Destruction (Number 100 in a Series)

Today's macabre offering marks my one hundredth (!) appearance in Dan Piraro's aptly-titled daily comic, Bizarro.
The layout in my submission sketch is similar to the final product, although Dan seized the opportunity to add a stick of dynamite (one of his recurring secret symbols) to the female character's instruments of mayhem. He also shifted the "camera angle" a few degrees. I tend to draw my panels from a very straightforward point of view, while Dan usually adds visual interest by altering the perspective.
There's a long, ongoing tradition of cartoonists using the Grim Reaper as inspiration for a gag. This one is based on the common phrase "flirting with death" as a description of risky behavior. The combination of cigarettes, alcohol, firearms, knives, drugs and dynamite certainly qualifies.

A few months earlier, I drew a nearly identical sketch, with the woman speaking.
This version works, too. It's a little subtler, and relies on the character's body language and expression to establish the mood and expectation. The "flirting" version has the benefit of adding the props to reinforce the joke. This earlier drawing clearly shows the influence of Virgil "VIP" Partch.
Virgil Franklin Partch (1916-1984)
As mentioned above, the Grim Reaper is a staple of gag cartoons, and some of my earlier Bizarro collaborations have also featured the old Pale Rider:
January 31, 2012
August 19, 2011
June 29, 2011
It's a true pleasure, as well as an invaluable learning experience, to be working with Dan Piraro. We're already getting started on the next hundred collaborations.

If you have some time to kill, feel free to peruse the previous fruits of our combined psyches in this blog's archive

Thanks for reading and commenting.

My eternal gratitude goes to all-around prince Dan for allowing me to occasionally shake off a dusting of cold, harsh reality and stick my head into Bizarro's Rectangle of Strangeness.


  1. To laugh at death makes life a little brighter. ty

  2. It has been my great pleasure to work with you, Wayno. You're not just smart, funny, and artistically talented, you're a hell of nice guy and as easy to work with as a legless whore. (That was meant as a compliment.)

    I enjoyed seeing that pic of us after a walk through a blizzard in NYC a few years ago. There's so much snow on us in that pic it looks fake. :o)

  3. All good stuff!

    When I was a kid I used to pile up the Virgil Partch books in my dad's bookstore and take them home to read. Probably one of the reasons I turned out as I did.