Friday, September 28, 2012

Bargains Galore!

I've been digging through a lot of my old files in preparation for an upcoming exhibit of illustration and cartoon art. Among a folder of tear sheets was the inside cover from the first issue of Hyena, an anthology edited by Mark Martin. One of Mark's recurring creations was the Lillian Spencer Drake Catalog of Values, which featured the work of dozens of artists. Mark self-published an LSD Catalog in 1988, and revived the concept in 1991 for Hyena.

Following are my contributions to the 1991 Catalog.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Armageddon Savings Time

Today's collaboration with comics master Dan Piraro offers a possible excuse for Harold Camping's failed predictions.
Here's the scribble I submitted for Dan's consideration:
This is an example of the very loose roughs I scrawl in my sketchbook to get an idea on paper before I forget it. Normally I'll follow with a tighter sketch to try and sell the gag. I don't remember why I showed Dan this raw doodle, other than the fact that I hate to draw horses.

The finished cartoon depicts the supposed color of each rider's horse. Death is said to ride a pale (or green) horse, Famine a black one, and War rides a red steed. No amount of research is spared for Bizarro's discerning readers! Now you know why we both use the phrase "attention to detail" in our résumés.

Many additional hilarious—and sometimes educational—cartoons are in the works for your enjoyment and/or edification. The next one will drop in about three weeks, and represents a return to lowbrow form. Meanwhile, you are encouraged to view our "priors" in this blog's Bizarro archive.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Wonderful World of Coolant

Today's Bizarro provides wholesome entertainment for the kiddies.
The idea for this cartoon arose during a visit with the family late last year. Someone had mentioned how excited their children were about seeing Disney on Ice, to which I responded, "Isn't that a little gruesome for young kids?"

It's a very straightforward gag, based on a literal interpretation of a familiar phrase. The name of the show has been repeated so many times in print and TV ads—not to mention by children hounding their parents for tickets—that people no longer notice what the individual words are saying. Attaching a different meaning to (or reminding the reader of the meaning of) an everyday phrase provides a little jolt of surprise and recognition that works rather well as a cartoon.

The joke has additional resonance for those familiar with the persistent urban legend claiming that Walt Disney (1901-1966) had a provision in his will to be cryogenically preserved after his death, to be revived in a medically-advanced future. In fact, the beloved creator of a vast entertainment juggernaut was cremated, like a regular old mortal.

My submission sketch is a little rougher than usual, with a simple eye-level presentation. Dan Piraro, the genius behind Bizarro, not only restaged the scene with an improved camera angle, but also rewrote the dialog.
Both the sketch and the finished version reflect Dan's (and my own) preference for deadpan reactions to weird situations. In each version of this panel, the adult expresses mild surprise or disappointment in a matter-of-fact tone, which is much funnier than if they'd been shown recoiling in horror.

If you enjoyed today's chilly shot of humor, perhaps you'd like to browse through the previous funnies I've done in collaboration with the mighty Piraro.

Our next joint effort will appear in a couple of weeks.