Thursday, November 29, 2012

Helloooo, Kitty!

Your Humble Cartoonist/Blogger was a bit surprised when today's Bizarro was accepted for publication. It's naughtier than most of what appears on the funny pages, although in a gentle sort of way. Still, it could cause some discomfort for parents whose offspring ask for an explanation of the joke, but it's time probably time you had that chat anyway. You might even learn something.
Dan Piraro's finished art is similar to my concept sketch, with a few tweaks. In a rare role reversal, my sketch includes background elements that Dan cleared away, to very good effect. I violated my own rule about eliminating unnecessary details, and am very happy with the final version. I particularly enjoyed the satisfied expression on Dan's fatter cat, and the sex kitten's look of utter indifference.
The most difficult part of composing this blog post was selecting a title that wasn't extremely vulgar. Captioning the cartoon took some time for the same reason. Most of my initial attempts were neither subtle nor particularly funny. The 900 number, though, works rather nicely. Also, there's no danger of this being an actual number, since "feline" corresponds to six digits, not the seven required for US phone lines. So, I'm secure in the knowledge that no innocent readers will incur "premium rate" fares if they try dialing it. 

My previous comical collaborations with Bizarro's Grand Poobah, Dan Piraro can be viewed in this blog's Bizarro Archive.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Famous for 15 Seconds

I'm running a few days behind on this Bizarro post, but happily so. The last couple of weeks have been loaded up with my current artist's residency at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. I'll post about that sometime soon.

Meanwhile, here's my latest collaboration with the mighty Dan Piraro, from Wednesday, November 14.
The cartoon comments on musical snobbery, of which I have been guilty in my life. I hope that's not the case anymore, but certainly in adolescence many of us exhibited this type of one-upmanship, claiming to have been in on something before everybody else.

If that still goes on today , it happens within a much shorter time frame, with many musical careers now being outlived by the average fruit fly.

Here's the sketch as submitted to Mister P.
Dan flopped the composition horizontally, and while my characters are relatively fresh-faced teens, he shows them as jaded hipsters. Also, in Dan's version, the long-time fan goes way back with the band, an even earlier adopter than in the sketch version.

Dan talks about this panel, and the poster on the wall, in his always-entertaining blog. He also included a very rare photo of some of his regular gag writers, taken when some of us paid a friendly visit to Bizarro Global HQ.

Our next joint effort, which I can't wait to share, will pop up on November 29. Until then, please enjoy our previous laffs, which are all available in the Piraro/Wayno warehouse, within this very blog.

Thanks for following and commenting.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Short Back & Sides

Today's Bizarro is a bit of a breakthrough: the first completely wordless gag I've  published.
The overall composition of my sketch made it to the final version, with several small but very effective changes by Bizarro's creator, Dan Piraro.
Notably, Dan corrected my inversion of the classic crop circle look, where the design is made of flattened vegetation (or in our case, shorn locks). He also simplified the pattern so it's recognizable as a crop circle at tiny scale of today's newspaper comics. 

Electric shears make more sense than scissors, though perhaps I had old world (other-world?) craftsmanship in mind. Finally, Dan does a much more expressive job of showing the awkward angle required for our man to view his new 'do, and adds a look of consternation to his face.

Since this gag depends solely on the picture, with no supporting text, I spent more time than usual tuning up the sketch in order to sell it. I scrapped my first attempt at drawing the customer's head, and digitally pasted in the one shown above. I still like my barber's neckwear. In fact I have a habit of drawing bow ties on characters whenever possible.

If you enjoyed today's collaboration with Mister Piraro, please feel free to scan through our previous joint appearances, which are archived for your reading pleasure.

Today's bonus essay question: Does a wordless gag have a "writer?"