Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Motoring

Here's my last Bizarro contribution for 2012, a wistful look at a road trip as a metaphor for life:
There's not much to it pictorially, though Dan Piraro, the brains behind Bizarro, managed to include a few bits of visual interest as compared to my submission sketch. The birds perched on the sign are a neat touch, and I like the composition better with the railing and underpass anchoring it.

The idea for this gag occurred to me while on a drive from Pittsburgh to Maryland earlier this year, although there were no missed exits, or any other mishaps. The first scribbled line in my sketchbook used the term "Existential Highway," which felt a little lofty, almost poetic--and the point of the sign is to bring the driver back down to earth. "Turnpike" is a satisfyingly mundane term, very utilitarian. It also has that hard vowel at the end, and, when pronounced (aloud or in the mind) its guttural sound works better that the breathier "highway."

I have no deep explanation or analysis to offer for this one, except perhaps to say that sometimes it's good to slow down and wander away from your planned route.

Please feel free to plow through all of my previous collaborations with the talented and generous Mister Piraro, and watch for new gags in January. As of today, there are three in the pipeline. They'll pop up on January 3rd, the 9th, and the 16th.

Speaking of Dan, I highly recommend reading his very entertaining blog, which often includes amusing insights into his creative process. You might be seeing Dan on TV sometime in the future as well!

Thanks to everyone who's followed along and offered encouragement, comments and critiques throughout the year. 2012 has been busy, productive, educational and rewarding, and it didn't end on December 21st! 

I wish all of you a New Year of health, prosperity and peace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Versatile Vestment

As we plow through the season of gift-giving insanity, here's a shopping tip in the form of today's Bizarro cartoon.
For comparison, here's the sketch I submitted to Bizarro's creator, Dan Piraro.
The joke is a little on the meta side, with a couple of cartoonists (Dan and myself) commenting on one of our standard props: the striped jersey. Depending on a few other visual cues, this article of clothing is indeed routinely employed to depict pirates, mimes, burglars and French people. We've all used it, and will probably continue to do so as long as cartoons are drawn.

We'll squeeze in one final collaboration this year, with many more in store for 2013 (assuming the Mayans are wrong).

Please feel free to review all of our previous joint efforts, which are conveniently archived in this blog's Bizarro Warehouse.

Speaking of blogs, you ought to check out Dan's very informative Bizarro Blog, where he offers plenty of insight into his creative process, along with amusing and unexpected links.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Here's my latest collaboration with Bizarro's Grand Poobah, Dan Piraro.
Dan's published art employs a more interesting camera angle than my submission sketch, while preserving the original text.
The inspiration for this gag is, of course, the rampant practice of Grammy winners and football players thanking god for their victories, along with crackpot candidates who blame/credit a deity for their decision to run for office. 

During the recent presidential campaign, the number of politicians hearing voices in their heads seemed to reach an all-time high. Here are a few of the supposedly chosen ones, ripped from the pages of a cartoonist's sketchbook:
Who, little old me?
"God said, 'Not yet, Herman. Not yet.
I've got something else for you to do."

"We have prayed a lot about this decision, and we believe
with all our hearts that this is what God wants."
I'll have two more gags pop up in Bizarro before the end of 2012, but it's not too early to thank you for reading and commenting throughout the year. 

More big laffs are coming your way in 2013.

Pop Culture Postscript: The title of today's post is one of many catchphrases popularized by Flip Wilson in the early 1970s. In a 1973 cover story, Time Magazine called Wilson "TV's first black superstar."