Friday, March 29, 2013

Measure of Success

For the past year and a half, I've been providing spot illustrations for PittGirl's Last Laugh, a column in Pittsburgh Magazine. Each month, the Art Director sends me the column, and we work up an idea for an image featuring my cartoon version of the writer.

In April's column, she details her efforts to recreate lost family recipes, and urges readers to document them while their relatives are still around to share.
My usual process is to print out the column, read it over a few times and let it percolate in my head, then scribble out some thumbnails on the back as they occur to me. Normally, I'll rough out two or three. This time, I tried a half-dozen ideas before settling on the eventual choice.
The Ouija board and crystal ball/seance sketches seemed a little too busy. The devil's spatula was an amusing image, but didn't really capture the gist of the column. I liked the look of the writer inside a giant measuring cup, and tried two versions of that.

For the final art, rather than showing her as sad or frustrated, we decided on a tired but happy cook who, after some hard work and missteps, successfully revived a family favorite. She's a little disheveled, and her apron sports a few stains, but she's brought back a little souvenir of her grandmother and is savoring the memory. The measuring cup, which resembled a trap or obstacle in the sketches, is now a comforting resting spot after her hard work has paid off.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Compact Car

Today, we present the latest in a continuing series of clown cartoons.

Landing a Sunday
1 gag is always an extra kick for this writer. My good buddy Dan Piraro takes full advantage of the larger space, and goes all-out on the art2. The reflections in the highly-polished floor are particularly nice, as are the outfits on the cast.
Here's my submission sketch, which employed a more straightforward viewing angle.
In addition to snagging a Sunday spot, it's also quite satisfying to come up with a wordless gag from time to time.

If you enjoyed this cartoon, perhaps you'd like to view our earlier collaborations, in preparation for our next joint effort, which will appear on April Fools' Day. 

There are currently about a dozen more of our diabolical co-creations in the hopper, to be parceled out over the coming weeks.

1 Yes, this post is up on Saturday, March 23, a day before the publication date noted in the panel. Since many newspapers distribute their Sunday supplements on Saturday, we consider it fair game to distribute Sunday comics digitally on Saturday, too.
2 Although I assist as Bizarro's colorist Monday through Saturday, Dan does everything on the Sunday comics, including the astounding color. His Sunday panels emphasize what a truly great cartoon artist he is.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

For the Record

Here's a t-shirt design I did for Pittsburgh's Sound Cat Records which has just hit the streets.
Sound Cat is a relatively new store, but it's part of Pittsburgh's musical history, and I have a longtime connection with them. Karl Hendricks opened it last year in the space that housed Paul's CDs since 1993. Prior to that, beginning in 1979, it was the home of Jim's Records, where I spent countless hours and countless dollars. I think Jim started in the record biz around 1976, and I still have one of the first records I bought from him, the Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" single on Stiff Records.

Karl worked for Paul and for Jim, and I've known him since he was a youngster selling his music on home-recorded cassettes. I designed several record sleeves and t-shirts for his band over the years, and I'm often approached by people who were introduced to my art through Karl's music.
Jim's Records was one of those once-in-a-lifetime places, not only a great record store, but a real social hub. Its basement served as the rehearsal space for some of my own oddball/misguided musical projects, and it was the headquarters for Public Records, a short-lived label that Jim and I ran for a couple of years.

It's great to be associated with this piece of local music history.

Wayno, with Mary Fleener at Jim's Records, 1992
Meeting Paul Westerberg at Jim's, 1987
Public Records PUB-8, 1982
Grover/Didn't Expect/Had to be There
300 copies, with hand-colored covers!
Sleeve design by Paul Bucciarelli
Karl Hendricks Trio drum head, circa 1992
Jim's Records Flyer, circa 1979-1980
Art by Wayno


Monday, March 11, 2013

Wardrobe Dysfunction

Today's Bizarro features a pair of domestic felines engaging in very human behavior.
As always, Dan Piraro's finished art is a huge improvement over my scribbly sketch.
My very observant spouse pointed out that the male cat in the published version looks a little like Dan. I didn't see it until I enlarged the image, and I have to agree that there's a definite resemblance (see detail below).
I've lived with cats for most of my adult life, so it's bot surprising that felines turn up in some of my gags, but I still can't explain the prevalence of clown cartoons that flow from my pen (including a Sunday comic appearing in a couple of weeks.)

Please feel free to browse through my earlier collaborations with Mister Piraro, in this blog's Bizarro Archive.