Thursday, April 18, 2013

Waiting in the Wings

Today's Bizarro comic looks in on network television's latest must-see talent contest.
Some critics say it's just an imitation of Avian Idol, but a lot of peeps seem to love it.

Dan Piraro's finished art followed my sketch very closely, with the only major change being an electric guitar in place of the acoustic. That was an oversight on my part. I'd forgotten that owls are well-known Gibson fans.
Although this is mainly just an absurd, slightly surreal cartoon, I can't deny that there's an element of commentary on the overblown melismatic singing style that's so popular on programs of this ilk.

As always, you are invited to stroll through the scores of Bizarro gags that Dan and I have cooked up together over the past few years.

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In other tuneful news... It's well-known that nearly all musicians are frustrated artists, and that many artists, especially cartoonists, imagine themselves as musicians. This weekend I'll offer further proof as I perform with a musical side project at a (very indulgent) coffee shop in my neighborhood. 
This band brings together a group of like-minded friends, including Dave Klug, a fantastic cartoonist who's also a very talented drummer, plus some other excellent players who will lend legitimacy to the proceedings. If you're the Pittsburgh area, please drop by. There's no cover charge, you can bring in alcohol (in fact that's encouraged), and the proprietors offer very nice coffee, tea, and freshly-made, tasty foodstuffs.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Form 1040-DOA

Today is the deadline for US citizens to file their tax returns, so we present an appropriate Bizarro cartoon on the subject.
The gag refers to the famous quote, "[I]n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," which Benjamin Franklin used in a letter in 1789, although he was paraphrasing a line from a play which first appeared in 1716. It's also often attributed to Mark Twain. In any case, it seems that even the hooded one himself is no match for the taxman.

The submission sketch is flipped horizontally compared to the final version. I chose this view to show the tax form in the auditor's hand, though it may not be necessary with the lettering on the office door. Showing two characters seated on opposite sides of a desk is a reliable staging for any number of cartoon situations.
Special credit for this gag is due my wonderful spouse Kimberly, who has a great ear for dialog, an art director's discerning eye, and a real flair for crafting a gag. Very often she'll say, "I have an idea for you," and will describe a perfect cartoon, as she did in this case.

April is turning out to be a fairly prolific month for my funny-paper appearances. So far, this is my third collaboration with Bizarro poo-bah Dan Piraro, and another one will pop up on Thursday.

Our previous joint efforts can be viewed in this blog's archive. And please do check back on the 18th for the latest offering.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Your Call Is Important

In the spirit of full disclosure, I freely admit that today's Bizarro cartoon pokes fun at a movie I've never seen.
I have, however, seen the trailer several times. With each viewing I found it to be more ridiculous. To be fair, though, it seemed quite risible the very first time. 

As tough-guy cinematic catch-phrases go, Neeson's speech doesn't approach the efficiency of "Go ahead, punk. Make my day," or "Hasta la vista, baby." Still, enough people found it appealing to push its box office to over $145 million, and prompt a sequel that was also a moneymaking monster.

This is sort of an update of the "action hero gets revenge" genre, since Neeson delivers his threats via iPhone. Maybe in "Taken 3" he'll text the bad guys and will have to limit himself to 140 characters, and use a frowning emoticon to emphasize his seriousness. (Nuts! I probably could have squeezed another gag out of it using that angle.)

Here's my submission sketch, which employed a wider view than Dan Piraro's zoomed-in shot.

The text in my first sketch was an abbreviated version of the movie's dialog. After looking up the original soliloquy from the film, Dan and I agreed that making our version more like the long-winded movie quote made for a funnier gag. Usually, it's better to pare down a cartoon's text, but sometimes verbosity is part of the joke.

I just hope the big galoot doesn't call me to complain about this cartoon. Who has time for that?

By the way, of millions of fans who saw Taken, nobody enjoyed it more than these guys. Like the Taken trailer, the Key and Peele clip always makes me laugh.

If you'd like to see other examples of the way we combine our "particular set of skills," please check out the previous Piraro/Wayno duets at your leisure.

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Three Arrrs

My latest collaboration with Dan Piraro offers a peek into a very specialized trade school.
It's kind of a neat little gag, in that there's a simple pun involved, but the joke is delivered without actually stating the sound-alike word. This adds a slight delay while the reader first notices the carrot, and then realizes that the young student ought to instead have a parrot on his shoulder. Adding that little beat before the joke clicks is more satisfying for the reader than if it had been spelled out explicitly.

Here's the original submission sketch for comparison.
This joke is only the tip of the comedic iceberg possible in this setting. One can easily imagine a classroom full of arrr-chetypes: the Nerd, the Prankster, the Jock, the Stud, the Airhead Cheerleader, the Secretly Sexy Bespectacled Bookworm, the Drunken Slob, the Stoner, Teacher's Pet, the Rich Kid, and the Crazy Sound Effects Guy, all in fashionable buccaneer garb. In fact, when Hollywood launches a Pirate Academy movie franchise, remember that you read it here first.

A few people have asked me about the number "42" next to Dan's signature.
As many regular readers know, Bizarro panels are often sprinkled with an assortment of secret symbols. He indicates how many appear in each panel with a small number by his name. Readers are saying that they can only find an eyeball and a stick of dynamite, and want to know how he came up with a total of forty-two. You may recall that April first is sort of a special day. Of course, it's Pirate Appreciation Day, when seafaring students give gifts to their teachers. The professor's desk drawer contains 27 flying saucers and 13 slices of pie, provided by his thoughtful students.

As always, you are invited to browse our many previous collaborations in this blog's Bizarro archive, and to visit in the future to see new gags, sketches, art, and miscellaneous thoughts posted here.