Today's Bizarro cartoon tweaks a familiar cinematic trope, seen in countless westerns and film noirs.
When a director wants to tell the audience that a character is at the end of his rope, and is planning to get stinking drunk, the standard scenario is to show him ordering a whiskey, adding, "leave the bottle."
Here's the sketch I submitted to Dan Piraro for consideration.
This was one of those rare gags that hit me immediately, and I was pretty sure it would be a winner, so instead of doing a proper scan and cleaning up the image, I simply snapped a photo of the sketchbook page with my phone and sent it as-is, with visible pencil lines and poor lighting. Dan liked it as much as I did, but we thought the word "pot" could create some confusion. We didn't want readers on either side of that issue to think there was some secret message about marijuana in the cartoon. We have no agenda here other than producing a laugh. We agreed that the word "vase" didn't quite work, and finally settled on "planter," which maintains the syllabic rhythm of the word "bottle."
Dan added a nice little detail, showing the individual serving in a little terra cotta pot.
We do realize that bamboo isn't an intoxicant for pandas, so the transference doesn't hold one hundred percent. However, it is a fact that since bamboo has very few nutrients, pandas who live on it have to eat it in large quantities, so there is a scientific basis for the cartoon.
This gag marks a new milestone: it's the 125th collaboration between Dan and me to appear in Bizarro. You can see all of our previous joint efforts in this blog's archive.