Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tragicomic in One Panel

Bizarro takes a literary turn this morning.
Here's the submission sketch that resulted in the above cartoon.
Dan Piraro reworked the idea a little for the finished panel. Although the driver in the sketch sports a day's worth of stubble, the poor schmo in the published version truly looks like he's been standing there forever. Dan's most astute artistic decision was not showing the guy looking at his watch, which was simply not necessary—just seeing the name Godot should be enough to suggest the word "waiting" to the reader. Besides, it's difficult to make a convincing drawing of a character looking at his watch, as clearly evidenced by that sketch.

This gag evolved quite a bit on its way to publication. I wanted to do something odd involving a person waiting for a passenger, while holding a sign with the arrival's name.

My first rough showed an inexperienced detective trying to apprehend a criminal. This felt less than fully-formed, and I rejected it.
After a while, it occurred to me to put the name "Godot" on the sign. Placing the driver at Beckett International Airport added a nice layer to the joke.

In this previously-unseen sketch, I tried working the Beckett name into the drawing, but quickly realized that the signage would overwhelm everything else.
The third stab, finally, had all of the elements in place. They just needed to be rescaled and rearranged, making the ultimate submission sketch fairly simple to execute.

Color Commentary
As the colorist for Bizarro, I have the pleasure of reading the comic about three weeks prior to publication. Each week, Dan emails me the black and white panels (which most newspapers run). I then color them in Photoshop, and return them to Dan for review and any tweaks he'd like to make before I color the strip versions.

This is the original monochrome panel for today's gag.
I colored the windows using a pale gradient, and turned the diagonal highlights white. Dan, however, was bothered by that empty space, and added silhouettes of other passengers behind the windows, as seen in this enlarged detail.
Nice work, eh?

Old Business
Please feel free to browse our many joint efforts in this blog's Bizarro Warehouse of Wonders, and check back for our next one, coming up on Monday.


  1. Nice take on Godot. Good to see the process Wayno, thanks. Teamwork has benefits. I'll have to show you and Dan my take one day as my chops get better. Love the workmanship you both elevate.

  2. Consistently great and lush (in a good way) color work! You & Dan are a great duo.

  3. Thanks for commenting!

    Justin, are you the cartoonist?

  4. only when I'm cartooning

  5. One of the better ones lately.

  6. Where's the other guy? Who's this guy--Vladimir or Estragon? ;)