Saturday, March 24, 2018

Flotation Device

Another Saturday has rolled around, which means it's time to review the most recent pile of Bizarro comics.

The joke in Monday's cartoon is only a tiny step away from reality. In our current age of plutocracy, privatization, and piggishness, it would come as no surprise to hear that the Department of the Interior was selling off the National Parks.

Tuesday's gag is a tip of the old porkpie to the prolific and hilarious J.C. Duffy, heavyweight champion of fly in the soup gags.

Manny, Moe, and Jack ended up having the last laugh. They not only launched a hugely successful auto parts business, but then they used it to realize their dream of becoming models, despite their unnerving appearance.

As some readers may know, we create a separate "landscape" version of each daily Bizarro for those client newspapers who run it in a comic strip slot. This involves rearrangement of the text and image, and often some additional bits of art. Today's was a little bit of a challenge, but we had fun with it. Here's the strip configuration:
By the way, this marks the first time I've ever drawn the Flying Saucer of Possibility floating in water.

Friday's cartoon underwent a few changes on its way to publication. The original line of dialog was simply, "Play me a bedtime podcast." That was mildly funny as a soft critique of modern parenting, but it lacked punch. Dan Piraro once shared a story with me about Bizarro's early days, and an editor who encouraged him to dig deeper in search of an extra level of humor by letting an idea stew for a while, and reworking it. That was sound advice, and reinforces the fact that the key to improved writing is editing, which doesn't always mean removing words, but choosing them carefully. The dialog as published added some much-needed comedic tension, with its mix of self-awareness and cluelessness, and gave the gag a satisfying layer of irony.

...and on Saturday, another criminal is undone by poor vocabulary.

Thanks, as always, to the community of Bizarro Jazz Pickles* for reading and commenting. Please check out Dan Piraro's weekly blog for more thoughts on this week's comics, and to gaze in wonder at his latest Sunday panel.

Here's hoping we all keep our antennae above water until next time.

*Proud Jazz Pickles can show their love and support by wearing an official BJP enamel pin, available from Dan's web store.

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