Saturday, October 13, 2018

Four Strings, No Waiting

Happy Saturday, Jazz Pickles. It's time to celebrate Harvest Season with the latest crop of cartoons from the rooftop garden at Bizarro Studios North.
Monday's offering depicts a situation that occurs in countless corporate break rooms on a regular basis. Think before you tweet, folks, unless of course you're a high elected official with the impulse control of an infant.

I wrote and rewrote follow-up remarks on this gag, but discarded them because they all sounded gruesome. We'll let the cartoon stand on its own this time.

Our metallic hero isn't secure enough to admit that he enjoys something others see as inept or amateurish. At least he makes his own snarky comments, and doesn't rely on scripted surrogate observers to do it for him.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) was directed and produced by cult figure Ed Wood Jr., who was well-known for his love of angora sweaters. At the turn of this century, I had an assignment to do 150 celebrity portraits for Rhino Records. Most of the images were musical recording artists, but the gig also included a drawing of Ed Wood, which I must say turned out pretty nicely.

The day this comic ran, a friend pointed out that October 10 is actually Ed Wood's birthdate. I didn't know this when scheduling the comic, but was pleased to learn of the weird coincidence.
I had a lot of fun sprinkling Bizarro Secret Symbols throughout this panel, particularly the Inverted Bird. I also enjoyed coloring the Bunny of Exuberance and the Lost Loafer. Next time I'm facing a tight deadline, I just might color a full week of cartoons using this technique.

Simpsons creator Matt Groening is often quoted as saying that the secret of designing cartoon characters is that they should be instantly recognizable in silhouette. Gumby's creator Art Clokey hit on this too, and supposedly modeled the character's slanted head after a photo of his own father sporting an asymmetrical haircut, which is surprisingly similar to Ed Wood's coiffure above.

I, too, believe that cartoon characters should be recognizable by silhouette, but not to each other. 

In a second accidental tribute, I just learned that the day this cartoon ran was Art Clokey's  birthday (October 12, 1921).

In addition to cartooning, I also perform with a musical trio. All three of us are such self-doubting neurotics that each one constantly worries about being fired by the the other two.

Some readers incorrectly assume that whenever I draw a hipster type character with a handlebar mustache, I'm portraying my partner-in-cartooning, Dan Piraro. Similarly, when I draw a dandified nerd holding a ukulele, it's not (necessarily) a self-portrait.

That wraps up another week of jocularity. You'd be well advised to pop on over to Dan Piraro's blog to read his observations on the week's comics, and to see what he's cooked up for Sunday's widescreen Bizarro

Since moving to Mexico, Dan's also been creating some amazing paintings featuring surreal depictions of costumed wrestlers. His online shop now features his Lucky Luchador Enamel Pin, which is a thing of beauty.

Bonus Track

1 comment:

Jeff Barnes said...

I have a book on Gumby that I got back in the 80s that has that picture of Art Clokey's father. I thought that was a hoot!