Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saving the Day

Today's Bizarro is made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Marciuliano.

This cartoon represents day two of the vacation week I took, my first in 23 years of syndication. The week off, during which Francesco Marciuliano wrote and drew cartoons for Bizarro in my stead, actually happened five weeks ago – that's the lead time on daily cartoons.

I was having some serious personal issues that were bringing me down, plus I had a trip to South Dakota with the in-laws coming up and between the two, I was at my wit's end. One day, I found myself standing on the ledge outside of my building with a handful of sleeping pills and a gun in my mouth.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Gotham City, mold-mannered Francesco Marciuliano ("Ces" to his friends) sat quietly at his drawing table sketching naked Smurfs when a radio news report caught his eye. "Why, that's my friend Dan Piraro on that ledge!" shouted Ces. "I've got to do something (that could benefit my career!)"

Grabbing a cape on his way out the door, Francesco raced into the subway station and hopped an express train to Brooklyn. A mere one hour and 49 minutes later he was standing at the foot of my building shouting up at me through a bullhorn, "Dan, it's me, Ces! You don't have to end it like this! There's another way! There's gas fumes, carbon monoxide, asphyxiation, who knows how many more!"

Suddenly it hit me to ask him to do a week of cartoons for me so I could regroup and he not only stepped up to the plate, but licked it clean. So you not only have Ces to thank for a week's entertainment, but also for my ability to return to my former glory in full stride.

Thank you, Francesco Marciuliano, for a job well done! You are this week's Cartoonist Suicide Prevention Operative!

25 comments:

Eric Goebelbecker said...

Ces rocked this week. As someone said yesterday, hard to believe this guy is working on Sally Forth. His sense of humor seems to be oddly suited for Bizarro.

melissa said...

Dan, I hope you were exaggerating -- greatly -- the depth of your despair. And I'm glad Ces was able to step in and help out. I like his work.

So does this mean I can look forward to seeing this evangelical goldfish cartoon everyone keeps talking about? I don't read actual newspapers very often (they get ink on my hands and cost money) so I haven't seen what was printed.

Mr. Johnson said...

Well Dan we're all really glad that you didn't ask Billy from Family circle to fill in. Doesn't that kid have to be, like, 50 by now? His "kid tracks" might be going around garbage cans and bus stations these days. Anyway, I've looked over the edge a time or two myself. Ultimately great words of wisdom floated down to me from above. They said "live like a dog." since then I've been eating off the floor, chasing balls, laying around, and looking forward to the next walk in the park. This is the way we are meant to live. Everything else is just noise. We all love you.

Jezzka said...

Ces is a hero.

derekamalo said...

yes i would like to clarify a comment i made on this boARd about a week back to a julie....yes im forward but in the end im fair..i had told a lady by the name of julie that she was wrong in saying that a cartoonist coming up for a joke a day for the paper was not easy ....well i claimed no it wasnt twice ....but in many terms i am wrong when comparing my work to say syndicated cartoonist..not that theIR work is beter no im not saying that by far to 99 percent in the paper..

but heres the fact..... im sure when dan sits down to draw... tons of ideas come to mind but after he thinks of them he has to ask himself ...is this cartoon politically correct, will the public find this offensive, will my editor shit a brick or say pass, will this DEFENSE league write to me, will this mom have issues and SEND EDITORIAL to paper i sent it to, will this guy find it offensive and hunt me down...you see my point now...so yes after 8000 acceptable ideas dan has come up with over the years it is mind draining..

even myself if i was printed that would leave out my racist comment ideas, my fecal matter ideas and all my amputess ones down the crapper...at least 50 percent would not be acceptale...cencsorship is pretty sad but just imagine if there were no boundaries on what dan could put in the paper..im sure everything he could come up with would be memorable not that hes rude or anything but you get my point....everything he would put in would stand out and occasionally other cartoonist in the paper might make you crack the occaisonal smile...

as far as my racist comments ah...i can be a little rude but everyone makes fun of me as i make fun of them...but come on i got out of bed early to catch different strokes on BET ..

and as far as that 400,000 a month dan smaking ..i have family members who make that ..they dont spend anytime writing on blog to the common folk..soi would say no...

DAN YOUR COMMENT ON THIS BLOG BACK WOULD BE APPRECIATED

doug nicodemus said...

oh god he leaves my paper and he shows up here..arrrrrg

Julie said...

Derek - did the spellcheck overheat again?

Tanja said...

Very funny :)) (The cartoon, not your predicament, of course) Eeewww those naked smurfs! Now *I* want to climb onto that ledge...

derekamalo said...

LOL no julie my spell check is still well to much of an effort...my begnning statement was i had said it was easier to produce idea after idea ...i mentioned twice it wasnt hard...is that better

fran said...

Derek, your posts are seizure-inducing.

Shortcake said...

well i'm glad you didn't end yourself. those stories are always sad... especially when you just met the person. ces did a great job and i'm glad you're back to doing whatever it is that you do (other than your comics, of course). and btw-- the time i mentioned that you look like dr. thaddeus venture, i meant it. we've been watching a lot of episodes again. and there was this one where dr. venture stood in front of the mirror with his shirt off, and he said something like "i'm good looking! i'm 43 and still kickin' it!" and then lead us (the audience) to believe he was in a mid-life crisis..... i thought of you. he went to a titty bar and flirted with the strippers, so out of touch with reality that he thought it was REAL flirting... and i still thought of you. but not in a weird sense, just in the way that i thought about your mental anguish and that' you're 40 (something) and look like dr. venture. that's all. peace.

PIRARO said...

Derek asked me to comment, but I'm not sure what about. I've been email pals with Derek for many months now and have seen nearly all his cartoons. Which is like a million or more. He's right, most of them are too rude to be published, but he's actually given me a bunch of good ideas, I mentioned a few on this blog, in fact. And his odd way of typing is just his style. He doesn't care much for grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax. He just gets his ideas down and moves on. His posts here are vastly cleaned up compared to what he sends me in emails. It's quite unique and sometimes a bit like reading an abbreviated text message. : )

Shortcake: I guess I do look a bit like Dr. Venture, though I wasn't sure who that was until I googled him. I don't watch much TV animation, for some reason. Mostly, the art bothers me too much to get into the stories. My hair is thinning on top and when it gets too transparent, I'm shaving the pate. Hope I don't look like too much of a dufus.

Melissa: I wasn't really suicidal, never have been, that was just humorous hyperbole. I was just desperate and miserable over a personal issue. Better now, though not out of the woods. I'm able to work at my normal rate now, so I'm thrilled with that.

Mr.Johnson: Billy is around 50 now, you're right. I don't know him but I'm friends with Jeffy (the one with curly red hair in the comic.) He's in his mid-forties, over six feet tall and a great guy. He works in the cartoon business with his dad, Bil Keane, also a terrific guy with a wicked sense of humor.

derekamalo said...

what i meant was for dan to come up with a comic that is acceptable for everyone where he prints....he probaly thinks of ten ideas a day but only one can be used...thats why its tougher for him to produce ideas then someone who is a nobody like myself ...the comment was to explain that... thats what is tough... 8000 jokes that dont offend....if he could offend youd be 800,000 jokes written plus...thanks for the props dan on the joke part but thats not what i meant you had to blog about ...

LysergicAsset said...

melissa: Go to www.sfgate.com and click on the comics section and you can see Bizarro for free every single day.

The evangelical goldfish cartoon was fantastic (3rd mention on this blog alone).

Mr. Johnson said...

Oh great - I pick on Family Circus and it turns out you're friends with one of the kids! If anyone's looking for me, I'll be hiding under the couch with my favorite squeeky toy.

derekamalo said...

hahahahahah mr johnson i knew you were busting hahahahahahaha i knew you were making fun of him the story gets worse a friend of mine lives in paradise valley , arizona and belongs to the same religious organization...as him

julie said...

Jeff Keane is a really great guy with a wonderful sense of humor. :)

And Derek, the other Julie that responded is not me (you were referencing my original post). That's just my stalker here. Pay no attention to it.

fran said...

Derek - thanks for clearing that up. The fact that he has to consider his audience when writing is a true revelation.

jeremiah said...

if i ever see a potential jumper, it is going to require a lot of self-control for me to not yell out "do a flip!"

Jym said...

=v= I follow all your links, and I was sorely disappointed that one of them didn't go to Duke Ellington's well-known "Take The A Train" (with its obscure coda, "But At Some Point You'll Want To Transfer To the C Train").

derekamalo said...

sorry guys for the run ons and the seizure-inducing ...if anyone dies of a post that would really stink and i would feel bad....im sure it would make a funny story but it would suck....i understand dans bout with almost suicide...but that attemopt should have taken place when dan lost the ncs's best comic panel to the strip LUANN...i wonder if my pal dan knows her to

Robert said...

These days, Little Billy mostly makes dotted lines to and from the bank and Disney studios, when he's not writing children's Bible books.

Shortcake said...

yea piraro, i figured you had not seen the show before.. so i didn't really expect you to know who i was talking about. but THAT show is amazing with a capital A. it is written just like an action movie, and the animation can get comic-booky at times. there is an actual exchange between characters and the humor is definitely mature. it has to be my favorite cartoon of all time. plus, brock sampson is voiced by actor patrick warburton-- the guy who also voices "Joe" from family guy and stars in a cute little sitcom called "rules of engagement" on cbs. anyway, i recommend you watch at least an episode of the show, just to see your red-headed look-alike.

B.A.D. said...

Hey Dan,

just wanted to pass along some well wishes and good vibes. I hope whatever is bothering you works itself out and that your stress levels die down.

Much love and good vegan vibes
b.a.d

Andrew Wales said...

I enjoyed seeing your replacement's cartoons this week. It introduced us to a new cartoonist and gave you a break without subjecting us to reruns. I'm sure it gave him some added exposure.