Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by The Humane Society of the United States.
This is a rare example of a cartoon that I drew for Bizarro but decided not to run. Any time I have an idea that I know will be controversial, I explain it to my editor at King Features and ask him what he thinks. We discuss the pros and cons and I decide whether the risk of losing papers is worth the gag.
In the case of the "Payback" cartoon, we emailed back and forth as usual, but somehow I misunderstood his response. I was certain he said it would be fine and even though I was shocked by his opinion, I drew it up, colored it, formatted it for panel and strip, and sent it in. He called immediately, asking if I was pulling their collective leg.
My first instinct was right, this joke is way too racy for the funny pages, so we pulled it at the last minute and ran an old cartoon in its place. It's still a great joke, though, in my humble opinion, so I'm sharing it with you here.
My biggest regret about this joke is that I didn't write it. It came pretty much verbatim from my wacky friend Derek, who is a regular commenter on this blog. A surprising number of great cartoons are not written by the person who draws them and makes them famous, but most cartoonists are loathe to admit it. So if I don't get points for this gag, at least maybe I can grab a point or two for honesty.
By the way, Payback was later neutered, which is the responsible thing for any good pet guardian to do.
Another cartoon that I missed posting while I was out of town is this one about a wedding. If you don't immediately get it, try reading the preacher's words out loud, in the same rhythm as the traditional, "...for richer or for poorer."
The best thing about this gag was that I got an email from a woman named Dora who lives across the street from a man named Richard. She said her whole neighborhood was wondering if I was talking about them. I couldn't resist telling her she had caught me, that I lived down the street and had noticed the sparks between them and thought I'd give them a little nudge.
It's a bizarre world.