Saw Bones


bz panel 06-27-13bz strip 06-27-13Bizarro is brought to you today by The Wonders of X-Rays.

Some readers will doubtless wonder why I reversed the image between the panel and strip version of this cartoon, so to save myself multiple responses, here’s why: A properly-constructed joke has the punch line as far toward the end as possible. When I’m drawing a visual joke such as this one, I ask myself which is funnier, to read the words then see the pic, or vice versa? This one could’ve gone either way, really, but I decided that knowing the patient is the Grim Reaper makes reading the words a little funnier. In the panel version, of course, the words are always at the top so there isn’t as much choice, but since the image is more compact, the mind sees the whole thing at once anyway. In some cartoons, I try my best to lead the reader’s eye from one thing to the next, arriving at the punch line (be it verbal or visual) last.


Below is one of my favorite examples of that. The reader sees the characters and assumes Tonto is pointing at smoke signals. Then you read the caption, realize it is something else entirely, and if you look even closer, you see the salads in their laps. Hahaha.bizarro Tonto Cauliflower 09-21-03 WB


11 thoughts on “Saw Bones

  1. Wow, interesting. The reaper strip version does seem funnier.

    Your Tonto cartoon is definitely one of your best regardless of category. Very clever.

    • I’d never seen the Tonto strip before today, but I love it. One of my favorites from a long while ago (maybe a decade or more) was Mr. Potato Head going to the prosthetist and being offered a choice between crinkle cut or curly (I may be remembering incorrectly, but you get the gist).

      Been a fan of Dan’s sense of humor sense I was a little kid, and still am a few decades later. I’ve shared that appreciation with my 10-year-old little sister, too; she loves his work!

  2. You and your puns. Are you saying that since your choice could have “gone either way” the cartoon versions ended up in a (ahem!) draw?

  3. My favorite of yours is the traffic cop praying on bended knee before a traffic light placed upon a small alter.

    “I will smite those that disobey…”

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