Bizarro 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.