Friday, July 10, 2015

The Bizarro Life of Cartoonist Dan Piraro

Zachary Crockett in Priceonomics.

“My first royalty check was $90 for an entire month of cartoons. That was a very disappointing day.”
~ Dan Piraro, creator of Bizarro

The comics section of most newspapers is a time machine. 
In an era where breaking stories can be shared in real-time on the Internet, it’s odd to hold a paper that literally contains yesterday’s news — and comics are no exception: reprints of old Garfield, Peanuts, and Dennis the Menace strips fill the page. The world has moved on, but in the newspaper, Garfield still loves lasagna, Lucy is still pulling away the football, and Dennis is still menacing.

 Nestled between these strips, Bizarro is a modern beacon of hilarity and social commentary. In a single panel, the oddball cartoon tackles issues like gay marriage, gun laws, and animal rights. It exposes, with reckless abandon, the frequent idiocy of mankind. Like its creator, Dan Piraro, it is both eccentric and doggedly political.

Piraro, like many cartoonists, began his career in an era where getting widely syndicated in newspapers was the only option to achieve a large readership. It was — and still is — an arduous process: he endured constant rejection, minimal pay, and, most formidably, the rise of the Internet and webcomics. After 30 years in the industry, he’s finally “made it.” Printed in some 350 newspapers across America, Bizarro is an award-winning strip with a cult following. 
This is the story of how Dan Piraro created Bizarro.
The full article here

Other articles about Dan Piraro on this blog:

A conversation with Bizarro cartoonist Dan Piraro

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