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Articles - Bizarro: This Side of The Far Side

BUY Bizarro (cover)
Chronicle Books

When Gary Larson, venerated creator of the coolest comic panel ever, hung up his pen there was a huge void left in the lives of many people. The Far Side was a funny comic and the off-kilter take on life, slightly dark, slightly caustic, slightly sarcastic made Larson's funny gags in one panel a must for any fan of humor. This is why The Far Side has not faded away even if its creator has disappeared from public life. Newspapers around the world scrambled to find a replacement and they were unsuccessful. They did, however, find comic panels that were in that school of cartooning. One example is Piraro's Bizarro: a funny gag one-panel comic.

Piraro is not Larson. There are very few cows in his cartoon panels (one gets the feeling funny cows and chickens will always be Larsonian) but the take is similar to The Far Side. Piraro may also be more adventurous in terms of stylistics than Larson. He likes to play around with dimension and optics, a very Escher kind of thing. Although both Piraro and Gary Larson have a fascination for penguins, Piraro's human characters are much more present and much more realistically drawn. Another significant difference between a funny cartoon by Piraro and a funny comic panel of the Larson era is that Gary Larson relied on captions below the panel in The Far Side while Piraro relies more heavily on dialogue balloons in his gags to convey the funny joke.

It terms of FBA, funny batting average, Gary Larson is Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth, Piraro is a solid 300 hitter. If there ever were a comic panel world series, Gary Larson would be the odds on favorite and rightly so but although Piraro and Bizarro are more of a wild card, you could probably have a very interesting 6 game playoff.

by Piraro
Chonicle Books.

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