>Zombie Fools Day

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Bizarro is brought to you today by a 20% Chance of Snow Flurries.
What better day to talk about April 1, 1997 than January 8, 2011? Mankind may never know, so let’s talk about it today.

Somebody in the National Cartoonists Society decided back in late ’96 that it would be fun to get all the syndicated cartoonists to switch strips on April Fool’s Day, ’97 and not tell anyone, as a joke on readers everywhere. Not all of the artists cooperated, of course, but plenty did and the funny pages everywhere were full of comics drawn by the wrong person that day. You can imagine the laughter, knee slapping, and dumbfounded drooling that ensued all across North America. (Neither can I, but play along.) The way it worked is that each participating artist was assigned another feature to draw and their own feature was assigned to someone else. None of these were direct swaps.

Here are the two results I was involved in (click the pics for a larger view.) I was asked to draw Greg Evan’s strip, “Luann,” and Bill Griffith of “Zippy” was asked to draw Bizarro. If you’re interested in seeing more of these legendary swaps, go here: April Fools Cartoons 1997.

Next, Let’s talk about last Sunday’s wide-screen, technicolor, panoramic Bizarro comic. Because I’m a semi-public figure, I am connected to a lot of people on Facebook. So I get about eleventy dozen requests a day to sign onto some kind of cause or page that aims to end a crisis or petition to ask someone to stop doing something or start doing something or think about what they’re doing. It’s mind boggling. And my mind already has a tendency toward bogglation. I could be wrong but I can’t imagine a Facebook page ever solved anything other than getting Betty White to host SNL. So this cartoon is the result of the boggling caused by the godzillian FB requests I get everyday. You can’t fight Zombies with Facebook: words to live by.

(again, click the cartoon below for a view that achieves largerness)

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12 Responses to >Zombie Fools Day

  1. Elliott says:

    >I actually enjoyed the swaps, which might lend further evidence toward the mediocrity of my life back in 1997. Curious, did each cartoonist know who was filling his or her spot that day, or were they just as surprised as we, the collective readership?And I might be using your 20% photo soon, though the snow has stopped temporarily.Thanks.

  2. Piraro says:

    >@Elliott…we knew who was going to do our strip but didn't see the result until it appeared in the paper. It was a fun project but the organizers swore never to do it again because it was a huge hassle to coordinate.

  3. Chriss Pagani says:

    >Funniest. Luann. Ever.

  4. behrmark says:

    >It's too bad the cartoon swap hasn't continued; I always thought it was a great way to show off the talents of comic strippers…uh..cartoonists.

  5. Jongudmund says:

    >Thing about zombies is, I've never seen a zombie movie where there is a zombie wearing a hat or a balaclava. But if you died in a tight-fitting hat (like a baseball cap) or a balaclava (which you might be wearing to reduce the smell of decaying flesh as you fight off the zombies who are eating you) then why would your first act as a zombie be to take it off?Also how come you never see zombies with tattooed skin? Do the tattoos rot off quicker than the rest of the flesh?

  6. Piraro says:

    >@Joel…That was cool as hell. You'll have to teach me how to do that.

  7. Joel says:

    >Just goto the first link (http://lmgtfy.com/) and type in your search. It'll give you the link to send to people.

  8. Plan 9 Studios says:

    >I went on a bit of a tirade, asking people to explain how changing your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon character last December, combated child abuse in the least bit. I had several people get angry at me, some even calling me a child abuser. Slacktivism at its finest.I guess what I mean to say is, can I get that zombie comic on a shirt please?

  9. loffenyo says:

    >your iphone app should have a favorite tagbest regards from norway.

  10. Piraro says:

    >@Plan9…Yes, just email Rey@bizarro.com and he'll get you set up.

  11. Janta says:

    >Oh, you weren't being funny when you asked Joel to teach you how to do that? teehee…(no need to post this)

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