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Kaz Gags

Here I return to the one-panel gag cartoon format. Because I don’t have my own shorthand gag cartoon style I’m aping the style of British cartoonist Pugh. I’m actually looking at his gag cartoons and taking his situations and making them my own as a kind of exercise. How can I make it Kaz funny? Well, it usually ends up being gags about sex and death. There’s no escaper from sex and death.

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New Underworld strip. UNDERWORLD

This strip expresses two things I love: cartoon street scenes (from Saul Steinberg, to Robert Crumb, to Mark Alan Stamaty’s MacDoodle Street) and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In’s joke wall where the hosts would stand in front of a psychedelic wall with windows and trap doors that would open revealing the cast spouting off rapid fire jokes and one-liners. I’ve done this type of thing before with the Kaz Bar strips but I thought I’d take it outside for some fresh air. The vulture on the far right is Madam Debris, a character that I created for my Cartoon Network pilot ZOOT RUMPUS. The disembodied nonsense words floating about are from my sketchbooks and are my version of comic strip walla.  

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New Underworld Strip. Underworld.

So there are two things going on here. Snuff has obviously drunk so much that he’s in a black out. When you’re in a black out you don’t know you are. The people around you don’t know you are because you act normal (though tipsy). But your brain can’t make the memories of what you’re doing for you to remember (the next day). That’s why so many people get into so much trouble when they black out. “I did what? I said what?” I have Snuff in the last panel come to enough to know that he’s drunk and doesn’t know why he’s in hell. I like the idea that one can just wander into hell. The other thing going on in this strip is that Snuff’s mom is in hell. Did she die? Was she that bad? I’ll leave that for future strips. 

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New Underworld Strip. Creep Rat.

Is it weird? I’ve always loved freckles. I had ‘em as a kid. Still have ‘em on my shoulders. I like the word. Freckles. It’s fun to say. But mostly I liked girls with freckles. A few years ago I was trying to explain it to a friend when I said that I liked that they looked like a leopard. Of course I got a weird look. And of course you don’t have to have freckles to be attractive or interesting looking. You could have stripes. Now I’m disappointed that people don’t have stripes. I wanted to make the last panel pretty. I’ve been looking at Krazy Kat again.

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LATEST IN UNDERWORLD

Rejected Book Jacket

Here’s a book jacket I designed for Mark Leyner’s 1990 book: My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist. It’s a collection of super short, postmodern absurd fiction. And

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Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).

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