By: Dave Astor
The offbeat goes on at King Features Syndicate, which is picking up the “Bizarro” comic Jan. 1. Dan Piraro’s 17-year-old panel will move from Universal Press Syndicate.
As previously reported, another comic coming to King on New Year’s Day (from Tribune Media Services) is Mike Peters’ offbeat “Mother Goose & Grimm.”
Piraro said one reason he’s joining King is because he feels the syndicate will increase sales of his comic, which runs in about 200 newspapers.
Universal’s reaction? “Ironically, our concentration of good panels may be the reason Dan thought he might be more comfortable in his new home,” said syndicate president Bob Duffy. “We certainly wish him continued success.”
“Bizarro” entered syndication in 1985 with Chronicle Features — essentially replacing Gary Larson’s famous “Far Side,” which had moved to Universal. Ten years later, “Bizarro” also moved to Universal — around the time Larson retired. Piraro’s feature went on to win the National Cartoonists Society’s award for best comic panel in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
Piraro, 44, also does a one-man act called “The Bizarro Bologna Show,” which has received positive reviews. “I’ve performed it in a handful of cities in which my cartoons run,” he told E&P Online. “I intend to do a lot more performing in the future, and have had a ball converting my cartoon humor into stage routines.”