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  • hilarybarta

Dare to Be Stupid!

I'm one of the contributors to the upcoming anthology, The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic. As Z2, the publisher puts it, they've '"...gathered some of the top living cartoonists to express Al's 'Yankovisions' visually..." Personally, I'm curious about a gathering of top dead cartoonists. The song I've illustrated is "Dare to be stupid". Unlike some of Al's other musical parodies, it isn't a humorous take on a specific song. It's an anthem to stupidity written in the style of the band DEVO. My first task was coming up with new gags to illustrate the song lyrics. I didn't want to repeat the original music video. Here's my pencil rough for the first page, drawn at 6" X 9 1/2" on cheap copier paper.

Right about the time I was about to start drawing, my deadline was cut in half. After some discussion with the editor, I brought in artist pal Jim Wisniewski to tighten up my layouts while I was roughing out the later pages. Here's his take on the first page.

I love the guy Jim came up with for the first image, but I wanted him to be wearing a surprised look. In the second image, I went back to my original guy in a sleeping cap, but kept Jim's design for the bedbugs.

I scanned my tight pencil rough, enlarged it, converted it to "blueline", and printed it on 2-ply bristol. I then inked directly on the bluelined board. When scanning, the blue is easier than pencil to separate from and remove from the black of the inks.

Wes Wong did the color. I love his palette on this page. And he helped me in the computer tech realm, too. On this page he reduced the top image to make more room for the title.

And finally, Rick Parker added his lettering of the song lyrics. Rick lettered the captions and credits, but since Jim Wiz did such a nice job on the title design, Jim also did the ink finish on the title below, to which Wes added color.

Quite the collaborative process to meet the deadline, but I tried to tie it all together into a coherently stupid whole. I'm happy with the result, and was flattered to be asked to be a part of the book, which is scheduled to out when the Weird Al movie is released later this fall.

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