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Pittsburgh artist Wayno to take over nationally syndicated 'Bizarro' comic

| Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, 4:12 p.m.
Wayne Honath, also known as Wayno and a 'Bizarro' cartoonist, was a fashion trailblazer during the Art of Wine and Food party to benefit Hearth at Children’s Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side, Oct. 7, 2016.
Tribune-Review File
Wayne Honath, also known as Wayno and a 'Bizarro' cartoonist, was a fashion trailblazer during the Art of Wine and Food party to benefit Hearth at Children’s Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side, Oct. 7, 2016.

A Pittsburgh-based cartoonist will step onto the national stage six days a week as he takes over the syndicated single-panel comic “Bizarro” for his longtime collaborator, Dan Piraro.

Piraro and Wayne Honath, who prefers to go by his pen name “Wayno,” announced early this week that Honath of Mt. Lebanon took over the comic Mondays through Saturdays starting Jan. 1, so Piraro can focus on painting and the larger-format Sunday strips.

The two had worked together to varying degrees since they met at an event Piraro emceed at the Toonseum in downtown Pittsburgh. They have shared writing credit on about 150 comics since 2009.

King Features Syndicate, which publishes “Bizarro,” said more than 350 newspapers carry the strip, including the Tribune-Review.

Wayno also had drawn and written the strip for two separate weeklong stretches and worked as Piraro's colorist for three years.

“It's only been a couple of days since I started to see my new “Bizarro” work online and in print,” Wayno told the Trib. “It's overwhelming, particularly when I think about how widely ‘Bizarro' is distributed.

“Dan and I have nearly identical comic sensibilities, which enables us to bounce ideas and details back and forth to edit and refine the work. We both want each cartoon to be as good as we can make it, so our process is highly collaborative, not to mention fun.”

“Some of the gags will be his, some mine, and some will be collaborations between us, but he'll be handling the finished product that you'll see online and in the newspapers six out of seven days each week,” Piraro wrote in the blog post announcing his “retirement.”

“Now I'll get to work with my favorite cartoonist every day, as we plunge headfirst into 2018,” Wayno wrote in his own announcement.

He is ending his own “Waynovision” comic, published online through Universal Press Syndicate's GoComics platform, he wrote.

Wayno said in an interview via email that he hadn't yet worked out his new routine for writing and drawing the daily strip, but said it allowed him to cut back on seeking and churning out freelance work.

Wayno is the second Pittsburgh-area artist to grab the national spotlight in comics recently: Munhall-based Ed Piskor, who won an Eisner Award for his Hip-Hop Family Tree comic series, is currently writing, drawing and lettering the X-Men: Grand Design series for Marvel. The first issue was released in December.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or on Twitter @msantoni.

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