By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Jerry and I had dinner last night with Jerry’s friend Conrad Buff. Conrad, in addition to being the grandson of the great western landscape painter of the same name, is an Oscar-winning film editor for Titanic and has a vast list of film credits to his name. After talking to Conrad about the, well, titanic challenges of editing a film, I’m inclined to think the film editor’s name should run above the director’s, if not above the title of the film itself.

The evening’s conversation led me to the thought that my role in Zits is often that of a cinematographer. Take for example Tuesday’s strip.

Here’s Jerry’s pencil rough, the blueprint I received from him. All of the elements are already in place, the acting is clear, he’s thought out the composition and dialogue and wrapped it up with a bow. I know, could my job get any easier?


On days when the idea is as cooked as this one, my job is like a cinematographer’s. Without doing harm to the idea, I try to improve the camera angle and push the visuals as far as I can. In this case I just brought Jeremy’s head as far forward as I could so we could see the action inside, and lowered the angle on Mom and Dad so they appeared a bit nearer.


In my own penciling of the strip before inking, you might say that I erase the actors’ weaker takes and splice together their stronger takes for the final cut.

And the Academy Award for Strained Metaphors goes to……