Let's look at a smattering of publications from Canadian cartoonist John Martz.
Gold Star. This was my favorite of Martz's comics. It's sharper and meaner than his other works, and the intricate structure has quite a payoff. It's about a nebbishy artist of some kind coming to an Oscars-like ceremony in Hollywood and how his casual indifference to the well-being of others as well as his astounding naivete winds up having disastrous consequence. The left-handed side of each spread is a single-panel gag with text at the bottom, and they are flashbacks. The right-handed side of each page is a four-panel grid in the present at the awards ceremony, where the main character (Bunny Buckler, an anthropomorphic rabbit) wins the award and gives a rambling, bizarre acceptance speech. As the flashbacks flip by, we learn that Bunny was seduced by the LA party scene, got massively hung over, and frantically had to call down to the front desk in order to have an iron sent up.There's one hilarious page where the frantic Bunny is on stage, guzzling down an entire glass of water before he's capable of speaking. The nasty punchline of this strip is the result of meticulous, clockwork planning and clever callbacks, delivering a bit of horrifying hubris to the main character and relentlessly punishing the bell hop who was inadvertently abused by Bunny. Reading these comics felt like Martz slowly building his comedic and drawing chops from the ground up, finding out what worked on the page and what didn't, until he was confident enough to unleash a comic as intricately designed as Gold Star. While he's a good gag artist, his real talent is in long form humor, mixing poignant emotion with vicious punchlines.