Cartoon Cross-Breeding


Bizarro is brought to you today by Cartoon Hybrids.

There is an unwritten repertoire of cartoon themes into which just about any one-panel gag cartoonist will dip occasionally. The guy-crawling-through-a-desert is one, some other examples are someone-stranded-on-an-island, the psychiatrist couch, guys-chained-to-a-wall-in-a-dungeon (which I’ve never done because it disgusts me), fish-evolving-and-walking-up-a-beach, and ventriloquists. This cartoon combines two of the popular themes in a way that amuses me. If you’ve not seen many of the old-timey time ventriloquists, one of their favorite tricks was to make the dummy talk while the ventriloquist is drinking a glass of water. This is impossible, of course, and is irrefutable evidence that the ventriloquist has sold his soul to the devil in return for a dummy that can actually talk. Sure, it’s great for their career but they will be sorry when they burn in the fires of hell for eternity. Other examples of people who have sold their soul to the devil in return for celebrity are Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Vanilla Ice, Pauley Shore, the  entire cast of “Jersey Shore,” Honey Boo Boo’s mom, Bill O’Reilly, all of the Kardashians.

Here is one of my previous favorite ventriloquist cartoons from 2010.

And finally, here is my favorite journey into a classic cartoon theme, from 1995. All of the characters on the island are taken from other cartoonists, the one in the water is mine. You likely won’t be able to name all of the guys on the island so below the cartoon is a list, as best I can remember.

Left to right: Tom Wilson (Ziggy), Richard Guindon (tall guy), Charles Rodrigues (Charlie), Mick Stevens, B. Kliban (my hero), Gahan Wilson, Ted Rall, Gary Larson, Jack Zeigler, John Callahan, Charles Addams. I am a fan of all of these guys’ work with the exception of “Ziggy.”


11 thoughts on “Cartoon Cross-Breeding

  1. Huuuge fan of Kliban, Addams and Wilson. As a kid, my dad was a reader of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF to us fans), and Gahan Wilson’s twisted ‘toons were a regular feature; even before I started reading the stories, I was grabbing the magazine out of the mailbox so I could see Wilson’s latest.

  2. I not really surprised that B. Kliban is your hero. Your wit reminds me of his and is one big reason I admire your work.

  3. My favorite Ziggy panel is hard to dislike. Ziggy is standing in front of an old office door, the kind with frosted glass in the top half. Painted on the door are the words “Department of Redundancy Department.” The memory still makes me smile.


  4. I am non-US citizen and when I first saw this strip, first thing that came to my mind was, ‘He is so confident about his career that even in his hard time, it his puppet that talks first.’ Being Passionate was another idea that came across… Thanks for explanation..!

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