Phish Philosophy


bz panel 08-15-13bz strip 08-15-13Bizarro is brought to you by Fossils.

If you don’t get this gag, it is doubtless because you’ve never heard of Swedish Fish, an ancient and pretty famous candy. Wisely, though they look like little red fish, the manufacturer decided to make them taste like something else. Nobody knows exactly what, though. As my known associate, Wayno of Pittsburgh (whose idea this gag was) says on his blog today, they taste “red.” He has more to say about this collaboration here.



Bizarro 02-17-06FlyFishingWEB








JAZZ PICKLE JAR: Today’s elderly Bizarro cartoon from 2006 is also about fishing and that’s no coincidence. While I was writing the copy above I thought to myself, Unless I’m drunker than I think I am, this cartoon is about fish, and then I thought of another one that I’d done that also seemed to be about fish and I posted it here. Just a little insight into the complex world of professional cartooning.



38 thoughts on “Phish Philosophy

  1. I was able to read what Wayno® posted before this was up (though now you’re caught up), and I needed that to get the joke. I had never heard of Swedish Fish candy. Now I have. They even have a website.

  2. There you go Dan. You just named the corner for return of ancient cartoons yourself. Elderly Bizarro Corner……or is that the home for old jazz pickles?

  3. My daughter married a New Zealander and now lives in NZ. The one food they do not have, that I must keep her supplied with, is Swedish fish (or sweh-dish fish as we call them). What a joy and a delight to see this cartoon! I will forward it to her immediately. Thanks, Wayne and Dan. I love this cartoon :) You’ve made my day!

  4. Back in my coffeehouse emcee days, one of the musicians referred to fishing as “the senseless slaughter of the aerobically-impaired.” The elderly cartoon made me think of that. It also made me think how it would feel to be near a body of water and suddenly hooked and yanked underwater, only to be released by some huge monster and set back on shore bleeding from the mouth. No thanks.

    On a brighter note, I looked up Swedish Fish and found a nearby Albertson’s carries it and if they don’t have them, the Rite-Aid across the street from that does. It’s a good day for a walk.

    • I had no idea that my cartoon would be educating so many people about that product. I should’ve negotiated a fee with them before I published. :o)

  5. Here in Sweden, they type “Malaco” on the fishes, because that’s the name of the company that manufacturing them. They are colloquially known as “candy fishes”. They are suitable for vegetarians, since they use starch and not gelatine in the fish manufacturing process.

  6. Ah, now I know where they come from!

    They were a favorite of mine on my early cave exploration trips, although the mud on my hands may have left a certain extra bit of flavour.

  7. I’m swedish and didn’t get it; says more about me than Dan though. Oh, there is salty liqourice fish too, tasty!

  8. As always, I enjoyed the gag. However, in the interest of pedantic accuracy, I need to point out that fjords of the type shown in the background don’t exist in Sweden. A background to represent Sweden would look more like the shoreline of a lake in Minnesota or perhaps the flat beach of a Bergman film.

    Changing the title to Norwegian Fishing Champion would make the background accurate, but the gag would make no sense.

    • Funny, but I actually knew that and thought of it when drawing the cartoon. But most of my readers are in North America and most of us (I suspect) think of Sweden and Norway as looking the same and having icy fjords. So in the interest of playing to the cliche and getting the idea across, I chose that background. I figured I’d hear from some Swedes on it but you’re the first to complain. :o)

      I’ve visited both Sweden and Norway a few times and always have an amazing time. I love Scandinavia. (in the summer)

  9. “They taste red” … I’m reminded of the show “Gilmore Girls”. In one episode, Luke, the working-class owner of the little greasy-spoon diner in town, is invited to a swanky party in which he’s served one of those “foo-foo” sort of drinks. His reaction after he takes a sip: “It actually tastes pink. It feels like I’m drinking a My Little Pony.” That show had some of the best lines ever…


  10. I would love to share this one, but there are a couple of my Facebook friends who would get very offended by the selection from the Jazz Pickle Jar. They would be certain that I was directing it towards them; which, of course, I would be…

    • Actually, I was going to title this post that but Wayno had already named his “Red Snapper” so I decided not to. Great minds…

  11. Thanks for the explanation! We didn’t have Swedish Fish in SoCal when I grew up. Also, great comic about the cruelty of ‘catch and release’.

    • Catch and release is actually much kinder than “catch, suffocate, and eat” since many of them don’t even use barbed hooks, but kinder yet would be to let them live their lives unmolested by us. :o)

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