A Dry Heat


Bizarro 09-08-13 WEBBizarro 09-08-13 hedr WEB(To enlarginatize this image, click the firetrucks exterior pressure defibrillator mechanism.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Materialism.

This gag reminds me a bit of the comedy of George Carlin. I can almost hear him asking why a firetruck isn’t called a watertruck. Maybe I flatter myself.

This gag was very time consuming to draw and especially color, but I really enjoyed the process and am happy with the results. There is a hidden gag for my most faithful and observant Jazz Pickles, too. Hope you can find it.

I’ve never lost anything to fire but I can only imagine the horror of seeing your home go up in flames. It’s one of my greatest fears, in fact. So if anyone reading this cartoon recently lost their stuff to fire, sorry. I say that because this kind of coincidence happens countless times every time I do a cartoon about tragedy, and I always feel bad even though I know I didn’t have anything to do with it. Am I being silly? Probably.


42 thoughts on “A Dry Heat

    • Not that I know of, but if you found one, please let me know and I will arrive to accept the mayorship of it, along with all of the benefits that accompany the office.

      • I’ve never heard of Steven Wright before, found him on YouTube — and indeed his sense of humor is a lot like yours! Fabulous Bizarro-like jokes, but after watching many clips from different decades, it became obvious that he ran out of new material quickly. Nevertheless his gags are outstanding! — “If you’d melt dry ice, could you swim in it without getting wet?”

  1. Hi – I wasn’t expecting the George Carlin reference, good one! I had the pleasure and honor of seeing him perform live on tour a couple years before his death and it was an indescribable experience. I had decided a few years before I was definitely an atheist and was really enjoying his bits on religion at the time. He was so much more than a comic and I would put him on par with Mark Twain, Will Rogers, H. L. Mencken and Robert G. Ingersoll. If you haven’t checked it out already I’d recommend Carlin’s “Last Words” especially in the audio book format. It’s got a forward by Tony Hendra and is read by his brother Patrick. It didn’t put him on a pedestal but instead showed him on a human level, as a husband, father and person.

  2. Just saw this in my dead-tree newspaper (San Luis Obispo Tribune/Tribble because of how the paper multiplies in the recycling bin) and my first thought was that you’d stolen the idea from the stand-up comedy of Ray Bradbury. Which makes me wonder how the JPFD would respond to a report of a kitten trapped in a tree. No, we’re both kitten-lovers, don’t think about that.

    I also got to see George Carlin at his last appearance in my town, where he noted up front that his entire tour was intended to try out material for his next HBO special, which would have a larger audience than all his tour performances combined. I appreciated the honesty and when the special aired, it was the best stuff, but I wouldn’t have missed the whole show for the world. One thing he obviously didn’t include on the special was where he explained the appeal of totally tasteless jokes – which he usually would avoid – and gave three examples that he guaranteed would get nothing but groans (they did) but would be the first thing most of the audience would repeat at the water cooler Monday Morning (except those of us who consciously resisted the temptation – or don’t have water coolers). An interesting departure for him, because they WERE terrible jokes you’d never expect him to tell, and helped to point out the conscious choices he made in the rest of the show. He was truly the greatest. (But yes, kittens were harmed in the jokes… and orphans… and pregnant nuns.)

  3. When I saw your strip in today’s (9/8/2013) paper, I could barely control my anger. To even suggest that firefighters are starting fires or encouraging the spread of fire is totally irresponsible. Yes, there occasionally are a few bad apples, but as a rule firefighter, both career and volunteer, are responsible public servant who do their job out of a sense of civic responsibility and pride. Publishing a strip like this only proves that you know nothing about the sacrifices made daily by these dedicated public servants. Then again, what else could we expect from an egotist like you. I demand a very public apology be published by you as soon as possible.

    Just in case your wondering about my qualifications, I am a retired volunteer with 27 years of service on a rural fire dept. and have an Associate Degree in Fire Protection. I’ll be waiting for the apology and if I don’t see it, I will lobby our paper to discontinue your strip.

    John F, Chiocchi

    Lincoln, Nebraska

    • This is such a terrific complaint letter that I cannot tell if you’re kidding or serious. Either way, thanks for taking the time to write and post it.

      • As a retiree after 32 years in the fire service, I fail to see anything but humor in your cartoon. Firefighters are known for their gallows humor that the general public will never understand. Long time fan, unfortunately my newspaper quit carrying your strip.

      • A John F Chiocchi IS listed in Lincoln’s white pages.

        I really, sincerely hope he wrote in to his newspaper’s comic strip section. I can’t imagine the laugh they got out of it.

        Personally, I am offended at your depiction of the distressed homeowner in this cartoon. Even though I am now a proud homeowner, I am neither bald nor overweight, and I almost ALWAYS wear pants in public. How dare you malign property owners for the sake of a laugh! I am OUTRAGED, and I will probably remove this website bookmark from the daily comic strips I visit every day on my lunch break.

        huff huff huff.

  4. I immediately thought of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 when I saw your panel. In 1969, as a high school senior, I had the good fortune to attend a lecture that featured Ray Bradbury. He encouraged each of us in the audience to think for ourselves, to question authority. He talked about the importance of writing. Here’s a nice essay about Ray Bradbury [written the day after his death] and his story, Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which book paper burns.) http://gigaom.com/2012/06/06/are-we-living-in-bradburys-fahrenheit-451/ (I also knew that to decode “J.P.F.D.” I would have to view this blog. :-) )

  5. I am still waiting to learn why we park in a driveway and drive on a parkway. We didn’t invent brain farts but we did milk them of all their worth.

  6. Dan,

    My favorite quote of George Carlin relates to today’s cartoon:

    “If you love somebody, set them free… If they come back, set them on fire!”

  7. I love the detail and accuracy of the fire truck. It must be wonderful to be able to draw realistically just about anything you can think of. One of my favorite vehicle drawings you’ve done is of the FIAT 600 micro bus.

  8. I see lots of extra bits (alien, eye, etc) and something under the truck … but I’m not sure what your extra gag was. I’m new to your blog … could you give a hint please? Thanks!

    • The extra gag was the JPFD on the front of the truck. It stands for “Jazz Pickle Fire Dept.” Jazz Pickles is what I call my fans. :o)

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