Tower of Titters


Bizarro 02-22-15 hdr Bizarro 02-22-15 WEB1(Indulge your desire to embiggenate these cartoons by clicking them.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Scaring a Child to Death.

It’s Oscar night tonight and this cartoon satirizes the Academy’s habit of showing a short video of the showbiz people who have died since the last Oscar ceremony. But I used an alternate meaning of the word “lost” and applied it to a famous fictional character who is perennially just that. That’s it. No secret meanings or messages. (I got asked if this was in reference to the Charlie Hebdo event.)

bz panel 02-16-15 bz panel 02-17-15 bz panel 02-18-15 bz panel 02-19-15 bz panel 02-20-15 bz panel 02-21-15My other most recent cartoons looked like this:

The rocket-crash cartoon was inspired by Planet of the Apes, of course, and is meant to be a couple of futuristic space travelers commenting on what an abysmal job we humans have done of “ruling” the earth. On King Feature’s web site, the comments below this cartoon devolved into a discussion of religion, evolution, and racism. (The most offensive racist comment has since been deleted by King Features) I’ll be honest, the tendencies of Americans to wallow in this kind of gutter sometimes makes it hard to keep myself from jumping off of something very high. In responding to this unfortunate conversation, I came across a recent Gallup poll that shows that nearly half of all Americans actually believe the mythological account of creation in The Bible over the facts our most intellectually gifted humans have discovered about our planet and it’s inhabitants over many centuries of accumulated knowledge. Nearly HALF. So embarrassing. You can read the comments here if so inclined.

The “well grammar” cartoon got picked up and forwarded a lot by some grammar sites, which was fun. Side note: even the grammar nazi in this cartoon makes a grammatical error (“real” instead of “really”) but I needed to use that tense to make the joke work. Sorry, grammar commandants.

The bird/worm cartoon is just a joke. A few readers thought it might have some literary or historical reference, but no.

My “auto parts” gag is a bit of fun wordplay. I just saw the truly amazing film “Birdman” last night and this cartoon reminds me of it in a way. Not because my cartoon deserves an Oscar (as Michael Keaton most surely does) but because it’s about a surreal theatrical endeavor.

My gag about bird seed is more wordplay as that seems to be the theme of the week. I’ve enjoyed thinking this way since childhood. If carrot seeds grow carrots…

And the duck gag is a dramatization of the ancient children’s riddle. If you were puzzled by this cartoon, it’s likely you just never heard the joke. Sorry about that.

BIZARCHIVYNESS: My Waldo/Oscars gag and it’s different meaning of the word “lost,” has reminded me of an old favorite gag of mine from 2000, shown below. I used the name Van Amerongen as a shout-out to my buddy and fellow cartoonist, Jerry Van Amerongen, creator of “The Neighborhood” and “Ballard Street.” He’s a funny guy and just the sort to pull this kind of stunt.BizarroVanAmerongen07-16-00WEB



29 thoughts on “Tower of Titters

  1. I laughed very hard at the Waldo cartoon in our newspaper yesterday. And now I laughed quite a bit at several of its companions above, especially auto parts and bird seed. Thanks, Dan!

  2. I love the WELL cartoon. The use of “good” vs “well” is one of my pet peeves, especially in sports announcers (“he pitched really good tonight, didn’t he?”, or “he’s swinging really good”). Drives me insane. Thanks for helping me laugh at my own pet peevishness.

  3. I didn’t take any religious meaning from the rocket crash cartoon. I took it as a statement on current affairs in Washington DC. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar… ;)

  4. The down off an elephant panel was great because it offered a twist on an old joke. The bird seed one let me down a little, in that regard; needed another element, I don’t know what. One clunker in a month is still a great batting average; and of course we’d never all agree on which one in a month is the clunker. :)

  5. I really enjoy your wonderfully detailed cartoons and the thinking behind them! May I just make one plea though re the remark about evolution/creationism?
    If people were properly educated about what science is (and is not) it would be so much clearer. Evolution is not ‘true’ it is a scientific theory that so far has not been disproved! That is how science works – it is called falsification. Nothing is on a pedestal and ‘belief’ has got nothing to do with it. Perhaps one day we will find a better theory that explained things that this one doesn’t. Newton to Einstein is a good example. People can (and do)’believe’ whatever they want. Scientists make and test models or theories in an effort to understand more about our world and make useful things – like aeroplanes etc. the two ‘processes’ are quite separate. Hope that helps…

    • Learn the difference between hypothesis, conjecture, and theory, then you’ll understand the”theory of evolution” means it’s true.

      • Dan wrote, “…then you’ll understand the ‘theory of evolution’ means it’s true.”

        We could certainly argue that statement and probably end up in a stalemate, but I submit the following closing statement from the synonym study section for theory along with a quote from a statement from National Academy of Science report:

        “Obviously, certain theories that start out as hypothetical eventually receive enough supportive data and scientific findings to become established, verified explanations. Although they retain the term theory in their names, they have evolved from mere conjecture to scientifically accepted fact.” (though I would also argue that should read “scientifically-accepted”)

        “theory.” Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Mar. 2015. .

        “This report suggests that a useful way to define theory in biology is as a collection of models. Biologists use models—which can be verbal, mathematical, visual, or physical—to represent various aspects of nature for particular

        SenseiC bows out
        “The Role of Theory in Advancing 21st Century Biology: Catalyzing Transformative Research”

    • I think it bears noting that every new thing we learned in the field of genetics and DNA confirms that evolution is true. The specific details about how it got started are pretty fuzzy, but it clearly is the system under which the earth’s organisms operate. It’s as true as anything we know about the natural world.

  6. One comment says: “This is one of the most preposterous comments I’ve seen in a long history of message-board reading.”

    I must be reading the wrong message-boards, as I have read 1000s of worse comments.

  7. How many people were interviewed in that creation poll? Because if it was only a few hundred or thousand, it was not representative of the entire population. Idiot.

    • It was a bit over 1100, as I recall. Seems like a small sampling but Gallup has been at this a very long time and knows how to calculate the percentage of error. Their polling practices have been well respected for a very long time, so I’m going to believe them instead of you just this once.

  8. Loved the auto parts gag, Dan. That and mentioning “FIAT” reminded me of joke you might like… A guy walks into an auto parts store and tells the counter guy “I want a rear view mirror for a Yugo.” The parts guy thinks about it for a moment and says, “Sure, that sounds like a fair trade.”

  9. You don’t mention it here at your site but my comics that are sent to me via email daily (that yours is one of many I get) and the LA Times comics today, you have two different things going on. The LA Times has a guy feeding two sharks whereas the email one had the guy feeding Buffalo. Do often do that sort of change up?

    • All my comics are drawn in horizontal and vertical format to give client newspapers a choice as to which fits their space better. Usually the same composition works for both, but for some I have to change it a bit. This was one of those times.

  10. If you honestly believe 550 people saying they believe in the Biblical creation story can be extrapolated to say more than 150 million believe the same thing, you are either delusional or you have less faith in humanity than I initially thought. Either way, you’re an idiot, Dan.

    • Ahhh… Statistics: A precise and logical method for stating a half-truth inaccurately.

      I always find reading this classic essay a good way to start:
      “Bad Use of Statistics and Polling” by Dr. Fred Worth, Department of Mathematics, Henderson State University

      The sample size of about 1000 people works very well for a population of the US. Try it for yourself. Let’s say you consider a 3% margin of error acceptable. The US has approximately 319 million people. Drop those into a sample size calculator (for example: and you will see that you need to sample about 1070 people.

      The ISSUE has nothing to do with the sample size… but how well you select the people. If you poll 1070 people in Hooper Bay, AK (2010 census shows a population of 1,093) or Guttenberg, NJ (2010 census shows as highest population density of any city in the US), you might not get a very good representation of the US population. Polling 1070 attendees at Conservative Political Action Conference will probably not tell you much about Dan Piraro’s political views.

      That said:

      “No matter how large the pot, every cook knows that it only takes a single sip from a well-stirred soup to determine the taste.” – Dr. Steve Simon, Children’s Mercy Hospital

      SenseiC bows out

  11. And speaking of Grammar Nazis, are you deliberately raising our ire with your with your twice-used “it’s” instead of “its” in this post?

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