Hey, Good Looking

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bizarro 10-11-15 hdrWEB

(If you want some biggerized comedy to gander, click the color blue on any image.)Bizarro 10-11-15 WEBBizarro is brought to you today by Thrifty Knitters. 

Since I moved to LA a few years ago, I have become acutely aware of the fact that I am not nearly rich or good looking enough. Every community has its own vibe; Portland is about being hip and chill, New York City is about wearing black and basing your innate sense of superiority on your geographical location, and LA is about looking super hot in your Lamborghini as you sit in traffic for an hour on your way to a grocery store that is only one mile away. There are other vibes in LA, too, and millions of really good people, but it takes a concerted effort not to allow yourself to feel “less than” in your cheap, compact car and your average face and body. I’m just saying that if someone opened a funhouse mirror place that made everyone look like a movie star, it would be packed.

bz panel 10-05-15This week’s comics represent a step toward an even more surreal place than I normally go, I think, starting with this painful view of the dangers of standing too closely to drawings of light beams. It occurs to me looking at it now that I normally draw my characters wearing shoes, even when they’re at home. Not sure why I didn’t on this one, but it’s fine. I suspect most people don’t wear shoes at home. I don’t. I wear small sofa pillows strapped to my feet with duct tape.

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Have you ever had the feeling you’re being followed? In a crowded place like the street depicted above, you most certainly are, though not for any nefarious reason. You’re heading south and any number of other people are also heading south for their own reasons, so you’re always both being followed and following. The mind reels.

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Here is another cartoon that brings up the differences between two places I have lived: NYC and LA. It’s an exaggeration, of course, but overall, California is way more health and environmentally conscious than NY is. When I lived in NY, I was often amazed at the kind of unmitigated garbage that people would buy from street vendors and put into their mouth. Every few years a story comes out about how these carts are housed overnight in a filthy tunnel somewhere underneath the East River and used as storage lockers for greasy bums when they aren’t full of delicious ground carcass paste encased in plastic sheaths. (Commercially called “weiners”.)  Mmmmm!

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This cowboy cartoon featuring a giant Chapstick is also firmly in the surreal camp. If you’re from another planet and don’t know anything about cowboys, those crotchless, buttless leather things they wear over their legs are called “chaps” and were used for keeping branches and other pointy elements of nature from poking you in the legs while you ride your horse. They were not, as one might logically assume, a kind of secret nod to others that you are gay. At least, not as far as I am aware.

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As long as I’m talking directly to those of you from another planet, to understand this cartoon about the newborn you have to be somewhat familiar with a nursery rhyme popular among human earthlings that goes something like, “Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her. Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.” As far as I can tell, it was written to teach children about the benefits of spousal abuse. Also, “Peter” is a common euphemism for a penis, so this is actually a penis joke. How did I get this into mainstream newspapers?

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My last surreal salvo of this week is about this “meta” statue of a statue yet to be unveiled. I’d be willing to bet a statue similar to this actually exists somewhere.

Not yet tired of my cartoons? How about rewarding yourself for your endurance with a T-shirt that features one of my most popular and poignant cartoons? And don’t forget to snag a bunch more for gifts during the upcoming and dubious holiday season! This cartoon will only be offered for sale until Wednesday afternoon, October 14, so do it now while you’re still feeling guilt about how many times I’ve made you laugh and how few times you’ve paid me for it! You can find it here.

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35 thoughts on “Hey, Good Looking

  1. Re Chaps and what they indicate… Have you ever been to the Fulton Street Fair in San Francisco? Your mind would be changed… ;-)

  2. So glad there is a cartoonist who consistently speaks to people like me from another planet. You’re funny and your cartoons are hilarious without the explanations, but your explanations, especially this week, are that much funnier. I feel people are afraid of self-awareness and may think others will think they are crazy, but I think the more self-aware we become the funnier life really is if we allow ourselves to laugh at our quirks we all share. And laughter is our best antidote for insanity, even if our honesty about life looks insane. Your work is a tribute to that irony. Thanks for the “best medicine.”

  3. I just want to thank you for doing the only syndicated cartoon this month using the word “Pumpkin” that did not pair it with “Spice”. That’s what I like about Bizarro, so much less ‘taking the easy way’ than other comics.

    If you are not yet suffering from Pumpkin Burnout then you haven’t gotten the latest flyer from Trader Joe’s http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer

    And considering how many characters from Peanuts have made ‘cameo appearances’ in other comics in the last month (corresponding to the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic… “good old Charlie Brown… how I hate him”), the last week of October we are sure to be buried in references to “The Great Pumpkin Spice”.

    • Took me three times. The first two times I read “Chopsticks”. I kept looking to see where he had spilled them from the huge chopstick-holder he was carrying!

      In music, misheard lyrics are called “mondegreens”. Is there a term for mis-read comics?

  4. Another great batch this week, Dan! I actually really like the cartoons you draw with the name of the strip and your name in it, too! (Is there a name for those? “Into ‘Toons”?

    • I have to admit I’m not sure what kind of comics you’re talking about. All of them have my name in them in the form of a signature.

      • I was referring to the title panel, as AKK mentioned: the part with the title and your name in it (“Bizarro, by Don Piraro”). I like the odd little cartoons you draw for them, which I think may be overlooked sometimes.

        • Oh, of course. Thanks so much, Hugh. I’m proud of those title panels, as I call them, and am always happy when someone notices them. :^}

  5. I love the commentary almost as much as the cartoons. I liked seeing you represent in the following me cartoon. Hahahah, I laughed out loud at the Peter Peter one.

  6. OMG! You’re in LA! Yeah, that explains everything. Let me tell you, it’s not too late to get outta there. I did it after a looong time, and it’s worked out great. You would like Missoula, Montana, dude. It’s very weird and cool. Don’t wanna say too much or everyone will be coming here. After 12 years I’m in “local” frame of mind. However, you wouldn’t believe it.

    Just sayin’.

    • I’m thinking of moving to Portland next year. I really despise winter so I have to keep it to a more moderate climate than anything in Montana could manage, but I’d love to visit. Sounds interesting.

        • Haha. I rather doubt I could drum up a decent-sized audience on a weekly basis. But from Portland, I’ll be able to pop down fairly easily and as often as the library folks will have me. :^}

  7. Like a Hitchcock film, it is always fun to see the Impresario’s cameo in his work. I won’t say which panel this week, so others can discover it on their own.

  8. Hi Dan – As a quilter, I was very impressed with the quilt you drew in the Peter Pumpkineater panel! Most artists tend to only draw big squares, but you have some more advanced blocks in there. Your attention to detail is amazing as always. If there were about 100 more hours in each day, I would recreate your quilt and send it to you! Thanks for another great batch of comics!!

    • Thanks, Kathy. I enjoy adding details to my comics and always appreciate it when someone notices! By the way, another quilter who is a big fan of Bizarro actually makes quilt squares OF my cartoon panels. I’ll be featuring some in a blog post soon so keep an eye out for it. :^}

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