Institutional Solopsism


Bizarro 01-10-16 hdrWEB

(To add embiggenation to these cartoons, click any pinkish color within any image.)Bizarro 01-10-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Precious Moments.

I almost never write cartoons based on actual experiences but this one is an exception. I was sitting in a cafe one day having lunch with my beloved Olive Oyl, and in a booth in the corner was a young millennial couple doing what young lovers that age do: staring into their cell phones and completely ignoring each other. (This is the new look of courting, and wow, is it hot.) Suddenly, the young man said quietly and blandly, “selfie,” and they both came to life like corpses hooked up to a generator. They posed as though they were having the wildest time two humans could muster without being arrested, held it for 2.4 seconds, then went back to their cell phone comas as though it had never happened. I don’t think they spoke another word to each other or moved more than a degree or two in either direction until they left. I whispered “thank you” to the universe for dropping such a perfect cartoon into my lap.

I’m also quite fond of the title panel above. It was cobbled together from an old cartoon that had a caption but I think it stands just as well by itself. The original cartoon is beneath the “Precious Moments” link above.

But what about the rest of the cartoons from last week? Let’s review:

bz panel 01-04-16

Here’s a cute little funny about a rodent who has fallen victim to a medieval boobytrap. Painful, yes, but it could’ve been worse.

bz panel 01-05-16

I actually like accordions and I don’t believe poltergeists (or poultrygeists) but having one of these things in your house would be a real inconvenience. After you’d showed it to all your friends and had a good laugh, that is.

bz panel 01-06-16

As a handful of good samaritans and a couple of sanctimonious oafs told me, there is no such thing as “elephantitis.” The correct term is “elephantiasis.” I admit I’ve never heard or read the correct term, I’ve only heard of elephantitis, so it was an honest mistake. However, even if I had known the correct term I’d likely have used the incorrect one because it is my belief that this is the common vernacular, and since I’m writing a cartoon and not a journalistic piece, I like to use the form most readily recognized by most people so they get the joke quickly and don’t have to wonder what it means. Here’s a favorite old cartoon of mine that also uses an incorrect medical term or two.

bz panel 01-07-16

This cartoon got a fair amount of attention on social media. It’s a truly brilliant pun and I wish I could take full credit for it. It was the brainchild of my good friend and occasional collaborator, Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay. Puns can be an “easy” form of comedy and one that is widely disrespected as a result of that, but in my opinion a truly clever and surprising pun is a treat and Cliff’s are routinely the best I’ve come across. This one verges on genius. If you like wordplay, Cliff has recently published his first book and it makes an excellent little gift, coffee table accessory, or bathroom reader. Buying a handful of these will be doing a good turn for a wonderful guy!

bz panel 01-08-16

Anyone who has attended art school had been in a room like this with a naked person standing on the platform in the middle. I got to thinking about it one day and a stray neuron fired off in my noggin that combined those utterly sterile, graphic figures used on signage with my memories of college art classes. I like the result a lot. Here’s an older Bizarro cartoon about modeling class that I still love.  (Trivia buffs: I make a cameo appearance in this cartoon as the guy at the right border in a blue shirt, and my beloved Olive Oyl is the gal in pink, just under the eyeball on the wall. I have no idea who the rest of these people are.)

bz panel 01-09-16

If you’re a big fan of spicy food, as I am, you are likely annoyed when you eat at a Mexican restaurant and everything is geared toward sissy tourists who buy “mild” hot sauce. Yes, that’s right, I called people who can’t stand spicy food sissies. Wanna make something of it?

That’s it for this week’s cartoon review, Jazz Pickles. I hope 2016 is rocking your Good Times van in a serious way.


38 thoughts on “Institutional Solopsism

  1. I believe the term is ‘elephantiasis’.
    Elephantitis would be an infection of the elephant, and that wouldn’t be funny at all.

  2. I consider puns to be the highest form of humor, and the Peanuts ‘toon earned a great big groan from me, so…way to go, you and Cliff!

    Even though I earned my BA in Studio Art, I can honestly say that I never quite experienced that classic studio scene. I went to UCSD, which prides itself on non-traditional instruction, emphasising concept over technique. Only in one drawing class did we have models, and none were ever nude…dang it!

    I used to love hot hot sauce, though even more hot chili sauce of the Chinese variety. My friends and I even became well known at a local restaurant, and they would bring us little bowls of various chili sauces whenever we came in. Sadly, at some point in my 30s my stomach rebelled, and now I’m officially a sissy, though I can still handle a good strong wasabi.

  3. The art studio scene is one of the funniest ‘toons ever, and one of the few that can not be described — it simply MUST be seen. Another benefit: I immediately began thinking of what the original studio models would be for other international signs, like a naked guy running downstairs during a fire, or two clothesless kids crossing the street. Bravo, Signor!

  4. Oh Dan, dearest dearest Dan: First, “unless you’re an elephant …”

    then “analogy to Peanuts” … (please pass along the adore to Cliff, in your own terms, of course)

    and it’s a hat trick with Figure Knitting Class.

    all are always good, some make me purr with pleasure. Today, them 3.

  5. You are Right On with the Millennial Selfie. Bunny on the wall stayed true and didn’t change expression – good for him. Loved the Peanuts anology too. 2016 looks to be starting off well.

  6. Lov the Selfie ;-) Burst out laughing & frightened the family. And if I’m really honest have just had the best set of giggles for a long time .

  7. I’ve raised the issue before of your use (like most cartoonists) of religious icons (the absurd hell and devils and fire). And you replied that you don’t endorse that stuff -m you just use it. But I say to you again Good Sir – people really believe this shit, and you help perpetuate it. (sermon ended)

    • It is my opinion that there’s no stopping people from believing in make-believe. Making fun of it can be a good way for the rest of us to endure the ubiquitousness of it.

  8. So glad I stumbled over the Peanuts carton (my comment on it seems to have restored me to your mailing list), and the selfie panel made me think. How long will these conditions last? Which is going to disappear first – the coffeeshop/bar/school lunchroom or the smartphone? That’s too true, and something’s got to give – eventually.

  9. The international signage cartoon could also be captioned “how people see people in wheelchairs”, because it’s an accidentally pretty accurate depiction of that.
    Love the peanuts one.

  10. The two characters facing each other at the left side of the Selfie cartoon panels are so out of it before and after the selfie that they do not seem to realize that the red running shoe of the green-capped Selfie picture taker seems to be on top of the shoe of the other guy in the third panel as in the first panel.Maybe that’s an illusion.

    • I see what you’re saying but, yes, it is an illusion. Guy in chair has his legs crossed so the one that looks like it is touching the other guy’s foot is actually suspended in the air, a couple feet in front of his foot. :^}

    • I’m not fond of much of the Libertarian platform and it would be throwing my vote away entirely, which could aid the candidate I like least, whomever that might be. I wish there were more than two viable parties in the U.S. but that isn’t the case and likely won’t be in my lifetime.

      • One other fallacy – voting for a libertarian, independent, or other 3rd party candidate is NOT aiding the candidate you like least. I can’t believe you’ve fallen for that bull.

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