No Good Dogs

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Bizarro 01-24-16 HdrWEB

(To experience these cartoons with embiggenation, click any blueish color in an image.)Bizarro 01-24-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Con Artists.

Dogs are experts of human psychology. They wheedled their way into our families tens of thousands of years ago by convincing us that they understand what we are saying, what is important to us, and how we live. When we are present, they are model citizens and can easily distinguish between your new Prada shoes and a shoe-shaped chew toy. But somehow, as soon as we are gone, they forget which is which and chew the Prada into a shape that is useless to the human foot. You may find pieces of it in a different form out in the yard the next day, but like Humpty Dumpty, there’s no putting it back together again. When confronted with this crime, your dog looks as guilty as O.J. did in his Bronco during the infamous slow-speed chase. This would seem to indicate that your dog knows they’ve done something wrong. But here’s where it gets wonky: if you accuse them of something they didn’t do, in fact, could not have done, like forget to pay your Internet provider and now your wifi has been shut off, they’ll look just as guilty. Do they understand culpability, or do they simply know that when you’re angry, looking “guilty” will garner them some leniency?

In spite of all of this, or perhaps because of it, I still love dogs and never want to live without one. Perhaps I have a weakness for con artists.

bz panel 01-18-16

Speaking of con artists, I got a lot of positive mail from folks who loved this Caveman Trump cartoon. I got one bit of angry mail asking why I never make fun of Hillary Clinton. Ideology aside, the simple answer is that Clinton is not ridiculous. She doesn’t give comedians irresistible invitations to attack her the way Trump does, and has for a couple of decades now. He’s always been a bloviating carnival barker, a reality show clown, and a shameless publicity hog. To professional humorists, public figures like this have a target painted on their forehead. I don’t make up the things Trump does and says, I just illustrate them. And believe me, he appreciates every molecule of attention he gets without regard to whether it is positive or negative.

bz panel 01-19-16

I originally conceived of the cartoon above as a guy getting arrested in his home with a camera crew follows the cops through his front door, as though it were happening as part of one of those voyeuristic cop shows. Showing all that action was too complex for a one-panel cartoon so I shelved it. Then police dashboard (and body) cameras were in the news a lot and that gave me a simpler way to portray it. Just a bit of background trivia for readers who enjoy that sort of thing.

bz panel 01-20-16

And here’s another cop cartoon, for some reason. I think it would be great if free-range chickens were actually free to wander around my local community but I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. One place they actually do this, however, is Kauai, which is one of the Hawaiian Islands. Seeing them wandering around everywhere there reminds one that there was a time when chickens were wild birds. I believe they were called Junglefowl, and still are in Southeast Asia. In my opinion, the male ones are among the most beautiful birds in the world, as this page of Junglefowl pictures shows.

bz panel 01-21-16

I have no idea what creepy corner of my mind this cartoon about “role playing” came from. It seems vaguely sexy but in a ridiculous, completely UNsexy way, so I suppose that’s why I thought it was funny. I’ve personally never been interested in this level of role playing in the bedroom because I have the sort of mind that always goes for the comedy and that’s usually not very conducive to sexy time.

bz panel 01-22-16I’ve seen a few cartoons based on the this may be the wine talking cliche but I’ve not seen this take on it so I drew it. Most cartoonists I know enjoy jumping in on a common cartoon theme as a way of competing in a friendly way. It’s sort of a way of saying to your colleagues, I enjoyed your take on the desert island, here’s what I can do.

bz panel 01-23-16

So I was thinking about Octoberfest one day and then, because I have to write at least one joke every single day as part of my job, I thought about alternative month’s fests. February came to mind and then I asked myself what Februaryfest would feature––and here we are. Now that you know how I write gags, you can write your own and won’t need me anymore. It’s been nice knowing you.

But for reals, a few days ago on January 21st, Bizarro celebrated its 31st anniversary. WTF?! Actually it was not celebrated because I completely forgot about it and I’m never quite sure what day of the month it is anyway. Last night, however, my beloved Olive Oyl and I were at an event for the legendary cartoonist and all-around excellent human being, Mell Lazarus, and I suddenly realized my anniversary had passed. O2 said we should have gone out to dinner or something and then we remembered that we actually had gone out to dinner that night to a pretty crappy franchise Mexican restaurant because we were hungry, it was there, we’d never been there before and decided to hope for the best. It was very “meh”. As is a 31st anniversary, come to think of it.

Thanks for reading to the end, Jazz Pickles. I hope you all have a grand and groovy week full of life-changing revelations about the nature of our place in the universe. And if you do, please be sure to share.

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29 thoughts on “No Good Dogs

  1. Love these. And honestly, I think humor can play a pretty good role in the bedroom. Of course, you gotta have a like-minded partner. ;)

  2. http://journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/quebec-winter-carnival.aspx

    ^^Here’s a way to celebrate Februaryfest.

    Your “role playing” explanation brought me more laughs than the joke, even though that the joke make me LOL too.

    Congratulations of the 31st anniversary. (No wonder Miss Manners says that the anniversaries ending in 0 or 5 are the memorable ones. It is true in our case, anyway. I guess it is not easy to remember if it’s 1, 2, 3, or 4, but the ones ending in 0 or 5 somehow seem like milestones…)

  3. If you want to see chickens wandering the streets, you should visit Petaluma, in Sonoma County in California. This really happened: I was at a red light at an intersection when a Rhode Island Red crossed the street with the walk light. True Story.

    • You just reminded me of an incident when our van was charged head on by a bull in Colorado; and it was yellow, not red! We were able to stop in time and yielded the road right of way and the encounter ended peacefully.

    • It needn’t matter if it’s scaled, feathered or furred. If it’s in the crosswalk, like a squirrel was yesterday, I’m yielding in good faith. :-)

      Every day is a beauty, Dan. Thank you!

  4. Congratulations on your 31st anniversary! I know you’re making noises about retiring and I don’t blame you but man, you are going to be so missed. Really looking forward to your adult coloring book. xoxx

  5. Congratulations on your 31st–now on to 32. And you’re right about junglefowl, some of them have beautiful plumage. Keep em coming–a Sunday delight!!!

  6. OK, now I really really really want to see a version of the “wine talking” cartoon set on a desert island, rag outfits and all.

    Also, I want a T-shirt that says “embiggenated” in big “Bizarro” letters, with a little “Bizzaro” in a speech bubble above, and a “by Dan Piraro” in a thought bubble below.

    I almost said “I seriously want …” both places above, but I eschew seriosity (I asked for an “Eschew Seriousity” T-shirt for Christmas, but apparently Santa kept it for himself).

  7. Free roaming chickens? Fitzgerald, Georgia. The story goes that someone took a bunch of chickens out into the woods some time in the ’60s and dumped them to give the hunters another prey to hunt. Unfortunately there were too many natural predators for the chickens, and most were killed before they could be hunted. Some wandered back into town, propagated, and for many years were protected by local law as “wild chickens.” Today they just wander around town with free rein. Fitzgerald even has a Wild Chicken Festival in March of each year.

  8. Wow 31 years!! That’s how long I’ve been married! Congratulations!! And your Jazz Pickles will always need you! It wouldn’t be the same without you!!

    • Oh, and I suppose you’d rather have somebody competent in charge, huh? Someone who’s not going to bomb innocent civilians at the drop of a hat? Socialist!

      • I’m libertarian. I don’t want any of the democrat or republican candidates to win, because they will all bring about more war and more suffering.

  9. Liked the 1958/59 Thunderbird in the free-range chicken gag, although I’m pretty sure that was never an original factory color. My father’s ’59 was dark green and he said it was a “lime” (as verses a “lemon”). When he had it painted white, it didn’t become any more reliable. Go figure.

    BTW — when I saw the role playing gag, I thought Comicon not bedroom. Shows how much of a naive nerd I am.

  10. Hey Dan, I’ll tell you what – I have been pretty aggressive with my comments and trying to persuade people to vote libertarian this year, so I’ll make you a deal. If you make a cartoon/blog post in the next few weeks or months that makes fun or or completely savages libertarians, I will let it slide. Sound good?

    • If I am inspired to do a cartoon about libertarians I will, but I can’t guarantee that will happen. I’m not a political/editorial cartoonist so I’m not typically on the lookout for political jokes, nor am I particularly good at coming up with them at will. Since Bizarro isn’t sold as an editorial cartoon, I’m not actually even supposed to do it. People like Trump inspire me and become fair game because they are bigger than life and ridiculous enough to inspire jokes in just about everyone. Because of his absurdity he is not being taken too seriously politically, thus poking fun at him makes him fair game even for non-editorial cartoonists. I don’t mind your political messages on my comments page as long as you keep it civil and friendly. Political discourse is something voters in a democracy should be entitled to, in my view. If you get out of hand, I’ll delete the comments but till then, I’m fine with it.

  11. You ought to read the “Mutts” strips from January 18th-23rd when Earl chewed up his owners shoe, and felt really bad for doing that. It was really good

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