Flash Fire


Bizarro 03-06-16 hdrWEB

(See some of these images larger by clicking and embiggenating them.)
Bizarro 03-06-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by The First Plausible Explanation I’ve Heard.

There’s a raging controversy on social media this morning about the Christmas tree cartoon above and whether or not the symbol count (small number above my signature) matches the number of actual Secret Symbols hidden therein. Okay, perhaps not a “raging” controversy, but a couple of people have written polite notes asking me what’s up. If you go to Bizarro.com and look at the cartoon posted there in the main frame at the top for today, March 6, 2016, you’ll see that the “K2” on the rooftop door of the building in the upper-right corner of the cartoon is missing. I remember when I submitted this cartoon four weeks ago that my editor told me the symbol count didn’t match, and upon inspection I saw that I had somehow deleted the K2 from the door in one of the hundreds of complicated technologically scientific steps it takes to create one of these images. I remember replacing it and sending the corrected one to King Features but somehow it didn’t make it to the online version. I’m not sure if it made it to the newspaper version, perhaps not. So here now is the corrected version with all six symbols. If you want to see where they all are, here’s a version with the symbols circled. 

As for this method of Christmas tree disposal, I’ve not actually tried it so I can’t recommend it without reservation. If the tree is sufficiently dry, it will likely go up in a flash before you can even let go of it, much less hits the ground. So if you’ve got some eyebrows and an arm you’re not fond of, perhaps this would be a good activity for you.

bz panel 02-29-16

On Monday, this Trump/Monroe mashup was published. I got a few angry comments on my Facadebook page admonishing me for being too political but honestly, this cartoon is simply about the ridiculously stupendous comb-over critter living on Trump’s head. I’ve done jokes about it before (as have hundreds of humorists of all types) long before he became a performance artist and began running for president.

But addressing the political side of the topic, I read a fascinating article this past week about how and when people are tempted to vote for brutal, authoritarian personalities like Mr. Trump. It’s based on decades of historical studies and explains a lot about where the world is at the moment and where we may well be headed. The bottom line is that this isn’t just about a single personality; in times of turmoil and fear, voters often turn to authoritarian “daddy” figures who promise to clamp down, restore the status quo, and punish anyone who dares to step out of line. So even if Trump isn’t elected in November, this problem won’t go away with him. Fascism is on the rise in Europe, too, even in normally tranquil countries like those in Scandinavia. Terrorism, social upheavals (refugees, immigrants, gay rights, etc.) and economic stresses cause people to feel uneasy, media and politicians trump up the dangers (pun intended) because it drives voters and ratings, and all of this breeds an increasingly frightened electorate. Under these circumstances, even normally rational voters often indulge in the temptation to elect a strongman who promises to put it all back where it was. (Make America Great Again)   Here’s the article: it’s a bit of a long read but worth it in my opinion.

I’d also like to add that this cartoon is in no way related to the Snickers commercial with Willem Defoe. The original motif is, of course, from a Marilyn Monroe movie called “The Seven Year Itch,” and it has been parodied thousands of times since its release in 1955. I chose it purely because I was looking for a funny way to have his hair blow straight up. I think the Snickers commercial is very funny but I’d not seen it until someone mentioned it to me in relationship to this cartoon.

bz panel 03-01-16

That brings us to this disturbing cartoon about a magician. We’re immune to the sight of a man sawing a woman in half but if you interject a baby into the equation, even though we know it is a “trick”, it seems somehow so much more wrong.

bz panel 03-02-16

A reader pointed out to me this week that the doctor in this cartoon looks a lot like iconic sportscaster of yesteryear, Howard Cosell. It’s true, it does, but it was completely accidental. As with almost all of my characters, I just made up a face off the top of my head (there’s an interesting phrase) and didn’t think about it resembling anyone famous.

bz panel 03-03-16

This cartoon is another attempt to meld mythology with fact, in this case trying to explain the existence and extinction of dinosaurs within the creation story of Genesis. I kind of like drawing the comparison that it took dinosaurs 165 million years to overstay their welcome here on Earth but we’re doing our best to kill ourselves off after only 2% of that time.

Here’s another inventive way to justify Genesis and dinosaurs, and is also one of my favorite cartoons I’ve ever done.
bz panel 03-04-16

This nurse cartoon makes me smile. It’s a simple slapstick visual, but it works for me. Someone asked why I didn’t use the term “feel a little prick” but I think the answer is obvious. In fact, I’ve not heard a nurse say that in recent years, probably because they get tired of patients sniggering. By the way, I’m giving blood next week and do so regularly. I recommend you do, too.

bz panel 03-05-16

I admit I’m not a fan of so-called “jam bands.” I was once dragged to a concert by one called “The String Cheese Incident” and I made the mistake of being completely sober––perhaps the only audience member who was. Still, I don’t think I could have afforded the amount of drugs it would have taken to make it palatable. It was one of the longest nights of my life. On a side note, I like the stoned skull image I designed for the drum.

That’s the week’s roundup. I hope you found it amusing. Because it’s part of my job, I’ll mention that a unique and tasteful gift for that special someone (or your own damn self) might be a signed, limited-edition, high-quality, artsy-fartsy, framed, fine-art print of one of my favorite Bizarro cartoons. Since the editions are limited, once a given image is sold out you can then chide your friends for the rest of their lives for having missed their chance. And what’s more fun than gloating?! Here are the goods, daddio.



28 thoughts on “Flash Fire

  1. A few notes from me this week::
    1) THANK YOU for including the corrected version of today’s cartoon. I went crazy going over the one on the King Features website. I feel better now that the mystery has been solved. As Museum Guard, I was afraid that someone stole it on my watch.
    2) I thought maybe the magician went by the name King Solomon.
    3) I have taken a selfie with me and my foot doctor.
    4) The issue with the world is that humans are tribal, and some take advantage of that by creating “them” to lead sheeple by using “us versus them.” Plus there are too many people.

    • I’ve been walking past a very dry, Trump-colored, dead Xmas tree for months now, on my daily walk. It must have have been put at the curb after the deadline for pickup. That is so California! It is in front of an apartment building that’s only two stories high, so your solution wouldn’t have worked well, but i’m surprised that no one has thrown a match into it.

  2. I love the cartoon AND hearing your take on jam bands. Since I’m a Deadhead, people often mistakenly assume that I must love jam bands. I explain to them that I consider myself ‘lactose intolerant’ in regards to SCI and am ‘too prone to anxiety’ to enjoy a Widespread Panic show.
    Sarah Silverman did a great episode on jam bands on her series that was called ‘Songs in the Key of Yuck’. Here’s a 2 minute clip from it: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/yxxx1s/the-sarah-silverman-program-kaleidoscope-funk-network

  3. I did go to Bizarro.com to look at a larger version before I sent you my message on facebook. The comic in the main frame on bizarro.com does not contain the k2 on the door.

    • Correct. King Features posts the image on the main home page of Bizarro.com and I post the one that appears in the blog. They had the wrong one, for some reason.

  4. I like jam bands as background music, but I have to admit getting a bit restless–even though stoned (just on pot) out of my gourd–at two of the Grateful Dead shows I attended where they went off on half-hour+ versions of Dark Star and what is usually called Space/Drums on bootlegs.

  5. I read an article about Trump the same day yours came out – in it they referenced him as “the blond bombshell”, I just figured it was all related somehow. Thanks for the weeklong laughs!

  6. I always wait until Sunday because the commentary are as good as the drawings.
    please give an extra pint for me, I can no longer donate blood – or organs.
    when the time comes, my remains will be sent off to a medical university to teach medical students.

  7. And someone else please give a pint for me. The Red Cross won’t take my blood any more since they decided (rather arbitrarily) that being in England for a couple of months in 1980 makes me too dangerous. Mad Cow. Impoverished student not a likely victim, but until they can test conclusively for it…

  8. Dan, Dearest… Never regret those moments when you’re sober. After following what comes out of your little black brain-box these years since we met in one-to-one correspondence concerning the chicken nugget survey, I’ve slowly come to realize that, (not unlike myself) it’s probably for the best that we actually have a f ew of them. ;)

  9. The Christmas tree cartoon made me laugh. It also gave me the creeps – that wall in front of the guy is way too low for comfort! I don’t think I’m going to sleep too well this evening. I tend to have recurring dreams of falling off high buildings. Oh, and the chairs seem a bit small to me?

    Keep up the good work holding up Trump to ridicule (while you still can without incurring a prison sentence). With his type of fascist bully, nothing is quite as effective in combating them than satire. It’s also the one thing they cannot stand. You can shout at them, insult them, threaten them; they’ll positively thrive on all of that. But laugh at them and they go through the roof.

  10. I am glad I checked your blog tonight, I am just about bald from pulling my hair out trying to find all 6 today…then seeing the correct version, I went I can’t be that blind, sure enough no K2 on the door..whew, I can sleep easy tonight knowing my Pickle didn’t go sour…LOL Keep them coming..

    Actually had a friend message me with the strip from 2/28 asking if I was in the funnies today…LOL well after the hair I pulled out today, I could actually pass as the bald guy in the strip..

  11. The comic with the doctor and the famous “frog puppet” is AMAZING! Your strip is the first thing I look at in our paper the lincoln journal star. It’s always good for a laugh or to make you go Hmmmm. For that I thank you.

  12. THIS IS THE BEST !!! Poor Kermie feels ill and gets even worse, a view on reality ;-)

    In my country there’s a kid’s show where a hand manipulated dog has a star role – – – I’m not so sure the kids would like such an x-ray…

  13. Oh My EFFING G-BUS!!! (The “G-Bus” is like the A Train, but slower and comes later) I looked for that 6th symbol FOR AGES!!! It’s the first time I remember giving up on finding one. I actually calmed my obsession with the topic by assuring myself I’d renew my search with the Sunday Roundup. Drove me MAD!!! (A Madness that seemingly manifests in arbitrary use of Capitals) I am happy this mystery has been put to rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *