Bizarro 03-20-16 hdrWEB

(For a more embigginated experience, click any redish color in any cartoon.)Bizarro 03-20-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Walk This Way.

My cartoon today is about the disappointment one feels when they trust someone to fix things and that person turns out to be a charlatan. We’ve all experienced this with politicians and one can read that message as the subtext to the Wizard of Oz: The man at the top, the Great Wizard of Oz, is just a regular guy pulling switches and levers to make himself seem more powerful than he really is. A person can also easily see this as an allegory of Donald Trump’s current campaign.

Some of my readers hate it when I get political and I understand that, but the current presidential campaign is so remarkable that I can’t resist. Part of what humorists do, and cartoonists in particular, is comment on current events and society. Trump is remarkable not only because of his unorthodox style of campaigning––proudly using vulgarisms, insults, racism, xenophobia, and threats of violence –– but also because the mainstream of his own party doesn’t want him as their nominee. They know that his policies fall under two categories––unfeasible and dangerous––and more importantly that Trump himself knows that. Trump knows that immigrants are not negatively affecting crime or the economy, that all media outlets (other than FOX News) are not lying about everything, that terrorism is not much of a threat to the average American and that it cannot be defeated with a bigger military, and that America is not failing internationally and in need of being made “great again”. But he also knows that there are people who do believe those things and that if he shouts these things into microphones they will get excited. The facts simply don’t support anything Trump says and Trump knows that, but when people become frightened that things are changing too quickly, they want an authoritarian daddy figure to get tough and make things the way they used to be, whatever that means. Trump is quite simply a charlatan cashing in on the fear of the voters.

Meanwhile, the GOP is pretending to be surprised by Trump while they clearly created him. For years they’ve been telling their constituents that the entire worldwide media (other than FOX News) cannot be trusted, that ours is a scary world full of terrorists, that immigrants and non-whites are not to be trusted, that homosexuals are deviants, that liberals/progressives want to take your hard-earned money and possessions away from you and enslave you in a communist work camp. Trump is simply the first candidate to say these things in so many words. He is a predictable result of misleading the public and scaring the shit out of people.

I am happy to say that most Americans are not frightened enough to actually elect someone like Trump to the most powerful office in the world, but it remains to be seen how many people will get hurt in the process of his trying, and how much more damage his rhetoric will do to an already divided nation. I sincerely hope the majority of us have had our fill of the childish schoolyard bullying that FOX News and Trump promotes and America will now begin to embrace a wiser and more mature approach to politics.

Gee, I’m sorry I got so serious there. Even without all that political subtext, I think this is a pretty funny cartoon. I particularly like the Scarecrow getting creamed on the Jeopardy!-style gameshow. This cartoon was a collaboration with a friend of mine in Hamburg, Germany by the name of Michael RothThanks, Michael!

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Here’s a cartoon about how cats stare at you sometimes. You’ll be happy to learn that I see no hidden political message here.


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Will I ever get tired of doing therapy cartoons? Not likely. There is just an endless supply of humor to be found in this scenario. This one does have some hidden political content though, because Trump and FOX News love to pretend that America’s problems are way bigger than they actually are. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Did you know that the Monopoly man is named Rich Uncle Pennybags and that he was likely fashioned after J. P. Morgan?

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Lots of readers enjoyed this airport cartoon for obvious reasons. I wanted the sign on the right to read “Your Worthless Ass” but I couldn’t get away with that in newspapers so I went for this more civilized version. This is one of those rare cartoons that was born of personal experience because I can’t afford to fly first class and always battle feelings of self-loathing when in line at the airport. I’ve only flown first class twice in my life and both times it was because of some screw-up where they ran out of cheap seats and tossed me into first class with the fancy-pants folks. On both occasions I returned to steerage mid-flight to dance on hay bales while tattered country folk played the fiddle.


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I’m kind of proud of this cat/mouse cartoon. It’s simple and says a lot about the current narcissistic trend of photographing ourselves doing literally everything every single day.


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Here’s something super cool: Drew Carey, former standup comedian and possessor of his own sit-com, now gameshow host, tweeted about this cartoon! How cool is that? Here’s his tweet. 

That’s it for this week, Jazz Pickles. I’ve got another one of my limited-time-only Bizarro cartoon T-shirts for sale right now so go grab one and give it to your friend or relative who is always complaining about politics. They’ll love you for it and so will I! Look at it here and now.



40 thoughts on “Charlatans

  1. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. Laughing out loud and crying. Too funny. I mean it-you are too funny. If I had a plane, you could fly first class for free. Thanks. I really needed it today.

  2. so Trump is worthy of you getting all political, but this divisive, narcissistic, race-baiting, radical socialist Chicago-style thug of a POTUS is not? And who else do we have from your side? The pathologically lying traitor who somehow became Sec State, and is responsible for not ony several deaths on her watch, but also the biggest national secuity leaks in the nation’s history. She isn’t worthy of you getting all political to complain about the quality of candidates on your side?

    • You’re buying into FOX News, my friend. If one network is telling one story and the entire rest of the world is telling a different one, there is no logic in believing the one dissenting voice. Especially when that one voice is backed by giant corporations that couldn’t care less about you.

      I fully realize these words will mean nothing to you but you asked.

      • I guess a fish doesn’t know it’s in water. So Fox News, the LONE conservative media outlet is somehow to blame – just like all the other times anything bad happens. Let me see. Who do you have in the media who is to the left of Fox news? ABC, NBC, CBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR, NYT, Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribun, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, Star Tribune, Boston Globe… I could go on. Your side OWN the media, and that includes Hollywood movie studios, almost all women’s and men’s magazines, while Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL, VOX, Gawker, Reddit, amongst other large online players are all owned by leftists. Like I said – a fish doesn’t know it’s in water

        • Mart, thanks for making Dan’s point even clearer. To sum up your statement: “FOX says one thing, every other media outlet says another; therefore, everyone but FOX is part of the conspiracy!”

        • +Mart Has it ever occurred to you that the list of media “to the left of” Fox News is so long SIMPLY (and that’s an operative word here when speaking of Fox!) that Fox is so far to the right of any and everything that it’s not philosophically/ politically possible to come anywhere near it?!? (Even though CNN is trying!)
          And what’s all this about “your side”? How limited to assume that SIMPLY (there’s *that* word again! Oh my!) because someone disagrees with you that they/ he/ she/ I are on THE other “side”. There are many places to align oneself; there are a LOT of different colors between black and white!
          Not only are you a fish in water; you’re in a very small bowl.

      • Seems you both have good points, but it does appear –or is it just my imagination, Dan?–that the continual fear-mongering rants about Trump and Fox News is precisely the subject at hand. I do not prefer either, but see no reason to expend so much negative energy since all political candidates, media outlets funded by special interests, and everyone else is free to speak, as this is a free country. But it is getting tiresome the obvious agenda you have been pressing on many of us who simply began following you because we simply like your sense of humour and artistic talent.

    • And yet if our current president was white, people like you would be singing his praises. Your use of the word “thug” gives your true intentions away. And as far as being a “traitor”, Congress has done far more damage to this nation than any president.

      And you don’t know a fish doesn’t know it’s in water. You only think you do. The only one who could know what a fish is thinking is the fish itself, and he’s probably not going to spill the beans any time soon.

  3. Fantastic cartoons, as usual. Gotta correct you on one thing, though, sir. America is actually failing internationally, in the eyes of the world, and does need to be made great again. Just not in the way that pathetic loudmouth moron means it. One example: news from the US seem more and more like news from the third world, shootings and murders, people openly carrying guns, etc.

    Another thing I, as a man living in a country that has been elected as the world’s best country to live in by the UN for 12 years running, and which happens to be a socialist country, wonder, in response to Mart’s use of the word in another comment: why do most Americans seem to regard socialism as such a threat? It truly baffles the mind.

    Oh, and before I get flamed about it: I’m not saying democratic socialism is perfect, far from it. But it sure beats the hell out of what you guys got going.

    • I agree with you completely about the gun and crime issue. I was somewhat myopically talking about the ways the right-wing likes to pretend the U.S. is not great anymore, which is all nonsense. You make excellent points and I agree with you about the average American’s fear of socialism. I suspect that the biggest reason is that we underwent a LOT of propaganda during the Cold War that threw socialism, communism, and Stalin in the same basket. You wouldn’t believe how many Americans don’t even realize how many of our cherished programs are a form of socialism and that most European countries are far more socialist than we.

      • To add to Johnnyboy’s comments, I think that the U.S. is pretty low on the totem pole when it comes to education, especially in subjects like science and logic. I have not heard Herr Drumpf mention that, but then, it might just apply to many of his minions.

  4. I love the mouse one! I totally relate to the riff raff one. Your commentary is spot on, as far as I am concerned.

  5. Love these! I wish you could have published the airline one with “Your worthless ass” – I almost did a spit take while imbibing my morning caffeine! And the cat & mouse were spot on!

  6. @JonnyBoy. The trouble with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money. See Greece, and soon many other Euro countries. There is no such thing as a free lunch

    • Mart, you’re just repeating here what the news have fed you and frankly, you’re totally clueless.
      It ‘s not about a free lunch.
      When you realize what state corruption is and how far it goes then you might have an inkling of what’s happening.
      By the way, look into your own back-yard. DO you see any corruption there?

  7. I was trying to find the sixth icon in today’s comic so I “embiggenated” it and am wondering if I found it – still hard to see, but is that an eye peeking out of the igloo entrance?

    The “Walk this Way” reference is cute – reminded me of that Monty Python sketch about the Ministry of Funny Walks.

    Thanks Mr Piraro, always a pleasure to get to see your art.

  8. This the absolute coolest series yet, Dan. I don’t have the words to express how relevant your commentary between panels is. Simply great. Thank you…

  9. Some bizzare things about usa. I cant believe that you can buy prison stock. A for profit prison system right? Boggles the mind

  10. I love that the mouse is taking a little selfie of himself. It’s one thing to feel compelled to photograph all your meals but I guess now you have to photograph yourself even if you *are* the meal. Did you think of that from the beginning or did you add the mouse’s little smart phone after? Brilliant, in my opinion.

  11. I did a 20 second laugh out loud on the cat-mouse one, Ha I still laugh thinking about it. Your comment on Trump as a charlatan catering to the fear of some people is succinct and wise.

  12. Have you ever read Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone”? Trump reminds me frighteningly of the presidential candidate in that book.

    Everyone should have a look at the Political Compass here:

    to decide where they stand on political issues. And then take a look at this page:

    to see where the current candidates stand. It’s pretty scary. Even Sanders is practically a Nazi, if you ask me…

  13. There is plenty of misinformation going around on all media – you can’t point a finger at any one outlet. All politicians will say whatever is necessary to get elected. Once in office, they serve those in power; Wall Street, mega-corporations, etc. In fact, there is very little (if any) difference between the left and the right – there are the political predators and then the rest of us zebras.

    Your humor amazes me; however, your political opinions don’t interest me. I do check your website daily and have even purchased a print from you. But I doubt I’ll continue to read your comments.

  14. Yes. I particularly liked the cat/ mouse one too, especially since I didn’t catch the mouse selfie at first glance (still waking up & nursing first cup of coffee).

    As for “politics” — or anything else for that matter, appearing in your work, heck, I happen to believe what that wonderful lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate, feminist Florynce “Flo” Kennedy said, back in the day, “The personal is political.”

    (I also think that Trump is a certifiable narcissist and wannabe demagogue. And, MART, that does NOT mean I support Hillary Clinton!)

  15. You do know, don’t you, that the Wizard of Oz actually was written as satire; therefore, the political message it contains was intended and not just “subtext.”

  16. Trump is horrible. Clinton is horrible. Cruz, Sanders and Kasich would also be terrible presidents. Vote libertarian instead.

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