See Saw

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(To more fully enjoy these cartoons, I recommend clicking them for embiggenation.)

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Scary Things.

This sawmill cartoon is a bit on the fringe so don’t be too hard on yourself if it made you scratch your head.

Sometime after 9/11 (the infamously tragic one, not the one two months ago) the New York City Metropolitan Transit Agency (the folks that run the buses and subways) started a public safety campaign urging citizens to report suspicious behavior with the slogan, “If you see something, say something”. The campaign was later adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and used nationally. A longtime Bizarro Jazz Pickle suggested turning the phrase to what is displayed on the sign above. It made me chuckle, so I turned it into this cartoon. As a tip of the hat to the contributor, I named the sawmill after him.

This scene was fun to draw but also very time consuming so I went a long way to deliver a soft pun. Sometimes that works, though. I hope you think it worked this time.

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Hard as it is to believe now, last Monday was Halloween. I opted for a cartoon that is much more frightening than the typical Halloween cartoon by suggesting a pile of laundry vs. an actual monster. If you hate doing laundry as much as I do, this will terrify you.

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Here is a medical/biological take on the old optimist/pessimist example of how one sees a partially filled container. Nothing important about it, just a cheap chuckle. Here’s a cartoon I did on the same trope almost exactly one year ago.  If I’d known back then what today would look like in reference to that cartoon, I’d have been horrified. I hope the same relationship doesn’t hold true for today and a year from now.

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More than one person asked me what this shipping office cartoon means and I knew it would stump some readers. If you understood it, give yourself three extra gold stars this week.

In the offices of companies that deal internationally, there are sometimes a row of clocks on the wall that show the current time in cities in various time zones: New York, London, Moscow, Tokyo, etc.  Since this company only ships north and south, all of their cities are in the same time zone, and thus the clocks show the same time. Which is pointless. And also amusing. To me, anyway.

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I’m a person who takes as few prescription drugs as I can. I’m currently taking none whatsoever and I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible. Even though some pharmaceuticals provide a great service to people in many cases, I don’t like or trust the industry that markets them so I have to be extremely uncomfortable or close to death before I dabble in them. I have been fortunate to be in relatively good health for my age and I understand that not everyone has that luxury. If you’re in that position, I sympathize greatly, of course, and this cartoon is not about you. The guy in this cartoon just wanted to pick up a few extra bucks so he volunteered for a drug trial and his head shrunk up like a raisin. If your head has shrunk like a raisin, my apologies for making light of your condition in this cartoon. I didn’t know that was even a thing.

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These kids today and their haphazard treatment of grammar and punctuation in their various social media platforms disturbs me greatly. Is it because I’m old and cranky and have no tolerance for change, or is it because I suffered mightily under the swashbuckling yardsticks of various nuns in Catholic school who convinced me that writing correctly and intelligently was an important key to success in life, only to have an entire generation declare it acceptable to produce indecipherable messages like drunken toddlers tapping a keyboard at random? Probably a little of both.

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Speaking of grammatical errors, I made one in this cartoon by using the word “enclosures” instead of the proper “closures”. An enclosure is a place that confines things, like a box or a courtyard. A closure is something that temporarily closes something, like velcro tabs. I’m mad at myself for not catching that but even more upset with my editor, because as I see it, she failed at the most important aspect of her job: keeping me from looking stupid. (I’m directing these comments to people over a certain age here, those who recognize that there are rules about the order, frequency, and arrangement of letters and symbols within a given language. You youngsters just busy yourself online for a minute while we discuss this.)

Some cool things for Jazz Pickles: Have a look at the Bizarro cartoons greeting cards that these guys offer. They ship them out super fast so you’ve got plenty of time to get them in the mail.

LOOKING FOR AWESOME GIFTS? WHAT ABOUT…

My new coloring book, full of inspired and inspiring art for all ages.  (Only $6)

A nice, archival, color print of any Bizarro cartoon by going to Bizarro.com, using the CALENDAR link below the cartoon to pull up an image you want a print of, then hitting the BUY PRINTS link below the cartoon. ($30 to $100)

Larger, nicer, limited-edition, signed and numbered, museum-quality, framed prints of some of my favorite Bizarro cartoons… ( $200)

…and some framed original Bizarro art from that same site. ($1000)

THANKS FOR READING, JAZZ PICKLES. HAVE A DANDY WEEK!

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46 thoughts on “See Saw

  1. re your grammatical-error blurb: I’m [directing] these . .. ?

    All of could use a full-time editor, me most of all. RAY WINN

    • Yeah, I proofread this post three times before posting and still missed it. The brain sees what it thinks it sees. Thanks for the correction, I just fixed it.

  2. The North/South Express made me laugh out loud. So glad that your cartoons appeared among the bleak political posts and ads on my FB news feed. Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Hi Dan. I have an idea for one of your matchless creations. Hope it isn’t one you’ve already done. How about two Burmese pythons in a FL swamp doing the Monty Python “parrot sketch”? Do you think those wacky Brits would give their permission?
    –Lisa in Ohio

  4. Um, well, you left out a word in the comment in the “velcro” cartoon, saying “I’m these comments to ……” I think you ment to add the word “writting” ? Anyway, I love your cartoons even if I don’t completely understand something.

    • Yeah, I proofread this post three times before posting and still missed it. The brain sees what it thinks it sees. Thanks for the correction, I just fixed it. :^}

      • Your errors are minor compared to some of the ones I see printed in articles in the L.A. Times. I suspect many are due to the use of spell check or auto complete or something other than a human’s eyes and brain because they involve homonyms or word usage rather than spelling.. Whenever I see one I think I should start clipping and collecting them. But then I forget……

        • I know what you mean. It’s amazing how many errors make their way into major publications these days, especially in their online stories and email blasts. It’s like they don’t have proofreaders anymore.

  5. “You say closures, I say enclosures”. :-P

    I probably would have referred to them as fasteners. Regardless, the humor more than made up for the faux pas, Dan. If that’s the worst thing that happened this week, you’re doing well!

    What I think is funny: that so many people want English to be the official language of the United States, yet so very few of them can even use it semi-properly.

    • Couldn’t agree more about the English thing! In general, it seems the more adamant a person is about English being the official (read: only) language, the less likely they are to speak or write it correctly.

  6. Dammit! I’ve already colored in about a quarter of your coloring book. This won’t be the last one you make it, will it? Signed, Very Hopeful

    • It likely will be the last one I make because of the enormous amount of time and effort spent on it and the extreme unlikelihood of my selling enough of them to make a profit. :^{

  7. Three comments.

    1) You should have caught “I’m these comments” in your commentary about grammar.

    2) I get the gold stars for the delivery service

    3) I get them taken away for the sawmill. I went on a fruitless Google search to find out what the Libbus Sawmill was. I thought you must have been making some obscure ecological statement about a person or company named Libbus.

    • Yeah, I proofread this post three times before posting and still missed that missing word. The brain sees what it thinks it sees. Thanks to you and a few others for the correction. It’s been fixed. :^}

      • “The brain sees what it wants to see”… applies especially to me when I read the optimist/pessimist cartoon. I made the mistake of reading the balloon dialog first, and apparently the word “beer” led my eye to interpret the visual as being a bar, where two customers had been served a half glass of some liquid that might or might not have been beer. It took me overly long to examine the features of that “bar”, and realize it might be a doctor’s office, and the guy might not be a bartender. :)

  8. This week’s entries made me chuckle. Thanks for the welcome respite from the relentless election news.

    I liked North/South because it took me a moment to get it. Then it occurred to me, weirdly perhaps, that since you could go right past the poles and still be N/S shipping, you could have had a clock from somewhere on the other side of the globe and, because of the 12 hour offset, it would STILL LOOK THE SAME as the other clocks. But perhaps that would have made it even more confusing.

    Thanks for making life a bit more bearable and good luck with your upcoming move!

  9. Your clocks cartoon reminds me of Arizona’s version of “Spring forward; fall back.”
    They say, “Spring remain; fall the same.”

  10. Please forgive me if it was intentional, but while you were railing at your editor you said “I’m these comments to people over a certain age…” where you left out “addressing” or some other adverb.

    – Jack

  11. What exquisite detail in today’s sawmill work! And an excellent gag, too. I was wondering if “Libbus” has some meaning that I was overlooking, but now I have that answer, too. BTW, as it happens, I’m wearing my jazz-pickles shirt today, and got to explain it to a friend.

  12. Ouch! “I’m these comments to people over a certain age…” Or maybe the current style is to drop verbs, too. I’m so far behind.

    Oh, and it’s not just this generation and its txtng. Most if not all of my superiors at work are illiterate, and I only forgive the non-native English speakers.

    • Couldn’t agree more about how poorly people speak and write these days. I corrected my missing word problem, thanks to you and several other readers who pointed it out. Thanks!

  13. As a Misfit Toy and member of the Interwebs Grammar Patrol, I really REALLY loved your “Unwanted Punctuation” ‘toon! It made my day (and right now with the election drawing nigh, this is a very good thing).

    Thank you, as always, for making us laugh and keeping it weird.

    Cheers from New Orleans,
    Lisa The Kitten

  14. Dan, I’ve seen your works before but only recently came across your page to see who the author was. I’m a great admirer of quirky humor and intelligent cartoons, and it’s interesting to see what you were thinking about when your drew them. Keep up the great work, it brightens up the day!

  15. 1. I thought you were referencing Lebbeus Woods, a famous architect and an artist. Then I find out that there is a real person named Libbus, who knew?
    2. I found out that when a newspaper “lays off” hundreds of people, editors are the first ones on the list.

  16. Thank you for the “If you see something, say something” link. I wondered where I’d left my backpack, and there it is, right in the photo.

  17. A couple of things I appreciate about you: you have strong opinions but leave them out of your cartoons and your art is really good.

  18. In the horizontal version of Thursday’s comic, with the cat playing lifeguard for the birds, how clever of you to use the inverted-bird easter-egg! In the squarish format, using the dynamite on the roof reminded me too much of the election.

    • That whole cartoon reminds me of the election, which I mentioned on the Bizarro Facebook page earlier. Change the cat to orange (which I’ve done since I submitted it weeks ago) and you’ve got the perfect metaphor for Trump.

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