Muy Much

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(To begin the embiggenations, click any warm color.)

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Action Figure Nativity.

Regular readers of my weekly posts will know that Olive Oyl and I moved Rancho Bizarro from Los Angeles to San Miguel de Allende a week ago. With most of our stuff still on a moving van between California and Mexico and no wifi in the house for the first several days, my post last week did not include all of the cartoons from that week because I really hate sitting in adorable cafes in foreign countries typing for hours instead of looking around at the weird place to which I decided to move my life. So, now that I’ve got wifi and am typing from the boring comfort of my own home, here in this post you’ll find today’s big, wide Sunday cartoon and title panel (above) and all of the Monday-through-Saturday cartoons from the last two weeks. And as if that weren’t too much, I’m adding some pics and commentary from our now home in Mexico at the end of the post. Yowza! That’s a lot of value for the price. (Free)

The title panel is a detail from my new coloring book for adults and kids. I added “Bizarro” and “by Dan Piraro” to it, but otherwise it’s the same. This is only one small piece of that page, which can be seen here in its entirety, and that page is only 1/31st of all the wonderland weirdness to be found within “Bizarro Land Coloring Book,” which is the official name of the thing. Buy one for yourself and a hundred of your closest friends here or at your local bookstore or any online book seller.

The Snow White cartoon is a simple gag built on a couple of sort-of puns. (The word “scarves” looks a little like the word “dwarves,” in case you’d not noticed.) If you’re not familiar with the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, it’s about a beautiful, young, single woman who moves into a remote cabin in the woods with seven, male, blue-collar workers.

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I wrote and submitted this cartoon before the “election,” anticipating that by now the first woman in American history would be the president-elect. Since women have notoriously suffered everything from diminished social standing to outright slavery at the hands of men, I thought this would be a fun, celebratory cartoon about our country having taken a step forward in the march toward basic human rights and equality. Shows you how wrong a cartoonist can be.

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There have always been a certain percentage of people who are afraid of clowns, but lately it’s become a big deal. Clown terror has been in the news lately which you can find out about with a quick google if you’re not aware. I’m not literally afraid of clowns, but I’m very uncomfortable with people in costumes that hide their identities. If it’s Halloween or Carnival or some other event where costumes are the norm, it’s fine and I may even join in, but if I’m strolling through town or running errands on a random day, I really don’t want to have to deal with disguised strangers trying to make me laugh against my will.

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As our planet’s climate continues to change and becomes more violent (in spite of what the handful of billionaires who lose money by limiting the amount of environmental damage their companies cause say about it) I can imagine a day when things get so bad that air travel is shut down indefinitely. This cartoon was born out of my musing what people who are in a city far from home might face. (Yes, Mr. or Mrs. Climate Expert,  I know this exact situation is unlikely but humor sometimes comes from stretching reality.)

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This one is probably my favorite joke in this batch. In recent years doctors have been talking about good and bad cholesterol and I sort of began to combine it in my head with the old “good cop/bad cop” idea and came upon this mashup.

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Since I was a very young child I’ve enjoyed examining the traditions and standards of our daily lives from an objective standpoint. A large percentage of standup comedy is that same trick, and this process accounts for a lot of my cartoons. This gag about flowers is a perfect example. This habit wasn’t taught to me, it was something I just did naturally and it often bugged the crap out of my parents. When Mom would try to put the five-year-old me into a suit to go to a wedding or funeral I would ask why in the world my dad and I were expected to wear coats and scarves in the middle of summer. (That was in the 1960s, when folks were more formal. Nowadays, people go to weddings and funerals in shorts and flip flops and small children are not required to even wear clothing at all.)

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I don’t like being immodest but I will admit that I was very proud of this gag when I wrote it. I’ve heard lots of variations on the old adage, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day––teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime,” but I’d never heard this one before and it made me chuckle. I invite you to post your favorite version of this saying in the comments section.

Some peoples on FB said they’d never seen a Santa Claus collecting money but this is a fairly common thing the Salvation Army used to do. They still collect money with a pot hanging from a tripod but I don’t know if they dress the dude like Santa anymore.

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If you don’t understand this joke you’re probably missing that the little guy at the bar is a ventriloquist’s dummy. (Did you really think this was just a child having a beer at a bar? Come on.) If you got that part but still didn’t get the joke, you’ve likely never been involved in a lawsuit where part of the settlement is that you won’t talk about it in public. I’ve been involved in a few but I can’t talk about it.

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Last year a lot of articles came out about a study that showed that sitting down all day at work is as bad for your heart and circulatory system as smoking, and that no amount of exercise will counteract the damage. So millions of death-fearing Americans started buying standing desks and spending less time in their chairs. I didn’t buy a desk because I already had a chest-high counter kind of thing next to my regular desk which I could use as a desktop, so I bought a fancy floor mat that makes it easier on your feet to stand all day. I did this for a few months and found that it was exhausting and made my feet cramp when I would sit down and prop them up at the end of the day. Not kidding. I eventually just gave it up, started smoking, playing Russian roulette, and walking in the middle of busy streets. I’m not a person who believes in half-assing it.

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If you’ve ever seen or read any of the Curious George children’s books, perhaps you have wondered where in Hell the “man in the yellow hat” shops and what kind of vision and aesthetic deficit it takes to want to dress like that. I certainly have.

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The story of Frosty the Snowman crossed my mind one day recently and it occurred to me that Americans these days are so paranoid that magic snowmen wouldn’t even have a chance to amuse children because they’d be assumed to be molesters and arrested immediately. I don’t mean in any way to lessen the tragedy of crimes against children but in my opinion, modern-day America has become far more paranoid than is reasonable. The number of nitwits who believed the “Pizzagate” story of late is a symptom. Sorry to disappoint you conspiracy freaks but satanic child sex/murder rings with networks of underground tunnels run by famous people just don’t exist. And not all people who smile and talk to children mean them harm. In fact, almost none of them do.

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Based on this cartoon, you might think I’m against creative weddings. I’m not. What I’m getting at here, I think, is that many people pay far more attention to their weddings than to their marriage. In my own experience of the weddings I’ve been to I’ve noticed this pattern: the amount of time, effort, and money that is put into a wedding is inversely proportionate to the amount of time the marriage will last. In short, expensive weddings result in short marriages. It’s not always the case, of course. Herr Trump spent over $100,000 on his most recent wedding and they’ve been married for almost 12 years!

Another mathematical formula to keep in mind is that it will cost 14,000 times more money to get out of a marriage than you spent on your wedding. At least, that’s how it worked out for me when I spent $500 getting married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas.

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Speaking of marriage, spouses can often be counted on to interject a little reality into the less rational hopes and dreams of their partners. The real Fred Flintstone, on whom the popular TV cartoon character was based, discovered this the hard way after a great deal of manual labor building the first car out of stone and lumber. What a dumbass.

That catches us up on my cartoons, Jazz Pickles. Now, for those of you who enjoy reading, I will offer some thoughts and images regarding my recent move to Mexico.

eveninglightrainbowwebOne of my favorite things about San Miguel is the natural beauty. The skies and lighting are very dramatic, especially around sunset. This shot is from last night when some small storm clouds were rolling through and creating rainbows. This shot was taken from the terrace off of my art studio upstairs. The dramatic skies here will definitely make their way into my paintings in the coming years.

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The previous owners left us a lot of potted plants on the terrace and in the courtyard. This one is my favorite by far and is as beautiful a combination of succulents as I’ve ever seen. Cacti have made their way into my paintings for years so it’s no wonder I’m attracted to this part of the world.

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This big pink wall with a fountain and bougainvillea is typical of the kind of stuff you see around town all the time. In this picture, an artist has set up an easel facing the fountain. You’d think that’s what he was painting, but no. This is what was on his easel. I bought it on the spot, of course.

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Here is a beautiful local house. I posted a picture of this one instead of ours because ours is nothing to look at for the most part. For what it’s worth, though, the people who live in the house pictured are not nearly as attractive or cool as we are. So there.

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Our cat, Boo, thoroughly explores every space we live in. I snapped the photo above as she was testing the structural integrity of the concrete vent hood over our stove. She found it to be satisfactory and checked it off her list.

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And here she is sitting in a beam of light pretending to be receiving inspiration from heaven. I no longer fall for this.

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We buy our candles from the local coffin store, of course. They are high quality and super inexpensive. (The candles, that is. I’ve no idea about the price or quality of their coffins.)

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A super handy thing about Mexico is that they mark the state line borders in the sky so you can navigate more easily without GPS. It’s very helpful.

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Lastly, this is Guadalupe, the spider who lives in a potted plant outside our kitchen door. We think of her as a spirit animal who is guarding our house. We have no evidence that she has this ability, but we find it comforting. My good friend, Rick, who is an arachnologist of note, assures me she is harmless, but don’t tell evil spirits that or her job as spirit guardian will be significantly compromised.

That’s all for today, Pepinos en Vinagre de Jazz. Don’t forget to be grateful and generous and enjoy your week.

 

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66 thoughts on “Muy Much

    • Just to correct the impression that San Miguel is a village – it is a city, albeit a relatively small one, but none the less, a city with culture, a plethora of restaurants (too many for the size of the population), eons of galleries, lots of good music, endless fiestas (celebrations of any number of holidays, saints, revolutions), and an international expat community. San Miguel ceased being a village quite a number of years ago.

      • I fully agree with all you’ve said and that it is bigger than a village. I’d call it a “town,” but the difference between “town” and “city” is vague, of course.

  1. Best wishes to you and Olive Oyl in your new adventure.

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Mexico is contemplating building and paying for a YUGE wall to keep Trumpigrants out???

    • I suspect that was his plan all along. He knew if he won the election, so many people would be streaming out of the country that Mexico would have to build a wall.

  2. My own take on the give-a-man-a-fish line is in the linked song: “If you give a man a fish he’s got just one night / to feed himself and his wife / But you give a man a couple dozen carols / and he’s set for life (or maybe even longer)” – the song is about how the best way to help the poor and downtrodden in foreign countries is to teach them how to celebrate Christmas like Americans.

  3. What? No photos of Jemima? I’m assuming the movers brought her to you intact, yes?

    And… Jesus, that’s some velvet truck painting! Perhaps you could purchase rights to the work and make them into posters and greeting cards!

    I’d buy some!

    So would truckers! And fans of Jesus!

    • Jemima arrived safe and sound but I didn’t have any good pics of her so I omitted her from the blog. I’ll catch her later. :^}

  4. This was so amazing! I loved it all, especially the commentary and the house. It’s a piece of heaven … best of home to you and Olive Oyl and kitty. You all deserve it. Are those your paintings?

    • Thanks, Carole! If you mean the paintings by the fountain, no. I don’t paint in public. Those belonged to a hobbyist hoping to sell paintings to tourists. :^}

      • Very true. A shark would make quick work of a man.

        Not to be the Spelling Police, Dan, but I think you were going for “Herr Trump”, as opposed to “Heir Trump”. If it weren’t for the bit about the length of his marriage, I may have have inferred you were talking about one of his children.

  5. I sat and thought about your move to another country and envy your audacity. To be able to uproot from the sterile, modern, westernize style of living we’ve been use to and change things up takes courage, confidence and probably a good sense of oneself. I’ve been in the tourist areas of Mexico, the people are friendly and the food and climate great so I’m sure you and your family will prosper in many ways. Good luck, keep that twisted sense of humour going and don’t eat too many worms….

  6. Thanks for chuckle overload today; for some reason the ventriloquist joke got me giggling the most, I guess because they’re pretty much in the same category for me as clowns…beautiful new home and I’m sure everyone will appreciate their very attractive and cool new neighbors.

  7. Thanks for sharing pics of your life in Mexico! I do believe I got warm fuzzies-and speaking of those, they might make a good gag for Bizarro 😋.

  8. Love Guadalupe the Guardian Spider! Hope she makes it into some of your art work/cartoons down the road. BTW, bought a bunch of your xmas cards online and put them all in the mail yesterday. Hope my friends and foes like them. Con todo carino, Linda

  9. Dan, le deseo buena suerte en México y por favor hágamelo saber si hay vacantes en su vecindario. Actually, English is my first language, but I admire your “cojones” for actually moving. It’s going to be a long 4 years on this side of the wal….

    • Thanks, David. Yes, it was gutsy and we experienced a fair amount of anxiety over it. Now that we’re here, we’re still in a bit of shock but we’re determined to enjoy it. We’ve met MANY gringos here who’ve lived here for a decade or more and love it. And no, we do not want anything to do with a Trump administration.

    • Mexico is essentially a cash-based society so people don’t buy things they can’t afford. When you visit a doctor or dentist, you’re expected to pay cash but their rates are cheap enough that most folks can manage it. Olive Oyl was ill a few years ago when she was working here for a few months and went to a doc. A doc examined her and decided she needed antibiotics. The office visit and the prescription came to around $20 and in a few days she was fine. That’s our only personal experience so far.

      The gringos who’ve been living here a long time say that the quality of health care here is as good as the U.S. There’s an email group where they ask each other for recommendations, etc. We have a couple we’re friends with who lived here throughout their pregnancy and gave birth here. They report it was safe and affordable. We have an international health insurance policy that is for catastrophic costs only, but it’s MUCH cheaper than in the U.S.

  10. Teach a woman to fish and she’ll not only teach everybody else in the village how to farm those fish sustainably, but produce a cookbook with all best recipes!

    Congrats on your move to lovely Mexico! Best regards to Boo and your devoted Olive Oyl.

  11. “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll bore you rigid for the rest of your life” (only joking, some of my best friends are fish)

  12. Wonderful photos of the village, your house, and the natural beauty. Not to mention the fab portrait of Jesus, so uh, tasteful. :p

    I noticed that the house you photographed has bars on the windows — is that standard for most homes there? Yours?

    • Most houses here are built in the Spanish style with a wall around the perimeter and a courtyard inside. The exterior windows always have bars, most are very decorative, and the door or gates to the wall are big and sturdy. The interior doors and windows have no bars and you basically don’t even need to lock them because nobody can get over the walls, which are topped with spikes or whatever.

  13. Delightful read w/great pics. Thank you!
    One thought though -> knowing the area quite well, ¿are you sure Boo wasn’t chasing after a scorpion?

    • Nope, not up there. We’ve not seen any around and the people we bought the house from who lived here for five years had never seen one here, either.

  14. Hey love your comics! Sorry to say but Mexico might be North America. I found this ou while traveling in Central America. Also I found out when you tell people “I’m American” they correct you because America is a continent not a country. So basically saying “Americans” translates into the whole continent, not the US. Fun fun!

    • Yeah, I’m aware of that whole “American” problem since all of the western hemisphere has “America” in the name. But there is no clear and convenient way to describe someone from the United States of America, and every other country in North and South America has an identifying word in their name that makes it obvious who you’re talking about, so “American” obviously could only refer to people from the U.S. (Even Mexico’s full name is The United States of Mexico, so there goes our “U.S.” distinction.)

  15. One way I heard it was “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll disappear with like-minded buddies for long periods of time….”

    PS I just sent you an email about not getting any cartoons from you (just the mailing address) this past week. I’ll wait a few weeks to see if it was the wifi situation you’ve mentioned or I should get paranoid about someone “going through” my emails. “They” (and I) should know better by now!

    • No need to be paranoid. There is a glitch in our email notification program that is sending out blank emails from time to time. We’re working on it. :^}

  16. How wonderful for you! Thank you for sharing and I love how they mark the state borders. Still chuckling.

    I never realized before but your art shows a strong Mexican influence, with the bold colors and surreal ideas. I’d say you have found your way back home.

  17. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
    Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime
    Give a man $20,000.00, he can open a fish and chips restaurant
    And then he can buy chicken, beef and pork
    Because nobody wants to eat fish EVERY FREAKING DAY

    And I perfectly understand why you bought that painting; I would have also.

  18. Dan – cool new town! The pics of the succulents is awesome.
    Great cartoon regarding the hep / non-traditional wedding.
    Awesome.

    Al Thompson III

  19. Give a man a fish and he knows where to come for fish.
    Teach a man to fish and you’ve blown your market base.

    Thanks for the awesomeness!

  20. Really enjoyed the photos of your new home town. The sky border lines is very funny! How long did Boo have you convinced she was receiving divine inspiration?

  21. Thank you for the gorgeous photos of your new home complete with cat. Gracias a zillion for your magical cartoons that keep me smiling & laughing out loud!

  22. Dan – did you mean “Herr” Trump? I expect so but maybe I’m wrong since it’s still ‘Heir’ in the text. Anywho, congrats and good luck on your Mexico move!

    • I actually meant “Herr” but typed the wrong word. Another reader already pointed it out to me and I meant to go back and fix it but forgot, so thanks for the reminder!

      • Ah, that explains it. I didn’t bother to read thru the comments to see if it had already been pointed out since it was uncorrected. Nice to know my comment bore fruit, notwithstanding the duplication.

  23. We’ve vacationed in San Miguel de Allende around their Independence Day. There were explosions from booming fireworks at all hours. LOUD fireworks at 6AM are an interesting cultural experience. “Build a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he’s warm the rest of his life.”

    • Fireworks and explosions go off just about every day and night here but you get used to it pretty quickly and it’s no big deal. However, a few times a year during major holidays, like the one you described, they go off every few minutes ALL NIGHT LONG and beyond dawn. And they’re not just in the distance, they’re right outside your window because pretty much everyone in all neighborhoods participates. Sleep is hard to find on those nights, but as the local gringos say, “You don’t move to Mexico for the peace and quiet”. :^}

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