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Bizarro is brought to you today by Then Vs. Now.

My weekly blog is three days late because I was traveling last week, culminating in a visit to the annual cartoonists convention which this year was in Portland, Oregon. A good time was had by all, and by “all” I mean Olive Oyl and myself. Other people seemed to be having a good time, too, but I can’t speak for them with any authority. Here is a picture of me with the great Bill Plympton. He seems to be thrilled to meet me, as one might expect.

Below is a lovely photo with my good cartoonist buddies, Wayno, Jim Horwitz, and Dan McConnell. The four of us tend to hang out a lot together at these events, mostly because the more successful cartoonists won’t have anything to do with us. We tried on lots of hats at this awesome shop but only Wayno bought one. I already have too many and didn’t want to schlep more back to Mexico. I did find exactly the cowboy hat I’ve been looking for, however, but it was $225, which is not the price I’ve been looking for. You can get almost any kind of cowboy hat in Mexico for less than $30 so I decided to be patient and keep looking.

These are the hats I was lobbying for JimmyHo and DannyMac to buy but they did not heed my advice because they are idiots. (Which is also why they are friends with me, so I guess I can’t complain.) JimmyHo’s “Watson” cartoon strip is tons of fun, see it here. DannyMac and his cartoons hang out here.

Below is Wayno and his new lid. I’m wearing the only hat I brought from home, which did not match every outfit so sometimes I had to go without, which was scary.  We sat next to each other at the Sunday afternoon signing event that the National Cartoonists Society put on for the public. I met lots of super nice Jazz Pickles, drew little sketches for them, signed a bunch of my books, and took ˜ridiculous pictures. Thanks to all of you who stopped by, the place was packed for three solid hours! Check out Wayno on GoComics and his FB page.

Here I am with Graham Annable, one of my favorite cartoonists in the known universe. You can see things he does here and he also has delightful animations on YouTube.

On Saturday night we have a formal dinner and awards show. We call it the Oscars of the cartoon industry, but it’s more like the Daytime Emmys. In this photo I am pointing at the teeth my inferior gene pool robbed me of. Sadly, mine are more like small shards of brown beer bottle glass.

After the show we posed as Charlie’s Cartoonists. We go around solving crimes while looking sexy. The second part of that equation is much more difficult for us than the first.

I would be insane to neglect to post this lovely shot of my beloved Olive Oyl and me at the big awards dinner. If you happen to talk to her, please don’t tell her how far out of my league she is. Just between you and me, the only reason she’s with me is the same reason that this photo is in black and white: her skin is a sort of pale green color.

Olive Oyl took the following candid, not-at-all-staged shot of the four of us laughing at the difference between how much money we thought we’d make as cartoonists and how much we actually make. Sometimes truth is funnier than fiction.

I’ll end with this lovely selfie, taken by JimmyHo, who has deceptively long arms.

There were lots of other wonderful times at the convention, including some with one of my top five favorite cartoonist of all time, Lynda Barry, who won a lifetime achievement award and gave a kick-ass seminar. Matt Groening, David Silverman, and Tom Gammill did a super fun talk and were a hoot to hang out with at the hotel bar, as well as tons of other super talented folks that I only get to see once a year like Mo Willems, Hilary Price, Rick Kirkman, Jerry Scott, Ann Telnaes, Mike Peters, Wiley Miller, Patrick McDonnell, Cathy Guisewite, Lynn Johnston, Shannon Wheeler, Mark Tatulli and tons of others. I wish I wasn’t so lousy at remembering to take pictures when I’m having fun. All the ones above are from other people’s cameras.

And now, last week’s comics…

People who talk in movie theaters are just one of the many reasons I don’t carry a gun. Any kind of inconsiderate public behavior, in fact, drives me nuts. It is my belief that life is so much more enjoyable for you and everyone around you if you don’t act like a selfish dick. I know that manners, civility, and kindness are taking a major nosedive in the U.S. because of the horrendous example our current Oaf in Chief sets on an hourly basis, but I hope they make a comeback. Along with intelligent, conscientious leadership.

Dogs are pretty much my favorite animals on the planet for a multitude of reasons but one thing I am not in awe of is their fascination with horrendous odors. The more offensive the smell, the more likely they are to want it all over them. I walk my two dogs around our semi-rural neighborhood in Mexico every day and I have to keep an eagle eye on them both to keep them from rolling in harrowing odors. If they spot the rotting corpse of someone who pissed off The Cartel before I do, I have to don my gas mask and give them a rigorous bath when we get home. It gets old real quick.

Some people complain about having to fill the ice trays in their freezer but not me. I thank my lucky stars each and every day that I don’t have to go fishing for ice the old-fashioned way.

Just the other day I talked to a guy whose father was a watch repairman and he had all kinds of interesting things to say about it. I wish I could remember even one of them.

One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was the late 60s’ “Batman” and one of my favorite things about that show is how Batman labeled everything with the word “bat”. “Bat computer,” “bat pole,” “bat hernia belt,” etc.  I understand why the “cool” Batman of the modern era is more popular but I still prefer the goofy one of my youth.

The biggest challenge here was drawing a man putting on a Cowardly Lion suit with enough of his underwear showing that readers could tell what I was getting at, but not so much that it becomes smut. I think I did a fairly good job, especially without reference.

Thanks for reading this far, Jazz Pickles. I appreciate every one of you who endure my weekly missives. Until my next post, be happy, be smart, be nice.




54 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. I remember a short science fiction story from long ago where a man invents a time machine, but finds that it can only go back to a particular street in his own city during the Great Depression. He cries about it to his wife, who tells him that he’s an idiot for not seeing the use of this, and uses the machine to get her grocery shopping done at a fraction of the cost.

  2. Your then & now left out at least a few crucial things…like an atlas and pile of maps, a concierge (or other stand in for Siri), a stack of board games, and goddess knows what else. AND I loved it. My kids were all “what’s that stuff?”

  3. Now, see. That “Watch Repair is just the sort of thing I was getting at when I suggested “Self Storage.” And wouldn’t that give you so much more creative room?

  4. Dogs rolling in vile stuff. Our dog found and rolled ecstatically on a dead skunk. 2 years later she would still roll on that site even though the skunk was long gone.

  5. You got to be in the same space with HILARY PRICE ????? I would walk thru glass shards to be near her for even 6 seconds. She is the epitome of cool (next to you, of course).

  6. Ice fishing! Home theater! “Smell anything”!! Watching repairs!!! Apparently I have less enthusiasm for scatalogical humor. . . Although the two-legging lion is pretty funny.

  7. I know how it is cowboy​ hats… I have a ton of them myself, and my biggest decision of most days is which one to wear…$225.00 does seem a bit much, as I’ve spent as $170 for a Stetson…(in Indianapolis, no less)…
    Peace, dude…

      • Austin, Texas has some priceless hat finds in their thrift and second hand stores. There’s a difference you know. Thrift stores there are full of items from old cowboys and cowgirls who have passed on. Second hand stores are full of stuff people have just passed on to you.

        • That’s a great idea and I’m going to be in Austin soon so I’ll definitely scrounge around and see what I can find. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. “People who talk in movie theaters are just one of the many reasons I don’t carry a gun.” That’s worth the price of admission right there. Plus I really enjoy your drawings. ✌

  9. It’s said that there’s a pendulum swing to such things as politics, civility and other things. Was Obama THAT nice to make it go this far the other way? Gotta be a fluke. The awful and tragic double murder in Portland seems inspired by the Trump penchant for hate rhetoric. Yet how heroically awesome those two victims are.

  10. Seeing all your pictures from Portland along with the others I got to see was so much fun. Your beloved Olive Oyl is so beautiful!!
    I loved all the cartoons for the week! Truly as awesome as always!!
    I hope Jimmy didn’t mind you calling him a Ho…..LOL!! I couldn’t help myself. Have a great week!!

  11. W.R.T. Then & Now — I’m just amazed at your prescience, to take the first picture back in 1990 without knowing what the gear would one day all be obsoleted by!

  12. Odor-deprived dogs give rise to lifelong stints on the animal psychiatrist’s couch.
    My standard rule in choosing a plumber: Hire the one the dog likes. That dog, at least, can get off the couch – but by now, he feels more comfortable where he is.

  13. For Stetsons go to the Portland Outdoor Store (they kindly gave me a Stetson box for my thrift store Stetson – which I had blocked at John Helmer, which really knows hats). Helmer is good for berets. Keep all this information in mind and come back in the rainy season if Mexico starts to feel too dry.

    Of course, I’m not sure if we can make promises about Pacific NW weather in a world of global warming, but we’re probably gonna be wetter than anywhere in the southern latitudes.

    Nice to meet you momentarily.

    • I only just found the Portland Outdoor Store on my last day there, Sunday, and they were closed. I fell in love from the sidewalk and marked it as the first place I’ll visit next time I’m in town. Looks SUPER cool!

  14. Lynda Barry! I used to read “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” in the East Bay Express every week. I still use some lines out of it in my everyday speech.

    I think a lot of folks have the wrong idea about manners. Manners aren’t optional fripperies about which fork to use when, they are a tool for keeping the homicide rate down as the population density goes up.

    • I agree. That kind of common daily courtesy is held in high esteem in Mexico. For all its problems, everyone here is very courteous and you don’t see people getting angry in public, road rage is rare, etc. The U.S. is losing that quality more quickly all the time.

  15. In the first cartoon about the time machine it’s indicated there are 10 Secret Symbols. I see The Bunny of Exuberance, The Pie of Opportunity, The Crown of Power, The Mighty Oyl, The Mysteries of K2, The Flying Saucer of Possibility, The Eyeball of Observation, The Fish of Humility, The Inverted Bird, and two of The Dynamites of Boom – one on the t-shirt and one on the bench by the door. While I’m not a math whiz, that seems to come to 11 Secret Symbols.

  16. Great to hear about your vacation at the Haberdashers Cartoonists convention!

    Re Dogs with smells — those smells are much more informative to them than to us — if they could talk, they’d be yakking our ears off about the news from their P-mail and gossip from the wind.

    Rolling in the smell is how they “take a note” to bring the big news back to the pack.

    • I’ve read a few things about dogs and their relationship to smells. It’s really fascinating. I’m a person who is deeply affected by bad odors and often wish I was more like a dog so it wouldn’t bother me. Of course, I might take to eating cat shit, which would not benefit me socially.

  17. Dogs are beautiful creatures with hopelessly disgusting habits.

    My dog once rolled in rancid fish oil. I couldn’t even wash it out. Worse thing she ate? A soiled diaper from my first born. I almost barfed. (Which I know she would have also eaten from experience.)

    Thanks for the laffs.

  18. Thanks for publishing your pics and comments from the annual cartoonists convention. Now that’s the kind of convention to go too! Looked like it was a hoot and a half.

  19. Most of you would be arrested for going back in time to buy things. Even real money would counterfeit with a date from future.

    Ironically, if you bought older currency, in particular gold or silver coins, you’ed be paying more for most things.

    You might want to take some antibiotics too, back in the so called, “good old days”, you could die from an infected paper cut.

    • This whole time travel thing is beginning to seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth! Wish I had thought of that earlier. Hopefully I can still get my money back.

  20. When I tell people about how great of a comic artist you are and say how much effort you obviously put into your art work I should just show them your time machine strip above. Obviously the joke is clever but the detail you put into the garage is what makes it so Bizarro. Thank you Mr. Dan

    • Thank you for noticing, Frank. I draw the hell out of things because I have some kind of incurable obsession with detail, but it’s super nice to hear that people notice and appreciate it. :^}

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