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Cartoons can be a lot of things: funny, weird, poignant, sad, educational, inspirational, editorial or a few other things I can’t think of right now. Readers who like “funny” often complain to me about those cartoons of mine that verge off into one of these other areas and I don’t blame them. Funny is always more fun than not funny. No surprise there.

But I’m an artist, not a marketing major. I am driven by my creative inspirations more than commercial considerations. (That’s just one of the myriad reasons I’m not rich.) I was pleased when I thought of applying this familiar metaphor to the Cheeto Mussolini’s policies toward climate change, even though it isn’t a knee-slapper.

We think of stories like The Three Little Pigs as being for children, but there is great wisdom in them for adults, too. In fact, many so-called children’s stories and rhymes may have been written as code for political situations to avoid prosecution by overbearing governments. It is said that Humpty Dumpty was written as a way commoners could make fun of King Richard III without fear of disappearing from the planet in a creatively painful way. For the time being, Americans have the somewhat rare luxury of being allow to publish cartoons depicting the Orange Menace as an ignorant pig without fear of mysteriously disappearing. For the time being.

Please read the words in the following gold box, then sign up for my email. I won’t bug you much and I’ll never sell your addy.


Since this cartoon about the forlorn scientist published in newspapers worldwide last Monday, I’ve gotten numerous congratulations and reprint requests from scientists who regularly deal with politicians who want to deny science in order to score short-term profits, which is what climate change denial is all about as most people know. (If you still believe it is a “Chinese hoax” or some conspiracy by liberals, please leave now and go read a website for stupid people. I hear there’s a Nigerian prince who want to make you rich.)

There was heated and lengthy debate on my FB page over who is more prone to denying science––liberals or conservatives. Conservatives are the most famous for it with their attempts to get creationism into public school science text books, their rollback of climate change protections, their assertion that non-heterosexuality is a choice as opposed to a genetic disposition, etc. But liberals get accused of promoting anti-vaccine theories, GMO crop fears, and hippy-dippy things like alternative medicine/psychics/astrology, etc.

In the end, though, as a species we humans are naturally superstitious and prone to believe all manner of made-up stuff, regardless of our political leanings. I recently saw a study that showed that an equal percentage of people on both sides of the aisle are prone to anti-science positions like the ones listed above. But it seems to me that the big difference is that Republicans try to actually legislate these anti-fact notions far more than Democrats do.

I got this idea from the famous Interweb videos of people in public places holding signs that say “free hugs”. I admit these videos are kind of moving (mostly because of the way they’re edited) and I certainly applaud people who want to spread love instead of hatred and fear, but I’m also sort of naturally squeamish about close, physical contact with strangers. In the same way that I would be creeped out by having sexual relations with a prostitute, I would not hug a stranger on the street who’d been hugging dozens of other random strangers all day. Not condoning my inclinations here, just owning them.

Lots of people did not understand this courtroom cartoon. Do you? SPOILER ALERT: I’m about to explain it in the next sentence. The defendant is using a sock puppet as his attorney, which is either an intentional attempt to bolster a phony claim of insanity, or is inadvertently demonstrating it.

Also widely misunderstood, was this scene taking place in the Real Purdy Lingerie store. The deal here is that sports bras are made to keep women’s floppy bits from bouncing around during physical activity and this guy’s nose is the size and shape of a female breast. No, it isn’t brilliant, but it seemed amusing when I wrote it. Perhaps some of the confusion is rooted in the fact that most cartoonists draw all their characters with giant, bulbous noses so the incongruous giant nose in this cartoon was not noticed.

On a different topic: Lots of women pointed out on my FB page that sports bras actually do only have one (long) cup, hence the dreaded “uni-boob” effect. That’s a whole other can of worms that I’m not qualified to comment on at this time.

I’m happy to say that this parenting cartoon got a lot of positive play on social media. And, as I predicted when I drew it, it also attracted one complaint about it promoting child abuse. I told the complainticator the same thing I always do in these cases: If someone sees this absurd drawing and decides to drag their own baby around by the neck, that baby was doomed long before I published this cartoon.

Dr. Seuss books were by far my favorites when I was growing up and I read The Cat in the Hat dozens of times as a child and a few hundred more times to my own crotch fruit when they were young. I thought this cartoon was a fun, surreal tribute to that iconic story.

Thanks for reading this far, Jazz Pickles. I greatly appreciate your willingness to look at my silly drawings and read my ranty words. Until next time, be smart, be happy, be nice.

P.S. Maybe you’d like to know I’m on Instagram (@danpiraro) and Twitter (pirarobizarro) in these places.


42 thoughts on “Blowhard

  1. “That’s a whole other can of worms that I’m not qualified to comment on at this time.”

    Does this imply that there may be a time in the future when you ARE qualified to comment on it?

  2. I look forward to your work every week. Helps deal with the upheaval we are enduring in the world today. Thanks for the respite!

  3. I think more people would’ve understood the sock puppet if it wasn’t green. White with 2 or 3 stripes? Argyle?

    • Oddly enough I immediately flashed on it being a very particular sock puppet — “Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent”, although Cecil had large nostrils and I don’t recall him ever wearing a hat. Funny how our brain’s pattern recognition system works and that it would dredge up something deep within our memories, even from more than 50 years ago.

      • I wasn’t consciously thinking about Cecil but now that you mention it, that’s exactly why I envisioned him being green. A lot of people related the puppet to Kermit because of the color but he wasn’t in my mind at all.

  4. Dan, thanks for the explanation about the insanity plea. I didn’t get it because I thought the lawyer was a snake. Didn’t see it as a sock puppet. Keep up the orange assault.

  5. Family members begged my help on the bra comic. I had to go to this blog and see it in a reasonable size before it clicked. And then I pictured the poor guy wearing, I’m sorry but it would have to be a nose jock.

  6. You sir, are a genius, I’m sorry that you’re not rich.
    FWIW I’m a research scientist. I’m also far from rich…

  7. The Little Pigs cartoon actually confused me for a while, because when I saw “bricks”, my mind darted to his infamous “Build A Wall” campaign promise (and a news story I’d just seen about bulldozers running through a Texas butterfly sanctuary). As I finally figured out the proper analogy, my overthinking mind darted to other problems with it (the wolf is an entirely outside threat, vs. one we’re creating ourselves) and decided to move on, after which I overthought your other cartoons, deciding the ‘sock puppet lawyer’ did look a little too much like Kermit, and if you wanted a Muppet, I’d suggest Gonzo; the guy wanting a sports bra for his nose should have a nose that is more – ahem- sagging downward; and the cat-in-hat needed a couple non-descript objects labeled “#1” and “#2” in the background. I’ve enjoyed your Bizarro-ness for years – please don’t make me think so much now….

  8. Thank you for explaining the sports bra comic. I was completely flummoxed because I thought what he needed was an athletic supporter.
    But with your explanation, i don’t think his nose looks much like a breast. Maybe if you’d put a nipple on it…?

  9. “Crotch Fruit” !!! hahahahahaha I always used to round up my children at family events and large gatherings by saying “CHILDREN OF MY LOINS, IT’S TIME TO GO!” They hated it. I loved that they hated it. They laugh about it now that they have children of their own loins.

      • Haha, I love “crotch fruit” as well. . . Thinking of ‘loins’ as the plural preemptive word of cloths. Haha

        I refer to my offspring as my little “hard drives” that I download my anger onto against my will…

        Thanks for the great reads as always.

  10. Dan, if you decide to do a “pull-out” shot of the 3 pigs gag, you could have the depressed scientist in the bar doing the huffing and puffing and getting ignored by Republicans after the straw [man] house is knocked over..

  11. Not going to argue with you about GMOs. Do your research and it’ll become clear how damaging they are to the environment. Messing with Mother Nature is at one’s own peril. Some crops are genetically engineered to secrete their own pesticides, others are genetically engineered to be pesticide-resistant so farmers can douse them with more pesticides. These pesticides leach into the soil and pose special risks for human health and that of the environment. Google: “superweeds” to learn more.

    • Like everything these days, there is tons of info on the web about it and not all of it is true. Maybe not even half. From my science friends, whom I consider to be credible sources without a horse in this race, I’m hearing that they’re safe. They don’t secrete their own pesticides nor do they invite more pesticides to be used, quite the opposite.They are designed to be resistant to pests, not pesticide, so that they can be grown with far less pesticides, which is good for the environment and good for the people who grow the crops both biologically because they don’t have to handle poisons and financially because they can’t afford pesticides for their farms. GMOs have made it safe and possible to feed millions of people in poor areas where they could not previously grow crops. Plus, farmers have been genetically modifying crops for thousands of years by selective breeding. Modern techniques are no more dangerous than what we’ve always done. Most of the fear surrounding them is simply that: fear. I’m no fan of Monsanto, but I have a lot of credible sources that say this isn’t one of their crimes. It’s probably a good thing.

      • I’m not going to argue either. I only want to point out that there’s a BIG difference between choosing the strongest strains and breeding out weaknesses (remember that biology 101 Mendel square diagram showing dominant and recessive traits?) and inserting genetic material from one thing (plant, animal, whatever) into the nucleus of another.
        One other point is that the jury is apparently still out on the effects of glyphosate, Monsanto’s genetically-engineered pesticide. The World Health Organization has called it carcinogenic. Members of the European Parliament (across political lines) who volunteered to be tested for glyphosate residues from their foodstuffs were shown to be harboring it (shades of Rachel Carson’s The Silent Spring?). That Monsanto refuses to label their GMOs in foodstuffs is also troubling to me as a consumer. I won’t go into their, uh, “marketing” practices vis-a-vis farmers.

      • Unfortunately, many GMO plants were designed to tolerate Roundup, which is a proven endocrine disrupter. With a very screwed up endocrine system – diabetes since age 7 – I don’t want anything designed and grown that encourages the use of more glyphosate.

  12. “It is said that Humpty Dumpty was written as a way commoners could make fun of King Richard III”

    Really? The story I heard was that it was about a Royalist cannon in the civil war (now there’s an interesting concept, a war where everyone’s civil) which fell off a wall and “all the kings horses and all the king’s men” couldn’t get it back again.

    • Nobody knows for sure why it was written but it was England and goes back hundreds of years that we know of. Beyond that, I got nuttin’. :^}

  13. Regarding your political slanted cartoons. It seems to me Americans can only see one aisle running between two frames of mind. Maybe that’s a point of contention. Canadians on the other hand have three or more aisles and the number of seats in the rows varies with conditions. Cartoons are fluid. They are meant to be a spread out on a pallet and smeered onto the canvas any way an artist feels. Like a hot poultice on a pestilent pimple It draws out feelings even if you only have one.

  14. I join with other commenters to say thanks for explaining the sock-puppet cartoon. Ha, I thought it was a snake or some other amphibian. I looked around the cartoon for other clues and did not see any, so was confused. I dunno, sock puppets I have seen in pictures and drawings look like monkeys to me, though I’m not sure that I had gotten the gag if it had looked like a monkey. Maybe I needed to see the defendant holding the sock puppet?

    I usually understand your cartoons. I even got the sport-bra one after a couple of minutes of studying it.

  15. I’ll join the crowd and thank you for explaining the sock puppet lawyer cartoon. I was thinking that the snake had large balls and needed a bra for them. LOL Then I noticed his nose but that wasn’t my first thought. Good week for your cartoons again. It’s always a good week with your art in it. Muchos gracias

  16. I laugh out loud every time I see the “free hugs” comic, an exquisite example of the joy of surprise. The parenting one is also great.

    I got the sock puppet one but, like Evelyn, I think more would have figured it out on their own if they had seen part of the defendant bent over behind the desk.

    And I saw the sports bra cartoon as a request for a jock strap / athletic supporter – the point about so many artists drawing noses that way rings true.

    Off to go send an email reminding my local newspaper that your comic is the main reason I keep subscribing.

  17. I can read a totally different joke from the “single cup” joke. The guy is shopping for a sport bra for a female tennis player! That is, suitable for playing tennis single matches, giving the conflict of whether he wants a one cup bra or a bra for single tennis!

    Isn’t it great when there is more than one interpretation of a joke? :)

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