Falling Sounds


(Your wish to embiggenate the cartoon below can be achieved by clicking the Northern White Cedar tree.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sexy Trees.

There have been many variations of the ancient philosophical question, “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” This is, of course, an extremely anthropocentric question which ignores all of the other non-human ears in the forest, but that’s an issue for another forum.

For those of us interested in the scientific aspect of falling tree noise, I recently read a fascinating report by a group of scientists from the Ivy League School of Technology and Wishful Thinking who have devised a way to communicate with Wood Beetles, many of whom have heard trees fall in the forest when no humans were around. The beetles reported that trees do NOT make a sound. Well, that’s not entirely true. They said they sort of go “oof!” when they hit the ground but that’s to be expected. Beyond that, nothing. More importantly…

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED A REALLY FUN T-SHIRT OR OTHER PRODUCT OF SOME SORT? If the answer is yes, you’re going to want to hop over to my BRAND NEW BIZARRO SHOP, which we at Rancho Bizarro have been slaving to put together for weeks now!

It just went live, moments before I typed this sentence, so race over there and be one of the first people to purchase something and enjoy the silent, almost undetectable pride that comes with that knowledge!

I will be adding lots of new products as the weeks and months go by, including some of the earlier Bizarro shirts I did a few years ago, so check back here and on my FB page and my Twitter feed, of course. Some of these designs are from shirts worn by characters in my cartoons like the famous “Carl’s Bad Tavern” shirt and the incredibly popular “Some Sports Team” shirt. I’ve added a few more variations of the sport shirt, so be sure to check them all carefully before ordering. AND, there’s more than one page of products so don’t just get stuck on page one. If you sign up for emails from me, you’ll be sure not to miss new products. See blue box above.


I love it when readers “correct” me in their comments on social media. I got several people this week who told me, “snakes are not rodents”. I responded by telling them that I knew that, but the lumps in the snakes are rodents. I don’t mean to be a dick about it. It’s perfectly fine to misinterpret a cartoon drawing. But I still found the corrections funny.

I mentioned last week that one of my cartoons got many times more “likes” on my Instagram page than any other I’ve ever posted and this was the one. Lots of people made jokes about erections, so maybe that was why it went viral. I guess people just love to imagine super boners. For the record, I had no such thing in mind when I drew it.

This would be particularly handy for the kind of doctors who ask for urine samples.

When I posted this on Instagram this week, I added this comment: “Might not be so bad as long as it’s not the kind with the giant, blue butt.” To which someone replied, “What??! That’d be the only reason to be somewhat OK with it!”  I laughed at that.

There’s a funny story behind this magician/lion cartoon. I first wrote and drew it for an underground humor magazine in Dallas back around 1990 called The Wahoo Reader. Since it references defecation, it was considered too racy for newspaper comics pages so I couldn’t use it in Bizarro. It crossed my mind again a few weeks ago and I thought, Ah!  Newspaper comics pages are more liberal than they used to be so I can use it now! and I redrew it and submitted it for publication. The day it published, a reader sent me a link to a different version of this same cartoon that I published back in 2003. I have no memory of it but I’ve published over 11,000 cartoons since Bizarro’s debut in January of 1985, so I’m allowed to forget.

I meant for this to be Koko, the first gorilla to become famous for learning American Sign Language, to my knowledge, anyway. A reader commented this week that they liked to imagine the doctor is talking to the gorilla, not the woman. That made me chuckle, too.

That’s it for this week. I encourage you to have a look at my new store and tell me what you think.  Until next time, thanks for reading, be happy, be smart, be nice. 


31 thoughts on “Falling Sounds

  1. You are Bizarro.

    Thus when looking at and reading the Koto cartoon, I initially assumed the doctor was talking to Koto, knowing that this is whom you were drawing as soon as I saw her toys. I also can’t assume the blonde with face turned toward the doctor is a female.

  2. I think the reason the hydra cartoon got “corrections” was because the bulges in the snakes were too subtle. (I know it took longer than usual for me to get it, and I’m semi-smart) You probably should have had at least one with a mouse tail sticking out of its mouth just to be obvious enough for the mass audience.

    • Y’know, sometimes subtle may be harder to “get” but usually delivers a much bigger payload when it’s finally “gotten”…

      Don’t ever change, Dan! (Well, okay, just change very, very slowly, and always for the better/funnier! ;-)

  3. Your medical freezer reminded me of a slide presentation years ago by Irene Brady, a children’s book illustrator. She picked up intact road kill specimens, cleaned them up, put marbles in their eye sockets, and posed them with a wire rack. One photo showed the inside of her fridge that was packed with her models. “That’s my lunch on the top shelf,” got the expected reaction.

    Love the store! Might have to get me a Some Sports Team shirt, though Duck fever is so rampant around here I’d probably be run out of town.

  4. I went to the store. Not sure I want any of the shirts. Thinking about it. I have three prior ones that you made for Jazz Pickles. And I only could see one page of shirts/merchandise. There was not a button for a 2nd page.
    Loved the cartoons this week. The Koko one was very funny. I could see it either way. Poor Koko stuck signing when people don’t even talk any more, they just text.

  5. I sometimes give my husband little clues if I look at the cartoons before he does, as he is a literally minded engineer. (No offense to engineers.) On the Medusa one I said “Notice that the snakes are fat.” Probably saved him 5 minutes of pondering….

  6. Your Medusa cartoon reminded me of one I
    thought of years ago but since I don’t draw…
    Some guy asks Medusa “Hey you wanna
    get stoned?”
    And Medusa says, “Naw, my hair is a mess.”

  7. I have long been envious of baboons’ ability to climb trees, so I would probably not be all that angry if they did a baboon body transplant. Especially if they could throw baboon fangs into the deal, so I could intimidate anyone who made fun of my baboon body. :-)

  8. I have to say I’m not as disturbed that Medusa’s “hair” is eating snakes as now I’m wondering in general that the snakes can eat something – well where does the snake poop go???
    Could this be the origin of shit for brains?
    Asking for a friend…

  9. Another mission to bring joy, laughter and the occasional unbidden thought to our weekly grind!
    I wouldn’t worry too much about the snakes “not being rodents” fiasco. Some people simply cannot see the forest for the reality TV.
    Thanks, Dan! Keep up the good fight!

  10. Why would Medusa call the exterminator? Saves going to the pet store to buy food for her hair….

    Koko would be great on TV signing some governor’s news conference…

    Love the composition and detail similarities between the 2003 and 2017 magician disappearing trick. However, the older but wiser lion seems completely uninterested in his part these days….

  11. Loved the Medusa cartoon. Had to look twice, I admit! Enjoying keeping up with your drawings and humor here in our new home in Asheville. We enjoyed meeting you two in San Miguel last Dec at dinner with Anado and Richard.

  12. Loved the Medusa cartoon a lot.
    T-shirts – yeah, it’s hard to find a 3X or 4X that really is big enough for us 3X and 4X size people – but thanks for trying. And I don’t even like to say the orange one’s name – hate to encourage him or give him any attention, but the toons are funny.
    Anyway, another great week in Piraro Land. Thanks. So glad you are keeping up the good work.

  13. i assumed the dr was speaking to koko, who was training the human….. much funnier to me that way……
    another great week of jocularity, jocularity……

  14. You probably don’t need anyone else weighing in on what products to offer, but just in case…..I would love a t-shirt with a pocket sized emblem ( size and location of a pocket on a pocket T ) of one of the “find it” symbols, ie. alien, eyeball, fish tail, etc. or some such other graphic representation of the Bizarro world.

  15. Long time reader first time writer-in’er. Just wanted to say I hope you are removed from the hurricanes and earthquakes of the previous week. When I saw Mexico was hit with a fairly sizable quake my very first thought was “I hope Ranchero Bizarro is ok.” Welcome to the forefront of my daily conscious processes! And thank you for your work!

    • Thanks so much for your concern, Greg. We’re about 800 miles from the devastation so we didn’t feel it at all. Where I am in Mexico, there is no history of any kind of natural disaster so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this doesn’t change.

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