Sole Mate

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(Explore the exciting world of embiggenation by clicking a comic.)

This was another raucous week of hate mail and negative comments over one of my cartoons with an overtly political message, which I’ll discuss later in this post. I hesitate to call them “political comics” because I’m not an editorial cartoonist and my cartoons are not in the style of typical editorial cartoons. As I’ve mentioned before, cartoons are sold to newspapers as either “funny” or “editorial”, and those of us in the “funny” category are expected to stay away from heavily political content. In 99% of my comics over my 33-year career, I’ve kept to that rule but the absurdity of our current president and his administration have inspired and compelled me to an occasional political cartoon.

Along with the critics, my political comics have also garnered a lot of positive messages, emails, and comments so even though I am clearly losing conservative readers, it seems I am also picking up progressive/liberal readers who perhaps were not previously aware of my work. It is my belief that since America’s current administration is a textbook example of authoritarian fascism, it is the duty of any decent, patriotic American to speak out against it until the threat is passed. That might take a while.

My critics often chastise me for being “partisan” and using my “bully pulpit” to spread divisiveness. My response is that America’s form of democracy guarantees the right and encourages every commoner to express their partisan views; it’s kind of the whole point of the country. If you don’t like that sort of thing and think that people should keep their mouths shut and honor the flag and the president no matter what, you should move to a dictatorship. (I know, with this president you’re hoping to achieve that without having to move and I don’t blame you. Moving is a hassle.) Also, look up the definition of “bully pulpit”. Cartoonists don’t qualify. In fact, it is our job to point out the absurdities of human behavior.

Pugs and reanimated corpses are two things that are really hot right now so why not combine the two and have the best of both worlds? Insider backstory: I fashioned the Frankenstein Monster’s facial expression and body language on those I’ve actually seen expressed by friends and family members when confronted with an objet d’cute. 

As I said in my FB and Twitter posts of this cartoon earlier in the week, in a just world, jails would be full of rich white assholes. Of course, assholes are not all rich nor white, but there are enough rich white assholes causing the rest of us all plenty of misery and trouble that you could easily fill some penitentiaries to the brim with them.  And while their crimes typically go completely unpunished, their crimes are not without grave consequences.

Here’s an example: a poll came out last week that showed for the first time ever, a majority of Americans believe Climate Change is responsible for the growing frequency and intensity of major storms. That’s good news as it may help aim legislative efforts to curb it. But the downside is that the vast majority of that majority are Democrats. The majority of Republicans still think it’s a hoax. You may be tempted to blame the Cheeto Mussolini for that since he has said as much, but the real culprit is Fox News Channel and the rich white assholes who control its content. Why are they the only (supposed) news agency in the world that does not report on the scientific consensus about Climate Change? Because they are a propaganda network for the Republican Party, which is run by corporation-owning rich white assholes who do not want to stop polluting and raping the planet because they might lose profits. They lie to you to protect their own short-term gains in spite of the fact that they are compromising the health and well-being of every single person on the planet.

Did you know that many cave painters actually used to do this with their hands? Were they signing their work? Were they indulging their ego with a primitive kind of “selfie”? Or were they just playing with a new special effect they’d invented like a kid does when they learn how to fold a piece of paper, cut a few chunks out and end up with a snowflake?

It was erroneously assumed for centuries that cave painters were male but recently it was discovered that many were female. Of course they were––why do we always default to sexism?

I’m not sure how we figured out some were female. Maybe it’s because so many cave paintings were of ducks and bows and gingham. (There it goes again! DAMN that sexism! )

The above cartoon was the result of a premonition about my own death. I’ve got to either read faster and more hours per day or build a sturdy retaining wall between my bed and my nightstand. As it is, I wear a bike helmet when I sleep but I still fear I could be smothered.

As I knew it would, this cartoon about Trump’s racism got me into major hot water (and possibly got Bizarro canceled in one major Midwest market). That’s not surprising but what truly surprises me is how America isn’t constantly talking about the fact that our president is a self-admitted racist and Nazi sympathizer. Didn’t we fight an entire war and lose over 400,000 American lives fighting Nazism? Tolerating their parades and rallies is one thing (and is protected by the First Amendment) but allowing one to serve as our Commander in Cheif is beyond absurd. These days I often feel I am trapped in a Vonnegut novel.

Of course, this is what open-minded people get for electing a non-white person to the presidency. And then we tried to elect a WOMAN. I guess we should have known better.

And finally, here’s this cartoon about the ever-clever Swiss Army and its ability to hide useful things inside of other useful things. With the Swiss Army knife-and-boot combo, you can carve up enemy combatants on the battlefield all day, then slip into an open-toe pump in the evening and open a bottle of wine with your hidden corkscrew.

Thanks for reading, Jazz Pickles. If you enjoy my cartoons and commentary, please consider dropping a buck or two into the Tip Jar or buying a gift or two from my store. (Don’t miss that there are TWO pages.) These things all help to keep things going at Rancho Bizarro as more people read my work online for free and more newspapers fold or get taken over by Trumpers who don’t think Bizarro is respectful enough of racists.

Below are some ways you can help me to keep moving forward. Until next time, be smart, be happy, be nice. And never stop resisting the assholes.

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41 thoughts on “Sole Mate

  1. Whilel you may be losing readers due to the political nature of some of your cartoons, I wonder why these same people don’t support losing our cartoon of a president? That would be nice.

  2. Re sex and cave paintings: apparently the ratio of the length of the ring finger to index finger is sex linked. Check it out on live women and men, cool huh?

    • Oh, that’s right! I forgot about that. And there have also been studies that show those same measurements come into play with homosexuals, proving once again that it is a biological condition and not a matter of choice.

  3. Dan, did you notice the “Rhymes with Orange” panel on Sunday? Little Medusa looks like she belongs in your collection (but far fewer snakes).

  4. Dan, you don’t have to settle for having some of your panels labeled “political cartoons.” These are all “social commentary,” and as such must be expected to make social comments that will rub some people the wrong way. That’s how Fox handles their stories, so it’s only fair and balanced if they, and the political vermin they back receive some of their own medicine.

  5. Dan, yes, it’s gotten harder to post comments. First, there’s the “reload page to post a comment” button. After that was the timer “please wait 30 seconds before posting your comment.” Then there’s the box “I am not a spammer,” and the Captcha box for “I am not a robot.” On top of this, when I tried to post this particular comment, the website lost my comment and I had to retype it.

    • Thanks, Curtis. I’ve forwarded your comments on to the folks who run the site for me. I’m guessing it’s some kind of company-wide added security measures that are gumming up the works but we’ll see what they say.

  6. Did my best (put on my enLARGO glasses) to read book titles covering the partner of sad but resigned woman…got ‘AZTEC’ and ‘BIG BOOK OF —EESE’ (cheese? geese?). Love the detail. And keep being true to humankind…thank you!

  7. Dan,

    How did I ever live without your humor?! Well, I used to see it in the newspapers, but all I see now is my three-day-old garbage. I nearly died laughing this a.m. One of your best “issues” I think.

    As much as I hate to clog up the “Forum” here, I’m tempted to send the joke about the Texan who goes to Boston. O.k., here it is: (provide your own Texas accent) A Texan goes to Boston. While walking around Harvard Yard he meets a man. “Phadon me suh; can yuh tell me weaah da Haavad Libeerie’s at?” The man looks the Texan up and down slowly, and with some derision replies (in a Boston accent), “Here, a Harvard, we do not end a sentence with a preposition”. The Texan, somewhat taken aback, replies, “Phadon me suh; can yuh tell me weaah da Haavad Libeerie’s at, asshole?”

    Also, I have the same problem as you; can’t read faster than the growing pile of books on the nightstand.

    Monsieur Lucky

  8. Thanks for not putting the secret symbols in the book pile. That would be unsporting, which you are not.

    Read those Vonnegut books before they crush you! We are living in a Vonnegut novel! Here’s a quote from Player Piano.

    “…he had gone directly from a three-hour television program to the White House.”

    And.

    “The break had done anything but teach him humility. He took it as evidence that his money and name could beat the system any time and, paraphrased, he’d said as much. … Paul supposed, gloomily, that beaters of systems had always been admired by the conventional.”

    And.

    “… Things, gentlemen, are ripe for a phony Messiah, and when he comes, it’s sure to be a bloody business. … Sooner or later someone’s going to catch the imagination of these people with some new magic. At the bottom of it will be a promise of regaining the feeling of participation, the feeling of being needed on earth — hell, dignity. … Things are certainly set up for a class war based on conveniently established lines of demarcation.”

    So it goes.

    I love your work and want to encourage you to not get discouraged. Remember, as politics ever encroaches on entertainment, don’t feel bad about encroaching right back!

    • Love your comments, cxed. I’ve long been convinced of Vonnegut’s genius and the events of each day only serve to cement that opinion. God help us all!

  9. now that i am contributing a dollar a month does that give me the right to leave my unsolicited opinion? I really dig Bizarro it reminds me of a union of R.Crumb and Toles.
    But seriously folks. I think Dan is missing a very important point about Trump. He is kicking the Hornets Nest. he is putting the dirty money grubbing politicians on the spot, making them fish or cut bait. He is making the Rs and the Ds look like the liars they truly are. So while you curse Trump and spit every time his name is mentioned , with Hilary you would have got a lot of smooth talk while they were sticking that red , white , and blue Di@k up your as@ . Disclaimer i did not vote for Trump. I voted for Sanders and stopped there. ok cue the haters, don’t worry about my over sensitive fragile ego , just let me have it.

  10. another week, better than air, dan….. i keep sharing these to bring up readership for you….. so looking forward to having enough money to help donate to the cause…… that makes me “dirt poor white coolerific” for now…. thanks for paragraphs describing the circles and arrows…. please do a tom petty theft cartoon…. do it for the children……

  11. Visited your store, saw all the funny shirts. Looking for a book of collected works, like every bizarro comic ever published(up to now at least) in one book, available for purchase.

    • Sorry to say, that does not exist. People don’t buy cartoon books as much as they use to (probably because you can get everything for free on the Internet) so publishing companies are not willing to shell out the bucks to publish that kind of thing. If I had cute characters that did the same thing over and over for decades, however, they’d likely go for it. People love cute characters.

      The closest thing I have to what you’re asking for is this book, which is out of print so I don’t make a penny off of any sale of it anywhere. Still, you’d probably enjoy it.

  12. Sending the Swiss Army Boot cartoon to a friend of mine with dual Swiss/Australian citizenship.

    He was living in Switzerland when he turned 18 and got the call up for mandatory national service. He went down to the army base, was issued with his uniform and boots, then headed straight to the airport and flew to Australia, not going back until the statute of limitations ran out.

    The boots lasted him years!

  13. I noticed no Secret Symbols™ on the final comic of the week and yet, by my fuzzy reckoning, surely the shoe in the foreground must count as The Lost Loafer™, albeit with a couple of newfound tassels. :-)

    • This is always a gray area for me. In this case, I felt that the loafer was part of the gag and therefore not a “lost loafer” appearing as a background element and so for that reason, I didn’t count it. Thank goodness there’s nothing important at stake here. I couldn’t take the pressure. :^}

  14. Hi Dan – great art and commentary, as ever. Comment here is a typo report: “thier” exists in the text. A “control ‘f'” should locate it easily but “…people should keep thier mouths shut…” is the relevant sentence frag…

    • Thanks for the typo reports. You’re right, I always appreciate those. Sadly, the “control ‘f'” doesn’t seem to work and I can’t find any other way to search for specific words. I found the other typo you told me about on the “Parroting” post but could not find this one. Oh well.

      • Here you go, Dan: …encourages every commoner to express their partisan views; it’s kind of the whole point of the country. If you don’t like that sort of thing and think that people should keep thier mouths shut and honor the flag and the president no matter what, you should move…

      • I know a lot of artists use a Mac rather than a PC, so if that includes you, Dan, the keyboard combination on a Mac is Command + F (Command being the “looped-corners” square thingy button) :-)

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