Famous Liars

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(Amusing details may become more evident with an embiggenating click of the images herein.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Lip Reader’s Nightmare.

I think it is fair to say that if the Orange Menace had the same biological syndrome as Pinocchio, Trump Tower could have been the world’s tallest structure made entirely of nose-sized logs. But enough about famous liars.

Today is a landmark day in my life and I want to share it with my loyal Jazz Pickles. January 21, 2018, will mark the 33rd anniversary of my publishing a Bizarro cartoon each and every day, 365 days a year. That’s over 12,000 cartoons. Writing and drawing that many gags consistently over time is every bit as challenging as you might imagine. Somehow, though, I managed to make my deadlines through illnesses, the deaths of loved ones, two divorces, several moves, and the loss of my favorite sunglasses back in ’92, which really upset me and that I’ve never been able to replace.

All those years, through good times and bad, I told myself that one day I would retire and become a painter, which was all I ever really wanted to be since I outgrew my childhood aspirations of being a cowboy, astronaut, or secret agent. Remember clenching your teeth and slogging through your homework so you could go outside and play? (For you younger readers, “outside” is where children used to play before the invention of video games and the Internet.) Well, I’ve been in homework mode for 33 years and now I finally get to go outside and play.

Starting tomorrow, January 1 (for readers outside of the U.S., that’s 1 January) my longtime friend and colleague, Wayno, will be drawing the Monday-through-Saturday Bizarro cartoons and I’ll be doing just one each week, on Sunday. Wayno and I have collaborated on around 150 gags over the years and he’s handled two separate weeks of Bizarro as a “guest cartoonist.” He also spent three years as my colorist back around 2010 and we’ve always really enjoyed working together. Some of the gags will be his, some mine, and some will be collaborations between us but he’ll be handling the finished product that you’ll see online and in the newspapers six out of seven days each week. He’ll be drawing in his style but will be using my Bizarro font and, of course, The Secret Symbols.

I’ll still be writing a weekly blog post commenting on Wayno and I did that week, and also posting daily cartoons from my archives on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. I also intend to give regular updates about my fine art projects as well as photos of works in progress. (Here’s a small piece of the oil painting I’m working on right now. SPOILER ALERT for BOB A. : THIS IS A PIECE OF YOUR PAINTING!) I hope you’ll come along with me, just as you have been up till now. I’m super excited about my new life and hope you enjoy my reports.

Wayno will also be posting on his various social media sites so I strongly encourage you to follow him. You can start by checking out his initial weekly blog post about this new job he’s taken on.

You can also follow him in these places:

twitter.com/Waynocartoons
www.facebook.com/WaynoCartoons

I posted this cartoon on Instagram last Monday and got a comment alerting me that it is actually summer in the southern hemisphere where Easter Island sits. I suppose that’s my fault because I failed to mention this is not a photo from a textbook but rather a cartoon and therefore not held to a particularly high standard of accuracy. Additionally, Easter Island is close enough to the equator and sea level that snow isn’t an option any time of year.

Here’s a little gag about an old nursery rhyme that nobody teaches their kids anymore. I was taught the first two lines: “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.”

I assumed it was about the importance of contraception, but what was this bit about a shoe? Then, when I was older, I learned the last two lines: “She gave them some broth without any bread; Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”

Now the meaning is clear. It’s a poem about an elderly woman with eccentric taste in architecture who starves and abuses children. So yes, it is about contraception, but it is aimed at the old woman’s parents, who never should have given birth to this sadistic bitch.

I used to live in New York City––the city that never sleeps, though it does emit a strange, snoring sound from time to time and sometimes farts without apologizing––and the overwhelming majority of taxi drivers there are foreign-born. Considering the number of cabs in NYC (over 13,500 with another 14,000 Uber-style drivers) I think one could make a mathematical case for the likelihood of at least some of those drivers being from Venice and of that subset, perhaps a few are former gondoliers. I’m also guessing that there is no law or ordinance in NYC that expressly prohibits driving in the creative manner in which the gentleman in my cartoon is. So this might actually happen. Just saying.

Some of you more diligent and memoryful Jazz Pickles may recall this gag from my book of pirate cartoons published a few years ago. It was originally published in ‘01 and I was particularly proud of the gag and felt it deserved a wider audience, so I revived it. Now that I look at it, I’m wondering if there aren’t actual services of this sort for folks with only one foot. In the age of the Internet, it seems it would not be that hard to connect folks who have to buy two shoes but only ever wear one, right?

Stay tuned for next week’s cartoon about a snowman with a penile implant; No need for Viagra, just pop it into the freezer for a bit. “…I saw him buying a Bombpop yesterday.”

I actually have a hat like this and you’re living on it. Now if I can just get each person living on my hat to pay the equivalent of one U.S. dollar in return for rent-for-life, I can retire in style and still have enough money left over to fund the shoe-swapping non-profit I described above.

In addition to the semi-retirement I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, there are lots of other new things coming to the Jazz Pickle jar soon. A new website for bizarro.com is underway and almost ready to launch, as well as some new products that we’re super excited about like enamel pins and an Official Bizarro Fan Club with all kinds of cool behind-the-scenes perks.

Until my next post, be smart, be happy, be nice, and fight ignorance and fascism. Also, check out Wayno’s and my posts this week on our various social media sites.

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93 thoughts on “Famous Liars

  1. Love the pirate pic- there was a post on the local FB buy&sell group by an amputee looking for someone who wanted his/her extra left shoes.

  2. I can appreciate the shoe gag. I’m a big guy and I wear a single lower leg prosthetic over my right calf & foot. So in addition to a pair of size 14 shoes, I also have to get a pair of size 16 shoes, the right of which goes over the brace, & the left joins the right size 14 in the closet…

  3. Happy New Year, Dan! I am sorry that you won’t be doing Bizarro on a daily basis anymore, but hey, you have earned the rest and the time to pursue your paining. Besides which, Wayno’s work is excellent and he will do Bizarro proud.

    Question: Will you be selling prints of your paintings?

  4. Good for you, Dan! We all deserve to slow down when we feel the time is right. The company I worked for for the last 20 years of my working life had a policy whereby you could (fairly) easily go from a 40-hour work week to a 24-hour work week In the five years before retiring without losing any benefits. I took advantage of that and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Really helped ease me into retirement. Look forward to seeing your fine art projects as you make them. Thanks for everything.

  5. Oh, Dan, don’t know what to say. Happy that you are getting to spend more time doing what you really want, sad for us not getting the daily cartoon. And, of course, looking forward to seeing what Wayno comes up with – he’s a funny guy. So I guess I’ll wish you a kinda saddish and bittersweet good luck.

    • I actually published that cartoon back in the 90s and decided to revive it this past week because I felt it deserved a wider audience. No idea if another cartoonist hit the same gag or not. Happens pretty often in my business.

      • Reminds me of when I took my nephews to the snow and we made a snowman. The 4 year old added appendages just like in your cartoon. Guess he was at the age to notice things like that, plus he was very precocious anyway. Here’s to staying young at heart! Happy New Year and New Life!

  6. I appreciate that 33 years is a long time, and I understand the desire to shuck off these bonds and go be a painter. And I think all of us appreciate you not pulling a Watterson and just up and making us all go cold turkey and becoming a total recluse. But I’m so bummed that you are stepping back when it feels like we you need you the most, when there are days the only bright spot was the laugh the daily cartoon brings. Now we have to suck it up a whole week waiting for Sunday? I’m not gonna lie – that’s going to be tough!
    I guess I should wish you all the very best and remember turpentine should only be used in a well ventilated space. Seriously, open a window and plug in a fan. Picasso never did and look how his work turned out. Don’t be a Picasso!
    If the painting thing doesn’t work out, we’ll still be here for you man!

  7. Congrats on the semi-retirement…wonderful for you, sad for us Jazz Pickles; but, thankfully Bizarro will live on! From one displaced Tulsan to another, well done and well deserved!

  8. Dear Dan,

    I feel about your announcement in a similar way you described you felt about losing your favourite sun-glasses: this year, I had to quit my job, and the biggest love-affair I ever had in my life ended – and now, I have to learn that you retire. It should be a small thing compared to the other life-events, still on a certain level, it hurts. Though I’m sure, your colleague will give us the same quality of cartoons we’ve got from you, but still, knowing that behind Bizarro, there’s somebody else and not you, will make me miss you!

    On the other hand, I completely understand your being tired of the “having to do the homework” feeling. I’ve been living it for over a decade, ever since I’ve entered the job market: writing is the one thing I’ve always been really passionate about, but I make a living from IT. Funny that sometimes things we are good at cannot make us thoroughly happy. Knowing that you may start to live your dream now gives me hope, that one day, maybe I may live mine too. I wish you all the luck and happiness with the one thing you love the most! And I’m looking forward to hearing about your new projects!

    Thank you for your amazing work!

    Have a very happy new year!
    Greetings from Hungary,
    Marianna

    • Thanks, Marianna, and good luck to you in your search! And don’t forget I’ll still be doing a comic once a week and posting all kinds of other fun things so don’t stray too far away. :^}

  9. Congratulations on choosing to do what you always wanted to do when you grew up, Dan. I will miss your twisted humor, but Wayno has probably followed you long enough that he can fake it until he makes it. I hope he gets the same quantity and quality of hate mail– how else will he ever know it he’s on track.

    I bet O2 will be happy to have you as a paint-stained artist who can move at a slower pace than as an ink-stained cartoonist facing daily and weekly deadlines. All the best to both of you, and thanks for all the weirdness.

  10. Congrats on 33 years! Will miss the daily stuff from you, but you introduced me to Waynovision, and I’ve really enjoyed his work so far. :)

    (BTW, I count 6 secret symbols in this week’s cartoon rather than 5 – that’s not counting the two hidden behind the speech bubble ;) )

    • I see why your symbol count ended up as it did, but the tail in the painting belongs to a whale, which is not a fish. It’s meant to be a nod to “Monstro,” the whale that swallowed Gepetto in the Disney animated classic. :^}

  11. Thanks for all the years of entertainment! I have enjoyed the glimpses of your art as well. I’ve been following you since some time near the beginning when I subscribed to a “Comics Monthly” type ‘zine printing single panel cartoons from all over. Best wishes with your “retirement” and good luck to Wayno! I look forward to see what will happen next.

  12. Congratulations on your Retirement (rates a capital “R”). I hope you enjoy not having to pay attention to what day it is…Oh wait! You will once a week!

  13. In regards to the “shoes for one foot” situation, a quick Google search turned up some sites that offer such a service for people with very differently sized feet as well as amputees who only have feet.

    Congratulations and best wishes on your semi-retirement, that it works out for you financially and otherwise.

  14. Since you mentioned the Bizarro font, I have been wondering how many instances of each letter you have. For example, in the taxi-Venice cartoon there are three different letter “s”, two “c” and two of “u”. It is a great font and must save you oodles of time over drawing them, but I wonder what other features it has over the usual one-image-per-letter fonts?

    • It actually only has two versions of each letter. I often go in and alter one or two letters manually if I think it looks too repetitive.

  15. I once got a taxi at LaGuardia and gave the driver an address on Fifth Avenue. He had to get instructions from his dispatcher to find Fifth Avenue. Turkish I think.

    • Good one. I had a cab driver in San Francisco once ask me for directions to the hotel I was staying at. Had never been to SF before that trip.

      Then there was the one in Denver to promptly took me to 17th Street rather than 17th Avenue – very different part of town.

  16. Well, my life will be thinner, but yours will be richer! Tear out man!
    My deepest thanks for all the years of laughs and perspective bending. And the earth hat was the perfect one to go out on!

    • Don’t forget to come back and check out what Wayno is doing on weekdays and I’m doing on Sunday. I’m not gone completely!

  17. Wow! A lot to “digest” (and during this gluttonous holiday period, no less!).
    I’ll cut to the chase: CONGRATULATIONS.
    While phlegmatically resistant to change(s), I really admire your decision to go for the art you’ve always wanted to do. I look forward to seeing your work, in progress, finished, whatever!
    Will you be keeping this web address (or is your blog elsewhere and I’ve been missing it?!?)? Please, PLEASE keep me up to date on where to find you (does that sound stalkerish? It’s not meant to be!).
    Again, WOW, way to go, Mr. Piraro! Happy HAPPY New Year!

    • Thanks, P in B! This will continue to be my only official website. I also have a FB page and Twitter and Instagram, but this site will remain even after the new design kicks in. To be sure you don’t miss anything, enter your email address in that empty box on the right margin of any and all of my blog posts, if you’ve not already done so. I won’t sell or give your info to anyone and only post once a week, on rare occasion twice.

  18. Dan, you’re setting a new standard for starting the new year with a fresh vision and renewed vigor. May your approach to New Year’s Resolutions make 2018 the first of many years for you in your new pursuits.
    May it also serve as an example to all us slackers out here in comic goggling land!
    Thanks for the years of high quality, if not always high brow, entertainment and inspiration.
    Here’s to the future!
    *clinks glass with you*

  19. You’ve earned it, Dan! I remember discovering your wit and art back in the mis 80’s when I was in college in San Francisco. You fit right into my mindset at the time and you have kept up the same level of greatness ever since. I’m looking forward to what the future holds in store for you. Good luck, and continued success. (Now all I have to do is order a painting…)

  20. Hi Dan,

    Sorry to hear we’ll be seeing less of your cartoon style, but happy for you to be doing something you’ve been wanting to do more of.

    Am I going mad though? I’m sure I’ve seen that last comic before. Maybe it’s the insane US date format confusing me and that’s from 17th Trecember 2012.

  21. There was a store (in Washington state, I think) that would sell single shoes (and pairs of mismatched size) but that was before the interweb and after pirates (not counting modern pirates).

  22. Good luck with the semi-non-retirement/refocusing of objectives/making someone else do all your work for you, Dan! Congrats, you’re a job creator now! I wonder when Wayno will start demanding a living wage…

  23. I was looking at at Watson Comic today and noticed that Wayno’s Avatar was your All Seeing Eye but I never thought that you would stop (almost), sort of, kind of, doing Bizarro. I think it’s awesome that you and Wayno are joining forces. As you know Rina Piccolo did the same with Hilary Price!
    I would like to wish you and your Beloved Olive Oyl a very Happy New Year!
    Good luck to you and to Wayno!!
    Take care,
    Pat

  24. I forgot to ask you, in Sunday’s cartoon, is the tail in the picture on the wall, the fishtail icon or not? Which then makes that count 6 instead of 5.
    Have a great day!

    • Good question. It’s a whale’s tail, which is a reference to “Monstro” from the Disney film, and since whales are mammals not fish, it’s not a secret symbol.

  25. Best of luck in retirement. Sorry I discovered you (you didn’t even know you were lost) only a year ago. I hope you have as much fun as I have had as a retiree two years ago. Are you ready to reinvent yourself?

  26. First, congratulations Dan! You have set up a great solution to a difficult problem, where the fans usually just start doing without.

    So, does Wayno get a few symbols of his own? It seems only fair, since a few of them are personal to you.

    Also, comments (mine anyway) are written in the first person to you (Dan). Will you still be the one reading and commenting – and getting the hate mail?

    • Thanks, Dave. Yes, I’ll still be monitoring comments on this site so nothing will change in that regard. We’ll have to wait and see if Wayno develops any symbols of his own. :^}

  27. Love the Easter Island gag. Our favorite holiday music is Leon Redbone’s ‘Christmas Island’ album and of course I always sing ‘Easter Island’ instead as a gag.

  28. Happy New Year, Dan!! And with the new year, a new schedule for you and Wayno….
    Wait.. I guess the new schedule started about four weeks ago.
    And I love the spoiler.

  29. Happy for you! I heard that you were from Tulsa or some young kid started Bizarro? I just wondered about the history, as I am new to the symbol search thing. Great jokes. Enjoy semi-retirment.

    Susanna from Tulsa.

    • Yup, I grew up in Tulsa. Graduated from BTW in ’76 and moved away in ’79. I still have a lot of family there so I visit once or twice a year.

  30. Best wishes on your semi-retirement! You certainly deserve a chance to play outside, although I’ll miss you and your humor very much. I look forward to what Wayno and you come up with and will cherish your Sunday cartoon, too. We are long-time readers of Bizarro and have many of your books. We have one of your signed prints which has a place of honor in our home, so I hope I’ll have the opportunity to purchase more of your fantastic art. Many hugs to you and best wishes for 2018.

  31. I knew this “retirement” was coming, but it still does not make it any easier to process. I dunno exactly how long I have been following your strip (25+ years??) but it has been an inspiration and a part of my daily routine for so long that without your keen craftsmanship I am now just a ship without a rudder. An empty husk. A lost lamb in the woods, if you will. Oh well… such is life. I wish you all the best in whatever you do and look forward to seeing what transpires! (do I see a bit of Dali in those paintings? Nice!) Sihm Sahla Bihm!

  32. Happy new year to you and O2 and K2. And congratulations on achieving semi-retirement. I look forward to seeing how things change and how they remain the same. I trust your judgment.

    With luck, I will make a similar life change in a year or two.

  33. Wow. Delightful and sad news. I am excited to see your new work and Waynos turn as the Dread Pirate Roberts…er Bizarro. Thanks for 33 years of consistent fun. May the next 33 return it in spades. If you are holding on to a Canadian Geologist Bizarro frame as your swan song…

  34. Dan, it has been a pleasure looking at your work for the last 32 years! May you never lose your sense of the absurd!

    Your pal forever,
    Lou Stoole

  35. I have been loving your work for years. The chance for you to ease back thrills me since I am not selfish enough to want you to slave away till your dying breath. Wayno is highly welcomed and we will get you on Sunday. I just wonder how many books it would take to have all 12,000 currently done art work? I collect many of them and a few I would like to blow up in size and color. Hang on a wall one day. So much good stuff and you have a very nice clean style with some detail work too. All the best in your decision. You now have the best of both worlds. Still working and involved yet with a lighter load. Couldn’t have happened to a better artist/writer/designer/creator than you sir. (Am I spreading it a little thick, eh? Just this once.)

    I do wonder if Mr. Watterson would have stayed with it if he had the same kind of decision you did on doing different subjects every day with different characters if he would have kept up with it for say 20 years instead of 2? well not in this universe. Maybe in other parallels he might have. However we have you and 21+ years in this one which is great all by itself!!

    Take care of yourself Dan.

  36. godspeed and damn the torpedoes as you enter the frosty crystalline gates of semi-retirement. your work has been epic for a long, long time. thanks for all the fish, dan… looking forward to your new projects… 33 years is a long ass time. i have 31 years of sobriety (complaining, not bragging) so that means i don’t remember when you started……..

    hecho bein, amigo…..

  37. I remember seeing one of your paintings, I think it was a bodybuilding Jesus, I thought “he should be doing more of this”, but your cartoons were so entertaining. Can’t wait to see what the next chapter provides. Wayne, will do you proud, I’m sure.

  38. Way to go. I’m excited for you. 33 X 365 is mind boggling. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I loved getting a glimpse. Felicidades.

  39. Hello kind sir,
    Thank you so much for many a giggle, and while I’m sad you’re cutting back your cartoons I look forward to seeing your other creations, and welcome to your partner/successor.
    I thought you might like my father’s version of the nursery rhyme:
    There was an old woman
    who lived in a shoe.
    She had so many children
    it filled up with poo.
    If it made you smile I feel I’ve given something back for the enjoyment you’ve given me for several years now.
    Cheers, M

  40. Well, congratulations on your semi-retirement. And if your example is the sort of thing you do in-between “homework”, I can hardly wait to see what you’ll come up with when you can focus on it!

  41. I congratulate and applaud you for following your dream.You told us this day would come, but that doesn’t make it much easier to accept it. At least we’ll still have you part-time! Happy new year and happy new life to you and Ms. Oyl!

  42. My hubs wears two different-size shoes (had polio as a child). Nordstrom’s will sell him a pair of each size and he returns the two mismatches for a full refund of the price of a pair. He used to have to buy two pairs and we would send the mismatches to a service called “The One-Shoe Crew” in Sacramento, CA.

  43. Hey Dan, I’d like to add to the chorus and wish you well. I have enjoyed your work over the years, since the beginning actually, and am really happy you are transitioning to your follow your dream.

    BTW, I’ve mentioned this before and say it again, my favorite Bizarro ever was the “Joan of Arc burnt the steak” gag.

  44. You say Trump is the liar? Where have you been these past years. We finally have a president who is doing what he said he would do. Whether you like him or not or how he says what he says, at least he does what he says he will do – IF the congress would let him, that is. Policians are all liars – and he is no politician, anyway. Poly = many and ticks = blood sucking creature thus polytickians are exactly that!

  45. Happy Retirement Dan! Have loved reading your comics and remember the days when you would visit my classroom many years ago in Dallas and amaze my students. Still have the comics we ended up in. Look forward to seeing your paintings!

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