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Cap’n Cleek

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Bizarro is brought to you today by High Speed Golf Cart.

I’ve often remarked that one reason pirates are so popular with cartoonists is that it is the only way we can do a cartoon about a disability without being buried under an avalanche of angry mail accusing us of being insensitive. If I published a cartoon about a one-legged old lady at the grocery store people would get pissed, but the same gag about a one-legged pirate is fair game. That doesn’t mean I’ve never gotten angry mail from a pirate cartoon. I got three very nasty letters about this cartoon, but it is noteworthy that none came from a disabled person; only people who felt sorry for disabled people and didn’t like them being made fun of. In contrast, that same cartoon garnered numerous letters of thanks from disabled people who reported that their sense of humor was an important tool in overcoming the hardships and inconveniences they’d faced. And I got one letter from a prosthetics company that wanted to put that cartoon on T-shirts to give out to their clients. I’ve often used that story to help guide me in deciding whether or not to do a cartoon like this.
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Mounted Head

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Bizarro has been brought to you today by Surrealism.

If you’re not familiar with surrealism or have heard of it but are not completely sure what it is, here is an explanation. Some would say that my cartoons are surreal because they typically illustrate very odd things happening to otherwise normal people, and they’d be right because that’s surrealism in a nutshell. For instance, today’s extra-wide-hootenanny-of-hilarity Sunday comic shows two men regarding a head of lettuce mounted on a wall. That’s not something one encounters on a daily basis. Another example of things not encountered diurnally is a mainstream, syndicated cartoon (Bizarro) that publishes cartoons on two subsequent Sundays that both feature heads of lettuce as their main subject. Search every Garfield cartoon back to the Middle Ages and if you don’t die from Repetitive Predictability Syndrome, you won’t find that.
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Ancient Legos

 

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Simple Explanations.

Stonehenge is one of those things that, by nature of its mystery, has been the subject of innumerable cartoons. I’ve done quite a few myself. Here’s one that springs to mind. And here’s another that is partly about Stonehenge.
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Giddyup

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Cowboy Cartoonist.

We have some friends who live on a ranch outside of our town here in Mexico and they bring us horseback riding from time to time. When I was a little boy, westerns were my favorite kind of TV shows and movies, and when I wasn’t drawing, playing cowboy was my favorite thing to do. And, up until I was probably six years old, the Old West was 90% of what I drew. As I grew up in Oklahoma and got old enough to know some real cowboys, I realized I didn’t fit in to their world very well so I never moved out to the country, raised cattle, or voted Republican, but I still love playing cowboy.
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Priorities

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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.
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Tiny Sports

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Bizarro is brought to you today by First Step To Extinction.

ThIS week at Rancho Bizarro had its ups and downs with several of my cartoons drawing criticism from readers in both expected and unexpected ways. We’ll get to that momentarily but first, I’d like to give a heart-felt shout-out to someone who crosses my mind every Mother’s Day––my mother. Thanks for keeping me away from cliffs and preventing wild animals from carrying me off, without a single failure! Your perfect record allowed me to grow up and write this paragraph about how lucky I am to have had such a terrific mother. I am also grateful for your emotional support, friendship, guidance, and delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the way through elementary schoolLOVE you, Mom!
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Room Service

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Flying Mustaches.

I’ve heard from a couple of people who didn’t immediately understand the cartoon above but when they did, they laughed. I love cartoons like that. I was proud of this one when I thought of it because it is fairly surreal, yet also a completely simple twist on a popular saying. In my experience of writing a joke a day for over 30 years*, I find that surprise is the most dependable way to get a laugh. I always love finding a surprising angle on a cliche expression, and this one achieves that very well in my opinion. PLUS, it has eleven Secret Symbols, including the newly-added “O2,” which you can find out about under that blue link you just sailed past.
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Nepotism’s Double-Edged Sword

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Never Stopping, Just To Be Safe.

There is much to talk about today but I promise it will be rewarding in a way that will punish those who come here only for a quick scan of the cartoons and don’t read the text or click the links. Woe is them.
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Coincidental Comedy

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Tray of Voyeurs.

We had a busy week at Rancho Bizarro. As I mentioned in last week’s post, we adopted a Mexican street dog as a companion to our dog, Jemima, whom we brought down here to Mexico from what used to be the United States. The new dog is four months old and is recovering from a broken leg which she sustained from an unsuccessful encounter with an automobile while she was still on the streets. Today’s cartoon is about a dog in a cone collar because of an injury to its rear hip area, which is exactly where our dog’s stitches are (from the surgery that inserted a metal pin) and what’s notable about that is that I wrote and drew this cartoon four weeks ago, before I knew of our new dog’s existence. Spooky? Only if you’re prone to reading coincidences as messages from another dimension. Still, it’s kind of funny.
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Humorlution

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Evolution Hiccup.

I was discussing cartoon cliches last night with someone I met at a friend’s house and he mentioned that Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor at The New Yorker, recently put together a list of them. Without reading the list, the ones that come to my mind most readily are “crawling through a desert,” “stranded on a tiny one-tree island,” “two people in a bar,” “a psychiatrist’s couch,” and the famous “ascent of man” line of evolving mammals, like the one above. There are dozens more, of course.
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