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>A Lot of Bull

>Today’s Bizarro is brought to you by Skaters In Love.

The basic concept for this cartoon came from my young protege, Victor, who has been sending me ideas since he was about 14. He’s got some great ideas, especially for his age, and I’ve drawn a dozen-or-so of them in the past five years or whatever. I forgot how old Victor is now.

I like cartoons that lead you to think through the punch line and this is one of those. Of course, you have to have heard the expression, “like a bull in a china shop,” to get the joke, but I think people still say that, don’t they?

I often wonder where expressions like this come from. Who first thought of placing a bull in a china shop to illustrate destructive clumsiness? Did someone say it in a pub in Llanidloes, Wales in the 17th century and it spread slowly by word of mouth from there? Or was the expression published somewhere and catch on more quickly? There’s probably a web site that explains it, but who’s got the time to dig that up right now? Not I.

For the record, I think bullfighting is the most heinous and barbaric of sports still being practiced in the civilized world. Parts of Spain are finally outlawing it, and it’s about time. Others are decrying the loss of a “tradition.” Slavery, rape, pillaging, and throwing virgins into volcanoes are traditional human activities, too, but I’m not shedding any tears over their loss. Not that they are completely gone, but at least we’re not still televising them or featuring these activities in the travel section of the Sunday paper.

As you might surmise, I root for the bull.

>Speaking of Talk

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Yummy Babies.

I love this gag, it’s simple, dark and unexpected. I originally used this line in comedy shows by saying, “My wife and I just had a baby yesterday.” (the audience invariably applauds) “Yeah, we had a baby boy, and it was really strange because we’re vegan and we don’t normally eat meat.” (The audience is grossed out as they realize what I’m talking about.) “His mother was all, (weepy sounding)‘he was such a good boy!’ and we were like, ‘eh, he really wasn’t that good.'”

I’m not saying it was a great routine and it tended to leave half the audience confused and the other half disgusted, but I enjoyed it. As a person who doesn’t distinguis between the suffering of humans and non-human animals, it was a bit of an activist joke, too. Every animal any of us have ever eaten was terrified when it died, and mourned by those who knew him/her.

Elsewhere in the news, I think Conan’s residency at The Tonight Show has been good. He’s got the best writers in talk show TV, for sure. A NY friend of mine who used to write for The Daily Show was hired by Conan and moved out to L.A. Now that I have an “in” at The Tonight Show, my friend assures me that I can definitely be a guest on the show. All I have to do is become a huge celebrity of some sort, preferably in TV or film.

Here’s a kooky idea: How about if every person who reads this blog writes to The Tonight Show and threatens suicide if they don’t book me as a guest? C’mon, it would be fun! If it works, get me on the same show as Natalie Portman. I have a huge crush on her. Brilliant, gorgeous, and vegan – what’s not to like?

>Fish Sperm, Education, Love

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Our Amazing Oceans.

I often draw cartoons that require a fifth grade education or better to understand, and this is such a cartoon. I fully realize that when I do this, I leave out probably more than half the readers out there, not that my readers are younger than 11 years old, but that most people in the U.S. seem relatively uneducated. Ever see Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” routine where he asks simple questions of people on the street? It sends chills down your spine.

I’ve known many people with a college degree who couldn’t find their way through the first round of Jeopardy with a single correct answer. I’m not talking about any of you who read this blog, of course, but it is alarming how many so-called “educated” Americans can’t name the countries that border us or tell you who wrote Hamlet. Sad and scary. We’re ripe for being taken over by a less lazy culture. Speak Chinese, anyone?

I like this cartoon because it depicts the unreasonable demands we sometimes put on our spouses. Female fish poop out eggs all over the place, then some male comes along and squirts his magic man juice all over them, they both have a cigarette, get dressed, and go home without so much as exchanging phone numbers and never see the babies again.

Long term monogamous relationships between humans become so prickly, even under the best of circumstances, it is easy to see why many people choose the fish method. Hopefully with the proper contraception so they leave the diseases and children out of the equation. That’s never been my style, I’m a serial monogamist, but I can’t fault in those who never hook up long term.

It’s a lot of work and sometimes maddening. But often sublime, too.

>Mythology Humorolgy

>Today’s Bizarro is brought to you by Men’s Hats.

One of the many things I wondered about the Bible as a youth was why god is always referred to as a “he.” The pronoun denotes gender specificity, which means god has a penis. Why does “He” need a penis if he neither urinates nor reproduces biologically?

Could it be “He” is not literally male, but just representing himself as such so we may relate to “Him” better? If that is the case, the whole “trinity” issue seems ill advised. How can three men (or two men and a ghost) be one man simultaneously? Whether they have penises or not, that’s not very easy to relate to.

Another PR conundrum is that the Old Testament says Jews are the “chosen people.” If “He” created all of the myriad types, groups, ethnicities, and nationalities of people on earth, why choose any one specific group to be your favorite? Seems unfair and a bit contradictory.

So the god of the Bible is male and likes Jews best – let’s think about this. Maybe the answer is right under our noses. Maybe it is because male Jews wrote the Old Testament. Hmmm.

DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against Jews, this post is simply making a point about believing the Bible literally. I have many Jewish friends and neighbors and regard them on an individual basis, just like anyone else I meet. Bigotry against any group is deplorable.
DISCLAIMER 2: I have nothing against the Bible or any of the thousands of other religious texts around the world. I think interpreting any of them as the literal word of god is unwise at best, dangerous at worst. (See Jihad, Crusades, Fred Phelps)
DISCLAIMER 3: I have nothing against men or penises. Mine has long been my favorite organ.

>Farmy Fun

>It’s time again for the June Jamboree at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. It’s this Saturday, only 2 1/2 hours north of NYC, you can get there cheaply and easily on Trailways from Port Authority on 42nd.

Lots of fun, very laid back, meet and hang out with other species, take pictures of your kid licking a pig’s nose. You can’t beat it for the price!

If you’re still saying, “DAN, I WANT MORE INFO!,” click here.

>Toss Me a Bone

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Bizarro is brought to you today by the Magic of Matrimony.

Today’s offering is one of the stranger concepts I’ve bothered to turn into a Sunday comic. I got a few emails about it, not a lot. A couple people really loved it, though I’m not sure what about it they loved, exactly, a couple of people didn’t understand it.

As for myself, I like the strangeness of it and the goofy drawing of the horse, but that’s about all I can say. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have had the wiggly horse walking, come upon a skeleton, then in the final panel the skeleton is gone and the horse is trotting rigidly off thinking “much better.” That might have made a more complete joke.

But when I wrote this, I was thinking of the cliche skeleton in the desert and thought it might be funny to have that skeleton belong to a living, flacid animal, rather than a dead one. As though it had wondered off.

That’s it. No more depth of reasoning or meaning than that.

Special thanks to you readers who stopped by my table at the MoCCA Art Festival in NYC yesterday, where I was doing sketches for charity. Today I’ll be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, perusing the goods. If you spot me and say “Gimee Pie,” I’ll give you a free pack of Bizarro trading cards!!!!!

>Lion All The Time

>Bizarro is brought to you by Animal Planet.

This simple but highly effective pun came from the nobby noggin of my good friend, Cliff, a former pediatrician who now teaches Stanford med students how to intimidate children into remaining still while a stranger jabs them with a long needle.

Cliff is a funny guy with an unusual ability with language. He and I have been collaborating on a sort of comic book written in puzzle form. Cliff writes the puzzles, I do the drawings. It’s a metric buttload of work and unless it sells a frillion copies I’ll never see much money from it. But such is a life in the arts.

Once published, I am hoping each of my three fans will buy a third of a frillion copies so Cliff and I can eventually be paid for our time. Thank you in advance for your help.

Here is a sneak peak at an illustration from the book, with the puzzle removed. We don’t want anyone stealing our mojo. To enlarge it, click the thumb of the cowboy at left.

>Striped

>Today’s Bizarro is brought to you by My Favorite Novels.

True, some of us are predisposed to look heavier.

For instance, even though I am 6′ 4″ tall, my body type makes me look more like 5′ 7″. The illusion my body type creates is so complete that when you hold a tape measure up next to me, it even makes the tape measure look shorter. Again, around 5′ 7″ or so.

Fortunately, I also have a body type that makes me look thinner than I actually am. While I weigh around 225 lbs, I look like I don’t weigh a pound over 140. Living as a big, tall man who looks like a small, thin man has both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: A bully picks a fight with me thinking I am a wimpy little dude but then I kick his ass like an ape on a luggage commercial.

Disadvantage: Women who respond to my personal ads have difficulty hiding their disappointment when they meet me the first time.

The point of all of this is that we all have our imperfections to bear. At least you’re not covered with permanent horizontal stripes.

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