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Bearing Traffic

Bizarro 04-03-16 hdrWEB

(To enjoy a more embiggenated version of this cartoon, click it twice less than thrice.)Bizarro 04-03-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you by Terror Therapy.

As my faithful Jazz Pickles know, I enjoy the occasional pun as long as it is unpredictable and suggests a good picture. This is one such pun, suggested by my friend, Ed Cohen. Ed gave me “Gridlock and the Three Bears” and I came up with the rest. I had a great time illustrating the classic cars, of which I am a fan but cannot afford a warehouse full of like my comedy colleague, Jay Leno has. (The limit of my current budget is one vintage motorcycle, a ’73 BMW.) I think Bunny’s Emergency Pie Repair truck is amusing, as well as the Odd Duck storefront in the background, and I have always been a fan of the AMC Pacer, one of the strangest little cars ever to be mass produced. (People who hated it said it looked like a “pregnant toaster,” but that was exactly why I loved it!) If you click the cartoon and embiggenate it, you will see that where those cars typically had a “Pacer” logo, mine says “Pie”. Other amusing-yet-tiny details are the Pacer’s license plate, which was issued in the state of “Fornia” and the truck’s, which is from a state called “Dohio”. As you can see from the small number above my signature, there are six secret symbols to be found in this cartoon, as well.

Last week’s cartoons looked like this:

bz panel 03-28-16

It is no secret that women tend to enjoy couples therapy more than do men. I think men mostly just want to be left alone to do their thing and leave it at that, whereas women tend to want to tinker and improve “the relationship”. Some might say this is a sexist viewpoint but it has been my experience that things tend to go this way in heterosexual relationships. (I’ve never been in a gay or lesbian relationship, so I’ve no idea if the principle applies there.)  I’m a bit different from most men in that I actually enjoy all kinds of therapy––individual and couples––up to a point. I think it is because I am just egotistical enough to enjoy talking about myself without fear of too many interruptions, even if I have to pay the person to do it. In that regard, I prefer individual therapy over couples therapy, because I get to talk more.

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Some readers were confused by this Daraprim cartoon. You may remember that in September of 2015, some hedge fund manager and colossal asshat named Martin Shkreli started a pharmaceutical company, bought a 62-year-old drug called Daraprim from whatever company owned it, and instantly raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. In spite of the uproar it caused, he refused to change the price and smirked his way through the ensuing media frenzy and theatrical sham of a Congressional hearing. It’s not all bad news, though, because in early 2016 he was arrested by the FBI for securities fraud. But that news isn’t as good as it sounds, because he’s out on bail now and will likely escape any real jail time, as that is typically reserved for people without as much money as he has.

The truth is that this kind of pharmaceutical price gouging has happened to other drugs, too, and that what it actually represents is what relatively-unregulated capitalism has done to our healthcare system. In spite of the grandstanding, almost no one in government or the healthcare industry is actually willing to do anything about this kind of thing, as we saw by the way Republicans gutted Obamacare before passing it.

Here’s a fun exercise you can do at home: attempt to explain the American healthcare system to a European and watch their head explode. Be sure to do this outdoors so the cleanup will be easier.

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Here’s a gag that represents something I’ve been thinking a bit about lately. When you grow up in America, you are regularly told that if you work hard enough, you can become anything you want to be. That’s patently untrue and has, in my opinion, created a country full of people who are deeply dissatisfied with the fact that they are not getting anywhere. The truth is we all have to work our asses off just to get by, and most of us will only do that: get by. If you can manage it without having to dedicate your life to a job or jobs that you totally hate, you’ve beaten the odds. The playing field isn’t level and the rules are stacked against your ever escaping the social class in which you were born. And that’s the best you can expect; in other countries it is mostly far worse. The question is, do we tell children that or keep encouraging them to magically ascend to a life of Kardashian Fabulousness? I don’t know the answer, I’m just asking the question.

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I’m a guy who enjoys living outside the traditional rules of society so this kind of hair replacement really appeals to me. Why wear a wig or have human hair sewn onto your scalp when you can wear a kitten? And believe me, kittens are real chick magnets.

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As I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post, the small number above my signature tells you how many “secret symbols” I have placed in a given cartoon. I’ve been doing this for many years but don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve never noticed. You can read more about this practice here, if you like. In this Time Machine cartoon, I’ve put a “27” above the signature. If you have trouble finding more than two secret symbols, however, notice that the date of this cartoon’s publication is April 1st.
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As I’ve said many times on this blog and even more often in real life, I still cannot believe that the rodeo-clown-baggy-pants-underwear-showing fad was ever popular, much less has lasted for more than two decades. There are actually adults alive today who cannot remember a time when people weren’t going around in absurdly, comically huge pants. Just last week here in Los Angeles, I saw two guys dressed like this working on the sidewalk in front of a local shop.

I based this joke on the popular bumper stickers of yesteryear––“If you can read this you’re too close”. I always wonder about people who put stickers like that on their car. Do they think other drivers tailgate simply because they did not know it was unappreciated by the person in front of them? Do people with “Baby on board” bumper stickers think other drivers will ram them indiscriminately unless they think a baby might get hurt? I think a bumper sticker that says “Explosives on board” would come closer to achieving the goal.

Last thing: A guy I know is selling limited-edition, signed prints of a page of my upcoming coloring book, to be published this fall. The image below comes in two different sizes and is very affordable. They won’t last forever, so grab one here!  (Note: the actual print does NOT have that ©DanPiraro2016 line across the top. That’s just for this web posting.)

Thanks, Jazz Pickles. Have a grand and groovy week!



Bizarro 09-27-15 hdr

(For greater embiggenation, click any kind of fur in any image.)

Bizarro 03-27-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by When Animals Think We’re Not Looking.

If you’ve ever lived with a person who habitually rescues animals, you get this cartoon. I think most people are compassionate to non-human animals but we each have our limits as to how much of our personal space and attention we’re willing to give to them. I used to hang out with a lot of animal rights activists (and lived with one for a while) whose homes were more like the petting zoo tent at the State Fair than what I would call a suitable human domicile. I have no doubt whatsoever that some of them would take in Bigfoot if the opportunity presented itself. No question. And they’d argue that BF was safer and happier as a prisoner of their small apartment than he would be in the wild.

My favorite aspect of this cartoon is the arrogant defiance in Bigfoot’s face and body language. I feel like I’ve seen that look from animals that my former roommate was fostering. And they weren’t all dogs and cats, believe me.

Sidenote: The title panel above was crafted from an old cartoon about Bigfoot that is my favorite of many I’ve done on the subject. See it here.

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Some may think this gag is corny but I love it. I like puns (though not all of them) and this is a visual pun which makes me smile. I can’t remember where now, but this cartoon was posted somewhere on the Interwebs and someone left this comment: “Seems forced.” For a split second I was a little hurt by the insult, but then I realized the brilliance of it and laughed; “forced perspective” is an art term for the way this man is drawn. Whoever left that comment, thanks for the laugh!

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I like doing cartoons about the mythological version of heaven that we’ve all seen a million times. In this one, the ability to stand on clouds is explained. I have to wonder, though, if the repairman was already in heaven and just changed his clothes to repair the floor, or if god killed him just for this purpose.

As long as we’re on the topic, today is Easter which is one of the most peculiar holidays, in my opinion. A guy was tortured to death by his local government and came back from the dead to prove it could be done, and we celebrate it by looking for decorative eggs left by a giant, magic rabbit. Sure, makes perfect sense.

(P.S. I know all the theological reasoning behind the death/resurrection thing, and the historical reasons for the rabbit and eggs thing, so no need to leave detailed comments about that unless you just really want to. I still think it is peculiar and funny.)

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I suspect that those who practice the pajama arts would be quick to point out that breaking things in half with kicks and punches is not the real point of this ancient discipline, but it’s a well-known activity we’ve all seen somewhere and that’s what humor is often based on. When one considers the enormous strength of a large tree, it is a little silly to be proud that you can break a relatively tiny, thin piece of it with a body part. Everything is relative.
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It came to my attention recently that modern American teenagers are not getting their driver’s licenses until they are much older, like around twenty or so. In my day (the late 1900s) it was typical to take the test on your 16th birthday or as soon after as could be managed. Kids these days live on the Internet, though, so leaving the house isn’t a big priority. It is said that teenagers’ brains are not finished developing and this causes them to be poor drivers, so one obvious benefit is that we’re all safer without them on the roads. But perhaps this is also how we will eventually solve the problems of increasing traffic and pollution; everyone will just stay home and experience the world through little screens. If you’re the sort who pays attention to your phone while you’re driving (in my estimate, 90% of everyone on the road) we’re all better off if you stay home anyway.

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I use valet parking now and again, like most people, but it has always struck me how willing we are to hand the keys to a car that cost tens of thousands of dollars to a complete stranger to just drive off in. He may drive to Mexico in it and begin a new life, he may have the flu and sneeze dangerous germs all over your steering wheel, he may pick up drug addicts who may overdose and die in your back seat, or he may park it safely somewhere and give it back to you when you ask. Not great odds.

bz panel 03-26-16

Lately I’ve been getting a massage every few weeks and the rubber-person plays those hippie-dippy tapes of nature sounds and stringed instruments from exotic lands––the sort that make me wonder if I’m about to have a sit-com flashback. One such tape had a lot of babbling brook water sounds in the background and I found it highly suggestive. A reader told me that he used to have the same problem with the trickling spit sink at his dentist’s office. That’s never been a problem for me because dental work always makes me lose control of my bladder and bowels, whether I can hear trickling water or not.

My latest limited-edition cartoon T-shirt will be for sale only until tomorrow afternoon, Monday, March 28, 2016. Grab one now before you can’t grab one later. I use the money from these sales to continue living indoors. Thanks, Jazz Pickles!


Bizarro 03-20-16 hdrWEB

(For a more embigginated experience, click any redish color in any cartoon.)Bizarro 03-20-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Walk This Way.

My cartoon today is about the disappointment one feels when they trust someone to fix things and that person turns out to be a charlatan. We’ve all experienced this with politicians and one can read that message as the subtext to the Wizard of Oz: The man at the top, the Great Wizard of Oz, is just a regular guy pulling switches and levers to make himself seem more powerful than he really is. A person can also easily see this as an allegory of Donald Trump’s current campaign.

Some of my readers hate it when I get political and I understand that, but the current presidential campaign is so remarkable that I can’t resist. Part of what humorists do, and cartoonists in particular, is comment on current events and society. Trump is remarkable not only because of his unorthodox style of campaigning––proudly using vulgarisms, insults, racism, xenophobia, and threats of violence –– but also because the mainstream of his own party doesn’t want him as their nominee. They know that his policies fall under two categories––unfeasible and dangerous––and more importantly that Trump himself knows that. Trump knows that immigrants are not negatively affecting crime or the economy, that all media outlets (other than FOX News) are not lying about everything, that terrorism is not much of a threat to the average American and that it cannot be defeated with a bigger military, and that America is not failing internationally and in need of being made “great again”. But he also knows that there are people who do believe those things and that if he shouts these things into microphones they will get excited. The facts simply don’t support anything Trump says and Trump knows that, but when people become frightened that things are changing too quickly, they want an authoritarian daddy figure to get tough and make things the way they used to be, whatever that means. Trump is quite simply a charlatan cashing in on the fear of the voters.

Meanwhile, the GOP is pretending to be surprised by Trump while they clearly created him. For years they’ve been telling their constituents that the entire worldwide media (other than FOX News) cannot be trusted, that ours is a scary world full of terrorists, that immigrants and non-whites are not to be trusted, that homosexuals are deviants, that liberals/progressives want to take your hard-earned money and possessions away from you and enslave you in a communist work camp. Trump is simply the first candidate to say these things in so many words. He is a predictable result of misleading the public and scaring the shit out of people.

I am happy to say that most Americans are not frightened enough to actually elect someone like Trump to the most powerful office in the world, but it remains to be seen how many people will get hurt in the process of his trying, and how much more damage his rhetoric will do to an already divided nation. I sincerely hope the majority of us have had our fill of the childish schoolyard bullying that FOX News and Trump promotes and America will now begin to embrace a wiser and more mature approach to politics.

Gee, I’m sorry I got so serious there. Even without all that political subtext, I think this is a pretty funny cartoon. I particularly like the Scarecrow getting creamed on the Jeopardy!-style gameshow. This cartoon was a collaboration with a friend of mine in Hamburg, Germany by the name of Michael RothThanks, Michael!

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Here’s a cartoon about how cats stare at you sometimes. You’ll be happy to learn that I see no hidden political message here.


bz panel 03-15-16

Will I ever get tired of doing therapy cartoons? Not likely. There is just an endless supply of humor to be found in this scenario. This one does have some hidden political content though, because Trump and FOX News love to pretend that America’s problems are way bigger than they actually are. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Did you know that the Monopoly man is named Rich Uncle Pennybags and that he was likely fashioned after J. P. Morgan?

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Lots of readers enjoyed this airport cartoon for obvious reasons. I wanted the sign on the right to read “Your Worthless Ass” but I couldn’t get away with that in newspapers so I went for this more civilized version. This is one of those rare cartoons that was born of personal experience because I can’t afford to fly first class and always battle feelings of self-loathing when in line at the airport. I’ve only flown first class twice in my life and both times it was because of some screw-up where they ran out of cheap seats and tossed me into first class with the fancy-pants folks. On both occasions I returned to steerage mid-flight to dance on hay bales while tattered country folk played the fiddle.


bz panel 03-18-16

I’m kind of proud of this cat/mouse cartoon. It’s simple and says a lot about the current narcissistic trend of photographing ourselves doing literally everything every single day.


bz panel 03-19-16

Here’s something super cool: Drew Carey, former standup comedian and possessor of his own sit-com, now gameshow host, tweeted about this cartoon! How cool is that? Here’s his tweet. 

That’s it for this week, Jazz Pickles. I’ve got another one of my limited-time-only Bizarro cartoon T-shirts for sale right now so go grab one and give it to your friend or relative who is always complaining about politics. They’ll love you for it and so will I! Look at it here and now.


Flaming Keyboard

Bizarro 03-13-16 hdrWEB

(Click any image to embiggenate it.)Bizarro 03-13-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Future Clean.

My favorite thing about today’s cartoon (above) is the art, and by that I mean the glow of the fire. I can’t say the joke is all that compelling, to be honest. In the collection of writings that Christians call the Old Testament and Jews call the Torah, god appears to Moses as a burning bush and gives him the famous Ten Commandments. For some reason I thought that if that happened today it would be a burning computer. What bushes have to do with computers is anyone’s guess. I’ve no clue. I’ve nothing more to say about this cartoon other than when you have to write a joke each day for over thirty years, a few are going to be clunkers.

On a side note, I find it interesting that only two of the famous Ten Commandments are illegal in modern societies (killing and stealing) and one more is only illegal if you do it under oath (bearing false witness). I have no point to make here other than that I find it interesting.

bz panel 03-07-16

I like doing cartoons about muppets and other kinds of hand puppets and have done so on a number of occasions.  Here is a favorite from a few years ago, and here is another. I used to do a one-man show called The Bizarro Baloney Show, which was me doing various odd things onstage for about an hour. Within that show I did a couple of bits with hand puppets that looked like dogs and in one of those bits, one dog puppet rips the dog puppet off of the other hand and the naked hand screams “I’m blind! I’m blind!”  Then I’d put the dog puppet back on the naked hand and ask if he was all right. He would say, “Wow, that was freaky!…Let’s do it again!”  Audiences found this funny.

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Regarding this cartoon about a general store in the Old West, I think the sign on the front of the desk is as funny as the main gag.

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Here’s a cartoon that mixes stage magic with the pajama arts, or “martial” arts, as some people insist on calling them. In case you’ve never read those signs on those small storefronts all over the place, “mixed martial arts” is a thing.

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Somebody wrote to me this week and said this kind of thing happened to some people in history once, where they were condemned to die by guillotine, brought up on the platform in front of a crowd, but at the last minute were sent to prison instead. I guess to scare them. I can’t remember now where I saw this or what the details were so I should never have brought it up. My bad.

bz panel 03-11-16

I’ve witnessed many fads that make no sense to me in my life. The most notable one is the practice of some young men of wearing giant, rodeo-clown-style pants so that their underwear shows, but another is this habit of taking pictures of food you’ve ordered in restaurants and posting them on Facadebook. In what world is looking at other people’s food interesting if you’re not a designer of restaurant food? I suppose it goes hand in hand with the other ways in which Americans tend to be obsessed with food these days like the two entire television networks dedicated to food. The whole thing seems to be infringing on the first commandment’s territory: “Thou shalt have no gods before me.” I don’t believe in anything like that kind of god, I’m just saying America’s obsession with food seems to me to be verging on religious.

bz panel 03-12-16

Witches have lots of scary behaviors, like mixing gross things together in a big pot so that somebody they’re mad at will have nothing but bad luck, and being ugly and greenish. But perhaps the most scary thing they do is eat children, which Hansel and Gretel came terrifyingly close to finding out. In the old days witches had to eat them all in one sitting which was very challenging, but these days, with modern plastics technology, they can store the leftovers to enjoy later. If you think this entire topic is disgusting, blame my good friend, Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay, because this cartoon was suggested by him. Cliff has other funny wordplay ideas that he has put into a book that is perfect for a gift, or to leave on your coffee table, or to put with those books that so many people seem to have next to their toilet which always creeps me out because who would want to touch something that someone else has been touching while they are defecating? Get Cliff’s book here and toss the guy a few cents. Your money could not go to a nicer guy.

Flash Fire

Bizarro 03-06-16 hdrWEB

(See some of these images larger by clicking and embiggenating them.)
Bizarro 03-06-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by The First Plausible Explanation I’ve Heard.

There’s a raging controversy on social media this morning about the Christmas tree cartoon above and whether or not the symbol count (small number above my signature) matches the number of actual Secret Symbols hidden therein. Okay, perhaps not a “raging” controversy, but a couple of people have written polite notes asking me what’s up. If you go to and look at the cartoon posted there in the main frame at the top for today, March 6, 2016, you’ll see that the “K2” on the rooftop door of the building in the upper-right corner of the cartoon is missing. I remember when I submitted this cartoon four weeks ago that my editor told me the symbol count didn’t match, and upon inspection I saw that I had somehow deleted the K2 from the door in one of the hundreds of complicated technologically scientific steps it takes to create one of these images. I remember replacing it and sending the corrected one to King Features but somehow it didn’t make it to the online version. I’m not sure if it made it to the newspaper version, perhaps not. So here now is the corrected version with all six symbols. If you want to see where they all are, here’s a version with the symbols circled. 

As for this method of Christmas tree disposal, I’ve not actually tried it so I can’t recommend it without reservation. If the tree is sufficiently dry, it will likely go up in a flash before you can even let go of it, much less hits the ground. So if you’ve got some eyebrows and an arm you’re not fond of, perhaps this would be a good activity for you.

bz panel 02-29-16

On Monday, this Trump/Monroe mashup was published. I got a few angry comments on my Facadebook page admonishing me for being too political but honestly, this cartoon is simply about the ridiculously stupendous comb-over critter living on Trump’s head. I’ve done jokes about it before (as have hundreds of humorists of all types) long before he became a performance artist and began running for president.

But addressing the political side of the topic, I read a fascinating article this past week about how and when people are tempted to vote for brutal, authoritarian personalities like Mr. Trump. It’s based on decades of historical studies and explains a lot about where the world is at the moment and where we may well be headed. The bottom line is that this isn’t just about a single personality; in times of turmoil and fear, voters often turn to authoritarian “daddy” figures who promise to clamp down, restore the status quo, and punish anyone who dares to step out of line. So even if Trump isn’t elected in November, this problem won’t go away with him. Fascism is on the rise in Europe, too, even in normally tranquil countries like those in Scandinavia. Terrorism, social upheavals (refugees, immigrants, gay rights, etc.) and economic stresses cause people to feel uneasy, media and politicians trump up the dangers (pun intended) because it drives voters and ratings, and all of this breeds an increasingly frightened electorate. Under these circumstances, even normally rational voters often indulge in the temptation to elect a strongman who promises to put it all back where it was. (Make America Great Again)   Here’s the article: it’s a bit of a long read but worth it in my opinion.

I’d also like to add that this cartoon is in no way related to the Snickers commercial with Willem Defoe. The original motif is, of course, from a Marilyn Monroe movie called “The Seven Year Itch,” and it has been parodied thousands of times since its release in 1955. I chose it purely because I was looking for a funny way to have his hair blow straight up. I think the Snickers commercial is very funny but I’d not seen it until someone mentioned it to me in relationship to this cartoon.

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That brings us to this disturbing cartoon about a magician. We’re immune to the sight of a man sawing a woman in half but if you interject a baby into the equation, even though we know it is a “trick”, it seems somehow so much more wrong.

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A reader pointed out to me this week that the doctor in this cartoon looks a lot like iconic sportscaster of yesteryear, Howard Cosell. It’s true, it does, but it was completely accidental. As with almost all of my characters, I just made up a face off the top of my head (there’s an interesting phrase) and didn’t think about it resembling anyone famous.

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This cartoon is another attempt to meld mythology with fact, in this case trying to explain the existence and extinction of dinosaurs within the creation story of Genesis. I kind of like drawing the comparison that it took dinosaurs 165 million years to overstay their welcome here on Earth but we’re doing our best to kill ourselves off after only 2% of that time.

Here’s another inventive way to justify Genesis and dinosaurs, and is also one of my favorite cartoons I’ve ever done.
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This nurse cartoon makes me smile. It’s a simple slapstick visual, but it works for me. Someone asked why I didn’t use the term “feel a little prick” but I think the answer is obvious. In fact, I’ve not heard a nurse say that in recent years, probably because they get tired of patients sniggering. By the way, I’m giving blood next week and do so regularly. I recommend you do, too.

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I admit I’m not a fan of so-called “jam bands.” I was once dragged to a concert by one called “The String Cheese Incident” and I made the mistake of being completely sober––perhaps the only audience member who was. Still, I don’t think I could have afforded the amount of drugs it would have taken to make it palatable. It was one of the longest nights of my life. On a side note, I like the stoned skull image I designed for the drum.

That’s the week’s roundup. I hope you found it amusing. Because it’s part of my job, I’ll mention that a unique and tasteful gift for that special someone (or your own damn self) might be a signed, limited-edition, high-quality, artsy-fartsy, framed, fine-art print of one of my favorite Bizarro cartoons. Since the editions are limited, once a given image is sold out you can then chide your friends for the rest of their lives for having missed their chance. And what’s more fun than gloating?! Here are the goods, daddio.


Future of Cruising

Bizarro 02-28-16 HdrWEB

(To engage the embiggenation sequence count backwards from five to zero, then click any image.)Bizarro 02-28-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Relationship Advice.

When I was a boy in the 1960s it was widely believed that flying cars would be a standard feature of my adulthood. The Jetsons promised it and it seemed inevitable. But the lousy driving habits of most people (science has determined that the exact percentage of crappy drivers on the road is everyone but you) have kept that from becoming a reality. Strangers would be crashing into your upstairs bedroom or fifteenth-floor apartment living room.

What we did not see coming, however, is self-driving cars. Even a few years ago I would have thought this was further away than it turned out to be. But now it seems likely that in my lifetime, most cars might be self-piloted. As an avid motorcyclist, I can’t wait for that. Unlike humans, computers actually can update their Facebook status or read and send texts safely while driving. I’ll feel much safer when smartphone-obsessed drivers are safely in the back seat where they belong. Not to mention the alarmingly large number of horrible drivers (everyone but me) who aren’t on their phones, they just suck at driving.

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Thanks to Bernie Sanders, a lot of the talk on the Democrats’ side of the presidential campaign has been about income disparity, so this gag seemed timely. I’m told that “380 times” more is an average amount of disparity between CEOs and workers. I don’t know where that number came from, though, so don’t complain too vehemently if you heard differently. FOX News, which is a shill for big money and monster corporations, will tell you the number is much lower than that and give you a thousand reasons why the handful of folks at the top making enormously huge salaries is good for America and good for you, the little guy. Legitimate news organizations, on the other hand, will point out that wealth continues to move toward the top few percent of people and the rest of us in the middle class are sliding slowly toward the bottom. History tells us that’s not good for society in the long run. I don’t have an easy answer to this, I just think it is worth thinking about. (Sorry to offend those of my readers who trust FOX News but when one network says one thing and virtually everyone else in the world takes the opposite view, you have to wonder about that one network. A quick glance at who their friends are and you have the answer.)
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Here’s a simple gag about people who dress up their dogs. Relax, there’s no political message here.

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As I knew I would, I got a few emails and comments asking what this gag is about. Physicists have long been looking for something they call the “Higgs boson,” which is a particle that is fundamental to particle physics theory. It’s one of the reasons the Large Hadron Collider was built. To be honest, that’s as much as my tiny brain can fathom about it, but it was enough to stage the comic as though a person with a similar name could be mistaken for the particle. I knew when I wrote this gag that it would be hilarious to certain folks and a complete mystery to others. A good friend of mine is a super smart best-selling author of books about cool things that cool people read and he hired me to do some cartoons for his next book. This was one he liked very much but his editor didn’t think was quite right for the book, so I used it in Bizarro. My friend is Daniel Levitin, if you’re curious. 

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Lots of people liked this cartoon about Sean Penn’s proclivity for inserting himself into major news stories. One guy wrote to me to tell me that global warming is a myth that I should not be perpetuating. (sigh)

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I’ve read a few things that say that the streets of Manhattan might well be under a few feet of water in the not-too-distant future. This fascinates me. How will they deal with it? I cannot imagine the city being abandoned. Will they build a dike around the island to keep the water out and just live below sea level? We saw how that worked out for New Orleans. Will they simply abandon the ground level, move everyone up one floor, and fill the canals with gondolas? Anyway, whatever happens and however much the Koch Brothers deny climate change, you can bet they are planning investment strategies to capitalize on it. They’re too smart (and greedy) not to.

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This last cartoon makes me smile. Hope it does the same for you.

That’s my cartoon roundup today so I’m off to my secret underground bunker for another week. But first I’d like to remind you that if you’re looking for a special and unique gift for someone who enjoys art and humor (perhaps that someone is you!) a limited-edition, signed and numbered, fancy-paper fine art print of one of my Bizarro cartoons might be perfect. I sign each one with my own pen, held in my own twisted claw as the print rests serenely on my kitchen table and I struggle to keep my cat from walking across it. What fun it would be to have something on your wall that was once in my modest home! Here’s where those things are being kept.


Uber Ark

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(To embiggenate the ark or any other cartoon, click it with your clickerator.)
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Bizarro is brought to you today by American Political Anomaly. 

The meme behind those blue words above are not my attempt to campaign, I just thought it was a particularly clever and true anomaly of American voters. Polls consistently have shown that most Americans are Christian but most are also terrified of socialism, even though much of our country already incorporates socialist programs that most people love and have no wish to get rid of. And as far as developed nations go––Canada and virtually all of Europe––we’re way less socialist than the other countries we visit on holiday or consider livable. Personally, I’d not want to live in a completely socialist or completely capitalist country. Fundamentalism of any kind ruins everything. It takes a lot of wisdom and maturity to embrace people who believe differently than you do, but I think balance and diversity is the key to happiness and a peaceful society with anything resembling a fair chance for all to succeed.

The Noah cartoon above might be interpreted to illustrate this concept in a roundabout way in that it shows the sort of thing that can happen when we are myopically concerned with life inside our own tiny bubble of experience. It’s a stretch, but it’s there if you know where and how to look.

The title panel art above came from an old Bizarro cartoon that, unlike the paragraphs above, has no philosophical pomposity behind it. But I still think it’s kind of funny.

And now, here are the rest of the week’s cartoons…

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If you live in a big city you’ve likely seen professional dog walkers who have numerous dogs on leashes for big group walks. I’ve always thought it looked like a great way to dislocate your shoulder or maybe lose an arm, but I guess it works. The random thought above occurred to me recently when thinking about this practice. No idea why.

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Here’s a wacky story I found myself in the middle of last week. A guy writes to me on FacadeBook and asks what my comments are on this image. Turns out he runs a FB page about cops (called The Habanero of Texas) and had created and published an extremely similar photo version of this cartoon the day before I published mine. I submit my cartoons three to four weeks ahead of publication, so mine was already in the pipeline, but he had no way of knowing that. At first he thought I’d stolen the idea from him and I can’t blame him since mine appeared the day after his and, as you can see, they’re almost identical. Seems otherworldly, but like most things that seem that way, there’s a logical explanation: Since Uber and Lyft are business models that incorporate cars that are not usually used as taxis, cop cars moonlighting as Uber or Lyft drivers is one of those ideas that is going to occur to lots of people independently. Those of us who write humor for a living find this kind of coincidence happens regularly. The compositional similarities are due to the fact that most car pictures are taken from this angle and he was using what was available; I used it because it is also the best angle to show the cops in the front, the passenger in the back, and a bit of the police sign on the side. Anyway, he and I had a chat about it and he was cool. Here’s his page about cops if you’re interested.

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As a person born and raised in Middle America and who has spent a couple of decades in large coastal cities, I can attest to the truth of this cartoon. Not everyone in both areas reflects this concept, of course, but I have personally witnessed pretentious big-city “foodies” talking about the “look” of food at a given restaurant, and large midwesterners classifying restaurants purely by virtue of the relationship between portion size and price. I was raised in a small town in the middle of the country and still visit my family there yearly. When I do, it occurs to me that there aren’t very many independently owned restaurants with what would pass for good food in New York or LA, but there are an awful lot of all-you-can-eat buffets. And the parking lots of these places are usually full of cars. (And most of those cars are giant SUVs.)

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If you lost someone recently and are not ready for a funeral cartoon, my sincere apologies. On the other hand, I got a note from a funeral director this week who loved this cartoon.

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Here’s a spinoff of the erection drug TV commercials that I thought might raise the eyebrows of some of my client newspapers. As brutally honest as the rest of the content in newspapers can be, most try to keep the funny pages very victorian. To my surprise, I didn’t get a single complaint, however, and that makes me happy. It’s a harmless gag that I find amusing.

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And my final cartoon for the week displays my cynicism toward young marriages. I got married the first time waaaaay too young (21) with predictable results. The second time I married before I had known the person well enough and the results were even swifter and more painful. As much as I try to be the good wedding guest, when the bride and/or groom are under 30ish, it makes it difficult for me to pretend they don’t have a very high probability of a bitter and expensive divorce ahead of them.

For a very long time I was cynical about romantic relationships in general but I’ve since reinvested my faith in partnerships. I’ve come to believe that beneficial romantic partnerships are possible but it takes a lot more than young love and lust to accomplish. A LOT more.

Which brings me to my final point: because of some houseguests, my sweetheart and I didn’t celebrate Valentines Day last weekend when everyone else did. So today I’d like to wish my beloved Olive Oyl a Happy Valentine’s Day. I don’t deserve a partner as wonderful as you but I’m going to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and ride my good fortune as long as it lasts! Here’s a fun VDay cartoon from the archives.

Genius Pets

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(To embiggenate any cartoon in this post, click any blue color.)

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Bizarro is brought to you today by That Pesky Bursitis.

The concept at work in this cartoon is that an occasional member of another species might well have been a genius but because they lived under the control of humans, they might have been stopped from fulfilling their potential. It’s not meant literally, of course, nor am I holding the Three Stooges up to the level of Sir Isaac Newton. What it does bring to mind, though, is the way we as humans like to congratulate ourselves on all the amazing advances and inventions we have created over the relatively short course of our species’ existence. It always occurs to me, however, that all of those advances are due to a very tiny percentage of humans who happened to be brilliant in a certain way. The other 99.9% of us are (and have historically been) as dumb as a box of rocks and pretty much just consume, reproduce, and die, myself included. If all of humankind were like me, there might be some nice art on cave walls but we’d still be wondering what those tiny lights in the sky are and probably believe the moon was an eye in the sky that takes 30 days to blink.

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Speaking of technology, there was some big electronics show in Las Vegas not long ago and, as always, there was a lot of buzz about the latest robots. I’m one of those people who believes that artificial intelligence will eventually surpass us and be able to control us. It’s not hard to imagine us building a system that can think better than we can and independently from us once we turn it on.  And it is very difficult, for me at least, to imagine us keeping a lid on that possibility indefinitely. The “technological singularity” is what we’re calling it. It’s too late to stop it now––the robotic cat is out of the bag, as it were––but I strongly suspect it’s going to be a royal pain in the ass one day not too far into the future. My life already comes to a screeching halt when my laptop dies, which it did just a couple of weeks ago, and that’s nothing compared to “HAL” deciding to lock us out of everything.
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I love to read and virtually always do that on flights now, but I also rather enjoy vegging out in front of a TV screen. There have been times on flights where the temptation to put my book away and channel surf like a zombie has been not unlike the above cartoon, so I’m actually kind of relieved when I board a flight and see that it does not have TVs.

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The size and contents of the universe is a fascinating subject and one far too deep for a nitwit like myself to properly understand. The absurdly complex nature of it is one thing that causes so many of us to believe in grade-school, mythological concepts like the ones in The Book of Genesis and any number of other creation stories. A kindly gray-haired grandpa in the sky is a lot easier to conceive of than quantum physics. And much more comforting in times of trouble, too. That debate aside, however, one thing I know for sure is that every fall, far too many things are pumpkin flavored, which I don’t care for at all.

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Here’s a cartoon that caused an avalanche of comments on my Bizarro Facebook page about who Jesus and Buddha actually were and what they looked like. Many people said they’d never seen Jesus depicted as blond, to which I offer these pictures of a couple of actors who played Jesus in two famous big-budget Hollywood movies. The concept behind this kind of thing is simple: people tend to make gods in their own image as opposed to the other way around, as many of us were taught. 

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I got a few questions from readers asking what this clown cartoon was about. All of them were from readers who only see Bizarro in newspapers, which often print them so small these days that it’s hard to make out more complex art like mine. Sorry about that. Seeing it larger on this blog probably tells you what you need to know but if not, it’s a clown version of Prince Charming who has just witnessed a clown Cinderella run away from The Royal Ball at midnight, leaving only her gigantic, glass clown slipper behind.

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And finally, here’s a funny little notion from my good friend and occasional collaborator, Cliff Harris the King of Wordplay. In the U.S., children and teens who are not driving a car often compete for the front passenger seat by yelling “Shotgun!” which is a reference to stagecoaches in the Old West. The legend is that the person holding the reins of the horses would sit where automobile drivers sit now, and next to him was a guy with a shotgun at the ready to defend the coach against robbers. Here, we use Shogun warriors from Japan.

Cliff and a couple of his buddies are authors of a fun book of wordplay that you might enjoy. Give it a look and pick up a copy. I guarantee that your money could not go to a nicer, more deserving guy.

Unless you send me some of it and perhaps you should. If you read my cartoons online instead of in actual newspapers, you’re getting all of my hard work for free! Wouldn’t it be nice to toss me a buck or two now and then to keep me in the cartoon-writing business? One way to do that is to pick up one of my super nice, limited-edition, signed and numbered cartoon prints! They’re large and quite beautiful and every single one of them has been on my kitchen table where I do my signing! Looky here.




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(Enjoy the delights of embiggenation by clicking any nose within an image.)Bizarro 02-07-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Deep Sea Jazz Pickles.

Today’s big Sunday cartoon is a history lesson wrapped in humor. Two historical facts that one must know to fully appreciate it are these: horses did not occur in the Americas before Europeans brought them, and corn did not occur in Europe until Indians smuggled it in disguised as straight, bumpy bananas wrapped in leafy husks.

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Regarding the cartoon above. English speakers often call an untidy person a “pig,” and an untidy space a “pig sty” but that’s only because pigs cover their bodies with mud to protect themselves from sun damage and insects. This is primarily due to the lack of availability of affordable clothing designed for pigs.  In truth, outside of the mud thing, pigs are quite tidy; they don’t poop in their living spaces (unlike most humans who have toilets in their homes) and they don’t cover their tables and desks with piles of papers and car keys and other forms of clutter.

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Say what you will about physicians who used to be veterinarians, they can be a very good source for an inexpensive, no-fuss vasectomy. As long as you don’t mind a few days of wearing a plastic collar.

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All I can say about the cartoon above is that if you can find a talented therapist who is also an authentic psychic, hang on to them.
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I wanted to create a cartoon that looked like it was about our cave-dwelling ancestors but was actually about modern people pretending to be cave people while on vacation. I’ve not heard of this actually happening but I cannot imagine that something like this hasn’t been marketed before. If it hasn’t, it’s only a matter of time before it is. Oh, and “Cavebnb” is a reference to a popular travel site called Airbnb. 

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I’ve often thought that Wine Spectator (which actually exists) was an odd name for a magazine so I’ve added one called Wine Participant to give it perspective. WP is for folks who like to drink wine, WS is for those who are happy to watch others drink.
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I recently attended yoga classes a few times a week for three years and always found what accomplished yogis could do (virtually always women, in my experience) to be anywhere from impressive to unnatural and gross. I envy them, however, as I believe that flexibility is an enormous key to living comfortably, especially as one gets older. But like most physical pursuits, genetics play a major part and after a few years of working pretty hard at it, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never be particularly flexible. That’s not to say that I haven’t gotten a lot of good out of yoga. I met my partner, Olive Oyl, there (who used to be able do the ponytail pose illustrated above but wears her hair shorter now so has to balance on a can of soda) and I also got my dog from there after a fellow class member had rescued her off the mean streets and was looking for someone to adopt her. She’s pretty good at yoga, too, though when company comes to the house she has a problem with “down dog” until her excitement dissipates a little.

That’s the weekly roundup of Bizarro cartoons, Jazz Pickles. If I make it until next week, I’ll do this again. Good luck!


Big Bed Roll

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(Click any image to make your embiggenation dreams come true.) 
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Bizarro is brought to you today by Remembrances.

I’m a big fan of memory foam mattresses. I’ve slept on all kinds of things and tend to have an achy back (because I am a male Homo sapiens past the age of 35) and memory foam is by far the best for me. They are very strange to try to pick up or move, however, because they are much heavier, floppier, and denser than a traditional mattress. Picking up a queen-size memory foam mattress is not unlike trying to move several adult human corpses stuffed into a gigantic sandwich bag. And the answer to your next question is yes.

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Here’s a cartoon that was suggested by a friend of mine in Canada by the name of Russell Barth. He’s been a prominent advocate for the legalization of marijuana for a long time and is seeing his vision come true bit by bit. If you’re still against it or on the fence about it, keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of bad things you’ve heard about marijuana has been propaganda. Unlike alcohol, it does not make people violent or give them false bravado (and the notion that they are capable of driving safely) nor is it a so-called “gateway drug” to harder substances. People who are programmed to become serious abusers of hard drugs abuse virtually everything, including chocolate and Cheetohs. Marijuana will not make the average person move on to meth or heroin, just as having a beer with dinner will not make the average person start drinking bourbon for breakfast and lunch. I say THANK GOD our society and government are finally beginning to mature enough to realize the absurdity of its categorization as a dangerous drug and are beginning to legalize it. I just pray we have the sense to let people who were caught in that idiotic web out of jail instantly and without a lot of red tape.

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Perhaps you have heard the entertaining theory that aliens instigated the building of the great pyramids in Egypt. I wasn’t there and can’t claim to know the truth, but I do know that humans have an insatiable desire to explain things and we often don’t let an utter lack of plausibility stand in our way.

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In spite of what this cartoon might lead one to believe, I’m a big fan of Segway scooters. I don’t own one––or even want to own one––but I’ve fooled around on them a few times over the years and they’re really fun. That doesn’t stop them from being undeniably nerdy, though. I can’t say why, exactly, but they just are. When they first came out, the New York Police Department bought a bunch for cops to use inside Central Park. Not too long after, however, they discontinued them and the word on the streets was that cops on Segways weren’t being taken seriously. I suspect they knew this because people were pointing and laughing.

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This cartoon came from the fact that I know a few kids who have so many Lego toys that their parents have dedicated what used to be the guest bedroom entirely to them. There isn’t even room for a bed anymore. It seems to me that kids these days have far and away more toys than kids did when I was young. Or, maybe I’m just hanging out with wealthier children now.
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I’m still amazed that I got the term “horse’s ass” into the funny papers. American newspapers used to be so Victorian about language in the comics that this kind of joke would not have been published by all but a very liberal few newspapers. I’m thrilled to say that’s no longer true. Here’s another “racy” gag I published a few years ago. bz panel 01-30-16

This final cartoon today was inspired by tofu, something I’ve never been overly fond of. Come to think of it, tofu is very reminiscent of the stuff memory foam mattresses are made of. Perhaps I should have said in the first part of this post that moving a memory foam mattress is like moving a gigantic slab of exceedingly dense tofu. Not that I’ve ever done that.

That’s all for this week’s cartoon cavalcade of crap. See you next Sunday, Jazz Pickles!

QUICK REMINDER: An art gallery in LA is offering signed, numbered, limited-edition prints of some of my favorite Bizarro cartoons. Talk about a unique gift! Holy Moses! Click these blue letters to see them now!



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