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Environmental Bird Poo Pundit

Bizarro is brought to you today by Not My Lunch.

When drawing this cartoon I was looking on the Interwebs for reference for a Smart Car and found a picture of one that had actually been converted into one of these big-wheel beasts. Of course. I should have known someone would. How much did they spend? Was it worth it? Does he get paid for showing up places with it? Is there a point to it other than to own something weird? Not judging, just wondering. (more…)

Puppet Fish Wood Shaking

Bizarro is brought to you today by Glee!

First, let me thank all of you who left comments on my last post. It’s great to hear from so many of you. Cartooning and blogging can be lonely activities; you create stuff, send it out into the world and wonder if anyone sees it. Before the Interwebs, it was really lonely. The occasional bit of snail mail was all you had to tell you if anyone was reading. (more…)

Stupid Heat

Bizarro is brought to you today by I’m Out Of Town and Trying To Do This Quickly So I Didn’t Take The Time To Find A Clever Picture.

Damn, it’s hot down here in Texas. Today we go to Oklahoma where it is even hotter. It’s miserable, but I do take some comfort in knowing that Oklahoma is the state of  Senator Jim Inhofe, the single most outspoken opponent of  Climate Change and all things scientific (I can’t swear to it, but I’d bet he believes in the creation story of Genesis), and one of the singularly stupidest people holding any kind of office anywhere. Except for Michelle Bachmann and if Sarah Palin is ever elected again. I hope he’s frying is ass off. (more…)

>Halloween

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Pumpkin
Abuse.

It is Halloween weekend and if I were a 10-year-old child I’d be getting my costume ready for trick-or-treating. But since I am ancient and my sciatica is acting up, I’ll probably stay in with my nurse and have her rub liniment on my lower back. Did I mention my nurse is a 24-year-old student from Sweden?

A few years ago, I started doing “Scariest Halloween Costumes of (year)” Sunday cartoons and have kept that tradition. Here today are all of them since 2007 when I began.

(click the cartoon images for a biggerer view)
As you can see, the first one is graphically fairly simple in comparison to what I did in later years. In this one I referred to global warming, the lead toys from China scandal, NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting problems, more about the environment with the over-zealous breeders, and the consistently abhorrent anti-role models, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Strangely, I got the most hate mail about the population crisis. Many fundamentalist Christians took exception to my contradiction of their lord’s instructions to “be fruitful and multiply.” I still contend He was talking about practicing your math skills.

In ’08, an election year, I touched on the collapsing economy and blamed it on the Republicans, which everyone but a die-hard Republican would agree with. I also hit the TV writer’s strike, which has pretty much been forgotten by now. I expected hate mail about the drunken elephant and got some.

2009 brought the term “Zombie bank” into the popular lexicon, which was a natural for this. It was also the year Kanye West made an ass of himself at the MTV awards (or whatever it was), Michael Jackson died, and Fox and it’s minions funded and organized the faux grass-roots protests about health care reform. I got hate mail about the health care reform aspect on this one, of course.

This year’s cartoon does not touch on political events at all, though there were plenty of easy targets. The Fox News funded and organized, faux grass-roots Tea Baggers would have been an obvious choice but American politics have become so incredible incendiary and stupid that I no longer bother to editorialize. (Except here on this blog.) I’ve decided that such things do nothing to change anyone’s mind and amid the current epidemic of idiocy, I might get tarred and feathered or lynched. Still, I think the three topics I chose are funny, especially the little Jesse James Nazi kid with his toy chopper bike. Although Jay Leno stealing candy from a baby makes me smile, too. I can’t imagine what hate mail I could get from this one but I’m often surprised. I’ll keep you updated.

Have fun on Halloween this year and be safe. Unless being safe ruins your fun, in which case you should just go for it. What’s a few less humans on a crowded planet?

>The Flood

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Human Ingenuity.

Every thinking person has considered at one time or another how the world will end. By “the world” we always mean humanity, of course, as if the entire existence of the planet were about us. It is a common religious tenet that the world was created for humans but this self-centered idea is one that I believe to be born of ignorance and superstition.

I was indoctrinated with this concept, too, and believed it for most of my life; it’s difficult to let go of things ingrained in us when we are very young. But acquainting myself with the body of knowledge about the earth and the universe that humans have gathered with our nimble brains over the past several thousand years, it became increasingly obvious that nothing could be further from the truth. We are but passengers on a ship along with millions of other species of plants and animals, all of which balance rather delicately upon each other.

There is also human arrogance in the idea that we will end it all with some amazing invention like the atomic bomb – killed by our own awesomely ingenious amazingness. Oh, the tragic drama of it all. In fact, it looks as though the end of us will be at the hands of a leaky pipe.

As T. S. Eliot said, “Not with a bang but a whimper.”

>Big Complaints

>Bizarro is brought to you by Environmental Catastrophes.

I’ve seen a lot of cartoons on the BP spill but I’ve not seen this done. My friend, Richard Cabeza, had this idea and I really like it.

I’m not going to discuss the spill much other than to say it is a heartbreaking catastrophe of our own making. An even larger catastrophe is commercial fishing in the past 100 years. Experts estimate as much as 90% of large fish are gone from he oceans as a result. The ocean is the weather engine of the planet. We screw that up, the whole thing implodes.

On a slightly different note, I found a YouTube video of a Texas guy calling Jimmy Dean Sausage to complain. It is hilarious, tragic, and says a lot about what’s wrong with us. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

It has a lot of what many people consider to be “bad language” so I’m only providing the link, as opposed to posting the actual video. Gotta keep my site mostly family friendly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RNb3tt0LM

>Bigfoot Follies

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Science.

A lot of cartoonists do holiday-themed cartoons on major holidays as a matter of routine, I only do them now and then. If I can think of a good one far enough ahead to use it, I will, but I’m often oblivious to the date or what’s coming up in the next month or two so it just doesn’t work out. A few days before Xmas this year, for instance, I thought of a great cartoon about the Three Wise Men but, alas, it will have to wait until next year.

I like this one because it makes a ridiculous connection between two very unlikely bedfellows. The idea of Bigfoot throwing presents through people’s windows makes me giggle. And giggling is good.

Today is the day after New Year’s Day, sometimes referred to by laymen as January 2nd. My good friend and genius cartoonist, Reuben Bolling published a particularly brilliant cartoon today so I thought I’d post it here for your edification. Hope you like it, hope you have a prosperous ’10.

Click the cartoon to biggernize it.

>Phonetic Vision of the Future

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Stiff People.

Like most modern people in industrialized nations, I wear glasses and take the eyesight they afford me for granted. I didn’t need them until I was 38 and my ophthalmologist told me that almost no one makes it past 40 without needing glasses. Apparently, that’s just how long human eyes typically last before warping.

Up until relatively recently, however, glasses were not available to most people. So, the vast majority of our ancestors who lived beyond 40, lost their ability to read or do tiny detailed work and walked around in a blurry, ill-defined world. What a fuzzy drag.

I, for instance, occasionally lose the microscopic screw that holds the arm of my glasses to the frame and have to replace it. I can’t wear my glasses while doing this, of course, and it is nearly impossible to line up the holes, get the screw in and tighten it without being able to see it clearly. And though I don’t need my glasses for driving or getting around the house, I cannot read or draw without them, so if I did not have access to them, my career (and also my favorite pastimes) would be down the toilet.

Part of the story is that most people didn’t live much beyond 40 until recently, and, once dead, weren’t using their eyes anyway. But those who did live longer were just out of luck. Michelangelo, for instance, lived to be in his 90s and one can track the deterioration of his eyesight through his work. He did this in his twenties, and this in his eighties.

If humans last on this planet, and that’s a formidable “if,” I wonder what sort of current hardships that we take for granted will amaze our descendants.

Blog of the future: “Up until relatively recently, if people wanted to reproduce, they actually had to squeeze babies out of their bodies. I, for instance, don’t have a uterus or vagina, so I would have had to find a woman who was willing to…”

Who knows?

>Zombie Therapy

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Fashion Police.

Monsters who feel remorse for their behavior is a regular theme in vampire dramas – HBO’s “True Blood,” the film, “Twilight” – so I thought it might be fun to extend the same feelings to a zombie. He eats people’s brains, then feels bad about it. If only Karl Rove were capable of such emotion.

A libertarian reader told me recently that he believed government should stay out of our way because most people are basically good and will do the right thing without government intervention. He called my view that humans cannot be trusted, “cynical.”

He’s absolutely right, it is cynical. I also happen to think it is realistic and accurate, as witnessed by recent human history. (By “recent,” I mean the past 100,000 years.) While most “individuals” might be good, groups of idividuals in power cannot be trusted. Corporations are amoral by definition – their sole purpose for existence is to make money, not serve humanity – and the very small percentage of people who rise to the top of corporations are very often as unethical and unrepentant as a zombie. That’s how they get there. Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, Dick Cheney, everyone on Wall Street, etc.

People who rise to the top of government usually have the same problem, of course; power almost always corrupts. But the difference is that government is not amoral by definition and in a republic such as ours, the politicians eventually, in some way, must answer to the rest of us. That is to say that if things get out of hand we can fire them, as we did to so many Republicans in the last election. (Of course, people have to be smart enough to figure out they are being screwed, which sometimes takes a while, but that’s another story.)

It’s not perfect, god knows, but it’s better than letting markets police themselves and not screw the rest of us (see Wall Street, last eight years), and corporations not to pollute the planet and sell toxic goods to the rest of us (see last 60 years), and people to treat each other fairly and not seek to destroy those with more skin pigment. (See Civil War, civil rights movement, “birthers,” current town hall hooliganism over health care, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Rush, etc.)

Stories about zombies and vampires are popular because they are a metaphor for our actual lives as we struggle to avoid the bloodsuckers and braineaters at the top. What discourages me most is when the monsters find ways to scare their prey into fighting for them, instead of against, as they have done so often in the past decade and most recently with health care reform.

Enough seriousness, now this.

>Kids Today

>Bizarro is brought to you today by the Talent Portion of our Competition.

Yes, it’s another one of those preachy, vegan editorial cartoons. Sorry, but it’s a fun angle with a silly picture and it was conceived by my eighteen-year-old protege, Victor, who has been donating the occasional cartoon idea to Bizarro since he was a mere 15.

I had to fix it a little, but basically the idea was his. Although he had an alligator, a worm, and a container of talcum powder instead of farm animals, and the line was not exactly the same. Victor’s original line was “What about Churchill?” And the chalkboard was a little different in his version, in that it was a deflated hot air balloon hanging over a clothesline, but basically it was the same gag. I just punched it up a bit.

So little Vic, or “Vickydoo” as I call him, was on vacation in NYC with his family recently and came by the house. We had cocktails on the veranda, then went to dinner and a nightclub, followed by dancing. All while wearing tuxedos and glittery gowns like those old Fred Astaire movies. It was mahvelous.

Enjoy now this photograph of Vickydoo and Yours Truly partaking of scotch and cigars on the couch at Bizarro Headquarters.

While you are at it, gaze upon this adorable depiction of the youngster wearing one of my hats. He was so excited most of the evening, his mouth gaped open like a catfish.

Finally, I offer this charming photo of little V wearing CHNW’s motorcycle helmet and mugging for the camera with me and a local homeless man.

If Victor and his family had half as much fun that evening as CHNW and I did, they had twice as much fun as someone who had no fun at all.

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