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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…)

Restroom Sketch

Bizarro is brought to you today by

My buddy, Andy Cowan, (former writer for TV shows like Seinfeld, Third Rock From the Sun, and Cheers) and I got to riffing recently on restroom signs and came up with a gob of them. I culled the best of the batch and made this comic for you, which I hope will make you smile. I’ve done a few restroom sign cartoons before. I think it’s an amusing motif, although I got some hate mail for this one. (more…)

Religion Again?

Bizarro is brought to you today by Keeping the Faith.

I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a lovely holiday weekend, and that everyone elsewhere had a lovely weekend in spite of its lack of holidayness. I did what I often do on holidays: stayed home and worked. The Bizarro factory is woefully understaffed and is required to keep cranking out silly drawings no matter the occasion, so if I’m not here supervising it just doesn’t get done. Thank goodness for the foreign orphans I hold captive in my basement working round the clock on this stuff or I’d never get it all done. Thanks, kids! (not that any of them can read this blog) (more…)

Irish Gay Smoking Hatred

Bizarro is brought to you today by Hybrids.

It is St. Patrick’s Day today and to commemorate it, I’m spending most of it worrying that Matthew McConaughey will star in a movie that I really want to see. Not only does he have far too many letters in his last name (blame the Irish) he reminds me of the sort of arrogant rednecks I grew up with in Oklahoma and Texas. He may well be a terrifically nice person, but I can’t watch him on screen. It hurts. (more…)

Man Hate

Oh joy, oh rapture, I’ve received another piece of classic hate mail! I get complaints from time to time – some ridiculous and some legitimate – the vast majority of which I am happy to answer politely.  But occasionally I get one from a rude nitwit that doesn’t warrant a polite answer and when that happens, I bring it to you. Today is your lucky day. (more…)

>Hate Humor?

>Bizarro is brought to you today by The Elephant Boy.

It’s been hate mail week here at Bizarro International Headquarters. I got a few letters on each of the first two comics posted here.

Several people thought that the Elephant Snowman cartoon was insensitive to people suffering from deformities and found it incomprehensible that I made fun of them in this way. I politely explained that I was not making fun of deformities, but simply finding a funny way to lampoon a famous line from a movie, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. It was suggested in strong terms that I apologize to all of the people who suffer from so-called “Elephantitis” (Proteus syndrome) and after a little research I found that there are about 100 such people living in the world today. If any of them are readers of Bizarro, I hope they understood the cartoon the way it was intended. I’m kind of guessing there aren’t any but you can never be too careful.

A side note: I did not receive complaints on either of these two cartoons on the same subject. One. The other.

I thought the hate mail fest was over, but then I got a couple of letters about this spoof of the La-Z-Boy recliner. Apparently people who are related to people suffering from mental disorders, like schizophrenia, object to the term “crazy.” That makes sense, I suppose, but I would contend that this is not a joke that perpetuates the poor treatment of those with mental illnesses, it’s just a silly pun on “lazy”. As with the PC language movement in general, I don’t believe changing what people call people does much to change the way they react to them. I think it’s a chicken-or-the-egg situation: the term “negro” was polite until bigots used it with enough frequency that it became a slur. “Black” wasn’t derogatory when African-Americans chose it for themselves in the 1960s, it became derogatory because it has been standard for decades and bigotry is still common. Eventually, “African-American” will be thought of as derogatory as well. Etc., etc., and on and on. A large percentage of us are jerks, no matter what language we are taught to use.

For the record, I’m not a jerk. I don’t knowingly discriminate against people for things that are beyond their control like appearance, ethnicity, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, height, etc. I often discriminate against people for their beliefs and behavior, however. I’m a discriminating discriminator.

Looking for a smooth segue? How could you ask for a smoother one than from that last discussion to this cartoon about gay horses? I’m so glad that our government has finally joined the 21st century and repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. If someone is willing to wield a gun to defend me I don’t give a damn what turns them on. Of course, it won’t end discrimination, but it’s a baby step in the right direction.

In summary:
I apologize to victims of Proteus syndrome if my joke bothered you.
I apologize to the mentally impaired and their loved ones if my joke bothered them.
I’m a bigot toward bigots and I don’t apologize.
And while I’m at it, it occurs to me that this post wasn’t very funny so I apologize for that, too.

So very, very sorry for so, so much.

If you’d like to peruse many fine products with the above cartoons emblazoned thereupon, click the cartoon.

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>Zilla Math Cell Phone

>Bizarro is brought to you today by No One Zilla.

Today is a special presentation of Unusual Mail From Unusual Readers. The day after the Godzilla cartoon at left ran in the paper, I was copied on the following email, sent to the Tacoma News Tribune editor. The author allowed that I may post this letter here as long as I do not edit it in any way, including his “job title.”

October 19, 2010

Dear Tacoma News Tribune Editors:

I would like to correct a misperception that Dan Piraro, creator of the
“Bizarro” comic panel, has introduced with his 10/18/10 panel. In it he shows a
Godzillan instructor before a blackboard on which the populations of Tokyo and
Wyoming are written (12,790,000 and 493,782, respectively), explaining to a
couple of lecture attendees that “As you can see, the caloric density of Tokyo
is more than two dozen times that of the entire state of Wyoming.” While
technically correct, this vastly understates Tokyo’s superiority as a homo
sapien meat source over Wyoming. Piraro has made the simple error of dividing
the two populations to obtain his “two dozen times” figure. Caloric density,
however, is a function of food source population divided by the food source’s
geographical area. Tokyo covers 844 square miles while Wyoming covers 97,814
square miles, meaning that the caloric densities of Tokyo and Wyoming are 15,154
humans per square mile and 5 humans per square mile, respectively. Thus the
caloric density of Tokyo is more than 3,000 or 250 dozen times that of Wyoming,
not 24 or two dozen as Piraro states. For any species dependent in whole or
part on human flesh for its survival, that is a huge difference. (Why the
difference? Overconsumption of human stock in Wyoming by Tyrannosaurus Dick.)
I don’t wish to unduly criticize Dan Piraro, who is a fine cartoonist, but I’m
sure that if Gary Larson were still covering the animal husbandry beat, this
error would not have crept into the pages of your newspaper. I hope you will
publish this letter to properly inform your readers of Tokyo’s true magnificence
as a food source. To reassure readers unable to afford transoceanic passage to
Japan, I note that the caloric densities of Tacoma and Seattle are 4,107 and
6,799 humans per square mile, respectively. While Seattle-area metropolises
don’t offer as calorie-abundant an environment as Tokyo, Seattleites’ rich diet
of liberal hypocrisy, complacency, and arrogance make them some of the tastiest
eating on the planet.

Sincerely,
Brett Landgraf
The Pink Nigger

His math is correct, of course, and I regret the error. Mr. Landgraf and I have corresponded on another occasion, which I will not post in its entirety here, in which he explained why he insists on being called “The Pink Nigger.” His answer, paraphrased, is that his skin is pink (caucasian) and he is, at least in part, a slave to property and labor markets. My guess is that he is fiercely libertarian, but I could be wrong. Whatever his philosophy, I found his letter amusing and wanted to share. (Note: I’m not one to believe that words are taboo, only context. If I thought his use of “nigger” was meant to promote racism, I wouldn’t have posted it here.)

On to the next cartoon: I thought of this gag when trapped in public on my cell phone during a difficult conversation. I wanted to scream but did not wish to abuse the others around me. And no, it was not a conversation with CHNW.

For today’s blast from the Bizarro archives, click on the No One Zilla link in the first sentence of this post.

Cheers. (salutation, not sit-com)

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>Dog Judge Voyeur

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Jailer’s School.

I got some interesting mail on the dog cartoon. A handful of people wrote to me and said how much they liked this cartoon, two of whom were professional cartoonists. This surprised me a bit, I didn’t think it was all that clever, just sort of a funny visual. One site, The Comics Curmudgeon, one of my favorite daily reads and one that makes its bread by skewering cartoons, posted it just because they liked it. I secretly always wanted to be on that site but not for the eviscerating reasons that cartoons usually end up there. It was a dream come true.

Even more surprising was an email from someone who normally loves my work but hated this one because it was “cruel.” Perhaps they did not realize it is only a cartoon man, no “real” people got hurt.

This brings us to Casual Friday. I’ve never worked in an office with a dress code and have always pitied those who do. It’s particularly ridiculous when you have to wear something completely outside the norm, like a choir robe. Would people show less respect for someone in a suit? The British really go to town with this tradition, dressing their judges up like old women. Even their lawyers (which they have another name for; “chips” is it?) have to wear wigs and doilies. Try as I might, I cannot understand this kind of behaviour. (spelled the British way.) For consistency’s sake, they should also make the defendants dress up in costumes. Perhaps something more amusing to break up all that black and grey. I’d like to suggest a duck costume since if things don’t go well, they may be going “up the river.”

Today’s ancient offering is about history, science, voyeurism and religion. Here in NYC, people regularly spy on each other with binoculars and telescopes. It’s just a given when so many of us live so closely together in high-rise buildings. You get used to it and don’t think anything about it after a while. When I first came to NYC, my future wife, CHNW, used to routinely walk around her apartment at night in various stages of undress. I asked her why she didn’t close her blinds and she said, quite innocently, “What’s the point? The only thing across the street is a rectory full of priests.” (Not to be confused with a rectum full…)

I shudder to think how many crises of faith she instigated as those poor souls struggled to maintain their commitment to celibacy. Except for the gay or pedophile ones, of course.

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>Complaining, Flying, Jumping

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Baby Proofing.

The first cartoon I’ve posted today is one of my favorites in a long time and is my cartoon answer to the sort of folks who write scathing letters to me about something they found offensive about one of my cartoons. Regular readers of this blog have seen a few of the kookier bits of hate mail I’ve received, so you know what I’m talking about.

Recently I’ve begun receiving mail from people who are upset that I put the “K2” into my cartoons. I’ve been doing this for around 15 years, it represents my two daughters, whose names both begin with K (Krapuzar and Krelspeth) but apparently there is some kind of recreational drug or something that goes by K2 now and people think I’m promoting it. Like I would do that. I haven’t bothered to look this thing up so I have no idea what their talking about. Is it illegal? Is it actually dangerous like chrystal meth or is the supposed danger a corporate-inspired myth as with marijuana? For all I know you can buy it at a health food store but it’s cutting into pharmaceutical profits so Fox News is waging a propaganda war against it. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.

This next cartoon is about the constantly growing list of things airlines are charging for. Soon there will be a two-drink minimum. Where will it end? And when will someone invent a way to get a large airplane off the ground without using fossil fuels? There could easily be a time in the near future when there are no airlines because of fuel difficulties. Weird.

From the archives, here is one of my long-time favorites that was used on the cover of one of my early books. An embarrassing first day in Heaven.

CHNW and I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane a couple of years ago. It’s tons of fun and we didn’t die. Unless the afterlife looks just like our normal lives.

As some of you know, I don’t actually believe in any kind of afterlife but it’s such an irresistible premise for cartoons that I use it a lot.

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