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Sideways

Bizarro 01-25-15 hdrWEB Bizarro 01-25-15 WEBbz panel 01-19-15bz strip 01-19-15bz panel 01-20-15bz strip 01-20-15bz panel 01-21-15bz strip 01-21-15bz panel 01-22-15bz strip 01-22-15bz panel 01-23-15bz strip 01-23-15bz panel 01-24-15bz strip 01-24-15(To witness the enlargification of any image in any of my blog posts, click them with conviction.)

Bizarro is brought to you this week by No Laughing Here.

I’ve been spending more time lately on my fine art so this museum gag especially appealed to me. The wordplay was devised by my good friend and occasional collaborator, Cliff The King Of Worldplay. If you don’t get it, you’re likely unaware that the terms “portrait” and “landscape” refer to the orientation of the rectangle: taller than wide is portrait, wider than tall is landscape. I could also have made this a picture of a painter and called it “Landscape of a Portrait Artist.” But I didn’t.

By the way, I am accepting commissions in the fine art field at the moment, so if you have some discretionary funds and would like an original painting or drawing from the likes me of, let me know. Soon I will be adding a link to this site with some of my fine art, so you can see the fairly large difference between it and my cartoon style.

On to last week’s cartoons…

Monday: As anyone who knows anything about the rest of the animal kingdom knows, our fellow primates find our rushing around to “accomplish” things hilarious. As do many of us, even though we can’t stop.

Tuesday: This is almost a private joke for myself in that I have lived in California for three years and am still struck by the ubiquitousness of yoga studios here. But that’s a good thing; yoga is good for people both mentally and physically, and can even benefit one spiritually if it is taken in that direction. As for me, I met my beloved Olive Oyl in a yoga class and got my horse-monkey-dog, Jemima from a lady in my yoga class who’d rescued her from the streets of her ‘hood.

Wednesday: Here’s another gag some folks might have to do some research to understand. Google “Claes Oldenburg” and you’ll see that he is an artist famous for constructing enormous versions of everyday objects.

Thursday: I have no explanation for how or why this Abraham Lincoln gag occurred to me. But once it did it made me chuckle so I drew it for you. No, it has no hidden meaning. He’s just comforting a little girl who presumably has a beard.

Friday: I thought of the idea of a passive-aggressive terrorist and wondered what that might look like. So this is what I came up with. Maybe you’re not required to separate your recycling in your area, but surely you are familiar with the concept.

Saturday: Well, the week just kept getting weirder for me. Don’t ask me why a guy who looks like an old-world shepherd but is really a “shepheard” is at a fancy cocktail party because I haven’t a clue. Sometimes strange things amuse me.

 

 

30 Years of Shits & Giggles

Bizarro sock exchangeWEB Bizarro Cow Court 1985 WEB Bizarro Alien OutletWEB BizarroPigeonStatue1985WEbPIraroPubShot1988 WEBOn this date thirty years ago (January 21, 1985 if you don’t have a calculator handy) I got out of bed early and hurried out to the front porch of my cheap little rental duplex on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, to get the latest edition of the Dallas Times Herald. In it was the very first Bizarro cartoon ever published.

That means I’ve published 10,950 cartoons as of today. What?!

My career started 10 years before I owned a computer so my first decade of work was not digitized and I’ve no idea where my early work is in my archival catacombs. I’ll be honest, as I review my first year of work now, I can’t find much to recommend it. In my humble opinion, the art was stiff and a bit sloppy, and the gags were mostly lame. I’ve pulled a few of the less embarrassing ones from my first compilation book to show to you here today.

I’ve enjoyed my career and feel very blessed that I’ve been able to make a decent living as an artist. Even though I never got rich off Bizarro (and likely never will) as a college dropout  wandering into the workplace unprepared, I beat the odds by any standards and can’t complain. I’ve met some fascinating people, been to some cool places, and gotten some inspiring feedback from readers who’ve felt I’ve made a difference in their lives in some small way. I’m not one to live in the past, but upon reflection I must say that cartooning has been much better to me than it needed be, and I am indeed fortunate.

Also, just for kicks, I’ve included one of my first official publicity shots. It was concocted the old-fashioned way, before the days of Photoshop; I drew a bunch of cartoon images on a big sheet of butcher paper, then drew some more with fabric paint on a white, long-sleeved T-shirt, then stood in front of it and had my picture taken. After the film was taken to the drugstore for development, I zeroxed the photo and colored my face and the nose of the character just behind me with colored pencil. Then I took another picture of the final result and mailed it to the PR department of my syndicators. (God, how did we have that much patience back then?!)

Anyway, thanks for being a Jazz Pickle for however long you’ve been reading my cartoons. Without you, I’d be working in the stockroom of a local art supply store still.

 

Week That Was

Bizarro 01-18-15 HedrWEBBizarro 01-18-15 WEBbz panel 01-12-15bz strip 01-12-15bz panel 01-13-15bz strip 01-13-15bz panel 01-14-15bz strip 01-14-15bz panel 01-15-15bz strip 01-15-15bz panel 01-16-15bz strip 01-16-15bz panel 01-17-15bz strip 01-17-15(Go ahead and click any of these images and see if I care.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Five Cool Dudes Having a Ball.

I’ve been blogging less frequently lately because I’m working on an oil painting commission and need the extra time. It’s coming along fine, thanks for wondering. I’d like to do more fine art before I die and since I’m old and nearly dead, it’s time to get started on that before it’s too late.

Today’s cartoon stars my beloved Olive Oyl and her cat, Boo. I’m told by one of my Jazz Pickles that Gary Larson did a similar gag back in the 80s and, following the link he provided, I saw that he is correct. Sorry about that. It’s a little embarrassing, but these things happen to cartoonists all the time. His had no secret symbols to look for and mine has seven, though, so there’s that.

Reviewing the cartoons from last week, we have a “hands-on” therapist doing something of a Vulcan Mind Meld on Monday.

On Tuesday a thief is reminded that he’s supposed to take food with his drugs. Since someone invariably asks, I reversed the image between the strip and panel version in order to keep the punchline as close to the end of the reader’s experience as possible.

Wednesday’s cartoon was particularly enjoyed by my friend Randall, from Tulsa. He’s an engineer and says they like to make fun of architects. I didn’t know that but I’m happy to have helped, Randall.

Last Thursday’s cartoon was (and still is) a satire of the Flintstones. As everyone will doubtless remember, Fred’s car didn’t have an engine, he just used his feet to get it moving. Because at least one reader asked about the cables with paddles, I was referring to that contraption they use to zap someone’s heart back into working. Maybe they call that thing a defibrillator, but I’m not exactly sure.

Friday’s cartoon is a hilarious bait-and-switch style gag that plays with the idea of an Indian restaurant. Why aren’t there American Indian restaurants? They probably dined on delicious, healthy cuisine before the White Man arrived with his fast food franchises and high-fructose corn syrup.

Finally, we have Saturday’s cartoon which is about the ubiquitous pumpkin-flavored stuff in America every fall. I dislike pumpkin-flavored things so this gag came from my own personal struggles to keep such things out of my mouth. I wrote, drew, and submitted this cartoon weeks ago but since then have seen a few other everything-is-pumpkin-flavored cartoons. I guess the fad hit critical mass this past year and became a part of the collective unconscious (not the correct usage of that term but you get the idea.) Or maybe people do gags about this every year and I just haven’t noticed, which would be very likely since I don’t much follow cartoons.

PAZZ JICKLES: Exactly a certain number of years ago today, the following cartoon was published in newspapers around the world. This is notable because three days from now is the 30th anniversary of Bizarro. Yes, the first Bizarro cartoon appeared in newspapers on January 21, 1985. How did it suddenly become thirty years later?! It makes my brain hurt. It also makes me feel old. (See comment about my impending death above.) biz03tscooWEB

Civilized Saucers

Bizarro 12-07-14 hdr Bizarro 12-07-14 WEB(Treat yourself to a larger version of these images by clicking them!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Perfect Gift.

Have you ever felt the need to run away from “civilization” and live a more natural life? It seems to me that there is little about civilization that is civilized and little about humans that is humane. Accordingly, I have found myself rethinking my choices in this world. It’s not that civilization is treating me badly, it most certainly isn’t, especially on a worldwide scale. It’s more about getting in touch with what I am, not what I’ve become as the result of social pressure and historical tradition. In my recent readings about the origins of human societies, I’ve begun to see that we are far from what we should be, and my instincts tell me that I’d be much happier and live a more meaningful life if I were more true to my nature. That’s where my head’s been at lately and why I wrote this cartoon.

OLD BIZNESS: I came across this cartoon from 2002 on a different subject and thought it was amusing. I share it with you now in hopes that you will, too.Bizarro 10-27-02 WEB

Genesis Fat Brat Drugs

bz panel 12-04-14bz strip 12-04-14bz panel 12-05-14bz strip 12-05-14bz panel 12-06-14bz strip 12-06-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Man with Huge Wiener.

So I was thinking what would happen if Adam and Eve’s neighbors happened by just as they were standing naked together, talking to a snake and eating a piece of “forbidden” fruit. Now, I know in the classic version there were no neighbors because Adam and Eve were the first humans, but according to the same story, they had a couple of sons, Cain and Able, and one of them grew up and got married. So where did his bride come from? This leads me to believe that either this is a traditional myth used to teach a certain lesson, or incest was okay for a very long time (until there were enough people to find someone to mate with to whom you were not very closely related.)  Ew. I’m going to assume it is a myth.

Another myth in our culture is that women actually want your honest opinion when they ask if they look fat in something. The lady in this cartoon decides to only ask the question once, with all her dresses on at the same time. I like that idea––one question, one lie.

My final salvo this week is a cartoon with an editorial message on the childish behavior of our species toward each other, the rest of the planet’s inhabitants, and the Earth itself. I’ve been reading a lot lately about anthropology and where we went wrong, mental health in a materialistic, technological world, and the science behind spirituality. (Yes, there actually are areas where the two intersect and it is fascinating, especially to this diehard atheist.) I’ve never been so enthralled by a subject. Olive Oyl and I are currently transitioning off of our anti-depressants for good (we hope) with a fairly rigorous regimen of vitamins, minerals, exercise, and meditative practices. We’re both excited to be able to say goodbye to the sinkhole that is allopathic medicine. I’m convinced that pharmaceuticals are among the worst things ever invented by humans. Many bacteriologists are confidently predicting the end of our species will not come in the form of climate change or nuclear war, but disease  and bacteria that is smarter than us or our antibiotics. I’ll let you know how it goes (regarding our quest to be happy without pharmaceuticals, not the end of human civilization.)
BIZARCHAEOLOGY: From the year 2000 I bring you a cartoon about which I have just spoken in the paragraph above. Stay tangy, Jazz Pickles.bizarro 03-03-00WEB

Chiropractic Tarzan

Bizarro 11-30-14 hedrWEB Bizarro 11-30-14 WEB (Click the images to make them look bigger with suddeness.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Nothing a Can of Gasoline and a Match Wouldn’t Cure.

Sorry for the missing posts over the weekend. The site was wearing it’s cranky pants and wouldn’t let me post.

This is the most literal example of “gallows humor” you may ever see. And in the end, it isn’t dark at all, which sort of takes it out of the category altogether. Oh, the contradictions of life.

Those Jazz Pickles who are paying close attention may notice that I’ve used this background before. I switched it up a bit and moved things around and added some stuff to suit this gag, though. I figure if Hollywood can reuse sets, why can’t I? If you want to compare and contrast, here’s the previous use of which I speak.

BIZARROLD: In the archival section today, I offer you a vision from 2004 of what Tarzan might’ve looked like had he been raised differently. Bizarro 03-14-04 TarzanPenguinWEb

Basketboulder

Bizarro 11-16-14 hdrWEB Bizarro 11-16-14 WEB(Click any image for a bigger look!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Why Wash When You Can Bash?

My mind wandered recently about the beginning of basketball and wondered what they used for the ball before modern technology created what we now use. Going further back, I imagined this scene of a couple of cave dudes fighting over a boulder. Since I am not a terribly tall person (3’7″) I’m always last to be picked for basketball teams. That is, until they find out that I can fly, and also become invisible at will. Who’s laughing now, tall people?

NEW TOPIC: There are only FOUR DAYS left to nab one of my limited-edition Bizarro Jazz Pickle T-shirts!

After that, this design (3rd in a series) will disappear forever, the way most people wish Kim Kardashian would.

Black line work on light shirts here.                   White line work on dark shirts here.

Because Adam Levine and Scarlett Johansson were recently voted “sexiest human members of their species and sexes,” here’s what they would look like in my T-shirt. (Available in many styles and colors, not just short-sleeves and orange.) Aren’t they sexy? You will be, too. AdamScarlett

Quintuple Cavalcade of Comedy

Bizarro is brought to you today by Tiny Alien.

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Monday: Dogs are funny. Dogs without electronics are just sad. (Get a print of this cartoon.)

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Tuesday: I was on a jury once for a one-day civil trial and it was boring as hell. I can imagine after a long trial wishing that someone would kill me. (Get a print of this cartoon.)

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Wednesday: Some birds dig predigested worms and bugs from their mother’s throat when they’re young. This guy is one of those, but he needs to grow up. (Get a print of this cartoon.)

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Thursday: If you find yourself tempted to believe that any substantial amount of America’s problems are being caused by illegal aliens, remind yourself that historically this is an ancient technique by dishonest governments to shift blame. And it almost always works. In this case, the corporations who run our country and their puppet politicians say, “Yes, things are lousy, but it isn’t our fault. It’s their fault!” Then they point to illegals, gay marriage, abortion clinics, terrorists, climate change scientists, whatever “other” they can find to unite the rest of us against something other than those in charge. Don’t fall for it. You’re smarter than that. (Get a print of this cartoon)

DEJA VIEW: Since Tuesday was Election* Day in the U.S., here’s a cartoon from 2001 in which I recommended some things I thought could improve the country. None of my suggestions were followed as near as I can tell.Bizarro02-11-01WEB

*A choice between two politicians already chosen by the corporations who run America.

DNA Hippo Can Bellbottoms

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Granny Sale.

 

It’s Saturday, so I’m posting the silliness exhibited in Bizarro since Thursday. If that confuses you, consult your local calendar expert. I have no specific comments to make about any of them. I know, it is rare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REZARRO: From Bizarro of 1998, I offer you this other bit of foolishness that has deep, hidden meaning. Let me know if you figure out what it is so I’ll have a good answer should someone ask.bizarro981002WEB

Mass Entertainment

bizarro 10-05-14 hdrWEB Bizarro 10-05-14 WEB Bizarro is brought to you today by Wildlife Sighting.

I wrote today’s cartoon with the “dumbing down” of American audiences in mind but I used gross exaggerations to do it. I’m not one to have season tickets to the symphony, either (though I’ve been a few times and enjoyed it) and most Americans wouldn’t watch a man eat a piano for long, but there are plenty who would. As I think about it now, though, there has always been a wide audience for lowbrow entertainment and a smaller one for higher quality endeavors of any kind, so this is nothing new. Even in Shakespeare’s time, the theater across the street was offering amateur juggling competitions called “England’s Got Balls,” and these shows were much more popular than Hamlet and the like.

I’ve recently been intimately involved in a reality show here in the U.S. called “Utopia.” I am only the host and narrator so I have no control over the show whatsoever, but it has been my first close look at this kind of programming. I’ve never watched a reality show before, so it’s been an education for me. As a member of the show, I’ve got to watch all of the episodes, usually more than once, to learn the plot lines and personalities so I can apply the correct emphasis to my lines. This is not only my first time viewing a reality show but the first time I’ve been required to watch any TV program. I have to admit that over time, however, I’ve become interested and invested in the people on this show.

But my taste is more towards the eccentric, so I am not as interested in the “normal” people on the show (if any of them can truly be called normal) and more fascinated by people like ex-convict Dave, who couldn’t seem to go more than a few hours without blowing up, intimidating people, and applying the tenets of jail-yard politics to the most miniscule situations, and Hillbilly Red, who is so  melodramatically independent that he could barely make it through a single episode without seceding from the rest of the group because he was not acknowledged as having the most important opinion on everything from money management to seating arrangements at the communal table. Now that they are gone, I’m counting on Bella to stop behaving herself (a recent development but one I hope doesn’t last) and Taylor and Hex breaking up and challenging each other to a cage fight. (BTW, my money would be on Hex) Of course, without Red there, I’m not sure if any of the remaining cast have the skills to build a decent cage. Time will tell.

There are two “newtopians” in the compound, vying for the spot of Red, who was voted out this past week. After a few days, the rest will vote on which one they will allow to stay. I know which one I’d choose––the weirdest one––but I’m not saying which one I think that is. Some people have suggested I be the next “pioneer,” but I don’t think living with a cigar-smoking, wise-ass, vegan cartoonist is anyone’s idea of utopia. Except my beloved Olive Oyl, of course.

BIZARRCHIVES: From 1999 is this “modern” take on “Gilligan’s Island,” a show that was popular in the 1960s. It occurred to me while writing this post that this was a show that attempted to do with scripted comedy what many reality shows do today; put an odd group of people who would never know each other in real life into a situation in which they have to cope and survive. In my updated version, the show never takes place because everyone has a way of connecting to the rest of the world and they get rescued the same day. Note that “beepers” were still in the mix back then. biz34tscGilliganWEB

 

 

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