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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:

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



Bizarro 02-07-16 hdrWEB

(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!


Institutional Solopsism

Bizarro 01-10-16 hdrWEB

(To add embiggenation to these cartoons, click any pinkish color within any image.)Bizarro 01-10-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Precious Moments.

I almost never write cartoons based on actual experiences but this one is an exception. I was sitting in a cafe one day having lunch with my beloved Olive Oyl, and in a booth in the corner was a young millennial couple doing what young lovers that age do: staring into their cell phones and completely ignoring each other. (This is the new look of courting, and wow, is it hot.) Suddenly, the young man said quietly and blandly, “selfie,” and they both came to life like corpses hooked up to a generator. They posed as though they were having the wildest time two humans could muster without being arrested, held it for 2.4 seconds, then went back to their cell phone comas as though it had never happened. I don’t think they spoke another word to each other or moved more than a degree or two in either direction until they left. I whispered “thank you” to the universe for dropping such a perfect cartoon into my lap.

I’m also quite fond of the title panel above. It was cobbled together from an old cartoon that had a caption but I think it stands just as well by itself. The original cartoon is beneath the “Precious Moments” link above.

But what about the rest of the cartoons from last week? Let’s review:

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Here’s a cute little funny about a rodent who has fallen victim to a medieval boobytrap. Painful, yes, but it could’ve been worse.

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I actually like accordions and I don’t believe poltergeists (or poultrygeists) but having one of these things in your house would be a real inconvenience. After you’d showed it to all your friends and had a good laugh, that is.

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As a handful of good samaritans and a couple of sanctimonious oafs told me, there is no such thing as “elephantitis.” The correct term is “elephantiasis.” I admit I’ve never heard or read the correct term, I’ve only heard of elephantitis, so it was an honest mistake. However, even if I had known the correct term I’d likely have used the incorrect one because it is my belief that this is the common vernacular, and since I’m writing a cartoon and not a journalistic piece, I like to use the form most readily recognized by most people so they get the joke quickly and don’t have to wonder what it means. Here’s a favorite old cartoon of mine that also uses an incorrect medical term or two.

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This cartoon got a fair amount of attention on social media. It’s a truly brilliant pun and I wish I could take full credit for it. It was the brainchild of my good friend and occasional collaborator, Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay. Puns can be an “easy” form of comedy and one that is widely disrespected as a result of that, but in my opinion a truly clever and surprising pun is a treat and Cliff’s are routinely the best I’ve come across. This one verges on genius. If you like wordplay, Cliff has recently published his first book and it makes an excellent little gift, coffee table accessory, or bathroom reader. Buying a handful of these will be doing a good turn for a wonderful guy!

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Anyone who has attended art school had been in a room like this with a naked person standing on the platform in the middle. I got to thinking about it one day and a stray neuron fired off in my noggin that combined those utterly sterile, graphic figures used on signage with my memories of college art classes. I like the result a lot. Here’s an older Bizarro cartoon about modeling class that I still love.  (Trivia buffs: I make a cameo appearance in this cartoon as the guy at the right border in a blue shirt, and my beloved Olive Oyl is the gal in pink, just under the eyeball on the wall. I have no idea who the rest of these people are.)

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If you’re a big fan of spicy food, as I am, you are likely annoyed when you eat at a Mexican restaurant and everything is geared toward sissy tourists who buy “mild” hot sauce. Yes, that’s right, I called people who can’t stand spicy food sissies. Wanna make something of it?

That’s it for this week’s cartoon review, Jazz Pickles. I hope 2016 is rocking your Good Times van in a serious way.

Stolen Babies

Bizarro 01-03-16 hdrWEB

(To achieve enbiggenation of any cartoon, squint your eyes and click it.)Bizarro 01-03-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Scary Logic.

I haven’t seen one of these absurd, invented-crises daytime talk shows in years and wasn’t sure they still existed but recently, while watching something sophisticated and intelligent, I happened to see a commercial for The Jerry Springer Show. Apparently, it’s still on the air with recent episode titles like “Played by a Transsexual,” “Wives Battle Mistresses,” “Stripnotized,” “Battle Royal for Cheese,” and “My Father is My Mother.” Only one of those titles is fake, see if you can guess which one. I’ll put the answer at the end of this post. The larger point is that sometimes it scares me to be trapped on the same planet as people who participate in these shows (onscreen or as viewers) and scares me even more that most of them are allowed to vote. I know that makes me sound like an insufferable elitist but I have long condoned requiring people to pass a simple IQ test before being allowed to vote. Nothing complex, maybe just one or two multiple choice questions like––

Complete this sentence: Donald Trump is a…

a) reasonable choice for president

b) carnival barker who embodies the worst of human nature

That’s all there is to it. If you can’t answer that correctly, you likely have trouble differentiating between an “a” and a “b” and, in my (not very) humble opinion, should not participate in the future of our country.

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Speaking of being frightened by some of the people you are sharing the planet with, few things will give you that feeling faster than a ride on a New York City subway. I lived there for ten years and have a few stories the retelling of which could send me into a shivering fetal position. These kinds of characters are fun to draw, however. I’ve often said that my favorite time to ride the NY subways is Halloween because it is the only day of the year that it is acceptable to ask a total stranger, “What are you supposed to be?” It’s not the only time you want to ask that, just the only time that it’s safe to do so.

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I had two dogs once and when one of them died, the other kept running away. It really broke my heart and eventually led to this cartoon. Not really the same scenario, but a way to get a little humor out of a situation that still makes me sad when I think about it. I presume she was looking for her missing friend because eventually she settled down and lived happily ever after.

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My favorite kinds of cartoons are ones that look like one thing but turn out to be something else. This is one of those and it tickles me. But also, what happened to this hammock that it needed to be rinsed out?

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Here’s a scene from the Garden of Eden that is missing from the book of Genesis. But it most certainly happened, as evidenced by the 7.3 billion humans (at this writing) doing their damndest to make the Earth uninhabitable by our species. Or at least extremely uncomfortable. If you like to be scared, have a look at this world population clock. This link is not for the faint of heart.

bz panel 01-01-16

I got a bit of hate mail about this alarm clock cartoon. Here it is in its unedited entirety:

“Idiot, liberal comic over exaggerates and misrepresents others opinions for comic strip!”

I assume that since this reader was offended by this cartoon, he considers himself to be an alarmist; if you’re not who the cartoon is talking about, why get offended? I also would like to point out that my comments about a few of the cartoons above qualify me as an alarmist, as well. I’m just alarmed about different things.

One thing I’m not the least bit alarmed about is terrorism. A quick perusal of articles like those on this page will tell you that the statistical odds of being harmed by a terrorist are lower than the threat that your own household furniture poses. Fear is the actual weapon here, far more than violence.  Terrorists, politicians, and the media know this. Many politicians (other than Obama, who has actually been criticized by media and other politicians alike for not playing the fear card enough) exaggerate the threat of terrorism in the U.S. because fear motivates voters. The media does it because fear heightens ratings. Fox News Channel has consistently used fear (terrorists, homosexuals, immigrants, refugees, socialism, pedophiles, etc.) to drive ratings for years.

Terrorists also know that far easier than sneaking terrorists into the U.S., they can use racism to recruit Muslims already living in the U.S.  If they can get enough “leaders” to condemn American Muslims and fuel fear, they can get average Americans to despise and mistreat Muslims living legally in the U.S.  If a large part of society mistreats an entire people long enough, a few of them are going to turn against society. Poof! You’ve created a “self-radicalized” Muslim. Well done, Fox News Channel and virtually every Republican candidate for president.

Thinking that every Muslim is a potential terrorist is like thinking that every Christian is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s inaccurate and fairly foolish.

Sorry for the soap box speech. I’m an alarmist when it comes to institutional idiocy.

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As a person over 50, I admit that I often scoff at people who are addicted to electronics. The most obvious example are those who are willing to sleep on a sidewalk overnight to be among the first to buy a new version of a device. I’m a big fan of Apple and have used Macs exclusively for years, but I find that their products work just as well a month after they are released as they do the day of. So here’s a cartoon for readers of “a certain age”.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s comics and were able to tolerate my political rants. I always get a few complaints when I get political and try to mostly stay away from the subject, but sometimes I can’t resist. I know I have some readers who identify with the Republican Party and that’s great. I’ve no wish to disenfranchise you. It is my opinion, however, that not many serious conservatives identify with Donald Trump, so he seems fair game.

BTW: The phony episode title from the first paragraph is “My Father is My Mother”.

Cave Trees

Bizarro 11-29-15 hdrWEB

(If it is embiggenation that you seek, click any man-made object in any cartoon.)Bizarro 11-29-15 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by A Favorite Holiday Bizarro Cartoon.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not a person who enjoys what we Americans call “the holiday season”. I like Halloween but as soon as it is over the streets, shops, and homes of our communities are filled with songs and decorations that remind one at a glance of why suicide statistics shoot up at this time of year. I’ve known and lived with people who, like the woman in my cartoon above, cannot wait until the next opportunity to decorate their home like the set of an episode of Martha Stewart, and would likely have found a way to do so even tens of thousands of years before the holiday was even invented. I don’t mean to criticize those people; I don’t hate you, I just hate some of the things you love. There’s a big difference.

Still, where there’s pain there’s comedy so I’ve come up with lots of fun holiday cartoons over the years. I’ll be sharing them here on my blog under various blue links for the rest of the month. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, I hope you get a chuckle or two. Here’s one that can apply to Thanksgiving as well as Xmas.

(On a side note, this cartoon also brings to mind the classic cartoon strip, “B.C.” by Johnny Hart. Hart was one of the best gag writers of all time IMHO, but late in his life he became a “born again Christian”, as I understand it, and he began introducing blatantly Christian-themed jokes into his work. This made the strip doubly funny because of what “B.C.” stands for. I’m sure Sarah Palin and her ilk see no problem with Christian cavemen, but some of us couldn’t help but notice. I’m guessing Ben Carson’s version of history probably accommodates the concept, too.)

And now for the rundown of last week’s cartoons:

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Have you ever asked yourself why you accept food from a complete stranger at the market when you would never consider doing so anywhere else on the planet? I have.
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Have you ever asked yourself how you can be sure that the voices you’re hearing that appear to be coming from the people around you aren’t actually originating from inside your head? Perhaps everything you experience is only taking place in your head and everything you consider “reality” is only an illusion. Many people have questioned this concept––two of the most famous examples would be Plato and The Matrix.

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What’s the deal with how slow sloths are? I’ve seen these guys in person and no matter how frightened or threatened they are, they have absolutely no second gear to use in their escape.  The only reason I can imagine that they have survived to the modern day is that they must taste terrible.

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This is as close to a Thanksgiving Day gag as I could come this year. I’ve done a lot of turkey-related cartoons in the past but I was not inspired to go there again this year. Here’s one you may find amusing.

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We’ve all lost (or will lose) loved ones and virtually nothing sucks as much as that, but a tried and true way humans have dealt with the misery of this kind of grief is through dark humor. In that spirit, I love this cartoon. It was sort of inspired by a joke I heard back in Oklahoma, where I grew up: What were the last words of the redneck? “Watch this!”


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And we finish the cavalcade of laughs with a cop/donut gag. Not my best cartoon ever, but whatever. Hope you Jazz Pickles have a dandy week. Come back and have a peek next Sunday when I’ll be posting the weekly roundup again and adding some of my favorite holiday cartoons from the past.

Parabolic Cartoonery

Before I get to this week’s cartoons, I’d like to tell you about this T-shirt campaign featuring one of my most popular cartoons. A portion of the proceeds benefit “Roots & Shoots,” a kid’s program at the Jane Goodall Institute. Only ONE WEEK LEFT in the campaign, then the shirt is gone for good! Thanks! Have a look now, then come back. And don’t hesitate to “like,” tweet, forward, etc. it so that other’s may find out about it, too!Bizarro12-30-07DevolutionWEBBizarro is brought to you today by Church Humor?Bizarro 08-02-15 hdrWEB Bizarro 08-02-15 WEBThis Sunday cartoon is a long and winding road and you’ll likely need to enlarge it to get the most out of it. Do that by clicking it. On my computer, I have to click it, then reload the page it goes to before it appears. No idea why; computer voodoo, I guess.

The publication of this today has nothing to do with the dentist who killed a famous lion, it’s just a coincidence. In my opinion, hunting animals for food is a topic that can be effectively debated from both sides, but I have no sympathy for people who kill purely for fun and the “trophy” they take home. It’s an extremely arrogant and unattractive character trait in my opinion.

Back to comedy, I know how to perform both the Heimlich Maneuver and the Wisenheimer Maneuver, which is to perform the Heimlich on someone who is only clearing their throat.

bz panel 07-27-15I must admit I love this “Old West” naming cartoon. I’m a big fan of the Old West, but the habit many yuppies have had (for a couple of decades now) of naming their kids this way got on my nerves some time ago. I know, I need to find more important things to be annoyed with (definitely true) but I have the kind of mind that grabs these things and chews, usually without my permission. It’s part of how I write cartoons, so I guess maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Except for people who have to live with me and listen to my pointless rants. Sorry, Olive Oyl! :^}bz panel 07-28-15Here’s one about kindness in language. I have a habit of being very self critical and when I make even a small mistake, like hitting the wrong keyboard shortcut, I tend to mutter to myself something like “not that one, dumbass.” I’ve been told by therapists that I am being unkind to myself and should train myself to stop it. I am trying and am making some headway, but occasionally fall back into it. Probably because I’m a panel 07-29-15Speaking of the Old West, here is a cowboy taking an alternative eye exam. His name is Melvin but he goes by “Snake Tooth Willy,” so he’d fit right in at any modern American private school. bz panel 07-30-15I’m happy that Donald Trump is so much in the news lately because it makes this cartoon look more relevant. I guess I could’ve guessed he’d say something controversial and be all over the news by the time this came out since he does so regularly, but I didn’t really think about it. I just liked the gag. bz panel 07-31-15Who doesn’t love and/or fear the way cats seem to be able to see things we can’t? Okay, I’m sure plenty of people don’t care one way or the other but I’ve know folks who were authentically freaked out by their cat’s doing this, and that was the inspiration for this panel 08-01-15A reader pointed out to me that I did this exact gag (with a different drawing) just over a year ago. Man, I’m tempted to think I’m losing my mind but then I recall that I’ve published over 10,000 cartoons in my career so I suppose I’ve gotten to a point that I couldn’t possibly remember them all. Or I’m losing my mind. At the very least, I’m going to start putting an “X” on them in my sketchbook after I’ve published an idea.

Don’t forget to check out my T-shirt sale. It benefits a terrific organization and it’s part of how we keep the lights on at Bizarro International Headquarters these days in a world of a dwindling newspaper industry. Thanks so much.



Cat Fancy

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Just got back from a weekend in San Francisco, a city that Olive Oyl and I dearly love and would live in if it weren’t for the weather. Unless the sun is shining, I’m genetically programmed to be a serial killer, so I try to live where my neighbors and loved ones will be safe.

Here are the cartoons that ended the month of May for Bizarro 05-31-15 WEBBizarro. For the unaware, one of the longest-running TV shows in American history was a western called Gunsmoke (1955-1975), and a main character in the show was a saloon gal named Miss Kitty. In reality she would’ve been a prostitute, but they never mentioned that in the show. My grandfather saw every episode and I watched many of them with him when I was a kid in the ’60s. I have since wondered from time to time why “Cat” and “Kitty” are fairly common names but “Dog” and “Puppy” never caught on.

bz panel 05-25-15 Earlier in the week I did some other cartoons that looked exactly like the ones posted here. Ever been to couples counselling? Sometimes it’s a bit like the old Rock’em Sock’em Robots toy. I loved that toy. Couple counselling, not as much.

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Shark week is a popular TV thing on one of the cable channels but I have to admit I’ve never seen a single show. That kind of stuff doesn’t appeal to me for some reason.



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Here’s a fun little pun from the Old West. This is not Miss Kitty. This is Crystal, the waitress with a heart of gold and a rash she’s never been able to completely get rid of.




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Even though the wedding I attended last weekend was fancy-schmancy and there were a lot of very proper people in attendance, there were a couple of pretty saturated folks by the end of night. Would it be a wedding without some? Well, yes, but probably not one worth attending.

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I thought of this gag as soon as I heard that cops in certain cities were going to start wearing body cameras. It’s always exciting to come up with a good gag that is very timely but with a typical syndication schedule it still takes several weeks to get something through the pipeline and into the papers.

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I love this pun about the popular book/film Fifty Shades of Grey. It was the brainchild of my good buddy Cliff The King of Wordplay. Everyone I know comes up with puns but Cliff’s are so unexpected. I’m in awe of the way his mind works.

Super busy with art right now so I’m outta here. I’m going to post some new sketch cards in a day or so. Weeeee!


7 Days of Silly

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(Make your comedy world bigger by clicking these comics.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Romance.

I hope you had a dandy Valentine’s Day this weekend. Olive Oyl (seen here with her grandmother) and I went to Topanga Canyon to visit some friends and take a lovely hike. Afterwards, the four of us went to a small, out-of-the-way Thai restaurant and had dinner with The Edge (guitarist for U2). And by “had dinner with,” I mean that he was at the next table with his wife and daughter and did not acknowledge our existence. But still, it was as close to having dinner with The Edge as we’ll likely ever get, so it was fun.

Let’s talk cartoons: Today’s big Sunday extravaganza tells the back story of how Mickey Mouse became the multitalented rodent icon that he is. Take heart, young, unknown performers! If a lowly mouse can do it, so can you!*

Monday: A friend of mine pointed out that there’s a commercial on TV these days with a penguin on an airplane. I’d not seen it until I viewed the link he provided and it has nothing to do with the gag here, so this information is meaningless.

Tuesday: Here’s a couple of puns about sheep and an unusual therapist/client relationship. I used to be a little ashamed of puns but I’ve decided to come out of the closet and admit that I really like certain kinds. And I’m not the only one; Alfred Hitchcock said that puns were the highest form of literature. And he was British.

Wednesday: As an artist, I have strong feelings about art. Messiness in and of itself is not art by my standards. I suspect Jackson Pollack happened to be doing what he did at a time when doing anything for the first time was applauded. If he’d done it at any other time in history (past or future) he likely (and justly) would have been ignored. In general, I think that a great deal of what the fine art world embraces is simply “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” over and over again. My blog, my opinion. Your results may vary.

Thursday: LA is a city with a lot of conspicuous wealth: fabulous houses, amazingly expensive cars, plastic surgery, etc. Especially here, but anywhere in the world these days, it is easy to feel left behind because you’re not fabulously rich and famous. When this happens to me, I remind myself that even the lower middle class in America have a higher standard of living than most people on Earth. And, even more important, that wealth and fame never made anyone happier than they would’ve been otherwise.

Friday: I thought of this gag because a random Internet troll once told me that the only reason I wear a hat most of the time is because I’m losing my hair. My response was that by that standard, people only wear gloves because they are losing their fingers.

Saturday: I needed three names for this gag so I chose three friends of mine. Chris Ryan is an author and new friend, Jeff Topper is my show-biz manager and nanny, Christy Higgins is my colorist and life coach. And she has the dreamiest eyes.

*But the odds are astronomical against it.

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