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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

Camper Bite Godzilla God

bz panel 09-11-14bz strip 09-11-14bz panel 09-12-14bz strip 09-12-14bz panel 09-13-14bz strip 09-13-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Cartoons Inspiring Sculpture.

In creating this first cartoon, I was well aware of the fact that there are plenty of women (and men) out there who really dig this kind of guy. To those folks I’d like to say that the point of this was not to say that this guy is wrong for everyone, just wrong for the gal at the bar. I have a lot of friends who are political, environmental, and/or animal rights activists and some of them have the habit of plastering their vehicles with tons of stickers about their beliefs, as well. I’m not sure how many people actually change their belief system based on the bumper stickers they read while at a red light, but I’m guessing it’s a fairly small percentage. Still, somehow we all like to tell the world what we believe or cherish in one way or another. I, for instance, enjoy wearing a T-shirt that says, “ONE OF MY CHILDREN HAS NEVER BEEN ARRESTED.” (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This “Found Dog” cartoon is a favorite of mine, because the punch line is so hidden. I found it very difficult to convert into a strip version, however, and wonder how many readers missed the joke when seeing it in the tiny newspaper format. Life is like that sometimes. (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding my Godzilla cartoon, I figured I would get a complaint or two from religious readers and I was not disappointed. This one appeared this morning on my Bizarro Facebook page:

Mr. Piraro, as a Christian, I take offense at your cartoon in today’s (paper), wherein you depict godzilla returning in a Christ-like manner.”  

This was my response: “I’m sorry you were offended, that wasn’t my intention. For me, it was just a simple pun between God and Godzilla. I’ve always felt that humor is an innate and invaluable part of the human mind and that if there is a supreme, omnipotent being, it is likely not easily offended by the meager attempts of humans to make each other smile.”

This is a common problem with jokes about religion and one that keeps most mainstream cartoonists from broaching the subject. I was raised in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic school for many years, so I was raised to take spiritual matters very seriously. As an adult I’ve read a fair amount about world religions, theology, and philosophy and continue to study the subject of “higher powers” in all its forms. I’m no longer a believer in any established religions or gods, but still find the powerful attraction most humans have to belief in a higher power fascinating. For some time I was a fairly militant atheist, but now my views have softened a bit and I see the human experience as something endlessly complex and difficult, and have come to believe that whatever means people use to make their journey a little more tolerable is understandable. I draw the line, of course, when religious beliefs are used to prosecute or oppress others. Which, to be fair, is alarmingly often, so I still get ample chances to exercise my militant side.  (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)

PREBIZTORICALS: On the topic of religion, I bring you this cartoon from the archives. In the version that appeared in newspapers, the word “shit” was replaced with “poo.” It’s not as funny that way, somehow, so I reverted to my original caption for this post.  It has long been interesting to me how utterly ridiculous certain other religions seem (even when I was a devout believer) primitive ones especially, and the thought that immediately followed was that the religion I was raised in would seem just as ridiculous to someone convinced otherwise. Bz 04-17-06 GodBirdPooSMThis gag, for instance, won’t offend modern folks in any great number, but if the statue had been of Jesus, I would not have even been allowed to publish it. I think we often fool ourselves into believing that other religions have more superstition in them than ours, whatever it may be.

 

 

Zombie Burning Anger

bz panel 08-08-14bz strip 08-08-14bz panel 08-09-14bz strip 08-09-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Chocolate Family, Please.

These cartoons are a couple of my favorites of late. As tempting as it was to draw the zombies “running” the race, I’m happy that I chose this remote view instead, which leaves part of the gag to the reader’s imagination.

Attention young cartoonists: The reader’s imagination is key to a good gag.  

Also: Get out of cartooning now––there’s less money in it all the time and I could do without the competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve done a lot of ventriloquist cartoons (there’s just so much fodder in the image of an adult with a talking doll) but this may be my favorite because it touches on a favorite topic of mine––the limitless capacity of humans to be superstitious and fearful of what they don’t understand. I’ll let you draw your own analogies about how this relates to modern society.

Jazz Pickles with better memories and/or powers of observation may notice that I used some art from another cartoon for much of this image. Here is a peek at that one, which is not about fear and superstition but another of my pet peeves: mandatory jury duty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREZARROS: This cartoon from 1999 isn’t about reacting to something you don’t understand with superstition or fear, but rather with anger. Over the years I’ve gotten a fair amount of vitriolic hate mail from people who want Bizarro to go away simply because they don’t understand it. (I often have asked them if someone is forcing them to read it.) This was my published response to that kind of mail.bz 04-09-99 AmbiguousWEB I’m pretty certain they didn’t get this one, either. To be a Jazz Pickle, you have to be willing to think around corners and I love you guys for that.

Family Demon Oil

mediocrityRulesMultiSM1Don’t miss your chance to wear this adorable shirt (as seen in a Bizarro comic) which tells the world you don’t approve. Only NINE days left, then it’s gone forever! Have a look.

 

Bizarro is brought to you today by Getting Help.Bizarro 06-29-14 Hedr WEB

Family Circus is one of the most parodied cartoons in history. The simple wholesomeness of it is irresistible to sarcastic jackasses like me and there are a number of FC memes––like Billy’s habit of leaving dotted lines everywhere he walks––that make it “easy pickins”. I’ve done a handful in the past and thought I’d gotten it out of my system but then this idea occurred to me and I couldn’t resist. I’m friends with Jeff Keane, better known by FC readers as “Jeffy,” and was friends with his late father, the creator of FC, Bil Keane. They’ve always enjoyed FC spoofs, so I knew I was in safe waters when I submitted this one. I drew the comic exactly as Jeff would, who has taken over the strip for his dad, but I took the liberty of redecorating their house with five of my own Bizarro secret symbols. My favorite touch is PJ crying. Lord only knows what horrible sights he witnessed to upset him so.Bizarro 06-29-14 WEB

 

 

BYGONE BIZARRO: Below, from 1999, is another treatment of family life that I hope you will enjoy. It reads in vertical columns, as opposed to straight across the top.

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Crime 11 Awareness Geriatric

bz panel 06-26-14bz strip 06-26-14bz panel 06-27-14bz strip 06-27-14bz panel 06-28-14bz strip 06-28-14Bizarro is brought to you today by House Pets.

What I like most about this armed robbery cartoon is imagining the robber saying all of this very matter-of-factly, the way someone might end a sentence with “yada, yada, yada”. Tons of people have real-life excuses for bad behavior but there is growing evidence that we don’t have nearly as much free choice as we think we do. Many scientists are beginning to suspect that given our specific DNA wiring, we are compelled to make the decisions we make––good, bad, and indifferent––and there is little we can do about it. Our brains simply tell us that this is the best course of action at the moment and we do it, thinking we made a “choice”. This notion is radical and counterintuitive, to say the least, but it might well be true. Oops…there goes another tenet of traditional human religions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I usually post my Thurs/Fri/Sat cartoons on Saturday, but I got a lot of response from this Nigel Tufnel cartoon today (Friday) so I’m posting early. If you don’t get it, you’re not a fan of “This is Spinal Tap,” the brilliant comedy film by Rob Reiner. One of the all-time best, in my humble opinion. It still holds up today and none other than comedy genius Ricky Gervais cites it as his favorite comedy film. This is very likely where Ricky got the inspiration for the faux-documentary style that he does so well. This cartoon was the brainchild of the incomparable Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay, of course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, a sneak peek at tomorrow’s cartoon. Don’t tell anyone. I’m not supposed to post early so if I get reprimanded, I’m going to claim that I wasn’t aware it was only Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VINTAGE JAZZ PICKLAGE: In keeping with the theme of parodying classic movies and TV, here’s a little something from 1997 that you may find amusing.bz 11-14-97 StarTrekWEB

Shark Eggs Topless

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Breakthrough in Hair Replacement Technology.

 

Yes, that’s a shark vacuuming the carpet in the middle of the night because sharks are the species that everyone thinks of as having to keep moving to stay alive. Something about forcing water through their gills or dodging bill collectors, I can’t remember which.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you believe in souls? I’ve spent a lot of time in my day thinking about this question. I agree that there is something about the essence of a person that is best described as a “soul,” though I can’t say I believe it is something that lives on after our body’s death. I don’t believe that chicken abortions (eggs) have souls but I suspect chickens do. My girlfriend, Olive Oyl, and I want to raise chickens one day. I’ll let you know if I find out any more about this topic from that experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REZARRO: bz991127MidlifeCrisisWEBWhen I drew this in 1999, I wasn’t yet in “midlife,” but I’d witnessed a few men self-destruct in midlife so it was on my mind. Now that I am in my fifties (and much to my pleasant surprise) I find that the older I get, the less attractive I find things like sports cars,  a full head of hair, and topless women (other than my own partner). But then, I’ve not lived an austere life while working a job that doesn’t feed my soul so I could provide for a wife and kids. I did that early on and escaped from it by the time I was 40. (Wife left me, kids grew up and moved out, quit working in advertising.)  I suspect that kind of brutal self denial is part of why men often explode in their fifties and attempt to be young again. Or, maybe it’s just the natural result of feeling your mortality approaching and wanting a last adventure or two before it’s too late. I’m just shooting from the hip here and I don’t know any more about it than you do, so don’t go quoting me. I still think this gag is funny, though. Especially the “Pro-Pelt Hair Replacement” clinic in the background.

Snoopy Clog Rock Apple

Bizarro 05-18-14 hedrBizarro 05-18-14 WEBBizarro is brought to you today by Unreasonable Request.

There’s been quite a lot about the NSA in the news lately and, even though I have given up the idea that a government or the law can be “fair,” the fact that our own government is spying on us is deplorable. Many great minds have said something like: You have to choose freedom or safety, you can’t have both.  Personally, I’d rather be more free and less safe, but that’s just me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From last Friday comes this gag which discloses one of Batman’s rare weaknesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Saturday’s cartoon features a familiar scene from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, with a modern twist. There’s probably no end to the number of “username and password” cartoons that a person could do but I’m going to try to stop now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BYGONE BIZARRO: This cartoon from 1997 reminds us that even the Devil doesn’t take New York City lightly. I lived there for ten years and I don’t blame him.bz 08-19-97 Eden NYC

Vengeance Isolation Evil

bz panel 05-09-14bz strip 05-09-14bz panel 05-10-14bz strip 05-10-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Just Do It.

As I knew I would, I got more than a few questions about the meaning of this cartoon. Many seem to have assumed that the man to the left of the king is Christopher Columbus. He is not, he’s just a member of the court dressed the way those guys used to dress.

Though a bit shrouded, the concept behind this gag is simple: these guys are assuming that a tragedy is their god’s response to their tolerance of something they deem to be wicked, but which is actually a genetic feature of a percentage of the public. It is a matter of historical record that many people used to consider left-handedness to be wicked; a sign of the devil. Children with this proclivity were forced to learn to use their right hand so they would not be ostracized by their society. Sound familiar?

In my opinion, one of modern human society’s worst crimes is our attitude toward and treatment of people whose sexual wiring is not strictly heterosexual. If we don’t cause our own extinction first, there will most certainly come a time when people look back at the current day and cringe at the way we viewed homosexuality as archaic and superstitious. I hope I live to see it.

 

 

 

The next cartoon is fairly self-explanatory, so I’ll let you get back to what you were doing. But first, this.

 

 

 

 

 

VINTAGE JAZZ PICKLAGE: In 2006, I did another cartoon with the same motif. I’m still very proud of this one and encourage you to share it with any young people you know who are struggling with their sexual orientation. Or, just someone you think will find it funny. Bizarro-05-14-06GAYsm

 

 

“Funny”

bizarro 04-20-14 hedrBizarro 04-20-14 WEB(Click any eyeball to see the cartoon grow to the size of a larger cartoon!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Jazz Age Pickles.

I’ve drawn today’s cartoon in the style of the old romance comic books, which is not my usual fare, as you regular Jazz Pickles know. I don’t always do cartoons with a social message like this one, but it isn’t all that unusual for me, either.

If you’ve missed the thinly-veiled message of today’s cartoon, it’s about the persistence of bigotry against homosexuals.

I’m not homosexual, or even bisexual, but neither am I narrow-minded nor do I blindly follow ancient superstitions and mythologies. If you still wonder if homosexuality is a “choice” and believe that the activity of loving another consenting adult of the same sex is a “sin,” ask yourself if your own sexual proclivities are a choice. Do we choose who or what we are sexually attracted to, or is it a natural force that comes over us like hunger, without our consent? You know the answer to that as well as I do. Did I choose to be attracted to women with thick, luscious hair covering their backs? Certainly not, mostly because they are SO damned difficult to find.

PAZZ JICKLES: Speaking of a world gone crazy, here is a vision of the future that I concocted in 1997. I’m still proud of this idea.bizarro 08-24-97 cloningWEB

Eggs Duo Sticks Eggs

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Bizarro is brought to you by No Thanks, I’ve Already Got One.

 

My good buddy and known associate, Wayno of Pittsburgh, wrote this gag for me because I have restless leg syndrome. My eggs are fine, though. Any way you look at it, this is a good yolk. (As in “joke”. Get it? ahahahahahah)

Wayno’s take on this crazy graphic shenanigan can be found at his blog, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m super stoked about this takeoff on Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting. I’m a painter at heart and so when I can do a realistic lampoon of a well-known piece of fine art, I’m having a party.

This one didn’t translate easily to the strip format so I added the closeup view for added looking-at fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also enjoy a good poke at organized religion from time to time, so this stickman preacher gag appeals to me big time. If you’re a stickman, I suppose your biggest fear is that your creator will erase you. I’m anxious to see if I get any flak from fundamentalists who do not believe that humor is part of god’s plan. (And I am well aware that this humorless opinion is not held by ALL fundamentalists.)

 

 

 

 

 

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PALEOZARRO: If you’ve not had enough of corny egg puns, here’s another gleaming eggsample from 1997. I hope your day is sunny side up.

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