Dangerous Crops

(To begin the embiggenation process, click the gimme cap in the cartoon below.)

Bizarro is brought to you today Trump Voodoo Doll.

There was a time when people were romantic about America’s “heartland,” as though it was where good, wholesome, moral, honest folks came from, as opposed to “big city folk”.  But to my mind these days, it seems to represent people who voted for and continue to support a racist White House that openly promises to take benefits away from poor children, the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged-in-general, while arresting innocent children who were born in the U.S. and throwing them out of the country because their parents came here out of desperation to make a better life for themselves and their children. (Don’t even try to tell me the immigrant issue is about jobs because there are no facts to back that bullshit up. And if you think it’s not about racism or jobs, it’s about the “rule of law,” let’s audit your taxes for the last ten years and see how law-abiding you are.)

If all of that isn’t enough to dissuade you from visiting The Heartland, consider that not one newspaper in Nebraska carries Bizarro, but all of them carry Marmaduke and Family Circus. There’s a reason they call these places “Flyover States.” Innumerable reasons, actually.

Disclaimer: If you are a decent, compassionate, open-minded person in The Heartland who thinks racism and bigotry have no place in our government, I’m not talking about you.

Disclaimer disclaimer: If you are a decent, compassionate, open-minded person in The Heartland who enjoys Bizarro but also really enjoys Marmaduke and Family Circus, and not in an ironic way, I might still be talking about you.

Hey! What’s my buddy, Wayno been cartooning about this week?…

The thing I like most about The Bible is that you can interpret it to mean anything you want. (Unless you’re what the rest of us call a “religious nut.”)  In this case, Wayno interprets the “serpent” to be a representative of Kellogg’s who is attempting to entice some friendly naked people into losing their souls while also promoting poor spelling.

All these years I’ve been avoiding snakes and it turns out toucans are the devil. And I guess that lump in the front of my throat is an “Adam’s Loop.”

Wayno writes about our week in cartoons every weekend, too, and you’ll find a link to that post at the end of this one. BUT… here’s a short, older post in which he describes the clever name he has given to the specific mechanism behind the Froot Loop joke above.

I hope he carries a really big towel to the gym to wipe off the machines when he’s done melting all over them. When he’s had a really good workout, he rewards himself with a slice of nose cake.

If you’ve not been to my mostly-new shop lately, please have a look. We sell products to help support our cartooning habits as newspapers continue to get smaller and fewer. Below is a poster I designed and illustrated specifically for your home, office, clubhouse, or bunker.

As a kid, I wasn’t particularly afraid of monsters under my bed but as an adult, I always check under my analyst’s couch before I lie down.

Lately, I’ve been indulging myself in what the Interwebs call, “Throwback Thursday.” Surprisingly, it does not involve pictures of fish that people have caught that are too small to eat––that’s called “Here’s a Picture of Me Torturing a Helpless Water Dweller Thursday”. Throwback Thursday is actually about stuff from the past, so below is a cartoon I did in 2003.

This is one of those comics that was based on my own experience during which I was trapped inside a small store in Kansas for 45 minutes while I tried to convince the other customers that the town was not closed, this was simply the back of a sign meant to be read from outside. “Then why ain’t it red?” was the reply.

This is what happens when entire states don’t carry Bizarro. I make mean jokes about them. Sometimes as I fly over them.

It took an embarrassingly long time but we are now finding out that women can do anything that men can do. Unfortunately, they still have to do it at a fraction of what men are paid to do the same job. (Especially white men.)

No, this does not mean we hate men or are ashamed to be men or white or want all white people, especially the men, to be rounded up and shot into outer space. We just support fairness no matter what color you are or what kind of plumbing you have. And no, America does NOT already have that kind of fairness.

In honor of women, Wayno and I are supporting a swell non-profit organization that helps educate girls and young women in technological fields, which are currently overwhelmingly dominated by men.  We recommend checking them out and possibly tossing a buck or two their way. Girls Who Code.

I prefer to participate in happy hour at home where the drinks are even cheaper and the atmosphere makes me a lot happier.  And yes, after the initial hour, I become all of those other things listed on the sign. Just don’t drop by my house unannounced after a certain time, that’s all I’m saying.

“Watson! We’ve invented something that will one day be used to take pictures of every plate of food we eat.” 

“Hmm. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to do that, but okay. Whatever.”

Even so, here we are a hundred-and-some years later with phones that take pictures, answer questions, promote fake news, rig elections in favor of our enemies and a thousand other things. And yet, most of the time, the reception on actual phone calls isn’t any better than Bell’s prototype. (sigh)

Until next week, my precious Jazz Pickles––be happy, be smart, be nice, and resist ignorance and fascism. And while we’re at it, our official Bizarro Jazz Pickle enamel pin is BACK IN STOCK after the initial batch sold out! Grab one now before it sells out again!

Wayno: Weekly blogTwitterInstagramWaynoVision

Piraro: Bizarro shop (enamel pins, a Hello Shitty shirt and more!)  Bizarro tip jar Signed, numbered, limited edition prints and original cartoon art Piraro Instagram  Piraro Twitter Piraro coloring book

Stolen Babies

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(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.

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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”.

Mucous Defense System

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(If you wish to embiggenate any of these images, use your clicky device.)Bizarro 12-27-15 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by When Parking Lots Have No Lines Painted On Them.

Today’s cartoon is about a world in which the natives cover their nudity with boxes. You and I may think that naked tissue is not worth covering, but they consider it vulgar and who are we to judge? We consider the sight of human nipples to be a crime, but only if they are attached to a female. Doesn’t matter if they are attached to large breasts or ones as flat as sheetrock, if they’re attached to a female: illegal to expose in public. The Tissue People find this concept utterly ridiculous but then they’ve always tended to be a bit “judgy”.

bz panel 12-21-15I am a lifelong student of religion, as it is differentiated from spirituality. “Religion” is the construct of rules, myths, and methods handed down through history, as opposed to the mystical experiences a person may have in their own mind or heart, so a person can be religious (the rules part) without being particularly spiritual (the mystical mind/heart part). Wars (and terrorism) are always about religion and never about spiritualism. This cartoon is about the creation myth in the Christian Bible’s Old Testament, the Torah, and the Koran or Quran, if you prefer.  (Yes, they are pretty much the same collection of writings with some minor differences here and there. The word “minor” in that last sentence refers to things that people have a long tradition of killing each other over.) Anyway, the particular bit of logic contained in the cartoon above occurred to me and I think it might well hold up in a court of law. If you don’t yet understand the difference between good and evil, how can you know it is “wrong” to do something? (I know this makes a few of you readers want to explain the theology behind this in the comments section. Go ahead if you must, but don’t expect me to be swayed.) Whatever your beliefs, I hope you got a smile out of this concept.

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Here’s a cartoon that is a thinly veiled metaphor for life. When we are children we tend to think our problems will be solved simply by being an adult. Once we are adults, we find out over and over again how foolish that supposition was.

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I know I have many readers in other countries and it occurs to me that some of you may not have what we in the US call “ball pits”. That does not refer to the rare medical condition of having your scrotum growing from your armpit (scrotusaxillariaus) but rather a small enclosure filled with plastic balls that small children play in. One almost always finds these at indoor play areas because an outdoor one would be impossible to keep clean and dry and it would be only a short time before badgers learned to hide at the bottom and rip into unsuspecting children.

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Department store Santas have always creeped me out. The first time my parents attempted to push me toward one, I screamed in terror and went home crying. Yes, I was one of those children.

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I got a few messages and emails about this cartoon. Two were from women who were offended by it because they believed I was siding with parents who pressure their children to give them grandkids. I appreciated their comments (both were polite about it) and I told them that I was actually lampooning overbearing parents. I have two adult daughters and neither thinks they want to reproduce, believing that the last thing this planet needs is more humans. I agree with that, though I will also support them if either decides to have a kid.

The other messages and emails I got about this cartoon were folks asking what the license plate means. K2 is for my two daughters, whose names both begin with K (Krapuzar and Krelspeth) and OLOYL stands for Olive Oyl, which is my nickname for my special ladywomanpartner. (We’re too old to feel comfortable with “girlfriend” and we’re not yet married.)  As for the state name, I was raised in Oklahoma but now live in California. Just having a little fun with insider “shoutouts”.

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The abundance of end-of-year roundups and lists––as well as fabulous places to be on New Year’s Eve–– made me think of this cartoon. I asked myself what could be the most trivial end of year commemoration or place to spend NYE, and this came to mind. As for me, the best soup I had all year was an Italian wedding soup at Crossroads Kitchen in LA. It isn’t on their regular menu so don’t go storming in there today demanding a big to-go container of it and telling them I sent you. That would be embarrassing.

That’s the weekly round-up. I hope all of you Jazz Pickles had a low-impact holiday season with minimal casualties and don’t have to return to work until January. My boss is such an ass that I don’t even get New Year’s Day off. :^{

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