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(To embiggenate any cartoon, click it with your embiggenation tool.)

Bizarro 07-24-16 WEBBizarro is brought to you today by Hallucinations.

It’s been a shitstorm of a week here at Rancho Bizarro. I published a cartoon on Friday that a lot of people misconstrued so I posted an explanation and apology on my FB page, and that led to hundreds of comments and arguments. More on that later in this post.

The cartoon above is the one I thought would be controversial, but so far, no flak. I was thinking about tennis being played on hardcourt, on clay, and on grass (a drug pun?) and my mind went to tennis being played on hallucinogens. That would make for a funny picture, I told myself quietly inside my head, and then I drew it.

The drawing itself is mildly reminiscent of the illustrations I did for my coloring book for grown-ups, which comes out this October. (You can pre-order it here, as a matter of fact. I guarantee you’ll not find a book at this price that has as much elaborate art to get lost in, so buy a dozen! In fact, this book is as close as you can get to a drug trip without actually taking any drugs, though the publisher opted against using that line in their publicity efforts.  Here’s one of the simpler images.)

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Monday’s cartoon was based on an experience I had in Europe when I was 20 years old. As it turns out I had not been bitten by a werehamster, I had unwittingly eaten a magic mushroom purchased by a friend legally and over-the-counter in Amsterdam. I did not attempt to play tennis.

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Human society has become such a ludicrous, complicated mess in the past 10,000 years that I’m sure things like the scene above happen all the time.

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Thinking too much is something we humans do extremely well. Fear is like a heavy black sack over your head; it blinds you to common sense. Common sense would tell you that millions of people have flown all over the world every single day for many decades and only a very small percentage have died from it, so it must be safe. But it might also seem like common sense to be afraid of 58 tons of metal hitting the ground at 170 miles an hour. Here’s where you have to decide to vote with your intellect or with your emotions.

This is also how terrorism works. What terrorists want is for the rest of us to be afraid and make bad choices. It might seem like common sense to stop Muslims from immigrating to your country, to round them up, interrogate them, keep them under close watch or even deport them. But the vast majority of victims of terrorist attacks are Muslims, and the vast majority of Muslims are like you and me and don’t want any trouble. Terrorists know that when foreign governments persecute Muslims, or even just make them feel very unwelcome, it breeds more terrorists. Maybe only one or two in 100,000, will snap under pressure and join the cause, but that’s all they need to keep the cycle of fear and persecution going, which breeds more terrorists.

So you’ve got politicians telling you that 50 tons of metal hitting the runway at 170 mph is dangerous, and you’ve got other politicians telling you that air travel is statistically safer than driving a car. Do you vote with your mind or with your fear? (Spoiler: Those who vote with fear will not see the logic of this argument.)

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Speaking of immigrants, I thought a sign like this might be helpful at customs. Or, perhaps it should more correctly say “Anything bad that happens to you in this country, even if you were acting like an idiot and it was completely your fault, could result in a big payday if you get the right attorney.”

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That brings us to this cartoon, which caused so much trouble last week. Many people thought that I was insinuating that sexual orientation is a choice, which is an argument that many bigots use to criticize non-heterosexuals for religious reasons. (They insist homosexuality is a sin and something has to be a “choice” to be a sin. You couldn’t call being freckled a sin, because you were born that way and had no choice.) This upsets me for a couple of reasons. 1) I do not believe sexual orientation is a choice and I am loathe to be mistaken for this kind of bigot, and 2) millions of non-heterosexual teens live in misery (and some even commit suicide) over the negative social pressure they endure for not being “normal,” and I do not want to add to their troubles.

The fault is mine, of course; I should have worded this cartoon differently to make my point more clear. Accordingly, I’ve changed the wording and posted the new one below so if you want to forward it or post it on FB or whatever, please use that one.


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When I explained and apologized on my FB page last Friday, I got a lot of support from people, but mostly in the form of “F— ’em if they can’t take a joke” and “No apology necessary––if people don’t get it, screw ’em”. I understand that sentiment and agree, and I don’t usually apologize to people who are simply too thin-skinned to play with the big kids. But when vulnerable people like adolescents are involved, I prefer to err on the side of safety.

Others (from the right and the left) said that it is ridiculous that we have to label our sexual orientation in the first place and that it’s nobody’s business. I agree with that, too, but America isn’t there yet. After centuries of persecution for being different, people are hungry for the opportunity to stand up and say “I’m not a pervert or a freak and you’re a bigot for labeling me as such”. To do that, you’ve got to develop pride in who you are specifically and be able to talk about it publicly. The growing list of initials is a shorthand for that. I’m not immune to the ridiculous side of this growing list, however, and that’s what this cartoon was about in the first place. In fact, I’m told the list has already grown since I wrote this cartoon four weeks ago. (To my conservative readers who say that I only poke fun at the right wing, here’s an example of me laughing at my own side.)

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My last cartoon for the week is about another favorite subject of mine, anthropology. I’ve been reading some E. O. Wilson lately so my mind has been in the distant past.

If you’re looking for a super gift for that someone special or your own special self, please consider a beautiful, archival, limited-edition, signed and numbered, fine art print of one of my favorite Bizarro cartoons. OR an original drawing from a published Bizarro comic. Both can be found at this online art gallery.  (The color ones are prints, the b/w ones are original ink drawings.) It’s a great way to support me and a damn fine way to spruce up your trailer down by the river!

Another great way to support me is to drop a few monetary units into MY TIP JAR. Whether it’s a one-time donation or a small monthly contribution, it will help Olive Oyl and me continue to live indoors, which we have come to prefer!

Thanks, Jazz Pickles!

Spider on a Plane

Bizarro 07-20-14 HedrWEB Bizarro 07-20-14 WEB bizarro 06-14-98 tall shipWEB(click on any image to make it more huge)


Bizarro is brought to you today by My Invisible Friend.

I’m on vacation this week so I’m keeping my blog comments brief. I hope you more loyal Jazz Pickles will forgive me.

Here’s my cartoon for today.













Here’s a cartoon I did in 1998 that I thought you might like.

Potatoes ‘n’ Peanuts

bizarro 03-30-14 hedrWEBBizarro 03-30-14 WEB(To witness a more bigger cartoon, click on any piece of furniture.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Everyone’s Favorite Toy.

I’ve always loved Mr. Potato Head and have done quite a few cartoons about him. The title panel at left, in fact, is a picture of me from when I was about three-years-old. I often dressed as Mr. Potato Head in those days, much to the chagrin of my parents.



VINTAGE JAZZ: From 1998 comes this cartoon about airline peanuts. I was lucky enough to have been able to meet Charles Schulz and befriend him, as most of us in the National Cartoonists Society did. He was a terrific guy and much beloved. He also enjoyed these kinds of Peanuts-related cartoons and even has one or two of mine in his museum in Santa Rosa, California. On another topic, the airline attendant does not have a man’s head sticking out of her butt. He’s sitting behind her and has fallen asleep with one of those flattering open-mouth faces we all love.bizarro 04-05-98 PeanutsWEB


bz panel 09-18-13bz strip 09-18-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Night of the Living Wool.

Here’s another gag from my good buddy, Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay.

I’m having some rotten personal problems this week and can’t generate any humor for the rest of this post. My apologies. I’ll be better soon, I’m sure.

The worst part about being a syndicated cartoonist and responsible for 365 new ideas each year is that you have to be funny even when you feel like shit. It’s a very weird thing to try to do and not very pleasant.









REBIZARROS: bz panel 06-01-05 FLOATATIONHere’s another airplane gag from 2005. It was my buddy, Keith’s 50th birthday so I drew him as the floater and gave him a shout-out in the upper left corner.

Unnatural Acts

bz panel 05-03-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Choice.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe that denying non-heterosexual couples the right to marry is as bigoted as denying women or non-whites the right to vote. Fortunately, it seems that most Americans currently agree and this particular injustice is probably on its way out of the justice system for good. Maybe not tomorrow, but in my lifetime. Unless I’m killed prematurely. At the hands of a homophobe. Probably with a gun he bought without a background check.

But more to the point, I think marriage should be taken out of the government’s hands entirely; it should be a personal or religious choice and unregulated or documented by the authorities.

(Child support, on the other hand, should be a part of the legal system because basic social responsibility for the crotch fruit a person drags into this world is good for all of society.) The only reasons I can think of for marriage’s inclusion in the government’s business (and I’m speaking as an amateur historical expert here) are archaic.

America’s current marriage and divorce laws are based on ancient times when men “owned” their wives. For centuries, women were kept at home like slaves––cooking, cleaning, spitting out babies and taking care of them until she (or he) dropped dead. The men often had sex partners on the side, which was silently accepted in most societies, but if the woman did, she was executed or at least ostracized by “decent” society. Even in more recent and less barbaric times, like when I was a kid in the sixties, most women didn’t work so if a man dumped his wife in her later years, she had no reasonable way to take care of herself. Thus the concept of alimony. Under those conditions that seemed fair and probably was.

In today’s America, however, staying home to raise children is something that women are not forced to do, but choose to do. In the society I am imagining, if a woman chooses this and her husband leaves her in midlife without any logical means of support, she could still sue him for the injustice, and the courts would hear these cases. But women who never had children but still chose not to work, despite their husband’s encouragement to do so, have no logical argument for alimony after the marriage is over. If the only reason the woman has no means of supporting herself was her own choice, why does the husband owe her a living beyond the time they are living together?

I personally know a man whose wife cheated, lied, stole money, got into trouble with the law, drank and drugged to excess, and personally made their apartment a pig sty. When he’d finally had enough, he left. But because of their state’s “no fault” policy toward divorce (most states in America have this system), his story was never considered or even allowed to be told in court. The courts don’t care. Instead, he is routinely ordered to pay her thousands of dollars a month for years. No matter what the situation is, everything gets split in half, including the hard-working member of the marriage’s income for years after they split. How does this make sense in today’s America? (This sometimes happens the other way around and the woman is the one with the money and must share it with the deadbeat husband, but it is rare.) These laws are clearly based on more primitive times and have their roots in the ownership of women. Yet almost everyone knows someone to whom this has happened.

So while I’m happy that non-traditional couples are slowly but surely being granted the rights of the majority, I increasingly find myself in the camp that wonders why anyone would want to drag judges and lawyers into their relationship. I know I’ll never make that mistake again.

Reaper Duck Stupid Rebel Hand Ball

Bizarro is brought to you today by Trojan!

The deadline gods conspired against me this week and I have had no time to post on this blog about my daily cartoons. I hope that next week will be less Sisyphussy. (NEW WORD ALERT!)  I think there are some good cartoons in this batch, but let’s let you be the judge.

The woman in the bar with a bow and arrow is an allegory for the way single men often feel about beautiful women. We are simultaneously drawn to and intimidated by them. One reason I never approach an attractive woman in public is because I am certain she will shoot me. Your results may vary.

This little ditty about a party full of grim reapers was an idea that came from my “known associate,” Wayno. The fun for me was in the drawing. I feel good about the body gestures of the various characters, which is something most cartoonists these days (since you no longer have to actually be able to draw to be a professional cartoonist) don’t pay much attention to. I think I managed to make the host look welcoming, the guest look mortified (PUN INTENDED!) and the guests in the background seem natural in a party environment. I also had fun with the paisley, of course. See Wayno’s clever chatter about it here.

The idea for this cartoon about Rebel Air was submitted by a loyal Bizarro Jazz Pickle, Brian Levy, who sends me several ideas each week. Like most JPs who do this, all of his suggestions are appreciated but most are not quite right for me. I liked this idea about a rebellious airline that flouts FAA rules, however. Just for fun, I attempted to draw a sort of caricature of Mr. Levy for this cartoon based on a photo he sent. I doubt it looks much like him but you might notice he is sitting next to me on the plane (another of my tributes to Alfred Hitchcock.) Don’t get any ideas, Brian –– I will NEVER travel anywhere with you.

If you were wondering when I was going to openly call someone stupid, wonder no more for I have done it in this cartoon. I got quite a few emails from teachers who particularly related to this one. One of the best reasons I know for educating yourself and behaving with some sense of decency is that there is a damned good chance your kids are going to be a lot like you. Want your kids to be honest? Don’t lie to them or to your significant other. Want your son to respect women? Don’t be a lecherous hound. Want your daughter to pick a good mate someday? Don’t be an ass to her mother. Want your kids to be smart? Don’t be an uneducated boob. It’s kind of simple, really. If you don’t have any children, ignore the previous advice and be a stupid, lying, cheating jackass if you like.

I’ve done a few cartoons about the hand inside of a puppet but I’m not tired of the motif yet, so here’s another. (And here is one of my favorites from last year.) My good friend with the best nom de plume yet, Richard Cabeza, suggested a cartoon wherein a muppet couple were getting a sonogram and a hand shows up inside of her. For various reasons of graphic clarity, I changed it to this approach. Now that I think of it, it would have been even funnier if the mom muppet was lying lifeless and limp on the table since her infrastructure had just been removed. Damn. Wish I’d thought of that before this second.

Here’s another fun idea from Wayno. For this one, I used the same drawing as a cartoon I did a while back. See here. A fun little bit of trivia for you Jazz Pickles who actually read my blogs and don’t just look at the pictures, is that on the backs of the jerseys I used the names of a few of my friends who are regular contributors to Bizarro. Just a little nod to my homies.

So who do you want to win the Super Bowl this weekend? I don’t care who wins as long as it isn’t New England. It’s not that I hate Boston, I don’t. I always root for the Red Sox over the Yankees, for instance. And I don’t hate patriots; I always root for the U.S. over Germany when I watch The History Channel. It’s just that the Patriots have won too much, Belichick seems like a complete ass, and Brady is married to a super model. That’s all the reasons I need. Hey, it’s sports, not brain surgery.

I’m dead broke. Please buy something from me: cartoons on products, cartoons in books.