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Cap’n Cleek

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Bizarro is brought to you today by High Speed Golf Cart.

I’ve often remarked that one reason pirates are so popular with cartoonists is that it is the only way we can do a cartoon about a disability without being buried under an avalanche of angry mail accusing us of being insensitive. If I published a cartoon about a one-legged old lady at the grocery store people would get pissed, but the same gag about a one-legged pirate is fair game. That doesn’t mean I’ve never gotten angry mail from a pirate cartoon. I got three very nasty letters about this cartoon, but it is noteworthy that none came from a disabled person; only people who felt sorry for disabled people and didn’t like them being made fun of. In contrast, that same cartoon garnered numerous letters of thanks from disabled people who reported that their sense of humor was an important tool in overcoming the hardships and inconveniences they’d faced. And I got one letter from a prosthetics company that wanted to put that cartoon on T-shirts to give out to their clients. I’ve often used that story to help guide me in deciding whether or not to do a cartoon like this.
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Room Service

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Flying Mustaches.

I’ve heard from a couple of people who didn’t immediately understand the cartoon above but when they did, they laughed. I love cartoons like that. I was proud of this one when I thought of it because it is fairly surreal, yet also a completely simple twist on a popular saying. In my experience of writing a joke a day for over 30 years*, I find that surprise is the most dependable way to get a laugh. I always love finding a surprising angle on a cliche expression, and this one achieves that very well in my opinion. PLUS, it has eleven Secret Symbols, including the newly-added “O2,” which you can find out about under that blue link you just sailed past.
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Pumping

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bizarro-09-18-16-webBizarro is brought to you today by Forgotten Muscle Groups.

This Sunday comic about the family health club membership is worth enlarging, if only to search for the 12 secret symbols. There are 11 official secret symbols (as documented and explained here) but one of them appears in this image twice.
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Hungry

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Strange Olympics. 

There is much fun to be had in this comic featuring a twist on the age-old comedy motif of the kid whose dog ate his homework. Aside from the deep, theological concepts within the dialogue, there are plenty of background jokes and six secret symbols to search for. Embiggenate it for a more complete experience.
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Born Adults

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(A simple click of any illustration here will delightfully embiggenate it.)
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Bizarro is brought to you today by Enduring Myths.

Today’s Sunday cartoon is a soft joke but one that made me smile. The mythical notion of humans just popping up in life as full-grown, modern adults and trying to negotiate the world around them is always amusing to me, but this is a wrinkle I’ve never thought of before. The utterly casual callousness of Adam and Eve as the quintessential “new parents” is devilishly delightful: “Sorry kid. We have no idea what we’re doing, and how could we?” I felt that way with my first daughter, who was born a full decade before I had any business being a parent.
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Too Many Babies

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(To embiggenate any cartoon, hold down your breakfast and click any yellowish color thrice.)

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Bizarro is brought to you today by My Favorite Click Bait of the Week.

If you’re a person who is uncomfortable being honest about sex with your children, this cartoon is an excellent way to teach them about reproduction. It’s a bit more accurate than the old “stork” story, and in a court of law you could argue that it is technically true; babies come from inside the mother. Of course, if you do use this as a teaching tool for your children, prepare to be raising your grandchildren in a few years because their parents are still in middle school.
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Flash Fire

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Bizarro is brought to you today by The First Plausible Explanation I’ve Heard.

There’s a raging controversy on social media this morning about the Christmas tree cartoon above and whether or not the symbol count (small number above my signature) matches the number of actual Secret Symbols hidden therein. Okay, perhaps not a “raging” controversy, but a couple of people have written polite notes asking me what’s up. If you go to Bizarro.com and look at the cartoon posted there in the main frame at the top for today, March 6, 2016, you’ll see that the “K2” on the rooftop door of the building in the upper-right corner of the cartoon is missing. I remember when I submitted this cartoon four weeks ago that my editor told me the symbol count didn’t match, and upon inspection I saw that I had somehow deleted the K2 from the door in one of the hundreds of complicated technologically scientific steps it takes to create one of these images. I remember replacing it and sending the corrected one to King Features but somehow it didn’t make it to the online version. I’m not sure if it made it to the newspaper version, perhaps not. So here now is the corrected version with all six symbols. If you want to see where they all are, here’s a version with the symbols circled. 
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Institutional Solopsism

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(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.
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Joining Twins

 

Bizarro is brought to you today by A Visit To A Town In Arkansas Called Flippin.Bizarro 07-12-15 hdr Bizarro 07-12-15 WEBHere’s an odd bit of punctuation fun. If you’re not familiar with punctuation and have never (or rarely) used it, it’s those little dots and dashes that sometime squeeze themselves in between words or hover magically above them. In this case, the little dash after the last “E” in Siamese is called a “comma” and changes the meaning of the caption. Without it, it would not be referring to a cat, which it is, but would instead lead one to believe I had used an outdated, non-PC term for conjoined twins. Which I have not. In spite of the impression your 7th grade English teacher gave you, punctuation can be fun.bz panel 07-06-15Way back last Monday I published this cartoon about mice. Part of what’s funny about it is that mice don’t wear clothes or enter the medical profession. bz panel 07-07-15At the risk of sounding immodest, I really like this little bait-and-switch optical illusion cartoon or whatever you want to call it. I think tiny people inside of desk intercoms are funny.bz panel 07-08-15For the most part, critics have been kind to me over the years. One key, of course, is that critics don’t critique cartoonists very often. The worst thing about critics, however, is that they feel they MUST say something negative, even in a positive review, to avoid the impression that they are ass-kissing. Lousy ones do little more than trash people.bz panel 07-09-15This witch/cop cartoon is another grammar-related thing, I guess. Some people think wordplay is lowbrow but I like it under certain circumstance. bz panel 07-10-15If you’ve ever had a chicken bone in your throat, this cartoon needs no explanation.bz panel 07-11-15This cartoon came to me as I was thinking about the story of Little Red Riding Hood. In the original story, as I recall, the wolf eats the grandma, nearly eats LRRH, then a woodsman shows up, cuts open the wolf and pulls the grandma out of its stomach thus saving her life. I think this is a terrible story to tell children because it inaccurately teaches them that wolves do not chew their food.
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Dummy Drawings

Bizarro is brought to you today by Horse In The Road.

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I’ve been on holiday for a couple weeks (SO rare for me!) and so now that I’m back at headquarters I feel as though I’ve been thrown from a speeding car onto a highway full of emails. Ugh.

Meanwhile, here are the cartoons that published while I was away and that I’ve not posted here yet.Bizarro 06-28-15 WEBBreaking up is never fun, even when one of you is made of wood and plastic. Bizarro 07-05-15 hdrWEB Bizarro 07-05-15 WEbHere’s another in my ongoing series of Sunday Punnies, which are puns that readers send to me and I figure out a funny way to illustrate them. Congrats to Dennis Barley, Kelly Cox, and Ed Saugstad for submitting this batch! Side note: The bunny in the title panel and at the top left of the Sunday Punnies is not the usual Bizarro Bunny, but her boyfriend, Sterphen. (That’s not a typo, that’s how he spells his name.)
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