Painful Regrets

(When the urge to embiggenate overwhelms you, click any image.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Questionable Tattoo Choices.

Before we get to the subject of tattoos, let’s start here: Many readers are already aware of my “Secret Symbols,” but some are not. I place little icons in almost all of my cartoons and put a small number above my signature to tell you how many to look for. That number is usually 3 or under but today it is 18. For a full list of my Secret Symbols, click on those blue words you just saw a second ago. Yes, Al Hirschfeld used to do something like this and I got the idea partly from him and partly from those “find the hidden things in this picture” games in books and magazines for children.

About this cartoon: I have some tattoos (NOT the one in the blue link above) and can attest to the fact that their application is painful. I’ve always thought it feels like someone is scribbling on you with a pointy, hot curling iron. Tattoos are pretty popular these days but they’d likely be even more so if you could just drop your arm off at the shop while they work and go get a couple of margaritas.

One of my tattoos represents an ex-person in my life and it has always been my least favorite. That was true even before that person was an “ex,” because it the tattoo was badly executed. As an artist, I don’t like having crappy art on my arm, and as a human, I don’t like having art on me that represents someone that I went to an awful lot of time and expense to get out of my life. I would just tattoo over it, but tattoo ink is fairly transparent so to do that, you pretty much have to use a LOT of black ink. I’m not a fan of big black tattoos, so I opted to go for laser tattoo removal treatments to lighten it enough to tattoo over without a lot of black. This takes many individual treatments, each at a minimum of two months apart, so it takes a fair amount of time. The laser process is just as painful as a tattoo, but fortunately, each treatment only lasts a minute or two. In summary, it’s a whole expensive, long, involved thing and I wish I’d never gotten this crappy tattoo. The other ones I have I’m fine with and once this crappy one is faded enough, I’ll get a new (colorful) one tattooed over the same spot and that will be that. I know––I have nobody to blame but myself.

The moral of this story is this: some things in life would be less painful and more convenient if our body parts could simply pop on and off like Mr. Potato Head’s.

The moral of this massage cartoon is that if your hands are big enough, you could massage people more quickly. Here’s another massage cartoon from a while back.

This cartoon attempts to find the humor in slavery, something I generally do not recommend trying to do.

I do, however, recommend you look at this graphic I have created about something that is increasingly important to me.

If you’re having trouble trying to make sense of this dog cartoon, read up on the Trojan War.

I practiced yoga a couple/three of times a week for a few years. I got three good things out of it: I adopted my dog from someone in my class who had rescued her from the streets, I bought a classic motorcycle that I’d wanted for years (1968 BMW) which I found out was for sale from a different member of the class, and I met my beloved Olive Oyl. I also got one bad thing: a back injury that nagged me for months and I could never quite get rid of until I gave up yoga and adopted a different form of exercise. My takeaway is that yoga is terrific for some people and some things but probably not in all cases for all people. To return to a previous theme, if my body parts popped off like Mr. Potato Head’s I would probably have been better at it. There were many times when I feared they might.

The most important words in this cartoon are “non-ironic”.

I used to hang out with a whole lot of animal rights vegans (as opposed to people who are vegan only for their health) and I thought I might get a lot of positive and negative feedback from those type folks from this cartoon. That hasn’t happened but it still might since the cartoon was only published yesterday (at this writing).

Years ago, during a friendly conversation about veganism with none other than Sean Lennon, he argued that, like mammals, plants might also be sentient and feel pain in a completely different way than we can understand. He was theoretically right, of course. Scientists are finding out all kinds of things about the surprising complexity of plant communication and behavior that was not known even ten years ago. If we discover and are able to prove that this is true, it will be interesting for vegans. That’s all I’m prepared to say about it at this time.

I’ve enjoyed our time together and appreciate your reading all the way to the end without interrupting me. Until my next post, be smart, be happy, be nice.

I also made these for you…

Food Nightmares

(One may embiggenate any image herein by placing the cursor within that image’s borders and activating the device that triggers the cursor to act.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Why I Became An Artist.

Mr. Potato Head is an almost endless wellspring of cartoon ideas. I’ve done quite a few over the years, including this very racy one from two weeks ago that I still can’t believe didn’t get censored by any of my newspaper clients, and this one, which is one of my favorites from my entirely-too-long cartooning career. I like this one, too, for slapstick reasons and this one because of its absurdity.

And, the title panel for today’s cartoon (top of this post) is an altered version of a photo of yours truly when I was about three years old.

My first cartoon from the past week is a bit of fun with the Garden of Eden myth. One reader wrote to ask me if I was lampooning the way the Trump Klux Klan and right-wing media tell people completely unmitigated, irrational lies and they believe them. To be honest, that was not on my mind but it is a terrific analogy.

The human mind has an almost insatiable need for myths, and not just in the realm of spiritualism; many of them have to do with politics and leaders. There is no other explanation for the fact that millions of the American poor and working class believe(d) that an old man who demonstrably built a fifty-year career in business by abusing the poor and working class suddenly intends to be their savior. The disastrous health care bill they tried to pass last week was a perfect example of how much current-day Republicans care about the working class.

I’m not sure how successful this cave cartoon is. I liked it when I first drew it but it doesn’t work very well for me now. I’m hoping your results vary.

Old ladies can be such bitches, am I right? ( I said “can” be. Many are quite lovely and sweet.)


This cartoon is quite strange and I like that, but even stranger is how it appeared in one California newspaper. I didn’t find out what had happened until a few readers sent me FB messages about it, but apparently this cartoon was edited at just this one newspaper to this version. (It’s not about it being in strip format rather than panel format, I offer both to all my client newspapers.) You’ll notice that the cartoon is the same except that the “G” is gone from the word “God”. Which is rather “od”.

I suppose it could be an accident but it is hard to imagine how. My guess is that they removed the letter to avoid offending religious nuts who are incensed by the use of god in comics. (Of which there are more than you would think and I’ve got the hate mail to prove it.) If that is true, I think this is the kind of way-over-the-top, nonsensical liberal pandering that drove a lot of not-big-city folks to vote for Trump. Just my opinion, of course.

On the other hand, there’s no arguing the fact that we live in a world where people are murdered every day in the name of imaginary people in the sky, so maybe it pays to steer absurdly clear of religious nuts of any stripe.

I particularly like this cartoon and it says a lot about today’s electorate. Someone on one of my posts made the point that foil hat nuts reside on both sides of the political aisle but I don’t think you can effectively argue that the vast majority of conspiracy nuts don’t belong to the right wing of American politics. I’ve not done a deep dive on this but I think it is because the Republicans made a conscious effort to court them a couple of decades ago. The modern Republican party doesn’t have policies that help anyone but the extremely rich and corporations, and there aren’t enough of them to elect anyone to office, so they consciously began some time ago to find more conceptual ways to appeal to voters on topics like Christianity, “family values,” terrorism, and crime (abortion rights, the supposed “immigrant threat,” the ridiculous “War on Christmas,” marriage equality, Planned Parenthood’s supposed plot to kill babies and sell their parts to mad scientists, etc.)  In doing so, they’re happy to pander to anyone, including people on the fringes of reality who believe just about any crazy idea you could possibly dream up. I mean, when all of your policies are bad for anyone making less than a million dollars a year, you have to find something to get people excited about. Fear of “the other” is an ancient and very successful method.

Finally this week, we have this daring gentleman who is diligently practicing his dangerous pastime. I skydove once (not a word but should be) and I found it exhilarating. The moment I stepped up to the open door of an airplane and told my body to jump out of it into thin air and every molecule of my being screamed back at me is one I will never forget.

Thanks for spending this time with me, Jazz Pickles. I always enjoy talking to you about my cartoons and hearing about which ones you enjoyed (or didn’t) in the comments section. As the world changes and more people read my work online (for which I do not get paid) instead of in newspapers, I look for new ways to make a living as an artist. If you’d like to help support the ideas and art that you value, please consider one of the options below. My beloved Olive Oyl and I will thank you as we continue to live indoors and eat daily. 

Grab a copy or several of my new book, full of crazy groovy art and only $6. (Buying it from any site that sells books is fine, doesn’t have to be the one I linked here.) 

Make a one-time donation or a monthly contribution to the good people at Rancho Bizarro (there are only two of us––my beloved Olive Oyl and me) who fearlessly bring Bizarro to you 365 days a year in spite of the obvious dangers of publicly attacking a powerful, thin-skinned, authoritarian egomaniac. Any amount is appreciated.

Buy a print of any Bizarro cartoon you can find by using the calendar function on Starts at around $25.

Buy a larger, limited-edition, signed and numbered, archival, color print of one of my personal favorite Bizarro cartoons from an LA art dealer. ($200) They also sell some of my original ink drawings from Bizarro. ($1000)

Until next time, be well, be smart, be nice.

Love Amputation Kids Computers

bz panel 11-20-14bz strip 11-20-14bz panel 11-21-14bz strip 11-21-14bz panel 11-22-14bz strip 11-22-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Computer Anatomy.

As my regular readers know, I’ve been through two divorces and cannot recommend the experience. All that is in the distant past now but now and then a nice divorce gag occurs to me. When your job is coming up with a fresh gag 365 days a year, anything that goes into your head is likely to come back out later as a cartoon or twelve.


Mr. Potato Head is a fun trope for cartoons but so many have been done that it’s tough to come up with a new one. This time, I went dark.



As a person over “a certain age” it still amazes me how computers have become second nature for the young. I often have to ask a member of a younger generation to solve tech problems for me. I’ve still got them beat when it comes to philosophy, though.


BIZARRO BOOMERANG: From 1999 is this cartoon I did along the same lines. Zack Berry was the little kid who lived next door to me way back then. bizarro 02-22-99 WEB

Godiva Fries

Bizarro 08-24-14 hedr WEBBizarro 08-24-14 WEB(To see any of these images largerized, click any character’s index finger.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Modern Lady Godiva.

This is a fairly simple and maybe corny pun, but I love the contrast between the big hullabaloo I made with such a complex and formal illustration, and the final gag. Does that make sense? I actually used much of this art a couple of times before but what the hell, it took me a long time to draw, I might as well get my money’s worth, right?

JAZZ PICKLE JAR: The name of today’s archival section is appropriate since I put a jar of jazz pickles in the title panel of today’s strip. Here, from 1999, is a cartoon full of pathos as poor Mr. Potato Head listens to a prosthetics salesman describe his wares. I can’t help but wonder which one he chose, but I guess we’ll never know. biz24tsc PotatoHeadWEB

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