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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!

Uber Legume

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Words of Wisdom From Yesteryear.

Hey, Jazz Pickles. Sorry for the delayed post, I’m out of town and things are wonky.

The cartoon above is a pun on the Uber phenomenon, which has revolutionized the taxi industry; cheaper and more efficient for the consumer, not a good thing for the traditional taxi folks. But that’s beside the point. The point here is a frivolous pun about Uber and goober. (Goober is slang for “peanut”.) The car is a Mercury Comet from the 70s. I like drawing vintage vehicles, especially oddball, goofy ones like this. The truck being used in this cartoon by Bunny’s Pie Repair is some kind of mid-century, British utility van that I found a picture of on the Interwebs. I don’t remember the name of it. Be sure to click on the image and embiggenate it to find the various background jokes and the secret symbols, which today number 7.

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Here’s a goofy pun about doctors. One helpful reader informed me that eye doctors don’t use those mirror things on his head or otoscopes (that thing in his hand). Those are actually only used by ear, nose, and throat docs. Oh well. Good thing it’s a cartoon and not an illustration in a medical school text book.

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I’m not against small cars, in fact, I’m totally for them and hate to see people using gigantic cars that they don’t really need most of the time. But it occurs to me that Smart Cars are perfect for clowns.

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Some readers thought this cartoon about good and bad cops was intentionally written and published in response to the various police-related tragedies of this past week. As I’ve said many times, my cartoons are submitted and dated for publication four weeks in advance, so, no, I did not intend the coincidence, but these days you’d be hard pressed to publish a cartoon like this at a time when it did not coincide with one of these events. I was accused by one reader of criticizing cops unfairly but I don’t see how that’s true here. I’m clearly not saying all cops are bad, only that some are and some are not and you can’t tell the difference until it’s too late.

Cops are human beings, and so they’re going to appear on every point of the spectrum between good and evil, just like the rest of us. Assuming all cops are good is as dangerous and inaccurate as assuming all cops are bad. I’ve had almost no bad experiences with cops, but I have to consider the fact that I’m a middle-class white person. If my skin were darker, my experience would likely be different. A recent poll showed that more than half of white Americans (fifty-something percent, can’t remember the exact number) believe that cops treat all people the same. This, in my opinion, seems blatantly untrue, and I suspect that percentage will be dropping after all the publicity these kinds of events are getting. Racism is not dead in America––far from it.

Here’s my one bad experience with cops: Back in the early 90s, I attended an exhibition soccer game in Texas with my best friend at the time. He was a Mexican national (with legal residency status in the U.S.) and the game was between Mexico and Scotland, so folks supporting each team sat on different sides of the field. He was there to support the team from Mexico, so we sat on the Mexican side of the stadium. (The fact that virtually all white people sat on the “Scottish side” was notable, I think, but that’s another matter.) The cops on the Mexican side of the stadium outnumbered the cops on the much larger, white side of the stadium by three to one. Though there was nothing violent or outrageous about anything the folks on my side of the field were doing, each time the Mexican fans cheered, the cops guarding the our side were aggressive, unreasonable, and insulting, banging their nightsticks on the metal railings and insisting the crowd quiet down.  I was not used to being treated this way by the police so I calmly objected to being told not to cheer at a sporting event. The cop I spoke to pushed me down into my seat, leaned into my face, and threatened to arrest me. I sat down, shut up, and nothing came of it, but I hated it and it gnawed at me for days. It was the one time I experienced for myself what minorities in the U.S. have reported for decades. Actually, for the entire history of our country. I don’t know how to solve the problem, but it’s certainly something that needs to be addressed in a big way.

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Another cartoon about cops for some reason, but this one is not political in any way. Perhaps accordion and bagpipe players will disagree. By the way, I enjoy both of these instruments, I only used them in this cartoon because so many people find them objectionable.

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I like this gag about the naked guy running with a spear. I enjoy reading books about anthropology, so this kind of gag is common for me. I’m currently reading The Social Conquest of Earth by E. O. Wilson. Good stuff.

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This cartoon is built on a pun suggested to me by a longtime Bizarro reader by the name of Imad Libbus. He sends me pretty funny ideas from time to time and I suspect this isn’t the first one I’ve used, though my memory for this kind of thing is terrible so I can’t say for sure.  Being a HUGE fan of Theodore Geisel, I love this gag.

That’s it for this week, Jazz Pickles. Check me out on instagram (danpiraro) if you’re not already. Sometimes I post stuff there that I don’t put anywhere else. Also give a glance to my Tip Jar in the margins of this blog. Any donation or monthly contribution is much appreciated, no matter how small. Helps keep ink in the pen and food in my stomach. 


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(To commence the embiggenation process, click any vowel on any image.)Bizarro 05-08-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Primitive North American Skeet Shooting.

I’ve confessed here before that I’m a bit of a grammar nazi. So I thought it might be fun to create some circus sideshow banners of people correctly using commonly misused phrases and words. The first one is an age-old pet peeve of mine. I’ve not done an in-depth study of it but I’d estimate that 95% of Americans say “I could care less” rather than the correct, “I couldn’t care less,” when they want to express indifference. Yes, people will know what you mean either way and that’s the main point of language, but it drives me a little bit nuts that “I could care less” means exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to say. I care about my mother (happy Mother’s Day, Mom!) and so it would be very possible for me to care less about her. It would not be possible for me to care more about her. On the other hand, if I care nothing at all about something, it would not be possible for me to care less because I already don’t care at all. And so, I “couldn’t” care less. Don’t think of it as a phrase, think of the literal meaning of the words you are saying.

The other two sideshow banners above are just common punctuation errors. Here’s a rhyme that will help you remember which is correct:

You’re your reason for being vexed when it’s the wrong punctuation for its context.”

Okay, there are probably better rhymes for remembering that.

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I was thinking about that thing people sometimes call a “perp walk” ––when a person accused of a crime doesn’t want to be seen on the news so they cover their heads with their jackets on the way into the courthouse––and was wondering what would happen if you tried that all by yourself, with no one accompanying you. You’d probably get arrested but it would be really funny.

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The joke here is about how gigantic, long beards is now a fashion trend among young men. I believe they are sometimes called “lumbersexuals,” which I think is hilarious. I confess I’ve always loved outrageous beards and mustaches and have sported various types of my own for a long time. But still, a joke’s a joke, even if it’s on me. Of course, I’m not a young man anymore and my beard is mostly gray, so I guess I don’t fall into this category. I look less like a lumbersexual and more like a retired lumberjack.

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This gag about glasses is fun, I think. Since I was a child I’ve enjoyed coming up with alternative ways of viewing or saying things. I remember growing up in Oklahoma, where it gets HOT in the summer, and seeing my father leave for work in a suit and tie in August. I saw it as being required to wear a coat and scarf in the middle of summer and it seemed utterly ridiculous. On top of that, he did not work with the public; this was just a lot of people getting all dressed up to push papers around in an office together. I think I may have been born with an absurdity-spotting gene.

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This week’s cartoons were not as controversial as ones from the last two weeks, but I got a few bits of hate mail about this one, accusing me of being one of the people I was attempting to skewer. That happens to satirists.

In fact, this cartoon was was my attempt to point out how incredibly dangerous sneaking into a country is and how very desperate you’d have to be to even try it. Charlatans and race-baiters like Trump like to shout that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans and wreaking havoc on society, but the truth is actually the opposite. Here’s a smart person from Forbes’ website explaining that not only are they not stealing jobs from Americans, they improve local economies. Unscrupulous politicians and other people have been pointing fingers at the “others” (people of races, religions, lifestyles, ethnicities, or sexual orientations that are different from whatever mainstream they are attempting to persuade) for thousands of years and it works on a certain percentage of people every single time. Don’t buy into it. Be smarter than that.
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This joke about poor math skills isn’t based on anything I’ve read recently or anything, but I’m guessing there is probably some truth in it. Math was my worst subject, not so much because I couldn’t understand it but because it didn’t interest me. To a creative, artsy kid like me, math was like watching paint dry. I’m glad some people are into it, though, because apparently it is a very important and useful discipline that allows us to invent computers and stuff, which I’m using now to write this. I really don’t know much more about it than that.

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This final gag is about a man who does not kill animals for fun and then display their mutilated bodies in his home, so he’s all right by me.

Hey, Jazz Pickles, here’s a new thing: I put a “Tip Jar” on this page in the form of a big, pink, hungry bunny in the right margin!  If you’re the kind of person who enjoys my cartoons online (for free!) and would like to show your appreciation, please consider tossing a piece of pie* into the bunny jar. If you click the bunny and scroll down, you can also schedule a monthly donation. Olive Oyl and I will be very appreciative and will think of you each day that we continue to live indoors!  THANKS!

*Pie = an indefinite amount of monetary units

Deadly Sins of Humor

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Future Fashion Trends of the Universe.
Bizarro 08-16-15 WEBI hope you find this gag as humorous as I do. I was musing one day about Disney’s Seven Dwarves and the general personality types evident in their names and suddenly made a leap to the Catholic Church’s ancient seven deadly sins, which are wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, pride, envy, and lust. So I came up with seven dwarf-like names for each of these vices and I had a cartoon. I badly wanted “Frisky” to be named “Horny,” but that word is too scary for newspaper funny pages. bz panel 08-10-15Following is last week’s roundup, starting with this cartoon about the ultra eco-friendly Flintstone mobile. It is said that everything comes back into style eventually and the way our little life raft’s climate is changing, we may all be living in the Stone Age again one day.  bz panel 08-11-15This cartoon about an auction house harkens back to another famous Disney animated film, Cinderella. You may recall that her carriage on that magical night was made from a pumpkin and the horses that pulled it were rats or mice. Memory panel 08-12-15I’m no more certain of what this sheep cartoon means than you probably are, so I’ll just let it sit and be whatever you want it to be. bz panel 08-13-15Since I was a child I’ve questioned our species’ shame over our bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a nudist and am just as vulnerable to feelings of embarrassment about such things as the average person because that’s the way I was raised, but I am able to intellectually see the ridiculousness of it. To me, it is clearly an attempt to control our sexuality, which became more important around 10,000 years ago when agriculture was invented and people began “owning” things and thus wanting to pass them down to their own offspring. I’m convinced that before that humans were much more liberal sexually, which is closer to our biological nature. That’s why monogamy is so difficult for most of us. For more fascinating info on this kind of thing, read “Sex at Dawn” by Christopher panel 08-14-15This is a simple turn-around joke but I still really like it. A “lap dog” could either be one that sits on your lap or one that has a lap you could sit on. In the bottom corner you’ll notice a birthday message to my lovely life partner, Olive Oyl. I did that because it was her birthday. Since we are both motorcycle enthusiasts, we took a ride on our bikes to a small, SoCal town and spent the night in a campy old motel that has been renovated for hipsters like us. It was fun. bz panel 08-15-15My Saturday gag for the week is about a lazy musician’s clever invention. I love that it works as a graphic because that’s how you’d draw a fast moving bow, but in reality, it wouldn’t look like it was moving at all. Hahaha. My eldest daughter, Krapuzar, was a pretty talented violinist as a kid and I still occasionally think of violin gags as a result.

I’d like to invite you to follow me on Instagram where I post very weird images from my sketchbooks, and will eventually be posting pics of my fine art, which I’m doing more of these days. @danpiraro is my handle or name or whatever they call it over there. I’d also like to remind you that if you like any of my sketchbook images, I can do a similar one just for you on a fancy-schmancy sketchcard of my own design. You can order one or just chat with me about it by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page.


Hunter Fan Hero Liar

bz panel 09-04-14bz strip 09-04-14bz panel 09-05-14bz strip 09-05-14bz panel 09-06-14bz strip 09-06-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Store Manager Wisdom.


Phony, fad diets like Paleo are a favorite topic of mine when I can find a good idea with which to skewer them. I think this one is pretty funny. Large amounts of meat are horrible for the human body unless you combine them with enormous amounts of exercise, which our primitive ancestors most certainly did. If you’re thinking “But I lost a lot of weight on the Paleo Diet,” keep in mind that people on meth lose a lot of weight, too. Doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.









I should’ve saved this cartoon for playoff season but I’d likely forget it by then so I used it now. I’m a fairly big sports fan and I never watch games live, so this idea appealed to me. Plus, I like gags that show how absurdly off-base we humans can be in our modern world.















When I drew this one I wondered if I’d hear from family members of people suffering from dementia who think it is insensitive. My defense is that there has been some dementia in my own family and nearly everyone knows someone who has suffered from it in one form or another. Comedy is a time-honored and natural way for humans to deal with the more tragic elements of life. It’s one of the best traits of our overly-developed brains in my opinion, and can be very healing.






BIZARRO OF THE LIVING DEAD: From my archival mausoleum comes this cartoon from 1996 about the psychology of performers. I’ve done some performing myself and have always wondered what it is that drives me to do it. In my next post, I’ll be telling you about a strange new job in television that recently fell into my lap from the ether. I’ll actually be on your TV this coming Sunday night, which is hard for even me to believe.bz960524 WEB