Dogs Who Drive

Bizarro 06-05-16 hdrWEB

(For readers who wish to embiggenate these images, click any blue-colored thing.)Bizarro 06-05-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Perhaps The Best Option.

Here’s a fun take on distracted driving, which has always been a major public safety issue and is getting worse all the time. It is estimated that over 600% of all accidents caused by teenaged drivers are the result of cell phone use. No, that math does not make sense, but teenagers aren’t any good at math, either, which is another big problem with this country. How are they going to repair the desolate wasteland we are leaving them if they are too busy texting to do the math? See what I’m saying?

In the background of this cartoon is a nice shot of Bunny’s Pie Repair. Bunny won’t live forever and who is going to carry the necessary business of pie repair forward into the rest of the 21st century––some millennial dressed up like an imaginary super hero on their way to Comic Con, crashing into cars and pedestrians as they send selfies of their private parts to politicians? I think you get my point. We’re in trouble, people.

bz panel 05-30-16

Well, apparently I’m on some kind of rant against the Interwebs this week. Well, if you can find a better target than this technological vampire that sucks so much life and time out of our daily existence, let me know and I’ll rant against that, too. It occurred to Olive Oyl and me lately that the Internet makes us feel like we’re not as popular as other people, that a lot of things are going on that we know nothing about, and that we might be attacked by an ignorant, unfeeling jackass at any moment. Just like junior high school. There are billions of examples from the Web that make this point , but the similarity between Donald Drumpf’s tweets and the childish pronouncements of an adolescent bully is certainly a prime one.

bz panel 05-31-16

One thing cave men are always good for is a bit of word play. I’ve always been interested in how language among humans developed, as you can see from this Bizarro cartoon from the past. I hope to speak a language myself, one day. The only thing holding me back is that there are so many words you have to memorize.
bz panel 06-01-16

I used to ride a bike a lot back in the 90s and actually wore cycling clothes for a while. (If you clicked that link, give yourself a moment to stop shuddering.) When you’re into the sport, you begin to lose perspective on how truly alarming the clothes are. It’s a slippery slope.  Here’s a fun cartoon from 2013 about a biker bar.

bz panel 06-02-16

I got some grief from believers as a result of this god cartoon, as I almost always do. Many were quick to remind me that “god does not damn people, we damn ourselves”. I couldn’t agree more, but for completely different reasons than I assume they meant. Other readers wondered why an omnipotent being would be bald. My answer is that in a place where hospital gowns and Birkenstock sandals are popular, baldness might also be the Height of fashion. (Capitalization intentional.)

bz panel 06-03-16

This ventriloquism gag is one of my favorite efforts in a long time. I love that it takes a few seconds to realize what’s going on, and also that it plays on that myth that ventriloquists can actually throw their voice to another part of a room. When I first drew it, the dog was awake and his head was up. That’s the version that printed in newspapers and appeared in the daily feed at King Feature’s site. I later decided that drawing the dog asleep works a little better because it more quickly removes the option that the dog is the one speaking. Here’s the original version. So I redrew the dog for this blog post and will use this version for all future uses.

bz panel 06-04-16

When I wrote this gag I thought it was clear but now that I see it weeks later, I notice it could be interpreted a different way. I meant for the dog to be referring to the woman with whom he lives, not the dog he is talking to. Dogs and people often disagree on what “gross” is. My dog, for instance, thinks placing her nose 1/4 inch from a fresh, steaming pile of the excrement of another dog is perfectly acceptable. In fact, she seems to think it is essential. Perhaps this is how dogs text each other. Thank god dogs can’t drive.

I deeply appreciate those of you who take the time to read my comments rather than just blasting through the cartoons and moving over to Twitter where Justin Bieber is discussing what he had for brunch. If you are one of these fine folks, bless you! If you’ve enjoyed my work over the years and would like to show your appreciation, perhaps toss a small something into the Tip Jar in the margin of this page. One-time donations or monthly contributions are much appreciated! Being a patron of the things you’d like to see more of on the Web feels good and benefits the Internet community upon which we all depend. Do not, however, view my cartoons while driving. If you must use your phone, let your dog drive.



Bizarro 09-27-15 hdr

(For greater embiggenation, click any kind of fur in any image.)

Bizarro 03-27-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by When Animals Think We’re Not Looking.

If you’ve ever lived with a person who habitually rescues animals, you get this cartoon. I think most people are compassionate to non-human animals but we each have our limits as to how much of our personal space and attention we’re willing to give to them. I used to hang out with a lot of animal rights activists (and lived with one for a while) whose homes were more like the petting zoo tent at the State Fair than what I would call a suitable human domicile. I have no doubt whatsoever that some of them would take in Bigfoot if the opportunity presented itself. No question. And they’d argue that BF was safer and happier as a prisoner of their small apartment than he would be in the wild.

My favorite aspect of this cartoon is the arrogant defiance in Bigfoot’s face and body language. I feel like I’ve seen that look from animals that my former roommate was fostering. And they weren’t all dogs and cats, believe me.

Sidenote: The title panel above was crafted from an old cartoon about Bigfoot that is my favorite of many I’ve done on the subject. See it here.

bz panel 03-21-16

Some may think this gag is corny but I love it. I like puns (though not all of them) and this is a visual pun which makes me smile. I can’t remember where now, but this cartoon was posted somewhere on the Interwebs and someone left this comment: “Seems forced.” For a split second I was a little hurt by the insult, but then I realized the brilliance of it and laughed; “forced perspective” is an art term for the way this man is drawn. Whoever left that comment, thanks for the laugh!

bz panel 03-22-16

I like doing cartoons about the mythological version of heaven that we’ve all seen a million times. In this one, the ability to stand on clouds is explained. I have to wonder, though, if the repairman was already in heaven and just changed his clothes to repair the floor, or if god killed him just for this purpose.

As long as we’re on the topic, today is Easter which is one of the most peculiar holidays, in my opinion. A guy was tortured to death by his local government and came back from the dead to prove it could be done, and we celebrate it by looking for decorative eggs left by a giant, magic rabbit. Sure, makes perfect sense.

(P.S. I know all the theological reasoning behind the death/resurrection thing, and the historical reasons for the rabbit and eggs thing, so no need to leave detailed comments about that unless you just really want to. I still think it is peculiar and funny.)

bz panel 03-23-16

I suspect that those who practice the pajama arts would be quick to point out that breaking things in half with kicks and punches is not the real point of this ancient discipline, but it’s a well-known activity we’ve all seen somewhere and that’s what humor is often based on. When one considers the enormous strength of a large tree, it is a little silly to be proud that you can break a relatively tiny, thin piece of it with a body part. Everything is relative.
bz panel 03-24-16

It came to my attention recently that modern American teenagers are not getting their driver’s licenses until they are much older, like around twenty or so. In my day (the late 1900s) it was typical to take the test on your 16th birthday or as soon after as could be managed. Kids these days live on the Internet, though, so leaving the house isn’t a big priority. It is said that teenagers’ brains are not finished developing and this causes them to be poor drivers, so one obvious benefit is that we’re all safer without them on the roads. But perhaps this is also how we will eventually solve the problems of increasing traffic and pollution; everyone will just stay home and experience the world through little screens. If you’re the sort who pays attention to your phone while you’re driving (in my estimate, 90% of everyone on the road) we’re all better off if you stay home anyway.

bz panel 03-25-16

I use valet parking now and again, like most people, but it has always struck me how willing we are to hand the keys to a car that cost tens of thousands of dollars to a complete stranger to just drive off in. He may drive to Mexico in it and begin a new life, he may have the flu and sneeze dangerous germs all over your steering wheel, he may pick up drug addicts who may overdose and die in your back seat, or he may park it safely somewhere and give it back to you when you ask. Not great odds.

bz panel 03-26-16

Lately I’ve been getting a massage every few weeks and the rubber-person plays those hippie-dippy tapes of nature sounds and stringed instruments from exotic lands––the sort that make me wonder if I’m about to have a sit-com flashback. One such tape had a lot of babbling brook water sounds in the background and I found it highly suggestive. A reader told me that he used to have the same problem with the trickling spit sink at his dentist’s office. That’s never been a problem for me because dental work always makes me lose control of my bladder and bowels, whether I can hear trickling water or not.

My latest limited-edition cartoon T-shirt will be for sale only until tomorrow afternoon, Monday, March 28, 2016. Grab one now before you can’t grab one later. I use the money from these sales to continue living indoors. Thanks, Jazz Pickles!

No Good Dogs

Bizarro 01-24-16 HdrWEB

(To experience these cartoons with embiggenation, click any blueish color in an image.)Bizarro 01-24-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Con Artists.

Dogs are experts of human psychology. They wheedled their way into our families tens of thousands of years ago by convincing us that they understand what we are saying, what is important to us, and how we live. When we are present, they are model citizens and can easily distinguish between your new Prada shoes and a shoe-shaped chew toy. But somehow, as soon as we are gone, they forget which is which and chew the Prada into a shape that is useless to the human foot. You may find pieces of it in a different form out in the yard the next day, but like Humpty Dumpty, there’s no putting it back together again. When confronted with this crime, your dog looks as guilty as O.J. did in his Bronco during the infamous slow-speed chase. This would seem to indicate that your dog knows they’ve done something wrong. But here’s where it gets wonky: if you accuse them of something they didn’t do, in fact, could not have done, like forget to pay your Internet provider and now your wifi has been shut off, they’ll look just as guilty. Do they understand culpability, or do they simply know that when you’re angry, looking “guilty” will garner them some leniency?

In spite of all of this, or perhaps because of it, I still love dogs and never want to live without one. Perhaps I have a weakness for con artists.

bz panel 01-18-16

Speaking of con artists, I got a lot of positive mail from folks who loved this Caveman Trump cartoon. I got one bit of angry mail asking why I never make fun of Hillary Clinton. Ideology aside, the simple answer is that Clinton is not ridiculous. She doesn’t give comedians irresistible invitations to attack her the way Trump does, and has for a couple of decades now. He’s always been a bloviating carnival barker, a reality show clown, and a shameless publicity hog. To professional humorists, public figures like this have a target painted on their forehead. I don’t make up the things Trump does and says, I just illustrate them. And believe me, he appreciates every molecule of attention he gets without regard to whether it is positive or negative.

bz panel 01-19-16

I originally conceived of the cartoon above as a guy getting arrested in his home with a camera crew follows the cops through his front door, as though it were happening as part of one of those voyeuristic cop shows. Showing all that action was too complex for a one-panel cartoon so I shelved it. Then police dashboard (and body) cameras were in the news a lot and that gave me a simpler way to portray it. Just a bit of background trivia for readers who enjoy that sort of thing.

bz panel 01-20-16

And here’s another cop cartoon, for some reason. I think it would be great if free-range chickens were actually free to wander around my local community but I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. One place they actually do this, however, is Kauai, which is one of the Hawaiian Islands. Seeing them wandering around everywhere there reminds one that there was a time when chickens were wild birds. I believe they were called Junglefowl, and still are in Southeast Asia. In my opinion, the male ones are among the most beautiful birds in the world, as this page of Junglefowl pictures shows.

bz panel 01-21-16

I have no idea what creepy corner of my mind this cartoon about “role playing” came from. It seems vaguely sexy but in a ridiculous, completely UNsexy way, so I suppose that’s why I thought it was funny. I’ve personally never been interested in this level of role playing in the bedroom because I have the sort of mind that always goes for the comedy and that’s usually not very conducive to sexy time.

bz panel 01-22-16I’ve seen a few cartoons based on the this may be the wine talking cliche but I’ve not seen this take on it so I drew it. Most cartoonists I know enjoy jumping in on a common cartoon theme as a way of competing in a friendly way. It’s sort of a way of saying to your colleagues, I enjoyed your take on the desert island, here’s what I can do.

bz panel 01-23-16

So I was thinking about Octoberfest one day and then, because I have to write at least one joke every single day as part of my job, I thought about alternative month’s fests. February came to mind and then I asked myself what Februaryfest would feature––and here we are. Now that you know how I write gags, you can write your own and won’t need me anymore. It’s been nice knowing you.

But for reals, a few days ago on January 21st, Bizarro celebrated its 31st anniversary. WTF?! Actually it was not celebrated because I completely forgot about it and I’m never quite sure what day of the month it is anyway. Last night, however, my beloved Olive Oyl and I were at an event for the legendary cartoonist and all-around excellent human being, Mell Lazarus, and I suddenly realized my anniversary had passed. O2 said we should have gone out to dinner or something and then we remembered that we actually had gone out to dinner that night to a pretty crappy franchise Mexican restaurant because we were hungry, it was there, we’d never been there before and decided to hope for the best. It was very “meh”. As is a 31st anniversary, come to think of it.

Thanks for reading to the end, Jazz Pickles. I hope you all have a grand and groovy week full of life-changing revelations about the nature of our place in the universe. And if you do, please be sure to share.