Bizarro is brought to you today by Happy Ass.
This week I’ve got a few gags with which I am pleased with the art. I like the gesture of the body of this boxer, as he sits swollen and defeated. Most cartoonists don’t bother with these kinds of details but I really enjoy them and hope you do, too.
This is a subtle gag that I really enjoy for that reason. Again, though, I’m particularly happy with the art because the character at left is very naturally slumped at the bar, casting a casual but disapproving glance at his neighbor’s boxer shorts. I wasn’t always good at the nuances of human facial expressions; I’ve been drawing a cartoon-a-day for nearly 28 years so I’ve had a lot of practice. I used to struggle over getting just the right look on someone’s face but now it comes almost effortlessly. A benefit of age and experience. I remind myself of these benefits to counteract my natural distress over the decaying of my body.
Someone with a terminal illness wrote to me the day this appeared in the paper and said that it really dragged her down. I’m sorry about that. I enjoy dark humor and believe it is one of the most important qualities that distinguish us from other species. Our ability to fully understand our past and future suffering and laugh about it as a way to cope is unique. But when I draw a cartoon like this, I know that somewhere at least one person is going to see their own situation in it and their feelings may be hurt. It’s a weird thing I think about in this job.
This cartoon about an apparent marriage proposal is a traditional “switcharoo.” Your brain thinks it knows what it is seeing until you read the words and find out that it is something entirely different. Ten years ago, this cartoon might have been rejected by many newspaper editors because of the homosexual reference. I find it encouraging that this is not the case today.
This cartoon by Wayno is a real winner, I think, but if you’re not familiar with dung beetles you might not get it. The name comes from the fact that they feed on manure. Some species roll them up into balls and store them for snacking later. They are also known as “scarab beetles” and are the kind you’re used to seeing in ancient Egyptian art. These images have become popular in modern jewelry, as well. If you’ve got a necklace with one of these scarabs on it, you are a person who wears a shit-eating bug around your neck. Here are Wayno’s comments about it.
As long as we’re discussing subjects that one cannot usually include in newspaper comics, this cartoon about a beaver skirts that line, as well. If I had spelled it “damned” instead of dammed, the cartoon would likely have been rejected. What makes a single letter so powerful? Probably the same thing that makes a single finger so powerful. You can hold up any finger you like except the middle one, and the middle one can be used in tandem with any other finger, but if you use it by itself, you get punched in the nose.
It’s a strange world we’ve created, Jazz Pickles.