Bizarro is brought to you today by Cartoons Inspiring Sculpture.
In creating this first cartoon, I was well aware of the fact that there are plenty of women (and men) out there who really dig this kind of guy. To those folks I’d like to say that the point of this was not to say that this guy is wrong for everyone, just wrong for the gal at the bar. I have a lot of friends who are political, environmental, and/or animal rights activists and some of them have the habit of plastering their vehicles with tons of stickers about their beliefs, as well. I’m not sure how many people actually change their belief system based on the bumper stickers they read while at a red light, but I’m guessing it’s a fairly small percentage. Still, somehow we all like to tell the world what we believe or cherish in one way or another. I, for instance, enjoy wearing a T-shirt that says, “ONE OF MY CHILDREN HAS NEVER BEEN ARRESTED.” (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)
This “Found Dog” cartoon is a favorite of mine, because the punch line is so hidden. I found it very difficult to convert into a strip version, however, and wonder how many readers missed the joke when seeing it in the tiny newspaper format. Life is like that sometimes. (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)
Regarding my Godzilla cartoon, I figured I would get a complaint or two from religious readers and I was not disappointed. This one appeared this morning on my Bizarro Facebook page:
“Mr. Piraro, as a Christian, I take offense at your cartoon in today’s (paper), wherein you depict godzilla returning in a Christ-like manner.”
This was my response: “I’m sorry you were offended, that wasn’t my intention. For me, it was just a simple pun between God and Godzilla. I’ve always felt that humor is an innate and invaluable part of the human mind and that if there is a supreme, omnipotent being, it is likely not easily offended by the meager attempts of humans to make each other smile.”
This is a common problem with jokes about religion and one that keeps most mainstream cartoonists from broaching the subject. I was raised in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic school for many years, so I was raised to take spiritual matters very seriously. As an adult I’ve read a fair amount about world religions, theology, and philosophy and continue to study the subject of “higher powers” in all its forms. I’m no longer a believer in any established religions or gods, but still find the powerful attraction most humans have to belief in a higher power fascinating. For some time I was a fairly militant atheist, but now my views have softened a bit and I see the human experience as something endlessly complex and difficult, and have come to believe that whatever means people use to make their journey a little more tolerable is understandable. I draw the line, of course, when religious beliefs are used to prosecute or oppress others. Which, to be fair, is alarmingly often, so I still get ample chances to exercise my militant side. (Purchase a print of this cartoon.)
PREBIZTORICALS: On the topic of religion, I bring you this cartoon from the archives. In the version that appeared in newspapers, the word “shit” was replaced with “poo.” It’s not as funny that way, somehow, so I reverted to my original caption for this post. It has long been interesting to me how utterly ridiculous certain other religions seem (even when I was a devout believer) primitive ones especially, and the thought that immediately followed was that the religion I was raised in would seem just as ridiculous to someone convinced otherwise. This gag, for instance, won’t offend modern folks in any great number, but if the statue had been of Jesus, I would not have even been allowed to publish it. I think we often fool ourselves into believing that other religions have more superstition in them than ours, whatever it may be.