Bizarro is brought to you today by Santa Gives Birth.
I hope you all had a happy holiday thing, whatever that might mean for you. As for me, I couldn’t be happier that it’s over. In spite of my affinity for the occasional stage performance, I’m actually an introvert and so the rapid succession of parties and family get-togethers really takes a toll on me. I’m looking forward to a few months without obligatory socializing.
I’m happy with my cartoon today. An email buddy of mine from Germany, one Michael Roth (who happens to be a writer) sends me cartoon ideas almost every week. Some of them intrigue me and I end up using them––or a version of them––in Bizarro. This is one such idea and came in as follows, “Snowman school. Little snowboy with magnifying glass bugs snowkid sitting in front of him with sunbeam. Bugged snowkid raises arm: “Mrs. Wiesencramer, Harry is doing it again!” I liked the graphic challenge of drawing a beam of sunlight channeled through a magnifying glass to melt a hole in a fellow snow-classmate. I’m very happy with the way it turned out and encourage you to click on the image and see it larger. There are also plenty of fun side gags in the posters on the wall, so click the image to enlarge it and check those out.
For you who bother to read the text I provide with my cartoons here, I’ll let you in on a fun back story: In the “Anatomy of a Cell” poster on the wall, the tiny hole in the center of the snowflake is designated as “anus.” My editors asked me to remove it because while it isn’t a hugely offensive word or concept, newspaper editors hate it when cartoonists sneak questionable content into their comics. If it had been large and an integral part of the gag, most editors would have likely approved it, but they resent getting emails or phone calls from uptight readers who are complaining about something that they didn’t know was there and had no choice about publishing. I suppose I can’t blame them and in the current climate of declining newspaper revenues, I can’t afford to lose clients so I took it out for the one that ran in newspapers, but left it in on this one for you.
The following cartoons are from the last two days before today’s Sunday comic. The first one is self explanatory, I think, but the second one confused at least one reader who sent me a comment about it. It’s simple, really; the cartoon looks and sounds exactly like a divorce or breakup of a romantic couple but when you read the bottom caption, you see that it’s something entirely different––a brief visit by a luggage salesman that ended without a sale. I’ve always enjoyed cartoons that misdirect in this way. (see below.)
Bygone Bizarro: This older cartoon is perhaps my favorite example from my career of this kind of misdirection. At first you think you are looking at a typical scene of an Indian pointing out smoke signals to a cowboy, but the bottom caption tells a different story that still makes me chuckle to this day. If you look at it closely, you’ll see they both have a bowl of salad in their laps. Hope you enjoy it.