Sideways

Bizarro 01-25-15 hdrWEB Bizarro 01-25-15 WEBbz panel 01-19-15bz strip 01-19-15bz panel 01-20-15bz strip 01-20-15bz panel 01-21-15bz strip 01-21-15bz panel 01-22-15bz strip 01-22-15bz panel 01-23-15bz strip 01-23-15bz panel 01-24-15bz strip 01-24-15(To witness the enlargification of any image in any of my blog posts, click them with conviction.)

Bizarro is brought to you this week by No Laughing Here.

I’ve been spending more time lately on my fine art so this museum gag especially appealed to me. The wordplay was devised by my good friend and occasional collaborator, Cliff The King Of Worldplay. If you don’t get it, you’re likely unaware that the terms “portrait” and “landscape” refer to the orientation of the rectangle: taller than wide is portrait, wider than tall is landscape. I could also have made this a picture of a painter and called it “Landscape of a Portrait Artist.” But I didn’t.

By the way, I am accepting commissions in the fine art field at the moment, so if you have some discretionary funds and would like an original painting or drawing from the likes me of, let me know. Soon I will be adding a link to this site with some of my fine art, so you can see the fairly large difference between it and my cartoon style.

On to last week’s cartoons…

Monday: As anyone who knows anything about the rest of the animal kingdom knows, our fellow primates find our rushing around to “accomplish” things hilarious. As do many of us, even though we can’t stop.

Tuesday: This is almost a private joke for myself in that I have lived in California for three years and am still struck by the ubiquitousness of yoga studios here. But that’s a good thing; yoga is good for people both mentally and physically, and can even benefit one spiritually if it is taken in that direction. As for me, I met my beloved Olive Oyl in a yoga class and got my horse-monkey-dog, Jemima from a lady in my yoga class who’d rescued her from the streets of her ‘hood.

Wednesday: Here’s another gag some folks might have to do some research to understand. Google “Claes Oldenburg” and you’ll see that he is an artist famous for constructing enormous versions of everyday objects.

Thursday: I have no explanation for how or why this Abraham Lincoln gag occurred to me. But once it did it made me chuckle so I drew it for you. No, it has no hidden meaning. He’s just comforting a little girl who presumably has a beard.

Friday: I thought of the idea of a passive-aggressive terrorist and wondered what that might look like. So this is what I came up with. Maybe you’re not required to separate your recycling in your area, but surely you are familiar with the concept.

Saturday: Well, the week just kept getting weirder for me. Don’t ask me why a guy who looks like an old-world shepherd but is really a “shepheard” is at a fancy cocktail party because I haven’t a clue. Sometimes strange things amuse me.

 

 

30 Years of Shits & Giggles

Bizarro sock exchangeWEB Bizarro Cow Court 1985 WEB Bizarro Alien OutletWEB BizarroPigeonStatue1985WEbPIraroPubShot1988 WEBOn this date thirty years ago (January 21, 1985 if you don’t have a calculator handy) I got out of bed early and hurried out to the front porch of my cheap little rental duplex on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, to get the latest edition of the Dallas Times Herald. In it was the very first Bizarro cartoon ever published.

That means I’ve published 10,950 cartoons as of today. What?!

My career started 10 years before I owned a computer so my first decade of work was not digitized and I’ve no idea where my early work is in my archival catacombs. I’ll be honest, as I review my first year of work now, I can’t find much to recommend it. In my humble opinion, the art was stiff and a bit sloppy, and the gags were mostly lame. I’ve pulled a few of the less embarrassing ones from my first compilation book to show to you here today.

I’ve enjoyed my career and feel very blessed that I’ve been able to make a decent living as an artist. Even though I never got rich off Bizarro (and likely never will) as a college dropout  wandering into the workplace unprepared, I beat the odds by any standards and can’t complain. I’ve met some fascinating people, been to some cool places, and gotten some inspiring feedback from readers who’ve felt I’ve made a difference in their lives in some small way. I’m not one to live in the past, but upon reflection I must say that cartooning has been much better to me than it needed be, and I am indeed fortunate.

Also, just for kicks, I’ve included one of my first official publicity shots. It was concocted the old-fashioned way, before the days of Photoshop; I drew a bunch of cartoon images on a big sheet of butcher paper, then drew some more with fabric paint on a white, long-sleeved T-shirt, then stood in front of it and had my picture taken. After the film was taken to the drugstore for development, I zeroxed the photo and colored my face and the nose of the character just behind me with colored pencil. Then I took another picture of the final result and mailed it to the PR department of my syndicators. (God, how did we have that much patience back then?!)

Anyway, thanks for being a Jazz Pickle for however long you’ve been reading my cartoons. Without you, I’d be working in the stockroom of a local art supply store still.

 

Week That Was

Bizarro 01-18-15 HedrWEBBizarro 01-18-15 WEBbz panel 01-12-15bz strip 01-12-15bz panel 01-13-15bz strip 01-13-15bz panel 01-14-15bz strip 01-14-15bz panel 01-15-15bz strip 01-15-15bz panel 01-16-15bz strip 01-16-15bz panel 01-17-15bz strip 01-17-15(Go ahead and click any of these images and see if I care.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Five Cool Dudes Having a Ball.

I’ve been blogging less frequently lately because I’m working on an oil painting commission and need the extra time. It’s coming along fine, thanks for wondering. I’d like to do more fine art before I die and since I’m old and nearly dead, it’s time to get started on that before it’s too late.

Today’s cartoon stars my beloved Olive Oyl and her cat, Boo. I’m told by one of my Jazz Pickles that Gary Larson did a similar gag back in the 80s and, following the link he provided, I saw that he is correct. Sorry about that. It’s a little embarrassing, but these things happen to cartoonists all the time. His had no secret symbols to look for and mine has seven, though, so there’s that.

Reviewing the cartoons from last week, we have a “hands-on” therapist doing something of a Vulcan Mind Meld on Monday.

On Tuesday a thief is reminded that he’s supposed to take food with his drugs. Since someone invariably asks, I reversed the image between the strip and panel version in order to keep the punchline as close to the end of the reader’s experience as possible.

Wednesday’s cartoon was particularly enjoyed by my friend Randall, from Tulsa. He’s an engineer and says they like to make fun of architects. I didn’t know that but I’m happy to have helped, Randall.

Last Thursday’s cartoon was (and still is) a satire of the Flintstones. As everyone will doubtless remember, Fred’s car didn’t have an engine, he just used his feet to get it moving. Because at least one reader asked about the cables with paddles, I was referring to that contraption they use to zap someone’s heart back into working. Maybe they call that thing a defibrillator, but I’m not exactly sure.

Friday’s cartoon is a hilarious bait-and-switch style gag that plays with the idea of an Indian restaurant. Why aren’t there American Indian restaurants? They probably dined on delicious, healthy cuisine before the White Man arrived with his fast food franchises and high-fructose corn syrup.

Finally, we have Saturday’s cartoon which is about the ubiquitous pumpkin-flavored stuff in America every fall. I dislike pumpkin-flavored things so this gag came from my own personal struggles to keep such things out of my mouth. I wrote, drew, and submitted this cartoon weeks ago but since then have seen a few other everything-is-pumpkin-flavored cartoons. I guess the fad hit critical mass this past year and became a part of the collective unconscious (not the correct usage of that term but you get the idea.) Or maybe people do gags about this every year and I just haven’t noticed, which would be very likely since I don’t much follow cartoons.

PAZZ JICKLES: Exactly a certain number of years ago today, the following cartoon was published in newspapers around the world. This is notable because three days from now is the 30th anniversary of Bizarro. Yes, the first Bizarro cartoon appeared in newspapers on January 21, 1985. How did it suddenly become thirty years later?! It makes my brain hurt. It also makes me feel old. (See comment about my impending death above.) biz03tscooWEB

The Week in Wackadoodle

bizarro 01-11-15 hdr WEBBizarro 01-11-15 WEBbz panel 01-05-15bz strip 01-05-15bz panel 01-06-15bz strip 01-06-15bz panel 01-07-15bz strip 01-07-15bz panel 01-08-15bz strip 01-08-15bz panel 01-09-15bz strip 01-09-15bz panel 01-10-15bz strip 01-10-15Bizarro is brought to you today by My Favorite Kind of Drum Music.

My big Sunday cartoon today (click it to make it bigger) is about a topic that has been on my mind a bit lately. I ride motorcycles and a bicycle through the streets of Los Angeles and cannot tell you the number of times I’ve almost been mowed down by someone messing with their smartphone while they are supposed to be driving. Seriously, people, is your Facebook status or that text that just came in worth spending time in prison for manslaughter? But, like all dark clouds, there is a silver lining: I never wait in traffic lines anymore when I need to get over into a crowded lane. I just go past the traffic, then slowly and calmly move into the desired lane at the last minute in any one of several huge gaps left by people who are looking at their smartphones instead of moving when it’s their turn. Most of them don’t even notice I’m cutting in line because to do that, they’d have to be paying attention to what can be seen through the windshield of their car.

Also in that Sunday jungle cartoon are no less than ELEVEN secret symbols. So click the image to embiggen it and get started hunting! (If you can’t find them all, here’s the answer code!)

As for the rest of these cartoons, they were what published in newspapers the world over last week. Monday’s is about the current generation’s obsession with recording (by vid or pic) their every mundane activity. Tuesday’s is about America’s obsession with food. Wednesday’s  is about an uppity dog. Thursday’s is about pinatas and their most feared enemy. Friday’s is about a job hunt. Saturday’s is about people who never grow up and their parents who let them.

Any questions? No? Excellent. My work here is done.

Prison Begs Execution Horse’s Ass

Bizarro 01-04-15 hdrWEb Bizarro 01-04-15 WEBbz panel 01-01-15bz strip 01-01-15bz panel 01-02-15bz strip 01-02-15bz panel 01-03-15bz strip 01-03-15(To unsmall any image in this post, click it with your mice device.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Too Late.

According to recent emails and comments, today’s humorous illustration about prison has proved to be pretty popular with people who thought it was funny. This makes me happy, too, so it’s a win/win. The idea for this one came from my good buddy, Cliff Harris The King Of Worldplay, who also makes me happy.

Late last week, the following cartoons were published worldwide on an as-needed basis. The street-corner beggar is a philosophical twist on an old cartoon motif, which isn’t as laugh-out-loud-funny as it is incredibly deep and thought provoking.

The next one, with the guy about to face a firing squad, is also a modern take on an old cartoon motif.I thought that would be clear, but one reader told me that the execution cartoon “goes too far” in light of the recent beheadings by terrorists. Sorry if anyone else thought that’s where I was going with this, it most certainly wasn’t. While I believe that one of the best ways to deal with fear and tragedy is humor, this gag is not funny enough (nor editorial enough) to justify publishing so soon after that kind of event so I wouldn’t have done that. Just for the record.

My last ‘toon in this batch is a funny situation between a centaur and his personal healthcare professional. Getting health insurance (in the U.S., the only “civilized” country that doesn’t offer free health care to all citizens) must be a real pain in the ass for this poor schmuck. My German penpal, Michael Roth, and I kicked around a dozen centaur cartoons before I finally settled on drawing this one. Thanks, Mr. R.

REZARRO: From 2009, I bring you this view of centaurs and other mythological beings. This one still gives me a chuckle, hope it works the same way for you.

bizarro 02-15-09 CentaurWEB