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Yuck It Up!

Bizarro 05-03-15 hdrWEb(For a bigger-looking cartoon, click it!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Millennial Confusion.

If you’ve ever been to the taping of a TV show, you know that those with live audiences are driven like slaves building the pyramids to laugh and applaud and hoot and holler and gasp Bizarro 05-03-15 WEBand whistle as though they’re having the times of their lives. The less funny the show is, the harder the audience wrangler has to work. It’s just one more aspect of TV that isn’t what it seems, like the scripting and multiple takes on “reality” TV shows. While I think this is notable and funny, I don’t actually think it is wrong. TV shows of this sort are theater, and by definition, aren’t meant to be real.

To be upset that the laughs on a sitcom are added electronically or the arguments on Real Housewives of New Jersey are scripted is like being upset that Scarlet Johansson isn’t really a martial artist. What is upsetting, however, is when shows portraying themselves as journalism are finagled for the sake of ratings. That happens a lot, too.

Going back in time (not really, cartoons are a kind of drama, too) let’s review last week’s gags…

bz panel 04-27-15Monday: Town criers used to play the same role as a newspaper so this one is adding a crossword puzzle to his format. I resisted having him describe a Garfield cartoon.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday: You bz panel 04-28-15may not get this gag if you’ve never heard the expression, “I’ll dance on your grave,” which is used in an effort to express to someone how much you dislike them. I’ve never actually said this but I’ve thought it bz panel 04-29-15a few times.

 

 

 

Wednesday: I’ve often looked at thrones in museums and wondered how anyone could comfortably sit in one of those things for five minutes, much less for as long as it takes to declare war on a neighboring kingdom or hear a peasant’s request for justice. Today’s thrones are much more user friendly.

 

bz panel 04-30-15Thursday: This is one of those rare cartoons that was inspired by my own personal experience –– I got an email from a Nigerian prince once and was almost eaten by a cat.

 

 

 

 

 

bz panel 05-01-15Friday: This hasn’t ever happened to me but it is weird when you get to an age where many doctors and all cops are younger than you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bz panel 05-02-15Saturday: I think a treadmill for a tightrope walker is amusing. I wonder if there’s a stationary machine of some kind for trapeze artists to use.

Here’s another treadmill gag of mine from a while back that I also like.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’ve signed up to be notified by email when I post on this blog, you must sign up again. The last program crashed and the addresses were lost. The box to sign up again––or for the first time––is in the right margin of this and every post! I’ll never sell or share your email address, so it’s safe. Thanks, Jazz Pickles!

Alt Tarzan

Bizarro 03-22-15 hdrBizarro 03-22-15 WEB(Nobody will mind if you make these cartoons larger by clicking them. Try it. You’ll see.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Horseracing Cheaters.

Last Sunday I published a cartoon with soldiers on a statue of a pigeon (this week’s title panel was constructed from it, in fact!) so this makes it two Sunday’s in a row that I’ve featured a cartoon with a human on a statue. This kind of thing often happens to cartoonists; one idea leads to another idea in the same vein. I like this one about Tarzan being raised in a city park instead of the jungles of Africa. The perspective was fun to draw and it has a few behind-the-scenes aspects that truly dedicated Jazz Pickles might find interesting: The statue’s plaque features a name that is similar to my fiance-in-law who is an award-winning brewmaster, the speaking character looks more-or-less like me a couple decades ago, the name on the back of his jersey refers to my lovely life partner, Olive Oyl, and the 13 is my daughter’s birth date (the one engaged to my fiance-in-law.) Lastly, more observant readers will notice that I tucked Tarzan’s loin cloth beneath him, thus obscuring an unpleasant view. You’re welcome. bz panel 03-16-15 bz panel 03-17-15 bz panel 03-18-15 bz panel 03-19-15bz strip 03-19-15bz panel 03-20-15 bz panel 03-21-15

Earlier this week (or “last” week, if you consider Sunday to be the first day of a new week) I published some other cartoons which you may notice floating in the space to the left of this text. I’m particularly fond of the parents who found their investment in a hidden video system worthwhile, though not for the reason they thought they would.

In this vampire cartoon I chose to draw a Nosferatu style character, though he’s wearing the traditional Hollywood Dracula outfit so he’s a bit of a hybrid. I regret that I made it look like daytime outside the window; that breaks the rules of vampires and was an absent-minded mistake on my part.

This next cartoon was born from my thoughts that living in a community controlled by a neighborhood association would for me be barely one step above prison. I have a lot of trouble with people who need this level of control over others.

I particularly like the bookstore cartoon, but more for the books on the shelves than the main gag. At this resolution you likely won’t be able to read the back of the book the kid is holding so I will tell you it says this: More titles by Seuss PhD, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Mercury, The Cat in the Bathrobe, Horton Steps on the Lorax, Thidwick the Big-Mouthed Moose. The book on the lower right corner of the shelf says, A Kid’s Guide to Propaganda, and the large yellow one on the top shelf is Harry Potter and the Climate Change Deniers. I’ve also included the horizontal format of this gag (which I now only do when it shows something different or interesting that the vertical version does not) has one extra book on the far left called Bizarro Among the Cabbages. I once published a book titled Bizarro Among the Savages, which is long out of print but you can possibly still find one on the Interwebs somewhere.

I have little to say about these last two comics other than that I think they are humorous.

I hope you had a good week, Jazz Pickles, and I wish you a good week to come. Olive Oyl and I are settling in nicely in our new digs and almost everything is unpacked. The house is small and humble but we think we’ve made it look pretty cool and cozy inside.

Pooping in the Park

bizarro 03-15-15 hdr eWEB Bizarro 03-15-15aWEBbz panel 03-09-15 bz panel 03-10-15 bz panel 03-11-15 bz panel 03-12-15 bz panel 03-13-15 bz panel 03-14-15(Make this pigeon statue comic swell like a lip after a knuckle sandwich, by clicking George Washington’s boots.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Super Styles For Super Men.

I conceived of this cartoon back in my first year of syndication in 1985 when I was just a child cartoonist, but the drawing was perfectly awful. (OMG, look how ugly it was!) I’d forgotten all about it until I came across it again recently but I liked the concept so much that I decided to draw and publish it again. I hope you enjoy looking upon it as much as I did redrawing it in a less ugly fashion.

Last Monday’s cartoon was this one about a vending machine called The New York Experience. I lived in NYC for almost ten years and can say that I enjoyed it very much for the first four or five, but then it began to really wear on me. There’s lots to do and tons of terrific history, of course, but the vibe of the city is stuck-up, irritable, and aggressive, the weather sucks big time all but a few weeks out of each year, and the bureaucracy that one encounters with even the simplest of tasks is enough to make you shoot yourself. If your wifi or cable TV is out, be prepared to wait a week or more for a service appointment. If you’re going to the DMV to get your driver’s license switched over, be prepared to wait four or five hours in line. Going to a post office is like visiting prison: bullet-proof glass, surly inmates and sadistic guards. I was happy to leave and honestly don’t care if I ever go back.

Tuesday’s cartoon was also about NYC, but in a less realistic way.

Moving to the West Coast, my Wednesday cartoon highlights the attention many Californians put on invisible forces of the universe. No definitive way to tell how much is real or imagined.

Thursday’s gag takes a shot at politicians and their never-ending scandals. The older I get, the less I trust anyone in a position of power.

Friday’s funny explores one woman’s battle with the power of temptation and a store manager’s gracious attempt to humor her.

And my Saturday cartoon is a wildly reckless foray into the world of politically correct language and is therefore fraught with danger. These days, a single slip of the tongue or ill-conceived email can ruin a person’s career. Polite language has a place in society but in my opinion, we’ve gone a bit overboard in the U.S.––far too many people are looking to be the victim of hurt feelings and take someone down.

Thanks for reading this far, Jazz Pickles. I hope you’re enjoying your life wherever you are today (even in NYC!)

 

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

Civilized Saucers

Bizarro 12-07-14 hdr Bizarro 12-07-14 WEB(Treat yourself to a larger version of these images by clicking them!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Perfect Gift.

Have you ever felt the need to run away from “civilization” and live a more natural life? It seems to me that there is little about civilization that is civilized and little about humans that is humane. Accordingly, I have found myself rethinking my choices in this world. It’s not that civilization is treating me badly, it most certainly isn’t, especially on a worldwide scale. It’s more about getting in touch with what I am, not what I’ve become as the result of social pressure and historical tradition. In my recent readings about the origins of human societies, I’ve begun to see that we are far from what we should be, and my instincts tell me that I’d be much happier and live a more meaningful life if I were more true to my nature. That’s where my head’s been at lately and why I wrote this cartoon.

OLD BIZNESS: I came across this cartoon from 2002 on a different subject and thought it was amusing. I share it with you now in hopes that you will, too.Bizarro 10-27-02 WEB

Genesis Fat Brat Drugs

bz panel 12-04-14bz strip 12-04-14bz panel 12-05-14bz strip 12-05-14bz panel 12-06-14bz strip 12-06-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Man with Huge Wiener.

So I was thinking what would happen if Adam and Eve’s neighbors happened by just as they were standing naked together, talking to a snake and eating a piece of “forbidden” fruit. Now, I know in the classic version there were no neighbors because Adam and Eve were the first humans, but according to the same story, they had a couple of sons, Cain and Able, and one of them grew up and got married. So where did his bride come from? This leads me to believe that either this is a traditional myth used to teach a certain lesson, or incest was okay for a very long time (until there were enough people to find someone to mate with to whom you were not very closely related.)  Ew. I’m going to assume it is a myth.

Another myth in our culture is that women actually want your honest opinion when they ask if they look fat in something. The lady in this cartoon decides to only ask the question once, with all her dresses on at the same time. I like that idea––one question, one lie.

My final salvo this week is a cartoon with an editorial message on the childish behavior of our species toward each other, the rest of the planet’s inhabitants, and the Earth itself. I’ve been reading a lot lately about anthropology and where we went wrong, mental health in a materialistic, technological world, and the science behind spirituality. (Yes, there actually are areas where the two intersect and it is fascinating, especially to this diehard atheist.) I’ve never been so enthralled by a subject. Olive Oyl and I are currently transitioning off of our anti-depressants for good (we hope) with a fairly rigorous regimen of vitamins, minerals, exercise, and meditative practices. We’re both excited to be able to say goodbye to the sinkhole that is allopathic medicine. I’m convinced that pharmaceuticals are among the worst things ever invented by humans. Many bacteriologists are confidently predicting the end of our species will not come in the form of climate change or nuclear war, but disease  and bacteria that is smarter than us or our antibiotics. I’ll let you know how it goes (regarding our quest to be happy without pharmaceuticals, not the end of human civilization.)
BIZARCHAEOLOGY: From the year 2000 I bring you a cartoon about which I have just spoken in the paragraph above. Stay tangy, Jazz Pickles.bizarro 03-03-00WEB

Chiropractic Tarzan

Bizarro 11-30-14 hedrWEB Bizarro 11-30-14 WEB (Click the images to make them look bigger with suddeness.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Nothing a Can of Gasoline and a Match Wouldn’t Cure.

Sorry for the missing posts over the weekend. The site was wearing it’s cranky pants and wouldn’t let me post.

This is the most literal example of “gallows humor” you may ever see. And in the end, it isn’t dark at all, which sort of takes it out of the category altogether. Oh, the contradictions of life.

Those Jazz Pickles who are paying close attention may notice that I’ve used this background before. I switched it up a bit and moved things around and added some stuff to suit this gag, though. I figure if Hollywood can reuse sets, why can’t I? If you want to compare and contrast, here’s the previous use of which I speak.

BIZARROLD: In the archival section today, I offer you a vision from 2004 of what Tarzan might’ve looked like had he been raised differently. Bizarro 03-14-04 TarzanPenguinWEb

Basketboulder

Bizarro 11-16-14 hdrWEB Bizarro 11-16-14 WEB(Click any image for a bigger look!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Why Wash When You Can Bash?

My mind wandered recently about the beginning of basketball and wondered what they used for the ball before modern technology created what we now use. Going further back, I imagined this scene of a couple of cave dudes fighting over a boulder. Since I am not a terribly tall person (3’7″) I’m always last to be picked for basketball teams. That is, until they find out that I can fly, and also become invisible at will. Who’s laughing now, tall people?

NEW TOPIC: There are only FOUR DAYS left to nab one of my limited-edition Bizarro Jazz Pickle T-shirts!

After that, this design (3rd in a series) will disappear forever, the way most people wish Kim Kardashian would.

Black line work on light shirts here.                   White line work on dark shirts here.

Because Adam Levine and Scarlett Johansson were recently voted “sexiest human members of their species and sexes,” here’s what they would look like in my T-shirt. (Available in many styles and colors, not just short-sleeves and orange.) Aren’t they sexy? You will be, too. AdamScarlett

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