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Performance Chops

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(Anyone can make these cartoons bigger by clicking on them. Are you anyone?)Bizarro 10-18-15 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you this week by A Lighthearted Message from the NRA.

Most comedy clubs have amateur nights of some sort––which they now usually call “Open Mic Night”–– but in this case, even the audience is full of amateurs. More advanced comics readers will also notice that even the spotlight isn’t sure what its job is. I’ve done a fair amount of stand-up comedy in my day and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been curious about it; making a roomful of strangers laugh is even easier than it looks and not scary at all. Unless you have any fear of standing under a bright light in public and experiencing the deafening silence of complete and utter rejection.

Last week’s cartoons looked almost exactly like the following:bz panel 10-12-15

I like this “know-it-all, loudmouth jackass” cartoon a lot. Being a male and therefore full of testosterone, my first inclination when faced with a complete jerk is to punch him in the mouth. Being 5’7″ tall and under 150 lbs., I have learned to override that desire almost instantaneously. On a side note, a reader suggested this would have been even more perfect if they guy was talking on a cell phone. SO right. Wish I’d thought of that.

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People are always looking for an easy way to lose weight without doing any work, so I created this “armchair diet.” It still has some bugs to work out.

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Lots of people were confused by this joke about the buffalo in a bar. As far as I can tell there were two main reasons: they didn’t know who “Cody” was referring to, or they didn’t know who the bartender was talking to. Cody was the last name of Buffalo Bill Cody, a famous buffalo hunter in the Old West, and the bartender is talking to the buffalo (more correctly called an American Bison but then we call pre-European natives “Indians” when they’re not from India, so why get all pedantic now?) I confess that in the cartoon that was published in the paper and on websites, the eye of the bartender was drawn in a way that you could not clearly tell who he was looking at, so I suspect many readers assumed he was talking to the man on the left, which would be confusing. I fixed the eye for this post so there’s less doubt.

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I can understand people who hunt animals for food but I have no sympathy for those who trophy hunt. Yes, your weapon is more powerful than an unarmed creature. Congratulations.

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Don’t get me started on the way I feel about marijuana laws. Too late, I already did it by publishing this cartoon. The idea for this gag was sent to me by my Canadian friend, Russell Barth, a well-known activist for changing our absurd and inaccurate attitudes toward the cannabis plant. It has been shown time and time again to be tremendously safe and effective in a wide variety of medical uses, and utterly harmless in recreational use, especially as compared to tobacco, alcohol, and any number of prescription drugs. The absurd propaganda we’ve received about it in the last 100 years is finally beginning to be replaced by the truth and local governments are dropping their expensive and pointless prosecution of users, growers and sellers. I pray the U.S. federal government comes to its senses soon, as I’d like to live in a country that treats its adults like grown-ups. Wouldn’t you?

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I was wondering one day about the effect of Batman on criminals of the Old West and it made me laugh hard enough to drop my bagful of money as I ran from the bank, so I drew this cartoon.

One last thing before I go: My two average daughters (see below) have started a fun little online store that I’d love for you to check out. They’re hardworking gals who are not rich (and neither is their dad so he can’t help them out as much as he’d like) so feel good about tossing them a buck or two.  And while you’re at it, like their Facebook page. For some reason, that seems to be important to people their age. Thanks, Jazz Pickles!K2

Topiary Rat

Strangely, this cartoon T-shirt of mine is back on sale until 8pm Pacific Time tonight. People kept ordering them, so they opened the campaign up again. So cool!

Bizarro 09-20-15 hdrWEB(To experience more largerness, click any bush on the cartoon below.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Terror.Bizarro 09-20-15 WEBHere’s a bit of surreal fun for your Sunday. Not quite as surreal as Donald Trump being a front runner for the Republican nomination, but strange nonetheless. By the way, if you’ve not see the recent New Yorker cover illustration about the election, click this to see it now. I think it is a brilliant concept that perfectly illustrates certain factions of the American electorate. If you don’t quite get the joke, you’re likely not familiar with this photo and what happened in 1948 with major party presidential nominees Harry S Truman and Thomas Dewey. Dewey was well ahead in the polls on election day and a Chicago newspaper had the next day’s headline locked in and printed. But then Truman won. The NYker cover isn’t about the entire story, I think it is simply about the fact that America has become a place where people will vote for blowhard celebrities for president, instead of people who might actually do a good job.

bz panel 09-14-15This cartoon is simply about what a drag “real” life can often be and how it takes heroic efforts on our parts just to wade through it. Yes, being a refugee escaping your war-torn country is infinitely more difficult, but dealing with decades of tedium can be rough, too.

bz panel 09-15-15I got some nice comments on this simple, surreal twist on elevators. It made me happy.

bz panel 09-16-15My good friend, Jon Kroll (one of the executive producers of that weird TV show I was on for a few months last year) really loved this Monopoly gag because he’s a big fan of board games. I wonder if there are jails anywhere that allow inmates to play Monopoly and if so, how many millions of times they’ve come across that card and laughed. Or cried, as the case may be.

bz panel 09-17-15I’ve gotta say I really love this newscaster cartoon. It’s an example of my favorite kind of single-panel gag; it looks like one thing but turns out to be something else when you look more closely. It just occurred to me that the news guy looks a bit like Principal Skinner from The Simpsons, but that was unintentional. The dude on the couch is drawn a bit in the style of the late, great B. Kliban. Consider it a tribute.

bz panel 09-18-15I’m proud to report that this zen/smartphone gag was the brainchild of my beloved Olive Oyl. I thought it was pretty great, hope you do, too. She and I are both fans of philosophy, so this kind of thing makes us giggle.

bz panel 09-19-15Once again I return to the rich comedy vein of footlong hot dogs. Here’s a favorite one of mine from 1997.

That’s the week that was, Jazz Pickles. I hope your week was stellar and next week will be even better. If you get a chance, check me out on Instagram @danpiraro. I post stuff there that I don’t put on my blog.

Batmallows

Bizarro 10-26-14 hdrWEb Bizarro 10-26-14 WEB(Click any costumed superhero and be surprised by its magical enlargerment.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Fear of Green Screens.

Today’s cartoon is the unfortunate result of the Dynamic Duo doing too good of a job cleaning up Gotham City. But on the bright side, who doesn’t enjoy roasted marshmallows?

I was a huge Batman fan as a kid, which is why this gag suggestion from Jazz Pickle, Ralph Ray appealed to me.  I have to admit that I really had a ball drawing the original TV Batmobile from the 60s here. I had numerous models of this car when I was a kid and always wanted to have one when I grew up. I may still do that if I ever grow up.

I also enjoyed creating Pie Repair Man for the title panel. This is just for my Jazz Pickles, of course. No one else will have any idea what it is. Also don’t miss the box and marshmallow labels. Batman’s a bit OCD, as we all know.

VINTAGE PICKLAGE: Here’s a fun language-driven Batman cartoon from years gone by. BizarroBatboyBatmanWEB

Eternal Slacking Laundry Jungle

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Young Vet In Training.

My, how time flies. Here it is today already and just 24 hours ago it was yesterday. Will it ever end? So far, it hasn’t, and that is the point of this cartoon. Eternity is a notoriously difficult concept for the human mind to grasp from inside our tiny fishbowl lives, but I find it very helpful to contemplate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This mostly blue cartoon is about what it says it is about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ago I swore off mandatory gift-giving on holidays. It was a great relief and a decision I’ve never regretted. Yes, I know the nation’s retailers will all go belly up and the terrorists will have won if we don’t all bankrupt ourselves on national holidays. But whose fault is that, really? (I don’t know, I’m actually asking.)

 

 

 

 

 

OLD BIZNESS: Here’s a little ditty from the early 2000s that doesn’t have any direct relationship to the cartoons above except that most people buy stuff online now. I’ve always liked this gag and I also like reading about primitive cultures. BizarroAmazonWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Smiles

bz panel 09-29-14bz strip 09-29-14bz panel 09-30-14bz strip 09-30-14bz panel 10-01-14bz strip 10-01-14bz panel 10-02-14bz strip 10-02-14bz panel 10-03-14bz strip 10-03-14bz panel 10-04-14bz strip 10-04-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Being Your Own Pet.

It’s been a busy week at Rancho Bizarro and I didn’t even fully realize I hadn’t posted any cartoons since last Sunday until this morning. Crazy, daddio. I’m still working as the host/narrator of FOX TV’s Utopia, which has kept me pretty busy. I don’t know how long the gig will last but it sure has been fun to work on. It’s already led to other opportunities, which is terrific. One notable one is that the Coen brothers are planning a live-action version of Snow White and I’m being seriously considered for the role of Creepy, an eighth dwarf they added specifically for me. Wish me luck!

This week’s cartoons went like this…

Monday: Seriously, why do superheroes need to have secret identities and ridiculous costumes? I suspect this will remain a mystery of our civilization for centuries to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday: Seriously, how many eggs can one small, red bird lay? Come on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: Seriously, how weird is it that a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly? Is this biological metamorphosis meant to inspire us to quit our jobs at the grocery store and become astronauts? Because that’s what it did for me. (Still looking for an astronaut program that will accept me, but I’m hopeful.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday: Seriously, we pay money for a bloody body chunk of some dead thing but the presence of a single hair ruins it. Really?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday: I grew up with three sisters and a mother, had two daughters of my own, and have had numerous girlfriends and wives. PMS symptoms varied with all of them, of course, but I know of what I speak. Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday: Seriously, most decent men will let a woman cry on our shoulder but none of us are particularly fond of it. If you’re a man with large, absorbent shoulders, you may want to consider offering this service. I suspect it represents a significant market opportunity. Also, I misspelled “absorbent” in the strip version of this cartoon but my editor didn’t catch it. I may need to cry on her shoulder.

 

Hunter Fan Hero Liar

bz panel 09-04-14bz strip 09-04-14bz panel 09-05-14bz strip 09-05-14bz panel 09-06-14bz strip 09-06-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Store Manager Wisdom.

 

Phony, fad diets like Paleo are a favorite topic of mine when I can find a good idea with which to skewer them. I think this one is pretty funny. Large amounts of meat are horrible for the human body unless you combine them with enormous amounts of exercise, which our primitive ancestors most certainly did. If you’re thinking “But I lost a lot of weight on the Paleo Diet,” keep in mind that people on meth lose a lot of weight, too. Doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should’ve saved this cartoon for playoff season but I’d likely forget it by then so I used it now. I’m a fairly big sports fan and I never watch games live, so this idea appealed to me. Plus, I like gags that show how absurdly off-base we humans can be in our modern world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I drew this one I wondered if I’d hear from family members of people suffering from dementia who think it is insensitive. My defense is that there has been some dementia in my own family and nearly everyone knows someone who has suffered from it in one form or another. Comedy is a time-honored and natural way for humans to deal with the more tragic elements of life. It’s one of the best traits of our overly-developed brains in my opinion, and can be very healing.

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARRO OF THE LIVING DEAD: From my archival mausoleum comes this cartoon from 1996 about the psychology of performers. I’ve done some performing myself and have always wondered what it is that drives me to do it. In my next post, I’ll be telling you about a strange new job in television that recently fell into my lap from the ether. I’ll actually be on your TV this coming Sunday night, which is hard for even me to believe.bz960524 WEB

Church Murder Bird Poop

bz panel 08-28-14bz strip 08-28-14bz panel 08-29-14bz strip 08-29-14bz panel 08-30-14bz strip 08-30-14Bizarro is brought to you today by The Glamorous World of Taxis.

I’ve done a few Batman cartoons wherein I riff on the animal choices for he and Robin’s alter-egos. This suggestion, however, came from my good friend and colleague in cartooning, Dan McConnell. (I’ve asked Dan to double all of the consonants in his first and last name, but he resists.) You can see his original suggestion for this comic here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought this was a fun way to comment on the recent phenomenon of people being on their smart phones all of the time instead of being present. I was happy to find a way to do it without showing a lot of people on smart phones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is mounting evidence that birds have better memories than we have given them credit for. I have no doubt they recognize “easy marks” from past experiences. I used to feed a flock of pigeons on the roof of my building in Manhattan years ago and a couple of them would recognize me on the very crowded streets of my neighborhood (9 stories below) and pester me for food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARRO BASEMENT: Here’s a weird cartoon of mine from 1998. It’s one of those that isn’t immediately apparent until closer inspection. At least, that was my intent.bz980810 WEB

 

Fortune Butch Safety Bus

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Here’s one of my not-so-rare cameo appearances in Bizarro, along with my amazing womanpartner (girlfriend just seems too juvenile at our age and experience,) Olive Oyl. I don’t have a Smart Car, but both she and I have tiny little Fiat 500s, hers is all electric. And neither of us have had our cars crushed by SUVs (knock on wood.)  The electric Fiat is a terrific car with amazing pickup and speed and I’ll likely be switching over soon. It’s actually faster and more peppy than my gas-powered one! And you can go 100 miles on a full charge, which only costs $4. These cars are only available in California and Oregon, I guess because those are the only places with ample public charging stations to support the kind of sales they need to make it worth their investment. And California gives you a $2500 rebate for getting one. Can’t beat it.

For a print of this cartoon, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Superwoman cartoon came to me as I was thinking about all the hot, supermodel-types who play female superheroes in the movies and on TV. If my life was on the line, Personally, I’d prefer a beefy lesbian show up to help me out of a tough spot.

For a print of this cartoon, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last offering of the week is a little opaque, perhaps. When I wrote it, I had in mind the kind of family that fights a lot during large, holiday dinners, sort of like mine did before the invention of Prozac. (I’m happy to say that those days are long gone for my family and helmets are no longer needed.)  Or, you could just see it as an extension of the modern safety-obsessed American family that is scared to death someone is going to get hurt, which is one of my pet peeves. Either interpretation is acceptable, as well as anything else you might be able to come up with. I’m pretty easy going in that regard.

For a print of this cartoon, click here.

 

 

 

BIZARROVERS: From the archival dungeon, I bring you this SUV cartoon from 1998. I’ve long disliked the American tradition of hyper-consumerism and have been aghast at how many American cars are larger than the average European apartment. I’m more forgiving of people who actually have a lot of stuff to haul around all the time, like if your job is in construction or gardening or something, but I know from experience that you can easily raise a family of four without driving a school bus around. The pollution and gas consumption (that is undoubtedly ruining our planet) that so many millions of SUVs and trucks cause is irresponsible in my view. Of course, the damage we’ve done to the oceans with pollution and over-fishing is going to be our species’ demise (and countless others) so it’s almost irrelevant at this point. Sad, but true.

Along those lines, I saw a terrifically interesting film on Netflix last week called “Mission Blue.” I recommend it for anyone who gives a shit about the environment. It’s not the whole story, of course, but it’s a huge part and one that doesn’t make headlines very often. If you really want to lower your carbon footprint, switch to am mostly vegan diet and drive a motorcycle, very small car, or electric car. Recycling is important, but only a spit in the ocean.bz 980707 SUV WEB

Supercizing

Bizarro 06-08-14 HedrWEBBizarro 06-08-14 WEB(I beseech thee to view larger versions of these cartoons by clicking them.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Anyone Know Who Did This Brilliant Cartoon?

As simple as this cartoon is, it was a pain in the cartoon ass to draw. One would think you could draw that damned treadmill once and then clone it but no, each is at a completely different angle and perspective so they all have to be drawn separately. Making them look identical was a chore. Notice I didn’t try to draw a gym full of workout machines behind them. Ugh!

 

 

 

PAZZJICKLES: I’ve done a lot of Superman gags over the years but this one seems particularly relevant in light of this past week’s Cosmos TV show, which was all about climate change. I’ve said it before and will again and again, Cosmos is the most important TV program of our time. Not only is it incredibly educational, but it’s entertaining to watch. If you like the magical intricacies of our universe explained in layman’s terms, which I do. Bizarro 11-25-07 SupermanClimateWEBIt’s a MUST for school kids, too.

I highly recommend watching the episode on climate change as it explains in simple language that yes, it is happening and yes, we are causing it. The climate-change deniers (including, ironically enough, Fox News, which is owned by the same company that airs this show) are either out for more money polluting the planet, or they just hate the topic because liberals picked it up first. Either way we’re doomed, but the episode has an uplifting message and isn’t a complete downer. Watch this episode and every other one, people. Your brain will thank you for feeding it something other than cartoons.

Watch Kitty Tax Guano

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Bizarro is brought to you today by One-Stop Shopping For Female Psycho Killers.

My girlfriend, Olive Oyl, and I are going to a “half-Halloween” party in a week. That’s where you pick a weekend about in the middle between two Halloweens, and a group of you show up at a designated bar or whatever, wearing costumes. It’s based on the theory that Halloween is too much fun to only have once a year.

 

So O.O. and I are trying to figure out what to dress as. I was trying to think of a costume that works with my ridiculous mustache, so I suggested I be a cowboy and she be a cow, and I lead her around with a lasso. She didn’t go for it. Then I suggested I be Salvador Dali and she be my nude model. Again, no go. We considered going as Olive Oyl and Popeye, but that’s not much fun since that’s pretty much how we dress all of the time anyway.

 

I would appreciate any ideas any of you Jazz Pickles have. It needs to be a simpler costume than one might wear on actual Halloween––no big makeup requirements, etc.

 

If we come up with something fun, I’ll post a picture after it’s over. If we come up with something lame, I’ll deny any knowledge of the event and have all photos destroyed by the NSA. (Yes, they have that power, and “I know a guy”.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARROLD: Like the Spider-man cartoon above, this cartoon from ’99 is about the untold aspects of a super hero’s private life.bz 02-16-99 Guano WEB

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