Art & Self Defense

Bizarro 08-25-13 WEB




(For enlargering, click the Martian’s pjhxrn.)

This Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by Knowledge.

Today’s cartoon stars my lovely and badass SpecialLadyFriend, Klamelda. I chose her for this role not because she is beautiful, smart, and funny, but because she’s also a 3rd degree black belt in Karate. For reals, pickles. I think she’s also the top-ranked active female in the state of California in her style of Karate, the name of which I can never remember. Sounds like a sushi dish. (It’s a type that does not break planks of wood or piles of bricks, by the way.) She actually wears black Karate pajamas (don’t know how to spell the name of those outfits, sounds like “gee” with a hard “g”) which you can only do if you’re a black belt. But I used white jammies for this image so that readers would immediately recognize it as a martial arts outfit. Sometimes cartoonists have to rely on stereotypes to keep the reader from stumbling on their way to the punch line. I made the place purple to make up for putting her in white pajamas because that’s her favorite color.

There are many wonderful things about Klamelda, not the least of which is that finally, after three decades as an adult, I can leave the house at night and feel safe. Thanks, sweetheart!

bizarro 08-25-13 hedrHere, of course, is the title panel that appeared with this cartoon in some newspapers, depending on which of the many formats they use for their Sunday comics.





PreBIZTORICALS: As I was posting this, an old cartoon of mine about karate came to mind so I thought I’d throw it in as a bonus. The funniest thing about this one is that I got a letter from an angry reader who thought this cartoon encouraged violence toward women, “which is already a big enough problem these days.” Gosh. I didn’t see that coming. I’m speechless.

Bz panel 03-03-08karateWEB


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Baa Zzz

bz panel 08-24-13bz strip 08-24-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Stoners.

Has science ever seriously looked into the mysterious sleep-inducing powers of sheep? If all domesticated animals had this power, it would be one thing, but it’s only sheep. I’ve counted goats, cattle, chickens, horses, pigs, but nothing else works. I wondered if it might be something in the wool so I’ve counted sweaters a few times but nothing. It’s funny that sleep study clinics always have herds of sheep around to help put their human subjects to sleep but nobody has thought to study the sheep to find out how they work. I’m not a scientist but it sure seems like a no-brainer to me.








PREHISTARROS: I got an email from a Jazz Pickle yesterday (Sean K.) asking if I would publish his favorite Bizarro cartoon from the last century. It is so old that I don’t have digital files of it (I kept all files on an abacus back then) so I had to scan it out of my first book, from 1986. I offer it here with some reservation because it was from my first year of cartooning and I personally think my drawing style was hideous. For an unknown but definitely moronic reason, I was drawing them with a tiny-tipped Rapidograph on tracing paper, of all things. I knew I should be using bristol board but tracing paper was around 90% cheaper and I was on a tight budget then. And what’s with the clumsy, fat black border and the clunky font at the bottom? Even my signature is revolting. The whole thing makes me cringe.

I still think the gag is fun, though it is very different than the sort of things I do now.  Oh well, I’m glad I got better and I hope you enjoy this glimpse from my cartoon fossil drawer.Bz 1986 whisk broom fencingWEB

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Gimme Gimme

bz panel 08-23-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Nirvana.

I love this gag but I am aware that many readers may have only a vague idea of what it means. “Mindfulness” is a method of meditating and living in which the person is acutely aware of where they are and what they are doing at each and every moment. It tends to keep one very calm, philosophical, and in the end, happy. No worries about the past or future, just a realization that now is all that really exists. Given that, this cartoon is hilarious in my humble opinion. bz strip 08-23-13

This is another one of those gags that I had lying around for months because I didn’t want to tackle the task of drawing it. I sometimes thoroughly enjoy a complicated drawing, but those tend to be the ones that have unique or challenging visuals. This one is full of elements that I’ve done a million times and a bunch of characters who look pretty much alike, so it wasn’t particularly amusing to draw. But the result is a good gag, I think.




BYGONE BIZARRO: Here’s an old one from 1996 that I still really love. Simple but meaningful, just like zen. I’m not a Buddhist, by the way, but I do enjoy both transcendental and mindfulness meditation. They are terrific exercises for the brain and the strange things that you may experience are parts of brain function that most of us never experience.

Before you solve the “Where’s Waldo?” puzzle below, be sure to time yourself then find out how you rank on the chart below.

0 to 1 second: Average

2 to 4 seconds: You probably had something stuck in your eye

5 to 10 seconds: You know what Waldo looks like, right?

10 seconds to 5 minutes: Do not leave your home without a guardian

Still can’t find him: Just keep trying, he’s there. Click the image for a larger view, maybe that will help. He has a red striped shirt. Best to leave sharp objects to others and just sit quietly somewhere out of the way.


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