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Cap’n Cleek

(To embiggenate an image, click any object within the drawing that would in reality weigh more than 18 ounces.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by High Speed Golf Cart.

I’ve often remarked that one reason pirates are so popular with cartoonists is that it is the only way we can do a cartoon about a disability without being buried under an avalanche of angry mail accusing us of being insensitive. If I published a cartoon about a one-legged old lady at the grocery store people would get pissed, but the same gag about a one-legged pirate is fair game. That doesn’t mean I’ve never gotten angry mail from a pirate cartoon. I got three very nasty letters about this cartoon, but it is noteworthy that none came from a disabled person; only people who felt sorry for disabled people and didn’t like them being made fun of. In contrast, that same cartoon garnered numerous letters of thanks from disabled people who reported that their sense of humor was an important tool in overcoming the hardships and inconveniences they’d faced. And I got one letter from a prosthetics company that wanted to put that cartoon on T-shirts to give out to their clients. I’ve often used that story to help guide me in deciding whether or not to do a cartoon like this.

Another thing that this cartoon brings to mind is how inventive disabled people can be. I have three friends that I can think of off the top of my head who are missing limbs and it is pretty impressive how they find ways to do the same things anyone with a full set does. Which makes me wonder if there aren’t some one-handed golfers in the world. Without even googling it, I’d say yes, there have to be. I’d love to find out that at least one of them had actually devised a club holder like the one I drew here.

Here’s an example of a cartoon that features a disabled person but about which I do not expect to receive any angry mail. Unless there really is someone with a nose and ears the size of deck chairs, and I hope there isn’t. If there is, I’ve no doubt they’ve figured out a clever way to brush their teeth.

As most people have heard, it is fairly common for people to believe that your nose and ears are the only things that do not stop growing throughout your lifetime, which, for a full-nosed gentleman such as myself, is a harrowing thought. But after a few seconds of research into this issue I found something sort of interesting––two medical sites that contradict each other in answering this question. One said that this belief is true because your nose and ears are primarily cartilage and cartilage never stops growing, and the other said that medical science used to believe this but now realizes that cartilage doesn’t keep growing, but it is particularly susceptible to gravity so it only appears that your nose and ears are getting bigger, because they are sagging.

I’m pretty sure we can add a number of other body parts to this category, as well.

A reader of this blog recently commented that “dogs are the most wonderful creatures with the most disgusting habits” and I concur wholeheartedly. Yesterday, on our daily walk through our wild and wooly neighborhood here in Mexico, my two dogs and I encountered a stray dog, which is not at all unusual here. Most either ignore us entirely or are friendly and want to frolic a bit with my dogs. This one was the latter and I normally welcome that, but he was also covered in the shit of an unidentified species. The stench was unbearable and I could smell him from probably 20 feet away. My dogs thought this was amazing, of course, and wanted to be as close to him as possible, as though they’d randomly run into their favorite pop star. The stray was wagging his tail and wanted to follow us on our walk, so keeping them apart was a monumental effort on my part but I eventually succeeded in scaring him off, which I hated doing because he was so good natured.

If you feel inclined to help me buy doggy shampoo while improving your own life immeasurably, please consider taking advantage of the following link which leads to a book full of an amazing amount of hard work on my part for a minuscule amount of cash outlay on your part.

I’m not sure this is a good cartoon but some people seemed to like it, mostly those who prefer “real” books over e-books. I bought a Kindle in the early 2000s and read it exclusively for about six or seven years. I liked the convenience of ordering and receiving a book instantly, even in the middle of the night, as well as the lightness of it when traveling, the research features, etc. But then, in 2013 I borrowed an old-fashioned book from a friend and loved the experience so much that I never went back to e-books. I’ve been reading nothing but traditional books since, which is around four years now.

In a larger sense, I have no doubt that technology will end up killing us all. It is already making us profoundly unhappy and unhealthy as so many of us live our lives not in the infinite universe of real people, animals, and plants surrounding us, but trapped inside a tiny screen competing for “likes” on the World Wide Junior High School that most people simply call the Web.

This old-fogey moment was brought to you by life after fifty.

This simple bait-and-switch cartoon about the dragon actually stirred up some controversy and political tension on my FB page, which I find amazing. It’s fine if people want to waste time fighting with strangers, but I don’t even read those kinds of comments anymore because I’m just not into inviting more unpleasantness into my life, you know?  One thing I’ve learned in my three-decades-long career as a cartoonist is that there is never a shortage of people looking to be offended.

I glanced at one thread and it seemed to be a guy who objected to the “predictable politically-correct” stance that women don’t need men and he somehow found this offensive.  In my view, no one with a measurable IQ can fail to notice that the single most dangerous animal on the entire planet is the human male, and his favorite victim is women. The fact that they routinely make less money for the same work is reason enough to prefer the dragon.  In terms of violence and abuse of power, nothing else even comes close to the human male. (Not all men, of course, but human males as a category.)

I like this joke about dog pants both because dogs wearing pants is automatically funny and because it gives a surprising reason for the oft-used expression, ” he/she probably smells my dog”. Good cartoons are often made of alternative interpretations of common sayings. From a few years back, here’s another version of the “smells my dog” line that I like a lot. If you clicked that link you may immediately notice that I used much of the same art for both cartoons. Like Hollywood, I sometimes use backgrounds and actors more than once. I mean, after 32 years of drawing doctors’ offices and store fronts, why draw the same damn thing again and again?

I’m not crazy about this Pinocchio cartoon but it’s okay. In the comments section, you may now commence with puns using the word “woody”. Or not.\

And by the way, last Friday was Bastille Day.

Thanks for joining me in this fantasy friendship, Jazz Pickles. I hope we get to meet in person real soon! Until my next post, be happy, be smart, be nice.

 

Dummy Drawings

Bizarro is brought to you today by Horse In The Road.

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I’ve been on holiday for a couple weeks (SO rare for me!) and so now that I’m back at headquarters I feel as though I’ve been thrown from a speeding car onto a highway full of emails. Ugh.

Meanwhile, here are the cartoons that published while I was away and that I’ve not posted here yet.Bizarro 06-28-15 WEBBreaking up is never fun, even when one of you is made of wood and plastic. Bizarro 07-05-15 hdrWEB Bizarro 07-05-15 WEbHere’s another in my ongoing series of Sunday Punnies, which are puns that readers send to me and I figure out a funny way to illustrate them. Congrats to Dennis Barley, Kelly Cox, and Ed Saugstad for submitting this batch! Side note: The bunny in the title panel and at the top left of the Sunday Punnies is not the usual Bizarro Bunny, but her boyfriend, Sterphen. (That’s not a typo, that’s how he spells his name.)

bz panel 06-22-15I don’t know if “peep show” is even a phrase anymore but it used to be. It referred to commercial establishments where one could see fairly nekked ladies, I think.bz panel 06-23-15I didn’t go to college so I can’t be sure, but I’ve always figured it would be something like this.bz panel 06-24-15I don’t recommend trying this on the streets unless you’re wearing a good lice repellent. bz panel 06-25-15One thing I hate about the neighborhood where I live is that it is illegal to park on the streets between 2am and 5am. I hate those kinds of laws, which always seem to me to be fostered by some control freak who just as to meddle in the lives of their neighbors. A friend of ours didn’t know about this law and left her car in the street overnight while housesitting for us and got a ticket. Obviously, once car isn’t a party. Seems like a warning would be the decent thing to do in a case like this. Assholes.bz panel 06-26-15I know there’s only supposed to be one Anti-Christ but there have been times when I was certain both of my ex-wives were it. I was wrong about the first one, jury’s still out on the most recent.bz panel 06-27-15I like supermodel puns because I can’t think of a single thing about any supermodel that is super. Except maybe their bank account.bz panel 06-29-15Lately I’ve been running across people who come from enormous families of 8 or 10 or 12 siblings. If anyone out there has this problem and is wondering where the kids keep coming from, I’d be happy to draw you some diagrams.bz panel 06-30-15This cartoon is as close to a Dilbert gag as I typically get.bz panel 07-01-15There’s an old saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m just explaining why.bz panel 07-02-15I’ve never bought into that myth that all people are created equal. Some folks are just hopeless.bz panel 07-04-15Footlong hot dogs are things I’ve made fun of in cartoons before. I wonder why I spelled “hotdog” as two words in the caption and why my editor didn’t tell me to change it. BTW: The price signs have a gag or two in them.bz panel 07-03-15I’m so glad my parents aren’t the meddling type. Once my sisters and I were adults, they’ve always left us to make our own decisions unless we ask their opinion. Some of my friends are not so fortunate with their parents.

Don’t forget to sign up for email alerts whenever I post a new blog. There’s a window in the margin for that. Also, I’m on instagram now, like a fully-modern human! I think you can find me under DanPiraro. Hope to see you there!

 

Soupy Giggles

Bizarro 04-26-15 HdrWEB Bizarro is brought to you today by Big Plans.

My Sunday cartoon this week is a bit odd and I knew it would attract some questions. The most common question I’ve gotten about it so far is something along the lines of “What does this mean?”

Well, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a fun bit of nonsensical wordplay in the tradition of Bizarro 04-26-15 WEBthe original bz panel 04-20-15Monty Python TV show or the brilliant work of my official favorite cartoonist, B. Kliban. It was suggested by a bz panel 04-21-15friend of mine though I didn’t credit them and now I can’t remember exactly whom it was. Was it Keith? If so, thanks, Keith! If not, sorry someone else!

Earlier last week I had the following bits of fun…

Monday: The tale of the man bz panel 04-22-15who did not control his Sharpie. A modern tragedy that plays itself out daily in spite of numerous public service announcements warning people of the dangers.

Tuesday: Despite it’s corniness, most people chuckle at this one. This cartoon is historically accurate, by the way, as it was well documented that wearing one’s boots backwards negatively bz panel 04-23-15affected one’s shooting accuracy.

Wednesday: This one was inspired by the Chinese proverb, “He who ignores the clam, also probably ignores shellfish.” Need I say more?

Thursday: My internet buddy, Michael Lagace, tossed me the word “dinoisseur” and this is what I did with it. Michael is the guy behind a graphic novel project that I blogged about recently.

 Friday: I had a bz panel 04-24-15friend once whose wife was so jealous that she would punish him if their waitress was too good looking. Once she even punched him hard in the shoulder with her fist as soon as the waitress left the table. I should mention that I never saw my friend making any observable attempt to admire the bz panel 04-25-15waitress. Anyway, I figured more than one person had this problem so I made a cartoon about it.

Saturday: I’ve been thinking a lot about the collapse of society recently and it has led to gags like this one. Once the infrastructure collapses and there is no TV, Internet, or cell service, fighting for resources will likely be the most common pastime. Just a thought.

Enjoy your week, Jazz Pickles. I’m adding some new pages to Bizarro.com soon that will feature some original art I have for sale so I hope some of you will avail yourselves of a piece or two. After the apocalypse, you’ll wish you had some interesting art to gaze at between battles over canned food.

 

 

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.

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

 

Nose Lice Feet

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Clever Ways to Dispose of Evidence.

My Friday offering this week is an obvious reference to the old adage, “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”  Now you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cartoon is an attempt to ruin your next selfie. The only reason school children get head lice more often than adults is that they are more likely put their heads together. Parents get them from their kids by hugging them. So it stands to reason that the “selfie” craze will be a boon to the head lice community. Thus far, we have ascertained that cell phones give people brain tumors and head lice. What next? Rotating Buttock Syndrome?

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIZOMBIES: Speaking of heads, let’s talk about feet. From 1997.bz 06-17-96 FeetWEB

Escape Photo Evidence Beer

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Where Jazz Pickles Go To Mate.

 

One enduring question of evolution is why sea creatures began slithering onto land. In the first cartoon of this post, I present my theory.

 

 

 

 

 

My second cartoon today is another of my Bigfoot renditions, of which I’ve done many. A few people have asked me what this one means, exactly. If you are one of those who are wondering, I would ask if you’ve ever tried to get a good picture of Bigfoot.

This is perhaps my favorite Bigfoot cartoon ever and it also has some nice background gags. Look up “lepus” if you’re not familiar with the word. And, I wouldn’t be your Grand Imperial Exalted Jazz Poobah if I didn’t mention that International Pickle Week is coming up sometime this year, though the Google God could not seem to tell me exactly when. Any Jazz Pickles who can provide this information will receive 75 bonus points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My third cartoon is also about relationship friction. I have found that in hetero relationships, it is most often the female who is better at using words against the male, probably because males are oafish and tend to rely on their physical prowess to win arguments, and decent men don’t raise their fists against women. I hasten to add that these two relationship cartoons were not inspired by my current relationship with Olive Oyl, who has neither driven me out of the water nor used my words against me. Except for the time I said “I know a better way” after she had given me directions to a specific location, and my short cut ended up costing us more time. But that’s a given.

 

PREZARRO:bz 04-17-09BigFootWEB Back from the past like a foul burrito is this cartoon from 2009 in which Bigfoot explains how and why he exists. He should know, right?

Paint Sniff Click Sneak

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Master Race.

 

Time to play catch up again. I was out all day yesterday and met one of my comedy idols completely accidentally, which was a huge thrill! My next post will be about that.

 

For now, let us examine this handful of cartoons from this week. All of them are pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t go into a big story here except to say that the one about telephone tech support reminds me of another connection I made once while in a cab in NYC.

When I call tech support from the US, I almost always get someone with an accent from somewhere around India. Meanwhile, most of the cab drivers in NYC have a similar accent and they are ALWAYS talking to someone on their cell phone, with some sort of hands-free, ear device. Could it be that these are the same people I reach for tech support? It’s the perfect way to make extra money while working another job. Something to think about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAZZ JICKLES: My offering from the archival sewer tunnels today is from 1996. I like this gag because it takes a moment to compute. If you’re having trouble with it, just play the old “what’s different about these two pictures” game.

 

Toothy

bz panel 07-10-13bz strip 07-10-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Our Lady of the Melons.

Here’s a bit of super-secret backstage gossip about this cartoon: I have some friends named John and Fiona and he’s a lawyer. I didn’t say the super-secret backstage gossip would be interesting.

Anyway, this is my covert way of finding out if my friends read my comics. If neither John nor Fiona say anything about this in the next few days, they’re off my Festivus list for good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s classic (older than today) Bizarro cartoon is also about lawyers, or rather about what lawyers and judges will sound like if current trends in elocution continue.

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Elderly Underwear Surgeon Evolution Cat Foot

 

Bizarro is brought to you today by Tiny Pediatrician.

I had a good week in my personal life in that after over a year of living in LA, I finally screwed up the courage to go to the DMV and get my motorcycle and car driver’s licenses, and register my motorcycle in California. She now has a California plate and she couldn’t be more proud. Even more importantly, I don’t have to look over my shoulder constantly for the fuzz. Anyone want to start a bidding war over my old New York State motorcycle plate? I can sign it and draw a self portrait on it!

My first cartoon this week was this one about old age. I’m not anywhere near that age yet, but at the exponentially accelerating rate that time flies, we all will be by this time next week. Seemingly. As my dad says, “Old age ain’t for sissies.”

 

 

 

 

Most regular readers know that I’m a big fan of cartoons about the Old West. Here’s one now. It is completely fictional but perhaps it really happened and was the origin of the first gay bar in the U.S.  Stranger things have happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to the operating theater, this winsome bit of wordplay comes from my good buddy, Cliff Harris, The King of Wordplay. He’s also a retired doctor, but it had nothing to do with a situation like this. Or so he assures me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a fun little ditty about a whale. The punch line is pretty self-explanatory, but if you still find yourself out to sea, check out the little evolving fish in the bottom corner. I heard that one or two of my animal-rights friends thought this gag was somehow insensitive to the plight of whales. This isn’t a real whale, nor is anyone with an I.Q. high enough to find their way to a beach going to assume a beached whale is trying to evolve. Lighten up, people. This is why folks tend to think of us as humorless boobs. (Most of us are not. Honestly.) Here’s another beached whale cartoon from my past that is one of my favorite gags in recent years. I call it “Californian’s Nightmare.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not familiar with the acronym, “W.W.J.D.” it means, “What would Jesus do?” You can buy tons of products with this slogan on them, including bracelets. I suppose it was popularized to get teens to feel guilty about sex. I suppose it works from time to time but it would work a hell of a lot better if (god?) hadn’t instilled in us such a powerful and overwhelming desire to spread our genetic info.

 

 

 

 

 

Our last cartoon of the week (except for my Sunday cartoon, which will appear in the next post) is about good ole Fred Flintstone, who used to stop his car by dragging his feet. Woe was he.

Until tomorrow, stay crunchy, Jazz Pickles.

 

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