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Giddyup

(To enjoy embiggenation, click on any mammal within an image.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Cowboy Cartoonist.

We have some friends who live on a ranch outside of our town here in Mexico and they bring us horseback riding from time to time. When I was a little boy, westerns were my favorite kind of TV shows and movies, and when I wasn’t drawing, playing cowboy was my favorite thing to do. And, up until I was probably six years old, the Old West was 90% of what I drew. As I grew up in Oklahoma and got old enough to know some real cowboys, I realized I didn’t fit in to their world very well so I never moved out to the country, raised cattle, or voted Republican, but I still love playing cowboy.

Last weekend we got to ride around the hillsides here again and play cowboy for a day. It was amazing. Following are a few of my favorite shots from last weekend’s jaunt through the Mexican hills. 

Here I am preparing to mount Speedy. It has been my experience that the horse named “Speedy” is often the slowest horse in a given stable. I’d ridden him before and found that Speedy can seem pretty chill unless you gallop him and then he earns his name.

I love this shot of my favorite cowgirl in the whole Wild West, Olive Oyl. She is sitting astride Dorado, whose color sets off the highlights in Olive’s hair, but that’s not the only reason she likes him. Dorado did some galloping, too, and Olive hung on just like the vaquera she is.

I’m not above posing dramatically for a photo but in this case, I wasn’t. I climbed up on a rock to see if the posse that was on our trail was still following us and Olive snapped this lovely shot without my knowledge. As it turned out, they were still following us and we had to hightail it into the hills and hide out for the night.

O2 and our good buddy and trail guide, Luis. It’s his uncle’s ranch that we ride from and that’s Luis’s own horse whose name escapes me at the moment. Is it “Skywalker” or “Coco Puffs” or “Debby”? I remember it was something with vowels and consonants.

This is our friend, Frank, who is a successful painter (of fine art, not houses) and fellow local resident.  Unfortunately, we were riding through a blurry area when I snapped this shot.

Here’s Frank at his property in the hills. He’s built a small bunkhouse with an outdoor kitchen area and is currently working on an art studio. I’m so jealous of this property and his fine art career that it makes me hate him quite a lot. But it doesn’t affect our friendship as much as it might because I like him more than I hate him.

Here’s one last shot of me enjoying the cowboy life, then we’ll move on to cartoons.

I’ve not seen his camo pants, either, and I hope I don’t. I generally steer clear of people who wear camouflage when they aren’t actually trying to hide from an adversary. I suspect they may have a heightened fascination for machismo.

This cartoon raises the question are seven beer bellies funny or gross? You be the judge.

You see, he changed his baby into a dog. I can’t blame him because dogs are SO much easier to take care of than babies. Cheaper to educate, too.

I don’t know if villains do this anymore, but in those old westerns I loved as a kid, there would sometimes be a person who used a bullwhip as a weapon. If you aren’t tied to something, you can stop them by walking up to them. I always thought that was kind of funny.

Somebody wrote to me to protest my use of blind people in this cartoon. This is one of my pet peeves that happens every time I do a cartoon featuring people who are routinely discriminated against: the misguided notion that mentioning a person who is in a comparatively weak position in society is tantamount to adding to their problems. This is a clear case of misplaced victimhood. If this cartoon made fun of blind people (or any other racial, religious, or social minority group) I would not have written, drawn, or published it. But it does not. It clearly makes fun of the man who is attempting to explain a mime to a group of people who cannot see him, as though he were translating speech for the deaf. He, and possibly the mime, are the butts of this joke and that makes it ethically neutral, in my opinion.

 

I’m a sports fan but have never liked basketball because as a short person, I can’t relate to the version that is played professionally unless I play on a smaller court with shorter goals and a smaller ball. It would be like watching a race run by people with four legs instead of two. Like the rest of this blog, that’s just my own personal, worthless opinion, of course.

Thanks for hanging out with me, Jazz Pickles. I enjoy this weekly imaginary play date more than you know. If you enjoy my work online, please have a look at the following hand-crafted messages!

 

 

 

 

Tiny Sports

(For an embiggenated experience, hold your breath and click any image.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by First Step To Extinction.

ThIS week at Rancho Bizarro had its ups and downs with several of my cartoons drawing criticism from readers in both expected and unexpected ways. We’ll get to that momentarily but first, I’d like to give a heart-felt shout-out to someone who crosses my mind every Mother’s Day––my mother. Thanks for keeping me away from cliffs and preventing wild animals from carrying me off, without a single failure! Your perfect record allowed me to grow up and write this paragraph about how lucky I am to have had such a terrific mother. I am also grateful for your emotional support, friendship, guidance, and delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the way through elementary schoolLOVE you, Mom!

And, of course, happy Mother’s Day to everyone else who has helped in raising kids, whether they were biologically yours or not, regardless of what kind of biological equipment you have in your pants, because we all eventually end up at the mercy of younger generations and if we don’t collectively do a good job raising them, we end up releasing rotten people into the world and you never know how much trouble they might cause. (See 45th president of the United States.)

And now to the week’s cartoons…

Nowhere in the field of human athletic endeavor is there a greater difference between the professional version and the miniature version of a sport than in golf. It would be as if miniature baseball was played on a field the size of your kitchen and you had to dodge pterodactyls and zeppelins to hit a home run. Or if miniature football were played inside a crowded junk store full of taxidermy bears, hat racks, chandeliers, sofas, and china cabinets. While many may wish that the miniature version of these games was more like the full-size, professional version, my fondest wish is the opposite; that the pro-size become more like the miniature. Would big-shot golfers like Tiger Woods or Greg Norman be as legendary if they’d had to hit through the legs of a dinosaur? Especially an animatronic one that could break your legs with a swipe of its mighty tail?

Quick announcement––> WANT TO MEET ME AND MORE THAN A DOZEN OTHER BIG-SHOT CARTOONISTS IN PERSON AT NO COST TO YOU? WE’LL BE SELLING AND SIGNING BOOKS, DRAWING SKETCHES, TAKING PICTURES WITH YOU, AND AUTOGRAPHING NEWBORN BABIES AT THE HILTON EXECUTIVE HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND AT 1PM ON SUNDAY, MAY 28! BE THERE OR DON’T! <––

To my great surprise, I did not get one comment this week about how celiac disease is a real thing and not a figment of people’s imagination and how miserable it is and how they are tired of people making fun of gluten sensitivity. That’s good. Because I am aware that celiac disease is real and a miserable thing to endure and I’m not making fun of those people. I’m making fun of the 99% of people who only think they are gluten sensitive because the food industry and wack-job, fringe diet gurus have convinced them of it. And, of course, people who think that Wheaten terriers could in any way be involved in that issue.

On a side note, it was harder than I imagined it would be to find a name for a pet rescue organization that has not already been taken. “Happy Fur Rescue” was maybe the fourth or fifth name I came up with before I found one that didn’t come up on a Google search. I just now thought of “Giddy Mutt,” though, and it doesn’t show up on Google so I wish I’d used that. Dammit.

This nuclear-age cartoon started another political shit storm on my FB page, of course. These days, there is no shortage of people who are willing to argue to the death over whether Trump is the least qualified, most embarrassing and dangerous person to ever hold the office of president of the U.S. (historically speaking, he absolutely is) or if Obama let the entire world shit all over America (historically speaking, he didn’t) as they have been told by Fox News. Don’t miss the fact that this cartoon doesn’t mention any politician or party.

This ad is from me…

This cartoon got lots of readers asking me what it meant. It refers to the belief that if you travel faster than the speed of light, you can go backwards in time. The actual science behind this kind of thing is far more complex than that, and entirely theoretical since no one has done it since the filming of Back To The Future in 1985. Unfortunately for scientists, the formula for doing so was lost in a studio fire caused by faulty wiring in a Mr. Coffee machine the following year.

This penguin cartoon got a few complaints but not from who you’d expect: people who object to the sexual objectification of fowls. No, it was from the ornithologically obsessed who felt the need to point out to me that penguins are hatched from eggs and so they don’t have navels. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind those readers that Bizarro is a comic feature and not a whimsically illustrated textbook.  (Here’s another thing that never happens to penguins.)

I quite like this cowboy/witch cartoon. It’s simple, funny, kind of sweet, and it points out a connection between these two cherished subcultures that I’d never considered before. I’d love to be a fly on the wall as they get to know each other further and he mentions that he’s a born-again Christian and she counters with her pledged devotion to the Dark Prince.

And now we come to the last comic and controversy of the week, which garnered me two angry letters. Here’s one of the complaints verbatim but the other was very similar:

“Your comic today is tasteless and cold. Do you not remember when Dave Dravecky broke his arm pitching? Later to be amputated because of cancer. You need to apologize to Dave and all SF Giants fans.”

My response was pretty much the same thing I always say to complaints like this:

“I’m sorry my cartoon upset you, that was certainly not my intent. To be honest, I’m not really a baseball fan and have never heard of Dave Dravecky, so my cartoon was not aimed at him or his story, of course. I often get complaints like this one but if every joke writer of TV shows, movies, late night host’s monologues, stand-up comics, cartoons, etc., had to withdraw every joke that had anything to do with someone’s personal tragedy, there would be very little humor left in the world. In fact, humor is our species’ unique way of dealing with our exceptional brain’s ability to comprehend, anticipate, and fear tragedy, which touches everyone’s life sooner or later. Dark humor is one of our most valuable coping methods.”

I believe that and stand by it. The great Steve Allen famously said that tragedy plus time equals comedy. That saying is responsible for the routine reply that stand-up comics utter to the silence an edgy joke will sometimes create––“Too soon?” I’d like to point out that while what happened to Dravecky was certainly tragic, it happened in 1989.

Thanks so much for spending this time with me, Jazz Pickles. Until next time, be smart, be happy, be nice. If you like what I do, please consider one of the support options included in this post. You will make those of us who protect Rancho Bizarro from repossession smile bigly!

Mouth Using

(If you wish to embiggenate any of these cartoons, close your eyes, click your heels three times and click them.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Anger Management.

As regular readers know, I enjoy doing fake magazine covers from time to time. It’s a fun way to use wordplay in a slightly more sophisticated way than just illustrating a pun. The basic idea for this one came from a reader who goes by the suspicious name of Kevin Bartlett. (It’s the perfect name for someone trying to “hide in plain sight,” wouldn’t you agree? I’m guessing he’s at least got credit problems if he isn’t actually in a witness protection program.) Anyway, “Kevin” envisioned a guy holding a magazine called “Parts of Speech” and saying he only reads it for the articles.

Some readers may not be old enough to remember the cliche this gag is built on. When Playboy first came out in the 50s, it was the first magazine to attempt to make nudie pics acceptable in polite society by filling the rest of the pages with legitimate stories and interviews. Well into my childhood in the 60s, men were still claiming to subscribe to it “for the articles”. These days, people aren’t as bashful about enjoying images of members of our species in a mating mood.

Bonus grins: Here’s a Playboy Magazine spoof I did back in 2011.

This cartoon that is not about cannabis was suggested by my longtime friend, Cliff Harris the King of Wordplay. It got a lot of Internet play last week and multitudes of readers reported having to read it several times to get the joke. It’s funny how often the mind sees what it thinks it’s going to see instead of what is actually there. Especially if you’re reading the comics stoned.

After I drew this gag about profile pics, it occurred to me that I’ve done a number of cartoons about people with extremely tiny heads. I’m not sure why I think this is funny, but obviously I do. In real life, it would not be, of course.

I published this cartoon on Valentine’s Day because I didn’t have one about the holiday this year. On rare occasion I will think to write and draw a Valentine’s Day gag enough ahead of time to publish it on the 14th. Here’s one of my favorites from 2014.

This one could have worked for V. Day, too, but whatever. While drawing this, I realized that the whole time I was a kid it never occurred to me that this lazy jackwagon of a prince could have brought a ladder and rescued Rapunzel instead of just climbing her hair three times a week for a quickie. But then again, maybe that fairy tale is actually about the male fantasy of having a woman at his disposal when he “wants” her, but not having to deal with her as a real person out in the world. Shame, shame.

My NearWife, Olive Oyl, has a nephew (my NearNephew) who goes by the suspicious name of “Ryan”. (See first paragraph above.) Ryan is around ten years old and on his most recent birthday he asked for “poop emoji” gifts. We attended his birthday party and the entire house was filled with more poop than you could shake a baby wipe at. Fortunately, none of them were of the “scratch and sniff” variety.

I got the idea for this gag after a friend of mine from Texas who goes by the totally fake name of “Brian Levy” suggested I muse over the idea of emojis painted on cave walls.

Out of all the Trump gags I’ve done in the past few months, this one about the Orange-Crested Trumpeter got the most hate mail. Numerous people used the tired, derivative, worn cliche along the lines of “Why have you never done a black Obamabird gag?”  Perhaps because he was not a proudly uninformed, racist, misogynistic, childish, cartoon bully?

One person accused us liberals and the media of making fun of the president and thus giving him less credibility to other nations and providing aid to our enemies. Right. That might have some basis in truth if the Pussy Grabber in Chief were not himself working 24/7 to be as idiotic a cartoon character as one could possibly imagine in a position of power. Jerry Lewis’s nutty professor character could command more respect worldwide. The only way to keep Trump from looking like an utter assclown to everyone outside of the less-than-25% of Americans who voted for him would be to lock him in an airtight box and bury it 100 feet underground. And I’m not entirely certain even that would work.

The most frightening email I got was from a woman who is convinced that God (the capitalization is hers) sent Trump to save America and that, yes, he is boorish, but God always sends flawed men to lead his people so that they will give the credit to Him and not the man. Wow. Still don’t believe there should be a simple I.Q. test you have to pass before you can vote?

If you think you can stomach it, have a look at this whining, childish, delusional “survey” the GOP has online to further convince the hillbilly portion of their constituency that there is a worldwide plot to make Trump look foolish. I’m certain that any Republican who can read without moving their lips would cringe at the adolescent nature of this kind of ploy.

Last cartoon of the week is a cowboy joke. With a chair.

A few readers have admonished me recently for doing political cartoons and commentary. They make a good point because Bizarro is not sold as a political cartoon and some newspaper editors object to my crossing over. By persisting, I’m jeopardizing my client list, which is still where I get the vast majority of my income. (I don’t get paid for posting cartoons online and I don’t have tons of licensed products like other cartoons.)

But I believe that the Trump presidency is so dangerous to our country in a completely unprecedented way that it is essential that all of us speak out against it in any and every way we can. Sheer numbers on social media may be the only way to get beyond the ideological bubbles we all live in online. Perhaps it won’t work, but this is too important not to try.

I think we must also continue to vocally express our trust in mainstream media sources like The New York Times, The Washington Post, PBS, NPR, etc. (Yes, they’ve occasionally made mistakes but, unlike the extreme right, they correct themselves and do the best they can to portray the truth.) It was, after all, the simple act of Fox News and its ilk repeating the mantra that “you cannot trust the mainstream media” that caused so many people to fall in line, lockstep behind a marketing effort that truly and demonstrably cannot be trusted. (Never mind the fact that there now is no more mainstream media than Fox News.)

If the majority of my readers really want me to drop the political cartoons and commentary, I’ll consider it, so let me know what you think. But if you value my ideas and humor and want me to continue in the direction I’ve been going in recent months, please consider buying my latest book (the others are out of print so I make no money from those that are being sold online) buying a color print from King Features or a limited-edition, signed and numbered print from QART, or making a one-time donation or monthly contribution to my efforts through my Tip Jar. I have already lost a few papers due to my criticism of the current administration and I will doubtless lose a few more.

Thanks for reading, Jazz Pickles. We’ll get through this together somehow!

 

 

Bat Boor

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(View an embiggenated version by clicking the “R” on Robin’s chest.)Bizarro 06-26-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Men Behind the Legend.

If you’ve ever attended a party with a romantic partner, you’ve had a moment like this. One of you objects to the way the other was behaving at the party and it leads to a late night argument. Often it is about jealousy but sometimes it’s about something one of you said that was perhaps a bit too honest for polite company.  I’ve been on both sides of this equation so when I thought of this scenario between Batman and Robin, I got a chuckle out of it, but more importantly, I sympathized with both of them. Batman just thought he was being funny and didn’t know he was embarrassing Robin, Robin felt forced to politely play along with his partner’s pathetic pandering for laughs. I’m not the first to suggest the ambiguously gay relationship between the two. The comic books themselves had many unusual moments between them, like these two, and then humorists over the years have taken the ball and run with it. (pun half intended)

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Olive Oyl and I watch Jeopardy every weeknight for three reasons: 1) So that we can feel smart when we answer questions correctly 2) So we can learn new things 3) For the innate humor in watching Alex Trebek try to navigate the impossible task of interviewing socially awkward people about utterly uninteresting details of their lives. Alex: I understand you asked your wife to marry you in an interesting way. Contestant: Yes, I, um, wrote “will you marry me” on a watermelon and then I, um, waited for her to find it in the refrigerator. Alex: Good for you.

The Zika virus potentially using this year’s Summer Olympics as a vehicle to more quickly spread to every country around the globe (other than Russia whose team was banned for doping) inspired this cartoon.

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I enjoy cartoons about people making themselves look ridiculous but thinking they look cool. Not that this guy is doing that and not that we don’t all do that to some degree. Here’s a picture of me in high school, when I thought I looked super cool.

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I don’t know what this cartoon with the apartment-hunting iguana is about. I just thought it was amusing and I felt like drawing an iguana. I nearly got an iguana as a pet back in the 90s, almost entirely just so I could name it “Fluffy”.

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Here in Southern California, we have a chain of discount liquor stores called BevMo. I shop there regularly and enjoy it but I made the mistake of giving them my email address and now I get emails two or three times a week reminding me to buy more booze. This also happens with CVS, a drug store chain. No wonder this country has a drug and alcohol problem.

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A reader very helpfully reminded me via a FB comment or something that slugs are hermaphroditic and so are neither “he” nor “she”. Another told me that snails don’t actually travel as slowly as I depicted here. Gee, thanks. Does anyone care to remind me that gastropods don’t wear hats?

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Our dog ran away from home this week. Olive Oyl and I stepped out for one hour and when we returned, Jemima was gone from our backyard. We have a tall, wooden fence with two gates and both were still closed and latched. We were dumbfounded about how she got out and worried sick, and, to make matters worse, because she had been given a bath that morning before we left, she was not wearing her collar. We got in our cars and trolled the neighborhood hoping to spot her. We made posters and plastered them at intersections. We did some stuff online at various lost pet sites. It was a sad afternoon and evening and neither of us slept well that night. The next morning, still laboring under a dark cloud, we checked the local shelters’ websites and spotted her mugshot at the local Humane Society. Eureka! She had a hangover and a bad tattoo but other than that, she seemed fine. We had them give her an electronic chip in case something like this happens again and we’re never going to take her collar off again. We also fitted her with a helmet with a GoPro camera on it so we can find out how she got out of our yard if she manages another escape.

Last thing: some friends celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary last week and the female half commissioned me to do a cartoon as a gift to her hubby. They (and I) were all raised Catholic and got to joking recently how since the communion wafer is supposed to be the “body of Christ,” would vegans allow themselves to eat it? She asked for a cartoon about it so I came up with this one. I think it’s pretty funny but it might be problematic to publish it in the papers as a Bizarro cartoon, so I’ll share it with you here.

Anniversary

That’s it for this week, Jazz Pickles. As newspaper readership shrinks and more people read my work online for free, I deeply appreciate you folks who have made one-time donations or set up a small monthly patronage to keep me going. If you’d like to help me and Olive Oyl continue to afford poster board and markers for our Lost Dog signs, please do so by clicking Bunny and the “Tip Jar” logo in the margin of this blog! Or click here!

Creepy Friends

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(To achieve embiggenation, close your eyes, click your heels together, and click any image.)

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Bizarro is brought to you today by What We Do Now.

I’ve done a lot of Noah’s Ark cartoons and I think I’ve still got a few left in me. The same reason myths like these endure for centuries among the population is the reason they provide so much fodder for humor. These myths say something important about the human condition as we stumble through life on Earth.

The story of Noah’s Ark is in part about our desire to control our environment and our destiny. In my version above, Noah is controlling his environment in a small, seemingly insignificant way, by tossing out a couple of spiders. But while this seems small, it is enormous in an environmental sense. By destroying the last two spiders on earth, the delicate balance will be hopelessly thrown off center and cause who-knows-what-kind of chaos. As a species, we’ve done this kind of thing time and time again and it’s never good. I didn’t create this cartoon with that dour message in mind, it just occurred to me while I was writing about it this morning. (Also worth mentioning is that a friend of mine is a world-renowned spider expert and tells me that you should never kill spiders in your home or catch them and throw them outside. They aren’t interested in people and provide a valuable piece of your home’s ecosystem––mostly by eating other bugs that are after us!)

On a lighter note, here’s probably my favorite Noah’s Ark cartoon I’ve ever done. It’s one of the super-nice-high-quality-fine-art prints you can get from the LA art gallery that is offering them online here. Each one is signed and numbered by my own human hand on my own kitchen table while I use my other own hand to shoo away my own cat who wants to walk on them with her own feet.

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Here we have a cartoon that confused at least one reader who asked me what it meant. If you were similarly confused, it’s probably simpler than you think. The woman’s car has no wheels because it is not a car, it’s a park bench.

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I got a couple of questions about this cowboy cartoon, too. If you are among the mystified, google this phrase: “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.” Then google “Hopalong Cassidy.” Okay, you’re done. If you still don’t think it’s amusing, even in a vague, surreal kind of way, just move on to the next cartoon.

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If you’ve ever had a computer freeze up on you and had to restart it and lost everything you’d done since you last saved, you have known utter despair. (The same might be true if you owned an AMC Gremlin, which is the sort of car I drew in this picture. I like vintage vehicles and drop them into my cartoons whenever I can. Especially goofy ones.)

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I think this is a fun cartoon about modern society’s narcissism. I say “modern,” but I honestly don’t know if the ubiquitous selfie is a sign that we are more egocentric than we used to be, or if it is just a visible expression of what we’ve always been. I remember back in the 80s when my children were small and I got my first video camera. It was the large, heavy kind, about the size and weight of a toolbox. (Yes, youngsters, the early days of technology were hell!) After a few years of video taping every moment of my children’s lives I realized I was experiencing important, one-of-a-kind events through a tiny eyepiece, instead of being present to the actual event. And I virtually never went back to watch the damn things. So I put the video camera away and found that life’s experiences were more meaningful if I viewed them with my own eyes, and my memories of them were better than a shaky video. Smartphones have only made this avoidance of being present to our surroundings even easier. I predict that one day, people will stop leaving their homes entirely and just live inside their tiny screens. Many have already begun.

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Yes, I got a couple of questions about this cartoon, too. This kind of humor is what attracts alternative thinkers to my work, and also what has kept me from getting rich. If you’re a regular fan of my work, you know that Bizarro isn’t for just every member of the herd. So congratulate yourself for being a Jazz Pickle.

I got this idea while making coffee one morning when I noticed the packaging said, “100% Columbian Coffee”. Then I thought of the archeological time period called “pre-Columbian”. Now that you know how it works, you can be a cartoonist, too.

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Finally today we visit this couple who find themselves in a common cartoon meme: crawling through a desert. A bit like Noah’s Ark, this meme is popular because it represents the struggles we all face while trying to make our way through life. It’s funny that these cartoons never feature people walking through a desert. I guess once you’ve lost your shoes, crawling is easier on the feet. This cartoon is a collaboration between myself and a writer in Hamburg, Germany named Michael Roth, who befriended me via the Interwebs a few years back. One day I hope to meet him in person, but I hope it isn’t as we crawl through a desert.

I deeply appreciate your readership, dear pickles. As fewer people subscribe to 3-dimensional newspapers and the industry shrinks, we cartoonists have to aim our creative energy at finding new ways to get paid for what we do. For those of you who’d like to help keep Bizarro going or just say “thanks for the chuckles,” I’ve installed a Tip Jar in the righthand margin of this blog. You can make a one-time donation, or scroll down to set up a small, monthly contribution. Anything is appreciated and none of it will be used to kill spiders.

P.S. My Tip Jar only works with PayPal, which I’ve found to be reliable, convenient, and trustworthy. But soon I’ll be opening an account with Patreon, which I believe will offer different payment methods.

P.P.S. Bizarro won an award last night and here’s an article from The Washington Post online about it!

Sinking

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(Wanna see it more embiggenated? Click the cartoon with the pointy hand deal.)Bizarro 11-01-15 clr WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Unusual Things To Do With Children.

When I lived in NYC I used to occasionally enjoy watching people playing with miniature boats in the big pond in Central Park. May I assume you will not be surprised to discover that it was the inspiration for this cartoon? I’m glad that a hurricane hasn’t hit somewhere this week and killed tons of people, otherwise folks would be all up in my grill about making fun of tragedy too soon, not realizing I submitted this cartoon for publication weeks ago. Here are a few fun things in the background of this pic that you might not be able to see even in the embiggenated view: The white sign just right of center says, “Zoo, Pool, Thugs, Vermin”: The food cart in the far background on the left is selling “Fried Vermin”: On the park bench in the center is a woman with a bird head: The pigeon in the right foreground corner is standing on my signature. Other than that, there are also 10 “secret symbols,” as the small number above my signature implies. If you’re not aware of the secret symbols, check out this link here, but keep it to yourself or they won’t be secret anymore.

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On the same day this cartoon about court published, there was a very similar gag in another cartoon feature, Non Sequitur. A few people asked if we coordinated that for some reason but we did not. Similar cartoon ideas get published by different artists all the time, sometimes on the same day. It’s almost always purely coincidence and it’s just the way things work. Unless you’re a person inclined toward conspiracy theories.

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Broken bones are not always funny but in this case I thought it was.

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You may enjoy the cartoon above if you like cowboy stuff or tall ship stuff. Even if you don’t, you might like it. Or you might not. I can’t predict these things. If you don’t know what the H. M. S. Bounty refers to, have a google. It’s a good story.

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I was thinking that dressing like Elvis is pretty silly and then I thought that a half-assed Elvis would be even sillier. Seems appropriate for Halloween week.

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If you think about this cartoon sequentially, it can be kind of funny, I think. Many Americans are super into “activism” on just about any level you can think of so even though this is over the top, it’s not entirely inconceivable.

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I’m writing this blog post on Thursday morning because I’ll be out of town this weekend attending the costume wedding of my youngest daughter and some guy she’s marrying. They’re calling it a “Hallowedding.” That’s what the message in the lower left corner is about. I’m sure it will be tons of fun and if I think it warrants it, I’ll share some pictures next week.

In the meantime, check out my Bizarro Facebook page where I’ve been posting some pics of an oil painting of mine. People have been really liking it and that makes me happy.

Have a great week, Jazz Pickles!

Circular Chuckling

Bizarro is brought to you today by Where Jazz Pickles Jiggle.

I’m trying a new format today to see if it reduces some problems some folks have viewing this blog on various futuristic devices. Let me know if this is better or worse.

ALSO: Always remember that cartoon prints make affordable and classy gifts for yourself, friends, family, and enemies alike. Just find the image you want using the Bizarro.com calendar thing, and click the “buy prints” link below!Bizarro 06-14-15 hdrWEB

(Click the image below to make it oh so much enlargered.)Bizarro 06-14-15 WEBIf I may be immodest for a moment, I really like this gag and think it is my best drawing of the ocean I’ve ever done. Not that cartoons have to be well drawn, they don’t. In fact, I think a case could be made that I’ve often over-drawn my cartoons. So maybe this is just my most over-drawn picture of the ocean.

This past week’s cartoons looked pretty much like this:

Monday: Real estate agent and fish. Create your own backstory here. Did he put the fish there so he could pretend to be a real estate agent? Did the fish answer an ad in the piscean version of Craigslist? (Codslist?) Is “piscean” even a word? (Yes, but it doesn’t mean what I’m using it for.)bz panel 06-08-15Tuesday: It’s always fun to think about how you might have done something differently, or how the entire species might have. It’s no use whatsoever, but it can be fun.bz panel 06-09-15Wednesday: How many eyes does a common housefly have? Only two, but each one has around 4000 lenses. See how educational this comic can be?bz panel 06-10-15Thursday: This cowboy cartoon gave me a chuckle. And drawing “cats” in the Jazz sense, was lots of fun. (No, that’s not a mime with a saxophone. It’s a beatnik.)bz panel 06-11-15Friday: I guess this is my favorite gag of the week. Mostly because I so vehemently detest the baggy pants fad that has been around for the past 20 years. The fad itself is a zombie: ugly, dangerous, shuffling, impossible to get rid of completely. I’ve done many cartoons about it, here’s my favorite.bz panel 06-12-15Saturday: I don’t know what to say about this one other than that I like the uniforms.

bz panel 06-13-15Quick bits of business: Only three days left to grab one of my limited-edition Bizarro Jazz Pickle shirts. It’s the fourth in a series and is the definition of a collector’s item!

I’ve posted some new sketch cards in the original art section of the Bizarro Store. Check them out here. These also make unique and thoughtful gifts. Oh yes, they do.

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.

 

 

Casual Probing Racism Comb-over

bz panel 09-15-14bz strip 09-15-14bz panel 09-16-14bz strip 09-16-14bz panel 09-17-14bz strip 09-17-14Bizarro is brought to you today by How To Fill A Diaper.

I moved from NYC to LA a few years ago and have become even more keenly aware of the differences in their cultures than I was when I was only visiting here. Life in California is generally so much more relaxed than in NYC, which isn’t surprising, but the effect it has on people is glorious. The average person on the street––behind a counter or reception desk, answering a phone call for a business, driving a bus, etc.––is friendlier by a factor of 6.3 (by my unofficial calculations) than their East Coast counterparts. I love that about the West. Thinking along this line, I couldn’t help imagining the clash between how things are done in offices in the east compared to the west.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This alien gag resulted from the fact that the traditional extraterrestrial image that people claim to have been abducted frequently settle on is always without a nose. At most, they have a couple of nostrils. Like Michael Jackson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, today’s cartoon is another about the Old West ––a favorite theme of mine. With only a few exceptions, Hollywood gave Indians a pretty bad rap for the better part of the 20th century. Most of what the average person (probably anywhere in the world) knows about the Americas’ indigenous people is from Hollywood, and SO much of it is utterly inaccurate. I’m reading a fascinating book right now called “1491,” which is about what the Americas were like up until the villainous Columbus began the onslaught of European invaders. It wasn’t at all like you’ve been led to believe. I highly recommend this book for history buffs or Native Americans who are interested in what the latest archeological information tells us about pre-European America, both north and south.

 

 

PREHISTARROS: After all that high-minded talk about history, let’s have a chuckle at Ben’s expense, whomever he may be.bz010404CombOverWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stampede Fish Rapunzel Parrot Miscreant

Bizarro 09-07-14 hdrWEBBizarro 09-07-14 WEBbz panel 09-08-14bz strip 09-08-14bz panel 09-09-14bz strip 09-09-14bz panel 09-10-14bz strip 09-10-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Attack of the Trump Clones.

To my regular readers of this blog I’d like to apologize for being so tardy in my posts of late. I was accidentally cast as the narrator/host of a show on FOX called “Utopia,” and since this is the first week of the show and I’m the only one on it allowed to leave to do interviews and press, they’ve kept me super busy. I’m having a ball with it, although it is still completely surreal. More about how this happened in my previous post here. Meanwhile, here are some cartoons to catch you up on my “real” life as a cartoonist.

SUNDAY: I’m always happy when I come across one of these old-fashioned riding toys that were ubiquitous outside grocery and dime stores when I was a kid. Compared to modern technology, these things are incredibly lame, but I guess kids are still riding them or they’d be gone for good.

 

 

MONDAY: From the inimitable mind of Cliff The King Of Wordplay, comes this take on fishing and the idiosyncrasies of the English language. I laughed, hope you did, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY: I apologize for adding that second line, the gag would’ve been just as good without it. I guess I was having a moment of doubt that everyone would remember the story of Rapunzel, but now I’m reminded that my Jazz Pickles never miss a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY: There is a long-standing debate over whether talking birds actually understand what they’re saying. I’ve read up a bit on this and think that while many are likely just mimicking sounds, some actually understand the basic meaning and use the words they know in context. In general, non-human animals are far more sophisticated than we egomaniacal humans have historically thought in so many ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARRO OF THE LIVING DEAD: bz990824 COURT WEBFrom 1999, here’s a fun take on the rituals of court.

 

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