Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eggheads and Bird Love

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Committee to Promote the Redistribution of Wealth.

Like yesterday's comic, I'm not all that thrilled with this cartoon. I think it's okay and will appeal to a decent percentage of readers or I wouldn't have published it, but it doesn't thrill me to the depths of my soul. But that happens. I'd be suspicious of any daily cartoonist who claimed to love all of his/her work.

Two things I do like are the way the old guy's face turned out and the fuzzy blue buildings in the background. This is more-or-less the first time I've done background objects with color only, no line work. I think it works well. Of course, people seeing it in black and white in the newspapers won't see anything in the background at all.

I love pigeons, all birds really, and have always objected to the "flying rat" epithet. The only reason we don't see pigeons as we do other birds is because they are so ubiquitous that we become immune to their beauty. They really are great-looking birds if you view them objectively. And they're fun to have around. CHNW and I have fed them in our backyard (or roof, at our old apartment) for years and they are very entertaining. After a while, you begin to spot individual personality traits, pecking order, etc. There are typically one or two leaders in a flock – for years we had one who came up and pecked on our window daily while the others waited on the roof to be fed.

Chickens are another species of bird that most people have forgotten how to see the beauty in. There are few birds in the world more asthetically gifted than the rooster, yet because we've seen them on our corn flakes boxes all our lives, we ignore them. Chickens (of both sexes) are also very smart and individual, full of charm and personality, if you get to know them on a one-on-one basis. If they didn't poop indescriminately, they'd make excellent housepets. CHNW and I have fostered dozens over the years and they're tons of fun to have around.

33 comments:

Jeremy said...

I had chickens when I lived on a farm. My friend's uncle gave them to my dad's friend for his farm. They are pretty funny birds.

I have always looked at pigeons as pretty birds. Its cute how fat they are and how they bob when they walk.

It might also have to do with people seeing chickens (not so much pigeons) as food and being objective to them for that reason. That's probably the reason Americans don't eat dogs or cats, because we form bonds with them.

not anonymous said...

that's some great stuff, jeremy. not dull and stale at all.

shipping troll said...

I have a friend in CA who does Ren Faires, and one of the people in his guild raises chickens, and in fact keeps a pet Rooster. He carries the bird around at the Faires, and asks people if they "would like to pet his cock". His other favorite phrase is , "Never leave 'ome wit'out yer cock!"

Not Anonymous said...

do people laugh, shipping troll?

derekamalo said...

wath your mouth shipping troll...:) ew rules

BIZARRO STILL ROCKS!!

Anonymous said...

Watch out, shipping troll. The Fuhrer's been on a rampage censoring posts lately.

ldisme said...

sometimes a comic doesn't have to thrill; yours never fail to touch something recognizable.

i so enjoy reading, then looking at the drawing, the buildings did seem to arise out of nowhere — good one!

as i've been a long-time fan, your blog givng a glimpse into your mind is a treasure. do you really do all those links yourself? sure would like to know the story behind the last one on here, lol.

doug nicodemus said...

eh you are right. i laugh a little but only because it was cheap. you know i never did like your comics for the art. it was the ideas, and the schticks...but now that i have started to post yours they are pretty cool. in particular i never knew that you "hid" stuff in the backgrounds. and much other stuff. its all good.

derekamalo said...

greatest song ever made

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq8OU-7JDFA

Mike Duffau said...

derekamalo,

long live duffau, huh?
lol, right on!

derekamalo said...

no one will censor that bro

jezzka said...

speaking of cock, did i ever tell you about the time meng and i were at this cafe in alphabet city having coffee and these two older gents walking stopped to ask us if we knew where 'the cock' was?

apparently, it's an east village gay bar, but at the time i just remembered laughing, because i had to later explain to meng what a cock was in american slang, that its a term for a male chicken and a man's cock-a-doodle doo. hehe. i think i even told her what choking the chicken meant...

poor girl was traumatized. this was back when her english was sub par and i had to explain all the slang and jokes too her.

i just remember thinking those men picked the worst people to ask where a sleazy gay bar was. we both look like we are ten. ha! sheesh.

yeah, so that is my cock story.

isee3dtoo said...

My uncle has permission to catch and tag birds of prey. Namely hawks, kites, eagles, and other in this category. They tag, weigh, measure wing span, track date, time and location then release. Rather fun but cold and boring at times as well. This is the prime season to do it as the birds head south.

The bait used to catch these birds is "live pigeon on a string". They put a little kevlar type vest on the pigeon and attach strings to the vest. Then pulling other strings they make the pigeon dance a little. Along comes a hawk who sees pigeon in distress and swoops in for the kill. If the hawks lands in the right spot they activate a trap. If the hawk doesn't land in the right spot, mind you it is holding the pigeon, you can pull the pigeon and thus the hawk over to the trap and catch it. The first you do after the hawk is trapped is rush outside to make sure the hawk doesn't get hurt and to rescue the pigeon.

The pigeon is then returned to the pigeon box to be recycled for more trapping later but they are used for only one catch or only for one hour for any one trapping day. Some pigeons do get killed but some make it an entire season of three months or so as hawk bait then they are released.

A better bait would be a rat but getting the rat to stay in one spot or making a rat jump up and down on a string just doesn't work as well.

munchy365 said...

3d - isn't that kind of cruel?

isee3dtoo said...

Cruel Question:

I went out last year the day after Thanksgiving and tried it in Virginia. I thought it was cruel to me, the pigeon, and the hawk.

To me: I was freezing my rear off in a bird blind searching the sky for hours looking for a hawk. Since I had to drive back to PA I left 30 minutes before a bald eagle landed in a tree next to the blind to determine if it was trap. The eagle was smart and left. I was pissed, I missed seeing a bald eagle up close by 30 minutes.

To the pigeon: Well for the first 10 minutes they kind of freak out a little, but after 10 minutes they enjoy the ride the strings and kevlar vest gives them. We had three hawk strikes while I was there and no pigeon damage. The hawk goes straight for the body and the vest does an amazing job protecting the pigeon. You can tell they are happy to return to food, other pigeons, and warmth after their turn on the string.

To the hawk: A good strike, a good catch, and we take away their food and don't give them anything in return but a tag around their leg. The hawk is instantly put in a round tube after the catch, this settles the bird down and makes sure they don't damage their wings. When you remove the hawk from the tube it looks around the room and is rather patient. In fact when you release the hawk they sometimes fly up to a local tree and sit for a few minutes before they get their bearing and off to see what other yummy morsel they can catch.

The data collected helps the department of fish and game determine how healthy the bird of prey population is. They caught a hawk last year that was caught for its second time. The first time was over 15 years ago. The sad news is most birds make it to Mexico or Central America and do not return. So most hawks you see on the East Coast are 1 to 3 years old based on the birds my Uncle tags.

Penny said...

Chickens rock, as do ducks. We have four barred Plymouth Rock hens, and three Peking ducks. They're all little comedians, actually.

Dominic said...

Yes, that's a funny cartoon - thanks!

I love chickens and am glad I am able to keep a small flock. I love my Runner and Moscovy ducks too. The Runners are hilarious because they look like bowling pins with legs and they are forever running around as a pack in a panic.

The Moscovys on the other hand are like puppies - they walk up to you, say hi, and follow you around - they have a great personality - they have to because they are ugly.

The only thing I don't like about keeping birds is that once a year you have to cull the extra males - I mean they're tasty alright, being free ranging organic mash fed birds, and I am filled with awe when I see their heads lying on the crimson stained stump behind the garage.

agony said...

I can just imagine all those pigeons in therapy for years afterwards, trying to get over it ...

Robert Finis said...

Dig the blue buildings, though even on my monitor I'm not sure I saw them at first. I definitely got the feeling of 'city', though, so I may have noticed them without consciously seeing them. Or it may have just been the pigeons.

I agree that pigeons aren't flying rats, but they seem to be about as smart as a brick. Flying Palins?

Christina Awesome said...

i work at a starbucks and one of my coworkers is always feeding pigeons through the drive thru window. he has a favorite brown pigeon that he nicknamed chigeon because it reminded him of chickens. so he would throw food at them and they'd all fight over it. the best part was that another pigeon whose leg was injured would follow chigeon around because he knew that he would be near the food, since we were all throwing food at chigeon. pretty smart actually. and now he's healed and we can't tell which one he is anymore! haha.

not jeremy said...

Reading the comments on this post is feeling like hanging out at a retirement home. A lot of rambling, wildly uninteresting stories.

Not Anonymous said...

For what its worth, I am the original "Not Anonymous" and I didn't write those top two posts.

Someone is up to no good.

not anonymous said...

Who are you? Stop trying to confuse people.

Anonymous said...

Both of you idiots stop it.

Stevie G.B. said...

Hey Dan...thanks for sharing your inner thoughts on your cartoons. it's interesting to hear how an artist thinks...

derekamalo said...

hahahahaha just saw today bizarro.....jen will youmarry me not a chance hahaha

derekamalo said...

not jeremy said...
Reading the comments on this post is feeling like hanging out at a retirement home. A lot of rambling, wildly uninteresting stories.


sorry dude not he way id have it :)

Anonymous said...

well said anonymous.

julie said...

Shipping troll - your friend sounds like a total dork.

anonymous said...

Thank you.

PIRARO said...

Personally, I find this super-nerdy science stuff really interesting. It's the kind of stuff that plays to the kind of intelligence humans have. I have no reason to know how much stress is on a roach's leg when it is walking, but shining polarized light through jello to find out fascinates me.

Ray Avito said...

Okay, I had a mouthful of ham sandwich when I came across this post and literally nearly choked laughing at that comic. That was the funniest thing I have seen all week.

Becci said...

I love pigeons and chickens too, Dan! They're two of my favourite animals!

Another way to remind people to appreciate pigeons is the fact that most people like doves, and doves and pigeons are the same animal. They're two words for one type of bird. In many languages, they only get one word! We tend to use "dove" when referring to smaller breeds of pigeon or often, purely white ones, but they're all the same species.