Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rock Star Proximity

If you would like to know what it is to feel extra groovy, go see an Old 97s concert. I became a fan of theirs years ago and they're one of my perennial favorites.

The lead singer and main songwriter is Rhett Miller (right, with goofy cartoonist), who also has a solo recording career and regularly does solo/acoustic concerts at small venues in NYC and elsewhere. At one such show a few years ago, a friend of mine who'd met Rhett before introduced us and it turned out Rhett had been a fan of Bizarro since college. Since then, we have been drastically in love with each other. Our wives don't mind.

CHNW and I saw Rhett doing a solo show last Saturday night in NYC at the Hiro Ballroom, and hung out with him and his gang after the show (his wife is from Ohio and a big group of Buckeye's were in town for a birthday celebration.) We had a dandy time, indeed.

In addition to partying with the rock star, we met the infamous Barber Brothers, three guys from Ohio. The craziest Barber by far, is the one they call "Dave," seen at left between me and CNHW. (Note: None of us is as gay as we look in the pic. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) It was, in fact, Dave who sent these photos of the festivities. Thanks, Dave!

If you like music that is fun to listen to and does not suck, I recommend checking out Old 97s older stuff, and their new album, too. Rhett played a few songs from the new album last Saturday and they were the exact opposite of terrible.

My secret hope is that they'll let me join them on stage someday to sing lead vocals on one of their old standards. I used to be the front man for a band in the 80s and still sing songs in my comedy shows. I still haven't lost it – in fact, I'm a better singer than even Rhett. Ask anyone.

Nothing's Free

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Puns International. "A day without orange Jews is like a day without punshine!"

The basic idea for this cartoon came from an odd character up in Rhode Island who calls himself Derek. He writes cartoons all the time and sends me seemingly thousands every couple of hours. If you've sent me an email recently that was returned because my inbox was full, it was likely one of Derek's massive submissions that did it.

Most are pretty good, but not appropriate for Bizarro, for one reason or another. But when I spot one I can use, I like to give it breath, and this is one of those. Because puns are the simplest and most common form of humor, I tend to shy away from them unless they are very strange, terrifically unexpected, make me laugh out loud, or are in some other way unique. This one hit me as very funny, and still does. Hope you like it, my bloggy buddies.

Oh crap, after writing all that I just noticed this isn't really a pun. Why did I think that?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Allentown This Weekend!

Lady and gentleman, boy and girl,
I'm going to be dozing behind a table at the Philly Non-Sports Trading Card Show this weekend in Allentown, PA. Please come see me. Really. Please. (Why is the Philly card show in Allentown? Come to the show and find out!)

I'll be selling my new Bizarro Trading Cards, as well as my books and some one-of-a-kind sketch cards. I'm also doing a presentation on Saturday afternoon which will be as much like a comedy show as possible in a brightly-lit hotel conference room in the middle of the afternoon.

"Why are you doing this, Dan?" the creepy voice inside my head is saying. Because contrary to popular belief, "rich" does not always go with "famous." I'm a little famous now and then, here and there, but if I were rich would I be sitting behind a folding table all weekend signing stuff?

YES! Because I LOVE THE FANS! So come see me, and tell me you found out about it on this blog and I'll give you a peanut! If I have one.

LINK FOR CARD SHOW






P.S. Click on this image for a larger version. The note at the bottom of the ad refers to comics shops who carry cards. You can buy a sketch card from me at the show, which I will draw in front of your eye. Both eyes, if you like.

Pee Wee, CHNW, 'n' Me

A few months ago, CHNW and I were at a fundraiser party thing in Los Angeles (note the dopey nametags) and came across Paul Reubens in the crowd. I enjoy seeing celebrities as much as anyone, but I don't usually hound them for autographs or photos. However, I'm a HUGE fan of Pee-wee Herman, so I had to get my picture taken with him. It was a big day for me and I rushed home and emailed the pic to my two adult daughters, who were green with envy.

This was also a big day for CHNW, who was not only a big fan of Reubens but grew up in Sarasota just as Paul had, though a couple of decades later. In her excitement (and CNHW can get very excited) she immediately mentioned that a girl she grew up with was the daughter of a good friend of Reubens at Sarasota High School. As the words escaped her mouth, we all remembered that Sarasota was also where he was arrested, and all in attendance were flooded with feelings of weirdness. I'm sure Paul is over it by now, but it remains for me a dark period in history, as one of the most brilliant comic characters in entertainment came to an end. Paul is still acting, of course, and doing a fine job. But I'd kill to hear that Pee-wee laugh again.

Meeting celebrities is often a double-edged sword. If the celeb isn't nice, it can ruin your perception of them forever, thus rendering certain movies, TV shows, music, etc. too irritating to enjoy. (That happened to me with Jimi Hendrix. I saw him once while hallucinating during a high fever and he was gratuitously unkind. I cannot listen to Purple Haze now without tearing up.) Paul Reubens was not rude, however. He was friendly and put up with our photos like a champ, but as soon as he walked away and I had a chance to look at the photo, I realized that Pee-wee Herman is taller and has more hair than I do.

Will these random challenges to my self-esteem never end?

Burqa Buddies

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Opression Fabrics and Chastity Devices.

The cartoon I normally would have posted today is from Earth Day, and I already published it last week on, yes, Earth Day, to go along with the CNN story. See "CNN Scrapes the Barrel's Bottom" in the blog archive list at right.

Instead, here's a classic Bizarro, my favorite joke (of mine) ever. It appears in my retrospective, Bizarro and Other Strange Manifestations of the Art of Dan Piraro.

If you'd like to buy a nice-quality color print of this, or any Bizarro cartoon, go here. What says, "I love you so much I wanted to give you a funny picture to put on your wall" better than a Bizarro cartoon? Or, what says, "your opinions are so idiotic I wanted to give you a picture making fun of you" better than a Bizarro cartoon?

Bizarro prints, the multi-purpose gift for any occasion.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Super Cat

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by a grant from the Jimmy B. Whatagain foundation. "Your name is what again?" "Yes!"

I'm a fan of animals of all sorts (with the possible exception of humans) and I enjoy exploring in cartoons the differences between cats and dogs. I used to consider myself a "dog person," but now, after living with cats for a number of years (a much easier pet in NYC because you don't have to "walk" them) I like them both equally. They are very different, however, sort of like comparing drama with comedy. Not "apples and oranges" different, more like Shindler's List and Meatballs different.

We have two cats who list this address as their own, but still regularly foster dogs. So we get both experiences, without committing to 15 non-stop years of walking a dog three times a day. Plus, we travel a lot and dogs shouldn't be left without their family too often or for too long. The cats, on the other hand, can't wait for us to leave and sometimes even change the locks.

There is a movement among animal rights folks to expunge the word "pet" from our vocabulary in favor of "companion animal." The feeling is that "pet" is a derogatory term. It is also suggested that we replace "owner" with "guardian." I personally find PC language to be suspect because most attempts are erroneous. In the case of race language (i.e. Oriental/Asian, black/African American, etc.) the term to be replaced only seems derogatory when racists utter it with disdain. "Oriental" is not an innately derogatory term – it means Eastern. Why is "Asian" better? Making a racist switch words, won't change their bigotry. I am, of course, not talking about obvious racial slurs or slang.

Regarding the "pet" and "guardian" issue, I agree with one but not the other. I don't find pet to be a derogatory word, in fact, quite the opposite. "Pet" denotes "favorite."

"Owner," on the other hand, I have given up. I don't think one should "own" a sentient being, so I say "guardian." As anyone with pets knows, they own you more than you own them.

Suicide Food

Just found a blog devoted entirely to mentally depraved animals who beg to be carved up and eaten. This is a phenomenon that saturates all modern human cultures and one I've wondered about since I was a kid. I guarantee there are several in your neighborhood. Very funny/creepy stuff.

Suicide Food

I first found this link on Vegan.com, an all-around terrific, no B.S. blog.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jesus Camp

I saw a movie a couple nights ago called "Jesus Camp." It's a documentary from 2006 about an evangejical, fundamentalist, Christian summer camp for kids. It won some awards, is very even-handed, and just lets the subjects of the film tell the story, without pushing the filmmakers' opinions.

It may surprise some of you to know that I was sort of a "teen for Jesus" for a few years back in the early 70s, and went through some of the sort of evangelical Christian indoctrination that the film depicts. I was older than the kids in the film, and so was better able to form my own opinions about what they were teaching. Still, it is difficult for kids to discern between fact and fiction, and I believe that heavy indoctrination in anything as a child has the potential to cloud your reasoning skills later on. The ease of the Neo-cons and Fox News in convincing people that the ridiculous things they were spouting were true, and everything the rest of the world was saying was false, is a case in point.

See the film, quake in your boots, do not fail to vote, and get a hundred of your reasonable-minded friends to do the same.

Video Victim


Today's Bizarro is brought to you by the fine folks at The Church of Invisible Superheroes.

I haven't played video games since "Asteroids" was big back in the late 1900s. Seriously. All I know of them is what I see on TV commercials. But they look as though they may have advanced quite a bit since then in both graphics capabilities and content. I suspect many of them may be somewhat violent, too.

Extrapolating that limited knowledge to what I assume is an issue in some households in North America, I devised this cartoon where the kid is physically brutalized by his video game. I assume it's only a matter of time before games can fight back and assault you, not just your onscreen character. Might be fun.

Someone wrote me last week saying their family was having a debate over the meaning of the woman's use of scissors to cut carrots. I hated to deflate the debate, but there is no meaning. I just thought it was funny.

As always, click on the image to make it larger. It's the only way to properly count all the symbols. The number next to my signature tells you how many to look for.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two-Wheeler

I'm a big fan of bicycles and scooters and buzz the streets of NYC on both each week. A reader of this blog who has a bike blog of his own, recently posted some pics of me and my vehicles (or "babies," as I call them when we're alone) and I wanted to share them with you.

Here is a small part of a photo of me and my wacky Copenhagen bike that Jon posted on his site. Can you even tell what it is? Hint: that black thing is protruding from my crotch. Check it out at the link below, to see if you were right.

Also on his site is a pic of me and CHNW on our Vespa. I bought it new in 1981 and have been its only owner – very rare for an old-school scooter these days. A comment in a previous post labeled me as "crazy" for riding it in NYC. Most people think so, but the truth might surprise you. Because traffic here is heavy, it tends not to move very quickly. I usually find myself cruising along at 30mph, passing the cars stuck in traffic. Also, NYC is filled with so many pedestrians, bicycle messengers, scooters, motorcycles, rollerbladers, etc, that all drivers are constantly on high alert not to kill someone. So in the end, this is the safest place I've ever ridden. Much safer than my previous Dallas location, where traffic often moves very fast and the roads are full of SUV-driving Soccer Moms who seem not to notice anything smaller than a Lincoln Navigator. I was nearly killed on a weekly basis there.
http://grinderswheels.blogspot.com/

Flesh Eating Zombie


There have been a lot of great comments lately on various blog entries herein. Just wanted you to know that although I rarely leave a message in the comments sections, I read them all.

My comments about the environment as it relates to vegetarianism mentioned a few things I want to clear up. I'm actually vegan (vegetarians eat no animal flesh, vegans eat/buy no animal products of any kind, including dairy, eggs, leather, wool, etc.), and my sole reason for becoming so was an epiphany I had six years ago, while visiting a farm animal sanctuary. I found the animals there to be much smarter, more emotional, individual and affectionate than I had previously imagined cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats, etc. to be. I realized that their level of sentience was no different than dogs, cats, or human toddlers, and immediately lost my sense of entitlement over them. I wouldn't torture and kill my family dog or my neice because they tasted good, why do I pay someone to do that to animals I haven't met? I quit that day and have not regretted it for an instant since.

Up until that moment, I was an inveterate meat-eater who thought that animal-rights people had too much free time. I ate meat all three meals each day and didn't even like vegetables much. It was scary to give it up so abruptly and I worried it would be very painful, like quitting smoking. As it turned out, however, the learning curve at first was quite steep, but in the long run, changing my diet was much easier and less painful than I feared it would be. I don't miss any of my old favorites now as I've replaced them with similar if not identical vegan foodstuffs.

Later, I began to read about the health, environmental, and geopolitical aspects of veganism and became an advocate of those as well. These are all excellent reasons in their own right, but my main concern was and still is, compassion toward other beings.

That being said, there have been many medical studies (which appear in medical journals but don't make it to CNN Headline News) which show strong connections between almost all cancers and heart disease, and the consumption of animal products. True, Linda McCartney was vegetarian and died of breast cancer, but she ate dairy products, which are among the most unhealthy substances in the modern diet. Many modern internists treat a variety of chronic illnesses with veganism, with amazing results. Studies have also consistently shown than vegans have an enormously reduced chance of suffering from a litany of chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

As I said, I'm vegan purely for compassionate reasons, but I have come to believe through my own experiences and reading that it is far and away the healthiest diet for humans and the planet. Some folks argue that vegans don't get enough "this" or "that," but you'd be hard pressed to find a legitimate medical study that backs those claims up. B12 is the only thing missing from a vegan diet, and you can get that with one tiny vitamin pill a week.

For more info on the medical benefits of a plant-based diet, see these two websites, both run by big-brained doctors of all sorts: PCRM.org http://drmcdougall.com/

Friday, April 25, 2008

US Torture


Today's Bizarro made possible by Meaningless Bureaucracy Unlimited. "We control your life because we can!"

Everyone dreads a visit to the local DMV, but none more than those of us in New York City. Because this place is huge and untold dozens of people live here, all city services are as deep into the "Completely Sucks" range as one can get. It takes four days minimum to get a cable repair guy to show up at your place, for instance, so if your TV and internet are out, you're just living in colonial America for the better part of a week.

A visit to the DMV is a great way to get a feeling for what our ancestors felt as they waited on Ellis Island for in indeterminate time, in line after line, unsure of whether they would be allowed to pursue their dream, or be sent back home empty-handed and suicidal.

Because of the endless bureaucracy of getting a motorcycle license in NYC (you wait in line at the DMV to take a written test, which has little to do with actual driving rules or principles, then go online to schedule a driving test to be taken a month or more in the future – to which you must bring a licensed, registered, inspected car and a driver, licensed both for cars and motorcycles, to chauffeur the examiner as he follows you through the streets, honking in code to tell you what maneuver to execute – then back to the DMV within 90 days to trade the paper receipt the examiner gives you for another piece of paper, which you carry around until they send you the actual license 6 weeks later … I really wish I were kidding) I drove my old Vespa scooter, which I've had since 1981, unlicensed for four years. I finally got caught, and that's what forced me to submit myself to the local Gitmo to become legal.

Hence, this cartoon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mermaid Tears


Today's Bizarro is brought to you by the commercial fishing industry, which would TOTALLY kill mermaids in their drift nets if there was profit in it.

This is one of those cartoons that I hope you don't fully get until you look closely at the picture. I like to devise jokes that aren't completely evident until you look carefully. I enjoy being surprised this way by other people's cartoons, so I figure maybe my readers do, too.


Drawing Tools/Water and Meat

I've gotten a few inquiries about two of my previous posts, so I thought I'd answer them here.

Drawing Tools: I draw my cartoons the old-fashioned way, with brush and ink on bristol board, then scan them into a Mac to do all the repair work and coloring in Photoshop. I have a very cool state-of-the-art screen from Wacom called a Cintiq, on which you can draw with a stylus directly on the screen, which is pressure sensitive. So I can get a thicker line by pushing harder, thinner line by letting up pressure, etc., just like a paintbrush. I could (and have, on rare occasion) draw an entire cartoon on my computer, and no one would be able to tell the difference. This fancy-pants screen is tons o' good in my line of work.

Water and Meat: Many folks all over the place wonder about this "5,000 gallons to raise a pound of beef" (the subject of CHNW's demonstration in Times Square) and how much water it takes to raise plants for vegan/vegetarain diets. The way it works is that most of the crops we grow in this country are fed to animals, not people. So the water it takes to grow them is figured into the amount it takes to raise a pound of meat. Feeding plants directly to humans is 12-to-16 times more efficient than feeding them to animals (the number varies depending on the animal and the crop). In other words, it takes enough food and water to provide 16 meals for humans to create a single serving of meat. If the whole world turned vegetarian (yeah, like that would ever happen), we could feed 12-to-16 times more humans with the crops we currently grow. Simply put, it would solve world hunger.

The next question people ask is what you would do with all those farm animals in this vegetarian utopia. Simple: Stop breeding them. There are nearly a 100 billion "food" animals alive on the planet at any given time. Stop allowing them to breed, and they'd be gone in no time. As would the millions of tons of feces per second that they create, as well as the greenhouse gases they emit, and the pollution resulting from their poo. Contrary to popular belief, you can't use that much poo for fertilizer. Mostly, it just pollutes the air and ground water. We'd also see a HUGE reduction in medical costs, as most cancers, heart disease, diabetes, you name it, would disappear.

Like I say, vegetarianism will never happen worldwide without some kind of devestating plague that makes it too dangerous to eat animals, but all of these facts are part of why I don't subsidize the animal agriculture industry by buying or consuming animal products of any kind.

For more info on this kind of thing, visit Woodstocksanctuary.org. CHNW and I are founding board members and pour a lot of our time, work and money into this project.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Free Association

This Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by a swarthy guy with poor hygiene and a penchant for argyle.

Rorschach tests have been a favorite topic of cartoonists for a long time – few subjects are more fertile than the idea of "free association." Several months ago, I got to thinking about the concept of Rorschach's parents free-associating about him as an infant (decades before he invented his famous therapy technique, of course) but wasn't sure how to use it. This is one of those ideas that floated around my sketchbook for ages before I came upon a way to make it work.

Like any artist (except really poor ones), I don't love all my ideas. But this is one I'm really happy with. The strange comments in the caption balloons resulting from my own free-assocation about infants, make me giggle. If I can make myself smile, it's usually a good sign.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CNN Scrapes The Barrel's Bottom



For Earth Day, King Features asked its cartoonists to do a cartoon on the environment. CNN did a story on those of us who complied and since I live in NYC, I was lucky enough to get tapped for an on-screen interview. Of the couple of hours of footage they got while making my house look like a crime scene with blazing bright lights and equipment trucks, they used only a couple of quick sound bites, of course. I'm happy they used the one about animal agriculture being more damaging to the environment than all transportation. (See link beneath video for more info.)

Here is a picture of me mesmerized by my own image, and a video clip of my interview, which I taped right off the TV with my digital camera. Most of my family missed the original airing of the show, so I'm hoping the CNN police will let me keep this on here for a while.

For the record, I don't normally look as much like a serial killer nerd as I do in this clip. Sitting five feet from a bank of 1900 watt bulbs on stilts will do that to a guy.

video
combined.http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20772&Cr=global&Cr1=environment

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crazy Wife, Half-Nekked Again!

In honor of Earth Day, Crazy Half-Nekked Wife was down in Times Square taking a shower on the sidewalk today as part of a PETA demonstration about the environment. Apparently, it takes 5,000 gallons of water to raise one pound of beef, so being vegetarian is an excellent way to lessen your carbon footprint. Also, the UN Committee on Agriculture last year released a study citing animal agriculture as a bigger contributor to greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. PETA said it best: If you think you're an environmentalist and you're still eating meat, think again.

Hope you enjoy these dandy photos of CHNW and her fellow activist, Chloe Jo, in Times Square today.





















Here's a link to a story in the NYTimes about it. The naked cowboy in the Times pic was not part of the event, he's just a permanent fixture of Times Square, wandering around singing to tourists for money. I guess he was excited to see other people with his minimalist approach to fashion, so he joined in.
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/times-square-weathers-a-brief-shower-with-no-beef/index.html?ex=1366516800&en=3964b53e702e3139&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

The Box


This Bizarro cartoon made possible by an imaginary grant from the crazy old woman who hangs out in front of my building.

I'm not particularly fond of this cartoon, to be honest. It's a fairly simple play on words but I often find that this sort of cartoon is popular with a lot of readers, especially those trapped in a cubicle laboring at a dead-end job. I hope some of you like it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Watch It, Buddy

Bizarro is brought to you today by Lost Civilization Office Products – maker of Monk Copy Machines.

(Click on image for enlargement)

At the height of its glory, the Aztec civilization boasted the largest city in the world, the most advanced sewage disposal and freshwater delivery system ever devised by humans, and a calendar capable of simultaneously predicting the future and decorating your living room. The scene above is of a typical Aztec community in the 15th century. Several members can be seen wearing the latest in Aztec technology, the calendar watch.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dancing Machines

A friend of ours sent this sublime shot of us on the dancefloor at the Genesis Awards a few weeks back and I had to post it. My favorite elements of this pic are the disco backlighting on our hair and the shiny piece of saliva at the corner of my mouth. It was late in the evening and I'd long since stopped grooming myself for photos.

See the "Me and Bill Maher" posting from April 5 for the rest of the story.

CHEAP CITY COMEDY

Ladies, gentlemen, both, undecided,
My good friend and fellow cartoonist and stand-up comedian, Michael Capozzola, is doing a comedy show in The Bay Area soon. Check out the poster below and PLEASE GO!

Readers of the SF Chron will recognize Mike as the cartoonist who does CHEAP CITY, the cartoon in the weekend watchamacallit. Please mention to the Chron how much you like Cheap City here: http://tinyurl.com/5ss9j7 Mike has done tons of free publicity for me and for Bizarro and I think his feature is original and cool. It's locally-grown and hand-crafted with care, compassion, and no small amount of personal lubricant. What more can one ask for in one's comics?Thursday May 8th @ 8PM at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. Show details at: http://www.lapena.org/event/761

Friday, April 18, 2008

Planks and Other Nice Walks

Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by Home Despot.
"Ridding the planet of forests one tree at a time."

This cartoon is on the back cover of (and also inside) my upcoming book of pirate cartoons. It's called Bizarro Buccaneers and will be published in August. You will buy it and you will love it.

Those of you with far too many brain cells dedicated to memory may recognize this cartoon as one I did many many years ago and published who-knows-where. Someone reminded me of it and I couldn't find it anywhere, so I redrew it (and rewrote it a bit, for all I know) and popped it into Bizarro.

Questions for ME


Here's a link to an interview I did with a photographer dude recently. Yo, check it.
http://ekwimmer.blogspot.com/2008/04/10-questions-with-dan-piraro.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beautiful Brains


Today's Bizarro is sponsored by Oil of Olay. Squeaky face? Try Oil of Olay!

Judging by the emails I got, this cartoon resonated with a lot of folks. The seed of the idea came from my friend, Derek. He suggested the misinterpretation of the question, "what is the capital of..?" and I used it in a beauty pageant setting. I was somewhat inspired by the hilarious and embarrassing performance of a recent Miss Teen USA contestant that's been all over the Interwebs recently. If you haven't seen it, prepare to cringe.

By the way, why do we still have beauty pageants in 21st century America?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bay Area Readers!


If you like Bizarro and want to support it against future cancellation, the SF Chron is currently asking readers to weigh in on their favorites. Go here if you want to help:
http://tinyurl.com/5ss9j7

Thanks!

See You At NY Comic Co




For those of you in the NYC area, I'll be signing, drawing, and selling junk at the Comic Con this weekend on Friday, April 18. At 2pm, I'll be at the Andrews McMeel Universal (AMU) booth signing posters of my new pirate cartoons book cover. The book won't be out until August, so these posters will be collector's items!

After that is over, about 3pm, I'll be hopping over to the IndieSpinnerRack booth and hanging out for a couple hours selling and signing my retrospective book (blue cover) from last year, drawing elaborate sketchcards (see examples below, front and back) for a nominal price, and selling my new line of trading cards, which are not even in stores yet! What?! Oh my god, ("oh my nobody" for atheist readers) the three or four Bizarro fans who show up for this event will go home with some rare booty, indeed!

Hope to see you there –and if you tell me you found out about it on my blog, I'll give you an extra special premium gift! Don't know what yet, but try not to act disappointed when you see it. www.nycomiccon.com

Take A Lap, Maggot!

Today's Bizarro brought to you by tiny, creeping gnomes with lumpy hats.

What is a "life coach"? Do I need one? Will he be an overweight jackass with a bad haircut who makes me run laps when I talk back? And more importantly, if I don't have a good life coach, might I lose? How much time do I have to get ready for the playoffs?

I've never been arrested and hope to keep that streak going for a long time, but if ever I am, I hope I can remember to say this line.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Big Tip

Today's cartoon is made possible by a grant from the Bellhops Union of Nevada. "If you plan to leave us alone with your bags, you had better tip generously."

The idea for this one was donated by a friend, Derek. It appealed to me because as a kid I enjoyed riding on luggage carts, and my wife still regularly does it when we visit fancy hotels. I'm usually the one pushing her around while she swings on the bar and howls like a monkey until security asks us to stop, but occasionally she'll talk a bellhop into doing it as she lies curled up in the fetal position among the luggage, as stone-faced as a statue. I've had her delivered to the room with the luggage many times, but I'm never sure how much to tip. CHNW likes to push the adage about the customer always being right to its limits.

Monday, April 14, 2008

CHNWife Saves Baby!

Crazy Half-Nekked Wife got a call last week from the city animal shelter asking if we could take a baby racoon, only a few days old. CHNW is on the list of people to call whenever they get an animal they can't adopt out as a pet, and so far we've taken off their hands lambs, hens, roosters, ducks, goats, calves, and a "hairless pink spider monkey," which later turned out to be a drunken, naked high school student from New Jersey.

The baby, smaller than the three-week-old kittens we're currently fostering, had been brought to the shelter by a city worker who found her in a compost pile in Central Park.
We accepted the challenge, and CHNW began calling and googling to find out everything she could about baby racoons. She's fostered them before, but never this young. The furry baby's eyes weren't even open yet.

Experts told her how and what to feed the little tyke, and that the infant never should have been removed from the park in the first place. She likely fell out of her nest and her mother would have retrieved her after she was back from the store or wherever. Since there are so many animals in Central Park, you'd think the workers would be trained not to do this sort of thing.

For two days, CHNW fed the little critter with a syringe, kept her warm, and resisted handling or talking to her any more than necessary. On expert advice, this is the best way to keep them from trusting humans, which is a fatal mistake for any animal that is to be returned to the wild.

With a little detective work, CHNW ascertained the area of the park in which our guest was discovered, so she and another NY rescuer, Amy M., headed over there at dusk on Sunday. Upon arrival they saw several adult racoons roaming the area among the muggers and less-bright tourists, but none were interested in the baby. Turns out they were males, who are not yet enlightened about equal rights among the sexes, and leave the baby-tracking chores to their womenfolk. Coincidentally, a local woman was passing by and knew where a racoon nest was. She led them to a tree and pointed to a large hole about six feet off the ground, out of which peered an adult racoon with an I-thought-all-your-sort-had-gone-home-by-now look on her face.

CHNW approached the tree holding the baby aloft and, as hoped, it began to make its weird racoon-baby noise. (If you've never heard this, it sounds like a cross between a UFO from a cheap 1950s movie, and what you'd imagine a baby dinosaur sounded like.) The momma's look abruptly changed to something that might go with the words, "Gimme that or I'll pop a cap in yo' ass!"

Amy M., who is taller than CHNW, lifted the baby up and dropped her into the hole with the mom, scurrying backward quickly so as not to be bitten or sprayed with mace. Central Park racoons are pretty sophisticated. CHNW and Amy held their breath and listened as the sounds of several babies and their UFOs wafted into the air, signaling that a feeding frenzy had begun. On the mother's milk, not the prodigal 'coon.

This shot is of the momma hunkering down over her litter of hungry beasts.















Sometimes these rescue situations turn out great, other times they end in tragedy, tears, and tiny graves in the back yard. This time we got lucky!

I find that when there's a baby racoon in the house, I can't resist having my picture taken with her.

All this was done through a grassroots Brooklyn organization run by Amy M., who works tirelessly to save and place animals in NYC. If you appreciate this kind of thing, she, and hundreds of dogs and cats rescued from death row each year by Amy M. and her volunteers, would appreciate it if you threw a few bucks their way. http://www.sugarmuttsrescue.com/

National Surrealism Week

Today's cartoon is made possible by the letter "S," and an anonymous bit of punctuation.

As the cartoon implies, it is National Surrealism Week, so anything goes. This is not the week for the easily confused or startled. Being one of our nation's oldest official holidays, it is your patriotic duty to do something strange to add to the festivities. If you're out of ideas of your own, here are some suggestions:
1. Float 12 inches above the ground all day today. If someone comments, pretend you haven't the foggiest idea what they are talking about.
2. Schedule a national press conference, then midway through a sentence, melt over the podium like a piece of Velveeta.
3. Replace your own head with that of a giraffe's.
4. Behave like any member of the Bush administration.

Good luck everyone, and Happy Surrealism Week! Especially to my good buddy, fellow cartoonist, and stand-up comic from San Francisco, Michael Capozzola, who donated the seed to this cartoon. Mike is always up for a seed donation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nekked Folks Like You





Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by the thousand-or-more species of cacti.
"Cacti – Look, but don't touch!"


As announced yesterday, I'll now be posting my daily cartoons daily. However, for complicated business reasons that only a veteran member of the cartoon industry could understand, I have to post them a week late. Like the war in Iraq, don't try to comprehend it, just trust the experts.

Here now, is last Sunday's cartoon and its header panel. (Click on the cartoon for a larger view) In your local paper, the header panel might appear just to the left of the cartoon, but I've separated them for ease of viewing. The header panel is different each week, this one is made from a weekday Bizarro from the late 1900s entitled, "Self Portrait". I've always loved it. Someone wrote to me once referencing it as "that cartoon of God creating man." Huh?




My favorite part of this Sunday panel is the art on the walls. I enjoy spoofing classical art, and deciding how to dress these characters caused me to experience flutters of joy.

Since I can't figure out how to get a clearer image on the full image, here are some close ups with which to test your art history knowledge.









Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sporting Sharks and Humans



Today's Bizarro cartoon (right) is brought to you by the wonders of electricity. Get some today!

Today's shark-infested funny is about the appalling habit we humans have of hiding sharp things in food and offering it to animals. We call it "fishing" and convince ourselves that because we can trick animals into hurting themselves, we should. I used to fish as a kid but I grew out of it–much later than I should have, I'm ashamed to say.

Fisherman who throw them back after injuring them are slightly more admirable, in my opinion. At least they admit they're hurting things for fun and not pretending that eating the victim justifies its suffering. We are a strange species.

The 'toon below is one I did on the same subject a few years back. Fly fishermen thought it was very funny, admitting the truth behind it. I suppose you have to admire them for "owning it."

CrazyHNW and I are fostering a baby racoon this weekend – smaller than a newborn kitten. I'll write about it in my next blog.

Check back for more shenanigans, amigos.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Comedy Buddies

Today's Bizarro cartoon (left), featured in living color.

Hey, kids,
My good pal and talented comedian, Jeff Kreisler, is bringing his wicked brand of political comedy to San Fran next week. Remember Bizarro's Politicomedy-a-Go-Go tour a few years back? He was a big part of that. And he's been practicing daily ever since, so he's even better!

Here is your Bizarro Mission for today:
Read info below.
Go see Jeff's show.
Laugh freely.
Go home.

Just as with all my directives, this comes with a personal guarantee: You will have a better time at Jeff's show than if you go somewhere else and have a lousy time.

Smooches,
3TP

Jeff Kreisler's Comedy Against Evil is *the* political comedy tour.

The Purple Onion
140 Columbus Avenue San Francisco, CA 94133
Friday & Saturday, April 25 & 26, 8pm
TICKETS ARE CASH ONLY, AT THE DOOR, DAY OF SHOW
$20 at the door
$12 with local student id
Reservations and info: www.ComedyAgainstEvil.com, info@comedyagainstevil.com, 800.529.2765

Bill Hicks Spirit Award winner, writer for Comedy Central's Indecision2008, CNN, and 23/6, cast member of Shoot The Messenger (from the creator of The Daily Show), and author of Harper Collins' "Get Rich Cheating," Kreisler dissects American politics with passion, absurdity, and hope.

Joining him in his return to San Francisco and the legendary Purple Onion will be local favorites Joe Klocek, Mike Capozzola, Boxcar, Nato Green & others.

Comedy Against Evil believes humor speaks truth to power and that laughter can save the world.

"A highlight." - The New York Times

"Kreisler tore into politics, race and religion in a similar style to Hicks, but with his own personal slant and some very acute and funny observations. This is one show that will have you laughing from start to finish and is probably one of the best comedy shows at the Fringe..." - Fresh Air at the Festival

"An hour of excellent comedy... Jeff Kreisler does clever, well-presented political stuff..." - The Scotsman

"Kreisler changes the pace a bit with a slightly demented, extremely animated set that attacks everything..." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Funny and on-fire Jeff Kreisler followed, railing against attack ads and injecting some powerful and pointed political barbs on both sides " - San Francisco Herald

"The highlight of this all-American evening was final act Kreisler, who, with slow, dry rigour, pulled apart America..." - ThreeWeeks

"Jeff Kreisler and his Comedy Against Evil show were amazing. Jeff's act was thought provoking, edgy, and quite hilarious... He had all of us on the floor laughing for an entire hour." - Georgetown University

"A welcome reminder of a time when comedy cut a lot closer to the issues of the day than most comics now dare." - Dallas Morning News (from the original Bizarro PolitiComedy A-Go-Go Tour)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Heston Addendum

A few people have left comments here and written to me personally about my comment about Heston being racist. Okay, you caught me – I don't really know if Charlie was racist. True, he did march with MLK back in the day, but I despised his right wing politics of recent decades and thought his comments in "Bowling For Columbine" seemed fairly racist. Perhaps he was just an elitist and distrusted anyone "beneath" him, no matter their race.

Someone pointed out that Michael Moore is known for stretching the truth and I'm sure that's true. But no matter how you edit it, Heston's own words in that film are pretty damning, and he made some very callous remarks immediately after the Columbine tragedy. He was obviously much more concerned with protecting his gun ownership than the plight of the victims and their families.

Others have said they enjoyed his films. I did, too. He was one of the great over-actors of his day and I always found him entertaining to watch. In recent years, when he got all riled up at NRA rallies, raised a rifle over his head and said in his best Moses voice, "From my cold, dead, fingers!" he seemed very much as though he believed he was currently living on the planet of the apes.

And, in fact, he was.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

DingDong, the Witch, is Dead

Just heard that actor, racist, and violence advocate Charlton Heston died last night. If you're wondering about my dark opinion of Charlie, see his interview in the film "Bowling for Columbine."

Here is a cartoon I did about him a few years ago. I got waves of hate mail from rabid NRA members, who worshiped him as a messiah. If his body disappears from his tomb in three days and he returns to save the country from pacifism, I will stand corrected.