Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Snakes on a Plane

Today's cartoon is brought to you buy Greek Mythological Premises, Inc.

This was neither a Bizarro cartoon, nor one printed in Parade Magazine. I drew this one because I think it's a great joke but never found a place to print it in the U.S. It's been printed in cartoon magazines in Scandinavia, where people do not fear that nudity or sexual humor will lead to the decay of society, but nowhere else that I know of. I show it at comedy shows, as it is one of my favorites from my career and always gets a good laugh.

Taking this premise further, Medusa would also have snakes in her arm pits and on her legs and arms. Gross. And shaving would be even grosser. Let's not talk about it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Amazing Grace

Bizarro was made possible today by Cats, Firemen, Birds, Ink, Computers, and Language.

Most of my cartoons just come from some intangible place in my head, a black box in the rafters of my mind's garage, a vault buried deep beneath my soul's grain silo. But this cartoon is one of those rare ones that is entirely autobiographical.

When I was a child, I had a black and white cat that was accidentally blinded in a lab accident. I had a chemistry set I enjoyed playing with and although I had been warned of mixing chemicals haphazardly, I was an intrepid child and frequently pushed the limits of the physical world. One day, I poured a bottle marked, "Do Not Mix This With Acid" into a bottle marked, "Acid." I knew as soon as I rotated my wrist that I'd made a terrible mistake.

Before I could even shield my face, the newly mixed fluids exploded like bitter enemies. But just as the searing fluid would have hit me in the face, my cat leapt in front of me and took the scalding blow himself. He lived, but lost both of his eyes.

For years he lived with me, completely blind, and would feel his way around the house and the surrounding yards. Just as sighted cats will often do, he would occasionally climb to the top of a tree and have trouble coming down. I routinely would climb up to rescue him, it seemed the least I could do for a friend who had sacrificed his own eyesight for mine.

One day, when I was around 12, he was trapped at the top of the enormous pecan tree in our front yard as black storm clouds and flashes of lightening tumbled toward us. I just barely heard his plaintiff cries over the growing wind and prepared to climb the tree to save him. As I stepped gingerly from one branch to another, I soothed him with my voice. "I'm coming, Steve. Hang on. It's okay."

I was only ten-or-so feet off the ground when my foot became wedged in the crotch of a huge tree branch. Though I struggled with the fury of a Norse god, I could not pull it free. The storm approached, the wind got louder, the lightening closer. I glanced up at my terrified, blind cat, perhaps 65 feet in the air, clinging desperately to a branch as the wispy fingers of the tree swayed violently to and fro. "Hang on, Steve!" I shouted over the now gale-force winds. "Don't let go!"

I turned my attention once again to my shoe, pinned in the fork of the branch like a debutante against the back seat of a car, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something unbelievable. It was Steve, of course, being lowered gently by a squadron of birds. The look on his face was one of relief, gratitude, and astonishment.

I, too, was relieved and astonished to see him safe on the ground and heading for the house, so much so that I had forgotten that a huge storm was bearing down on me while I was still trapped ten feet off the ground.

Just then, as though the day had not already been amazing enough, along came a millionaire CEO of a crooked financial firm with a saw and a ladder. He immediately began sawing the branch away near my foot, until I was free, then helped me down the ladder. Before I could even thank him, he returned from whence he came without asking for any compensation whatsoever.

In a single day, I saw birds rescue a cat from a tree and a ruthless multi-millionaire perform an altruistic act. I have never seen either since, but having witnessed it once restored my faith in the goodness of this world in a way that lasted well over a week.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baked Babe

(If you want to see this image bigger, why not click it?)

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Ritual Mutilation Services of Omaha.

This gag came from my friend and occasional writing partner, Phil Witte. He's a super-dandy dude with fun ideas and I like using his stuff. In this case, I completely forgot to give him the typical by-line under my signature like I have in the past. Props and apologies to Phil are in order.

I don't mean to be critical of piercings, I have two myself (an earring in each ear), and people have been doing this sort of thing all over the world for millennia. The extent to which many modern-day urban white kids do it is a little alarming, which is undoubtedly part of the point.

I, too, enjoyed being outrageous as a youngster. I died my hair blue, cut it short when everyone else in Oklahoma had it long, wore two earrings when doing so could result in fistmarks about your face and torso by Tulsa's numerous homophobics. I once even threaded one of those red Twizzlers up one nostril and out the other, with an end sticking out of each nasal port, and wore it that way for a few days until I got tired of the taste dripping down my throat. I haven't been able to stand Twizzlers since–in my nose or any other orifice.

So I'm tolerant of people who want to stand out in odd ways. Some just enjoy being different for their own unique reasons, some crave being the center of attention, some, like I did when I was a kid (and still do to some extent), like to challenge people's prejudices.

And some just like the taste of Twizzlers.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Children of Men (and Women)

This cartoon is brought to you by Life Waste Management Corporation.

The cartoon I normally would have posted today would have been from a week ago, Saturday, Sept 20. But I think it's a dull one so I nabbed this older panel from '04 that I like better.

I wonder if Lassie followed Timmy through life and made sure that all her efforts saving him from wells, burning barns, and Soviet submarines, was worth it. What if Timmy grew up to be a serial killer? Or an ad executive in charge of convincing voters that Sarah Palin is competent to run the country if/when McCain croaks? Wouldn't Lassie wish to high heaven that she'd just kept her yap shut and let him be captured by the Russians or turned to charcoal in that barn?

At what point do parents of awful people regret the effort they put into their kid's survival? I think most parents convince themselves that their kid is doing well and deserving of their pride, but how does Dick Cheney's mom pull off that trick? I'm guessing she's dead by now, but if she were still alive, I mean.

Personally, I have very high standards for my two daughters. I've given them until their 30th birthdays to make the world a better place for their having been in it or it's curtains.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Caveology and Marriage

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by fire. "It's all about proximity."

I was taught as a child that bragging was unacceptable ("Look, Mommy, I got an A on my arithmetic!" "Oh, you're Einstein now, are you? Let's see how you do with our tax returns!") so only because you are my closest friends in the world, will I admit that I am proud of this joke. I love the word play in it, and its surreal time-travel nature. Are they in prehistoric times but she knows what a condo is, or are they living like cave people in the present? I prefer the latter explanation.

My own wife used to date very wealthy men, not because she was after their money but because she happened to meet them in the circles in which she ran. She could have married a millionaire many times, but chose a thousandaire instead. Condoman/Caveman – another autobiographical joke.

And because I'm behind on posts lately, here's another bonus cartoon. I am proud of this one, as well, and it also has a bit of an autobiographical nature to it.

Having been through two marriages, I've come to learn that all relationships have expiration dates. When you first get together, you never know if the expiry date will be six months or sixty years. Just another fact of life at the crossroads of existence and reality. Live, learn, suffer, grow, nap, repeat.

Like many people, as I get older I find it increasingly difficult to take weddings seriously. Mostly, I just go for the free food and booze at the reception.

My advice to youngsters: commitment ceremonies followed by a party beat a legal marriage any day – unless you have financial reasons like taxes, health insurance, or you plan to breed and don't trust your spouse to support them, there is no good reason to get legally married. In general, do all you can to keep lawyers out of your bedroom. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cat Fight

Bizarro is brought to you today by Feline Awareness Week.

One morning while digging through my feeble brain for cartoon ideas I was idly watching two of my cats do that play-fighting thing they do. I've always loved the way cats fight: the fluid dive from a seemingly relaxed standing position, the choice to lie on its back and wait for the other to dive, the frantic tumbling/biting/pawing/punching followed by taking a few steps away and feigning utter disinterest, then diving back in. I thought how fun it would be to see a couple of tough guys in a bar fighting this way and tried to draw it.

I have no idea how successful this cartoon is or whether most people understood it on the level it was meant. I'd be interested in hearing your comments about how you perceived it.

Most cartoons are pretty straight forward and I can make a fairly accurate prediction about how many readers will get it. But sometimes ideas like this pop up that I can only guess about. Lots of my ideas don't get drawn at all because I know they are too opaque. But I think it is important to push the envelope every now and then and take a chance on an odd one. This is just another of the many reasons I'm not rich. My cartoon appeals more to people who like to think, and as we can see from recent political trends in this once great nation of ours, that portion of the country shrinks daily.

Since I haven't posted a cartoon in a couple of days, here's another one, which is much more straight forward. It is word play, maybe even "punnery," but I like that it makes you think before you can get it. I'm guessing that a lot of readers missed this one entirely. But that's what Garfield is for.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Arrrr! Come to my book signing on Saturday, October 4 in Raleigh and get a SIGNED copy of my new book, all full of nothing but pirate cartoons.

I'll also do a little comedy shtick of some sort, in the form of an author reading. That part is free and the book is only $10. For a normal person that would be enough, but I can't let my readers go home not feeling they got more of me than they ever wanted, so I'll even draw a little picture in it for you, put your name, sign mine, and add a firecracker (or the icon of your choice!) I'll even take a picture with you if you have a camera. The fun will be almost like Carnival in Rio. But without the nudity. At least on my part.

You can even order an advance copy on line and pick it up when you get there.

Quail Ridge Books & Music

3522 Wade Ave
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 828-1588

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Triangle Living

I've got another public appearance coming up soon that I'd like to tell you about. I'll be speaking on Friday night, October 3 at a thing called the International Compassionate Living Festival in Raleigh/Durham.

My talk will last an hour or so and will be a combo of my usual comedy shows and a multi-media presentation about my views on animal issues. I'll be showing cartoons I've done on the subject as well as a lot of the usual nonsense that I include in my regular comedy set.

There will be lots of other speakers throughout the weekend worth listening to, too, so check it out.

And, as a special bonus, if you mention that you heard about it on this blog, I'll let you buy me a drink in the hotel bar. Oh, the stories you'll tell.

Wrecking Ball

Bizarro is brought to you today by Jobs That Require Orange Vests.

I never had a job where I had to wear an orange vest, but in high school I worked at a place called Dr. Redlove's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we had to dress in those goofy straw hats, bow ties, and vests, like singers in a barbershop quartet. At the time, I had long, bushy hair, so when I removed my hat at the end of my shift, the top was perfectly formed to the cylindrical shape of the hat. Very sexy.

Speaking of sexy, cartoons about home wreckers and cheating spouses are always oriented the way this cartoon is: the husband cheats, a hussy helps. But in recent years, women have been catching up to men in the infidelity department. Polls show that a larger percentage of women cheat than used to (although at least some of that increase is due to the fact that women are becoming more comfortable admitting it.)

But I've seen a very real trend in this area in my own circle of acquaintances, as well. While men have always had a tendency to stray, I know more women who have cheated on their significant others than men. Perhaps because women have in recent decades experienced a change in their social standing, it has lead them to react in the same ways that men traditionally have. With so many choices – career, motherhood, both, neither – I suspect there is more pressure on them to succeed in a variety of arenas and so they are more prone to midlife crisis-type symptoms than they used to be.

Just a guess on my part, I'm no sociologist. But I've seen what seems to be a growing amount of self-destructive behavior in my female friends in their thirties, the sort that used to be almost exclusively associated with men. And before anyone gets fired up in the comments section, I am by no means suggesting that women were better off before the women's movement. Liberation is always a good thing.

Some people just handle liberty better than others.

So, dear readers, how many of you have been to the Home Wreckers Depot? Have you cheated on a partner? Have you been cheated on? Were you able to forgive and save the relationship, or was it a deal breaker? While most human societies have always leaned toward monogamy, it is clear that we aren't particularly good at it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dina Sores

(For a life size, animatronic version of this cartoon, click on the image.)

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by the fine folks at Scary Things.

Okay, you're right, this is another pun. And I claim not to like puns but they seem to pop up a lot in my cartoons. Hmm. I guess what I mean is that I don't like obvious puns. Because of the visual of a Tricerotops with bushy red hair, this one steps out of the dark, groaning place and into a sunny place full of rainbows and unicorns that makes me smile.

If there is a reader of this blog who does not get this joke because you have not heard of the comedian known as "Carrot Top," stop reading now. You are a rare breed and need to be preserved. For the rest of you, let's talk root vegetables.

Though I do love carrots, I can't say I'm a big fan of Carrot Top the comedian. His jokes are all about visual puns and gadgets, very much from the Gallagher School of Comedy, and even though many are clever and some even make me laugh, it just isn't my favorite kind of humor. And in recent years he has gotten wacked out on steroids or something and has become visually frightening. When you add this "look" to his kooky/corny brand of humor, you've really got a wierd combo.

I can't fault the guy's business acumen, of course, he's crying all the way to the bank.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Parade Magazine.

If you look very closely at the cartoon at left you may detect two subtle differences from the Bizarro cartoons I usually post here: it is horizontal instead of vertical, it is not in color.

How did you score? Give yourself two points for two correct answers, one point if you got one answer right, and if you could see no difference whatsoever between this cartoon and the usual Bizarro panels on this blog, stop reading now and take your meds.

As I've mentioned here before, I sell non-Bizarro cartoons to Parade Magazine and they publish them fairly regularly. The Spider-man one was particularly popular, so I thought I'd share it here. At right is another one that I like a lot, the basic concept for which came from a good friend of mine, Cliff Harris. He and I are collaborating on a children's book. (He's writing the book, I'm looking for children to buy it.) The book has nothing to do with this cartoon, however.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Worst Choice Possible

This video shows McCain in his own words. You can't do this to just any candidate.

What is Comedy?

A few weeks back, my good friend and colleague, Francesco Marciuliano, filled in for me for a week while I was struggling to stay alive at the Betty Ford Clinic. Well, Ces (as his friends call him, and I am one of those) has not been idle. He has a brilliant video on YouTube and it has become very popular, becoming the number one featured humor video. Don't be jealous, Ces is the sweetest and most humble person you could ever have the good fortune to meet and would be happy for you in the same situation.

Satellite Sex

Bizarro is brought to you today by Forbidden Love Comics.

I don't have a car but I have rented ones with a GPS and I really enjoy it. If there is a choice of voices, I go for the woman's voice, because when I drive I like to pretend I'm Captain Kirk steering the Starship Enterprise, and the GPS voice is Uhura.

When I'm in a less geeky mood and just want to be myself, I name the voice and converse with her as I drive.
"At Cornhole Street, turn left,"
she purrs.
"Thank you, Trudy," I reply, "and may I say you look very smart today. That's a lovely color on you."
"Turn left."

"Yeah, I heard you, I'm turning. I have to wait for this car to get out of my way."
"Go 450 feet and turn right at Blacklung Avenue."

"I just said you look nice today, Trudy. No response?"
"Turn right."
"So you're not going to respond to my compliment at all? You're just going to pretend I'm not even here until it's time to toss out one of your monotonal directives?"
"Turn right."

"I heard you, for chrissakes! You just said it, like, 11 seconds ago!"
"You have arrived at your destination."
"Thank god! And if you're going to ignore me, you can just stay in the car! Bitch!"

Trudy and I seem to always get into this kind of fight. I've also had conflicts with Rita, Debby, and another one whose name escapes me. Uhura and I tend to get along much better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pulling Your Legume

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Legumes for Lepers. "Curing Bible diseases one peanut at a time."

I'm not a huge fan of puns but I like them if they strike me a certain way or carry a good visual. This one seemed
amusing enough to draw up and I liked the result, so I submitted it. Examples of some that I did not draw up: Almond Muhammad, Walnut Jesus, Pecan Vishnu.

On a sad note, I got a couple of complaints from people who felt I was being insensitive to the religious beliefs of others. The kicker is that neither of these writers were Buddhists, they were just assuming that others might be offended. It is my impression that a big part of Buddhism is not letting the nonsense of the world get to you, which I guess is why no actual Buddhists complained.

I also got a letter of complaint from someone who worships peanuts and felt this image was sacrilegious to his belief system, and one from a woman who believes that the creator of the universe was a top hat. These days, everyone is a victim.

Cool Kids

I just discovered a very cool band made up of three sisters in their teens. They're serious activists, trying to change everything in the world from child abuse to 3rd world hunger to substance abuse to factory farming and environmental destruction. This is usually a recipe for corny, heavy-handed folk music that I personally can't relate to at all, but these girls are actually really talented. Great voices, strong music, and apple-pie faces to die for. Check them out and download some of their music. A whopping 70% of the proceeds goes to charities that support the principles of their fave philosopher, Mahatma Gandhi.

Truth On Earth

Performance Video

A person or two have asked that I put some of my performance video on the blog, so here is a link to a nice little film done at one of my shows in Montreal last year. Hope you enjoy.


No Bitch

Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by The Humane Society of the United States.

This is a rare example of a cartoon that I drew for Bizarro but decided not to run. Any time I have an idea that I know will be controversial, I explain it to my editor at King Features and ask him what he thinks. We discuss the pros and cons and I decide whether the risk of losing papers is worth the gag.

In the case of the "Payback" cartoon, we emailed back and forth as usual, but somehow I misunderstood his response. I was certain he said it would be fine and even though I was shocked by his opinion, I drew it up, colored it, formatted it for panel and strip, and sent it in. He called immediately, asking if I was pulling their collective leg.

My first instinct was right, this joke is way too racy for the funny pages, so we pulled it at the last minute and ran an old cartoon in its place. It's still a great joke, though, in my humble opinion, so I'm sharing it with you here.

My biggest regret about this joke is that I didn't write it. It came pretty much verbatim from my wacky friend Derek, who is a regular commenter on this blog. A surprising number of great cartoons are not written by the person who draws them and makes them famous, but most cartoonists are loathe to admit it. So if I don't get points for this gag, at least maybe I can grab a point or two for honesty.

By the way, Payback was later neutered, which is the responsible thing for any good pet guardian to do.

Another cartoon that I missed posting while I was out of town is this one about a wedding. If you don't immediately get it, try reading the preacher's words out loud, in the same rhythm as the traditional, "...for richer or for poorer."

The best thing about this gag was that I got an email from a woman named Dora who lives across the street from a man named Richard. She said her whole neighborhood was wondering if I was talking about them. I couldn't resist telling her she had caught me, that I lived down the street and had noticed the sparks between them and thought I'd give them a little nudge.

It's a bizarre world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cartoons Not By Me

A good friend of mine does an amazingly fun blog that I think you'll enjoy. Go here and then come back. Don't be away too long, I'll worry.

He also does a syndicated strip called, "Fusco Brothers," and has been a New Yorker cartoonist since he returned from battle in WWI. Leave a comment and tell him I sent you so he'll be beholden to me.

Another colleague named Dan (no relation) has some good cartoons, too. He isn't wealthy enough for his own web site, but here are a few. If you like them, write to him at cartoonist89@hotmail.com and he'll send you more maybe. I can't vouch for the other 88 cartoonists at hotmail.
(Click this image for the biggerness you desire.)

Comedy/Music Show

This Saturday, Sept 20, I'll be performing with Nellie McKay in Woodstock, NY. I've seen Nellie's live shows several times and she's always incredibly charming, funny, sexy, and her musical talents will impress even the most hardcore Metallica fan.

I'll be doing about 45 minutes of my multi-media comedy show, then Nellie will be doing a set of about the same length. All the proceeds will go to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. If you're coming to the show, drop by the farm that day or the next for a look. You'll love it and I can offer you a personal tour. Just ask for me when you arrive, I'll be around somewhere.

By the way, I will be wearing my hat when I perform but Nellie will not be wearing her headphones.

No Place Like Homb

(Click the image for BIGGER fun)

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Places Without Internet.

I'm back at headquarters and will be blogging daily again, after being away for the past week. The shows in Californy went well, I'll post some pics in a few days when I find my camera and the cord for downloading. Right now, everything I brought with me is in a scattered pile strewn about my studio.

I heard from a few people along the way that in my absence my blog readers had run amok in the comments section, like school kids with a timid substitute. I haven't had time to read them all yet, but I've seen what you apes are capable of. If I discover anything out of line, your parents will be notified. And by "parents," I mean Homeland Security so you have nothing to fear other than being color coded.

I'm also way behind on my email and can never hope to catch up completely. There are still emails from June that I have not answered yet. If you wrote to me and I didn't answer, please don't take it personally. I try to get to them all but just get overwhelmed with work, life, and a rare talent for disorganization. One day – perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in 2023 – you will get an email from me that will begin, "Sorry for the delayed response..."

I missed posting a lot of cartoons last week (I was staying with friends who had no Internet and my schedule was too hectic to get to a cafe each day) so I'll post two-a-day to catch up a bit.

Somebody wrote to me when this cartoon ran to say he didn't understand the joke. He was probably looking too hard, but it's just a simple take-off on the cartoon cliche of a guy in a bar with some clever remark about what to say if his wife calls. In this one, he takes a more surreal tack and wonders if the phone itself is his wife.

I think it's funny, a couple of blog readers will express in the comments section that they do not. Such is life in the blogodome.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Missing Cartoonist

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed I have not been posting in the past few days. There is a reason for that and it does not involve imprisonment or abduction.

I'm in Californy for some comedy shows and staying at a place with no Internet.

"No Internet?" you say incredulousy. "What the hell, Dan?"

I know. It's like living in the time of Lincoln. But we'll get through this together somehow, and before you know it I'll be back to posting daily.

Hope you're having a week of rainbows and unicorns. Or storm clouds and rabid rottweilers if you're goth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wiki Wiki

Bizarro is brought to you today Americans for the Right to Call Your Band Ska When it is Actually Polka.

In the mid-to-late 1900s, when I was a kid, encyclopedia, dictionary, and bible salesmen used to go door-to-door carrying heavy sample cases full of their wares. It would be hard to believe if I couldn't remember it from my own childhood. My parents actually bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias from a guy who came to the door. I think my mother worried he may drop dead if she sent him away with a full case.

Back then, before scientists had discovered the wonders of the Internets, an encyclopedia was the only way to research something in a shallow, half-assed way without going to the library. So that made it perfect for school projects. From such cursory forays into its pages, I learned that Idaho's main crop was cotton, that rock and roll music was a passing teenage phase, and that the Romans did not kill Jesus, the Jews did. I also learned how airplanes fly (pilots make them), what atom bombs are good for (keeping us safe from Soviets), and that the capital of China is Peking (until they changed it to Beijing, because it is harder to remember how to spell.)

My own Wikipedia page is rife with errors. I was not born on the 10th of anything (nor on any other day in July), I did not "drop out" of college (I was asked to leave at gunpoint), and in the picture of me it looks as though I am holding up two fingers when I was actually holding up one. Other than that, the site is a gold mine of information and I use it regularly. Even though my days of shallow, half-assed paper writing are long gone.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Found this amazing video from a Christian ska band called, "Sonseed," here.

My favorite lyrics are, "He taught me how to praise my god and still play rock and roll," and "He is like a mounty, he always gets his man and he'll zap you anyway he can. Zap!"



I like clever rebuttals and wanted to share this one with you.

Fan Hitting

Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by Bears Who Sh*t In The Woods In Comfort.

This idea came from my crazy friend, Derek, a regular contributor to the comments section of this blog. Many other blog commentators have commented on Derek's comments, in fact. They are unique, to say the least.

His original idea (as I recall with my notoriously Alzheimer's-quality memory) was a guy feeding toilet paper into an office printer. I figured given the robust economy that the Neo-Cons have blessed us with, it would make a good cartoon about cutbacks.

But back to toilet humor. Have you or anyone you know ever been this happy about toilet paper? I think if I saw a crowd of ecstatic people dancing through the streets with a gigantic roll of toilet paper, I would brace for some major sh*t to hit the fan. And I would be afraid of the size of the fan it might be hitting, given the size of that roll in the picture. If that's a grizzly in the pic, the roll is bigger than his head, which would make it roughly the size of a truck tire. Who needs a roll this big? And where is this much doody coming from? Perhaps we should attack the source rather than the symptom.

(NOTE: I'm not squeamish about so-called "profanity," but since some readers might be, I replace certain letters in potentially "offensive" words with asterisks, to keep the blog "safe" for the entire family.
NOTE 2: I recently got a "complimentary" box of "quotation marks" and am trying to "use" them up.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008


(Click this image to enlarge it and see the details the government doesn't want you to see.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Citizens For a More Nefarious Explanation.

Because those of you who read this blog are my closest friends in the world, I'll be honest with you: I didn't draw this cartoon. It was given to me in its present form.

A few weeks back, I had been working all day and most of the evening, my limbs were getting stiff and my eyes bleary. I decided to take a walk around the block for some exercise and a little fresh air. If one can call the air in Brooklyn fresh. Especially while you're smoking a cigar.

As I circled the block and turned back onto my street I saw a flickering light ahead of me. I thought that someone was driving toward me in a jalopy with a loose headlight, but as it approached, I noticed it rising off the ground in a way that cars have a habit of NOT doing. I stopped for a moment, knitted my brow, took a long drag on my cigar, and waited.

One gets used to the unexpected in Brooklyn, so I kept my cool. But when the light raced to within a few feet of me I became alarmed and froze in my tracks. I admit I was quite suddenly gripped with fear, but was just as suddenly calmed by a warmth that started in my mid-section and magically flowed to my extremities. Well, not all my extremities, just my feet. Apparently I had peed myself.

I glanced down at the growing puddle beneath my feet, then looked up again to find the light had darted back down the street to my own building. It danced momentarily in front of the windows of my second-story studio, then shot off into the sky. This was no ordinary Brooklyn jalopy, to be sure.

I hurried back home and up to my studio, where my computer screen still glowed. Upon my desk, in place of the stupid cartoon I had been working on about a chicken crossing the road, was this cartoon entitled, "Aria 51." It was love at first sight – so I dated it, mounted it, and wrapped it up for submission. (I never realized how similar cartooning and romance terms are.)

I still have no logical explanation for where this cartoon came from. I suppose it could have been anything from extraterrestrials to elves & fairies to the Virgin Mary to local crack-heads with a damned-refined sense of mischief to a cigar-induced hallucination.

I prefer to believe, however, that it was an experimental government vehicle designed based on technology found at an actual alien spacecraft crash site, and which will later be used to dupe Americans into believing another terrorist attack has occurred and thereby justify compromising the constitution even more and handing more money and power over to the government and its corporate cronies. The cartoon was left to make the whole idea seem too silly to be believed.

But I'm not falling for it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Serving Fitness

Today's cartoon is brought to you by Neckbolts To Go. "Lose your head if it isn't attached? We can fix that!"

This idea came from the fact that if elected (or "placed" into office) John McCain would be the oldest man ever to be inaugurated. His official bio lists him as having been born in 1936, and knowing how those things usually fudge the truth a bit, it means he was likely born closer to 1836. But even if it is accurate, he would be 72 when he took office.

Do you know anyone in their seventies? Do they work 12-hours-a-day at the hardest job in the world and bear more responsibility for more lives than any other person on the planet? Or do they take naps in front of the TV and forget to switch off their turn signal? Assuming they are still allowed to drive, of course.

I don't mean to insult the elderly, my parents are that age and they are terrific folks, very smart, totally lucid. But they know their limits. Neither of them is any more ready, willing, or able to be the leader of the free world than they are to kick a luchador in the pecans and live to tell about it. They're both voting for Obama.

Which means if the GOP manages somehow to sneak McCain into office, or if our nation's median I.Q. has not been raised above 50 in the past 8 years and we elect him, the chances he will not survive his entire first term are not slim. Which means the mayor of a small town in the middle of nowhere, governor of a few busloads of people (Alaska's entire population is about half of the number of people Wal-Mart employs), with no interest or experience in foreign policy or security issues, or much understanding of international economics, will inherit the presidency.


A guy emailed me yesterday and said this, "And for the record: Sarah Palin is AWESOME! I am a hunter and love the fact that she sued the federal government for their outrageous listing of the polar bear."

Of course he is "outraged." Because his morbid amusement is more important than the balance of nature and the survival of the planet.
Of course she is "awesome." Because the dangers of her inheriting the most important job in the world without any sign of her ability to handle it competently are not nearly as important as the fact that she supports his hobby.

Wow. Are we sure that everyone should be allowed to vote?

Friday, September 5, 2008

National Killin' Thangs Week

This bikini-clad death machine may well be our president in the very near future. If McCain wins there is a very good chance he'll croak in office given his age, and presto, the first woman president is an embarrassing anti-women's-rights, anti-environmentalist, lying, kill-stuff-for-fun kinda gal.

Congratulations America! Just when we are poised to regain respect around the world, we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Read this brief comparison of what was said at the GOP convention about Palin and Obama to the actual facts.

And this from Time Magazine: "When the Department of the Interior in May listed the polar bear as a threatened species due to warming—an action that could interfere with drilling in Alaska's coastal waters, where the polar bears live —Palin sued the Federal Government in response. "Our main concern with Sarah Palin's positions are that they are based on doing what is best for the oil industry, and not what is best for Americans," says David Willett, national press secretary for the Sierra Club."

Oh my.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Lineup

Bizarro is brought to you today by Precious Angel Baby Muzzles.

I don't do a lot of "new parent" or "cute toddler" cartoons because it's been a long time since I've had those things around the house. Back in the eighties and nineties I used to have a couple of kids. Now I have adults which, personally, I far prefer.

But I still remember the mind-numbing effects of sleep deprivation and the smell of puke-soaked clothing. I was a modern dad, so I took turns with night feedings, and I can recall as though it were yesterday getting up at 5am with my eldest – Katherine, or Kelly, something like that – sitting on the couch shoving a bottle of milk in her noise hole while channel surfing to help me stay awake.

It was then that I discovered psycho-clown TV evangelist Bob Tilton. It was love at first sight and I began watching him almost daily. Shortly thereafter, I signed up for his mailing list and began getting all manner of idiotic posters and memorabilia designed to separate fools from their money. I plastered an entire wall in my art studio with his stuff. I even contemplated starting my own phony religion one day and bilking suckers of their hard-earned cash, just like Reverend Bob. I'm good on camera, have a captivating and persuasive personality, hate paying taxes. Why not me?

But I found myself in possession of a crippling disability that froze me in my tracks. I have a conscience. Though I do not suffer fools gladly, I do feel pity for them and cannot bring myself to cheat them. My loss, I guess.

Back to the subject of babies, when my adults were babies I promised them that someday, when I was very old and unable to take care of myself, I would repay the gifts they gave me as infants by screaming in their faces, puking on their clothes, and forcing them to change my diaper.

It seems the least I can do.

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: No babies were harmed in the typing of this blog. Nor do I in any way recommend or condone unkindness to babies, the elderly, or any other innocent creature. Bob Tilton, however, does not qualify under this description.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cartoon Dirge

Bizarro is brought to you today by Shrouds 'N More. "Filling your final needs since 1973."

The Grim Reaper has been a cartoon cliche for decades and rightly so. What could be funnier than death? Okay, you're right, almost anything is, but still, he makes a terrific spokesperson for what is untenably a very unpopular product.

The surprising origins of the Grim Reaper are fascinating. The character first appeared in a Road Runner comic book in 1914, at the height of the Nazi scourge of Europe. Because Hitler invariably wore solid black, the color was assigned to G.R. The skeleton face, hands and feet were a recent addition, however, the original reaper had no face but the hands and feet of a house cat, presumably because they are such good hunters.

Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the implement G.R. never seems to be without. Most modern-day hominids assume it is a scythe, but according to the comic in which the character originated (Road Runner vs. The Black Terror, #45, page 13) the weapon is "wrought from the crooked limb of the baobab tree, fixed with the fang of a saber-toothed tiger."

Furthermore, the original character had a prominent upside-down star, or "pentagon," on his chest, the well-known symbol of the Nazi Party. Historians tell us, however, that even though they carried that name proudly, the Nazis were not particularly good party givers. Many personal accounts and documents from the era recount how stingy the Nazis were with snacks and libations and that their choice in party music was, "dour and sometimes downright dirge-like."

Whatever your opinion of death, Nazies, WWI, or the Road Runner, I hope you enjoyed today's cartoon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Bizarro is brought to you today by National Economy Statistics. "Open your eyes, yo. Are you kidding me with dis?"

When I look at the state of our nation over the past 7 1/2 years, it is impossible for me to believe that this election is even close. A nation populated by gophers and spider monkeys would have more sense.

The economy is in the toilet and getting worse, our allies have abandoned us (for good reason), and our constitution has been shredded. That doesn't even mention the moral dilemmas of the Iraq war, state-sanctioned torture, Guantanamo Bay, and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and their corporations. How is Obama not ahead by 90%?

But let's talk about moths instead. A few months ago, as suddenly as a poltergeist's sneeze, there were little moths all over my house. I don't mean like-syrup-on-a-pancake all over, I mean I see one fluttering by every hour or so, I see one on the wall or two on the ceiling, the cats regularly dance through the room chasing one, that sort of thing. I even find them in kitchen drawers. Drawers without sweaters.

I've been to the hardware store but can't find any product that might rid me of this Old Testament plague. Anyone out there got a natural remedy of some sort? Like misting the house with a solution of lemongrass, garlic and household bleach? One of those kind of things?

And if you are actually considering voting for John McCain, at least realize that McCain has voted with Bush over 90% of the time, so you're voting for four more years of Bush's policies. Not even a spider monkey could argue that.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Don't forget that NEXT WEEK I'm doing four comedy shows in NoCal. If you're within driving distance and you don't get to one of them, your grandkids will hate you for not having better stories about the old days.

Oakland California, Wed., Sept 10
San Francisco, Thurs., Sept 11
Sacramento, Sat., Sept 13

Click the links for tickets/info.

Dude (as the kids say), seriously, these shows are more fun than skydiving nude.

SPECIAL NOTE--NO FRIDAY SHOW!!: When I first listed these shows, I had the WRONG DATE on the late show at the Purple Onion on Thursday. Three tickets were sold before I noticed the error and have not been able to get the ticket company to respond to my emails. IF YOU HAVE A TICKET FOR THE PURPLE ONION ON FRIDAY SEPT 12, IT IS IN ERROR! Let me hear from you if going on Thursday is a problem and I'll get your money back. Thanks!

Tall Orders

Today's Bizarro is brought to you buy Clandestine Brand String Beans.

This is one of those rare cartoons that arose from personal experience. At 6 feet 7 1/2 inches tall, I get these kinds of comments all of the time and believe me, it is very tiresome. Why must we make such shallow judgments about our fellow man based on the way they look? Assuming a tall guy plays a lot of basketball is like assuming a really hairy guy dresses up as Bigfoot on weekends and jogs through the woods.

If this kind of comment is just a way to make conversation, then why not choose something else? How about, "Gee, you smell nice. Your hygiene must be excellent." Or whatever happened to, "If I had a chance to give (name of favorite movie star) a hickey, I sure would. How about you?"

There are lots of ways to converse with strangers without making it about their physical characteristics. Take it from a hugely tall and athletic guy like me, it gets tiresome.

One final note: "Barb" from Marble Falls wrote to me and said that her beanpole nephew's usual response to the basketball question is, "No, but I imagine you play a lot of miniature golf."

I'm going to have to borrow that one.