Friday, October 31, 2008

Bird Sense

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by The Power of the Prominent Profile, by Richard Rostrum.

My wife and I foster a lot of rescued animals of a wide variety of species. We've had countless dogs and cats, many chickens and roosters, pigeons, lambs, goats, calves, a seagull and a raccoon. We keep these wayward critters in our apartment in Brooklyn for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, until we can find them permanent homes where they will be cared for and not eaten. One such traveler on the underground railroad was an umbrella cockatoo.

He was the kind with the big headdress, like an Indian Chief in an old Hollywood movie. Since the original rescuer didn't know his name, we called him "Sitting Bull." There was much about Sitting Bull to love: he was beautiful, danced a little to most songs but like a tightly-wound teen on ecstasy to one particular Siouxsie and the Banshees' song, strutted around our apartment like he owned the place repeating the phrase "I love you," and sat on my shoulder as I worked.

Perhaps most notably, however, was that he was the only creature I've ever met who liked me more than he liked my wife. Normally, people merely tolerate me because my wife is so much fun to hang out with. But Sitting Bull–god love his dandered heart–thought I hung the moon. That was the good news. On the other side of the AP wire report was that he not just preferred me over my wife, he hated her with a passion. I honestly believe he wished her dead.

When he was perched on my shoulder watching me draw and she would approach, he would snap at her viciously. If she sat down in the same room as me to watch TV or read a magazine, he would methodically scuttle down the side of my chair and begin walking robotically across the floor toward her, repeating his mantra, "I love you," like a wind-up toy. Without giving away his intentions until the last possible second, as soon as he was within striking distance, he would lash out at her foot with a chomp that would shatter steel.

His beak was a formidable opponent, not one to be trifled with. Like a James Bond Villain's henchman, he could render a rigid piece of metal unrecognizable in minutes. He once got hold of one of those stiffly-coiled car keyrings, the sort you need a crowbar to wedge your key on or off of, and turned it into a dented, crinkled spiral in the blink of an eye.

Since he found my wife so objectionable, we considered finding him another foster home before she lost a finger or the end of her nose. The final straw was one afternoon when she brought me a sandwich at lunchtime, carefully tossing it onto my desk and ducking away quickly, before Sitting Bull could swipe at her with his tomahawk. From his usual post on my shoulder, he snapped at the air in her direction and missed, which frustrated him to he point that he turned to his other side and took a large chunk out of the first 3-dimensional object he could reach. Which was my ear.

Sitting Bull eventually found a home, but it bears noting that ideally, parrots do not belong in captivity. They are highly intelligent, most are captured in the wild and crated here cruelly, like slaves of old, and none like spending their life in a cage. As our species seems not to have noticed, millions of years of evolution has designed birds to fly. Taking that option away from them is as cruel as attaching a snorkel to a dog and forcing it to live in an aquarium.

If you're considering getting a bird of any kind, read up about them first. Then don't do it. Unless you're going to adopt one of the thousands of abandoned birds that people give up every year after they realize how expensive and difficult it is to keep a parrot, which may well live longer than they do.

If you want something pretty around the house that is easy to care for, this is a good alternative.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Sitting

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Inexperienced Senators from Illinois who hope to be president.

Ah, love.

Love is all you need.

Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn't, hunt it down and shoot it.

I remember first finding out about short couches being called "love seats" when I was a child. I immediately assumed there must be an opposite, a "hate seat." The first time I saw one of those s-shaped chairs, I figured this was a likely candidate. But then if you really hate someone, why would you want to be this close? I couldn't quite figure out why these kinds of chairs were ever designed.

After a few years of marriage, I understood. As you long-term-relationship readers know, there are many times when you want to be close to your partner, but not "among" them. These chairs are perfect for that, like when you both want to read. Or perhaps when one of you wants to read and the other wants to watch football.

Or better yet, when you've recently had an argument and your partner is reading and you want to fume nearby but not join them in what they are doing. Like when she is reading or using her laptop, you could sit in the other side with your brow knitted, your arms and legs crossed, and fume. Seems perfect. Here's a cool, modern version of it for urban, 21st century arguments.

These seats swivel so you can face each other when you're happy and turn away when you're not. A good piece of furniture for an argument, turning toward or away as you agree or disagree. Careful you don't make yourself nauseous.

This chair is sold as a love seat and looks as though it is every bit as uncomfortable as love inevitably ends up (occasionally) being. Virtually no one gets through a romantic relationship without feeling at some point as though you've been sitting in one of these chairs in the hot sun for eighteen hours without a bathroom break.

The most you can hope for in relationships is to feel as though you've spent more time in a seat like this than this. Good luck to all.


Just wanted to share my new campaign poster with you.
(click image to make it larger and more patriotic)
If you don't know the poster this is a parody of, click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lucky Moments Video

Just happened upon this video and thought it was amazing. My favorite is the bank robbery. Nothing grisly here, so no fear for the squeamish.

Sorry about the hideous music.

Halloween Ha Ha

Bizarro is brought to you today by Eternal Crosswalks. "Bring a lunch and wear comfortable shoes."

Today's offering is from last year's Halloween week. I thought of this cartoon in the spring of '07 and hung onto it for months until it was seasonal. I don't always do that, but in this case, I really liked the gag and wanted to use it around Halloween. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was a favorite Halloween story of mine as a kid, little did I know that I would one day look not unlike Ichabod Crane.

I've also always really enjoyed pumpkin carving and got pretty good at it as an adult. Back in the early nineties, I won a national contest sponsored by TreeTop Apple Juice. The grand prize was an all-expense-paid trip for four to Disney World, which I took with my wife and two small kids. It was fun, except for the fact that the kids were there and became the typical buzzkills that overexcited/overtired children can be. The sacrifices parents make for their kids.

The next hear I won second prize, which was a small, digitial camera. Nowadays no one would consider a little pocket digital camera to be much of a prize, but back then they still carried some novelty value.

This cartoon is from Halloween day last year. I got some negative mail from straights and lesbians alike, the former thinking I was being pro-gay, the latter accusing me of gay bashing. My lesbian friends thought it was funny, however, especially the use of a golf club instead of a broom.

I never do cartoons that are knowingly anti-homosexual. GLBTs have enough trouble in our culture without my help. I poke fun at them occasionally, but only because I want to help normalize their place in our society, not because I want to disparage them.

I personally think that modern fear of and prejudice against homosexuality is as ill-informed as witch hunts of old. Who among us "chooses" our sexual proclivities? People are sexually attracted to every imaginable style, type, sound, smell, look, height, weight, costume, personality, and body part that you can name. These aren't things we choose. Some people are even attracted to people wearing stuffed animal costumes. Who "chooses" that consciously? As long as both partners are consenting adults, who am I to judge them?

Myself, I really go for chicks with small breasts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aerial Magic

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Invisible Planes Aerial Advertising Co.

Since I was a kid, I've always found skywriting and aerial banners fascinating. Especially skywriting – to this day I don't know how a pilot can figure out what he/she is doing when he/she can't step back and look at his/her work. (When are we going to come up with a permanent solution to the non-gender-specific pronoun for situations like this? Personally, I'd be happy to use "it," but then there would people who would be all like, "I'm not an "it"! God made me in His image. Is God an "it"?!" And I'd be all like, "Whatever, dude.")

Here is an unusual aerial banner that I just found. Who spends the money on a message like this? It's got some humor and shock value, but what's the point? There's no arguing that some people misuse Jesus, but it certainly isn't his fault. I see this as misplaced aggression. And what if Jesus had taken it seriously and objected?

Here is another one pulled by an invisible airplane. Clearly, this banner is the answer to a question, but what question? Who gave me herpes?

Here's another example of one that doesn't seem to be advertising anything. And where did they find this giant kid? Wish I'd seen this in person.

This shot is of a normal-sized child pulling a banner, but he can't seem to get off the ground. I have no interest in seeing this one in person.

A less expensive option if you can't afford a plane is this one, where you just wait for people to drive by and read the banner for themselves.

I hope you've enjoyed this exploration of the exciting world of aerial banners.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Childlike Wonder

Bizarro is brought to you today by Happy Little Angels.

I love children. When I'm feeling down about things or life's challenges are lining up against me, nothing picks me up like the effervescent smile of a child. There is something about their excitement for life, their spontaneous joy, their unprejudiced acceptance of each person or situation for what it is, without preconceptions, that makes me look at myself and say, "When did I lose that?"

All of us were children and we all agree that children are the future. So why can't we as individuals, as societies, as governments, be more childlike in our approach to the world, embracing it wholeheartedly, exploring it with childlike wonder, caressing it with love and tenderness?

Just to see what would happen, I ask each and every one of you who read this blog to get up right now, go to the nearest playground, hop on the merry-go-round, and make some new friends. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

So Many Things Wrong

(Click the cartoon to make a huge size of it)
Today' Bizarro is brought to you by You Betcha' Family Planning Clinic.

This cartoon is an old motif that I came up with in the 90s and have been meaning to get back to. It is a parody of the Whats-wrong-with-this-picture? games that I used to love so much in Highlights magazine as a kid. Except with my version, you can't possibly guess the answers.

It's always very tempting to get extremely political with this kind of image, but as Bizarro is not sold as a political strip, I have to refrain from taking real punches. I'm always tempted to put something like "Family in trailer thinks Fox News Channel is an actual news channel," or "Bowling ball has higher I.Q. than those who believe Obama is a muslim."

These two links are of a couple of the past ones I've done. Back in the 90s I used to do lots of puzzle and game parodies and would love to get back to it. Most of the ones I did back then are in my retrospective book, Bizarro and Other Strange Manifestations of the Art of Dan Piraro.

Have I mentioned that this book makes an excellent gift for all occasions?

Saturday Night's for Fightin'

Saturday Night Live's political stuff has been stellar lately, this is one of the best of the best.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don't Vote on November 4

Here's a terrifically clever video about what might happen if I forget to vote this year.

You can customize this video for your own friends and send it to them here.

Fun Criminals

Bizarro is brought to you today by Improper Ways to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver.

This cartoon is not from one week ago today, as is my usual habit. It is, instead, from my new book of pirate cartoons called, "Bizarro Buchaneers – Nuttin' But Pirate Cartoons."

It's the perfect gift for Xmas, Christmas, Hanukkah, Chanukah, Kwanza, Quiznos, Boxing Day, Schmoxing Day, and I'm Sorry Your Candidate Lost the Election Day.

It's cheap for a hardcover book, too, only $10. Even in this hideous economy, $10 for a gift that will keep on giving is gypsy cheap. My suggestion is to buy one for everyone on your holiday list and black out the price on the back cover. They'll think you spent a fortune. Every cartoon is in color, too.

It's available now at better books stores everywhere and lots of crappy book stores, too. Here's what the cover looks like:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Massage Message

Bizarro is brought to you today by Imported Australian Massage Oil.

As super heroes go, I could use one with mad massage skills more often as just about any other power. If someone flew through my window once a day and gave me acupuncture and massage, I'd be as happy as Lois Lane.

For those of you planning to attend that big annual Bizarro Fan Convention at which people dress like my characters or me, stand in line for hours to get an autograph, exchange meaningless minutiae about my work and get aroused at rumors of a Bizarro movie directed by Peter Jackson, here's a bit of Bizarro trivia: The b/w image below has one fundamental difference from the color one at top, besides the lack of color. Can you find it?

Yes, it is the letter on the super hero's shirt. (Unless you guessed wrong, in which case, no, it is not the [whatever you guessed])

I originally intended this guy to be named "Captain Tension," so in my pencil version, there was a "T" on his chest and the copy at bottom said Captain Tension. As I was inking it, however, I decided to change the name of the character to "Captain Neck Rub," but forgot to change the letter on his chest. I turn in my black and white cartoons on Monday and they get sent through the system and mailed out to all the client papers. I don't send the color versions in until the subsequent Friday and by that time, I had noticed my error and changed it.

Mystery solved, Bizarro officianados. Sleep well.

Jilted Lover

(Click pic to big it)
There are some fun images on this site, this one is my favorite by far.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Aliens' Life Form

Bizarro is brought to you today by Big Orange Jumpsuits. "They're free, they're mandatory, you'll wear it and like it!"

I got an email last week from someone who really loved this cartoon. She said she laughed and laughed. Common wisdom in the newspaper world is that for every letter you get, there are x number of other people who feel the same way. I'm going to pretend that number is 6 billion. That means that virtually every person on the planet thought this cartoon was funny as hell. That's a good feeling, my friends.

Does anyone out there know at what point Americans began describing all UFO drivers as looking like this guy at left? I'm guessing there was some pop culture event that depicted them this way and it caught on. The first time I ever saw this face was on this book cover, so perhaps that was it. Or, maybe the ones that began visiting in the mid-to-late 20th century actually looked like this and the notion came from truth.

What if extraterrestrials of sufficient intelligence to travel light years across the universe really did visit out planet and turned out to be one inch tall and no stronger than a cockroach? (Do we have any good reason for assuming they would be about our size?) Would we still respect them? Would our government show them around the White House and serve tiny plates to them at a state dinner?

Or would we dominate and breed them, cook and eat them, grind them up to make aphrodisiacs, keep them as pets? If, on the other hand, each creature turned out to be the size of the moon, perhaps we'd be dinner. It would be interesting to see how fundamentalists would explain this.

Luckily, as we know from the ones hiding among us, they are about our size and mean us no harm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drug Talk

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Maskital.

I like this cartoon for what it says about pharmaceuticals and western medicine. I'm not against all prescription drugs, I take a crazy pill to keep me level (antidepressant) and in spite of my several attempts to switch to natural alternatives and live without it, I've had to resign myself to the synthetic.

But the biggest downfall of western medicine is that it tends to treat symptoms more than root causes. This reflects human nature in general, of course – most people would rather take drugs to deal with their cholesterol than change their diet and get some exercise. (One of the popular cholesterol-reducing drugs says on their ads: "When diet and exercise aren't enough." That would account for such a small fraction of the public that I can't help but believe the slogan is there just to give people the excuse to take the drug instead of changing their diet.) Same with erectile dsyfunction, diabetes, heart disease etc. In fact, tens of thousands of Americans each year opt for heart surgery over changing their lifestyle. Wow.

I've said many times here before, veganism (as opposed to vegetarianism) cures so many of these ills that if everyone ate that way it would put big pharm nearly out of business. But to suggest such a radical, "fringe" diet to the public would be absurd! It's much less extreme to ask people to fill their bodies with chemicals than with plants. Makes perfect sense.

As for myself, I try my best to keep the root causes at bay and take as few drugs as possible. I haven't taken an antibiotic for more than ten years, I think, and the only Rx I've taken in that amount of time has been my crazy pills. Part of that is luck, of course, but a lot is lifestyle. Still, I'm not immune to the concept of masking the symptom rather than attacking the cause. I suffer from allergies and opt to take over-the-counter drugs rather than clear the city of the offending plants, for instance. I also suffer from an occasional lack of whooziness, so I sniff glue. But it's prescription glue, so it's totally safe.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This is something I happened upon accidentally which is among the strangest things I've ever seen. It is reportedly from the 1960s (except for the "Something Weird" bumpers) and is amazing in both look and content. I love the blatant sexism and the way Captain Scott hops around like a monkey. The process was apparently called "colormation," which is amusing for obvious reasons.

If the video posted here doesn't work, try this link.

Boot Quaking

Bizarro is made possible today by Fox News Channel's in-depth expose´, "A Fair and Balanced Look at the Race for the White House: Obama the Terrorist-Loving Socialist Baby Killer."

There is no doubt that Fox News Channel is a blight on the country. If it was even remotely disguised as honest journalism with a conservative slant it would be different, but it is quite simply half-truths and complete lies sold as the only "real truth," followed by more complete lies to back up utterly scripted opinions favoring the rich and powerful. It is, in a very real sense, an opiate for the masses, keeping them in line behind the Murdochs, Bushes, and Exxons of the world.

But what can we do about it in a free society? Not much. To shut them down for misleading the country would violate our freedom of speech, which all of us hold dear. But allowing them to perpetuate ignorance, bigotry and jingoism erodes all of our rights and the constitution itself. It's a catch-22 with no end in sight.

On the bright side, judging by the polls and the unprecedented number of people who have donated small amounts to Obama's campaign, I'm tempted to think that most Americans really are smart enough to finally rise up and do something about this trend toward the abyss. Perhaps we really are about to see average people band together and defeat the corporate old-boy network that runs the world. Perhaps on November 4, more people than anyone could have predicted will turn out to vote and McCain will be buried under a landslide of discontent and things will begin to turn around.

Or perhaps the Fox-News-Channel generation of low-info voters will do the same (with the aid of Diebold Republican Voting Machines and crooked precinct captains) and defeat the best chance this country will likely ever have at saving itself from the precipice on which we teter, and all will be lost.

I continue to quake in my boots.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Carpal Knowledge

Bizarro is made possible by a grant from the Peter Fitzperfect and Karrin A. Driveway Foundation.

I love finding new angles on cartoon cliches. Of all the many such cliches in our culture – guy-on-a-desert-island, guy-crawling-through-the-desert, mice-in-a-maze, etc. – the "Tunnel of Love" one is an oddity because I haven't ever seen or heard of an actual Tunnel of Love (that isn't a modern version of the cliche) and suspect they haven't been around in half a century or more. Yet, the romantic carnival attraction remains a well-used cliche in our culture, popping up with fair regularity.

These cliches are no accident, of course. Certain set-ups just lend themselves to commenting on life. The psychiatrist's couch and the gates of Heaven are two perfect examples. You can just say so much about the human condition in those situations.

The "Tunnel of Love" cliche represents the beginning of one of life's many journeys, one that starts out all rainbows and unicorns, but as often as not turns out badgers and amputations. I've seen much better Tunnel of Love cartoons than this one of mine, in fact, I think I've done better ones myself, but I like the wordplay of this one, combined with the image of the person with a computer in a boat.

Great Cartoon

I just love this comic by Ted Rall. One of those wish-I'd-written-it sort of gags.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Slug the Terrorists

(Click image to make it oh-so biggerer)

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Association of Photographers of Exceptionally Questionable Taste.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that this current presidential election is not primarily about terrorism. The only reason terrorism works for terrorists is because it captures people's fear and forces them to change their behavior. The worst thing a government that is supposedly "fighting" terrorism can do, is promote the danger to its people. By doing so, you play right into the hands of the terrorists as they sit back and watch your freedom and peace slip away at your own hands. But the Neo-Cons have done exactly that.

Since the beginning of human history, some politicians have been willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power, even if it means cooperating with the bad guys while pretending to fight them. The truth is, terrorism claims so few lives each year that it is less of a threat to your way of life than pretzels. On average, far more Americans die choking on snack foods each year than at the hands of terrorists. So why are we so easily convinced to give our highest office to an unqualified boob, just because he seems "tougher" in a schoolyard way? Shame on us, we get what we deserve.

It looks as though enough of us have learned our lesson that we will not fall for it again this November, however. Assuming we can keep an eye on the myriad GOP election-tampering operations.

Back to this cartoon: I had a terrific time drawing this one. Designing and illustrating a deviant slug's lair was a kick. Using tiny firecrackers to blow up the salt shaker, the "X" on the garden blueprint, the tiny "to go" packets he's using to fill the shaker, all were jolly little details to think of and draw.

There are six hidden symbols in this drawing and yes, to answer the reader who occasionally complains about this, if I include the same symbol twice it gets counted twice. That's just the way I roll.

By the way, I don't advocate pouring salt on slugs any more than I would pouring acid on babies. Might does not make right, as we have seen on a worldwide scale these past 8 years.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pat on the Back

Bizarro is brought to you today by Hard Knocks Disco. "Life can be cruel. Dance."

I got a lot of mail from an organization called M.O.T.H. (Mothers of Teenage Hunchbacks) about this cartoon. They made a good point: Hunchbacked children suffer greatly at the hands of their peers – kids being the unrepentant puppets of Satan that they are – and making fun of them in the comics is a slap in the face that they just don't need.

If any hunchbacked children – or "differently-postured children," as they prefer to be called – were hurt by this cartoon, I sincerely apologize. Until I started getting mail from M.O.T.H., I thought that hunchbackism was a fictional malady, like vampirism or erectile dysfunction. I stand corrected.

But the news for these kids isn't all bad. Some companies are actually catering to differently-postured children, and I commend them. (Of course, the rotting carcasses they serve at places like that destroy the environment and damage the child's health, but at least they get a plastic toy.)

Some companies have even issued special toys for differently-postured kids, showing them hitting it off with hot chicks and palling around with so-called "normal" people. Again, my respect for such efforts.

Some professional sports figures have played entire games with the posture of the differently-postured, in an attempt to raise awareness that these kids can do anything anyone else can do. (Except, perhaps, walk across a room with a book balanced on their head, but who ever needs to do that anyway?)

So I'd like to say thanks to M.O.T.H. for opening my eyes to a segment of our society of which I was not previously aware, and also, hats off and a pat on the back to differenty-postured kids everywhere!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sphinx Sphincters

Today's Bizarro was made possible by the Feline Proctological Association.

People often ask me how I come up with cartoon ideas. My routine response is that the vast majority of my ideas occur to me while watching one of my cats clean herself.

This idea, however, did not result from that activity. Instead, it came to me when I read an email from my teenage colleague, Victor, in which he attached a cartoon idea of his about the original sphinx prototype being in an embarrassing position. I liked the idea, added my inimitable professional touches (i.e.; redrew it haphazardly in my style and added some lame dialogue) and signed my name. If you know Victor, don't tell him. He's just a kid, so how much can happen, but still.

When Victor and I work together, I often feel like a crime fighter with a young sidekick, though I hope we would look better in our tights than they did in that last link. I don't know who our nemesis would be, maybe Jim Davis and Garfield? In my world, he's much scarier than The Penguin. Except in this case.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beauty Pageant

Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by the contents of this guy's purse.

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, truer words were never spoken. Some find beauty in hot dudes in the desert, others in contact lenses for sports fanatics. I find beauty in hot babes on vintage scooters, for instance.

I used to be embarrassed by the fact that I am so enamored with physical beauty. It is virtually impossible for me to have a romantic relationship with a woman that I don't find physically beautiful. I know that beauty is no substitute for personality, charm, intelligence, humor, compassion, creativity, gymnastics skills, etc., and so I must have those things, too, in order to consider an intimate relationship. It cuts the field of candidates down quite a bit, I can tell you.

But now, in my declining years, I have come to understand that it is simply the way I am wired. A person has no more control over their sexual proclivities than the colors they find attractive or fragrances they enjoy. For instance, the most beautiful, charming, intelligent, creative, compassionate, educated woman in the world could walk up to me stark naked and ask me to take her home, and if she smelled like a full litter box, I would turn her down. I'm one of those people who does not like the smell of a litter box, and I have to accept that in myself.

I am, however, completely perplexed by some couples I see. I wonder how does "he" find "her" attractive, or vice versa. It's all in the eye of the beholder. And it is good to remember that somewhere out there are people wondering how the woman I'm with finds me attractive or vice versa.

Well, probably not vice versa very often. I'm no George Clooney.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Speaking Good

Bizarro has been brang to you today by the Institute of Well Grammar. "We speak gooder, so can you, to."

This has nothing to do with today's cartoon, but I don't have much to say about today's cartoon. Instead, let's talk about bad grammar. When done casually, it makes a person seem uneducated. Our current President is a perfect example. When done with real panache, it can be sublime.

Sort of the like financial issues: if you screw up a little, you lose money and/or go to jail, if you screw up monumentally and take half the world with you, the government will bail you out and you can be rich again. God bless us everyone.

For fun with bad english, go to I warn you not to visit until you have some time to waste, I've gotten lost in that web site for hours.

Pale Prez

The creators of this site have done something really fun. It's a pic with invisible clickable links and voices that imagine a Sarah Palin presidency. Worth a quick visit, don't forget to move your cursor around the photo and find the hidden links.And turn your sound on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shootin' Thangs

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Arrogant A--hole Fashions of Beverly Hills.

I usually feature the comic that ran in papers one week previous to a given date, but I'm not that fond of the one I ran last week on this day, so I'm posting this one instead.

This was not published in Bizarro, but will be published in a Swedish comic book doing an issue about biodiversity. They asked me to do a full-page comic on the theme of endangered species and this is what I submitted.

If you're very young or extremely poorly educated, you may not recognize the literary conceit. It is from old Agatha Christie-style crime novels (Perhaps Christie invented this motiff, I dunno) where the British constable or inspector calls all the suspects from the book (or movie) into a lavish Victorian drawing room and announces he knows who the killer is and that he is in this room. Everyone in attendance gasps, the camera pans around the room as each face looks suspiciously at the others (unless it's a book, in which case there are no cameras or faces, you just have to imagine it, which is a lot of brain effort and could account for why books are less popular than movies in some areas of our country, especially the ones with large Palin rallies) then the inspector recounts the crime step-by-step and eventually exposes the killer.

At this point, everyone grabs the killer and subdues him, or he darts for a door and a bobby (British for "cop") is waiting on the other side to arrest him. This is the polite and bloodless (British for "non-American") way the British catch criminals.

If this method were tried in modern-day America, the detective would call everyone into a bleak white, flourescent-lit room full of folding chairs and lock the doors. He would shout for all the motherf-ckers to shut the f-ck up because he knows who the killer is and he's going to pop a cap in his a--. At this point, the killer would produce two large handguns and, rotating his wrists 90ยบ so that the guns were laying over on their sides, cross his arms, jump high into the air, and shoot wildly as he summersaulted over the small group of unsavory street scum. People would scatter, guns would be drawn, flashes of gunpowder would fill the room, and a car would crash through a wall. The killer would jump onto the hood and, while hanging onto the windshield wipers with the toes of his shoes, spray the room with bullets, causing an explosion, as the car continued through the next wall, down the hall and into the street for his getaway.

If I were a cop in America, I'd start by keeping an eye on young people with unusual gymnastic skills.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Youth Burglar

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Ravages of Time. "Soon to be in a mirror near you."

This cartoon confused a few readers, though I would not have anticipated that. Part of it is my fault. By hiding the dynamite under the old geezer's chair, people assumed it meant something about death or suicide. My bad, as the kids say. For the unknowing: I put a few icons in each cartoon – pie, dynamite, eyeball, alien, K2, bunny head – and it has nothing to do with the joke. See here for deeper meanings.

Instead, the cartoon is just meant to be a simple before/after visual of what time does to us. Nothing more philosophical than that, sorry.

I recently turned older on my birthday, something that I have been doing once every year or so for most of my life. I may discontinue that practice soon, however, as I am not happy with some of the side effects.

I enjoy every aspect of aging except for the effect it seems to be having on my body. I still look much younger than I am, which is good, but I don't feel much younger, which is bad. I can now pull a muscle in my back just by sneezing. The pain lasts for days. My knees sound like gravel in a cardboard box when I climb stairs. Mysterious pains pop up in my joints for no reason and hang around for weeks.

On the brighter side, everything else about my life is better. Sex is better because I know what I'm doing. (Finally!) Relationships are better because I don't let erroneous fears and needless anxieties rule my emotions. I'm better at my job, think more clearly, am able to ignore the bullsh*t minutiae in life and see the big picture more readily. I am much more confident overall and my creative abilities and hand skills continue to improve with practice. I have also given up the hope that I may one day be able to move objects with my mind or fly without mechanical assitance.

I expect I may live to be 100, many of us in this generation will if we don't render the planet uninhabitable for humans or blow each other up first. But in the end, I don't really care how long I live, as long as the quality is good.

Of course, all bets are off if McCain steals the upcoming election.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big Furry Feet

Today's Bizarro cartoon is brought to you by Unexplained Phenomena.

I got the idea for this gag a month-or-so ago when those two backwater Einsteins from Georgia claimed to have found the body of a "Bigfoot". It later turned out to be a ratty old monkey costume. I'll be darned.

I looked at these guys two ways: if they did it as a joke, knowing they'd get caught and just seeing how far down the road to Wonderland they could take the media and Bigfoot Believers, they were geniuses – if they did it thinking they could get away with it and be famous, they were barely smarter than their ratty monkey-suit partner.

I'm not sure why people are so fascinated with the idea of a big hairy thing running around in the woods. It must fill some common psychological need or so many people worldwide wouldn't be trying so hard to believe it, especially in the face of overwhelming odds against it.

Let's say for the sake of argument that creatures the size of RuPaul are scampering through the woods all over this planet. And not just one or two, but enough to keep the species going for centuries. And even though they are huge, hairy, slow-moving and all over the place, they've never been caught or photographed. And they have gigantic feet making them all that much easier to track and impossible to sneak around in terrain which is mostly covered with crackly dead leaves. Even if we believe all of that, to make this creature plausible we further have to believe that it is also smart enough to bury itself before it dies, so its remains are never found, in spite of the throngs of rednecks crawling through the underbrush looking.

I'm going to guess the whole thing is a myth. (If only RuPaul were.)

Invaders from another planet is another story, however. Far more possibilities, far more evidence, far more liklihood. I am convinced many have assimilated into our society and some may even be trying to make their way into our government.

On November 4, won't you help me stop them?