Sunday, November 30, 2008

More SF Bay Area Appearances

I have some dandy gigs coming up in the San Fran area this week and next. Check this crazy link for details and come see me in person. I'm so lifelike, you almost won't believe it! Plus, I'll be funny and friendly and sign books for you which you can give as gifts, thus making you look as cool as the other side of the pillow this holiday season.

Who wouldn't want to meet this dapper fellow?


Bizarro is brought to you today by Holidays of the Future.

Each year I am nauseated by the hypocritical practice of pardoning a turkey at Thanksgiving. As legend has it, Lincoln started this because his son had become attached to a turkey living on the White House grounds and didn't want to see it killed. Now modern-day presidents do it with a smirk on their face and a wink to the crowd.

The latest Palin debacle last week was among the most egregious "pardons" in recent memory. While she interviewed on camera afterward, a local yocal was slaughtering turkeys ten feet behind her. The media jumped on this as a foolish and insensitive thing to do, and it was, but who are we kidding? In spite of the pocketful of turkeys who are pardoned by various politicians each year, millions of turkeys meet their painful death for this day of "thanks" and season of "peace on earth."

I know that most Americans do not share my views on the rights of all animals to live a life free of unnatural molestation (a mouse dying at the hands of a cat is natural, billions of animals confined in cages and crates being butchered alive each year for the sake of human taste buds and profit is not) but why are we so careful to spare ourselves the sight of our actions? If you're going to eat these creatures, have the integrity to watch some videos of the process they endure and you subsidize. Then get to know one in an unstressed environment, like a sanctuary, and tell me you still feel entitled to torture them to death for a few moments of sensory pleasure. (Especially when there are delicious alternatives.) These animals are sensitive, affectionate, individual beings who know fear, pain, love, grief, comfort and terror. Just like you.

"It's natural. They aren't like us. That's what they're here for. It's tradition. It's always been this way. The economy depends on it."
Exactly what most white Americans would have said about slavery and African Americans 200 years ago. Tradition is no excuse for abuse.

Sorry for the rant, this season of hypocracy brings out the worst in me. I promise the next post will be about humor.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Out of Many, One

Bizarro is brought to you today by Disappointing Dreams.

As a child, I was convinced of this sort of cliche image of the gates of Heaven, where your entire body is admitted to the Big Party or sent to eternal torture based on your status on an ambiguous list somewhere. The overall principle was that my passage beyond the ultimate velvet rope had nothing to do with how bad or good I was, as long as I believed in Jesus and asked forgiveness before I died. But when they weren't promoting that simple formula, which was most of the time, they were convincing me of how important it was to be good everyday or I wouldn't get into Heaven. It was confusing, but then all effective systems of mind control have an element of confusion involved, so the subject never knows exactly where they stand and never feels completely comfortable.

So if you believe in this kind of Heaven and manage to pass the ambiguous criteria, you may well run into a person missing a major organ, having received a transplant from an unbeliever.

Before the theologians among you start bombarding me with doctrine, I'm kidding. I know the basic tenets of most of the major religions and none of them include provisions for organ donor recipients or creatures pieced together from various dead bodies by mad scientists. I'm sure whoever you are and whatever you believe, it will all turn out just as you suppose once you're dead.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pretentious Pug

Bizarro is brought to you today by Celebrity RVs.

I like this cartoon a lot. I'm happy with the way the drawing turned out and there's something about the simple absurdity of the joke that makes me laugh. Of course, I'm a sucker for a dog in a sweater, as long as it isn't made of animal products. (I don't understand the concept of treating your own like gold and to hell with everyone else.)

I may begin wearing an ascot and smoking a pipe, myself. Nobody does that anymore. I had an art history professor in the mid seventies who donned that gay apparel, but he may have been the last one.

My eldest daughter, Krapuzar, wore a smoking jacket and ascot in her high school senior picture, and wielded a meerschaum pipe. She cocked her eyebrow arrogantly and tilted her head in a fashion reminiscent of a pretentious author's photo from the 1920s. Very funny pic, wish I could find it to share with you.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bilboard Romance

Bizarro has been brought to you today by Strange Lovers.

I got the idea for this cartoon from one of those public marriage proposals that you come across from time to time. As I was drawing it and trying to decide what names to use, I thought about how much fun readers have seeing their own lives, situations, names, etc., in the comics. So I did a quick Google search and picked two of the most popular names for people who are currently in their late twenties. (Popular baby names for years 1979-1983)

Anyway, as soon as the cartoon published, I got waves of email from people who knew a Mike and Jen who were getting married, recently married, dating eternally and never getting married, who wanted to get a signed print or buy the original art for a wedding gift, or what have you. I love it when I bother to think ahead and it actually works.

So congrats to Mike and Jen, wherever you are, here's hoping (all of) you have a long and happy marriage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jihads and Indians

Bizarro is brought to you today by Tortelli High Speed Piano Company.

I find our nation's relationship with American Indians (Native Americans, First Peoples, etc.) interesting. Before we open up the floor for discussion, here is a quick synopsis of my limited knowledge in this area:
1. Europeans steal continent and attempt to annihilate its inhabitants
2. The ones that escape death are driven into poverty
3. The descendants of these Europeans feel guilty
4. They give the descendants of these original inhabitants from whom the land was stolen the right to do something that is illegal for the rest of the population.

Step four is where it gets a bit strange. I'm not passing judgment on it, I just think it odd.

Moving on, I am all for legalizing gambling, prostitution and recreational drugs. Even though I'm not a fan of any of these leisure time activities, I think consenting adults should be allowed to do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Which means you don't outlaw drinking, you outlaw drinking and driving. You don't outlaw drugs, you outlaw driving while tripping. You don't outlaw prostitution, you outlaw selling your wares without regular medical checkups, and leaving the house in hotpants that are clearly too small for your ample booty.

That being said, I don't much understand the fun of either gambling or prostitution. With gambling, I can't help seeing it as a hole in the ground that you throw your money into on the slim chance that the hole is not only not too deep to reach into and get your money back, but that there might be more money already down there. I've generally found money hard to come by in my life and giving it to someone else without much hope of any return doesn't seem fun.

Regarding prostitution, I don't understand having relations with someone who is only pretending to want to have relations with me. It makes me feel impolite, like I am inconveniencing someone else for my own selfish needs. To my mind, much of the fun of coital activity is that the other person is having a good time, too. I felt this same sort of shame when I took tennis lessons years ago – I loved playing tennis with friends, but hated hitting with a pro because I knew she was only doing it for the money and wasn't having any fun. A wealthy friend of mine once said of my views on this that I "just don't understand the master/slave relationship." Creepy. Maybe that's why he's wealthy and I'm not.

Still, I can't help but feel these things are illegal purely because of a combination of fear and religious notions. When communities do legalize these activities, they don't go up in flames any faster than the ones ruled by churchy notions. And when societies let religion dominate law, eventually all hell breaks loose.

I'd choose casinos over jihads any day. But then I'm just a fringe liberal.

(NOTE: These comments are not meant as a condemnation of personal faith but rather the practice of using religious ideas to govern.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shouting Pick Up

Bizarro is brought to you today by Acme Hazardous Materials Storage Company.

This cartoon is a direct product of my venomous hatred of loud bars. Before you write me off as a person who is too old to appreciate loud music (602 months old next week), I felt just as strongly about this when I was 21 as I do now.

I can only think of two reasons for going to a bar: to meet friends and enjoy their company, or because you are out of booze at home, liquor stores are closed, and you need a drink so badly that you don't mind paying 300% of its retail value.

In the second case, it doesn't matter how loud the music is, the hooch is your main concern and you'll likely put up with anything to get it, even absurd prices and dangerous decibels. But if you're wanting to get together with friends, how does high-volume music help? If you're there primarily to dance, that's perfectly reasonable, but I've seen very little dancing in the bars I've visited. Most bars are places where people are jammed together screaming at each other, attempting conversation. This is difficult enough with someone you know, but meeting and getting to know a new person at the top of your lungs is comically difficult. Yet millions of people all across the world do this every weekend.

On the other hand, a quiet bar with reasonable prices is a rare and wonderful thing. Whether I'm playing pool or darts or just sitting at a table with friends, I almost always have a good time. On the other hand, I can count the number of times I've had a good time screaming over music at my friends on no hands. Give me a quiet, neighborhood pub any time.

Of course, my favorite place to drink is at home, alone in the dark, weeping in private.


In response to some of the comments I got from the previous post, I'd like to clarify a few things.

I do not think that all religious faith is dangerous or stupid. As an atheist, I don't believe in spiritual beings or forces, but neither do I believe that all such beliefs are dangerous. The Noah's ark satire is aimed at people who blatantly ignore science in favor of ancient parables. In my opinion, people with this kind of mentality should not be in positions of power in our government. This description does not include all politicians who believe in a higher power, it does include people like Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson. Their brand of faith almost invariably ends in the abuse of people who do not share it, as the abuser believes he or she is doing god's will.

Many fundamentalists I have spoken with have ridiculed the way science changes and contradicts itself constantly, citing that the Bible has not changed in thousands of years. First, the Bible has, indeed, changed fairly dramatically over time and its various translations, but more importantly, the ever-changing landscape of science is precisely what is good about it. As we learn more, we alter our understanding to reflect the new evidence. Yes, one could say it takes a modicum of "faith" to believe certain aspects of scientific theory, but the difference between those theories and ancient texts is that scientific theories are based on evidence, while scriptures tend to be based on principles. That fact doesn't make the principles any less worthwhile (or more worthwhile, for that matter), but nor does it make the stories used to express those principles literally true.

Finally, the ark in the cartoon is not meant to be scientifically feasible or historically accurate. It's just a satire based on a commonly known Bible story.

My blog, my two cents worth. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ark Theory

(Click the cartoon to make it oh-so-huge)

I'm back from out of town and have time to write about this cartoon now. I'm glad so many people liked this one, I got some good comments and quite a few emails on it. It's one of my favorites in a long time and, to answer the cynical question in the comments section, I WROTE IT MYSELF! (As I do the vast majority of my cartoons.)

People's willingness to believe ancient, cockamamie fairy tales over science is a pet peeve of mine, and this is obviously aimed at that ilk. Even more disturbing is the inclination that so many American voters to vote for politicians who believe ancient, cockamamie fairy tales over science. These are politicians who would ostensibly lead us through the increasingly dangerous and technologically advanced world in which we live. Do we really want someone to be making decisions for us all who ignores the intellectual advancement of our enemies and depends instead on faith in an invisible super hero in the sky? We've had that for the past eight years and, well, here we are.

One would think that I don't really need to make this point, since the Bushies made it so convincingly for me. But if that were true, Obama/Biden would have beaten McCain/Palin by 90% instead of the relatively narrow margin they did.

Friday, November 21, 2008

God's Little Miracles

Today's Bizarro cartoon has been made possible by Sultry Carnivores Part Two.

Ours isn't the only society having trouble economically, Legoland is in the dumper, too. With those stiff little U-shaped hands, many activities that you and I take for granted are nearly impossible. That's one reason Lego cars, trucks, boats, planes, etc., are so simple and blocky. They just don't have the dexterity for fine details. Ever seen a Lego person with a heart or brain surgery scar? Of course not, surgery of any kind doesn't even exist for these unfortunate souls. Some of them dress like doctors, but they don't actually do anything.

And I know it is politically incorrect to say this, but I have a devil of a time telling them apart. Without their individual outfits or makeup or whatever, they all look alike to me. I'm told they can tell each other apart, but I've not seen evidence of it. And where do they come from? They have no reproductive organs that I can discern. The perrenial smile on their faces always makes them look as though they've just had sex, but how?

With all their hardships, it is no wonder they are so religious.

(Author's note: Here is a site that has pretty much the entire Bible – Old and New Testaments – acted out with Lego people. Not to be missed.)

Pinching Loaves

Thanks to my friend, Jezzka, and regular reader of this blog for the following video with some excellent cooking tips.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Naked Feet and Uncaged Liquids

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sultry Carnivores.

I'm really sick of that ad campaign about "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," but it gave me an idea for a cartoon so I can't complain. To me, the funny thing about this cartoon is not the punch line, but the scalpel in the TSA agent's hand.

I travel a lot by aeroplane and, like many people with a reasonable I.Q. and a modicum of logic, I find the TSA folks to be exasperating. I've had harmless things taken away from me at security, the most notable of which was a plastic, space-age-looking child's raygun I had bought as a gift for a kid. The reason given was that the flight crew wouldn't have time to ascertain it was a toy if I tried to use it as a weapon. I'm not kidding.

The requirement of taking one's shoes off, even if they are flip-flops that could not conceal anything larger than a sewing needle, is another point of contention with me, along with the rule about liquids being in a plastic bag.

The concept of the bag rule is obviously to restrict the amount of liquids any one person can bring onto a plane; if you have more than can fit into a plastic bag of a certain size, you might have enough explosives to cause trouble. The logic of this is obviously flawed, five passengers could bring the legal limit and combine them on board, but more annoying than this blatent loophole is when you have only one tiny container and they insist you put it into a plastic bag. I've seen this on more than one occasion.

A friend of mine is married to an airline pilot and she says they say TSA stands for "Thousands Standing Around."

If they were actually making the industry safer, I'd be more tolerant of this kind of time-wasting nonsense, but studies continue to show it is just as easy to slip weapons past security as it was before 9/11.

I don't have an answer for this dilemma, of course, I just wanted to complain.

Brilliant New Blog

I've discovered a new daily blog that has really caught my attention. There are only four things I read daily, this has joined the list. If you like this one, go here for a daily dose:

V for Vengeance, B for Beauty

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sick as a Dog

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Association for People With Ugly Children.

I've often thought it overkill the way we ban non-human animals from places that serve food, when we are much more likely to get sick from contact with other humans than any other species. I would still eat in a restaurant if dogs were allowed, especially knowing that there are any number of insects and rodents living in the nooks and crannies. Regarding my health, I'm much more concerned about the cook in the kitchen than the Beagle in the booth.

In New York there are lots of sidewalk cafes that allow dogs and it's always fun to see them hanging out with their parents. CHNW cannot pass a dog without chatting, and NYC has lots of dogs so it takes us quite a while to get through the city on foot. For occasions when we are in a hurry, I distract her by pointing out fine architectural details at the tops of buildings when a dog is passing so we don't lose too much time.

Most people are amazed at the intelligence of dogs on certain occasions, but I have come to believe that all species of animals have impressive intelligence, each in their own way. Not surprisingly, we tend to judge intelligence by how much like our own it is, but evolutionarily this is a poor standard. I think if you consider that other species have different types of intelligence that we do not necessarily relate to, and in some cases cannot even perceive, it changes your understanding of them. It also makes you feel less of a sense of entitlement over them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eggheads and Bird Love

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

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

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

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

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


I've made it a point not to censor the comments on this blog but they've gotten a bit out of hand so I'm changing my policies. I still won't censor opinions, as long as they are expressed in a mature manner, sans profanity or lame insults to other commentators. (You can still insult me all you want.)

I hate being a cop, but I've been getting complaints from readers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Presidential Sweet

Bizarro is brought to you today by Painful Shoe Company.

I'll be honest with you, I think this is a dull joke. When you have to pull a new joke out of your hat 365 days a year for more than two decades, they can't all be brilliant. It isn't classic, but I figured maybe somebody out there who's recently been squooshed by the ponderously heavy elephant feet of the Republican economy might get a little smile out of it. Not that squooshed people are inclined to smile.

So instead, let's change the subject. A friend of mine sent me the following picture of Barack and Michelle on the campaign trail. I'd seen this pic before but hadn't noticed anything unusual about it. My friend, however, noticed that in the bottom right-hand corner of the newspaper B is reading is my cartoon! (click on the picture for a larger view!)

I can't tell if that's really my cartoon or not, but for the sake of shallow fantasies, I'm going to say it is. YES! BARACK OBAMA READS BIZARRO!

Spread the word, we'll check the facts later.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rhyming Toast

Bizarro is brought to you today by Greeting Card Hell.

Many years ago, I gave up obligatory holidays and their mandatory cards and gift giving. I haven't given a Xmas or birthday gift nor sent a greeting card since the early 90s sometime. I still occasionally give people gifts or cards when I feel like it, I'm not a cold-hearted bastard, I just resented the social pressure to conform to a scheme designed by department stores and card companies and opted out.

It was fairly simple, really: I told my friends and family that I would no longer be giving gifts or cards for any advertised occasion and that I didn't expect to receive gifts or cards, either. If they still wanted to give me something, I would accept it and be appreciative, of course. I wasn't trying to be mean or stubborn, I just didn't want to play along with Macy's and Hallmark anymore. Many understood, some thought I was being a creep, some probably pretended to understand and called me a creep behind my back.

But the subsequent freedom has been wonderful and I have never regretted the decision. I no longer have to worry what to get people, rush around town looking for something I'm not sure they'll like anyway, pretend to be excited about a gift that I do not wish to own, or end up with a yard sale's worth of gewgaws to dispose of every spring. I'm sure the gifts I was giving others were just as likely to find their way to the sidewalk, so I've saved many other folks the same pointless worry and expense.

My mother-in-law is the only person who still gives me gifts regularly. Happily, she has terrific taste and gives me cool and unusual things that I really like. My wife didn't become the unusual person she is entirely by accident, of course.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Cats

Bizarro is brought to you today by

Here's a dandy little cartoon about the Grim Reaper as a cat. It was inspired by the myriad critters my cats bring inside the house to torture to death over the course of the day.

In a very real sense, some people get the cat version of the reaper, dying slowly over time. Others are more fortunate to get the king cobra variety – one bite, dead soon. Personally, I'd prefer to die quietly in my sleep. The "Pillow Reaper"?

While I was away in Californy this week I missed a few postings, so here are two to catch up a bit. The one above is mine, the one below is an idea from my kooky friend Derek, who haunts this blog like the specter of an ancient Scottish king in a drafty castle. BizarroBlog commentators are well familiar with Derek's stream-of-consciousness postings and the challenges they present to readers.

This one of his is an odd idea that just hit me the right way. It is simple, obvious, dry, almost predictable, but those qualities are precisely what I like about it. Some days, simple goofiness rings my bell.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pirate Store event in SF tonight is canceled. Stacey's at 12:30 is still on.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of man or beets, the event at the Pirate Store on Valencia in SF has been canceled. Stacey's on Market and 2nd St. is still on at noon-thirty, however. Hope to see one or two of you there.

I'm at a friend's house today without my own computer, so I don't have any cartoons to post. I'll get back to it on Saturday, though. 

Whack It Good

(Click cartoon to enlargerize)

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Beat it Till it Bleeds Candy Party Supply.

This cartoon idea came from my young protege, Victor. The idea was simple and terrific so I adopted it exactly as he had written it. Though he is but a sapling, he shows great talent and potential. I am proud to mentor him and help in any way that I can, until such time when he strikes out on his own and begins taking clients away from me, at which point I will beat him like a five-dollar pinata. (Anyone know how to make ˜appear over an "n"?)

Until then, enjoy the following video which provides a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the cartoon world. To assure that this cartoon would work as designed, I had a prototype built, hired actors in ancient soldier costumes and tried it out, as seen in the video below. Virtually all of my cartoons are researched this meticulously, to assure the utmost realism and highest quality humor that modern technology can provide.

One last behind-the-scenes cartoon note: This is one of those ideas that will occur independently to more than one person on the planet. While building this post, I came across a different treatment of the same idea. (And it's probably not the only one.) Sorry Scott Hilburn, wherever you are.

P.S. Don't miss my pirate store appearance tomorrow night in San Francisco! Sorry for the short notice, I get busy and forget I have a trip coming up until I hear the airport limo honking out front.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Come See Me in Person This Week!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of the San Francsico Bay Area:
I'll be doing two personal appearances there this Thursday, November 13.

Stacey's, a bookstore at 581 Market St. near 2nd St. at 12:30pm. That's the one right after noon.

A pirate supply store at 826 Valencia in the Mission, at 6pm. If you haven't been to this place, it's a must-see. They have everything you need for the pirating life, and some things you don't.

I'll be talking, being funny and charming, selling and signing my new book of pirate cartoons. I'm a fun person to meet in person and you will enjoy yourself. I will even take a picture with you while pretending to be a celebrity.

Class Actions

Bizarro is brought to you today by Class Warfare.
I'm always suspicious of these stories that all politicians tell that start with, "I remember the single mother of three in Detroit who told me..." I'm guessing the vast majority of those instances are made up.

Especially when the candidate telling the story is the lying, evil one, as opposed to the one I support.

I'm as cynical about politicians as the next guy, but I honestly think Obama is one of those extremely rare politicians who is in the game to actually help people rather than to feed his own ego and pocketbook.

Let's hope I'm right.

One final note: I hate the drawing of the guy on the couch in this cartoon. It's more-or-less supposed to be me and is probably the worst self-caricature I've ever done. The proportions are all wrong, I must have been in a hurry to make a deadline. Below is a quick sketch of what I wish it had looked more like. The proportions are a little funnier and much more accurate. Luckily, I look like a cartoon character, so drawing myself is usually no challenge.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Decorative Injuries

(Click images for biginations)

More tattoo images from my penpal in Asia. These are the two on his ribs, the edges of which can be seen in the picture of the larger image on his back in my previous post a couple of days ago.

This was a two-panel Sunday comic that he broke in half and placed on each rib. It's interesting that he chose to do these in black and white instead of the original color.

Okay, everybody, start sending in those Bizarro tattoo pics. I know there must be tens of thousands of you out there with my cartoons indelibly implanted beneath your skin.



Are You Saved?

Bizarro is brought to you today by People Who Want To Save You.

Who doesn't want to be saved? Life is hard. Bad things happen to us, we get ourselves into jams we wish we hadn't and can't see the way out. Wouldn't it be great if someone or something could come along and snatch you up out of the poo pit you've fallen into and make everything all better? (Answer on page 372)

For those of you without a page 372 on your computer, the answer is, "yes." That's why humans have always been in love with saviors. What's not to love?

The downside is that some people will try to save you against your will, with the savior of their choice. This can be anything from uncomfortable to annoying to dangerous.

I wish being saved were simpler. I wish my life, like my computer, would kick into a screensaver mode after I've left it unattended for five minutes. Just put everything on hold and make sure nothing gets changed or damaged while I'm not looking.

I don't, however, want to have to replace my life with a new one every four years so it will work with new applications. There are too many humans as it is.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Scary Costumes

(Want it big? Click the cartoon!)

Bizarro is brought to you by the new book by A. Merica, "Dodging a Bullet: How Voters Finally Woke the F*ck Up and Saved Me From the Abyss."

This cartoon ran a couple days after Halloween and is based on the same theme I used last year at this time, but with different costumes and punch lines, of course. It was SO hard to avoid obvious costumes like "President Sarah Palin," nothing could be scarier than that, but I have to keep Bizarro from overtly attacking specific political parties. Yes, it is hard.

The title panel that went with this cartoon in some markets was fun, I think. It's a portrait studio picture of me when I was a kid (I think I was about 17 in this picture) that I have used regularly for Bizarro. My dad tells me that Mom gets a kick out of seeing it in the paper, but wishes I wouldn't "mess it up" with my humorous additions. When she said that, I think she was specifically referring to the three-eyed alien version I sometimes use.

Ultimate Compliment

Okay, Bizarro readers, here's a challenge for you. A reader from Asia has gotten several of my cartoons tattooed on his body. Here he is displaying his most recent addition, along with the cartoon that it came from.

Who's next? Send your Bizarro tattoo pictures to me care of this blog and I'll post them as they come in. Unless there are so many that I just can't keep up, at which point it will be first come, first posted. So hurry!

Be the first in your family to mark your body with Bizarro FOR LIFE!

(Click images to enlargenize them bigger)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama Casualties

I found humor here.

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Eating and Partying

CHNW and I went to a fun event in NYC the other night. It was a meet-and-greet sort of thing at Moo Shoes, a very cool vegan shoe and accessories store in the East Village.

The point of the thing was to meet Sarah Kramer, a world-renowned vegan cook who puts out killer cool cookbooks.

A lot of readers have emailed and asked me how they can find out what to eat if they become vegan. Sarah's books are a really fun way to learn to exclude products derived from torture from your diet.


Bizarro is made possible today by a grant from Daryl Hannah's ugly brother.

Mermaids are perhaps the strangest sex symbol in our culture. Even though the top half may be a beautiful woman with exposed breasts, the bottom half is a smelly, scaly fish without a vagina. How much fun could you actually have with a mermaid beyond a little high school pinch-and-tickle?

And forget about a long-term relationship. Even if she could survive on land, you'd have to carry her everywhere from the bathroom to the grocery store, which would get old faster than a fruit fly.

We always depict the mermaid as having a graceful fish body and tail, but would we find them as attractive if they had one of the bodies depicted above? Would little girls want to dress as The Little Mermaid if she looked like this?

On a related shameless-name-dropping note, Daryl Hannah once called my house and left a voice mail. I've met her a few times at animal rights/environmental events and we were conversing about some project or other via email for a while, then she called. It was really cool to have such a sexy, recognizable voice on my VM and I kept it for ages. Events like this are not particularly common in my life, so I thought I'd share it with you. She's a very friendly, natural, and cool person and spends a ton of her own time and money on these kinds of causes.

Here we are together at a fundraiser event. This pic is from back before I was vegan and looked just like John Lovitz.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Understanding Marriage

Bizarro is brought to you today by Dual Purpose Household Appliances Corporation.
This cartoon is a personal favorite of mine of late. It's simple, it's a new twist on a cartoon cliche, and it makes me smile.

I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately. Way WAY more than I've wanted to, actually. CHNW and I had a very rough year which required a good deal of counseling and self-help-book reading to survive. (Avid readers might notice I haven't mentioned her here in many months.)

We've finally turned the corner and are doing fine now, thanks, but in the process of dancing on the edge of the precipice of divorce I learned a lot more about relationships than I previously knew. Having been through a divorce in the nineties, and many subsequent months of counseling, support groups and self-help books, I thought I knew a lot. But there's always more. (For instance, I learned that modern wallboard does not stand up very well to heavy objects thrown with fair velocity from across the room.)

I've long believed that the only path to a healthy relationship is to be healthy yourself. If you're screwy in the head, you attract (and are attracted to) screwy people, and there go your chances for a sane relationship. Emotional health isn't easy to achieve, of course, it takes a lot of work on an ongoing basis and because no one is perfect (especially if you were raised by humans), mistakes will inevitably be made. Our couples counselor calls those mistakes "AFGOs". (Another F*cking Growth Opportunity)

We've all had the experience of watching friends and acquaintances struggling with their relationships. One hard and fast rule of romance that I've seen over and over again is that if the person you are in a relationship with is an irredeemable jerk that your friends can't stand, you're probably not going to succeed. At this point you should give up, do a lot of work on yourself, and head into the marketplace again with a renewed self image. I know I've said this of some of my own friends, so now that CHNW and I were the couple under the microscope, I can't help but wonder if any of our friends or acquaintances have said similar things about us.

"I always thought he was a dick, she's well rid of him."

"I've never liked the way she laughs, I don't know how he lasted this long."

"What's with that stupid hat and cigar? Does he think he's Jimmy Durante? Who is she kidding with that phony smile? It's obvious she's miserable inside. I hate both of them and hope they perish in a fight to the death." (Okay, that last set of comments came from one of her ex-boyfriends who never got over her.)

Sorry to those of you who think I'm a dick, she's not rid of me yet. And sorry to you laugh-hating hypocrites who pretended all these years to accept us as we are, you'll have to deal with it or get lost. And sorry bitter ex-boyfriend who needs to admit that he's got a serious drinking problem and is very likely bisexual, you need to put down the bottle, come out of the closet, and get on with your life.

(The "friends" mentioned in this email are fictional and are in no way meant to represent anyone that CHNW and I actually know or have dated. Any similarity between the descriptions and comments in this posting and our actual friends and acquaintances and the things they might have said, are strictly coincidental.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Here is an animated video by my friend and fellow cartoonist, Ted Rall. I didn't see this until after the election, but it's still relevant and fun. According to Ted, whose editorial cartoons I like a lot, this is his first effort at animation and he'll be doing more in days to come.

And here is Ted's daily blog. He's never at a loss for controversial opinions, not all of which I agree with, but that's what Ted does best.

Name By Any Other Rose...

Bizarro is brought to you today by Heavy Objects You Don't Need on Your Foot.

I always wonder where nicknames come from. I tend to think that most nicknames are chosen by the person to whom they refer, in spite of their elaborate stories to the contrary. Did Ivan the Terrible choose his own name to make himself sound cool? Like Sting? Time for you history buffs to weigh in on the comments section.

About a year ago, I adopted a nickname for myself, but nobody uses it. It's hard to get these things to catch on. I decided to go by "Jimmy Whatagain." I don't have any special reason for it, I just like the sound of it. It makes me smile every time I say it. And the Abbott-and-Costello potential is obvious:
"Last name?"
"I heard you the first time, I'm not deaf. Whatagain."

One of my favorite films of all time contains a character who has chosen his own nickname and is relentless in his efforts to assure it's exclusive use. "The Dude," of The Big Lebowski is the epitome of lame characters enforcing their own cool monikers. This past Halloween, one of my daughters and her significant utter dressed as The Dude (Jeff Bridges' character) and The Jesus (John Turturro's character). You've got to love a movie wherein a hispanic character named "Jesus" pronounces it the way English speakers do and adds the prefix "The".

A friend of mine chose a really cool nickname for himself, which he uses as more of an alias than anything. Rather than picking a name that makes him sound cool, he went the self-depricating-humor route, which I admire. So here's a shout out to Richard Cabeza. As you may know, "cabeza" is Spanish for "head." Add the usual nickname associated with the name "Richard," and you're there. One of the best ever.

A Funny Film

I found humor here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Discriminating Readers

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Chihuahuaitis Awareness Foundation.

Far too few Americans know anything about the heartbreaking syndrome called "Chihuahuaitis." Perhaps it is because Elephantitis grabs the lion's share of the headlines when it comes to deformities named for animals.

Some common misconceptions about those suffering from Chihuahuaitis:
1. Because their head is so small, many people assume they have a diminished intellect. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, because their brains are concentrated in a smaller area they work faster and more efficiently, like with concentrated cleaners and juices, and most score higher on standardized I.Q. tests than their "normal-headed" counterparts.
2. Because some or all of their "parts" are smaller than average, people often assume they have physical limitations. While this is occassionally true (a tiny Chihuahua-sized body with normal-sized feet can limit one's mobility, for instance), for the most part they are able to participate normally in all of the activities that anyone else can. Sometimes their small size can even be a benefit. Spelunking is one example – a person with Chihuahuaitis can explore parts of a cave that average-sized people can not fit into.

The squeaky quality of their voices can also be a problem for them. Many people report being annoyed by their so-called "barking" and have difficulty understanding what the person is saying. With a little patience you can discern their words, however, and if all else fails, just give them a treat. That's more than likely what they were yapping about anyway.

I hope that cartoons like this will urge readers to consider the feelings and needs of those with Chihuahuaitis more carefully and help to make strides toward integrating them more fully into society.