Saturday, January 31, 2009

Scary World of Danger

Bizarro is brought to you today by Urban Health Hazards.

If your local paper prints its comics in color on weekdays as well as Sunday, you may have seen this cartoon in a different form. I was out of town and unable to send my own color files in time and so the syndicate used their usual coloring service to color a week's worth of Bizarros in mid-January. Many cartoonists opt to use this kind of service all the time, but I like my cartoons to look different, so I do them myself. Below is the cartoon as it appeared in such papers.

As you can see, these commercial services do a much simpler job on the comics than I like to do, hence the extra work I put in (without extra pay.) I think it's worth it.

I've long had a problem with America's tendency to want to make everything so safe that you can scarcely hurt yourself if you try. Product safety is a good thing, I don't want to buy a car that will explode into flames if I back into a lamppost at the mall. But in my humble and cranky opinion, putting railings and warning signs around everything from volcanoes to the Grand Canyon goes much too far toward defeating natural selection. I think if someone is dumb enough to climb down into an active volcano, or jump off a cliff into a raging river, they probably shouldn't live long enough to pass those genes on.

When I was in Hawaii recently, I crossed a bridge about 40 feet above a crashing river with huge boulders. There was a forbidding sign warning you that people have been injured or killed jumping off this bridge into the water. I didn't need this sign, neither would have you. Yet there were three young men in their 20s jumping off into the water. They seemed to be surviving, but then I didn't hang around all that long.

We're not the only country to indulge in this habit of protecting morons. I saw the same thing in Italy not long ago. This sign was warning tourists against the inherent dangers of using your umbrella improperly. Personally, I never use an umbrella in any way that is not recommended in the directions.

If you're going to post warning signs, I prefer this style.




1. Choose a cartoon
2. Go to this website
3. Do what it tells you
4. Receive print
5. Hang it in your home, glue it to your vehicle*
6. Rule your world

*Also good for giving as gift

Friday, January 30, 2009

Trophy Overboard

Bizarro is brought to you today by Astronaut Beagles.

This cartoon grew from one of my revenge fantasies about people in first class. I fly a lot and cannot afford first class, nor, apparently, can any of the organizations that pay for my flights. Because I am so tall (nearly 5' 8"), I find the seats in coach to be very uncomfortable. I know it is wrong and Buddha would be disappointed, but I cannot seem to help wishing I could toss one of the less deserving cretins in first class out of the plane and take their seat. Especially the vapid shopaholic girl covered with designer logos, bling and fur. What was her monumental contribution to the planet that earned her the extra $1200 it takes to get a comfortable seat?

Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

Of course, airlines will be out of business soon and we'll all be riding our bikes across country, so that will level the playing field some. I suppose I should find a place to live that I don't mind staying year-round pretty soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Celebrities in Jeopardy

Bizarro is brought to you by Creative Car Rentals.

As confounding as some celebrities are to us thinking people (a relatively low percentage of the public, so we must stick together) creating celebrities is natural, it's something we do as a species. Research scientists have observed similar behavior in chimps – given the choice of two buttons, one that produces food, one that shows them a picture of their troup leader, they will opt for the celebrity photo more often than one would think. So it is no surprise that as "troup" animals, we have an unquenchable thirst for information about certain ones among us who have acheived notoriety. What is surprising, however, is the wide range of qualities that can propel one to this ordained status.

Politicians are a no-brainer. They are our troup leaders, so of course we want to know everything we can about them and keep up with their day-to-day doings. In a very real sense, our well being depends on their actions.

Sports figures are understandable, too. For the vast majority of our evolution, we required a decent set of physical skills to get by – there was no handicap parking nor electric can opener in the Bronze Age – so it is reasonable to be interested in someone with extraordinary talents in that arena.

Actors, artists, musicians, writers and performers of all kinds entertain us and we like being entertained, so that's a natural. Murderers capture celebrity because once again, their actions may affect our survival.

So where does Paris Hilton fit into this primitive mindscape of celebrity making? My guess is SEX, pure and simple.

As mammals, our sexual impulses and proclivities are geared toward what our ancient biological programming thinks will be helpful to the survival of the species. (I'm speaking very generally, here, not about fetishes or abnormalities or anything out of mathematically mainstream human sexuality.) In this area, men and women are different.

Females tend to favor things like wealth, power, strength, age, ability, because a mate with these qualities can take care of them and their offspring, and endow their spawn with those characteristics. Males are simpler. They favor youth and the physical ability to bear and care for children over a long period of time. Which is why they go for looks (good looks = youth in the primitive mind) over quality. (Studies have also shown that adult faces that most people find attractive are those with proportions most similar to a child's.)

It is no surprise that men are simpler and more primitive than women. That's why there are often female celebs that have no discernable talent other than being "hot," but this virtually never happens with male celebs. They usually have to pretend to be actors or singers or something before they capture a magazine cover or get on a talk show. Good looks alone just doesn't cut it for us dudes.

On another note, here is a cartoon from last week that I
didn't post because I was out of town, frozen, ill, and busy. It's an idea from my pal and occasional contributor, Derek. I like the simple premise: what do you say to a person heading onto stage who already has two broken legs?

More tomorrow, thanks for reading. Until then, I remain your faithful servant and imaginary playmate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burqa Biz

(click image to big it)

Bizarro is brought to you today by
Too Much Yoga.

This is the third cartoon about burqas I've done in the past few years and the first one I've published that didn't attract any negative mail.

A friend of mine mused one day, "what happens when you sneeze inside a burqa?" and it sparked this cartoon idea. As I've mentioned on this blog before, I offer Bizarro in both strip and panel format, to make it easier for papers to find a place for it. I design and draw them with the vertical panel in mind, then scan them into Photoshop and convert the art to strip format from there. I usually prefer the panel version, but this is one of those rare cases where I think the strip works better.

I got home from Indianapolis last night and am happy to be back, even though Brooklyn is cold and gray today. But the nice thing about working from home is that I don't have to leave the building if I don't like the weather. Also, I don't have to go outside to have a cigar, as I did while staying at the Residence Inn in Indy last week.

It's the little things that make life worth living.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Super Suits

(To make this cartoon a big, honkin', whopper that you can see up close, click the image.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Big Blue Building Bumpers.

A reader (can't remember who now) suggested something about dinosaurs in spaceships or something (can't remember what now) and I ended up with this cartoon. The funnest part of this drawing by far was rendering the dinos in spacesuits. Even though the big one wouldn't actually fit inside that saucer, I took some artistic license because I wanted to use a saucer similar to the one I use for my little alien icon.

Today was my last day in Indy and I'm heading home tomorrow morning. My performance today went very well: nice-sized crowd in spite of the arctic weather, I did a good show in spite of my 130 degree temperature/snotty nose/sneezing/convulsions/halucinations/numb extremities (I came down with some dreaded Midwestern cold on Friday night and have suffered greatly), and all the books that the museum gift shop ordered were sold.

Here are a few more highlights from my week here.

The museum brought in three other guys for the Saturday panel on Native Americans in comics. One of them was a comic book cartoonist named Steve Sanderson, a Cree Indian from Vancouver Island. As you can tell from this picture, at 7 feet tall, Steve is a few inches taller than I am at 6', 6".

The other two guys were comics writer, John Ostrander, and
Michael Sheyahshe, a Caddo indian and writer of a book about Native Americans in the comics. They were all great guys with plenty of interesting things to say about comics and they all went out for Karaoke Saturday night and had a big damn time. I was too ill to join them, unfortunately, so I stayed in my hotel room and blew my nose until I fell asleep.

One of the faithful readers of this blog made a special trip in her speedboat down to the museum midweek and visited with me for a bit. I was most impressed with her parallel parking skills. Thanks for dropping by, Heather.

Just when I thought no more fun could be had in Indianapolis, the program director of the museum and person responsible for me out here, Pete Brown, took us all to the Children's Museum where they were having a comics show. At the show, I saw this children's Superman suit from the early 1960s. This is especially meaningful to me because I HAD THIS SAME SUIT when I was three or four years old! I wore it around the house and yard, tried to fly, blocked bullets and trains with my chest, the whole shebang. Unlike the sissy-children of today, back then you had to provide your own muscles. I don't know what happened to my suit but this is the first time I've seen one since I gave mine up at the age of 14.

My medical alarm just went off which means my heart has stopped beating again, so I'll sign off now before the paramedics arrive. Wish me luck.

Revised Evil

In the previous post, I recounted some of my adventures in Indianapolis this week, including a trip to a school. I included a picture of myself with the kids and claimed that nobody noticed I was "roaring drunk." This earned me a trip to the principal's office.

Yesterday I received an email from a school official thanking me politely for coming to the school and telling me everyone enjoyed it, but asking if I would take the picture off the blog. Apparently, school officials and parents could come down hard on the school for allowing their kid's pics on the web, especially in association with a reference to drinking. Here is the revised photo, with the student's faces blurred like criminals, which I supplanted the old one with in the post below, along with a humorous legal disclaimer (in red).Perhaps there are good reasons to be worried about a thing like this, but for the life of me I can't think what they would be. I know pedophiles have met kids online, but that doesn't pertain to this. I know celebs protect the images of their children to make it more difficult for would-be kidnappers, but that's certainly not an issue here. People in witness protection don't want pics on the web identifying their location, I suppose one or more of these kids could be from a family like that.

Mostly, I think it's just goofy paranoia. Fear of the unknown. I've met people before who don't want a photo of them with me to appear on my blog and it always reminds me a bit of primitives being afraid to have their picture taken for fear they will lose their soul.

I do want to emphasize that the faculty at the school was great, very appreciative and cool, and that the person who wrote to me was not being unreasonable. That person is only trying to protect his/her school from a doody storm from less reasonable factions.

And now my own disclaimer: Maybe there is some perfectly logical, obvious reason for objecting to a picture like this on my blog and I'm just not seeing it. If so, I apologize for the sarcasm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Indy Blogosphere

The following is a special report from Indianapolis, Indiana, where I am embedded at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

It is cold here where I have been since Monday, as one might gather from my swell lounging outfit pictured here. Even hanging around my luxurious hotel suite at the Residence Inn Marriott, I wear a mock turtle neck sweater, long johns, and some furry socks. I don't even take these off to sleep or shower, for fear that my pulse may drop below 40 bpm.

Meanwhile, the museum itself is very cool and the fine folks who brought me here are fine folks, indeed. All in all, I'm having a swell time.

Here is a list of the good and bad things I have learned since I got here:

Good: The Eiteljorg Museum is much larger and of higher quality than I expected. Before I came, I figured it to be some small, 7/11-sized outfit in a strip mall with a few tomahawks, moccasins and cowboy paintings. In truth, the architecture of the impressively enormous building is top notch, and the immense collection of art and artifacts inside is astounding. That's a real school bus in this picture, not a Matchbox model.

Bad: I had to get up before dawn to go talk to some high school kids in nearby Bloomington. The kids were cool and the talk went well, but come on. Dawn? I took this picture with my phone because I was alarmed at how much it looked like sunset, something I usually watch while eating breakfast.

Good: A giant made of bricks attacked the city some time ago and Peyton Manning defeated him and buried him up to his neck in front of an apartment building near downtown.

Bad: I became trapped inside a vending machine, the purpose of which I am unsure of.

Good: I found a chicken made of plastic hair curlers.

Bad: I found a skyscraper with missing walls. No wonder there was nobody inside it, as I have mentioned, it is cold here.

Good: The kids I spoke to at Bloomington New Tech High School could not tell I was roaring drunk.

(Note to parents, school board officials, etc: I was NOT roaring drunk, nor even tipsy while at the school. Nor was I high on any other drug, illegal or prescription. The previous comment is a JOKE made solely by the author of this blog and DOES NOT represent the thoughts or opinions of Bloomington New Tech High School officials, faculty,administrators, students, PTA, parents, relatives, neighbors, clergymen, or pets of anyone even vaguely affiliated with anything anywhere. The faces of the students in the picture have been blurred to protect them from identity theft.)

Also Good: I found out from this old Indian print that I might have some Native American blood in me. I may even be the descendant of a chief. Very cool.

If you're within a 10-hour drive of Indy, you should come to the museum Saturday and Sunday and check it out. Saturday I'll be with a couple other cartoonists doing a panel discussion about Native Americans in the comics, and Sunday I'll be doing my own comedy talk about my Cowboy and Indian cartoons from the past couple decades of Bizarro.

Yee haw, yippy-i-o-ki-aye. (sp?)

Clam Shells of Comedy

Bizarro is brought to you today by Nature's Cruelty.

This cartoon idea came from my good buddy, Richard Cabeza. It is a simple pun, but a funny one with a good pic. I got a number of emails from readers who really liked it, including one from a woman who said it had particularly spoken to her since she had just gone bra shopping.

You just never know when a cartoon is going to touch someone's life.

I am still in Indianapolis at this writing, which, if Columbus had thought he were in Japan instead of India when he arrived in the Bahamas, would be called Japaneseopolis. I think that's worth remembering.

It is cold here and the people are cruel. So cruel that they don't allow smoking anywhere in my hotel – not a single smoking room. So to smoke a cigar I have to go outside, bundled like the Michelin Man, and walk the streets like a common peasant. Why does life have to be so hard?

In contrast to the last few days when the temps were in the mid-to-low twenties during my peasant parades, today it was 40 degrees! This was much appreciated and the city felt just a little bit less cruel. Like 15 degrees less.

More in my next blog about the shenanigans and monkey shines that have ensued since I got here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meteor Madness

Today's Bizarro is made possible by a grant from Plastic Playboys From Outer Space.

This is another of those comics that comes from a real life situation. One of my meteors was feeling poorly recently so I brought it to one of those McHospitals in the strip mall. You know, those places that are called things like "Medi-Quick" or "Bleed-No-More" or whatever, where med students at the bottom of their class end up.

Anyway, even though they would never admit it, they had trouble diagnosing what was wrong with my sizzling hot rock, and the scrip they gave us didn't do a thing. After another week, my meteor was feeling no better. It was then that I tossed him into the car and raced him down to Channel 6 to see an expert. The Action News Team's own Gil Watson and his AccuWeather Doppler Sky View fixed him up real good.

Thank you, Action News!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Let the Door Hit You in the...

Bizarro is brought to you today by Good Riddance Blemish Remover.

I have no idea where this cartoon came from but I love it. The idea of an old woman dressed in a shroud who wants nothing more than a scythe to go with her outfit makes no sense, I admit, but tickles me nonetheless.

Perhaps it was inspired by two bitter old women I have known in my own family, whose only delight comes from being a royal pain in the ass to everyone within earshot. It seems every family has one of these characters who uses guilt, complaints, self-pity, and a profound ability to sulk to impose their will on their "loved" ones.

Now that I'm older, I find these types humorous and pathetic but when I was younger, I, too, walked on eggshells to keep these cranky-pants-wearers happy. It takes some maturity and confidence to stand up to such curmudgeons, but their power lies entirely in other people's reticence to endure their foul moods. Like a schoolyard bully, however, their power evaporates if you don't buy into it.

And now on to a more cheery subject. As I type this, it is a mere 15 hours until W is gone for good and the Obama Era begins. I am experiencing my first patriotic feelings in my adult life, which officially began as Regan took office, and, dare I say, I actually feel optimistic. There is no doubt there are tough times ahead, but there is also a real chance for real progress on the horizon. Good luck to us all.

Travel Day!

I'm off to Indianapolis today! I'll blog again tomorrow from poolside!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dancing For Dollars

(click image to eyeball it more clearly)

Bizarro is brought to you today by
Dancing Diplomacy.

I have a few friends who really like that Dancing With The Stars TV show. Otherwise, they seem completely normal, even extraordinary and cool. As for myself, I'd rather watch paint drying than a dancing competition. I like a few forms of dancing, like flamenco and tap, but even still, I can't imagine watching people do it every week for prizes or money or whatever.

Of course, neither CHNW nor I have any interest in any of the modern game shows, no matter how many pretty girls in tight clothing that they feature. I've tried watching a few that were recommended by people I trust or admire – The Amazing Race, American Idol, America's Top Model, Who Farted? – but as of yet, I cannot make it beyond the first commercial. It's one of those things I can't imagine is popular, and yet it is, and wildly so.

So here are a few new takes on the dancing craze. Hope you enjoy them. If you don't, keep it on the down low. Cartoonists, with the exception of Jim Davis, have feelings, too.

Visible in Indianapolis

(Click on the image above for a bigger, clearer picture.)

Here's the dealio for this coming week. I'm going to be hanging out all day every day at the Eiteljorg Museum in Native-American-apolis. You can drop by and chat, watch me work, sneak me booze, take stupid pictures with me, throw tomatoes (though it will lead to your arrest), whatever. Then I'll be doing some funny presentation stuff on the weekend. Come see me if you can dig your way through the snow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Three Clowns in the Fountain

Bizarro is sponsored today by Dream Dates Internet Singles Service.

Again, in an effort to catch up on some of the cartoons I didn't post while I was away, here is an assortment of three that I liked from the past few weeks.

The subject of clowns is always a fertile valley of cartoon material. Like many people, I've been creeped out by clowns since I was a small child. I never thought they were funny, from my earliest memories they seemed to be strangers attempting to conceal their identity in a particularly conspicuous way. Even as a toddler, I felt that someone who willingly dressed and behaved in this manner in public must not be trusted.

I do like the more sophisticated, understated clowns one finds in shows like Cirque du Soleil, however. They are a different breed altogether from the average birthday party clown.

This next cartoon occured to me while contemplating New Year's celebrations. I like this angle because it isn't about the old man/baby with tophat, nor about resolutions, the two most popular new year topics in cartoons.

As I suspected, a few days later I heard from a man whose wife is a Jewish, Chinese-American and he wanted to get a print of this cartoon or buy the original, I can't remember which. I don't think I've answered his email yet, I'm so far behind I may never catch up. I'll get to it soon, I hope.

CHNW and I don't usually go out on New Year's Eve anymore because it is crowded, expensive, and loud. Plus, what, really, is there to celebrate? An arbitrary moment in time. Yay.

But this year we were invited by close friends to a 1920s Berlin-style cabaret show at a small venue in DUMBO. (A very cool part of Brooklyn not far from my place which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and looks like this.) It was a fun evening and not too crowded, expensive, or loud. Everyone was encouraged to dress for the period, which was fun, too. Here are two shots from my iPhone, and some more from a better camera.

Lastly, I give you this take on Santa. Again, I like it because I managed to tap into a Santa idea that (to my knowledge) has not been done before. Considering the sheer volume of cartoons that have been published in our language, it is difficult to hit on original ideas and particularly satisfying to come up with a new angle on a well-worn cliche.

I've done a few "Santa in off-season" jokes, as has every other cartoonist, but I've not seen one about Santa before he was Santa. I'm sure there are some, I just hope nobody has done a witness protection program Santa gag before. If they have, I'm sure someone will post it in the comments section. (sigh)

Along the same lines, a reader emailed me to tell me that the knitting needles in this cartoon are upside down. She was right, of course. A cartoonist can't get away with anything these days.

Thanks for reading. You are my sunshine.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weather Whiplash

Bizarro is brought to you today by Nature's Cruelty.

As I said in my previous couple of posts, I've been in Hawaii for a couple of weeks. It's real dandy there. They have weather that you hardly even feel when you walk outside and things you can eat just grow on trees. There is also a great deal of water, which is cold this time of year but you can get used to it. I saw some fish in it.

In the very near future, I'll post a bunch of pictures from our trip and attempt to amuse you with my comments. If you've never seen a professional cartoonist in swim trunks, you'll not want to miss it.

Meanwhile, I missed posting a lot of cartoons while I was gone, so here are a couple of random ones from the pile.

I particularly like the first one here. If you have ever known a person who has squeezed out a kid or even bought one from an agency, this cartoon should ring true. Something about having a mini-me around the house saps your brain's ability to think or speak of anything else. I did it myself back when my kids were small, try as I did to avoid it. When you've got a little bundle from heaven around the house, somehow their every bowel movement is more fascinating than the second coming of Christ or anything else.

This second cartoon was a random thought about tattoos. I was wondering if anyone had ever had hair tattooed on their head and the bowling ball idea sprang from there. Tattooed hair would be an interesting look, but I know from experience that large expanses of solid color are particularly painful, especially black, which has to be gone over several times to insure a smooth field. I've heard head tattoos are more painful than other parts of the body, too, but I have no intention of finding that out for myself. Although a realistic face on the back of your head would be a pretty great tattoo. I did a cartoon about that years ago, but can't find it right now. Sorry, I'm still bleary from climate shock.

Just so you won't hate me for having a tan in January, I'm scheduled to spend next week in Indianapolis. Yin and yang.

Back, Sort Of

Sorry for the long delay, boys, girls, and both, but I'm back now and all is well. When I returned a couple of nights ago, my heat was off and the cable and Internet were out. What a thrill.

I managed to get the heat back on that night, but had to wait until this morning to get the cable and Internet back.

I've got some big deadlines to catch up on in the next hour or two, then I will post a full-size, extensive blog for anyone who might still be reading. Until then, I remain your humble servant.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hawah Yee?

Readers, my dear, sweet, innocent, delicious, readers,

I'm far from home at the moment, taking some much-needed time off. If you read my previous posts from the past week or so, you'll see that I'm in Hawaii, where I've been engaged to do a couple of comedy talks about my funny funny eating habits.

To make room in the deadline-riddled landscape that is my daily hell, I had to work 15+ hour days for a week or more and nearly died of death from it. Now I'm in a funky little retro 50s style motel in Maui looking at palm trees outside and CHNW inside, buzzing around the room trying to decide which bikini to wear. Not a bad view wherever I look.

Sorry I won't be posting cartoons until Jan 15. I really enjoy this blog, it's one of my favorite things each day. But as my doctor told me just last month, "If you don't slow down you're going to need a new pair of shoes."

He's from Czech Republic and not all of his sayings translate very well.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In Pie We Trust

(Can't read this cartoon clearly? Click it!)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Last Year.

Another year has passed and I, for one, am happy about it. Personally, I had one of the roughest years ever, but those problems mended as the year went on and the election results in November helped to end it on a positive note.

Here's hoping all of you have a terrific and prosperous 2009, unless, of course, you are a bad person who victimizes others, in which case I hope you get caught.

I know everyone is tired of hearing about politics, so am I, but six weeks ago when I drew this cartoon it seemed a good subject for the year in review. I particularly like the "In Pie We Trust" symbol on the bottom of the first panel. Maybe I'll offer that as a T-shirt at some point.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Clown Army

Bizarro is brought to you today by Clowns That Kill.

When I was in elementary school in Oklahoma, I played all the sports that were offered. My least favorite was basketball, because we played with an adult-sized ball on and adult-sized court. Most of us couldn't even throw a basketball high enough into the air to hit a backboard, much less accurately enough to get a basket. It would be as if average-sized adults were playing with a ball the size of an airplane tire and the hoop was hanging on the edge of a three-story building. The final scores ended up being more like hockey games than basketball.

A couple of times each year in basketball and other sports, we would play the kids from the local military school. These kids were scary. They were gaunt, tough, bruised, nearly bald, and had the look in their eye of a man on death row who has nothing left to lose. Their gymnasium was cold and dilapidated, and the entire campus was out on the edge of town and felt like you were visiting the set of a teen horror flick. I don't think we ever beat the military school kids at any sport. I remember not wanting to beat them, partly because I felt sorry for them and partly because I didn't want them to tear my head off and spit down my throat.

But the kids from the clown school were easy to beat. They were always tripping over their big, floppy shoes, for one thing, so we had a big advantage right off the bat. In many ways, however, they were even scarier.


Time for a quick update of some public appearances coming up this month. Of course, I appear in public several times each week – popping over to the deli across the street, going to the art supply store – but I don't advertise it and nobody cares. The following are advertised appearances about which I hope at least a few people will care.

January 8 and 10, HAWAII!!! Yes, the one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It's a long flight from NYC, but you get a flower necklace when you get there so it's worth it. I'm doing a show for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. I'll do a song, some stand-up comedy, show lots of slides of my cartoons about diet and lifestyle and animals and stuff, and you will laugh. I promise.
Thursday, January 8, 2009, 7 p.m., Cameron Center, 95 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, Maui
Then I fly over to Honolulu and do it again on...
Saturday, January 10, 2009, 7 p.m., McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu, Oahu

But, just when everyone is all hating me for being tan in January, I spend the week of 19 - 25th in INDIANAPOLIS!!!! Yes, the one in the middle of the snow. It's a short flight from NYC, but you get to freeze your (choose an extremity) off when you get there.
There, I'll be an "artist in residence," setting up my art supplies and computers at the Eiteljorg Museum all week and doing my regular work schedule (without the whiskey, cigars, chorus girls and cussing that usually accompany my work day) for people to gawk at like a monkey in a zoo. The only difference between me and the monkeys will be that I'll be fully clothed and answering questions politely.

On Saturday, Jan 24, there will be an all-day program with several other artists called Western and Native Reflections in Comic Books

On Sunday, Jan 25, I'll be doing one of my hour-long funny talk comedy lecture things called The Bizarro West with Dan Piraro, where I'll show cartoons I've done over the years about the Old West, Native Americans, Cowboys and Indians, etc. It'll be a shoot 'em up hootenanny you won't want to miss.

So I'll be around all week talking and being laid-back, working on cartoons, selling books and prints and trading cards, signing things, wishing I was still in Hawaii. Come on by and keep me company.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cowboy Comedy

Bizarro is brought to you today by Macho Menswear.

There are few things I enjoy poking fun at more than cowboys. I was raised around these folks in Oklahoma and Texas and have always found their odd mixture of macho posturing and obviously effeminate clothing (high-heel boots with jangly jewelry on the heels, pearl buttons, flowery two-tone shirts, wide-brim hats, a jaunty scarf about the neck, big flashy belt buckle) amusing.

Still, the one thing about cowboys that I've always liked, besides riding horses and shooting guns at people you don't like, is the clothes. I don't wear the hat or scarf or big-ass belt buckle, but I have a small collection of kooky vintage cowboy shirts and wear them often. I like the boots, too, (only the ones with slanted heels and pointy toes, not the clunky,stubby, farmy kind) but haven't found a good pair of vegan ones.

When I was a little kid, all I wanted to be was a cowboy. That notion was based on TV shows and movies, of course. I didn't realize that being a cowboy in modern times would mean driving a pickup truck instead of a horse, listening to country music (AAAAUUUUGGH!), living in the middle of nowhere, and trading your six shooter for a cell phone.

The only appealing things left are the shirts.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reindeer Rage

Bizarro is brought to you today by my New Year's Eve Hangover.

As is my custom, here is last week's cartoon, so even though it is New Year's Day, you are looking at the Xmas Day cartoon.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a lot of angry mail about this one. Most people who complained were obviously Palin supporters and were tired of the never-ending attacks against her. They also saw this as a political cartoon, which I guess I can understand.

In truth, I intended this cartoon to be about the reaction of Santa's reindeer to Palin being an avid hunter and killer of all things not human, and nothing to do with politics at all. I can understand the confusion, most people don't ever consider an animal's point of view toward hunting and Palin is a highly controversial political character, so it is no surprise that that is where many (if not most) reader's minds went immediately.

Many readers complained that I was encouraging violence and vandalism against a public official. True, I'm no fan of Sarah Palin's and believe that her becoming VP would have been a monumental catastrophe from which the country might never have recovered, but I would never condone or encourage violence against her or her property. Given what Miss Wasilla (and her hillbilly clan) would do to these reindeer, however, I think a little spray paint and toilet paper is actually pretty restrained.


Return to your homes and businesses, there is nothing to see here.