Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cookie Killer and a Comedy Show

(Make the picture bigger by clicking on Cookie Monster's left eye.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Illegal Immigration.

This is a collaborative cartoon I worked on with my mysterious friend, Richard Cabeza. His original idea was something about a gingerbread man being threatened by Cookie Monster, I developed a scenario and picture for the concept. Turned out nice, I think.

I want to remind regular readers and alert occasional readers that my comedy show is doing a week-long run in NYC soon and I want you all to come. If you can't make it, send someone you know in New York to the show. Without an audience, there is no comedy. With an audience, sides will be split, tears will be shed, lifetimes of memories will be forged. Tickets here.

(Make the poster big enough to read by clicking the head of Che Guevara)

If anyone knows how to send this poster or an invitation out to all my friends on Facebook without entering the addresses individually, let me know. I can't figure it out.

You're the unicorn in my rainbow,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Krakatoa Komedy

Bizarro is brought to you today by Comedy Club Groupies.

Last week, at the National Cartoonists Society's annual convention (weekend of drinking and goofing off), I met Johnny Hart's grandson, Mason, who now works on B.C. since his grandfather's passing in 2007. He's a great kid (I call anyone under 30 a "kid" now) and I wish him lots of success.

He's got big shoes to fill as Johnny was one of the best and most consistent gag writers in the business, as well as being a terrific artist. According to those of my colleagues who "knew him when," he was also quite the party animal and tons of fun to hang out with. By the time I met him he had already undergone his infamous conversion to Christian fundamentalism and was pretty quiet and unassuming. Maybe the booze gave him his personality, I didn't know him well enough to say. I'm sure he was still a great guy, just not a party animal. Still, one can't resist being amused by the irony of a cartoon called, in effect, "Before Christ," having so many strips each year dedicated to Christian biblical messages. In spite of this and his controversial political opinions, he was and still is revered as one of the greats of newspaper cartooning.

I never met the guy who created Fred Flintstone, but I hear he is now in Geico commercials.

Friday, May 29, 2009

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Bizarro is brought to you today by Poolside Parking.

Before I contracted Howard Hughes Syndrome and became a hermit, I used to go to a lot of comedy shows and small theater events in NYC. I saw some amazingly strange stage acts, some good, most terrible, but a few tremendously memorable.

One favorite along these lines is the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a married couple and their young daughter who show slides they've collected from garage and estate sales while playing songs they've written about them. The kid plays the drums and sings while the dad sings, plays guitar or piano, and the mom operates the slide projector. They are not to be missed if you ever have the chance.

Another highlight is Corn Mo, a guy who plays accordian and other various keyboards and sings odd songs. His demeanor is outrageously sincere for a guy in an old tux with an accordian, like Jimi Hendrix with a squeeze box. Don't miss a chance to see him, either, he really rocks.

CHNW and I used to regularly go to various variety shows and comedy showcases with these kinds of acts and we also got to see a few of the SNL stars as they were coming up. We saw Fred Armisen do a hilarious sketch about self-defense back in '02 or '03 and chatted him up after. We sort of became friends (that is to say that we still chat when we run into each other and he knows my cartoon), before we knew he would be a famous comedy genius on TV. I love that about NYC. (We also saw an early stand-up routine by Tracy Morgan but it was standard stand-up, nothing in the category of the bell-ringer above.)

There are plenty of strange musical and comedy acts like this around NYC and that's why this cartoon appealed to me. The idea was sent by my friend, Derek Malo, and is, in my opinion, one of his better efforts. Because I use ideas by other people on occasion, one commentator on this blog accused Bizarro of becoming like Pluggers, which is a syndicated feature that uses suggestions from readers every day and prints their name and location in a box in the cartoon. The difference between what I do and Pluggers, I think, is that the jokes I choose by other people are actually good. I imagine that readers want a good cartoon, regardless of who wrote it, as opposed to a cartoon by me, whether it is any good or not. Maybe my ego just isn't lopsided enough.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mything the Point

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Post-Closet Veggies.

Since I like to do cartoons based on Bible stories and other common Christian myths, I have been criticized on occasion by atheists who think I am using my cartoons to advance my religious views, and praised at times by Christians who think I am trying to advance theirs. It is hard to imagine a person who would be more likely to believe in a religion because he saw it in the funny papers, but I'm sure they are out there. In truth, I'm doing neither.

I no longer believe the Noah story, of course, but when I was a kid I was taught it was true. As hard as it is to believe, we all know that there are many 21st century adult Americans with high school and college diplomas who are still convinced. I was raised in the Bible Belt and have seen it first hand. (It is also worth noting that most Christians worldwide believe these stories are allegories and not historical accounts.)

Of those who believe the story of Noah's ark is factual, some don't think about it too hard, others perform amazing feats of mental gymnastics to find logical ways in which a person could fit a breeding pair of every single species on the earth onto one boat, along with enough food to keep them all fed for who-knows-how-many months. Others just fall back on the Santa Claus Defense. The Santa Claus Defense is what parents use when their kid asks a logical question like, "How can Santa fit enough toys for every kid in the whole world into one sleigh?" The answer is always, "He's magic." Noah was magic in this same way.

Among my friends in the animal rights movement, some who advocate veganism and believe in the rights of non-human animals, as I do, attempt to reach people who believe in the fundamental truth of Bible stories by finding ways in which the scriptures support the notion that man is "meant" to eat plants, not animals. If you are one of those who are motivated to try this I wish you well, but you can argue scripture with fundamentalists until you are blue in the face because in the end, you are arguing with someone who believes in magic. When that is your premise, you can make up the rules to suit your argument.

I use Bible themes in cartoons because they are well known stories and, since they were written to describe common human dilemmas and traits, are great fodder for cartoons. It is the same reason I use children's fairy tales, Greek myths or famous movie monsters. Most of the time, there is no more complex reason than that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reuben Weekend 2009

Many of you will not be interested in this at all, but here's a quick post about the National Cartoonists Society convention last weekend in Hollywood. I didn't get many pictures, but here are a few.

This first pic is a few of us hanging out in the hotel bar at the Renaissance Hollywood. Which overlooks the old Grauman's Chinese Theater, now called something stupid.

From left to right: Mark Tatuilli (Lio), Jenny Robb (assistant curator of the Cartoon Library at Ohio State University), Stephan Pastis (Oysters Preceeding Pigs), Me (Garfield, Marmaduke), Jim Horowitz (creator of the classic television series, Gunsmoke.)

Here are a few of us at lunch at CHNW's and my favorite mid-LA spot, Real Food Daily. Our other favorite restaurant in all of LA is Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana. There are lots of other good ones, too, though, so don't nobody get offended.

Me (Btam Btam Btam), CHNW (Ashley), Ralph Smith (CHNW's dad, editorial cartoonist and gag writer to the stars), David Silverman (director of The Simpsons.) Cartoonists like to make funny faces for photos.

Here's a shot of us at one of the many cocktail parties. I've been a fan of the guy's all my life and a friend of his for about 15 years. He's a total sweetheart, as you can see from the look on my face.

Sergio Aragones (Mad Magazine, etc.), Jenny Robb (Cartoon Library at OSU), Me (H.R. Pufnstuf)

This brings us to the formal cocktail party outside the awards dinner on Saturday night. Open bar, fancy clothes, lovely weather.

Fred Piraro (my pop), Carol Lee Piraro (my ma), Me (with a cigar stub in my mouth, not a huge, brown swolen lip), CHNW (in a bird and flower headdress of her own design and construction), Ralph Smith (Ashley's dad, ambassador to Tonga, shown here standing on a chair.)

Still at the same cocktail party, taken by a photographer who doesn't know the rule about not having people face directly into the setting sun for the shot.

CHNW and my good friend and business partner, Rey Ortega. You can see the crazy headdress even better here.

Last but not least, here's a shot of Rey as a cyclops.

I'll post more pics later in the week as people send them to me, if there are any good ones and if anyone's interested.

Ciao for now.

Zither Here Nor There

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Rock 'n' Roll Music!

It is weird to think that for most people, by the time you hit middle age, you've made a million dollars cumulatively. Where the hell does it all go?

I wish I'd saved more, invested more wisely, spent less on plastic dust covers for all my furniture and lamps. If I had, perhaps I'd be able to retire by now and spend more time on my real passions, miniature golf and the zither.

For now, I'll just keep plugging away at a cartoon each day and buying lottery tickets. Eventually, it's all bound to pay off.

By the way, this idea came from my friend in LA, Chris Fisher. He works behind the camera in video and film so he gets to hang out with big TV and movie stars sometimes. While working on HBO's "John Adams," he gave one of my books to Paul Giamatti, for which I will be eternally grateful. Here is a candid shot of him sharing it with Laura Linney.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Injuns and Igloos

Bizarro is made possible by the Dick Cheney Institute for Early Childhood Development.

I am back at Bizarro International Headquarters again after a roaring weekend of insanity in Hollywood with my cartoonist colleagues. To those of you who expressed support and disappointment in my seventh consecutive loss of The Reuben Award, thanks a ton. Meanwhile, back in the real world, here are two cartoons since I'm a little behind on posting.

While writing cartoons one day it occurred to me that except for their size, pyramids and igloos look like they are two different models in the same line. Like the sample drawings you'd get in a container of Lincoln Logs. And voila, here's the cartoon. Now I need to do a companion piece about pyramids at the North Pole.

The Indian cartoon below is completely surreal, but I combined Godzilla and the Old West once before and liked the effect, so I tried it again. I confess I did not research the Indians, though, and it was pointed out that I got a few things wrong. The ground looks like the Southwest but Cherokees inhabited the middle-Southeast, and I'm told something about their costumes is wrong. I usually try to avoid mistakes like this but I was likely in a hurry when designing it and maybe even tripping on mushrooms. (CHNW and I are not very diligent housekeepers and have mushrooms and other things growing in our carpets. I sometimes trip over them, causing me to draw the wrong costume within a given context.)

But still, Godzilla and Indians! Hahahahahahahah!!!

(Click these cartoons to make them bigger and funnier)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wooly Minnie

Bizarro is brought to you today by Lip Sniffers.

Dear readers of my blog,

The more observant of you will notice there is more than one cartoon posted today and the more inquisitive of this subset of observant types will wonder why. I'll keep you in suspense no longer by saying it is because I won't be posting for the next few days and wanted to leave you with a little something extra.

I'm on my way to Hollywood this evening, no, not to star in the next Ron Howard blockbuster about the hidden symbols in my cartoons being clues that lead to the identity of Jesus's secret lover, who begat his child, which then led to a series of begatting resulting in none other than founding father, Benjamin Franklin, who left secret clues to a previously unknown companion document to the Declaration of Independence, the Proclamation of Philly Party Spots. Instead, I'm going to the National Cartoonists Society annual convention.

The convention marks the weekend after the fortnight during which hundreds of professional cartoonists from all over North America work their asses off to get ahead on deadlines so they can arrive dead tired and ready for a weekend of irresponsible alcohol consumption. Should be fun.

The cartoons herein are fun, I think. I have fond memories of my own Wooly Willy from childhood, and the time I brought it to school in the sixth grade, it went missing, and I innocently asked the teacher, "Have you seen my Wooly Willy?" The principal later explained to me in the privacy of his office, why this alarmed her.

The Minnie joke is fun for me because it walks a dangerous line of litigation. While parodies are legal, Disney loves to sue–especially when the parodies have sexual connotations. There is no express sexual content to this cartoon, but you have to admit that Minnie has a nice rack.

My next post will be on Tuesday, May 26, I hope to see you all here again then. In the meantime, have a weekend worthy of a sheik.

Your humble servant,
Mr. Piraro

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sound of One Hand Inking

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Singing Monks.

Okay, I admit I don't know anything about Zen Buddhism, but the whole "nothingness" thing is a common conception and cartoons are often built on these, whether correct or not.

Like the Moses cartoon from a couple of days ago; several readers left comments on the inaccuracies of my drawing – from the error of having the burning bush and the ten commandments in the same picture to the fact that Moses is wearing shoes on "hallowed ground." I also got a few emails of this sort.

Being neither a Zen Buddhist nor a believer in the historical accuracy of the Bible, I admit that I don't get very nitpicky about these things. I just draw the cartoon in a way that everyone can understand and move on to the next crushing deadline. I don't mind the corrections, by the way. I'm kind of a trivia buff anyway, so I always enjoy a few more tidbits of knowledge.

In spite of this flippant attitude toward history, I actually do try to be more accurate in my cartoons than do most cartoonists. I research historical costumes and such, to get things mostly right, and often look up what certain objects look like to add that extra bit of convincing detail, even though I'm perfectly capable of an approximation out of my own head. But if the accuracy conflicts with the joke, as it would have in the Moses cartoon, I toss it out and use the common misconception instead. Moses talking to a burning bush is immediately understood; Moses talking to a blinding beam of light would have been widely misconstrued to be a scene from Star Trek.

Of the handful of "Zen" cartoons I've done over the years, here is one of my favorites:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reap it Good

Bizarro is brought to you today by Dignity in Death.

I draw bar scenes a lot because it is a good setting for people to make pronouncements about their lives, but I usually dread it. When drawn from the customer's point of view, the bottles of liquor are a vexation (though they provide lots of spots for the symbols), and when drawn from the bartender's perspective, there is the problem of the rest of the room.

Occasionally, when I'm not pressured by late deadlines or other things to do, I'll really get into a detailed drawing of a barroom or a city street scene. When I've got the time, I enjoy it. But whether I'm in the mood for it or not, I always do it because I know a lot of my readers like the extra details.

Who cares about these trivial details of your life, Dan? you might ask. As I type this, I'm asking that of myself.

Sorry to have bothered you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lion All The Time

Bizarro is brought to you by Animal Planet.

This simple but highly effective pun came from the nobby noggin of my good friend, Cliff, a former pediatrician who now teaches Stanford med students how to intimidate children into remaining still while a stranger jabs them with a long needle.

Cliff is a funny guy with an unusual ability with language. He and I have been collaborating on a sort of comic book written in puzzle form. Cliff writes the puzzles, I do the drawings. It's a metric buttload of work and unless it sells a frillion copies I'll never see much money from it. But such is a life in the arts.

Once published, I am hoping each of my three fans will buy a third of a frillion copies so Cliff and I can eventually be paid for our time. Thank you in advance for your help.

Here is a sneak peak at an illustration from the book, with the puzzle removed. We don't want anyone stealing our mojo. To enlarge it, click the thumb of the cowboy at left.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bible Balloonery

(For a more enlightening view, click Moses's beard.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by
Sacred Loungewear.

Climbing mountains is hard. Stone is heavy. Climbing mountains with big stone tablets has got to be a real buzzkill. And this was before backpacks and comfortable hiking boots. Imagine climbing down a mountain wearing a bathrobe and slippers, carrying a slab from the sidewalk. Yet Moses did this for God because God didn't want to go all the way down to the bottom of the mountain and give the ten commandments to the Israelites Himself and have to deal with all the hubbub what with people fainting and wanting autographs and all. Moses was a true friend.

But it just seems that balloons would have been easier for Moses to deal with on that climb. And attention grabbing, too. Nothing grabs everyone's attention like walking into a room with ten shiny, Mylar balloons. Maybe next time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spongerobert Quadrilateraltrousers

Bizarro is brought to you today by SpongeKim Roundpants.

I liked this joke when I wrote it a couple of months ago and I still like it today. If I like it when I'm on my deathbed, my life will not have been in vain.

"At least I wrote a good joke about an anthropomorphic cleaning utensil back in '09," were the artist's last words.

People say this Spongebob show is entertaining, even for adults, but I've never seen it. I've always heard that sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria, though, so if I had small children I think I'd be uncomfortable letting them play with him.

Big 'nuts

This special edition of Bizarro has been made possible by a generous dose of Real Life.

I got the idea for this cartoon from seeing a picture of Randy's Donuts in Los Angeles. From there, I leapt to the not-uncommon belief that aliens helped build some of the wonders of the ancient world like the pyramids and soforth, and arrived at this joke.

A day or two after it ran in the paper, I got a nice email from a couple of groovniks whose last name is "Oh," and who had used this pic of themselves for their holiday card one year. I asked if I could post it on my blog and they said no, but I did it anyway because I am an inconsiderate ass. One of the fringe benefits of having no money or assets is that you don't care if people sue you.

I changed the name of the donut place because I figure Randy is famous enough without my help. How could you not be famous with a huge donut on your roof?

(NOTE: I lied. My new friends, the Ohs, did give me consent to post this picture of them so I am not the inconsiderate ass I pretended to be above. Please go back to thinking of me as a role model of civility and compassion.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Right to Reflect Arms

Bizarro is brought to you today by Excellence in Engineering.

I've been lagging a bit behind in my posts this week because I'm busy trying to get my deadlines covered for an upcoming trip to the left coast. Next weekend is the National Cartoonists Society's annual convention and awards dinner, and this year it is in Hollywood. We have it in a different city each year, a tradition started a little over 25 years ago. Before that, it was always in New York, since it started in the early 1900s. Can't remember the year, no time to look it up.

The convention is fun and mostly an excuse for those of us in this relatively rare business to get together to drink more than we normally do and commiserate about deadlines, editors, the failing newspaper industry, and whichever of our lousy colleagues just got a TV or movie deal even though our work is WAAAAY funnier than theirs.

We also dress up in tuxedos and evening gowns, give each other awards for various types of cartooning and pretend we're at the Oscars. Yes, I've worn an evening gown as well as a tux, as have many other cartoonists.

The convention isn't as wacky as it many might think, though. Most professional cartoonists are fairly nerdy introverts with a few notable exceptions like Mort Walker (Beetle Baily) who is high on mushrooms most of the time and has been dressing like a Roman centurion since the late 80s.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Owah Tizdat Toobee

You is bringed to day Bizarro by Satisfactory Discourse.

When I submitted this cartoon weeks ago, I knew it would cause some confusion. Since it appeared in papers a week ago, I've gotten dozens of emails from people who were mystified by it, which means there are many thousands more who were equally out to sea but didn't bother to write.

The cartoon refers to a game we used to play as children, one of those games that only works on someone who has never heard it before. You get them to say these three words – owah, tagu, siam – slowly, like a chant. Then you ask them to go faster, stringing the words together, until they are saying, "oh what a goose I am." Laughter ensues.

This kind of thing comes up from time to time, where I want to do a cartoon based on something I know or have heard or remember, but am not sure how common or widespread the knowledge is. I ask CHNW if she gets it and that's about all the research I do. She got this one and she was raised in Florida (I, in Oklahoma), so I figured I'd give it a try.

In addition to the emails from the dazed and confused, I got nearly as many from people who remembered the game from childhood but hadn't thought of it in years. And also one from a reader who had played a dirty version of the same thing where the end sentence makes reference to the speaker's biological habits.

That's the official report on the Great Basketball Cartoon Conundrum of 2009. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Bizarro is brought to you today by My Distant Cousins.

There is much we can learn from The Incredible Hulk. We all feel the pressure to be incredible all of the time but for most of us, it just isn't possible. True, some people achieve it – Rush Limbaugh is an incredible jerk all of the time, Paris Hilton is an incredible disappointment to her parents all of the time – but most of us will never reach that level of consistency.

Also like the Hulk, most of us will grow out of our clothes at some point. I can't wear the pants I wore when I was 18 any more than the Hulk can fit into the purple jeans he wore moments before his archenemy made him so angry. And we all lose our cool from time to time and bust up the place. That's just life.

I find comfort in the knowledge that even super heroes like the Incredible Hulk have many of the same problems I do. When I'm feeling embarrassed by my behavior or my clothes are splitting off of my rapidly expanding body, I often sooth myself by remembering that this happens to the Hulk, too. At least I'm not green and my hair is manageable.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Grindstone

Bizarro is brought to you today by Super Curvy Chicks.

Being a syndicated cartoonist means having to write and draw a joke each day, 365 days a year, without fail, for as many years as you have the job. I've been doing it since 1985, 24 1/2 years straight without a break. To get an idea of how difficult it is, try to think of an original idea that you think most people might find amusing, and repeat that process every day forever. Like tying balloons to a folding chair and floating over the Berlin Wall, it's harder than it looks.

Because of the difficulty of creating on such an unrelenting schedule, I sometimes get behind and have to rush to meet my deadline. In doing so, I occasionally make glaring mistakes, like my omission of the piano in this drawing.

My editor is supposed to catch things like that, but I guess she's under a lot of pressure, too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Silence Guaranteed

Bizarro is brought to you today by Family Holiday Memories.

This cartoon is from a friend and colleague, Wayno, from Pittsburgh. He recently gave me a few of his best gags in return for my silence regarding a certain office party I happened to photograph last Xmas. I love this cartoon for two reasons; it is funny and I don't trust clowns. (Or anyone else who disguises their identity and approaches children whom they do not know.)

If you want to hang out with Wayno in a virtual way, visit him here. I think you'll find he is friendly and fresh smelling. On that site there is also a picture of him wearing a hat and smoking a cigar. How do you dislike a guy like that?

Saturday, May 9, 2009


(Click the image for largerer viewage.)

(If your town is New York City.)

I'm doing one of my increasingly rare comedy shows in NYC for an ENTIRE WEEK next month and I can't bear the thought of going on unless you're going to be there. Please don't break my already fragile heart by saying, "I can't afford to fly all the way to New York From Seattle," or "I wish I could be there but I'm in prison until 2019." What is more important to you? Your precious money or my flimsy ego? (Before you answer that, consider that I will give you an autograph when you come to the show, which you can then sell on eBay to offset $3-$4 of your airfare and hotel costs.)

Seriously, this is a big show for me. I do a talk or a short set now and then, most often on the West Coast, but I'm doing fewer of these long-form comedy shows all the time and this is a full week of performances off-Broadway in NYC, so there are a lot of seats to fill. Please come. If you can't come, send someone you know in NYC to the show and tell them to tell me you said "hi."

After the show, you'll be able to meet me, Jason, and Matthew as we hang out in the lobby selling books, signing breasts, and pooping out witty ripostes like a member of the Algonquin Round Table. If you're lucky, you might even meet CHNW!

Ticket info here. Hope to see you there!

Inebriated Ovum

(It's funner to lookit this pitcher bigger, so click it now.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by the All Knowing Head.

There was a raging conflagration over this cartoon regarding the secret symbol count. By "raging conflagration," I mean that two people emailed me. One said that my count was incorrect, the other said it isn't fair to have more than one of any given symbol in a cartoon. Okay, it was not a conflagration, but it was a flicker.

This one's symbol search is a little challenging, so I've posted the answers to it here. Don't get mad at me if you think it isn't fair. It's my cartoon, I make the rules. If I want to put a tiny microdot in the background and call it a wombat in a Joan Rivers mask I can, and there's not a damn thing you or congress or Eddie Murphy can do about it!!

Note to self: adjust medication.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Villainous Heroes of History

Bizarro is brought to you today by Budget Family Cruises.

Like pirates, vikings were ruthless killers, thieves and slave owners. Their main source of income was sailing to another country, killing the men and stealing everything they could find a use for, including their women. And yet, we have made pop culture heroes of them.

In spite of their lack of positive social contribution, I love to do viking cartoons. Drawing their ships, outfits and horny hats is a kick and there is something about infamous amoral hellions that makes for a seemingly never-ending pool of humor.

Viking gags run in my family as I am married to the step-granddaughter of Dik Browne, the creator of Hagar the Horrible, which conveniently also makes her the stepdaughter of his son, Chris Browne, who took over the strip after Dik passed. All told, CHNW is related to five professional cartoonists, including her bio-dad (Ralph Smith, editorial cartoonist and former syndicated dude), an uncle (Chance Browne, Hi and Lois), and me. I'm pretty sure that's the record.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Today's Bizarro is brought to you by My Favorite Novels.

True, some of us are predisposed to look heavier.

For instance, even though I am 6' 4" tall, my body type makes me look more like 5' 7". The illusion my body type creates is so complete that when you hold a tape measure up next to me, it even makes the tape measure look shorter. Again, around 5' 7" or so.

Fortunately, I also have a body type that makes me look thinner than I actually am. While I weigh around 225 lbs, I look like I don't weigh a pound over 140. Living as a big, tall man who looks like a small, thin man has both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: A bully picks a fight with me thinking I am a wimpy little dude but then I kick his ass like an ape on a luggage commercial.

Disadvantage: Women who respond to my personal ads have difficulty hiding their disappointment when they meet me the first time.

The point of all of this is that we all have our imperfections to bear. At least you're not covered with permanent horizontal stripes.



Sorry to alarm you with this picture of your favorite cartoonist (let me have my fantasies) and his CHNW being mauled by a polar bear, but I felt the need to make a dramatic point. Read on, but relax, I assure you we were in no danger in the picture above.

I rarely ask anything of you but I'd like to ask you to help out CHNW and me today. As some of you know, we are founding board members of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. It's expensive to rescue animals, what with all the night drops over enemy territory, ninja outfits, Navy Seal sharpshooters, etc., and charity dollars are way down in this currently creepy economy.

But here is the good news: a rich dude has promised he would match all the funds we could raise throughout May! We're as happy as a circus tiger with a trainer's arm in his mouth and are pushing hard to get some bucks to come in THIS MONTH. Please toss us a little (or a lot) something, every little bit helps and every dollar will be doubled! I can personally vouch that we're not rich, we work hard, and every penny goes to helping animals and the environment. For reals.

(NOTE: Some words in the text above have been italicized for your ease in picking out the important bits.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wall Street and Hong Kong

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Hurtful Hair.

Here's my little shot at the legion of despicable Wall Street scum that recently destroyed our economy. We all hate them, and rightly so. We're all tired of politicians treating them like babies strapped with dynamite and we're all tired of these asses staying rich while the rest of us lose our jobs. But we're also tired of hearing about it, so let's talk about Bruce Lee.

I recently saw some old videos of this guy on YouTube and it made me question reality. How can this guy have done what he apparently did? I'm not talking about "make corny kung fu movies," I'm talking about his feats of physical speed, strength, accuracy, agility, etc.

Below is a video of Lee playing ping pong. I'm actually a pretty decent ping pong player and was proud of that fact until I saw this. If this film is real, on my best day my ping pong skills more closely resemble a trained bear whacking a brick wall with a wet beach towel.

Either this video is fake, or Bruce Lee was a witch.

(NOTE: Lee is playing with nunchucks rather than a paddle. For the unfamiliar, nunchucks are a martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks of wood joined by a short length of chain.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cool Vid

Nothing to do with my cartoon, I just found this video to be really cool.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Evil and Water

(Dude, like click the cartoon for like an awesome view.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Blind Dates Gone Horribly Wrong.

This idea came from the boy genius, Victor, a teenage pal of mine in North Carolina. I loved the idea instantly and had a ball illustrating it. If I may be immodest for a moment, I'm really happy with the way this turned out. With so many identical, complex characters standing in a group, it was a challenge to render it in a way that maintained legibility. This kind of drawing can easily become a confusing mess. The faded background characters is the trick, giving the drawing an artificial depth that was a bit of a bear to achieve.

Wouldn't it be great if the real world were this simple? If as people became more evil, they also become more water soluble. Assassins could use water balloons instead of bullets and the innocent would be invulnerable to errant projectiles or misguided attacks.

Of course, some people would never be able to bathe or go out on a rainy day.

(NOTE: As was the case with a couple of readers from foreign countries who emailed me, some may not be familiar enough with American football traditions or the Wizard of Oz film to get this joke. At the end of a championship game (the Super Bowl), players traditionally dump a big barrel of sports drink (Gatorade) on their coach. In the Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West was defeated when one of the heroes accidentally douses her with a bucket of water and she melts.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Please Get Some Help

Bizarro is brought to you today by Biker Chick.

I began consulting psychotherapists and counselors in my late twenties when I was beset with depression. I've always found therapy helpful in a crisis-by-crisis context, that is to say that I don't just go once a week for years on end no matter what is going on in my life, like Woody Allen or this pampered rich lady I know who actually just needs more attention for her trivial soap-opera-of-a-life than the public is willing to give her. I go when I'm having trouble with something specific like a breakup, a job change, etc., and continue until I've got a grip on it. That's how it works best for me.

My first therapist, the one treating me for depression all those years ago, taught me to monitor my feelings more closely, discern why I react a certain way to certain stimulus, and be more assertive in getting my own needs met. Then she died of cancer. I immediately sought the help of another therapist in dealing with my abandonment issues.

The most important thing about the process is to pick a therapist who is right for you. For those of you considering therapy for the first time, here are some tips about choosing one:

1. Once your therapist begins helping you help yourself, it is quite common to have very strong feelings for them. Some patients even believe they are in love. This is called "transference." For this reason, pick a therapist that you could not possibly imagine having sex with, no matter how drunk you were. If you're straight, pick someone of the same sex, if you're gay, choose someone of the opposite sex. If you've got "daddy issues," choose someone younger than you, etc. My current therapist is an avid fan of reality game shows, smells like damp Fritos, and dresses like a clown.

2.Therapy styles vary widely. Some offer advice and feedback, others sit silently for months and force you to do all the work, claiming the only way one can truly learn is to discover the answers for oneself. Choose the style that is right for you. If you are actually interested in solving your problems and moving on, someone who offers feedback might be best. If, on the other hand, you just want someone to listen to you whine, your friends and family have cut you off, and money is no object, the quiet kind may be just what the doctor ordered. My own opinion is that the quiet kind is little more than a very expensive bartender who serves no alcohol.

3. Run a background check on your therapist. If he or she has a record of extracting personal information from vulnerable people then posting it on a web site with hidden-camera videos of them using their tiny office bathroom, shy away. The legal case can drag on for years.

4. When speaking of your spouse, refrain from expressions like, "I want to kill her." They are required to report this to the authorities.

I hope you have found this list to be informative and that it helps you find help. If you're anything like me, you really need it.