Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This special Prodigal Son Edition of Bizarro is brought to you by Omnipotent Shipping.

Just got back late last night from the family reunion/wedding in my home state of Oklahoma. It was a harrowing adventure fraught with missed connections, misdirected luggage, airline incompetence, an auto accident, and a roach motel in Memphis whose airport shuttle driver is a former NYC pimp. The family events were even scarier. More about that in the days to come, after I catch up on a deadline or two.

For now, here is a tasty little morsel of cartooning that I hope you enjoy. This isn't one of my preachy environmental cartoons, it's just an amusing visual about what what will happen to all those tiny islands we cartoonists draw in those stranded-on-a-desert-island cartoons we are so fond of, if indeed the sea level rises.

This is a scientifically researched and accurate representation of such a scenario; tiny islands would disappear beneath the surface of the sea. Trees would pierce the surface in many instances, appearing to float. Caption balloons, being attached to their orator by the laws of graphics, would be at least partially obscured.

Climate Change will be as devastating to humor as it will be to flora and fauna.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Body Snatchers

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Eight Dead Pop Stars.

So Jacko is dead. I've done a few Michael Jackson cartoons and posts over the years and I was no kinder to him than any other humorist. I've always felt sorry for him, though, he was obviously a supremely talented kid driven mad by a strange life and family.

Preliminary rumblings are that his death was a result of prescription drug abuse. That stuff will wear on your body and a heart attack is a classic result. As Keith Richards well knows, home-grown drugs are a lot safer than some of the poisons that Big Pharm puts out. (Although there are unsubstantiated reports that Keith Richards has been dead for years and that the copious amounts of drugs in him are only creating the appearance of life.)

More surprising than his death was how much of the news cycle this story has and still is devouring. I personally think that few people short of a figure of national political importance deserves so many hours of non-stop reporting. There was nothing to report in the end, other than that he was famous, he was relatively young, he died. I sympathize with the news anchors who had to stay on the air hour after hour and think of things to say. It must have been excruciating and exhausting.

One person who is undoubtedly happy about this news is Governor Mark Sanford, who's own public insanity has been bumped from the headlines for now.

I was born seven weeks after Michael Jackson in 1958, I can't help but wonder if I'll be dead of a heart attack seven weeks from now. The fact that I have not abused my body for most of my adult life with eating disorders, elective surgery, prescription drugs, and god-knows-what-else will likely work in my favor in this regard. I hope so, anyway.

NOTE: I'm off for a few days to a family reunion and wedding and won't be posting until Tuesday of next week. Have a great weekend, mi amigos.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rock the Fro

Bizarro is brought to you today by Rapunzel's Grandson.
I miss the afro. In 1975, when I was up to my eyeballs in high school, afros were the rage for all blacks and the small handful of whites who could pull it off. Having naturally very curly hair, I was one of those lucky crackers who could rock the 'fro.

I remember having a crush on a black girl at school who was a year older (so I had no chance with her) and had a giant afro. She was beautiful and probably had the personality of an angel. I don't know for sure, because the only time I ever spoke to her was when she asked to touch my 'fro, and not much was said.

"Can I touch yo' 'fro?"
(Gulp) "Sure."
"Ooh, it so sof'."

This was a common request for black girls at my school and I was always more than happy to comply. As a kid who was too shy to talk to girls he was attracted to, my hair was like carrying a puppy around and waiting for women to go nuts over it.

Oddly enough, I owed their compulsion to touch my hair on the very thing our school was sworn to combat – racism. At that time, the early seventies, Tulsa was still a very segregated community, with the blacks all living and shopping on the north side of town, and the whites on the south. It was the era of court-ordered busing, and in order to fend off the courts, Tulsa opted for a voluntarily integrated magnet school program. My alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School (GO HORNETS!) was among the first such schools in the country and I was among the first class of whites to attend there when it opened.

I say that I owed my luck with black chicks to racism because the reason they were compelled to touch my hair was because most had never seen a white person with an afro and none had ever touched one. They were amazed at how soft my hair was, African-American hair is typically much drier and more bristly. The term "afro" is short for African, of course, so it was a misnomer to call mine that. I should have called it an "italo," since my Italian heritage gives me the curls, or at the very least a "euro," which was still more than a decade away from being a monetary unit.

My hairline is too compromised to raise a good "italo" now, the most I would get is one of those bushy-on-the-sides, fuzzy on top things like Art Garfunkel used to wear. A "garfo."

So here's to the afro. I'd love it if Obama brought one back to the first head and wore this T-shirt to press conferences.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I just found out that the Kansas City Star is running a comics poll, asking readers which features they should get rid of. That's cool, people do that all the time and I usually fare well. But in this case, they start by saying, here is a list of ten comics we think suck, pick your five least favorite so we can know which ones to kill.

Ouch. How the hell did Bizarro get on a list with B.C., Beetle Bailey, For Better or for Worse, Cathy, Mark Trail, Marmaduke, Real Life Adventures, Shoe, Wizard of Id? I'm really offended by this. Most of these features aren't even written or drawn by the original creators anymore.

Anyway, if you want to put in your 2 cents, one way or the other, here is the link:

I'll let you know how it turns out.

My Ass and Yours

Bizarro is brought to you today by Budget Colonoscopy.

Now that I'm 50, I'm supposed to periodically pay a stranger to probe my rectum with a garden hose. I'm referring to what the strangers in this business call a "colonoscopy," of course. Yes, it can save your life, but yes, it can also give you nightmares for years. Plus, it is expensive.

It would be hard enough to force myself to make this appointment and do all the revolting things necessary to achieve the "end" result, if it were free. (Like eating nothing the day before, drinking sludge to make you poop like a rabid camel for 24 hours, jet propulsion-strength farting and pooping after the garden hose is removed, etc.) But on top of the insult and injury involved, they also insist you pay them large quantities of money.

Since I'm self employed, I have no discount health insurance plan through work, so I'm forced to pay these things out of my own pocket at insurance-company prices, or pay the equivalent of a luxury car payment to an insurance company every month just in case I one day need it. It's legalized extortion.

I'm rooting for Obama's universal health care thingy, but I'm not holding my breath over it. That activity is reserved for hoping I don't have butt cancer. Lifelong vegans virtually never get colon cancer, but I've only been eating that way since 2002. Apparently all the carcasses I consumed for the previous 40+ years can have a residual effect and literally come back to bite me on the ass.

Since this was a fairly dark posting, here is a funny picture to pick you up.

Lip Brush With Fame

On occasion I get mistaken for Elvis Costello by people who don't really know what Elvis Costello looks like. They see glasses and a hat and figure I must be him. But now it will be an even more frequent nuisance, because Elvis is sporting a mustache. Damn that look-stealing limey. What next? A cigar?

He has even fashioned his hairline to look like mine, as evidenced in this photo of him doffing his hat at the end of Conan O'Brien's show last night.

For anyone interested in how to accurately tell the difference between myself and Costello in the wild, I offer this brief list of defining characteristics:

1. His hair is longer and wavy, mine is very short
2. The brims of his hats are larger than mine
3. His clothing is expensive, mine is mostly from resale shops and smells of cigars
4. He has Diana Krawl on his arm, I have CHNW (personally, I think I come out ahead on this one)
5. I am the one occasionally mistaken for Elvis Costello, he is the one never mistaken for me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

(How big can you make this cartoon? Click the Wolverine's beer label and find out!)

Bizarro on this day is brang to youse by Power Urination.

Regular readers of this blog will recall that I posted this cartoon a few weeks ago beneath a link, but did not include the caption. (I'd link to that now, but I can't find it.) Anyway, I mentioned in that previous post that I thought it was regrettable that this cartoon would run on Father's Day, when it is about men who are estranged from their families. It was completely unintentional.

My Sunday cartoons are drawn about six weeks ahead, so sometime in mid-March I drew the cartoon, inked it, colored it, got it all ready to submit to King Features, then looked on my calendar to see what date was next. Turned out it was Father's Day but by that time it was too late to replace it with something less pointed.

So I'd like to apologize to any estranged fathers out there who found this cartoon to be painful. I got divorced in the mid-nineties when my daughters were 9 and 14, so I know it can be tough. On the bright side, it probably isn't a tough as being a huge, blue furry guy with a face like a baboon's ass. So count your blessings.

As for my own Father's Day, 2009 – My two daughters called and said, "HFD," I called my dad and said, "HFD," he said it back, then I went to work in my garden. For once, it only rained HALF the day, so it was a rousing success by recent standards and I enjoyed it thoroughly. No decorations, no gifts, no songs written for the occasion, no TV specials, no obligatory parties...my kind of holiday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pedestrians of Note

(For the making of a larger cartoon with the easier reading, click the third toe of the fourth foot from the left.)

Today's Bizarro cartoon is sponsored by Baby Man.

This cartoon was inspired by the ugly building that is going up across the street from Bizarro International Headquarters here in Brooklyn. There used to be a charming, old, three-story red brick warehouse from the late 19th century, but the owner tore it down and is erecting a hideous condo building. If the architecture were at least interesting or tasteful I would not mind so much, but the monstrosity he is erecting will be twice as tall as the old building and utterly odious. A couple of floors are finished, and now that I can see the "style" of the building, I pray for the 50-foot woman to stomp it into dust. Or Godzilla, though he does not have a skirt up which I could look from my vantage point across the street. (Of course, a 50-foot woman probably has an 8-foot "schnootzer," and that might be even more frightening than Godzilla.)

I know the man who owns the land and he is a nice enough guy. But he's one of these people who hasn't an ounce of interest in asthetics. To him, "a building's a building." When a person doesn't even recognize the difference between an ugly building and a beautiful one when it is pointed out and explained, as I once did for him, you don't have much of a chance.

Of course, at this very moment, he may be writing on his blog that he knows a guy who doesn't recognize a huge profit margin even when it is pointed out and explained, and that my investment portfolio is odious.

The obvious difference is that I am not erecting a six-story reminder of my lack of financial skills across the street from his home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pursuit of Paradise

Bizarro is brought to you today by Parenting Made Simple.

Yes, it is a political cartoon I have posted here.
No, I do not feel like getting all political today.

Instead, let's talk about the weather. Here at Bizarro International Headquarters in New York City, it has been raining most of the time for weeks. The entire month of June was shot to hell by rain and colder-than-average temperatures. I feel like I'm trapped in Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. I really must move to the tropics somewhere. Problem is, they don't have a New York City anywhere down there.

I have tried wishing that the Dutch had built NYC somewhere in the Caribbean, but it doesn't change history and I'm still stuck in colder climes. In the end, it comes down to my deciding what is more important to me: culture or climate?

I lived and traveled in the south for several decades before I moved to NYC, so I have plenty of experience from which to make my decision. Even with the hot, sunny weather I crave, the general cultural and political attitudes of the southern U.S. do not suit me. In fact, at times they depress me as much as the weather in NY, especially now that I have known what it is like to live here, in a liberal, creative, open-minded, international community. And though I adore more exotic places like Central America and the Caribbean, they are too small and rural to quench my desire for the big city.

This makes it an easy decision. Culture is more important than weather, the way personality is more important than looks when choosing a spouse. Though both must be in the right ballpark, a great personality and average looks go much further in a relationship than a beautiful exterior wrapped around a sock puppet. If you can find both, as I have in CHNW, you are doubly blessed. (Just checking to see if she is reading my blogs. I'll let you know in a few days.)

There are two answers to my pathetic, meaningless, spoiled white-collar dilemma: become wealthy enough to have another home in a warmer place where I can spend the winters, find a way to embrace the weather in NYC and stop being a whiny brat.

I think we all know which of those choices is available to me.

FURTHER: I left the West Coast out of this mix because although I like San Francisco as much as NYC, it tends not to be any hotter or sunnier in most ways. I love the weather in L.A., but not the city. San Diego is too conservative, and that's pretty much all the big cities to choose from. Seattle and Vancouver seem cool, but the same weather problems. Such a whiner.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Bizarro is brought to you today by Mug Shots.

I've never been mugged, but I'm sure it's a harrowing experience that would bother me for a long time. I've been in a couple of impromptu street scuffles in the past five years, just because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it's pretty awful. I didn't get anything more than a fat lip and a few bruises, fortunately, but it is not the sort of activity I'm anxious to get into again. Even though the stories are fun to tell later.

One was when my wife and I were freezing cold and looking for a cab late at night in NYC. We finally got one to stop and a drunk guy jumped into the cab ahead of us after I opened the door. The driver said, "No, I stopped for them." I said, "That's our cab." The drunk guy said, "I don't think so!" and continued to climb in. The only thing left outside the cab was his shin, so I gave it a good hard kick. I was wearing dress shoes, so it must have hurt a lot. He jumped out and came after me, shouting something like, "Did you just kick me, you motherf*cker?!" I took it as a rhetorical question and did not answer. In his inebriated state, I was able to dodge him as he pursued me around in circles. Meanwhile, CHNW jumped into the cab, I followed, and we took off. All's well that ends well.

The other time was in Rome when we were walking with another American couple down a busy shopping street on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. All of us are animal rights folks, so when we passed a fur store, CHNW and the female half of the other couple both spat on the sidewalk in front of it. We didn't know until we had walked another 25 feet down the street that the family that owns the store had seen us. Apparently, spitting in Italy is more serious than here.

Four people rushed out of the store – a couple in their 40s and a couple in their 70s – and we turned to confront them. With words, or so we thought. For a few seconds, the womenfolk were content to shout at each other in their native languages. But suddenly, up to the forefront rushed the 70-year-old man. Think Robert Deniro in Raging Bull, with white hair. Without warning, he punched our friend's wife right in the jaw and knocked her down. Unpleasantness ensued, including punching, kicking, scratching and screaming.

Fortunately, passersby pulled us apart after a couple of minutes and we all went our separate ways. None of our attackers spoke English, none of us spoke Italian, so we can only assume we were fighting about the same thing.

Before we spit on the sidewalk in front of any more Italian-owned fur stores, CHNW and I are going to take one of these self defense courses.

These are completely unexaggerated, true stories, by the way.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trials of the Extra Terrestrial

Bizarro is brought to you today by Invasion of the Coffee Tables.
I've used the Bizarro alien icon in cartoons as more than just a "hidden picture" before, but I think this is the first time he has been the subject of the joke. For anyone keeping a detailed scrapbook of every minute detail of my career, flag this page with a Post-it note and a star! Then see a counselor about seeking a more worthwhile pastime.

It is interesting that we nearly always imagine aliens to be about our size or, if they are evil, much bigger. But I can't recall ever seeing a story about tiny aliens. I'm sure there are some and sci-fi afficianados who see this post will leave some examples in the comments section, but it certainly isn't common in film or TV. I did a cartoon a long time ago about a race of extra-terrestials who were the size and shape of golf balls and were terrified by our species' treatment of them.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a novel years ago in which the Chinese had conquered the world by developing a way to shrink themselves to microscopic size. While the rest of the world was in ruins as people fought over scarce resources, the Chinese had virtually unlimited resources because they consumed so little and their enemies could no longer even see them. This has nothing to do with this cartoon, but I thought it was a brilliant idea and wanted to tell you about it. (Yes, science geeks, I know there are holes in this plot as this would drastically increase the number of other predators they would encounter, but let's put that aside for now.)

If extra terrestrials that were the size of, say, birds visited our planet and were not well-armed with more advanced weapons than ours, we would subjugate them and eat them, of course, as we do to everything else we can dominate. There are some people who will eat anything with a pulse and claim it is delicious, so it probably wouldn't even matter what they tasted like.

There have been many stories of aliens that are more powerful than we that want to eat us, of course. I enjoy these kinds of stories as I hope that people will see the obvious parallel to how we treat our fellow beings on this planet, but that never happens. Unless a Planet of the Apes scenario actually takes place, I'm certain it never will.

I hate to end on a serious note, so let's all have a look at this, from Night Deposits, a random blog from my buddy, J. C. Duffy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Lot of Bull

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Skaters In Love.

The basic concept for this cartoon came from my young protege, Victor, who has been sending me ideas since he was about 14. He's got some great ideas, especially for his age, and I've drawn a dozen-or-so of them in the past five years or whatever. I forgot how old Victor is now.

I like cartoons that lead you to think through the punch line and this is one of those. Of course, you have to have heard the expression, "like a bull in a china shop," to get the joke, but I think people still say that, don't they?

I often wonder where expressions like this come from. Who first thought of placing a bull in a china shop to illustrate destructive clumsiness? Did someone say it in a pub in Llanidloes, Wales in the 17th century and it spread slowly by word of mouth from there? Or was the expression published somewhere and catch on more quickly? There's probably a web site that explains it, but who's got the time to dig that up right now? Not I.

For the record, I think bullfighting is the most heinous and barbaric of sports still being practiced in the civilized world. Parts of Spain are finally outlawing it, and it's about time. Others are decrying the loss of a "tradition." Slavery, rape, pillaging, and throwing virgins into volcanoes are traditional human activities, too, but I'm not shedding any tears over their loss. Not that they are completely gone, but at least we're not still televising them or featuring these activities in the travel section of the Sunday paper.

As you might surmise, I root for the bull.

Party Story

I went to a terrific party last night at the Bowery Hotel in NYC. It was a record release party for Rhett Miller's latest solo album. Rhett is the lead singer/songwriter for Old 97s, one of my fave groups, and his solo albums are just as good.

We met a few years ago after one of his shows and discovered we'd been fans of each other's work for years. We've been friends ever since. Rhett is much taller than I, but he tactfully knelt down beside me for this photo.

Here we are with Rhett's dentist, Rich Weiss. He's a fun dude, as you can tell from the pic. He reports that although people regularly tell him that dentists have a very high suicide rate, he feels no such inclinations.

Also in attendance was one of my favorite comedians, Paul F. Tompkins. He's a very friendly fellow who spent a good long while chatting with me, assuring me he was familiar with my cartoons and never letting on for a second that he wished I would go away. A real mensch.

I gave him my contact info, if I never hear from him, I'll know he is also a good pretender.

Paul arrived with his lovely fiance, Janey ( Janie? Janee? Jay-knee? I didn't ask her how she spells it) and his talented comedian friend, Todd Barry, seen here in the background.

Todd was nice, too, although I spent more time talking to Paul and didn't get a picture with Todd. I felt bad because he was in "The Wrestler" and I haven't seen that movie yet. He's also been in a couple of episodes of "Flight of the Conchords," one of my favorite shows in the world of television and which makes me very jealous of him. Afraid that the jealously would show and possibly lead to a donnybrook, I steered clear of Todd for the most part.

Janeane Garafalo joined us a for a couple of hours, whom CHNW and I know from the benefit comedy shows she's done with us for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. She's a peach, and a brilliant and funny one, at that.

Toward the end of the evening, Rhett played some of his new songs and everyone was richer for the experience. After the official party was over, CHNW and I avoided the "after party" and went home, because I've been sick with some kind of hideous head cold. If the aforementioned celebs get sick in the coming week or so, you'll know it was my fault. I warned them to wash their hands and not to kiss me, but celebrities never listen.

Rolling Stone gave Rhett's new album 4 stars, buy it now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chase Me Out to the Ballgame

Bizarro is made possible by a grant from the Tossing Dirt on the Reaper Foundation.

Since I'm a groovy hip artsy type, people are often surprised to hear I'm a sports fan. Sorry if you are disappointed, not all sports fans are numskull beerbelly boobs like Joe the Plumber. In fact, the dude who lives across the street from me here at Bizarro International Headquarters is a college professor of some high-minded socialogical something-or-other, and he's an even bigger sports fan than am I.

I have always been athletic, I have good genes for that in all ways but size. So I played a lot of sports as a kid and learned to love it, but as I got into middle and high school, I was not behemoth enough to leave the bench in my various coaches' opinions, so I stopped trying out for the school teams. Additionally, I began to come into my own as a groovy hip artsy type and many of the other athletes began to come into their own as frankensteinian meatheads who cared about little more than sports. So we parted ways.

Though I love to watch sports, hockey is my favorite with American football a firm second, I loathe to watch a single athlete or coach being interviewed. I love the entertainment value of watching physically skilled humans exhibit amazing feats of athletic prowess, but when it comes to what's between their ears, I am always bored stiff. I have no doubt that some professional athletes are bright and creative, I just don't have the patience to wade through all of the "Joe Sixpack" simpletons to find them.

It is remarkeable how far we've come as a society, however. Just a couple of hundred years ago mobs of torch-bearing villagers hunted down mutants and murdered them out of fear. Now we dress them up in flashy jerseys and award them with multi-million dollar paychecks for slamming into others of their kind. It makes a human proud.

DISCLAIMER: Not all athletes or sports fans are idiots, maybe not even most. I said that above, so let it go. But let's face it, a lot of them are.
My pride in how far our society has come is largely facetious, as we still hunt down women's healthcare providers, homosexuals, atheists, etc. We have replaced torch-bearing mobs with Fox News, but you can't really call that progress.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tiki Tock, Tiki Tock

(Click dat Tiki, mon, n mek it large.)

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by INSANE Fun!!!

A while back my friend and very talented colleague, Wayno of Pittsburgh (current home of the Stanley Cup!), offered me a few gags, which I snapped up like a UFO at a hillbilly convention. This tiki one, I believe, is my favorite. I love both the imagery of a bar full of tiki heads and the double entendre.

When I was in my twenties, a good friend of mine and I went to Mexico City. After dinner one evening, we saw a kitschy-looking bar with photos of burlesque dancers out front and decided to pop in for the show. We were early and got a table close to the front. As we drank our beers and waited for the show to start, other patrons filled the club. Something about one of them didn't seem quite right, so I looked around at the others in the room and realized that every person dressed like a woman was a man in drag. I whispered to my friend, "Dude, this is a transvestite bar." We had a quiet laugh, finished our beers and left. Being horny young heteros in our twenties, neither of us really wanted to stay for the show.

Recently, my friend Cliff and I were looking for a quiet pub in which to discuss our book project and came across a suitable candidate. We sidled up to the bar and ordered a couple of beers. After talking for a few minutes, we both noticed at about the same time that we were in a lesbian bar. We laughed it off and stayed for another beer. Most of the local gals were fine with us being there, but one gave us a little trouble and threatened to rough us up. When I began crying and Cliff fainted, she backed down. I think she just wanted to prove that she was more of a man than either of us. She could have just asked.

The Wonderful Wayno is having an art show in soon. You should go look at it with your eyes, put your hand in his and shake gently. As an added bonus, if you tell him you found out about the show on this blog, he'll give you a buttocks massage you'll never forget!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Speaking of Talk

Bizarro is brought to you today by Yummy Babies.

I love this gag, it's simple, dark and unexpected. I originally used this line in comedy shows by saying, "My wife and I just had a baby yesterday." (the audience invariably applauds) "Yeah, we had a baby boy, and it was really strange because we're vegan and we don't normally eat meat." (The audience is grossed out as they realize what I'm talking about.) "His mother was all, (weepy sounding)'he was such a good boy!' and we were like, 'eh, he really wasn't that good.'"

I'm not saying it was a great routine and it tended to leave half the audience confused and the other half disgusted, but I enjoyed it. As a person who doesn't distinguis between the suffering of humans and non-human animals, it was a bit of an activist joke, too. Every animal any of us have ever eaten was terrified when it died, and mourned by those who knew him/her.

Elsewhere in the news, I think Conan's residency at The Tonight Show has been good. He's got the best writers in talk show TV, for sure. A NY friend of mine who used to write for The Daily Show was hired by Conan and moved out to L.A. Now that I have an "in" at The Tonight Show, my friend assures me that I can definitely be a guest on the show. All I have to do is become a huge celebrity of some sort, preferably in TV or film.

Here's a kooky idea: How about if every person who reads this blog writes to The Tonight Show and threatens suicide if they don't book me as a guest? C'mon, it would be fun! If it works, get me on the same show as Natalie Portman. I have a huge crush on her. Brilliant, gorgeous, and vegan – what's not to like?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fish Sperm, Education, Love

Bizarro is brought to you today by Our Amazing Oceans.

I often draw cartoons that require a fifth grade education or better to understand, and this is such a cartoon. I fully realize that when I do this, I leave out probably more than half the readers out there, not that my readers are younger than 11 years old, but that most people in the U.S. seem relatively uneducated. Ever see Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" routine where he asks simple questions of people on the street? It sends chills down your spine.

I've known many people with a college degree who couldn't find their way through the first round of Jeopardy with a single correct answer. I'm not talking about any of you who read this blog, of course, but it is alarming how many so-called "educated" Americans can't name the countries that border us or tell you who wrote Hamlet. Sad and scary. We're ripe for being taken over by a less lazy culture. Speak Chinese, anyone?

I like this cartoon because it depicts the unreasonable demands we sometimes put on our spouses. Female fish poop out eggs all over the place, then some male comes along and squirts his magic man juice all over them, they both have a cigarette, get dressed, and go home without so much as exchanging phone numbers and never see the babies again.

Long term monogamous relationships between humans become so prickly, even under the best of circumstances, it is easy to see why many people choose the fish method. Hopefully with the proper contraception so they leave the diseases and children out of the equation. That's never been my style, I'm a serial monogamist, but I can't fault in those who never hook up long term.

It's a lot of work and sometimes maddening. But often sublime, too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mythology Humorolgy

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Men's Hats.

One of the many things I wondered about the Bible as a youth was why god is always referred to as a "he." The pronoun denotes gender specificity, which means god has a penis. Why does "He" need a penis if he neither urinates nor reproduces biologically?

Could it be "He" is not literally male, but just representing himself as such so we may relate to "Him" better? If that is the case, the whole "trinity" issue seems ill advised. How can three men (or two men and a ghost) be one man simultaneously? Whether they have penises or not, that's not very easy to relate to.

Another PR conundrum is that the Old Testament says Jews are the "chosen people." If "He" created all of the myriad types, groups, ethnicities, and nationalities of people on earth, why choose any one specific group to be your favorite? Seems unfair and a bit contradictory.

So the god of the Bible is male and likes Jews best – let's think about this. Maybe the answer is right under our noses. Maybe it is because male Jews wrote the Old Testament. Hmmm.

DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against Jews, this post is simply making a point about believing the Bible literally. I have many Jewish friends and neighbors and regard them on an individual basis, just like anyone else I meet. Bigotry against any group is deplorable.
DISCLAIMER 2: I have nothing against the Bible or any of the thousands of other religious texts around the world. I think interpreting any of them as the literal word of god is unwise at best, dangerous at worst. (See Jihad, Crusades, Fred Phelps)
DISCLAIMER 3: I have nothing against men or penises. Mine has long been my favorite organ.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Must See TV

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by the New GM.

I've complained about reality programs here before, but I guess I'm not finished. I simply cannot believe the sort of drivel people will waste their precious time on this planet watching.

I recently found out about a show called Jon & Kate Plus Eight. It's a reality show about some people with eight kids. And?

I can think of few things worse than having eight children in my house at one time, even for an afternoon. The idea that they have nowhere else to go until they are 18 makes me want to kill myself. Why would I want to watch other people suffer in this way? Are there enough people with chronic schadenfreude to make this show so popular?

If a film crew were living with an old woman with unabating depression and painfully swollen feet, and followed her as she struggled to the store once a week to buy cat food for her 8 tabbies, would these same people watch it? Now she's watching Wheel of Fortune. Now she's making a chicken salad sandwich. Now she's struggling to the bathroom. Will the rewards never end?

And now a cartoon by a good friend of mine, Ruben Bolling, about Jon & Kate Plus 8. And here is Ruben's blog. And here is a page of previous "Tom the Dancing Bug" strips for you to enjoy. And here are his socks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Farmy Fun

It's time again for the June Jamboree at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. It's this Saturday, only 2 1/2 hours north of NYC, you can get there cheaply and easily on Trailways from Port Authority on 42nd.

Lots of fun, very laid back, meet and hang out with other species, take pictures of your kid licking a pig's nose. You can't beat it for the price!

If you're still saying, "DAN, I WANT MORE INFO!," click here.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Bizarro is brought to you by Love Not War.

I don't know much about X-Men, I confess I've not read the comics nor seen the movies. Yet, the imagery on TV is such that I wrote a couple of X-Men jokes lately. This one, and a Sunday cartoon that will run in papers on Father's Day, June 21, then will be discussed on this blog the following Sunday.

Oddly enough, the cartoon that runs on Father's Day is about men estranged from their families. I didn't plan it that way, I just drew the comic, then looked at my calender to see what date it should run. The next Sunday on the schedule was Father's Day. Whoops.

Regarding nail salons, I'm puzzled as to why women spend so much time and money on elaborate nails. Who really notices them besides other women who are interested in nails? Not judging, just wondering. Some of the ladies around my neighborhood have nails so long and elaborately decorated that they seem more appropriate for a Bond villain than a neighborhood mom.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Toss Me a Bone

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Magic of Matrimony.

Today's offering is one of the stranger concepts I've bothered to turn into a Sunday comic. I got a few emails about it, not a lot. A couple people really loved it, though I'm not sure what about it they loved, exactly, a couple of people didn't understand it.

As for myself, I like the strangeness of it and the goofy drawing of the horse, but that's about all I can say. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have had the wiggly horse walking, come upon a skeleton, then in the final panel the skeleton is gone and the horse is trotting rigidly off thinking "much better." That might have made a more complete joke.

But when I wrote this, I was thinking of the cliche skeleton in the desert and thought it might be funny to have that skeleton belong to a living, flacid animal, rather than a dead one. As though it had wondered off.

That's it. No more depth of reasoning or meaning than that.

Special thanks to you readers who stopped by my table at the MoCCA Art Festival in NYC yesterday, where I was doing sketches for charity. Today I'll be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, perusing the goods. If you spot me and say "Gimee Pie," I'll give you a free pack of Bizarro trading cards!!!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Woe and behold, my comedy shows next week have been canceled. The producer behind it decided to kill the show, refund ticket sales, and take a loss.

He's used to producing shows in LA and, not being familiar with the way things work in NY, was not able to get the press and advanced ticket sales as quickly as he had hoped for. Comedy shows in NYC pretty much dry up all summer, as most New Yorkers leave the city: rich folks go to the Hamptons, the rest of us go upstate. Most of what is left is tourists, who have such a wide variety of Broadway shows to go to, they tend not to patronize the offbeat stuff.

He still likes the concept of a comedy show of cartoonists, as do we who were in the show, so we are looking at possibly remounting it later in the year after Little Boy Blue has blown his horn and the sheep return from the meadows.

Just thought you'd like to know. Especially if you are somewhere in Nebraska right now, hitchhiking your way across the country from California, hoping to make it to the Tuesday opening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bottleful of Messages

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sexy Killers.

I like finding new twists on cartoon cliches, like the man-on-a-desert-island theme, so I'm proud of this one.

I'm way behind on work and life and everything else, so I can't write much today. My week of comedy shows is coming up in a few days and I've got to get crackin'.

Just did an interview today for a show on Sirius XM satellite radio that will air sometime soon, but not sure when. The host, Mark Seman, is a great guy, we had a fun chat and I think it will make for interesting listening if you have that technology. I think the show is called "Getting Late" and also the term "Raw Dog" is somehow pertinent. If you're into that stuff, maybe you know when it's on. I can't find it on the Google.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Smelly Sexy

Bizarro is brought to you today by King Tut.

This cartoon is simple wordplay, yes, but it makes me smile. It was dreamed up by my cartoonist, stand-up comic, long-time friend, Mike Capozzola.

What struck me as odd when I was drawing this cartoon is the way "pharaoh" is spelled, which I had never really noticed before I had to letter it by hand. How did the second "a" get thrown in there ahead of the "o?" I'm a fan of etymology (and also entomology, but that's a topic for a different post) but I don't know why this strange spelling exists. Usually, a foreign word that comes from a language with a different alphabet, like a Chinese word, for instance, is likely to be spelled phonetically in English. But that would mean that the word was originally pronounced "fay-ray-oh." Maybe that's the case, I don't know, or maybe it didn't come from the original Egyptian word. I could look it up, but it would cut into my leisure time.

Apparently, chemical compatibility is a huge indicator for sexual attraction. In other words, whether you're aware of it or not, you like the way your lover smells. I have experienced this myself on a few occasions (in my bachelor days) when a woman I was attracted to became instantly less attractive when I kissed her. It wasn't that she wasn't a good kisser, but something about the visceral experience of being that close was unappealing.

I knew a redneck guy from Oklahoma years ago who believed so ardently in the idea that women react sexually to a man's pheromones, that he would not bath regularly, confident that his B.O. would help him score. No, I'm not kidding. He even recommended this technique to his teenage sons.

But who am I to judge? Perhaps in his remote corner of Oklahoma, it worked.

For those of you keeping scorecards at home, I'm feeling much better today. The soupy, black miasma of depression left me midway through last evening and I'm normal again. Then I had a very good session with my therapist this morning which helped me to get a better grip on my issues and their effect on my will to live. I'm also extremely appreciative of all the comments readers have left on this blog, and supportive emails I've gotten since yesterday. This blog is sometimes as good a therapy as my visits to my shrink, and considerably cheaper.

You've made me feel like a pretty girl at the prom, and I thank you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When Hairy Met Harry

Bizarro is brought to you today by Family Entertainment.

Not much to say about this cartoon today, feeling really low. If I was a twitterer, I could tweet, "feeling really low today." But I'm not, you're all I have.

A trusted friend (Julie) said I should get on the Twitter because it's a really easy way to advertise my comedy shows and stuff, and I'm sure she's right, but I just don't have the energy to get started. I have no interest in that sort of thing outside of the promotional value, to be honest, and as I said, I'm feeling low.

Just thought of something to say about this cartoon. I was channel surfing the other night and came across one of the early Bruce Lee movies – Way of the Dragon or Get in the Dragon or Dress Like a Dragon. Something like that. In the final fight scene, he's practicing his pajama arts on a young and shirtless Chuck Norris. This was before Chuck discovered body waxing because he was as covered with hair as the guy in the "after" part of my cartoon. No exaggeration. He had big, thick, hair epaulets on his shoulders.

I hope I'm better tomorrow. Damn this difficult life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pie or Palimony?

Bizarro is brought to you today by Marriage Counseling.

I don't have a lot of time to post today as I'm a day-and-a-half behind on my cartoon deadlines this week. If I don't get on the move, I'm going to be working kid's birthday parties dressed like the amusing fellow in this cartoon.

I could say a ton about counseling, I'm a big fan of it both for individuals and couples. I don't know how people get through life without it. Couples counseling can be a serious drag, but it can work wonders, too. Then again, so can breaking up. Depends on what your problems are.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Horror

Today's Bizarro is brought to you buy Tough Money.

Don't get me started about airlines. Too late, I'm started.

I used to love to travel, but between the absurd pricing structures of airlines and the idiotic ritualistic voodoo practices of the T.S.A., I can barely stand it.

This cartoon got a good amount of mail from people who so closely resemble one side of the cartoon or the other that they were sure I was behind them in line at the airport. The simple reason is that this happens all the time.

Tiny people pay extra for a bag weighing two pounds more than a gigantic person's bag, because the airlines need to charge for "extra weight."

I've never bought jet fuel, but I'm sure it is very expensive and the airlines would like to charge more for extra weight. Fine. Can't blame them. But if they attack the problem where it really exists – in the seats of coach, not the luggage compartment – there would be discrimination lawsuits-a-plenty. Some people can't help being heavy (some), no argument here. But does it give them the right to be charged the same when they are consuming more services?

What if they charged per pound for luggage and passengers alike? It takes more fuel to fly a 300 lb man across the country than it does to fly me at less than half the weight, so he'd paying the same amount for goods and services, but since he consumes more, the price is higher. He pays the same for food as I do, but he consumes more. We aren't charged the same per meal in a restaurant, even though I am ordering 1/3 as much as he, so why the airfare inequity? There is no logic to elven folk (like my wife and I) being charged $25 or more for a bag that weighs five pounds more than King Kong's.

But the air travel shenanigans don't end there.

Once you've been fleeced by at the baggage counter, it's off to the security line where you're forced to take off your shoes even if they are flip-flops (because security employees can't be trusted to discern between a thin piece of foam rubber and platform boots full of nuclear weapons), you're only allowed to bring the amount of liquid that will fit into a 3 oz. bottle and only as many of those as will fit into a magic-sized bag (because no one would ever think to team up with someone else and combine their explosive liquids on board), you can't bring a 3 oz. bottle of alcohol on the plane because that's a "security" violation, (but wait, they sell that stuff on board! Does the T.S.A. know this?!), and you can have four 3 oz. bottles of liquid in your magic bag but not one 12 oz. bottle (you can't expect all T.S.A. employees to carry calculators to do the math, right?), and if you're wearing a T-shirt with a long-sleeved garment over it and that garment has buttons it's a "shirt" and can be worn through the metal detector, but if it has a zipper (even a plastic one), it's a "jacket" and must be taken off. Sure, makes perfect sense.

But at least we're "safe."

Once you get to the plane and take your seat, you find you're sitting next to the gigantic guy with the "free" luggage and his girth is hanging over the armrest, so your personal space has been diminished by 10%, even though you paid more to fly.

Then the plane is late to Atlanta (always avoid Atlanta!) and you miss your connecting flight and have to stay overnight, but it was because of "weather," so the airline doesn't have to pay for your motel room.

Then you wake up at 5 a.m. to catch the first flight of the day, put on the clothes you were wearing the day before because you have no luggage, and rush off to the airport in the dark.

You make the flight, it crashes on landing, you're the only survivor and you spend a fortune on therapists for the rest of your life.

And your cat peed on your bed because you were late getting home.

I may never leave the house again.