GMO Shuffle

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Bizarro 04-19-15 WEBBizarro is brought to you today by The Three Stooges.

A few years ago we had a very long and spirited debate on this blog about the dangers/benefits of GMO crops. People I trust were on both sides of the issue so in the end, I wasn’t sure if I’m for or against them. Like most things, there are likely good and bad elements to the practice

bz panel 04-13-15 bz panel 04-14-15 bz panel 04-15-15 bz panel 04-16-15 bz panel 04-17-15 bz panel 04-18-15and there is definitely a lot of false propaganda about the subject. But this cartoon isn’t about that, it’s just a ludicrous look at a “what if” scenario. If this damn blog site is working properly, you should be able to click the image for a larger view so you can see some of the background elements better.

As for my other cartoons in the past seven days, let’s sally forth…

Monday: The American health care industry is insidious in my opinion. Don’t get me started.

Tuesday: An idea from my good buddy, Cliff The King of Wordplay. This one is so dry you’ll need to reach for a cold beer after reading it, but that’s what I like about it.

Wednesday: I’ve never been to a speed dating event but I’ve heard of them. It’s where lots of single people all get together in a big room with lots of small tables for two and I guess you jump from one person to the next, spending just a few minutes chatting up each person and seeing if you get a spark that you might want to pursue later. I envisioned a “too much information” guy and used my own romantic biography for his line.

Thursday: My buddy Rick and I were having lunch one day and the topic of being able to throw a surprise party for a psychic would mean he/she wasn’t a very good psychic. We chuckled, I made a mental note and then later a cartoon.

Friday: My German pen pal and a writer in his own right, Michael Roth, tossed me an idea about a seeing-eye-snowdog and a snowman with no coals for eyes and I fashioned it thusly. It is sort of sweet with a touch of pathos. Heres an old favorite of mine from a few years back on a similar subject. Yes, it is late in the year to feature a snowman cartoon but my feature is called “Bizarro,” not “Normalo.”

Saturday: Just a bit of fun with a famous fictional character whose name is nothing more than a description of her clothing. I used it to make fun of two loooooooong-standing fashion trends that offend my eyes daily. As an artistic type, I find the poor fashion choices of others more distressing than others might.

Sigh

Once again, my blog isn’t working properly and I am unable to post my usual weekend cartoon extravaganza. I’ll post again as soon as “they” get it fixed. (sigh)

Jocularity Jive

Bizarro is brought to you today byBizarro 04-12-15 hdrWEB Lost in Translation.

Barrooms, restaurants, downtown streets and the like are always a bit of a pain to draw because of the complexity of the space and all of the characters involved. I often avoid these kinds of scenes because they put a major crimp in my schedule but when I do force myself to get into it, I always end up enjoying the process and appreciating Bizarro 04-12-15 WEBthe result. Feedback from readers over thebz panel 04-06-15 years tells me that they enjoy the complex art, too, so that’s a win/win. This image has some fun details which I hope you’ll enjoy. It also has a whopping 9 secret symbols to look for! For an easier search, click the image to make it bigger.

Last week’s cartoons began with a foray into the inherent cruelty of the bz panel 04-07-15modern office environment. I don’t know what’s under that table, but it can’t be good.

Tuesday’s gag was about the cruelty of nature as it depicts a female praying mantis––who are known for decapitating their male lovers (no idea what the LGBT mantises do)––visiting her insurance agent to find out if she

bz panel 04-08-15can collect on his life insurance. The name of the company on the window is a side joke: Aetna Insurance is a company in the U.S. and my “Enta” is a cross between that and “entomology,” the study of bugs.

Over on the King Features site a couple readers left comments describing their confusion over the vegan diner gag. The joke is bz panel 04-09-15simple wordplay, of course. If you don’t get it, don’t worry about it.

My fireside gag between a man and his young daughter got some interesting comments on the King site, too. Several came from right-wing types who buy the FOX News angle that it isn’t corporations who are destroying the middle class but illegal aliens. I bz panel 04-10-15often forget that conservatives read my cartoons, too. What I can’t forget is that although FOX News is the highest rated news channel in the U.S. it also consistently proves to be the most inaccurate news source in America according to  independent studies. Its followers will decry that these studies are biased, of course, and bz panel 04-11-15there’s nothing one can say to dissuade a true believer of anything, so I won’t try here. To my eyes and ears, FOX News is a flashy, corporate propaganda machine not unlike the one Ned Beatty was running in the brilliant and prescient film from 1976, “Network.” But perhaps I’m wrong. (Whether you’re right- or left-wing, rent it now!)

Moving on to the Pie & Coffee cartoon, I got this idea while drawing a cartoon from the previous week with similar art. See it here. This gag is very simple but I think it’s my favorite of the week.

Lastly we have the TSA joke. I can’t imagine how bored the people who work those lines at the airport must be. To be trained to be hyper-vigilant against an insidious enemy that you are almost certainly NEVER going to encounter is a strange kind of torture. I’ve not done any research on the subject but my average brain tells me that the TSA is an enormous waste of money. The odds of another giant terrorism attack on American commercial airlines seem like an absurd longshot. I say just go back to running everyone and their luggage through metal detectors and forget about shoes and liquids and body scanners and pat downs. But, again, maybe I’m wrong.

 

 

WaynoVision

You regular readers of my blog (called Jazz Pickles by some) likely remember when I used to collaborate quite a bit with Wayno, a cartoonist working out of Pittsburgh. Well, Wayno has moved on to a feature of his own and doesn’t send me ideas anymore (sad face here) and I thought you JPs would enjoy knowing about it and following his work. His feature is called WaynoVision and you can see it here.

And here’s a link to his blog.

Here’s an example of what he’s been up to that I thought was particularly amusing!

WaynoHulk

 

Sex Preachin’

bizarro 04-05-15 hdrWEb1Bizarro 04-05-15 WEB(Hankerin’ for a bigger look? Click the cartoons.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sex.

All of the cartoons from this week are self explanatory (as a cartoon should be) but I have a few things to say about the last one posted here: two ladies at a sidewalk cafe talking about an old boyfriend. I suggest you read all of these cartoons, then come back here for my commentary.

bz panel 03-31-15 When I submitted the cafe cartoon, my editor warned me that it could cause trouble. It is hard for someone like me to imagine anyone being upset in 2015 by a cartoon like this but at the same time, I know there are people who will. Fortunately, we received no complaints from the editors of any of my client newspapers and bz panel 04-02-15 I consider that a good sign, but I got a few complaints from readers who chided me for including a reference to casual sex outside of marriage in a newspaper comic “where kids could see it.”

Casual sex outside of marriage has been a hallmark of the human race since ancient bz panel 04-03-15 copy times and it always will be. Hiding it from your children won’t change their behavior when the time comes, in fact, it likely make it all the more attractive to them.

Whether we’re trying to control our children’s future sex lives or our own, we are fighting a force that is stronger than us and one way or another, we will lose in the end. Humans are highly sexual mammals bz panel 04-01-15and one of only a very small handful that have sex for reasons other than procreation. Most animals only tolerate sex because they are driven to do it. (We judge this by the ratio of copulatory incidents to conceptions. Most animals have sex around 3 or 4 times per pregnancy, humans do it over a thousand times per.) Humans bz panel 03-30-15actually enjoy it and need it often, one way or another. It’s simple biology and there’s nothing we can do about it no matter what we believe about gods in the sky who look down on us for giving in to our animal nature. In truth, when it comes to sex, we’re giving in to our human nature.

I’m not just talking “out of my ass” here, I actually raised two daughters who had no trouble navigating the waters of sex and dating and became well-adjusted, happily married adults. Here’s how I did it:

From a very early age, before they learned to be ashamed or embarrassed about sex, their mom and I told them everything about sexuality that they were capable of understanding (at a given age), as though it were a scientific fact of nature and an inevitable social force. (Which it is, of course.) Nothing magical or mystical, just the truth. We told them what to expect physically, emotionally, and socially and gave them things they should consider when the time came, and what good and bad things they could expect to experience as a result of becoming sexually active. And we were dead honest. When we would have these talks over the years, chapter by chapter, as they were old enough to understand a new piece of the story, they listened matter-of-factly and said, “Okay.” It was an open topic in our house and both of them knew that the power to make those decisions was in their own hands, not ours. As a result, they had less curiosity about it and waited longer than their peers to experiment. Both were in long-term relationships in college when they did. My point, of course, is that talking to your kids about sex doesn’t have to be mysterious and embarrassing and you don’t have to lie awake at night worried that your child might find out something about sex that might make you lose control over them. Your control over them is an illusion in the first place.

It makes more sense to me to relax about it, stop making it so important and mystical, and just get on with more important aspects of life; like whether your 12-year-old boy is constantly playing violent video games or is becoming a bully. In my opinion, it is literally insane that so few Americans raise an eyebrow over violence on TV and in pop culture, but a reference to sex raises the roof.