Tower of Titters

Bizarro 02-22-15 hdr Bizarro 02-22-15 WEB1(Indulge your desire to embiggenate these cartoons by clicking them.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Scaring a Child to Death.

It’s Oscar night tonight and this cartoon satirizes the Academy’s habit of showing a short video of the showbiz people who have died since the last Oscar ceremony. But I used an alternate meaning of the word “lost” and applied it to a famous fictional character who is perennially just that. That’s it. No secret meanings or messages. (I got asked if this was in reference to the Charlie Hebdo event.)

bz panel 02-16-15 bz panel 02-17-15 bz panel 02-18-15 bz panel 02-19-15 bz panel 02-20-15 bz panel 02-21-15My other most recent cartoons looked like this:

The rocket-crash cartoon was inspired by Planet of the Apes, of course, and is meant to be a couple of futuristic space travelers commenting on what an abysmal job we humans have done of “ruling” the earth. On King Feature’s web site, the comments below this cartoon devolved into a discussion of religion, evolution, and racism. (The most offensive racist comment has since been deleted by King Features) I’ll be honest, the tendencies of Americans to wallow in this kind of gutter sometimes makes it hard to keep myself from jumping off of something very high. In responding to this unfortunate conversation, I came across a recent Gallup poll that shows that nearly half of all Americans actually believe the mythological account of creation in The Bible over the facts our most intellectually gifted humans have discovered about our planet and it’s inhabitants over many centuries of accumulated knowledge. Nearly HALF. So embarrassing. You can read the comments here if so inclined.

The “well grammar” cartoon got picked up and forwarded a lot by some grammar sites, which was fun. Side note: even the grammar nazi in this cartoon makes a grammatical error (“real” instead of “really”) but I needed to use that tense to make the joke work. Sorry, grammar commandants.

The bird/worm cartoon is just a joke. A few readers thought it might have some literary or historical reference, but no.

My “auto parts” gag is a bit of fun wordplay. I just saw the truly amazing film “Birdman” last night and this cartoon reminds me of it in a way. Not because my cartoon deserves an Oscar (as Michael Keaton most surely does) but because it’s about a surreal theatrical endeavor.

My gag about bird seed is more wordplay as that seems to be the theme of the week. I’ve enjoyed thinking this way since childhood. If carrot seeds grow carrots…

And the duck gag is a dramatization of the ancient children’s riddle. If you were puzzled by this cartoon, it’s likely you just never heard the joke. Sorry about that.

BIZARCHIVYNESS: My Waldo/Oscars gag and it’s different meaning of the word “lost,” has reminded me of an old favorite gag of mine from 2000, shown below. I used the name Van Amerongen as a shout-out to my buddy and fellow cartoonist, Jerry Van Amerongen, creator of “The Neighborhood” and “Ballard Street.” He’s a funny guy and just the sort to pull this kind of stunt.BizarroVanAmerongen07-16-00WEB

 

7 Days of Silly

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Bizarro is brought to you today by Romance.

I hope you had a dandy Valentine’s Day this weekend. Olive Oyl (seen here with her grandmother) and I went to Topanga Canyon to visit some friends and take a lovely hike. Afterwards, the four of us went to a small, out-of-the-way Thai restaurant and had dinner with The Edge (guitarist for U2). And by “had dinner with,” I mean that he was at the next table with his wife and daughter and did not acknowledge our existence. But still, it was as close to having dinner with The Edge as we’ll likely ever get, so it was fun.

Let’s talk cartoons: Today’s big Sunday extravaganza tells the back story of how Mickey Mouse became the multitalented rodent icon that he is. Take heart, young, unknown performers! If a lowly mouse can do it, so can you!*

Monday: A friend of mine pointed out that there’s a commercial on TV these days with a penguin on an airplane. I’d not seen it until I viewed the link he provided and it has nothing to do with the gag here, so this information is meaningless.

Tuesday: Here’s a couple of puns about sheep and an unusual therapist/client relationship. I used to be a little ashamed of puns but I’ve decided to come out of the closet and admit that I really like certain kinds. And I’m not the only one; Alfred Hitchcock said that puns were the highest form of literature. And he was British.

Wednesday: As an artist, I have strong feelings about art. Messiness in and of itself is not art by my standards. I suspect Jackson Pollack happened to be doing what he did at a time when doing anything for the first time was applauded. If he’d done it at any other time in history (past or future) he likely (and justly) would have been ignored. In general, I think that a great deal of what the fine art world embraces is simply “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” over and over again. My blog, my opinion. Your results may vary.

Thursday: LA is a city with a lot of conspicuous wealth: fabulous houses, amazingly expensive cars, plastic surgery, etc. Especially here, but anywhere in the world these days, it is easy to feel left behind because you’re not fabulously rich and famous. When this happens to me, I remind myself that even the lower middle class in America have a higher standard of living than most people on Earth. And, even more important, that wealth and fame never made anyone happier than they would’ve been otherwise.

Friday: I thought of this gag because a random Internet troll once told me that the only reason I wear a hat most of the time is because I’m losing my hair. My response was that by that standard, people only wear gloves because they are losing their fingers.

Saturday: I needed three names for this gag so I chose three friends of mine. Chris Ryan is an author and new friend, Jeff Topper is my show-biz manager and nanny, Christy Higgins is my colorist and life coach. And she has the dreamiest eyes.

*But the odds are astronomical against it.

Alien Amusements

Bizarro 02-08-15 HdrWEB Bizarro 02-08-15 WEB(To see any of these cartoons enlargered, give them a good click in the teeth.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Spot the Imposter(s).

I was abducted by extraterrestrials not long ago and while I was being whisked away to another space/time dimension, they happened to be fooling around with my cell phone and came across a cat video which they thought was hilarious and adorable. I immediately thought this might make a good cartoon if I should ever find my way back to Earth and need to write cartoons again. Long story short, in an amazing display of ingenuity, courage, and derring-do, I managed to escape captivity and find my way back to my desk in time to draw this and submit it before deadline. Man, being a cartoonist is exciting sometimes. bz panel 02-02-15bz strip 02-02-15bz panel 02-03-15bz strip 02-03-15bz panel 02-04-15bz strip 02-04-15bz panel 02-05-15bz panel 02-06-15bz strip 02-06-15

Earlier in the week, I published the following six cartoons. A couple of them inspired readers to write to me with questions and comments that I thought you might find interesting.

The one about the guy in a warehouse operating what is commonly known as a “forklift” carrying what is commonly known as a “spoon” garnered this comment:

Being a long retired “fork lift” mechanic, your “latest”, caused me to study it for the humor. So the “fork lift” is lifting the “spoon”??? They are also referred to as “Towmotors”, “lift trucks, and Lifts. So anyway I am once again reminded of the fact that “someone” will pay people for “anything”.

I’m honestly not sure if this is hate mail or not, so here’s how I responded:  I have no idea what you’re talking about here, Chuck, but at least I learned some new names for forklifts.

The cartoon published on Feb 2 with the elderly gentleman talking to his grandson attracted this comment: While I usually like your comic, today’s cartoon was in very poor taste in light of the Anthem (insurance company) hack which will affect millions of customers, and by the way, you are rewarding the little buggers for a cowardly act, in jest I know, but people now days take EVERYTHING as a cue to do a cowardly thing…

I get this kind of complaint from time to time because many people assume that joking about a crime somehow rewards/encourages criminals. I suppose anything’s possible but I think most people commit crimes for the money, not the vicarious thrill they may get from a cartoon that refers to the same kind of crime. I should bz panel 02-07-15also mention that the writer of that comment and I had a nice e-conversation about it, made up, and are on good terms. As I mentioned above, the life of a cartoonist can be very exciting.

My lastbz strip 02-07-15 cartoon of the week before the big Sunday extravaganza was this peculiar wordplay brought to me by my good friend Cliff The King Of Wordplay. Some people call any kind of pun a “groaner” but I think puns that catch you by surprise are chuckle-worthy, so I soldier on undaunted. This one is especially funny to me because I’ve been reading a lot about hunter/gatherer societies both past and present. The more I read, the more I lament that we ever became “civilized.” Too late now, of course.

Have a zesty week, Jazz Pickles!

I Speak to a Man

Several weeks ago, I did an interview with cowboy-humorist Will Roberts. He’s a dude who has his own syndicated humor radio show called “Will Roberts Weekly Telegram” that is distributed to 39 stations in the United States and abroad.

He’s started a segment on his radio show called “ComicsKingdom.com” where he talks to cartoonists and since I am one, he talked to me.

You can listen to the interview online here. It’s a long radio show about various things and my part starts at 21 minutes.

And check out Will’s website at http://willrobertsweeklytelegram.com/

 

So Much Funny

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Bizarro is brought to you today by This Kind of Music.

Those of you who read my ramblings regularly know that I’m no fan of the human race. We were terrific up until the invention and widespread use of agriculture, and then everything went to hell in a relatively short amount of time; war, disease, pollution. Yes, agriculture caused all of that.  Not much can be done about it now in the same way that you cannot put toothpaste back into a tube once you’ve given it a good hard squeeze, but it is lamentable. As things are now, the last thing the world needs is more humans, so this cartoon is about that.

It is rare that I will use a stormy sky in one of my cartoons that is not about a storm (I use them on cartoons about the Noah’s Ark myth but rarely any other time) but I thought in this case it lent a certain deserved ominousness. I hope I don’t live to see the end of the comfort we have built for ourselves here in America, but I very well might. Yikes.

bz panel 01-26-15I also did some other cartoons last week and here they are. I usually post the panel (vertical) and strip (horizontal) versions of the cartoons but today I decided if the strip version doesn’t add anything new, what’s the point of posting it?  Let me know if that  bothers you and why it would behoove me to bz strip 01-26-15bz panel 01-27-15spend the extra time to remedy that.

Regarding specific comments about these cartoons, I have nothing to say about the naked office or GPS cartoon, but would like to say I have no idea what I was thinking when I did the one about slaves rowing a ship. For some reason, I wondered what bz strip 01-27-15could be worse than being a bz panel 01-28-15slave rowing a ship in olden times, then thought of one of those overly-chatty women on airplanes that I loathe getting stuck next to and thought, yes, that would be the worst of all possible worlds. I don’t think it’s a particularly successful cartoon, but then I have published nearly 11,000 gags in my life so I’m due a clinker or two.

bz panel 01-29-15Come to think of it, there were a couple of pretty weird cartoons this week. The rat cartoon is terribly strange, but in a good way, I think. Are we supposed to assume that this woman is in a long-term relationship with a giant rat? And that her comment about drugs in college somehow explains it? I guess we are.

I’m going on record as saying I’m pretty proud bz panel 01-30-15bz panel 01-31-15of this proctologist gag. Take Your Daughter To Work Day, which is now called something like “Take Your Child To Work Day” because they suddenly realized the rather absurdly blatant sexism in the original name, has always amused me but I don’t think I’ve ever done a cartoon about it. As I thought about a place a child would definitely not want to be taken to work, this scenario immediately came to mind because I’ve never been able to understand what kind of person goes all the way through the rigors of becoming a doctor, only to choose to specialize in diseases of the asshole. Assholes are unpleasant enough when they’re healthy.

This last gag about being a jerk was brought about by the fact that Olive Oyl and I are moving in together at the end of February and I can’t help but wonder if she’s making a huge mistake. I’m sure I’m not making a mistake, but I can’t say that she’s not.  After my most recent divorce (3 years ago, after 9+ years of marriage to a woman who pretended to be happy and normal but was actually cheating on me routinely, committed a felony with an ex-boyfriend that ended up costing me around $50K, was hiding a fairly serious drug and alcohol addiction, and then I found out that pretty much everything she’d told me for the duration of our relationship was a lie and you would totally NOT! believe the stories I could tell you about the antics she got up to so I left her but she’s still dragging me through court 3 years later, wanting more and more and more money as if she deserved to be taken care of for the 9+ years we lived together and she never even had a job in spite of my begging her to find something to do with her life) I swore I’d never live with another woman. But Olive Oyl is different (yes, I know I don’t have the most credibility when it comes to this subject) and I am certain things will go well for us IF she can put up with me. I suspect I’m not that easy to live with.

Hope you enjoyed today’s rant. I’ll post again next weekend. Smooches, Jazz Pickles.