Saturday, November 10, 2018

Up All Night

After this past week, we all could use a break from politics. A look back at the latest batch of cartoon high jinks might do the trick.

Monday's Bizarro generated quite a bit of online discussion, including some particularly intolerant comments from a few readers. One person in particular complained repeatedly on my Instagram feed about finding the cartoon "disturbing." He insisted that his discomfort was not in any way homophobic, but that he was upset by "political correctness inserted in a gag." Maybe he just doesn't like blueberry pie.

Dan Piraro described our comic collaborations in a 2011 interview thusly:
Our sense of humor depends for the most part on a realistic scene with realistic people where something really strange is happening to them.
That's the way we view this gag, although the pie and eyeball skew it away from realism somewhat.

I once watched a whole concert through the screen of the person in front of me who held their phone at my eye level, but all credit for inspiring this comic goes to my friend Lisa, specifically her wonderful review of a recent show here in Pittsburgh.

The best comment on this gag came from Bizarro's CEO (Chief Eyeball Officer) Dan Piraro, when I sent him the initial sketch: I keep thinking you’ll run out of clown gags but it’s the genre that just keeps giving.

I've no doubt people have heard this when inquiring about their health care coverage, at least here in the US.

Converting this gag to the strip layout was surprisingly challenging, until I realized I could get away with showing it as the view through the registration window at a medical office.
A simple joke, but I chuckled as I drew it. I really should do more lumberjack humor.

Saturday's cartoon does double duty. It's a little giggle about the nearly opposite meanings of a single English language word, and also comments on the willful irresponsibility of certain individuals placed in such positions.

Please also read Dan's blog, for more behind-the-scenes insight, and to marvel at his latest Sunday panel, which is always beautiful to behold.

Bonus Track

Another Nail in My Heart by Squeeze
(The band I had to view through some knucklehead's phone)

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Rhythm Section

We hope everyone had a suitably spooky Halloween. We're posting this dispatch in the wee small hours of the morning because the Combo is headed to the studios of the Saturday Light Brigade for a live radio broadcast. 

Before we pack up the music truck, here's a look back at the week's shenanigans.

The patient has only scrambled memories of childhood.

In fact, this character should avoid moisture all day, every day.

Our Halloween cartoon featured a visit with the monster at home. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. We love to draw Frankie, and wondered what would would happen if he had his  ancestral mix analyzed. 

Actually, it'd be a better world if everyone realized that we're all mixed-up mutts, and are all part of one family, one race. 

One can imagine.

I recently saw a bag of sugar-coated almonds that were colored to resemble pimiento-stuffed olives. They were in a bin marked "discontinued candies," which is not surprising.

Friday's gag comments on the dynamics of musical groups, and the personality traits of cats and dogs. The art was inspired by a print created my good friend and musical collaborator Dave Klug.
I have one of these beautiful pieces hanging in my home, and see it every day. In the Bizarro version, I switched their instruments. I imagine a bass player as a laid-back feline type, and drummers as performers who bounce around like  energetic pups. 

My friend Dave is not only an extraordinary artist and designer, he's also a formidable drummer. And he's also more of a cool cat.

Snakes like to go to bars the same as anyone else, but they usually ask for straws.

Check out Dan Piraro's blog for more insight into the week's cartoons, as well as his latest glorious Sunday page. He's also got fine art prints and some of his amazing paintings for sale at

Bonus Track

I like to play the drums.
I think I'm getting good but I can handle criticism...