Saturday, January 27, 2018

String Theory

This sextet of Bizarro cartoons includes a few music-related gags, possibly because music occupies such a large section of my personal phrenology map. Whatever the reason, let's run down the chart, and see if any of these have a beat you can dance to.

Several readers suggested that Monday's cartoon could instead have featured accordion, bagpipes, tuba, etc., but banjo players are known to have a healthy, self-deprecating sense of humor, and love to tell jokes about their chosen axe, so that's the direction we took with this gag. Before someone else points it out, the irony of a ukulele-strumming cartoonist poking fun at the banjo is not lost on me.

As a side note, if you're ever in Pittsburgh on a Wednesday, I highly (and non-ironically) recommend checking out the weekly open rehearsal of the Pittsburgh Banjo Club.

Here we reveal a little-known hiccup in the development of a classic toy. This panel also features the tiniest stick of dynamite to appear in Bizarro to date.

It turned out to be even more disturbing in black & white.

Those rear-window stick figure things have been around longer than most people realize, but there's no craftsmanship involved these days. For two bits, the kid would do Happy Hooligan whizzing on the Packard emblem.

A scene from the short lived cable series, Law & Order: Puppetland.

The drawing that sets up Thursday's gag is rather weird, but it's consistent in its twisted logic. For the joke to deliver, the reader has to "hear" the music, and then anticipate what comes next. My friend Shannon Wheeler once told me that his best cartoons (which you've probably seen in The New Yorker and elsewhere) show the middle of a narrative, with the reader filling in the beginning and the end. That was my intent here, and I think it came pretty close.

Dogs. They sure love smelly stuff, don't they?

That's the latest from Bizarro Studios North. Please surf over to Dan Piraro's blog for his thoughts on this week's offerings. 


Finally, here's a wonderful 1927 banjo recording by Harry Reser. Enjoy.


  1. I like the banjo trend!

  2. “Your comment is awaiting moderation,” it says on Dan’s page, so if you never see it there I’d better paste here:

    “Back in my day people would get that joke more easily,” a guy of a certain age was tempted to say before revealing a truth integral to the Mr. Tomato Head cartoon. The original toy’s facial parts had pegs long and sharp enough to penetrate a real potato and inspire real or imagined law suits. Wayno assumes deeper historical awareness than the average cartoonist. Bravo

  3. "Wayno assumes deeper historical awareness than the average cartoonist"

    I may have to use that as a blurb someday!