Saturday, April 14, 2018

Old MacDonald Had Some Issues

Happy Saturday, Jazz Pickles. It's time for another recap of the week's cartoons from the offices of Bizarro Studios North, in Hollywood Gardens, Pennsylvania.

The week kicked off with a bit of wordplay, based on a mishearing of the common phrase "inpatient surgery." The lead physician here was in such a hurry, he didn't bother to wear his face mask. Before going to medical school, he worked with a pit crew at a raceway.

Tuesday's cartoon is one of those "there's two kinds of people in the world" observations, and it takes place in an imagined anteroom for the recently departed. Any resemblance between the unhappy new arrival and a particular syndicated cartoonist is purely coincidental.

This one is a subtle marketing survey in disguise. Right now we're analyzing readers' comments, as we plan our initial sales offering of official Bizarro beard-ribbons. They're perfect for all formal occasions.

Orion is certainly a good sport, isn't he? While doing research for this gag (to confirm the correct number of stars) I learned that Orion's Belt is an example of an asterism. That's an astronomy term describing a pattern or group of stars having a popular name, but not large enough to be considered a constellation. As of this writing, I've been unable to find a definition of the minimum number of stars to qualify as a constellation, but I'd bet some Bizarro readers know the answer.

The day after the Galaxy Awards, country singer Ramblin' Slim Bodine gave a concert on the very same stage. Although his lyrics refer to modern concerns, Slim considers himself an old-school performer, and has been known to rant against "mirrored-sunglass-wearin', headset-singin' frat-bro poseurs." Ticket sales for the show were weak, and Slim had to vacuum the aisles after the show to cover his advance payment.

Cartoonists often use humor to explore subjects that may not be inherently funny. In the real world, obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors can range from a mild inconvenience to major obstacles to life, work, and relationships. At some time or other, we all exhibit some of those tendencies.

Laughing at life's tragedies is an ancient human tradition that can have psychological benefits. Many situations routinely appearing in cartoons would be unpleasant (at best) if experienced in real life: being stranded on an island, cracking one's head on the ground after trying to kick a football, or meeting the Grim Reaper. 

The cartoon is not meant to minimize anyone's difficulties, but rather to acknowledge our common struggles as human beings, and, hopefully, to remind us that sometimes a laugh helps to mitigate their power over us. 

Also, hearing that song all the way through could send anyone to their therapist.

Well, that's more than enough amateur psychology for an ink-jockey to put in one blog post, wouldn't you say?

Until next Saturday, please keep reading and commenting, be good to yourself and your friends, and be sure to read Dan Piraro's weekly blog for his thoughts on the week's gags, and to see his glorious Sunday comic.


  1. I think it takes 7⅓ stars to make a constellation. But you may want to do a poll on how many stars are needed. We'll see how many stars you get.

  2. Crux or the Southern Cross has the fewest stars at 4. It was used to help ships navigate. It can be seen south of Latitude 25 in the tropical regions. It can be seen from April to June. There isn't any constellation that has fewer stars.
    I hope this answers your question.