Saturday, August 25, 2018

In Space, No One Can Hear You Yelp

Last week, I mentioned that I'd be spending the day at the fifth annual Music for MS Festival just north of Pittsburgh. I'm happy to report that the weather cooperated, and it turned out to be a lovely day spent in the company of generous people united to help fund research to end multiple sclerosis.

My band performed early in the day, with no musical mishaps. We auctioned off some prizes, sold t-shirts, enjoyed the food and drink, and later in the evening, we got to see two excellent New Orleans groups, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and Water Seed. I even turned up as a photobomber on Water Seed's Instagram page (the blurry figure in straw hat).

A personal highlight of the day was meeting an aspiring cartoonist and young Jazz Pickle named Elliott. He brought along one of his sketchbooks, and drew this portrait.
Thanks are due to Elliott for making me look much cooler than I am in real life.

Now, let's review the week's gaggings. Click any image for an enlarged view.

There are multiple logical lapses depicted here, but it was intended to be an absurd image, and an excuse to do a dog poo joke. A zero-gravity dog poo joke, to be precise.

I wouldn't want to be the crew member who swabs the airlock.

This drawing of Humpty Dumpty was based on one of Sir John Tenniel's classic illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. The dodo (inverted here as one of Bizarro's secret symbols), also drawn by Tenniel, appeared in Carroll's earlier work, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

I've no doubt that this scenario has played out in reality at least once.

Thursday's gag is just a silly camouflage joke. It always makes me chuckle to see someone wearing camo in a non-military setting. The young skater's flaming eyeball tattoo will turn up again in the next day's cartoon. The parlor was running a special this week.

Dan Piraro, Bizarro's CEO (Chief Eyeball Officer) recently pointed out that when I want to draw a ridiculous-looking character, I give them a handlebar mustache. After today's cartoon, I'll try to cut back on that practice, as I've now taken the handlebar about as far as possible.

I have no revelatory commentary to offer on today's gag, other than to say it's an instance where I came up with the caption first, and reverse-engineered the image.

Thanks for reading Bizarro, and for following these blog posts. Please surf over to Dan's blog for his thoughts on this week's cartoons, and his latest Sunday page.

Bonus Track of the Week

The finale from this year's Music for MS Festival. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Oceanic Forensics

Today's post goes out at the start of a long, hot, and enjoyable day away from the drawing board. My wife and I will be working the t-shirt tent at the fifth annual Music for MS Festival, in Pittsburgh's northern region. It's a great day devoted to raising money for a very worthy cause. I've designed the festival shirts every year, and this time around, my musical group will be part of the day's lineup. Wish me luck!

Now, on to the week's shenanigans.

A few readers thought this was a cartoon about Abe Lincoln. I based the drawing of Captain Ahab on Gregpry Peck's portrayal in the 1956 John Huston film version of Moby Dick. The confusion didn't upset me. I was just happy to get the word "blowhole" published on the comics page.

The day this comic was published, I regretted not drawing the character holding the Frisbee as a shaggy dog. As we've mentioned before, we create each daily Bizarro comic as a vertical panel, and then convert it to a horizontal layout for newspapers who run it in a regular comic-strip slot. 
When converting this one, I gave the dialog to the other foreground figure, to avoid drawing a ridiculously long tail on the word balloon.

Wednesday's Bizarro was partly inspired by my partner Dan Piraro's recent series of luchador paintings. You can see some of this amazing new work on the @DiegoPiraro Instagram page.

Those Terminator movies got it all wrong. As machines become more human-like, they'll develop self-awareness, and then self-interest, but before they can overthrow us, this will happen.

This is my favorite cartoon of the week. You can tell which one I think is the best, because we like to run the strongest gag on Friday. Still, it's impossible to predict what readers will respond to. We're often surprised to see which of the week's cartoons are shared and commented on the most.

Saturday's gag is for everyone who has siblings.

Thanks for reading Bizarro, and especially for taking the time to read the blog.

Be sure to check out Dan Piraro's take on the week's gags over at, and view his latest Sunday comics masterpiece.

Bonus Track of the Week

Here's one of the tunes we'll perform at the festival today.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Accident Free

Week 32 of 2018 is wrapping up, and we've made it more than halfway through my first year at Bizarro Studios North with only a handful of deadline-induced anxiety attacks. Here's a look at the Safety Committee's motivational sign in our corporate lunchroom.

If we maintain our perfect safety record through December 31, Management will let us have a joint party with the staff of Zippy the Pinhead.

Sometimes, I like to imagine a world where being stunned is the worst thing anyone has to worry about.

Robocop forensic artists celebrate July 12, the date in 1960 when the Ohio Art Company introduced the Etch A Sketch, and revolutionized their jobs. Savvy automatons who invested in aluminum powder futures are eternally grateful to the toy's inventor, André Cassagnes

You never want to look silly or feel uncomfortable at an event, and this fellow is trying his best. In most situations, any adult male who shows up in long pants and sans baseball cap has raised the bar.

Once you get over the initial squeamishness, tending to a pet can be a rewarding experience rather than a chore. 

We couldn't fit it in the frame, but this character is also riding a unicycle.

If the National Contrarian Society were an actual organization, would its members deny its existence? Don't ask me, I'm not saying.

Apologies for the brevity of this post. I'm leaving in a few minutes to be fitted for a new pair of steel-toed boots and an upgraded hard hat. Cartooning is a dangerous job, but it keeps the economy rolling.

For more info on Bizarro Studios and its rich corporate culture, be sure to read the current News Release from our CEO (Chief Eyeball Officer) Dan Piraro. You'll also be rewarded with his latest Sunday page, which is always stunning.

This Week's Bonus Track

Lee Dorsey (with Jools Holland)
"Working in the Coal Mine"
From Walking to New Orleans, a 1985 UK TV movie

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Product Placement

Welcome to the weekly dispatch from Bizarro Studios North. 

Summer is flying by, and it already feels like back-to-school season, since we work on our cartoons at least four weeks in advance of publication. It's almost time to come up with some Halloween gags.

I'd been thinking about the everything bagel as the basis for a gag, and toyed  with variations such as anything bagel, everywhere bagel, etc. The idea of an "everyman" bagel inspired a funny/disturbing image, and presented the opportunity for gentle social commentary.

By the way, "Some Sports Team" shirts are available from Dan Piraro's Bizarro Shop. Dan created the shirt in a previous Bizarro gag, and it seemed to fit today's character perfectly.

They all had motive, and Pinocchio seemed most likely to rat out his co-conspirators. Now, I'm wondering if any other fictional characters had unpleasant encounters with whales. There must be a few more.

Sharp-eyed readers who've spent any time in old New York delis might recognize my little tribute to the classic "Anthora" paper coffee cup.

This is yet another gag that resulted from an idea that initially fizzled out. It began as a discussion between two people at some sort of rally, with one character saying "I feel pretty strongly about the cause. Somewhere between a t-shirt and a tattoo." That dialog had promise, but we couldn't think of anything the character could wear that fell between those two things, so we had a line of text and no illustration. After shelving it for a while, we came up with the marker tattoo, for someone who's squeamish around needles (or permanence).

The word "curated" is in danger of overuse these days. It's a safe bet you probably encountered it recently, when something less lofty (edited, compiled, selected, haphazardly thrown together) would have been just fine. The child in today's cartoon remains unimpressed.

Like it or not, the gig economy is gaining ground over traditional jobs with needless corporate expenses like health benefits for workers. Our enterprising protagonist tried working as an Uber driver for a while, but nobody would get into the vehicle once they recognized him. Arriving in a hearse was probably a poor choice, too.

Saturday's gag is based on an expression my wife and I often use while walking our neighbor's dog. When the pup encounters one of her canine pals, we give them both treats, and have always referred to it as "breaking biscuits."

Hey, when you draw a cartoon every day, you're constantly on the lookout for material.

As I do each week, I heartily recommend that you mosey over to Dan Piraro's blog for his perspective on the week's cartoons, and check out what he's created for the Sunday Bizarro page. 

This Week's Bonus Tracks
Petrochemical Heaven, 2007
Acrylic on Masonite, 12" x 12"
(Private Collection)
Several years ago, I curated cobbled together a virtual mixtape of music from my record collection for Inkstuds, a radio show based in Vancouver, BC.

After the show was broadcast, I posted info and commentary on the records we featured, because info and commentary is what we do here on the ol' WaynoBlog.