Saturday, December 29, 2018

Farcical Gas

Well, my first 52 weeks at Bizarro have flown by. My actual one-year anniversary is January 1, but I think I'll celebrate now, and again on Monday.

This is a good time to extend my thanks to everyone whose support and encouragement kept me going. These good peeps know who they are. If you're reading this blog post, that means you too.

On to the past week in cartoons.

We kicked off the week with a traditional Christmas scene, from the short story The Gift of the Magus who Couldn't Be There in Person.

A dedicated humorist is willing to suffer for his art. Once again, we dip into the bottomless well of clown gags.

The HR representative had backup to help understand the applicant's responses, since his mother accompanied him on the job interview. She's seated out of frame.

The poor guy will never get ahead in corporate America unless he can conquer this character flaw.

Felines know how to play head games with their human companions, and will exhibit weird and troubling symptoms right up until the time they see the vet. My two favorite details in this panel are the Eyeball of Observation on the poster showing a parasite's life cycle, and the self-satisfied look on the cat's face. He knows he's got a couple of suckers on the line.

Saturday's gag provides a peek into the near future, based on focus group studies.

Bonus Track

Be sure to read Dan Piraro's blog, and check out his latest Sunday Bizarro page.

And please do come back to this blog next week. I hear my Bizarro one year service award is in the mail, and maybe I'll show it off.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Stovepipe Envy

Another Saturday is upon us, which means it's time for the cartoon recap from Bizarro Studios North. Here's what we served up on this week's Smörgåsbord.

Proceed with caution. The first comic depicts human nipples.

Mathematically, this is the reciprocal of an X-ray, so the correct notation is probably X-1-ray.

This is also known as the Baby Step Program.

Historical fact: Stephen Douglas, at 5'4", was a a full 12 inches shorter than Abe Lincoln. 

Historical speculation: Douglas lobbied for another debate after acquiring his custom-made smokestack hat.

If you gotta go, at least go in style.

My comical colleagues Rina Piccolo and Hilary Price ran a different gag involving the Reaper and a Venetian vessel back in November, on the very day I uploaded today's Bizarro. However, we all maintain there was NO COLLUSION.

Friday's comic is an experiment in misdirection. It's fun and satisfying for a cartoonist to find a way to draw something that looks like something else, in hopes that the reader doesn't immediately recognize the thing as what it is. Like this one, for instance.

The LAPD always asks which is your good side before they snap the mug shot.

Thanks for following for yet another week!

Be sure to read Dan Piraro's blog, to see what he has to say about this latest batch, and to gape in wonder at his Sunday Bizarro page.

Bones Track

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Off the Shelf

This week's post will be less verbose than usual, since the Combo is loading up the van for a special holiday gig tonight.

Sometimes it's tough to decide. Fortunately, this restaurant offers tasting flights.

Tuesday's cartoon shows the universality of playing in the snow, and creating icons in our own image. It's an interstellar wonderland.

Did he mention that his hat is made from hand-knitted hemp fiber? In the spirit of "fool" disclosure, I must admit to owning one of those little Italian coffee pots myself, and have even been known to post photos of it.

In real life, mad scientists are few and far between. However, bad science is all the rage these days, in some circles.

We held out as long as we could, but we felt compelled to run a holiday-themed gag. This insidious character certainly adds an Orwellian touch to the season.

The police sketch artist in Pumpkintown has the easiest job on the force.

Thanks for following and reading. Be sure to check out Dan Piraro's blog for deeper insight into this week's cartoons.

Bonus Track

This is a fascinating, oddball record. It was a quick cash-in on the 1960s Batman TV show, a throwaway project for kids. The producers hired musicians to play a version of the Batman theme, and, apparently, whatever else they felt like doing. "The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale" was a totally fictional band, but was made up of stellar players who were actually members of Al Kooper's Blues Project and the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A Shred of Evidence

Welcome to the weekly report from Bizarro Studios North. 

This is Volume 1, Number 49.
Most of us picture a German Shepherd or similar intimidating breed when we think about police dogs, but Labrador Retrievers are not uncommon. Labs are often employed to sniff out drugs and explosives, or to serve as the goofy sidekick. 

Some medical studies actually back up the premise of Tuesday's cartoon. If health insurers followed expensive treatments with immediate patient reimbursement, I'd guess the rates of recovery would be even higher.

Apologies to anyone named Vince. This cartoon is not meant to represent you, but no other name would work here. I have a good friend and colleague named Vince, and I asked him to review this prior to publication. He gave me his blessing in exchange for a link to his excellent comics work

In the near future, we'll be transported everywhere by self-driving cars. On long road trips, those of us who are childless will be able to enjoy simulated family time as our smart devices snipe at each other in the back seat. Pass daddy's special thermos, will you?

Rats are known to be highly intelligent and adaptable, but they're often undone by their greed and dishonesty. Bizarro Studios recognizes the many benefits provided by service animals. We employ (self-prescribed) therapy animals at World HQ in Mexico and our northern location in Hollywood Gardens, USA.

Bringing the week to a close, we return to a canine theme, this time with dogs actually appearing in the panel.

Be sure to take a look at Dan Piraro's always insightful weekly blog post, which showcases his masterful Sunday Bizarro comics page.

Bonus Track

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Calling All Carriages

It's December already, but do not fear, dear readers. We haven't started running any Santa or Nativity gags yet.
Monday's gag was inspired by an actual typo ("uniformed" for "uninformed"), and is an example of a punchline formed by adding or removing one letter. I'm not sure what to call this sort of thing. It's not so much a pun as a type of misdirection, causing the reader to look twice in order to see the unexpected word.
Unlike many social networking apps, these have actually been shown to reduce anger, anxiety, and aggression.
The opening sequence of the old Superman TV show always made me wonder if something like this happened when a bird would fly over the citizens of Metropolis.

Although I generally avoid exclamation points in dialog, they seemed appropriate here, to emphasize the characters' misplaced astonishment.
A cartoon depicting a totally believable scenario. Comments or horror stories from readers in the coffee biz are encouraged.
One should always acquaint oneself with local customs.
The saddest part of the story is that he was apparently informed of this change in status via text message.

Thanks for sticking with Bizarro for yet another week. By the time you read this, we'll be hard at work on cartoons for mid-January.

Please view Dan Piraro's ever-fascinating blog to read his comments on this week's cartoons, as well as his latest Sunday page. And it's not too late to order some Bizarro swag as a holiday gift for friends, family, and yourself. 

Bonus Track

I'd hoped to post a video of "10-4 (Calling all Cars)" by Benny Spellman in this space, but have been unable to locate one, so here's a Christmas tune with a healthy sprinkle of wry British cynicism from my favorite British Invasion band.