Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bait & Switch, or, The Great White Guppy

Well, we made it through the first Valentine's Day in over a hundred years without Necco conversation hearts candies. We hope this week's cartoons helped you cope with that loss.
While getting tattooed is undoubtedly painful, I assume there's more discomfort associated with having a design etched onto an arm bone. 

We exercised artistic license here by drawing the skeleton's humerus larger than normal, in order to make the scrimshaw image visible in the printed comic. And, if a skeleton works out enough, maybe it actually does increase bone mass.

When I was a young'un, back in the (first) vinyl era, supermarkets often had racks of cheap records near the checkout lanes. Sometimes they were "cut-outs" -- remaindered copies of poor-selling or overstock product, with a punched hole or notch cut into the cover. Just as often, they were low-budget knockoffs of popular recordings, designed to fool clueless customers. Plenty of kids I knew received bogus Beatles records as gifts.

Here are a few of the more laughable phonies:

Wednesday's gag remixes Greek mythology, with Eros experiencing an Icarus moment.

At least they won't have bites taken out of them. While drawing this gag, I kept imagining the sound a box filled with walnuts would make. You can hear it now, can't you?

Remember to show consideration to friends and coworkers during cold and flu season.

The staging of Friday's panel echoes a great gag by the late Charles Barsotti (1933-2014). Barsotti's famous Fusilli, you crazy bastard! cartoon even ran in place of a photo in his Washington Post obituary. I loved his economic, clean drawing style, as well as his observant humor. After sketching this one, I immediately recognized Barsotti's influence showing in my drawing.
The background seemed a little too sparse, and my excellent editor/collaborator Dan Piraro suggested adding a TV showing the fireplace video.

We close the week with a gag for grammar nerds. The phrase "just deserts" uses an archaic definition of the word "desert," meaning "that which one deserves," though it's pronounced the same as "dessert."

If you enjoy my ramblings, you can gain even more insight be checking out Dan's blog, where you can also dig his latest Sunday masterwork, and pick up some fabulous Bizarro swag.

Bonus Track

When it comes to ersatz Beatles music, nobody does it better than The Rutles, the brainchild of Monty Python's Eric Idle and The Bonzo Dog Band's Neil Innes.


  1. As there aren't any nerves in bone, tattooing there shouldn't hurt at all.

  2. Wayno, I was all.set to go off on a self-righteous epistle about how just deserts was misspelled, when I decided to google it first. Boy, howdy...imagine my surprise when I discovered you were correct. Who says you don't learn anything from cartoons? Now if you'll excuse me..Sponge Bob is on.

    1. Thanks for Googling first! I got a lot of comments “correcting” this one.

  3. Good call. I'll head down to see about having mine done this weekend.

  4. There may be no nerves in bone but while having a bone plug taken from my hip for a bone marrow match, it hurt like hell. And I didn't match but someone else did. SO it was all worth it. :)

  5. In the comic with the fire extinguisher, are the fire hydrant and the pail pictures of his Mom and Dad?

  6. There were a couple people I was in a band with who, when they were just getting started in the early 90s, would play open mics in Davis and Sacramento. They did a fair number of Beatles tunes. But then they noticed that a lot of other people started doing Beatles tunes too. So they stopped doing Beatles and started doing Rutles instead. Both of the Rutles albums are brilliant. I need to watch the TV special again soon. I haven't seen it in probably 20 years.

    Speaking of which, Neil Innes has a new project going on PledgeMusic. Hopefully PledgeMusic gets their act together and gives him the money I gave them.

    I loved the scrimshaw gag. It reminds me of going to Maui in the mid-80s when there were tons of scrimshaw shops.

  7. Ssteve,

    Yes, the Rutles are great, and so is everything else Neil Innes has done! I believe he's severed ties with PledgeMusic. I donated through Pledge and am currently trying to get my money refunded. Neil's now got a GoFundMe page to support the new album.

    Have you heard the 1990 tribute album RUTLES HIGHWAY REVISITED? It's worth seeking out.

  8. Thanks for the heads-up about Neil’s PledgeMusic divorce. I’ll see if I can get my money back from my credit card company and send it to his GoFundMe project instead.

    I have the Rutles Highway Revisited album. I especially love Goose Step Mama by Shonen Knife. It sure sounds like they’re mostly singing it phoenitically. Which is extra funny when they try to sing “you’ve got nothing to eins zwei drei vier”.