Saturday, September 14, 2019

Preferred Seating

Today, we wrap up a full week of Bizarro without any cat or dog gags. I must have been off my game the week I drew these, but fear not, we've got a canine comic lined up for next week.

Here's the uncharacteristically pet-free batch for your enjoyment.

Chef's table experiences usually include a verbal introduction for each course, but that's not the case at this particular bistro. The owners pride themselves on their fine selection of celebrity chefs treading water in a giant aquarium.
Quite a few historically-informed readers caught this panel's reference to plenary indulgences, those handy Get Out of Hell Free cards that the Catholic church used to sell to wealthy believers. This practice bugged Martin Luther, who expressed his objections in his famous Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.

I updated the idea by making a verbal comparison to the modern idea of carbon offset credits, although this type of purchased forgiveness is used to support projects intended to reduce greenhouse gases. My understanding of the concept and process is admittedly incomplete, but I think that carbon offsets are a more legitimate product, although they also allow people with more money to get away with certain "sins."

Plenary indulgences were reintroduced by the church in 2009. They're no longer for sale, but you can obtain one by making a "charitable contribution," combined with other "acts." That's more equitable, right?

Oh, and there's a limit of "
one plenary indulgence per sinner per day."

This gag was the result of dogged persistence on the cartoonist's part. It originally had different text, which made no reference to television, and wasn't very funny. I liked the drawing, though, and after hanging it near my drawing table for a week or so, I began to wonder what TV shows ghosts might enjoy. My favorite imagined program is "Normal Things."
Rearranging this panel for the strip layout wasn't particulalrly difficult, but I found this composition to be visually pleasing.

Like most innovations, the "good cop, bad cop" interrogation technique resulted from trial and error. Thursday's cartoon commemorates a pivotal moment in the police biz.

Friday's cartoon imagines a graphical placebo effect. Sadly, this is probably an actual "benefit" in some health plans.

For those who like to count the Bizarro Secret Symbols, I welcome feedback on today's, as I was particularly proud of one of them. Since I'm the one who drew it, I spot it right away, but I'm curious to see if it was challenging to the reader.

We're not in the editorial cartoon business at Bizarro Studios, but as observers of the world around us, we occasionally base a comic on behavior in a way that some might see as political commentary. It's difficult to make a case that citizens with greater wealth are treated the same as those with less. Preferential boarding exists beyond the airline gates.

Thanks, as always, for your comments, tips, and social media shares. Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog, where he offers his own comment on my recent work, and shares his latest Sunday Bizarro page.

Bonus Track

We featured vampires and ghosts in our comics this week. To add to the spookiness, we're listening to Michael Hurley performing his composition "Werewolf."

Hurley is a unique singer, guitarist, cartoonist, and painter, who often does wonderful cartoon art for his recordings. He's also a fellow Pennsylvanian, born in Bucks County, PA.


  1. Hi Wayno,
    I just couldn't find the last one, and wondered if it was a miscount. After reading your comments, it just jumped out at me. Great job.

  2. Well, that gutsy symbol on Friday was the last I found. It took a lot of guts to put that there. Shall I continue? :-)

  3. Yes, the gutsy one took me a long time. Sometimes I even have to check the secret symbols list to see what I could be missing.

  4. I thought immediately of silly al gore and his carbon offset scam!

  5. OMG, I found the sixth symbol!!

  6. I was pretty sure the 6th symbol had to be hidden somewhere less than obvious, and you were obviously internalizing how to insert it in a very gutsy way. Kudos!

  7. Can K2 give you indigestion?