Saturday, September 28, 2019

Surrealistic Pizza; or, The Persistence of Anchovy

This weekend, I have an interesting gig at the Carnegie Science Center here in Pittsburgh. On Saturday and Sunday morning, I'll be hosting and introducing a program of classic Warner Brothers cartoons at the Center's Rangos Giant Cinema. I'm expecting a good crowd of kids, accompanied by nostalgic parents wearing pajamas and eating sugary cereal.

Now, let's review the week's (inanimate) Bizarro cartoons.

A reader commented on Facebook that they counted ten, not nine, Secret Symbols in this gag. If there are in fact ten, that last one isn't even visible to the cartoonist.
For the strip layout, I moved the Crown of Power from the plainclothes detective's coffee cup to the uniformed officer's shoulder. If you're counting symbols that are out of frame, I suppose that does make ten.

We almost captioned this one "Sauvignon Bland," but decided that "Sauvignon Blah" also delivers the gag, while sounding funnier.

Wednesday's panel documents a pivotal moment in sports marketing history.

It's no secret that Bizarro CEO Dan Piraro and I are both fans of surrealist art, especially the flamboyant trickster Salvador Dali. Bizarro is often described as surreal, and Dan's paintings certainly fit that description.

Dali's best-known work is the 1931 painting, The Persistence of Memory, with its famous melting clocks. I imagined that if Dali had ever worked at a pizza shop, he'd approach the job like no one else.

This one was fun to write and to draw, although it's based on a deadly serious and pervasive problem, which is not limited to spelling and grammar.
I create the strips in the later stages of my weekly process, which can be a lot like solving a puzzle. Configuring this one for the strip layout was more challenging than I'd expected. The two characters fill the vertical panel nicely, but if they had simply been reduced to the height of the strip, the signs and their expressions would have been too tiny to read. However, a little shuffling and cropping did the trick.

We wrapped up the week with another look at feline crime and punishment. I live with two cats, and they're beloved family members, but I also realize that they're fully capable of heartless murder. Which reminds me, I'd better go and feed them before they decide to go for my liver.

Don't forget to check out Dan Piraro's blog, where he offers his analysis of this week's drollery, along with his latest widescreen Sunday page. See you next Saturday.

Bonus Track

Salvador DalĂ­ and his works are referenced in this suitably weird track from Todd Rundgren's 1973 LP, A Wizard, a True Star.

I've never compiled one of those "Desert Island Discs" lists, but if I did, there's a good chance that A Wizard, a True Star would make the cut.


  1. I enjoy your work and I'm a long time Rungren fan.

  2. You want the obvious? You'll get the obvious

    I love this album. It's right up there with Freeze Frame by Godley & Creme.