Saturday, November 23, 2019

Weirdos of the World, Unite

Last Saturday, author/editor/designer/publisher/historian Jon B. Cooke paid a visit to Bizarro Studios North. While hanging out in the spacious front office, we recorded an interview for Jon's comics podcast, Subterranean Dispatch.
Jon B. Cooke with Wayno at
Bizarro Studios North, 11/16/19
Jon is the author of The Book of Weirdo, a fascinating and deeply-researched history of Robert Crumb’s influential comix anthology. It’s an impressive and scholarly work, which includes interviews with all three Weirdo editors (Crumb, Peter Bagge, and Aline Kominsky-Crumb) plus profiles, photos, and interviews with Weirdo contributors, and discussion of projects and publications related to or influenced by Weirdo. While gathering material for the book, Jon tracked down every living Weirdo contributor, even those (like myself) who only did a single page for the magazine.
Portrait of the Cartoonist as a Young Weirdo
I can’t recommend The Book of Weirdo highly enough. It's available wherever comics are sold, but the best source is Last Gasp Books, who've been publishing underground comix since 1970.

It was a treat to spend the morning with Mr. Cooke, a fine and gracious gent, who I know is now a friend for life.

What else went on last week? We sent another six cartoons out into the world, hoping to provide a few laughs during trying, confusing times.

A dear friend of mine recently experienced a couple of scary episodes of atrial fibrillation, and had to wear a recording heart monitor around the clock for several days, which made everyday activities (like showering) complicated and stressful. He's doing better now, as his health provider tries to figure out the right combination of medications and treatment. My friend approved of this cartoon, and promised to take good care of himself, as I hope you all do.
My drawings of the characters in this gag are based on actors Jack Haley and Frank Morgan, who played the Tin Man and the Wizard in the 1939 film.

Unfortunately, for many, the workplace is a competitive arena, and some employers like it that way. The supervisor in this cartoon is perhaps trying to foster employee solidarity and teamwork, though his technique is lacking.

Greeting card companies might want to consider creating a line of "Happy Realistic Expectations" Day cards.

While this prospective member isn't wrong, his behavior should serve as a reminder that it's not necessarily wise to offer corrections to friends in social settings.

We enjoy doing parodies of superheroes, and wondered what sort of person would assume a name like "Mister Fantastic?" That's just asking for ridicule.
Although this is the first time I've tweaked these characters in Bizarro, here's a 2012 sketchbook drawing of another member of the Fantastic Four.

When I use inanimate objects as protagonists, I usually try to draw them realistically, without arms, legs, or faces. Occasionally, I'll anthropomorphize an object, but I prefer to find a way around that if possible.

Don't forget to check out Dan Piraro's weekly blog, where you can view his newest Sunday Bizarro page, see what he has to say about my most recent gags, and find some great Bizarro swag to buy for yourself or as gifts.
D. Piraro modeling an official Flying Saucer of Possibility cap
Oh, and grab yourself a copy of The Book of Weirdo.

Bonus Track

Long before Weirdo, there were Weird-Ohs: plastic model kits featuring wild monster characters driving cartoon hot rods.

I gave up on the Weird-Ohs models after botched attempts at building and painting two or three of them. Fortunately, the Fleer Corporation marketed Weird-Ohs bubblegum cards, which I collected as a kid.

I still have a few of my old beat-up Weird-Ohs cards here in the studio.
From the Bizarro Studios North Archive


  1. Do I see the influence of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth here?
    He helped me become the man I am today as does Bizzaro and Zippy!!!


    1. Oh, yes. Hawk’s Weird-Ohs were part of that Big Daddy Roth aesthetic. I was a big Rat Fink fan, too.

      And it’s flattering to bementioned alongside Zippy.

      Thanks for your comments!