Saturday, March 06, 2021

Arm of the Beholder

As I compose this week's blog entry, the sun is shining outside Bizarro Studios North, and we're feeling cautiously optimistic regarding the possibility of getting together with family and friends at some time in the future. My musical group has even penciled in a date for our December holiday show. That makes us happy, although we don't want to wish away the next nine months.

This week's pipe pic comes from our illustration archives. The image was originally created to promote a life drawing event at Zombo Gallery here in Pittsburgh. The gallery was the brainchild of my good friend Michael "Zombo" Devine, a musician, DJ, entrepreneur and sophisticated man about town. In the early part of this century, I had several solo art exhibits at Zombo Gallery, and I still miss the place.
Zombo & Wayno at the opening of "Stubble & Smoke," 2008

As we look forward to the arrival of Spring, let's adjust our fezzes and review the week in cartoons.

Monday's gag featured some all terrain footwear. My photo research for this one included an image search on the phrase "Elton John Tommy Boots," to find pictures of the giant Doc Martens he wore in the film version of the Who's rock opera.
The sketch above, from around 2008, was a first stab at a comic drawing parallels between gigantic tires and huge shoes. Setting it aside for a decade was a sound decision. The version published this week lets the connection occur in the reader's mind rather than on the page, providing a more satisfying payoff.
Most of us have had to endure a coworker who repeats the same stupid joke day after day.
It's been nearly a month since our last clown gag, so we were compelled to remedy that situation on Wednesday.
Thursday's panel plays with inversion, perception, and symmetry. This customer can enjoy his new tattoo in the mirror, reflected in a puddle, or by simply glancing down at his bicep.
"Any openings for marionettes?" 
Tom, my close friend and bandmate, wears many musical hats, including that of a piano teacher. In the early days of the pandemic, he began giving online lessons, and found that most kids paid closer attention to him on-screen than when he was physically in the room with them. He theorized that they're more attuned to video images than actual humans. That's possible, but knowing my friend, I imagine that he himself might also be more focused in this situation. I'm pleased to report that he has more students than ever, located all over the world.

That's the latest from sunny Hollywood Gardens, PA. Thanks for dropping by and following Bizarro. Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog to read about his latest adventures and activities, and to check out his always-spectacular Bizarro Sunday page.

See you next week.

Bonus Track

Roger Ruskin Spear: Pinball Wizard
from the album Unusual (United Artists Records, 1972)

An inventive reinterpretation, by a founding member of the Bonzo Dog Band.

Technical note: Some YouTube videos are unavailable outside the US. On some phones and mobile devices, it's necessary to select "view web version" to see the video preview and link.


  1. At one time in my youth, I smoked a so-called ladies' pipe, available at our local smoke shop (ironically, with the same name as I have); my fave tobacco was vanilla. Ah, memories . . . I didn't wear a fez, tho.

  2. I highly suggest listening to the rendition of “Pinball Wizard” this week with headphones and a comfortably high volume. The greatest takeaway for me are the tubas. YIKES! Who did this to one of my favorite songs from my youth?!

    1. Excellent suggestion. Both of Roger Ruskin Spear’s albums are delightful.

  3. What happened to the Zombo gallery?

  4. [N2GJ Gerry said...
    Who did this to one of my favorite songs from my youth?!]
    Well, I don't Know, so please tellme, Who did?

  5. The coroner joke expanded:

    Assistant to surgeon:
    "Is it supposed to bleed like that?"

    'Ooops, doctor...."

    DMD, MS, Periodontist (i.e. GUMS)

  6. Spear's Pinball Wizard sounds like The Mothers of Invention hooked up with 13th Floor Elevators...Delightful! Thank you for sharing it!!!

    1. That’s a jam session I’d like to hear!

      Today while I worked, I listened to The Who’s performance of “Tommy” from Live at Leeds.

  7. The sometimes-called "My Generation Suite" from Live at Leeds is one of my all-time favorite tracks, period.

  8. That's really nice work on the K2 in the tattoo panel, I have to say. It took me a long minute to find it, and it plays beautifully into the gag.
    Good on ya, sir.