Saturday, March 27, 2021

Delete All

This post appears later than usual, thanks to unstable technology. I composed and formatted the entire article on Thursday, as I normally do, and scheduled it to publish early Saturday morning. I always revisit the draft a few times to make edits and corrections, which I did on Friday afternoon. I rewrote a sentence, but decided to revert to the original, and used the control-Z undo function.

Unfortunately, Google's Blogger platform assumes that after three undo key commands, the user wants to erase the entire post, and there's no way to recover it. So as you read this, please be assured that the original, lost version was wittier and better organized.

Before we begin our over-analysis of the week in Bizarro, let's enjoy a tangentially-related photo.

This week's intense pipe pic features composer, musician, and bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-1979). The shot was taken in 1959, during a session for Columbia Records in New York City. The albums from this period (Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty) are as brilliant and challenging as they were more than 60 years ago.

Mingus wrote an immensely entertaining autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, which is a rich mix of historical fact, dubious memories, and tall tales.

He also had an interesting connection to the comics world. The review excerpted above ran on Down Beat magazine in 1962, and was written by Harvey Pekar, creator if the autobiographical comic series American Splendor. Pekar often worked as a jazz critic, and this particular review didn't sit well with Mingus. The aggrieved musician with an angry letter, writing:

My efforts at blues singing were not meant to challenge such diverse masters as Joe Turner, Ray Charles or Big Bill Broonzy, and I don’t think their singing was meant as a challenge to each other or to me. No one could sing my blues but me (if you must call it singing), just as no one could holler for you if I decide to punch you in your mouth.

Were he still among us, one can only imagine how Mingus would respond to Instagram comments.

At the risk of inviting snarky judgment from present-day critics, we offer our most recent comics.

He applied to join the X-Men as The Incredible Null.

Oddly, the doctor prescribed brand-name medication.

Speaking of online critiques, this gag prompted a reader to ask, "Why are there so many Halloween themed ones lately?" We at Bizarro Studios refuse to confine our vampires, zombies, ghosts, and monsters to a single, fixed date. These creatures lead rich, full afterlives, and don't deserve to be forgotten 364 days of the year.

The mermaid myth is supposedly based on sailors mistaking manatees for human-fish hybrids.

After consuming enough shipboard rum, it might be possible to make that assumption, but the appeal of such a being remains a deeper mystery.

To be fair, that emblem does seem to be more suited to Old Scratch.

A true friend would tell you not to feel guilty about questioning your willfully counterfactual delusions.

Saturday's panel is based on an early draft of David Lynch's first feature-length film.

That wraps up another week of amusing words and pictures. Thanks, as always, for dropping by.

Don't forget to check out Dan Piraro's weekly blog, to read his always insightful commentary, and to laugh at a new Bizarro Sunday page.

Bonus Track

Charles Mingus: Boogie Stop Shuffle
from Mingus Ah Um

A longtime favorite here at BSN.

Note: Some YouTube videos are not available outside the US. On some phones, you must select "View Web Version" on the blog in order to see the video preview and link.


Jeff Barnes said...

Wow! I just love this piece and just ordered a copy of "Mingus Ah Um"! Thank you for sharing!

Wayno said...

It’s a pleasure, my friend.

Unknown said...

The mermaid photo is actually a dugong, a close relative of the manatee (manatees have rounded tails). Love your work!

Dance said...

Why do I keep hearing "Spider Man, Spider Man, does whatever a spider can?"

Claudette Dorsey said...

Listening to Mingus and enjoying your weekly Bizarro blog is just a perfect afternoon. Thank you!

(Staying far back from pools whilst wearing bulky costumes.)

kent said...

The David Lynch reference to your Saturday's cartoon whizzed right past my left temple until I recalled the title. Oy Vey!

Larry said...

I knew very little about Charles Mingus until I moved to Nogales, Arizona 22 years ago where I learned he was born (his father was a Buffalo Soldier stationed at Camp Little). Mr. Mingus moved before he could talk (probably to stay close to his parents, not being able to talk and all), but the fact of his birth led to the eventual birth of the Mingus Hometown Music Festival here many years later. I now know far more about both Mingus and jazz than I ever set out to learn, but certainly don’t regret it.

Wayno said...

I appreciate the knowledge! Thanks!!

Wayno said...

Ha! I see what you mean.

Wayno said...

Thanks for the kind words, Claudette!

Wayno said...

I only thought of it much later myself.

Wayno said...

He was one of the giants.