Saturday, July 24, 2021

Spare Parts

Welcome back to the blog, Jazz Pickles. I'm starting this post with a pipe pic featuring someone I've met in person: the great R&B singer Barrence Whitfield.

© Bloodshot Records, 2013

Mister Whitfield is a deeply knowledgeable music historian, and has been making his own music since the mid-1980s. He's the most dynamic performer I've ever seen. I had the pleasure of hearing the original lineup of the Savages at a small club in Pittsburgh in 1985, and again, at an even smaller club in 2015.

Your cartoonist with Barrence Whitfield
Club Cafe, Pittsburgh 8/26/15
Thirty years after that first time, he was more powerful than ever, and put on a show worthy of the largest venue. If you have a chance to hear this man, do not pass it up. And be sure to buy some of his music. You'll thank me.

Now, let's review the week's Bizarro comics to see if any pipes turn up.

Monday's pipe-free cartoon showed a clever crew's innovative mutiny strategy.

I find the creative naming of pups of mixed parentage to be quite amusing. Whatever you call your canine family member is fine with me as long as they are loved and properly cared for. A few weeks ago, I heard one that was new to my ears: "sheepadoodle." I also have a good friend who's a chiweenie. We're all mutts of one sort or another.

My favorite comment on this one appeared on Instagram:

Inaccurate. Mayflies have no mouths.

At least I accurately portrayed their use of social media and their ability to speak English.

The musician in Thursday's panel is famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. I drew this cartoon back in March, after hearing that he had given an impromptu solo performance at the Massachusetts clinic where he received his second dose of the COVID vaccine. I'd been thinking about his generous gift to others at the clinic, and naturally my cartoonist's brain led me to a silly pun.

My thanks go out to Yo-Yo Ma for inspiring the gag, for sharing his musical talents with the world, and for demonstrating concern for his fellow humans by getting himself vaccinated.

While doing research, I found a lovely quote from Mr. Ma:

Music, like all of culture, helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves. Culture helps us to imagine a better future. Culture helps turn "them" into "us." And these things have never been more important.


This kitten scout has earned the organization's first-ever demerit badge.


Mythical creatures likes mermaids, Sasquatches, or centaurs often provide fodder for gags. I've seen cartoons about mermaids with the human and fish parts switched, but don't recall one about a reverse centaur. Centaurs not only get all four legs from the horse, but also the human's arms, and they're considered to be exotic and sexy. A beast made from the remaining pieces seems like a sad afterthought.

That's the recap of my latest work. Thanks for stopping by, and remember, you can subscribe to my newsletter here, and receive notifications on new blog posts in your email. Each newsletter also includes a peek at something from the drawing board, just for fun.

If you'd can't get enough behind-the-scenes comics talk, don't forget to visit Dan Piraro's Bizarro blog. In addition to commenting on these gags, Dan also shares his latest Sunday page, and he usually has interesting words about any number of unrelated topics. I always feel that I've learned something when I read one of his posts.

Mistaken ID

Last weekend, we visited friends in a nearby town, and I took the opportunity to check out the comics page in their local paper. I prefer reading comics on newsprint, with the imperfections and grit of physical media. 

When I started as Bizarro's Monday through Saturday cartoonist in 2018, my name was added to the feature's byline to reflect that change. The credit in your local paper (one hopes) now reads Bizarro, by Wayno & Piraro.

This particular publication instead created a mashup of our names, crediting the comic to "Dan Pirano."

Another comics panel in the same paper had a byline crediting a cartoonist who has nothing at all to do with that feature, so ours is at least nearly correct.

Bonus Track

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages
"Stop Twistin' My Arm"
from the album Ow! Ow! Ow!
(Rounder Records, 1987)

Note: Some YouTube videos are unavailable outside the US. The mobile version of this blog may not display the video link and preview. When viewing on your phone, scroll down and select View Web Version to see the link.


  1. OW! OW! OW!
    I want to hear The Beatles covering this!

  2. I like the name Dan Pirano, you should keep it. It has some bite to it. :-)