Saturday, December 11, 2021

Are We There Yet?

My week has been fairly productive, and I'm happy to be catching up on the few days I took off for Thanksgiving. We'll jump right into things with our pipe pic for this week. It's a dignified shot of the great Dizzy Gillespie.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917 - 1993) needs no introduction, but that jacket he's wearing made me quote a Warren Zevon lyric: "I'd like to meet his tailor."

Let's see whether anyone as cool as Diz turns up in our latest batch of gags.

This one attempts to explain why pigeons are sometimes called "rats with wings."

Tuesday's panel features a frequent Bizarro protagonist in a favorite setting. The Monster is a rich comic character, and tattoo parlors offer plenty of space for multiple Secret Symbols.

As I've mentioned in the past, I have no tattoos, but that Sluggo design reminded me of a couple I might consider if I were to get one.

Our gag for Wordplay Wednesday includes a pun and alliteration.

My destination of choice would be Hoboken, since it actually exists.

On Thursday, we presented a scene from the gripping courtroom drama, Hood vs Wolf. 
Do music executives with gold records on their office walls still exist?

The week ended with our first Christmas cartoon for 2021. We held out as long as we could, but the season is upon us, and we conceded.

If I'd done the strip version in its normal horizontal configuration, it would've been a lot of blank space with a tiny drawing of the officer, so I opted for a vertical layout.

This is how it appeared in newspapers who carry Bizarro in its alternate format, but we've rotated the image for easier reading.

That's the weekly wrap-up from Bizarro Studios North. Thanks for visiting.

For additional commentary, plus a spectacular Sunday Bizarro page, pop on over to Dan Piraro's blog.

Bizarro in the Wild

Sharp-eyed reader Danielle A sent us this terrific photo taken in the United Nations Gift Shop in San Diego's Balboa Park.

Lovingly taped to a shelf of Russian matryoshka dolls are four Bizarro comics and, on the far left, an old WaynoVision comic. WaynoVision was my solo feature before I closed up shop to become Bizarro's daily cartoonist. That particular panel has been shared (and stolen) more than any of my other gags.

If you spot a Bizarro comic in the wild, please send a photo, along with location info. You be in on the ground floor of a new hobby.

Thanks again, Danielle!

Bonus Track

Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong
"Umbrella Man"
from The
Timex All Star Jazz Show
CBS TV, January 7, 1959

Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, Gillespie and Armstrong carried on a public feud, going so far as to mock each other on record (Gillespie's "Pops' Confessin' and Armstrong's faux-bop "Whiffenpoof Song") and, more aggressively, in interviews.

Their relationship changed for the better in the late 1950s, after, they became neighbors in Queens, New York.

Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, describes this beautiful clip in his 2020 book, Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong:

Armstrong and Gillespie grew to be close friends and eventually buried the musical hatchet with their immortal televised duet on "Umbrella Man" in 1959, neither man giving an inch or changing anything about their individual, groundbreaking styles. But in the second half of the performance, both men also revel in their natural talents as singers, showmen, and comedians, inducing waves of laughter from the studio audience just seconds after dazzling them with their virtuosity.

Mr. Riccardi's deeply-researched book is highly recommended, and makes a strong case for reevaluating a period of Louis Armstrong's career that some critics dismissed. This reader certainly gained a greater appreciation of Armstrong's big band recordings. I'm especially grateful for being directed to this video, showing genuine affection and respect between these two giants.


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  1. And then Jackie Gleason steps in at the end!

  2. Something about that Highly Decorated Officer's face reminds me of George W. Bush (AKA #43)

    1. My apologies, although W looks a little less horrible after that last guy.

  3. I didn’t know about your solo comics but I just spend a wonderful hour visiting all of them. I notice your “antibiotic/probiotic” bit and remembered Dan’s “antipasto/provolone” strip. Coincidence?!

    Loved the Dizzy/Satchmo video!

    1. Ha! I was behind the antipasto gag, too. I guess I borrowed from myself.

      Yes, that video is pure joy!


  4. That Diz and Louis is one of the best things I've ever seen. Always hated the "war" between the beboppers and the Moldy figs. Thank you for posting this.

    1. I agree, that beef was not necessary, but perhaps inevitable, at least initially. I was glad to read about Diz and Pops becoming friends, while they still had years to enjoy each other’s company.

  5. Normally when I come to this blog I scroll straight to the bottom, hit play on the music piece, then scroll back up to read the blog.

    Not this time!

    Transfixed watching two of the greatest jazz musicians ever, in a meeting I had not heard about. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting Louie/Diz!