Saturday, January 29, 2022

We Are the Walrus

Greetings from frigid Hollywood Gardens, PA, the home of Bizarro Studios North. Temperatures dropped to single digits over the past few nights, but I stayed warm beneath the desk lamp on my drawing table.

Today's blog entry includes some excellent contributions from Bizarro readers, so without further introductory blather, we'll proceed directly to a music-related pipe pic.

This photo of musician, songwriter, singer, and record producer R. Dean Taylor (1939 - 2022) was brought to my attention by Bizarro reader Dave J. The photo above appeared in an obituary in the Ontario edition of the Globe and Mail newspaper. Taylor's name was only vaguely familiar to me as someone in the music business. I learned from the obituary and further research, that he was a significant figure in the history of music, particularly with Motown Records and their subsidiary label, Rare Earth Records.

One of his most impressive credentials was co-writing with Motown's prolific hit-making team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland. He had a few minor hits as a singer, most notably, "Indiana Wants Me," a story song about an escaped criminal being tracked by the authorities, and he co-wrote "Love Child" for Diana Ross & the Supremes.

Thanks to Dave J for the lead on this photo, and for broadening my musical education by prompting me to look into the accomplishments of R. Dean Taylor.

We created a few pictures of our own, and added some words, in hopes of producing laughs. Shall we see if any succeeded?
Monday's panel includes what may well be our first French/English bilingual caption. The customer is shown paying with a five diego bill, which is scrip issued by Rancho Bizarro for all employees. It's only accepted at the Bizarro company store, so the vendor probably canceled this transaction.

Tuesday's panel was a rare Bizarro gag containing no secret symbols. I felt that with the minimalist drawing in this one, the presence of an eyeball or UFO would distract from the joke. Besides, everyone deserves an occasional day off. 

Before their career change, neighbors constantly complained about the horrible noise.

After nearly two years of locking down at home, many of us can relate to the walrus's seen-it-all attitude. I'd initially named the character "The Walrus of Indifference," but couldn't fit in into the caption box.

Rick Bach, a Pittsburgh-born artist whose work I've admired for many years, suggested that these two might enjoy a bucket of KFC (Kentucky Fried Clams). I wish I'd though of that.

In the past, prank phone calls were something of an underground art form. Today, we're constantly pranked by scammers who can spoof caller IDs as they attempt to steal personal information. It makes one nostalgic for the old "Is your refrigerator running" calls.
Prank telegrams delivered a delayed payoff, and posed a danger to messenger boys.

When you know you've moved to the perfect neighborhood.
That wraps up the latest batch of cartoons. I hope you enjoyed at least some of them. 
Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog for additional commentary, and to scope out his always-groovy Bizarro Sunday page.

We'll close as usual with an appropriate musical selection, but first, we have another reader contribution for your viewing pleasure.

Tattoo You

A few days ago, a California art lover known as "Boom Boom" tweeted a photo of their new tattoo, which is based on a 2021 Bizarro comic.

This body decoration boasts four secret symbols, and looks a little tender. I'm flattered that someone wants to wear something I've drawn for the rest of their life. Thanks to Boom Boom for sharing the photo and enduring the pain of adding the cartoon to their body. Sorry for all that shading.

The original comic had five secret symbols. Can you spot which one's absent from the tat?

Bonus Track

The Supremes: "I'll Turn to Stone"
Motown Records, 1967

Composed by R. Dean Taylor with Holland-Dozier-Holland.


  1. Nice photo Wayno and I hope you get to fill many more boxes of your though invoking art!

  2. Hi, Wayno! Another lovely rendition of an Taylor-Holland-Dozier-Holland is this one by the excellent David Devant and His Spirit Wife. For its visuals, the video makes apt use of an early silent short film. Rest in peace, Mr. Taylor!

  3. The missing secret symbol in the tat is the eyeball on the bottle label! And thanks for the smile today!

  4. When I was a kid, my sister had an album of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Beatles songs.

  5. Judi: Thank you! It's my goal.

    Richard Gagnon: Thanks for another great musical link!

    Unknown: Well-spotted, and thanks!

    Jeff: I have a cool jukebox EP version of that album, with the jukebox title strips. Can you imagine playing that on the jukebox in a bar?

  6. I love the idea of playing it in a jukebox in a bar! That would freak some people out -- especially people who've had a few drinks!

  7. I recall R. Dean Taylor's Indiana Wants Me when it was on the Top 40 - but didn't know he was from my home town of Toronto, or even that he was Canadian. You learn a lot from reading obits - people do not always get the credit they desrve when they are living.

    Sorry, no tips= for the Tip Jar - not since I was circumsized! :)

  8. The missing secret symbol is NOT the eyeball - although I can't see the label well enough to confirm. The missing secret symbol is the crown on the horizon. None of the surroundings are there, including the horizon - so, by process of elimination, I'm assuming the eye IS there.

  9. I believe the crown is on the jeep, and the item on the horizon is just a plant in the distance...

  10. I was très pleased with your clever E/F bilingual cartoon. Merci!