Saturday, February 26, 2022


Greetings from Bizarro Studios North, where we're trying to hold onto hope for sanity and humanity during a week of horrific world news, and the disappointing but unsurprising silence of spineless politicians still clinging to the malodorous shirttails of a disgraced former elected official.

We wish peace and safety for everyone around the world, and hope that our funny words and pictures provide occasional moments of relief.

To that end, we begin with this week's surreal pipe pic. It's a self-portrait by one of our favorite artists, René Magritte, titled La Lampe Pilosophique (The Philosopher's Lamp.)

Over the years, Magritte has been the subject of quite a few Bizarro comics, and his famous painting The Treachery of Images was the inspiration for our Secret Symbol, The Pipe of Ambiguity

We salute René Magritte, and his compatriots in the leftist, anti-war Surrealist art movement.

René made an appearance in Bizarro again this week, which you'll see as we review our latest comics.

Robin got off to an early start fighting crime on Monday.

Tuesday's comic was an unintentionally timely military gag.

After sketching the panel, I realized that I'd have to do some creative shuffling to get it to work in the horizontal strip layout, and I scribbled this rough guide for myself.

I ended up flipping the image to position the speech balloon and caption box on the same end of the panel.

Not to mention the calming scent of floor trout.  

Unlike Tuesday's ant comic, I was not planning for the strip when I drew this panel. In the strip layout, I usually position a word balloon beside the character who's speaking, since there's no headroom.

I redrew two of the pirates in an attempt to accommodate the balloon placement, but the scene didn't convey the feeling that they were whispering about their shipmate.

I went back to the original staging, and slipped the tail of the word balloon behind the leftmost character. I wasn't sure it would work, but I think it's clear. 

By the way, I'm sharing these mainly so I don't feel that my first attempt was a complete waste of time.

There's our old friend, Magritte, in a parody of his painting, The Son of Man. In the original, a man's face is hidden behind an apple, so the doctor's recommendation to get more fresh fruit makes sense.

This one went through a few iterations on its way to the funny pages.

My first completed drawing replaced the apple with a chocolate candy, which allowed me to use the funny-sounding word "bonbons." But, no matter how many times I revised it, the black & white drawing looked like a poop emoji (💩). Newspapers run comics so small, it would probably have looked more like actual poop. 

Next, I tried a peppermint swirl candy. That wasn't too bad, but I eventually realized that a green m&m was the answer. The shape and color echo the apple in the original painting, and the bold letter m could easily stand for Magritte.

While stewing over these revisions, I forgot to write the number of Secret Symbols next to the signature. For those who like to find thems, there are five in this one.

A bold choice of material.

That's the latest from our cartoon office. If you're in the mood for more commentary (on comics and other matters), pop on over to Dan Piraro's blog. You can also view his always-impressive Sunday Bizarro page. From there, you can bounce to his surreal serialized western epic, Peyote Cowboy.

See you next week, if maniacs don't blow up the world...

One More Pipe!

A few days ago, Facebook's "memories" feature reminded me about this comic from 2014, written by yours truly and drawn by Dan.

What is it with me and pipes? Perhaps I should schedule a session with the therapist from Wednesday's panel.

Bonus Track

Slim Gaillard: "Atomic Cocktail" (1945)

In the words of Charles Mingus, "Oh, lord, don't let them drop that atomic bomb on me." Or on anyone else, for that matter.


  1. I love Magritte, but I had never seen La Lampe Pilosophique before! But then, no matter how many Magritte works I have seen, someone always manages to post one that is completely new to me. Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Jeff! My pleasure. Sharing art & music with friends is a two-way street of joy.

  2. Wayno - the record you posted a week or two ago, "The Out Crowd" by The Squares, is in this week's Dr. Demento show, and you are duly credited!

    1. My dear Doctor, thank you for the kind mention. I can’t believe there’s any odd record you didn’t already know.

  3. Hey there Wayno!!
    Are we suppose to count double Secret Symbols, an in the two eye balls on the kings throne? I always have but sometimes I wonder if I've missed another well hidden one. I love your gags! They never fail to bring a smile.

    1. Hi Judi! Yes, a symbol is counted each time it appears in a panel, so the eyeballs on the throne account for two in the overall total.

      And thanks for your kind words. We can all use a smile now and then, and I’m gratified to know my work brings some to you.

  4. Hello Wayno™
    I truly enjoy all the zany doodles you & Dan produce every single day - and hope I was able to provide some inspiration on the Magritte �� piece.
    Keep on doing what you're doing.
    Cheers from Canada.

    1. Thanks, Bechtel! That’s a perfect Magritte piece for us, no doubt about it.

  5. Here's the conundrum (a type of drum you don't find in many bands anymore)...
    After several months now of following your blog and your explanations on how some of the work gets done (including a few expatiatory notes from Dan on a couple of his PeyCow illustrations), it seems that just about the time y'all are making cartooning look relatively easy-breezy, as though any famn dool could just grab a pen or two and start inking, you let us in on the revisions you do, and the publication framing standards you have to meet, and the re-writes done to get a particular theme and mood right in just ONE ILLUSTRATION(!), and open a window as to both how technical some of your parameters are, and how much creativity & effort must be pumped up to accomplish it all!
    It's about that point that I get exhausted just thinking about all those factors... any aspirations I may have had towards getting creative in the cartooning field just seem to fade into the background.
    And I can assume that MANY of us, as a result, have only that much more respect for what you do and the deadlines you have to meet, rain or shine, inspired at the moment or just waiting for the muse.
    Thanks again for it all!

    Wayne Halyn

    1. Wayne, Thank you for the kind words, and for your appreciation of all that goes into making a cartoon. I'm flattered to know that you follow the blog and pay such close attention. But please don't let yourself be discouraged from taking up any creative pursuit. Whatever your chosen outlet may be, jump in and have fun. Even if nobody but you sees the result, the act of making something with your brain and hands is fulfilling and therapeutic. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

  6. Yer pal Mikey12:14 PM

    What's so bizarre about someone with an Apple in front of their face? I see it all the time just walking down the street.

    1. ...not to mention all of those fellows in overcoats and bowlers falling from the sky.

  7. king of gringolandia12:32 AM

    another week of brilliance, gentlemen. the song was epic. violent femmes or camper van beethoven need to do a cover..... or maybe no doubt when no doubt was never a doubt.

    1. Thank you kindly. Glad you enjoyed the brilliance of Slim Gaillard. My musical outfit includes "Atomic Cocktail" in our performance repertoire, although we haven't recorded it. Come to Pittsburgh sometime and we'll play it for you.