Saturday, February 19, 2022

Old World Craftsmanship

Welcome to your weekly dispatch from Bizarro Studios North, located just off the highway in scenic Hollywood Gardens, PA. The last few days have been busy and stressful (don't ask!), so instead of my usual rambling introduction, we'll jump right in with a pipe pic.

Photo: Ed Ford/AP

If one can believe the site where this fascinating photo was posted, the two gents pictured are George Braunsdorf (6 feet 4 inches) and Joe Damone (5 feet 1 inch) demonstrating the "Double Ender" pipe in New York, on June 2, 1949. 

According to the caption, "the pipe was designed as a means of conserving  tobacco by a couple of pipe smokers down on their luck, or, sharing a smoke at a ball game."

Thanks to eagle-eyed Bizarro reader and pipespotter Andréa D for the lead on this one.

In other news, I've been selected as the Winner for the 2022 Best of Pittsburgh Award in the category of Woodcuts For Use In Printing. This, despite the fact that I have never in my life made a woodcut for use in printing.

Every year I receive an email from these scammers, trying to sell plaques and "crystal" awards that I can use to impress whoever might be fooled by such ridiculous crap. They even wrote a nonspecific but hilarious press release for me.

While I ponder whether I should start doing Bizarro as a woodcut, let's review the latest comics in their current form.

If any streaming platform launches a series about a baby vampire Eros, please contact our attorneys.

We're almost certain that Tuesday's gag marks the first ever appearance of the word "trepanning" in a syndicated newspaper comic.

Earlier this month, King Features updated their Comics Kingdom site, and since then, it's been displaying the horizontal strip version of Bizarro. I conceive and draw the daily comics with the panel layout in mind, and consider the strip to be an alternate version. Comics Kingdom is supposed to default to the preferred panel form, and we hope to have things back to normal soon. This didn't happen to Dennis the Menace!

I had already planned to share the strip version on the blog, because it's a little different from the panel.

In this layout, we see some of the monster's other tools, along with his favorite coffee mug.

What else would you use to guard a field of candy corn?

In keeping with my tradition of second-guessing every comic, I now wish I'd deleted the word "somehow" in this panel. Otherwise, I'm happy with it. Imagine the existential horror of becoming a termite if you're made of wood.

As usual, I prefer the panel version over the strip. The portrait layout feels more claustrophobic, which is what I was going for with the drawing. The strip is too roomy.

Three hours barely scratches the surface.

That's the latest from Bizarro Studios North, folks. Don't forget to cruise over to Dan Piraro's blog for more pithy commentary from a cartoonist who's won actual awards.

One last tidbit: I recently recorded a short interview for Peter Anthony Holder's The Stuph File Program. I make my appearance at the 43 minute mark, right after "Brady Bunch" alum Christopher Knight.

Bonus Track

Josef K: "Sorry for Laughing"
Postcard Records, 1981

My favorite Scottish post-punk band.


  1. The funny thing about the award is that it doesn't even pretend to be about talent or being good at what you do. It's for "exceptional marketing success" and "implement[ing] programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value". So congratulations on your marketing success and long-term value I guess?

    1. Ha ha, yes. I should probably say, “Thanks, I guess?” In my acceptance speech.

  2. ... and it says "Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy" ... and under "Featured Companies with Display Awards" it lists Best Buy, Shell Oil ("which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world"), Dollar Rent a Car (under Best of Spokane!) and Merrill Lynch.

  3. I've always thought I need treppaning like I need a hole in the head.

  4. I'm probably seeing too much into it, but the karaoke guy looks to me very much like Waldo/Wally, but not in his uniform striped sweater/shirt. Maybe this is what he does on his day off?

    1. Perhaps that is his side gig.

  5. I don't always hang around for the secret symbol search after enjoying a tasty slice of Bizarro pie, but I often do and enjoy the diversion. Speaking of which - and I know this is none of my business, but... I know that the symbols K2 and O2 are nods to Dan's most beloveds, but, seeing as it's you who draws the dailies, it seems to me it'd be nice if you did secret symbol nods to your own beloveds in the comics you draw. That would give us secret symbol searching fans another secret symbol or two to search, keep Dan's Sunday panels special to his beloveds, and give you an outlet to nod knowingly to your own known noddables. Like I said, none of my business, just something that's been gnawing on the back of my brain since you came on board the Bizarro daily commuter. Cheers!

    Yer pal Mikey

  6. Re: WWH's comment, I thought the same thing about the Karaoke guy. He's like Waldo in camo.

    BTW, Bizarro is a great comic. The gags are terrific and the secret symbols make it really special.


  7. I'd never thought before just what that bolt is doing in the monster's neck. But suppose it is fairly obvious. Fastens his head onto his neck, right? But if he's taking a wrench to it what is he doing? Committing suicide?