Saturday, April 02, 2022

Trust No One

This is the weekly communiqué from Bizarro Studios North, where I (Wayno®) have been writing and drawing the Monday through Saturday Bizarro comics since 2018. My partner and friend, Dan Piraro, who created Bizarro in the late twentieth century, continues to do the Sunday comic from Rancho Bizarro in Mexico.

I hope you survived April Fools' Day without sitting on a whoopee cushion, getting joy-buzzed, or lighting an exploding cigar. I slipped a little trick into the April 1 panel, but explain it fully in today's post.

Last week, we opened with a double pipe pic of artist M.C. Escher. We're topping that with this violent triptych from a 1960s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comic book.

A respectful tip of the fedora to longtime FOB (Friend of Bizarro) Steve D for the scan of this wonderful sequence from a mostly-forgotten comic book series.
The superhero team's acronym stood for "The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves," and some issues featured art by the great Wally Wood. I have no idea who created the art shown here, but I'm delighted that Steve found it and sent it our way.

Without further introduction, we present a review of the week's comics. No fooling.

This caption is a form of adjacent metathesis, or the interchange of two phonemes within a word. 
Adjacent metathesis often appears as a nonsensical mispronunciation, such as "foilage" for "foliage." It's something I've used as a punch line in the past, as in this panel, but with the interchange producing an actual word rather than a meaningless misspelling. 
I'd never considered this type of construction to be a pun exactly, and recently tried to find a name for it, eventually discovering adjacent (or local) metathesis. I now happily share that bit of useless knowledge with you.

To fill up the strip layout, my original art included the elephant and the makeup counter as separate images, although neither appears in full in either configuration.

Sometimes, I remember to make the strip conversion a little easier.

An online reader said that our pale pachyderm should apply blush sparingly, or risk being mistaken for a pink elephant. After reading that comment, I recalled this old commercial, and had the song stuck in my head for a day or so.

If you have ever wondered how a kangaroo might sit on furniture designed for humans, it's probably not as shown in this illustration.
This was known as the Deepbreathing Horizon disaster.
Remember, Big Mother is watching you.
For April Fools' Day, we paid tribute to a classic TV series, and employed adjacent metathesis for a second time in one week. In the spirit of the holiday, I placed a bogus Secret Symbol tally in the signature, but added the actual total as the calendar page tacked to the wall.

The number 1,332 was a joke, but it wasn't a random choice.
Each of my original drawings for Bizarro is marked with a sequence number, and this was number 1,332. As you can see from the date stamp, I was working on Christmas Eve. Call me Cratchit.
"Improbable," a favorite X-Files episode, originally aired in April of 2002, and starred Burt Reynolds as God. The soundtrack included several terrific songs by Karl Zéro, which contributed to the episode's eccentric atmosphere. Also, it features a criminal improbably named Wayno, which creeped me out the first time I watched it.
We wrapped up the week with another animal-themed gag, in a familiar Bizarro setting. I may have written this while thinking about the change to Daylight Saving Time.
Fun With Infringement
A fellow cartoonist shared this altered Bizarro comic on his Facebook page, without realizing that it had been tampered with.
As soon as I notified him, he removed it, which helped maintain my faith in my colleagues. However, I was disheartened that he thought I'd written such clumsy dialog. I found a few other copies of this on FB, and had them removed for violation of intellectual property. 
I'm intrigued and baffled by the name Mark Christopher in the bottom left corner, and welcome any information on the source of this theft.

Here's the original cartoon for comparison.
By the way, I have no beef with banjos, bagpipes, or accordions. Stealing and altering cartoons is another matter.

That's all for this week from Bizarro Studios North. As always, I thank you for stopping by, and again send my gratitude to Steve D for the Noman comic book scan. Don't forget to check out Dan Piraro's blog for his thoughts on the week's cartoons, and to see his latest magnificent Sunday Bizarro
See you next week, with more words and pictures. If you'd like to be notified when a new blog entry is posted, you might like to subscribe to my newsletter. Each newsletter includes an exclusive peek at an upcoming Bizarro gag, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Bonus Track

Clifton Chenier
"Zydeco Sant Pas Sale''
Live, 1969

If that bastardized comic panel hadn't turned up, prompting me to write about accordions, I might not have found this terrific video of the great Clifton Chenier, so that's something of a silver lining.


  1. I found the bastardized version of that Bizarro garage band comic on Facebook, the Palmerston North Folk Nusic Club page and commented that it violated intellectual property rights. You might check to see if they took any action.

    1. Thanks. I’ve had it removed. Again, I appreciate the alert!

  2. Thanks! Wow, they not only copied it, they also squashed and stretched it. I sent a note asking them to take it down. If they don’t, I’ll get FB to remove it.

    Good detective work!

  3. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Zydeco is the highest form of accordion music.

  4. The Federal Bureau of Infestation is a great line despite the fact that it was written backward; a sort of through the glass lightly.

  5. I like the Federal Bureau of Infestation, despite it being written backward; a sort of through the glass lightly.

  6. 1332. Yep. April fools. I only counted five. Then again I’m retired so I never look at calendars 🤪

  7. Hey Wayno, Crying Nut sounds like Korean Dropkick Murphy!

  8. I love the logo on the takeout container in the Federal Bureau of Infestation office.

  9. WardC WaynoFan6:17 PM

    Awww, I guessed wrong. Before seeing "Federal Bureau of Infestation", I guessed FBI was the "Fly Bureau of Investigation".

    "Not safe to talk here" Was a JOY! great

    "foilage" / "foliage" => I listen to a lot of "Librivox" so-to-speak "crowd sourced" public domain audio books. A friend says he gave it up, too many mispronunciations - of which you got one!

    Keep up the excellent work and the just OUTSTANDING creativity. Me? Monthly donations seem to be the best way to say "thanks".

    1. Your guess is a good one. Thank you for the kind words and continued support! You’re a gem of a Jazz Pickle!

  10. Anonymous7:20 PM

    I thought the bear and ranger cartoon was about climate change.

    Sorry, but I like the caption in the tampered cartoon better.

    1. It doesn’t matter what you think. Someone stole my work, and used my name and drawing without permission.

  11. Another vastly entertaining blog post, Wayno! Since you (sort of) asked, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents artwork is pencilled by Mike Sekowsky (who was also drawing The Justice League of America for DC at the time... he was *fast*!) and inked by Frank Giacoia. It's from a tale called 'The Synthetic Stand-ins', written by Steve Skeates; it appeared in T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents no. 4, cover-dated April, 1966.

    What can I say? I'm a fan:

    1. Thanks! Our readers are better than Wikipedia.

  12. Years ago, an acquaintance posted that she had bought a Nissan Rouge. When I finally saw it a year later, I was surprised to see that it was silver. Because of her typo, I had pictured it as red.

    1. That’s such an easy typo to make, I really had to proofread the comic carefully.

  13. Wayno,
    The artist from the NoMan panel from THUNDER Agents is Mike Sekowski and inked by Frank Giacoia.

    1. Thanks! I knew someone among our readership would know.

      Now, can you tell me if the guy with the pipe was modeled after character Claude Akins?

  14. Hi, Wayno...
    I have to say, the artwork for X-Flies is really something.
    I've long known to look for the K2 in wrinkles on clothing, but they way it's worked into the veins on the fly wing is beautifully done.
    All of the details are great, but the K2 really impressed me.

    It occurs to me that I have not been as voluble here on your page as to my enjoyment as I have on Dan's; thank you so much for all the delight you bring.
    Enjoy, Jade

    1. Jade, thanks so much for your kind words (and your attention to detail!) I appreciate thoughtful readers like you, no matter how often (or not) you may comment. You’ve made my day!

  15. X-flies, this is so great, I see a series. No pressure.

    I don't know why I post this, but the two flies you drawed are females judging by the eyes. The eyes of males are often touching or almost touching. Meaning they are a bit bigger.

    Sorry, I'm an amateur entomologist. Nobody noticed but me.

    1. I’m always glad to learn something from readers!