Saturday, May 14, 2022

Spanish Acquisition

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 all survived Friday the Thirteenth. It's the only one this year, so even if it is unlucky, we're good until January.

Bizarro blog readers occasionally ask why I only post the Monday through Saturday comics here, while my partner in humor, Dan Piraro, shares the entire week on his weekly blog posts.

I have the pleasure of reading Dan's Sunday pages when they appear on Sunday, the same time as everyone else. My posts are published on Saturday morning, with discussion of six comics I've been familiar with for months before they're printed. I prefer to have time to consider my commentary, rather than throwing out an opinion on something I'm seeing for the first time. 

Also, Dan's art is always so spectacular that mine pales in comparison.

Joking aside, I recommend visiting both blogs for the unique content each has to offer. And I'm happy to enjoy the Sunday Bizarro as a fan and reader.

I hope that clears up the question, and I appreciate having the chance to talk about it here.

This week's pipe pic is a sketchbook page from 2011.

The subject is Bertel Bruun (1937-2011), coauthor of the classic guidebook, Birds of North America. I sometimes warm up by sketching a photo from the newspaper. This was based on the image accompanying Bruun's obituary in The New York Times.

I might see if our local library has a copy of Birds of North America. Perhaps I'll find inspiration for varying the Inverted Bird secret symbol.

Let's see how many birds appear in this week's Bizarro comics, or at least the Monday through Saturday panels.

Castaways on an island without even a single palm tree can be particularly cranky and territorial.
As I review these panels, I find this one to be the least satisfactory. I'd been toying for a while with the words "silverfish" and "goldfish," and trying to work them into... something. The words are constructed similarly, but the animals they name are very different from each other. An early sketch referenced gold, silver, and bronze Olympic medals, but didn't gel as a gag.
Scale is a major problem with this sketch. A silverfish would be much tinier next to even the smallest goldfish. Readers would have to make a mental leap to recognize the goldfish and silverfish, and then see a connection to the nonexistent "bronzefish," finally relating it to Olympic medals. It's too convoluted and too exhausting to be funny.
The published panel might have been improved if the dialog read, "If not for the great coaches who believed in me, I'd still be a silverfish." That moves the payoff word to the end of the sentence, but it sounds stilted. Let's just say I won't submit this one for any awards.
Possibly the next evolutionary step for this species.
When I wrote this back in January, I didn't know that by the time it was published, our country would be spiraling toward becoming a repressive,  ultra-orthodox theocracy. 
Also, I wish I'd drawn the self-satisfied corporate bro to look like Elon Musk.
I'm curious about experiencing an isolation tank, but terrified that this is how it would go for me. When things are too quiet, those self-critical voices can really shout.
We ended the week with a pun, and an excuse to draw three bagpipes, being played with varying degrees of incorrectness. As I've stated before, I have no beef with bagpipes, banjos, accordions, or any other musical instrument, but certain ones are generally considered to be annoying or unpleasant, so they're rich fodder for humor.
As it turns out, I neglected the Inverted Bird this week. I'll try to pay it more attention in the future, although it's tough to compete with the Flying Saucer of Possibility.

That's the latest from Bizarro Studios North. Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to. Don't forget to visit Dan Piraro's blog to check out his comments and his latest glorious Sunday page. I do it every week myself!

If you crave even more words, with different pictures, sign up for my weekly newsletter. It's free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Bonus Track

Tom Lehrer: The Vatican Rag
Live in Copenhagen, 1967


  1. Tom Lehrer is a favorite of mine. What's Next? Flanders & Swann? I'd suggest their tune "Ill Wind", especially if you have a cartoon with a french horn in it that week.

    1. I'll have to check out the Flanders & Swann catalog. Thanks!

  2. I first discovered Tom Lehrer in 1968 in High School and almost got thrown out of the library whilst listening to his songs. Even though I had headphones on, I still kept bursting out with laughter. I went out and bought his records that I still have to this day and still play them.

  3. I almost got thrown out of the library back in 1968 for listening to Tom Lehrer. I had on headphones but still kept bursting out with laughter. I still have his records to this day.

    1. Anonymous7:54 PM

      I was in Catholic school and nearly got thrown out for doing the Vatican Rag.

  4. Maybe it's just me, but I really like the early sketch version of the silverfish panel you included here. I think the phrase "now that you mention it" always has good inherent humor in it. The final version you went with is good too, of course!

  5. The 'Silverfish' cartoon is probably my favorite of the week, although 'Mergers and Inquisitions' works well for me, too. The Goldfish starts with the parody of vacuous talk show comments by sports figures, and that is pretty amusing. But I appreciate the second level, that the Goldfish is denying his natural genetic heritage, and is manufacturing the mythology, that he successfully jumped from an entirely separate branch of the tree of life into full-fledged fishdom, through the power of 'belief'. I think this is good satire.

    You can submit this cartoon to my awards ceremony with good chances for success.

    1. Thank you kindly. Sometimes cartoonists can be self-critical to a fault!

    2. That was exactly how the cartoon struck me as well, the idea that great coaching could allow an insect to morph into an entirely different species. Anyway, it made me laugh out loud.

    3. Thanks, Melanie!

  6. I had to laugh at your title this week. I recently bought some Port and I found that it had been imported into Australia by an enterprising venture calling itself "the spanish acquisition".

    See for the label.

    1. That's a terrific name for an importer!

  7. Tom Lehrer is a genius. I've loved him since I was in junior high in the mid-'70s. Of course, I didn't understand all the lyrics then. The last time I listened to this song, the lyric "Everybody say his own Kyrie Eleison" would have been gibberish but now that I've been singing in a choir for twenty years, I've sung plenty of versions of Kyrie Eleison.

    He has made all of his recordings, lyrics, and sheet music freely available at The website will be shut down on December 31, 2024. (Hopefully it will remain available on but there's no guarantee.)

    1. Yes, Lehrer is a national treasure, and the fact that he's made all of his works freely available is fantastic.

  8. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Isn’t Elon Musk already a cartoon?

  9. Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

    Nooooooobody expects the Spammish Repetition!

    Sorry. I'll let myself out.

    (Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!)