Saturday, June 04, 2022

Music & Memories

This is the weekly communiqué from Bizarro Studios North, where I 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. ~Wayno®

Music improves the human condition.

Over the past few weeks, we've attended two gatherings to remember friends who died. As Memorial Day weekend approached, we learned that another lovely person we know departed this plane. This experience becomes more common the longer we exist, and reminds us to be grateful for the people who enrich our lives.

The quote at the top of this section is something my good friend Tim has said many times in the years I've known him. Tim's wife Deb is the friend who left us this past week. 

Through a mutual love of music, we met and got to know the couple, their extended family, and many friends. Yesterday, June 3, would have been Deb's birthday.

Deb and Tim have been the most passionate and generous music lovers I've ever known. They held concerts in their home and their backyard, and promoted shows at local venues, introducing friends and family to music they loved. They always made sure that the performers were paid fairly, and that everyone felt welcome.

They invited traveling musicians to stay with them while passing through town, providing comfortable sleeping quarters, home-cooked meals, friendship, and support, all of which are rare treats for touring performers.

My combo was lucky enough to be part of a backyard music series they sponsored a few years ago, called Pay It Forward. The description on their concert page shows one of the ways they shared their love for music and musicians.

Deb's published obituary included this request:

In lieu of flowers, donations, food, whatever, please honor Deb by gathering some friends to go out for a beverage or meal, and leave your servers a huge tip in her memory. While you are at it, go see some local music, fill up the tip bucket and buy a CD and some merch.

Although most of you reading this entry didn't know our friend, I hope you'll consider joining us in honoring her as someone who enjoyed and savored every aspect of life: family, friends, food, music, and much more.

This week's pipe pic is a vintage toy tie-in to my King Features Syndicate stablemate, Popeye the Sailor Man.

"Syndicate stablemate!" I still can't quite believe that I'm working as a syndicated cartoonist, the career I wanted since childhood. I'm now more than halfway through my fifth year at Bizarro, and hope to be at it for a long time to come. 

It's too bad we haven't licensed a Pipe of Ambiguity toy for young Bizarro readers, but, hey, we can still dream.
Let's take a look at the stuff we delivered to the syndicate over the past six days.
This is how Porcus Rex spoke, but I wonder if it should properly be called Pig English?
A friend asked if this one-armed bandit's payout is accompanied by a "bing, bing, bing" sound.
About ten years ago, I sketched an early version of this panel, with the same caption, and similar dialog. I can't locate a copy of it, but I'm glad I waited until now to publish the gag. As I recall, my old sketch showed what the protagonist was seeing, rather than what's actually there. It's much better to leave the character's hallucination in the mind of the reader, and funnier for us to see him responding to the cacti.

Who needs an IRA when you can sink your money into a low-resolution jpeg of a poorly-traced cartoon animal, while wrecking the climate?

Friday's panel featured the Monster's offspring at the village beer distributor. As regular readers know, I love to draw Frankie, and quite enjoyed imagining this family member.
The strip layout showed less of the counter, and more of the six packs displayed in the cooler.

The selection of brews includes a secret shout-out to my friend and fellow cartoonist Jim "JimmyHo" Horwitz, who creates the Watson comic strip. Watson is like Jimmy: sometimes dark, sometimes sweet, always a little weird, and lovable. 
Jimmy also wrote many gags for Dan Piraro at the same time I was pitching jokes to Bizarro, which is how we met. Check out Watson and see what you think.
We wrapped up the week with a leporine real estate scenario. I tried to fit a "for sale" sign into the panel, but ultimately decided it wasn't needed. The sales agent's clipboard and name tag, along with the dialog, were sufficient to establish the setup.
That's the latest from Bizarro Studios North. We're hard at work on more comics for you, and we appreciate your readership. Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog, which is always smart, entertaining, and thoughtful. While you're there, you can also admire Dan's latest magnificent Bizarro Sunday page.
Thanks for dropping by. See you next week.

Bonus Track

Ian Dury, "Billericay Dickie"
from New Boots and Panties!!
Stiff Records, 1977

When my trusty local record dealer started importing product from the UK, I religiously collected everything I could find on the Stiff Records label. It was the home of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, The Damned, Wreckless Eric, and on and on. Dury was one of the unlikeliest of pop stars, and one of the most entertaining.

I chose this tune because one of the week's comics reminded me of part of its lyrics, and it's been lodged in my head for days. See if you can find the connection and send me a comment.


  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Lupine or leporine? Magnificent work as ever, in any case. Thank you!

    1. Leporine, yes! Thanks for catching that error. I've corrected it.

  2. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Love the earrings in the rabbit's ears. 😆

    1. Thanks! That's my favorite little detail in the panel.

  3. Anonymous3:22 PM

    So lame today… can’t see 6 in NFT. And what does NSFW mean?

    1. I also only see 5. Not Safe For Work.

    2. NSFW = Not Safe for Work . A warning label or tag on electronic communications or images.

    3. Not Safe for Work

    4. Anonymous7:58 PM

      Not Safe For Work

    5. Anonymous1:45 AM

      Turn your phone on its side then you'll be able to read the mug.

    6. Sorry you feel so lame.

      There's a really cool way to find out what something means by typing it into a Google machine.

    7. Anonymous8:40 AM

      google is your friend, "Anonymous." Some folks are better off hiding behind anonymity....“Some things sound better if they don't come from you.”
      ― Joyce Rachelle

    8. Wonderful collection of 'toons this week, Wayno! Great stuff! Thanks!

  4. Surprised the youngster at the counter didn't go for the Bolt 45. That item also brought back memories of all those TV westerns from the days of yore. Seems like the Colt 45 was the only pistol around in the old west.

  5. Anonymous7:10 PM

    K2 on coffee cup took me forever

  6. I Loved the (Eye)PA. . . .

  7. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I saw a nod to Bizarro in Watson's strip from 12/15/21! How cool!

  8. Miss Danninac10:14 PM

    Do the Dury rhyming lyrics remind you of the rhythm of Pig Latin?

    1. Anonymous6:08 PM

      I'm guessing the cacti are Joyce and Vicki.

    2. The bonus track wasn't inspired by the cactus gag or the pig latin gag. Good guesses, though!

  9. Anonymous12:27 PM

    You are yet another reason to be cheerful!

  10. Anonymous5:38 PM

    Could our porcine Roman pal be holding a rhythm stick ?

    1. Possibly, but that wasn't the inspiration for the bonus track. It was one of the other gags.