Saturday, August 13, 2022

Beyond the Pale

This is the regular dispatch 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.


I sincerely think that humor will help save humanity from the swamp into which it is sinking. Today we can’t afford to be pessimistic, so let’s try to keep a sense of humor bolted on to our hearts, soul and spirit!
Jean-Jacques Perrey

Greetings from Bizarro Studios North, the little shop of humor nestled in Hollywood Gardens, PA.

Today's pipe pic should've run last week to go along with the B.B. King cartoon. I missed that opportunity, but it's too good not to use, even if it is a bit late.

I'm guessing this shot was taken in the early 1970s, judging by those groovy polyester slacks.

Jean-Jacques Perrey (1929-2016), quoted above, was a pioneering electronic composer and performer. With Gershon Kingsley, he formed the duo Perrey-Kingsley, who were among the first musicians to issue recordings using the Moog synthesizer. Many of their recordings were used in Disney films and theme parks.

Monsieur Perrey and I became pen pals after I drew a caricature of him for Cool & Strange Music Magazine.

We exchanged several letters and photos, and I believe I may have sent him the original art for this cover, as I'm unable to locate it in my files. He was a kind and generous correspondent. I wish I'd had the chance to meet him in person, but am grateful to have his notes and pictures, along with a ton of joyful music.

I did my best to bolt some humor onto every one of our recent Bizarro cartoons. Let's see if they held of shook loose.

It's no surprise that music finds its way into many of my cartoons. I've been an enthusiastic music lover since childhood.

Peter S., one of my pals who's also deeply into music decided that this guy's act could be named 21st Century Schizoid Band, which I simply had to share here. A tip of the summer straw hat to Peter!

Tuesday's gag had a modest total of four Secret Symbols, but the panel was crowded with eight characters.

My initial sketch didn't make it clear that the buffet was set up for guests to pick insects off the apes on the table, so I added the partygoer filling his plate. I just now realized that it's a little disturbing to note that the host and guests are clothed, while the buffet gang are naked.

Wednesday's gag generated some chatter from the online bleachers:

There’s a drawing error. The white chalk line in front of the third base coach is correct, but it should continue in a straight line out towards left field, not make a 90 degree turn at third as it does in the drawing. The baseline between second and third is not chalked.
I won't dispute the opinions of experts. My limited knowledge of baseball comes mainly from the 1946 Looney Tunes short, Baseball Bugs

In the classic cartoon, white lines mark all four bases.

This one was easier to execute in color than in black & white. I tried a few different techniques for shading the character, with mixed success.
I turned to technology for a solution, and used Photoshop's airbrush tool in "dissolve" mode.

The disk jockey goes by the name Emcee Squared.
Ventriloquist/dummy gags are almost always layered with sadness, and this one is a prime example. However, your cartoonist did enjoy the challenge of drawing a dummy that looks like a younger version of the ventriloquist.

That wraps up another week of words and pictures from me. Be sure to visit Dan Piraro's blog, for a look at his latest Sunday Bizarro page, and to find out what else is on his mind.

Earlier this week, Dan shared a heartbreaking story about the unexpected loss of a beloved pet. 

Along with the entire Bizarro community, we send our love and condolences to Dan, Christy, and Monita. We're grateful that Jemima and Dan found each other, and that she had a loving home with her family.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

In the meantime, if you share your home with an animal companion, give them some extra attention, praise, and comfort in Jemima's memory.

Bonus Track

Jean-Jacques Perrey: "The Percolator"
from Moog Sensations
Original release date: 1971, CD reissue: 2001


  1. Your friend has a great sense of humor, but he's not as original as may appear - "21st Century Schizoid Man" is a song by King Crimson from the Court of the Crimson King disk.

    1. Of course, Peter was referencing the King Crimson song.

    2. Interestingly, there was a band called 21st Century Schizoid Band about 20 years ago. It was comprised mostly of former members of King Crimson from the first few albums. They toured playing mostly songs from that album and from pre-Crim albums that they were on with Robert Fripp. Their guitarist/vocalist Jakko Jakszyk wound up joining King Crimson proper.

    3. Of course it is. That word play is what makes the joke. I am sure the friend was well aware of that record. The melody and music were in my head as I read it.

  2. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Thanks for explaining Tuesday's strip. I did not understand it when I read it. I didn't notice the one ape picking insects off of one of the apes sitting on the table. Almost every character was looking to stage left as if they were looking at something outside of the strip. I thought this strip was referencing so
    something from The Planet of the Apes movies, which I have not seen.

    1. I hadn't noticed it, but you're right, the characters all seem to be directing the reader's eye off to the left.

  3. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Did Perrey pre-date Walter/Wendy Carlos Williams of “Switched on Bach” fame? I’m pretty sure I recall his/her use of the Moog synthesizer.

    1. The Perrey-Kingsley album came out before Wendy Carlos' first album Switched-On Bach. But Carlos was the first artist to use the Moog for "real" music instead of making a novelty album. She worked directly with Robert Moog developing new synth modules.

    2. 'd say the easiest answer is that Perrey, Kingsley, and Carlos were contemporaries. Thanks for the comment!

    3. Anonymous11:50 PM

      I was a big fan of Beaver & Krause, whose first album came out in 1967. My favorite is their second album, 1970's "In a Wild Sanctuary". Both musicians were West Coast sales reps for Moog.

  4. I love early Moog albums so I'm listening to the Perrey-Kingsley album this morning. The first couple tracks sounded so familiar. I suddenly had a flash of Sesame Street in the early '70s. Sure enough, I looked up the album on Wikipedia and Sesame Street did use music from this album.

  5. Yer pal Mikey12:58 PM

    In contrast to Monsieur Perrey, have you perhaps heard "The Weinberg Method of Non-Synthetic Electronic Rock" by Fred Weinberg? To use Allmusic's description, "a combination of natural sounds and noises twisted and warped into psychedelia. Fred Weinberg took the sounds of everyday life and body noises to create the music back in 1968, when a task like this was incredibly hard and monumental." I was fascinated with this record as a kid.

    1. That's new to me, Mikey. Thanks!

  6. David5:14 PM

    Hey, Wayno! I was thrilled to be quoted regarding the drawing error in the “Third Base Life Coach” cartoon of 8/10. I was also thrilled to be regarded as an “expert,” although I do know a lot about baseball (the 1946 Bugs Bunny cartoon was also wrong). That does not happen a lot! Thanks much.

    1. David! Glad you saw it and enjoyed seeing yourself quoted. I wasn't kidding. My sports knowledge is less than rudimentary. I often learn things from Bizarro readers, and this is another example. Thanks for the comment!

  7. I was thrilled to be quoted today. Yes, I was referencing King Crimson. But I never knew about the spinoff band called 21st Century Schizoid Band, though I have been following Fripp for years on and off. I remember when a radio DJ on a commercial-free FM station played Perrey/Kingsley in the mid sixties. My brother and I were highly amused, and I realized big changes were coming to music.

  8. The apes seem to like Andy Warhol or is The Velvet Underground playing during the picking?

    1. Possibly both. Now I'm wondering which Velvets song would be their favorite...