Saturday, December 24, 2022

Brimstone Latte

This is the weekly 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.


It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.

Charles Dickens, from A Christmas Carol


Despite being decidedly non-religious, I admit to a paradoxical love of old-school gospel music (which gave birth to rock & roll, after all), and Charles Dickens's perennial holiday tale. The quote above, describing a festive gathering at the home of Scrooge's nephew, articulates one of the reasons we cartoonists do what we do. The hope is that our words and pictures provide moments of amusement as respite from the unpleasantness we're all aware of and deal with daily.

Washington Post columnist Kate Cohen published a thoughtful opinion piece this week about the subtext of different holiday greetings, which made perfect sense to this reader. (The link should work for anyone, even those who don't subscribe to WaPo.)

For those who celebrate it, today we wish you a Merry Christmas Eve. For all of us, I'm borrowing a wonderfully inclusive phrase from a good friend and saying, Happy Everything.

This week's pipe pic is a sinister depiction of Frosty the Snowman from the cover of a 1951 Little Golden Book.

That image would've given me nightmares as a kid, and I'm not ruling them out now.

I'm fairly sure this week's comics won't creep you out.

There have been tons of gags about coffee shops mangling people's names on their orders, and many readers latched onto the fact that Satan and Santa are anagrams, but the intended payoff here was the drinks the characters are holding. I like the contrast between a foamy gingerbread peppermint concoction and a cupful of eternal damnation.

However, comics can be read and enjoyed in different ways, so if you dug the alphabetic shuffling, good on you! 

I tried to make the pointed ears almost unnoticeable until after the reader sees the caption.
Speaking of Dickens, here's a Scrooge gag with a French accent.

In the strip version, Bob holds a shorter scarf, and the staging is reversed to allow the balloon and caption to be placed on the same end of the layout.
Here's an alternate narrative from the Little Tarnished Book collection.

Sometimes a gag is simply fun to draw. That was certainly true of these spiny critters and their construction project.

I think I prefer this one as a strip form.

Pie is nice, too, isn't it?

As with the Scrooge gag, this one had to be flipped horizontally to accommodate the word balloon and caption box, while leaving room for the drawing.

That's the latest from Bizarro Studios North, friends. Drop by again next week as we close out another year. In the meantime, I invite you to visit our related locations:

Dan Piraro's Bizarro Blog
Another spectacular Sunday Bizarro by mi amigo, plus his thoughts on matters large and small

Wayno's Bizarro Newsletter
News from the studio, a clip from an upcoming gag, and an image from my archives

Dan Piraro's award-winning graphic novel

Now, I'm off to watch a favorite interpretation of Dickens, starring Jim Backus, Jack Cassidy, Morey Amsterdam, Paul Frees and Royal Dano.

Holiday Bonus Track

Louis Armstrong
"Christmas Night in Harlem"
Decca Records, 1955

Pops is still tops.

Copyright© 2022 by Wayno®



  1. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Happy Festivus!

  2. The Santa/Satan coffeeshop issue also showed up in "Mannequin on the Moon" this week.

  3. The other two kings were K1 and K3 I suppose.

  4. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Similarly ill-informed, I once took part in an office pool in which one had to pick a “spread” regarding scores of a game between two teams I knew nothing about… I won $300 +, which I guess means your February gag could indeed hit the mark!