Saturday, December 10, 2022

Subterranean Modern

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.


When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.
John Lennon

Thursday, December 8 is the day John Lennon was murdered outside his New York City home in 1980. He was forty years old, which is stunning considering how much he achieved while he was alive. Lennon was a far from perfect human, and he'd be the first to acknowledge that. I recall hearing the news, and experiencing the empty feeling when someone whose work you knew since childhood is suddenly gone.

For many years, I wouldn't actively listen to the music of the Beatles, after a lifetime of hearing it all the time, in every possible context. I came back to it with renewed appreciation in 2009, when I bought a CD box set of their British albums in mono. Again, I was struck by the amount of music they released in just seven or so years.

Seeing the photos of Lennon, and the memories people have been posting on social media this week made me start over with their discography, and I'm enjoying that journey once again.

I don't have any profound thoughts to offer about this, it's just what I've been thinking about these past couple of days, and marveling at how works of art can affect us many different ways at various stages of our lives. I suppose I'm recommending that you consider revisiting some music, literature, or other art that you once liked but felt that you outgrew, and check it out again. If you have any interesting or surprising reactions, send me a comment about it.

Before we get to the cartoons, let's lighten the mood with a fun pipe pic sent to us by Bizarro reader David R, who snapped it at his local farm market.

Thanks, David! I love the market's highly specific instructions.

Now, here's the latest output from Bizarro Studios North.

The pool player on the right is meant to be a slimmed-down Jackie Gleason, who starred as Minnesota Fats in the 1961 film, The Hustler.

A real-life pool player named Rudolf Wanderone adopted the name Minnesota Fats after the film was released, claiming that the character was based on him.

My pre-Bizarro comic, WaynoVision also referenced the character, almost exactly seven years earlier.

When drawing Tuesday's panel, I had cartoonists James Thurber and Jules Feiffer in mind, and wished that my work could have a bit of the expressive looseness theirs exhibited. No luck there, but I do like the way it turned out.

Every time I write a gag involving ghosts, I think it'll be quick and easy to draw, and every time I spend almost as much time fussing over it and tweaking it as I do with any other comic.

This is most likely a common topic of discussion at movie studios, who in large part have themselves to blame for the situation.

For brevity's sake, the word balloon omits all of the vocal disfluencies. 

For some reason, several of my recent comics were set around an open utility hatch, like this one or this one.

That wraps up another week of cartoonery from the Little Shop of Humor in Hollywood Gardens, PA. If you enjoy this blog, you might like to scope out our other web-based thingies:

Dan Piraro's Bizarro Blog
His latest Sunday Bizarro page, along with nuggets of wisdom and observation

Wayno's Bizarro Newsletter
More talk from me, a preview of an upcoming gag, and art, design, or photos from my past

Dan Piraro's award-winning graphic novel 

Bonus Track

James Booker
"On the Sunny Side of the Street"
from New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!
Rounder Records, 1983

As my dear friend, pianist, composer, and bandmate Tom Roberts likes to remind us, Dr. John described Booker as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced."

I can't argue with that.

The pirate ghost comic prompted Tom to suggest a Booker bonus track this week.

Copyright© 2022 by Wayno®



  1. Anonymous9:08 AM

    What, no e-mailed newsletter this week?

    1. The newsletter was delayed until Sunday. Sorry about that, and happy to know you were looking forward to it!

  2. I didn't get it also.

    1. The newsletter was delayed until Sunday. Sorry about that, and happy to know you were looking forward to it!

  3. Thanks for the John reminder.

    Here's a pipe.

    1. That's a good pipe pic!

      Yes, it's sad to realize that John Lennon has now been gone longer than he was here.

  4. And those utility hatches are round because that's the only shape you can make that won't fall down its own opening.

    1. I didn't know that!

    2. I wonder how many horrible accidents led to that discovery?

  5. Anonymous8:20 PM

    I thought of Feiffer! (without thinking of his name...)

    1. Anonymous11:36 AM

      Not true! There are plenty of shapes "of constant width" that won't fall through their own holes.