Saturday, January 21, 2023

Party Like It's 4721

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 created Bizarro in the late twentieth century, and continues to do the Sunday comic from Rancho Bizarro in Mexico.


The gag itself comes first and is the more difficult than the drawing part of cartooning.
Ernie Bushmiller

Sunday, January 22 is Lunar New Year 4721, a Year of the Rabbit, so I'll take another opportunity to wish all of you health, happiness, peace and prosperity throughout the year.

For a period of 24 years, I sent Lunar New Year cards as promotional pieces to drum up illustration work. I figured that a card sent to potential clients in January or February had a better chance of being noticed than if it arrived with hundreds of other pieces in December. And it was fun to set up a premise for creating a card featuring a different animal each year. I even did a set of twelve paintings for an art show back in 2007.

Our opening quote is from Nancy cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller. In general, I agree with Ernie's assertion that writing a gag is tougher than drawing it, although there are exceptions. Last week, I drew a gag showing Scrabble tiles on the game board, and I labored over it more than any other cartoon in that batch. Piano keyboards give me headaches, too.

Bill Griffith, creator of Zippy the Pinhead, has completed an illustrated biography of Bushmiller, which will be published sometime this year. I'm one of the many fans of Griffith and Bushmiller who are anxiously awaiting this book.

This week's pipe pic is a groovy shot of lap steel guitarist Freddie Roulette, who died on Christmas Eve 2022 at the age of 83.

Freddie had a long career, recording and performing for more than sixty years. Click on the photo to watch a great live performance of "End of the Blues."

Thanks to faithful Bizarro reader AndrĂ©a D for bringing Freddie’s obit to our attention.

Let's take a look at what I wrote and drew for this week's Bizarro comics.

These used carriage salesmen have come to a Grimm realization about their latest deal.

I've seen quite a few cartoons involving bowling balls and pins showing the ball as an aggressor, and I've done one myself. For Tuesday's gag, I flipped the trope to consider the ball as a sympathetic character.

This vessel is particularly effective at abducting law enforcement stereotypes.


I thought this is what's meant by religious indulgences.

On Friday, we nodded to Gene Wilder's performance in Young Frankenstein for an automotive gag. I rarely use the exclamation point in a cartoon's dialog, but felt it was warranted in this instance.

We ended the week with a slightly naughty take on the aquatic-to-terrestrial transition of vertebrate organisms in the late Devonian epoch. 

That's the latest from my Little Shop of Humor. Again, I wish you a happy Year of the Rabbit. If you seek further enlightenment, check out these other convenient Bizarro locations:

Dan Piraro's Bizarro Blog
Dan's Sunday page, accompanied by his musings on a wide variety of topics

Wayno's Bizarro Newsletter
A weekly preview of a future Bizarro gag, along with an old piece of art from my archives

Dan Piraro's epic, award-winning, surreal western graphic novel

Bonus Track

Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five
Decca Records
Recorded in New York, April 23, 1947

A prime Louis Jordan number with a spectacular solo by an unidentified steel guitarist.

Copyright© 2023 by Wayno®


  1. Wonderful! Thanks!

  2. Recognized that curly mop right away. Time to revisit that movie, thanks for the reminder.

  3. Richard Gagnon10:35 PM

    Thanks for another inspiring post Wayno! I have to wonder, though, if you didn't get your Freddies tangled up... since jazz organist Freddie *Roach* left us way back in 1980. C'est la vie...

    1. Thanks for the alert, Richard. I've corrected the mistake, and am now going to listen to all of my Freddie Roach albums while I work today.

    2. That so-called mistake was just the Universe reminding you that it was time to revisit Mr. Roach's fine discography. Obviously.

    3. That explanation works for me.

  4. W.J.R. Halyn4:22 PM

    Yep... re the "It's aligned!" exclamation, not only is the exclamation mark approved, but I believe most readers would have strongly supported the word "aligned" in italics (maybe even all-caps), for full, Wilder-esque intensity!
    I mean, it WAS Gene Wilder, right?

    And thanks for triggering a jagged trip down memory lane... seeing that steel guitar reminded me that when I was about 8 or 9, my parents used to watch some country music program in the evenings (no, NOT Hee-Haw! -- way before then), and the show's steel guitar player had me convinced it was the most fantastical instrument on the planet, mostly due to the amazing skill he demonstrated on it. I knew THAT was an instrument I wanted to learn to play more than anything else.
    A couple years later, I was playing an accordion. Still not entirely sure how that happened......

    1. Yes, seeing someone play pedal steel is humbling. I wonder if you saw Speedy West on TV.

  5. Anonymous12:25 AM