Saturday, January 14, 2023

Prickly Parker

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.


A pun is the lowest form of humor—when you don't think of it first.
Oscar Levant

The New Year is chugging along, and we're still making comics for you. I hope your year is off to a good start.

Our opening quote comes from astoundingly multi-talented Pittsburgh native Oscar Levant (1906-1972). Wikipedia describes him as a "concert pianist, composer, conductor, author, radio game show panelist, television talk show host, comedian and actor. He was equally famous for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and later in movies and television, as for his music."

"Mordant character and witticisms" is wiki-speak for "razor-tongued smartassery." When asked what he wanted to be as a child, Levant replied, "An orphan."

Puns can be a solid form of humor as long as they're surprising. I also believe that they usually require another layer or a strong setup to make for a satisfying gag, and can't normally stand on their own. Of course, I may be proved wrong at any time.

This week's pipe pic is a relic from my illustration archives, created in 2002 for the New York Press, a snotty alternative to the Village Voice that lasted from 1998 to 2011.

Most likely, this was drawn for Sign Language, a weekly horoscope column by Caeriel Crestin. I illustrated the column for several years. When Caeriel emailed his column to the NYP editors, he'd copy me and I'd come up with a drawing related to whatever the first horoscope was about that week. I was given free rein to do whatever I wanted for the column and the Art Director never once asked for a change. The pay wasn't great, but the gig was steady and fun.

My current gig is even more fun (and a lot more work). Let's see what emerged from my Little Shop of Humor for the week of January 9, 2023...

Not every nerd has the good fortune to be bitten by a cool radioactive animal.

One of our favorite pastimes is making fun of comic book superheroes. If you enjoy them, more power to you. Here at Bizarro Studios, we like to focus on the ridiculous aspects of the genre.

Ten days into the year, we finally have a clown gag. It's a shot of the Ringling Brothers Hook & Ladder Company responding to a four-slide-whistle fire.

Arctic citizens have fantasy lives, too.

Clearly, he didn't read the updated Terms of Service.

My colleague Dan McConnell suggested this caption, and I accepted the challenge to make it into a cartoon panel. I'll take any excuse to feature an accordion in a gag.

I enjoy nature documentaries, although I sometimes drift into slumber when watching them. A recent one planted the term "bait ball" in my subconscious, eventually resulting in this panel.

That closes out another week of cartoon antics from Bizarro Studios North. Thanks for dropping by. As usual, I recommend taking at look at our affiliated sites:

Dan Piraro's Bizarro Blog
The latest Sunday Bizarro, and deep thoughts from mi amigo en Mexico

Wayno's Bizarro Newsletter
More chatter from me, a preview of a future Bizarro gag, and a vintage graphic from my files

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

Bonus Track

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages
"Oscar Levant"
from Dig Thy Savage Soul
Bloodshot Records, 2013

Former pipe pic model Barrence Whitfield is one of my all-time favorite live performers. He's been  singing, screaming, and shouting high-octane rhythm & blues since the late 1970s, with no signs of slowing down.

I saw the Savages at Pittsburgh's long-gone and much loved Decade club in 1985, and at another venue in 2015. I hope I don't have to wait thirty years longer to hear them again.

Copyright© 2023 by Wayno®


  1. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Thanks for all you do -- please keep up the good work!

  2. Anonymous12:26 PM


  3. Anonymous7:11 PM

    I love the fly in the soup with the Venus flytrap and they forgot the flies on the soup.

  4. Anonymous7:56 PM

    My favorite of the fly in my soup versions is the Venus flytrap one, followed by the man in the fly's soup. You could also have done one where the waiter pours the soup in the man's lap for "waiter, there's a soup in my fly."

  5. Anonymous4:33 AM

    For this Sunday's strip, my fav is the 1st one.

  6. Anonymous10:59 AM

    There's no such thing as a "bad" Pun IMHO.

  7. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I like the Venus flytrap one. Idk how you made it look indignant, but you did!

  8. Anonymous3:51 PM

    I cracked up at the last one of the fly asking if his human bowl of soup was a joke. Best by far!

  9. Anonymous2:54 AM

    Lol- Weird Owl. Perfect.

  10. Weird Owl Yankovic - addicted to bugs. Perfect. I also love the spaceship guy in his deep sea vessel in the fish comic. No idea what a bait ball is.

  11. Anonymous7:15 PM

    All three are great, and I like the third one the best. I can see Jeff Goldblum floating in the soup!