March 12th, 2011

Mating Rituals of Invisible Dogs

by Wayno & Piraro

Bizarro is brought to you today by Your Special Wedding Day.

I’m a big fan of manatees, as virtually anyone who has seen one would be. They’re huge, weird, docile and, unfortunately, almost extinct. It’s sad what our species has done to the world but I don’t want to dwell on that right now. In the case of this cartoon, this young lady makes our manatee want to be an even better one. And who can criticize him for that?

I’ve no idea where the common phrase, “you make me want to be a better man” comes from. I suppose it refers to the happy shiny face that people put on when they are courting. I’ve fallen in love a few times and yes, at first, I want to be the best person I can be so as to lure the woman into spending her time and body on me. But that doesn’t last long, of course. As soon as I’m sure I’ve got her trapped in my web of inadequacy and insecurity, I go right back to being who I usually am. Which isn’t awful by any means, but I still have to be honest in recognizing that I’m not completely honest when I’m courting. Nobody is. Probably not even manatees.

On another topic, CHNW and I went to an open house at an art studio last weekend. The building is a two-story factory converted into working spaces for various artists here in Brooklyn, called “The Invisible Dog Art Center.” It is a fabulous place for artists right out of an artsy-fartsy NY film: high ceilings, exposed mechanical paraphernalia, decaying brick walls and wooden floors. And it was packed. The fun thing, though, is that the name comes from the fact that this old belt factory was where the famous novelty product called “the invisible dog” was manufactured. If you’ll recall, these were the stiff leash things that you could hold out in front of you and make it look like you were walking an invisible dog. Very simple, very clever, sold like pet rocks.

I happened to come across an old cartoon I did in 1996 about the invisible dog leash and have posted it here. Excuse the garish, flat colors; this was done when I was coloring the old-school way by designating percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black and sending it to the printer with my fingers crossed. The results were often ghastly, like this one. I was tempted to change the colors for this post, but who am I to alter history? It could send the entire planet hurling into a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. Whatever that means.

Here’s the manatee cartoon on fine products. What a perfect gift idea.

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