Puppet Fish Wood Shaking

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Bizarro is brought to you today by Glee!

First, let me thank all of you who left comments on my last post. It’s great to hear from so many of you. Cartooning and blogging can be lonely activities; you create stuff, send it out into the world and wonder if anyone sees it. Before the Interwebs, it was really lonely. The occasional bit of snail mail was all you had to tell you if anyone was reading.

I usually do all my drawing, inking, and computer coloring of cartoons on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, which is why my posts are usually Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and Saturday. Now you know. Since this is Wednesday (at least here in Brooklyn) I’m posting three to catch you up to date.

As you may see from the bottom right-hand corner of this first cartoon, Monday was my eldest daughter, Krapuzar‘s, birthday. The cartoon itself has nothing to do with her, though. I got an email about it wondering what it meant and I told them that as near as I could tell, it meant that he guy was taking so much pain medication that he was hallucinating. That’s my best guess, anyway. If you have a better explanation, let me know.

Here’s a dandy little ditty about an unusual patient at the shrink. I got two emails about this one. The first said that halibuts have two eyes on the same side of their head, so I was one eye short. I actually referenced that so I could get it right and saw that a halibut’s second eye is sort of cheating over to the side so I figured I could get away with not showing it from this angle. Just don’t use this drawing in any fish anatomy classes and I think you’ll be okay. The second letter was from a reader who is offended by my use of “trans people” as subjects for cartoons. Obviously, people of unusual sexual orientation experience a lot of discrimination and ridicule, so they are sensitive to any mention of them in the media. I understand that and don’t blame them. On the other hand, this is not an attempt to ridicule people (or fish or hamsters) but rather an absurd situation that would lead the reader to believe that if anyone is crazy, it is the shrink. My own theory is that if traditional social outsiders become regular features of pop culture – like cartoons – they will become less “unusual” and seem more a part of society. Fifteen years ago, I likely would not have been allowed to publish a joke with any mention of trans gender people, so there has obviously been progress in this area.

I like this chainsaw gag for many reasons. I like jokes about the half-ass attempts most of us make toward environmentalism (changing to energy-efficient lightbulbs while driving an SUV, recycling newspapers while still eating meat, etc.) and I like chainsaws. Any time a tree would fall in my neighborhood and be left in chunks for the city to pick up, I’d grab a few large chunks and carve them into classy, attractive fine art. Lots of fun and good exercise. I haven’t done that since I moved to NYC because I don’t see big tree cuttings on the side of the road anymore. Now I only use my chainsaw when my ATM card isn’t working.

SPECIAL EARTHQUAKE UPDATE: Yesterday was my first earthquake and I really enjoyed it. I was sitting at my desk on the second floor of my apartment here in Brooklyn when my table, computer screen, and chair started swaying back and forth by about a half inch or so. I was confused since my building isn’t close enough to a subway to feel the trains going by, as is the case in many buildings in NYC. I looked around the room and noticed the plants (I have a lot of plants) were all shimmying and a floor lamp was swaying as well. I looked out the window and noticed that my window frame was moving in relation to the apartment building across the street. This was the moment when the little voice in my head shouted “EARTHQUAKE!” I glanced down at the parked cars across the street and they were shifting back and forth, too. The whole episode lasted about ten seconds. It was very exciting. A LOT more exciting than the subsequent 12 hours of news coverage of how there was no damage or injuries, leaving reporters to ask person after person to tell their story, all of which were pretty similar to mine.

I tweeted that the earthquake reminded me of Obama’s presidency: seemed like a big deal at first but then nothing really happened. I’m still an Obama fan, by the way, but can’t deny that I wish he’d been more forcefully liberal.

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