Dan Piraro, “Bizarro” cartoonist

Dan Piraro—who, for 30 years, has drawn the highly-acclaimed, widely-syndicated comic “Bizarro”—discusses his recently announced plans, over the next two to three years, for retiring “Bizarro,” and how that announcement was initially misunderstood by some, and triggered an uproar in others. bz-panel-05-11-15He elaborates on the reasons behind those plans, including devoting much more time to his heretofore minimally known work as a painter of fine art. By way of elaborating on the reasons for needing to change up his life and career after 30-plus years of producing “Bizarro,” Piraro walks us through the element of a typical day—week, really. (As one measure of the ceaseless professional demands he faces Elephant-Bizarroeach day, he notes that during our interview, he’s drawing.) Piraro addresses why animals have been a staple of his panels throughout the life of the panel—while recounting that his Dad took him hunting as a young boy–and how “Bizarro” began reflecting a more explicit empathy and animal rights sensibility after he became a vegan in 2002. I mention that sometimes a single “Bizarro” panel manages to address multiple animal rights issues, citing one from earlier this  5654540193_aa23710634month that involves two parrots sitting on a phone line, across from a chicken sitting on another line. (That comic is presented below this synopsis.) This prompts Piraro to describe both the genesis and evolution of that panel. No stranger to creating controversial comics, Piraro is asked about the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and responds that he isn’t steeped in that situation or the cartoons, but does offer opinions and observations about the attacks at the exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Garland, Texas. (http://bizarro.com)

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COMEDY CORNER: Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara’s “The Whale” R.I.P, Anne Meara

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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