You have to wonder what inspires a highly respected cartoonist to covertly include images of bunny rabbits, eyeballs, fishtails, slices of pie, firecrackers, crowns, upside-down birds, tiny spaceships and the abbreviation K2 into nearly every cartoon he draws. Subliminal mind control, you say? Nah, that’s an obvious explanation. Dan Piraro does it because he can … and because “Bizarro” fans love it!

Strikingly unconventional in style and appearance, “Bizarro” is the means by which cartoonist Dan Piraro unleashes both his secret symbols and uniquely eccentric view of the world on unsuspecting newspaper readers every day. Highly praised for its detail-driven artwork and off-the-wall humor, this comic panel has massive appeal among audiences who enjoy alternative humor.

Edgy and offbeat, ‘Bizarro’ is a surreal, satirical and, yes, bizarre look at our idiosyncratic world. “Bizarro is about the incredibly surreal things that happen to all of us in our so-called ‘normal’ lives,” explains Piraro. Tweaking simple everyday things with his twisted imagination and award-winning artistic abilities, Dan Piraro deftly proves why he has won The National Cartoonists’ Society’s “Best Newspaper Cartoon Panel” three years in a row (2000, 2001 and 2002).

“Bizarro” entered syndication in 1985 with Chronicle features as a replacement to Gary Larson’s famous “Far Side,” which had moved to Universal Press Syndicate. Ten years later, “Bizarro” moved to Universal just as Larson retired.

Today, “Bizarro” is distributed internationally by King Features Syndicate to more than 250 daily and Sunday newspapers. Piraro reaches out to loyal readers and creates new ones by bringing his own live comedy show, “The Bizarro Bologna Show,” to cities where his “Bizarro” comic panel appears. The New York Times describes Piraro’s one-man show as, “a shrewd tour of a cartoonist’s imagination. It is silly and, as it should be, wildly applauded.”


Dan Piraro

Dan Piraro is an art school dropout of the ’70s and worked extensively as a commercial illustrator while attempting to get his cartooning career going. Bizarro was first syndicated in 1985 and continues to be the highest-rated comic among his close friends and family, as well as (one would hope) dozens of people around the world.

Fourteen or so books of Piraro’s work have been published, some having little or nothing to do with his cartooning career. In addition to his grueling, daily endeavors as a cartoonist, he also paints, composes and performs music, does stand-up comedy, writes a regular humor column for VegNews magazine, and shouts at idiots on his television.

An avid animal-rights advocate and ethical vegan since 2002, Piraro has spoken to dozens of vegan and animal rights groups and has won several Humane Society awards in recognition of his creative animal-rights work.

Bizarro won three consecutive Reuben Awards in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, from the National Cartoonists Society for “Best Cartoon Panel.” In 2010, Piraro won the National Cartoonists Society’s highest award, Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

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